Friday, September 17, 2010

Week 2 NFL picks

Thursday night is pick 'em night, at least as far as the 1:00 pm kick offs are concerned: Bills @ Packers -- As odd as this may sound, I actually had to have a think about this one. The gut reaction is to just say "Packers" and move on. But the Packers have lost RB Ryan Grant, a key component of their offense last year. And this is a Bills D that can match up with some of the best against the pass. The question then is this; can the Bills offense generate enough yards and points against a very good Packers D to off set any shortcomings in their defense. And you know, I just can't let go of this nagging feeling that everything has changed for the Packers. Their offensive make up has been altered and that eventually has a spill over effect on their D. Ultimately I had the same nagging feeling about the Chiefs/Chargers game last week, so against my better judgement I'm going to take the hit and say Bills win. Dolphins @ Vikings -- I've learnt my lesson, I think, with regards to the Vikings. They love Brett Favre. Brett Favre loves Brett Favre. They seem to have gone very cold on Adrian Peterson. As much as I am very suspicious of the Dolphins offense, I'm backing them to get it done. Dolphins win. Chiefs @ Browns -- Chances are that Jake Delhomme might not play. That's a good thing for the Browns. That means Seneca Wallace steps in and runs a more efficient Browns offense. The Chiefs will still be the Chiefs, which means a struggle at times to cover receivers and a lack lustre pass offense. Thomas Jones and Jamaal Charles still offer a big threat, but I just get that feeling that the Browns will have more in the tank. Browns win. Bears @ Cowboys -- I. Do Not. Trust. The Cowboys. Offense. It's that simple. I'm not exactly raving about the Bears either, but I have serious questions about the Cowboys tackle combo of Doug Free and Alex Barron. Not that the Bears O-line inspires effusive confidence either. I don't know what it is about this week, but the games seem to be quite hard to pick. I remember last year being much more clean cut. Hmmm, I'm going to have to back the Bears. And that's just about as damning an indictment of the Cowboys as you can get. Cardinals @ Falcons -- Ohh this is ugly! The Falcons against the Cardinals is not a game I would relish sitting down and watching. Personally I'm inclined to say that Cardinals safety Adrian Wilson will once again have a great game.... and not get the accolades he deserves come the seasons end. I just don't see the Falcons posing the threat I would have expected out of them coming into this season. They've been incredibly flat offensively throughout the pre-season and into week 1, though their defense has luckily tightened down and kept them in games. Not this Sunday though. Cardinals win. Buccaneers @ Panthers -- The Panthers are a tricky team to call in this game. With Matt Moore likely to sit after suffering a concussion in week one, that means Jimmy Clausen is handed the reins for week two. That throws up two potential scenarios; a) the Panthers come out throwing and Clausen self destructs against an improved Bucs' defense, or b) they hide the rookie behind their rushing attack and pound a Bucs' D that even now still appears to struggle against the run. My money is on the Panthers doing the safe thing and running this one out. Please Carolina, don't let me down. Panthers win. Eagles @ Lions -- Eagles win. Next. Ravens @ Bengals -- Ahh crap. How do I pick this one? Truth is I like both teams equally. I like the Ravens O. I like the Bengals O. I like the Bengals D. I like the Ravens D. I like everyboDy. But I think I like the Bengals a little more. This was tough as nails to pick and ultimately it came down to the corner back position. With Jonathan Joseph and Leon Hall I feel the Bengals have a little more to offer back there than the Ravens do. That said the Ravens front seven is probably better so it all kind of adds up. Ah hell, I'm sticking with the Bengals. Steelers @ Titans -- Another toughie. The Steelers run defense is very good. Their front seven is one of the best in the league at putting the stopper on opposition running backs without the need of safety help. But then the Titans D is proving quite mean itself. Dennis Dixon will be scrambling for his life most of the game given the match up of the Steelers O-line against the Titans pass rush. I think this one will be settled by offense, and the Titans just have more to offer in that department. Titans win. Let the disaster begin!! I'm not entirely happy with the Bills over the Packers, the Bears over the Vikings or the Browns over the Chiefs, but that's life. Some times when you sit down and look at things, everything seems to suggest one team over another. But football is a very fickle game. It's prone to wild swings in unexpected ways. I'm sure I was among the minority in picking the Chiefs over the Chargers, but at times you can just see match ups that might be favourable. The biggest problem - at least from my perspective - is trying to guess how coaches will game plan for the coming opponent and what kind of run/pass balance they will go with. This was aptly demonstrated by the Panthers last year. Trying to get into the mind of John Fox was like a 5 year old trying to get into a strip club. That just adds to the already difficult job of comparing match ups, etc. Anyway, enough complaining. I'm off out to grab a beer and I'll be back tomorrow to share my picks for the rest of the weekends games. Till then, Have a great day everyone.

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