September 9 2012; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos cheerleader performs during the first quarter of the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Sports Authority Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-US PRESSWIRE
JP Starkey is back with his NFL picks, picking each and every Week 2 game.
Week 2 of the NFL is officially upon us, and as always, I'll be delivering weekly picks -- both straight up, and against the spread.
Last week, I went 10-5 picking winners, but only went 7-8 against the spread. Hey, nobody ever said it was easy in the early weeks against the spread.
Without further ado, here's my picks for the rest of Week 2, which features some pretty excellent matchups.
Odds courtesy of OddsShark.
Kansas City Chiefs (+3) at Buffalo Bills: Yuck. Neither team looked too great last week while getting blown out by the Atlanta Falcons and New York Jets, respectively. The Bills lost starting running back Fred Jackson to injury last week, but C.J. Spiller looked excellent filling in.
I'll take the Bills at home to win, and cover.
Cleveland Browns (+7) at Cincinnati Bengals: Another game where neither team looked great last week. The Browns, to their credit, hung in there with Michael Vick and the Philadelphia Eagles before losing by one point, 17-16.
The Browns, however, have Brandon Weeden at quarterback and he showed absolutely nothing. The Browns are also without Joe Haden, who has been suspended.
Give me the Bengals to win, but the Browns will keep it close enough and cover.
Minnesota Vikings (-5) at Indianapolis Colts: Tough call, here. It's Indianapolis' home opener, and you know that the crowd will be jazzed up behind Andrew Luck. Minnesota needed overtime to beat a lowly Jacksonville team at home, so it's not like they're anything special at the moment.
Still, Indianapolis is an incomplete team, with poor lines on both sides of the ball. I'll take Minnesota to win, and cover.
Oakland Raiders (-1) at Miami Dolphins: Seriously? I know the Raiders and Carson Palmer did nothing but dump the ball off against the Chargers last week, but the Dolphins just might be the worst team in the entire league.
Raiders, to win, and to cover.
Arizona Cardinals (+13) at New England Patriots: Usually with a spread of about two touchdowns, it's a tough call. I don't really think this is, though. Arizona's quarterback situation is abysmal, with Kevin Kolb filling in for an injured John Skelton.
New England's defense looked very good against Tennessee last weekend, and it could look even better against Arizona on Sunday.
I'll take the Patriots to win, and cover.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+7) at New York Giants: Interesting game. The Giants are almost certainly the better team, but the Bucs sure looked good stopping Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers last week.
I think this is a pretty close game, but the Giants pull it out. I'll take Tampa Bay to cover, though.
Baltimore Ravens (+1) at Philadelphia Eagles: Another very good game in Week 2, and maybe the best. The Ravens dominated the Bengals last week, while the Eagles, well, they barely squeaked by the Browns.
Of course, what each team did last week isn't really an indicator of what they'll do this week. Still, I'll take the much more physical Ravens to force enough mistakes out of Philadelphia.
Ravens win, and cover.
New Orleans Saints (-2.5) at Carolina Panthers: I'm a bit surprised that the Saints are only two and a half point favorites -- last week's loss aside. The Panthers aren't great, and have a suspect secondary.
I can't see Drew Brees and the Saints starting 0-2, and I can't see a two point win for them, either. I'll take the Saints to win, and cover.
Houston Texans (-7) at Jacksonville Jaguars: The Jaguars almost came out of Week 1 with a win, but they didn't. The Texans, meanwhile, beat up on a different Florida team -- the Miami Dolphins.
Even with Maurice Jones-Drew back and getting a healthy dosage of carries this weekend, I don't see any chance for the Jags in this game.
Texans win, and cover.
Washington Redskins (-3) at St. Louis Rams: Here's what looks like a bit of a trap game. The Rams looked pretty good against the Detroit Lions, and nearly came away with a win. The Redskins also looked pretty awesome -- and they did come away with a win, beating the Saints.
It'll be the home opener for Jeff Fisher and his Rams, and because of that, I'm going to take the Rams to upset the Redskins. I'm just not ready to buy Washington on a weekly basis -- even against mediocre teams.
Dallas Cowboys (-3) at Seattle Seahawks: I'm also a bit surprised that the Cowboys are only three-point favorites, but I do understand why. Seattle is a difficult place to play in, and one game does not make the Cowboys suddenly awesome, and heavy favorites on the road.
Still, Russell Wilson is not a legitimate NFL quarterback at this time. I don't see the Seahawks winning, and I don't see them losing by one possession.
I'll take the Cowboys to win, and cover.
New York Jets (+5) at Pittsburgh Steelers: Clearly, oddsmakers and gamblers don't care too much about Week 1, when the Jets blew out the Bills, and the Steelers lost to the Broncos.
Without Darrelle Revis, I'm not sure how well the Jets will be able to contain Antonio Brown and Mike Wallace. I do think the Jets will keep it close, but just not close enough.
I'll take the Steelers to win, and the Jets to cover.
Tennessee Titans (+7) at San Diego Chargers: The Titans didn't look great last week against the Patriots, but Jake Locker, at the least, showed some promise, completing nearly 72% of his passes.
Chris Johnson, meanwhile, looked awful -- and he'll really be looking for a bounceback game. Kenny Britt is back for the Titans, too, after serving a suspension.
Since the Chargers typically start off slow, I'll take the Titans, on the road, in the upset, to win and, obviously, cover.
Detroit Lions (+7) at San Francisco 49ers: This is a really, really, really tough one for me. I don't think either team is great, but I do think both teams are good. I know San Francisco just went into Green Bay and shut down the Packers, but I'll need to see it more than once to actually believe they're an elite team.
I'll take San Francisco to win, but Detroit does cover.
Denver Broncos (+3) at Atlanta Falcons: The Peyton Manning primetime extravaganza continues. The Broncos looked pretty good last week beating the Steelers, but then again, Pittsburgh was missing both Ryan Clark and James Harrison.
The Broncos are probably a bit better than I gave them credit for a couple weeks ago, but they're not ready to beat the Falcons in Atlanta. It'll be close, but the Falcons win, and cover.