As we head into the full National Football League schedule – minus the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears – we take a look at the winners and losers from among all games today and tomorrow.
There will be some surprising outcomes, some not-so-surprising – but one thing is for certain – it should be another unrelentingly fun two days of football.
So, without further adieu, here are my picks for today and tomorrow’s game. Let me know if you think I’m right on or full of soup.
Kansas City Chiefs at Buffalo Bills: Though the Chiefs get back their pass rushing master, Tamba Hali, I think the difference in this one will be the Bills’ defense. I think the Bills’ offense will do just enough to overcome a Chiefs team that doesn’t want to fall to 0-2. Bills 23 Chiefs 20
New Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers: Both of these teams come in at 0-1 – a surprise to many who felt both teams should have won last week. The Saints defense looked helpless last week against Robert Griffin III and the Redskins and the Panthers had no run game last week against Tampa Bay. I think Cam Newton relies more on the run game this week to get an opportunity to pass the ball. Carolina 27 New Orleans 23
Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns: Wow! If there’s a sleeper game out there, this is it. The battle for Ohio doesn’t mean much to anyone else in the nation and when the Browns’ offense implodes in this one, not many will care. The Bengals will find a way to win this one, despite the tough Browns’ defense. Cincinnati 16 Cleveland 10
Minnesota Vikings at Indianapolis Colts: Ok, so I said the Bengals and Browns would be a sleeper … this one may top that game. Though watching Adrian Peterson run the ball is always exciting, I feel that, in his home opener, Andrew Luck will make everyone forget Peterson’s performance. I think both teams will score points in this one, but the Colts find a way to win … could even go to OT. Indianapolis 24 Minnesota 21
Houston Texans at Jacksonville Jaguars: Another mismatch here. Despite Maurice Jones-Drew getting back into the swing of things, this one won’t even be close. Behind Arian Foster, the Texans will run all over the Jaguars. Houston 38 Jacksonville 10
Oakland Raiders at Miami Dolphins: So, which team is worse? Both come in at 0-1 after terrible performances last week. I think the Dolphins’ rookie QB Ryan Tannehill is more successful this week and will help the Dolpins make a game of it. However, Oakland will somehow pull this one out behind Carson Palmer. Oakland 23 Miami 17
Arizona Cardinals at New England Patriots: Everyone got excited about the Cardinals’ come-from-behind win over the Seattle Seahawks last week – I wasn’t one of them. This one won’t even be close and the Cardinals will be embarrassed by what Tom Brady does to them. New England 44 Arizona 6
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New York Giants: This is one of the most intriguing match ups of the day. Can the Giants lose two in a row at home? Tampa Bay, which played a tough pressure defense against the Panthers last week and shut down Cam Newton think they can do it again. I don’t think so. I feel Eli Manning will show the world why they won the Super Bowl last year. New York Giants 28 Tampa Bay 17
Baltimore Ravens at Philadelphia Eagles: This battle of the birds will come down to one thing – defense. I wasn’t surprised to see Michael Vick throw four interceptions to the Cleveland Browns last week and I won’t be surprised to see him repeat that performance again today against the Ravens. Both teams have tough defenses, but the Ravens will get more production on the ground and through the air in this one. Baltimore 27 Philadelphia 23
Dallas Cowboys at Seattle Seahawks: The ‘Boys will show why they are 1-0 with their big opening night victory over the Giants in New York. Seattle won’t be in this one long as rookie Russell Wilson shows why he’s a rookie. In fact, don’t be surprised to see backup Matt Flynn hit the field at some point today. Dallas 32 Seattle 20
Washington Redskins at St. Louis Rams: Robert Griffin III showed last week that he probably should have been the number one pick in last April’s NFL draft by beating the Saints on the road. He gets his chance again at St. Louis and don’t be surprised to see him match last week’s performance against the upstart Rams who played well in a losing cause agains the Lions. Washington 27 St. Louis 16
New York Jets at Pittsburgh Steelers: The Steelers aren’t the Bills and Mark Sanchez and the Jets will figure that out quickly today. Ben Roethlisberger will shine in this one and the New York media will be back bashing Rex Ryan when this one comes to an end. Pittsburgh 35 New York Jets 20
Tennessee Titans at San Diego Chargers: Neither team has a running game. San Diego has the better quarterback. Because of that, I feel that if Philip Rivers can keep from throwing interceptions that he will lead his team to another win today. San Diego 23 Tennessee 13
Detroit Lions at San Francisco 49ers: The Niners will show once again that it’s their defense that rules the roost. The Lions will show once again that they are an overrated group. This has been set up as the game of the week in the NFL and on paper I would agree. However, when pad hits pad today, it’s not even going to be close. Stafford gets picked off three times and the Niners’ running game goes wild. San Francisco 38 Lions 17
Denver Broncos at Atlanta Falcons: Ok, here we go once more with the Peyton Manning hype. The thing is, there’s plenty of hype surrounding the Falcons. Neither team is as good as most believe. Though the Falcons speed will be a factor in this one, the intangible will be Manning. If he can move his team, this one will be close – and I think that will be the case. Somehow, Manning will show some magic. Broncos 28 Falcons 24
So, there you have it, my best guesses on the games today and tomorrow.
Though it’s a Sunday without the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears, it should still be a fun day of NFL action.
Get the popcorn ready.