It was a bit of an atypical Week 1 for us, as we usually do pretty well. Thanks to spectacular non-covers by the Pats and Chargers on Monday, we skidded to an 8-8 week. Some highlights from the opening games:
Denver's improbable 87 yard TD pass to beat Cincy, culminating in Brandon Stokely's goal line tightrope walk. Obviously, this guy played lots of Tecmo Bowl as a kid.
The Patriots quick strike victory over Buffalo. The decision to run the kickoff out of the end zone was actually pretty sound, but the need to figt for the extra meaningless yard nullified it.
Mark Sanchez's debut. The kid looked poised, if nothing else, but bear in mind the awful pick he threw, along with a few other ill advised tosses which could have easily been picked. The new Rex Ryan led defense will carry this team in '09.
For Week 2, it's Rivalry Week! Jets-Pats! Giants-Cowboys! Chiefs-Raiders! (Okay, only we care about that last one....)
On to the picks.
ATLANTA (-6.5) over Carolina
Panthers have become a bit of a chic pick since this line opened. We're not seeing it - Jake Delomme can play 75% better than he did a week ago and still be awful. The Falcs are home again, and have enough to grind out an ugly win.
Falcons 20 Panthers 13
Minnesota (-9.5) over DETROIT
AP, AP, and more AP. Favre will be a non-factor, meaning he'll be less likely to throw a damaging INT. Lions are better, but will have no answers for Purple Jesus.
Vikings 37 Lions 10
GREEN BAY (-9.5) over Cincinnati
Bengals reeling after ugly late loss to Denver at home, now go to Lambeau. Pack escaped with one last week, but staunch defense will have no trouble shutting down Cincy.
Packers 20 Bengals 7
Houston (+7.5) over TENNESSEE
This is not the same Titan team from 2008. Texans, a popular breakout pick by many (including this site), will be hungry and should have enough to cover this number.
Texans 23 Titans 21
KANSAS CITY (-3.5) over Oakland
Raiders might have been jobbed by reversal on that TD pass last week, and they appear to be much more disciplined thus far, but JaMarcus Russell's inaccuracy will cause problems. KC eager to please in first Arrowhead game of the Pioli/Haley regime, will take out hated AFL rivals.
Chiefs 24 Raiders 16
New England (-5.5) over NY JETS
Everybody loving the J-E-T-S Jets! JEts! Jets! after impressive opener. Couple that with New England's survival victory, and you've got plenty of concerned folks in Massachusettes. Not to worry. The Hoodie has always been able to rattle younger QB's, and Pats can look at last week as a wake-up call.
Patriots 23 Jets 14
New Orleans (+1.5) over PHILADELPHIA
Changed this one after seeing Kolb will be taking the snaps for Philly. Saints D is not stellar by any means, but Brees and CO. will be ablt to put up enough to compensate, and we're counting on some unfoirced errors by Kolb.
Saints 26 Eagles 24
WASHINGTON (-10.5) over St. Louis
Rams are absolutely dreadful. Skins bounce back in home opener, and despite the inconsistency of Jason Campbelll will be able to coast here.
Redskins 30 Rams 13
Arizona (+3.5) over JACKSONVILLE
Sorry, but the Jags are simply not very good, and do not deserve to be giving points, particularly to the defending NFC champs. We know, Western teams going East for 1:00 starts have an absolutely abysmal record, but this one is a trend bucker.
Cardinals 24 Jaguars 19
Seattle (+1.5) over SAN FRANCISCO
Still not sold on Niners, even after impressive road win at Arizona. Seahawks lloked sharp vs. Rams, which really wasn't difficult to do, but the feeling here is they will steal one on the road this week.
Seahawks 27 49ers 24
BUFFALO (-4.5) over Tampa Bay
Bills come home and reignite the hope for their beleaguered fan base. Bucs hung with Dallas for awhile last week, but gave up big play after big play en route to loss. Look for T.O. to have a good game and, hopefully, keep his yap shut afterward.
Bills 30 Bucs 16
CHICAGO (+2.5) over Pittsburgh
Upset special. Bears can't afford to fall to 0-2, and the defense should step it up big time against Champs. Cutler should enjoy seeing a Troy Polamolu-less secondary as well. Robbie Gould's leg decides it.
Bears 20 Steelers 17
Cleveland (+3.5) over DENVER
Not sold at all on the Broncos, who pulled one out of their backside last week. Browns are bad, but so is Denver, so we'll grab the points and hope for a close game.
Broncos 20 Browns 17
Baltimore (+4.5) over SAN DIEGO
Chargers, minus LDT, still a potent force as Darren Sprouls takes the ball. Ravens solid on both sides of the ball, and this seems like way too high a number to pass up.
Ravens 23 Chargers 19
NY Giants (+2.5) over DALLAS
Welcome to the Enormodome, or whatever the hell Jerry Jones is calling this monstrosity of a stadium. Hope this sucke- er, fans, enjoy getting fleeced for huge sums while enjoying obstructed views, essentially paying this man tons of money to watch his large TV. Back to the game, G-Men know how to beat this team, always play well on the road, and won't be fazed. Over/Under on punts hitting the monitor is 1.5.
Giants 24 Cowboys 20
Indianapolis (-3.5) over MIAMI
We told you that the Dolphins were the prime candidate to be this season's Let Down team, and gettign off to an 0-2 start will help cement that. Colts did just enough to win opener, and will be able to cover here despite being thin at wideout.
Colts 17 Dolphins 10
Last Week: 8-8
Best Bets: Bills, Vikings, Packers