PFT’s Week Two picks

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Last week, MDS and yours truly disagreed on only one pick.  I trusted the J-E-T-S, and he didn’t.

So I finished 11-5, and he’s already in second place with a 10-6 mark.

This week, we’ve doubled our disagreements.  Which means that there’s a good chance I’ll be in second place by next week at this time.

Tune in to PFT Live this Thursday and every Thursday for MDS and yours truly talking about three or four of Sunday’s games.  And, yes, there may be gloating.

Bears at Packers

MDS’s take: This is about as close as a Week Two game can get to being a must-win for the Packers. Lose here and they’re two games behind the Bears, plus the Bears have the tiebreaker edge, plus they’re 0-2 at Lambeau Field, plus they’re behind the Lions and Vikings in the NFC North as well. Jay Cutler will have a good game against the Packers’ suspect pass defense, but Aaron Rodgers will have an even better game, and the Packers will win with their backs to the wall.

MDS’s pick: Packers 34, Bears 31.

Florio’s take:  The Packers have beaten the Bears in five of their last six games.  And other than the 2010 NFC title game, none has been bigger than Thursday night’s contest at Lambeau Field.  If the Packers lose, the team that was 15-1 in 2011 will fall to 0-2 in 2012, with 25 percent of the home schedule completed.  Look for the Packers’ defense to find something close to their groove — finally — and for Green Bay to get things moving in the right direction with a strong offensive output.

Florio’s pick:  Packers 28, Bears 24.

Chiefs at Bills

MDS’s take: Picking the Bills burned me in Week One, costing me the head-to-head battle with Florio in last week’s picks. Will I learn from that mistake and avoid the Bills this time? Nope. I think the Bills are a better team than they showed against the Jets and should win a close one at home.

MDS’s pick: Bills 14, Chiefs 10.

Florio’s take:  Last year, the Bills went to Arrowhead in Week One and spanked the Chiefs.  This year, the Chiefs return the favor in Week Two.  (And as long as MDS keeps picking the Bills, I’ll keep building an edge in the season-long contest.)

Florio’s pick:  Chiefs 34, Bills 21.

Saints at Panthers

MDS’s take: Can Cam Newton do to the Saints’ defense what Robert Griffin III did? Or is the Panthers’ offense going to lay an egg for the second week in a row? In a game that will leave the loser in a big hole in the NFC South, I’m picking the Panthers in a home upset.

MDS’s pick: Panthers 27, Saints 24.

Florio’s take:  The loser of this game will fall to 0-2.  For the Panthers, that would be a problem.  For the Saints, it would be grounds for panic.  Caught napping last Sunday against the Redskins, the Saints wake up in a big way.

Florio’s pick:  Saints 42, Panthers 24.

Browns at Bengals

MDS’s take: Both of these teams looked bad in Week One, but the Browns seem to be on a different level of bad, because Brandon Weeden just doesn’t look like he’s ready to be a starting quarterback in the NFL. Joe Flacco showed on Monday night that a good quarterback can beat the Bengals deep, but Weeden is not a good quarterback.

MDS’s pick: Bengals 24, Browns 10.

Florio’s take:  The Bengals lose the games they’re supposed to lose, and they win the games they’re supposed to win.  That trend held on Monday night, and it’ll hold on Sunday.

Florio’s pick:  Bengals 28, Browns 16.

Vikings at Colts

MDS’s take: Andrew Luck had four turnovers in his debut against the Bears, but what would really concern me about that game if I were a Colts fan is that the Colts’ defense didn’t look any better than it did last year. Christian Ponder will have his second consecutive big game and the Vikings will start a surprising 2-0.

MDS’s pick: Vikings 27, Colts 20.

Florio’s take:  Andrew Luck will always be compared to Peyton Manning.  And Peyton Manning lost the first home game of his career.  So if Luck can pull this one off, he’ll already be ahead of the curve.  Though the Vikings aren’t nearly as good as they were the year that Peyton Manning entered the league, they’re good enough to spoil Luck’s debut at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Florio’s pick:  Vikings 24, Colts 20.

Texans at Jaguars

MDS’s take: Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert looks like he’s taken a big step forward since last season, and Jacksonville should put some points on the board. But the Jaguars won’t be able to keep pace with the loaded Texans offense, and this game could get ugly.

MDS’s pick: Texans 35, Jaguars 14.

Florio’s take:  Jaguars owner Shahid Khan wants to remove the tarps at EverBank Field.  His players may want to hide under them when the Texans come to town.

Florio’s pick:  Texans 35, Jaguars 17.

Raiders at Dolphins

MDS’s take: Both of these offenses looked like they leave a lot to be desired in their Week One losses, but I have a lot more faith in Carson Palmer turning things around than I have in Ryan Tannehill turning things around. The Dolphins, who started last season 0-7, will take another step toward another dismal start.

MDS’s pick: Raiders 24, Dolphins 6.

Florio’s take:  The Raiders may need sunglasses to dull the glare of all those empty orange seats.  And it will only get more empty in the second half.

Florio’s pick:  Raiders 24, Dolphins 17.

Cardinals at Patriots

MDS’s take: The Cardinals somehow seem to keep playing in close, competitive, exciting games: Last year 13 of their 16 games were decided by a touchdown or less, and they went down to the wire against the Seahawks in Week One as well. So will they be in a close game again? No. The Patriots win this one easily.

MDS’s pick: Patriots 34, Cardinals 14.

Florio’s take:  The two hottest teams over the last 10 regular-season games get together in Foxboro, but there’s still a huge gap between the 9-1 Patriots and 8-2 Cardinals.  Actually, there’s a pretty big gap right now between the 9-1 Patriots and 31 other teams.

Florio’s pick:  Patriots 31, Cardinals 13.

Buccaneers at Giants

MDS’s take: Greg Schiano had his team playing exactly the kind of tough, physical football he promised they would play in Week One against the Panthers, while the defending champion Giants looked surprisingly out of sorts in their Week One loss to the Cowboys. But the Giants are still the Giants and the Buccaneers are still the Buccaneers, and Week One will look like an anomaly when this game is over.

MDS’s pick: Giants 27, Buccaneers 10.

Florio’s take:  This is the kind of game that Giants could have lost, if they’d beaten the Cowboys in Week One.  But since the Giants lost to the Cowboys in Week One, they’ll be guarding against another letdown — and quarterback Eli Manning will do what he has to do to propel the team in an early must-win situation.

Florio’s pick:  Giants 27, Buccaneers 17.

Ravens at Eagles

MDS’s take: The Eagles won ugly in Week One, while the Ravens won big. Much like they did last year, the Eagles look like a team that’s less than the sum of its parts, and I like the Ravens to go to Philadelphia and win.

MDS’s pick: Ravens 24, Eagles 17.

Florio’s take:  A week after barely beating the toothless new Browns, the Eagles get a taste of the old Browns.  By the time it’s over, Mike Vick may need Jeffrey Lurie to push the wheelchair.

Florio’s pick:  Ravens 30, Eagles 21.

Redskins at Rams

MDS’s take: I liked the way the Rams’ defense looked in the first game of the Jeff Fisher era: Yes, they gave up 355 passing yards to Matthew Stafford in a loss to the Lions, but they also mixed up their coverages and picked Stafford off three times. The Rams will do a better job of containing Robert Griffin III than the Saints did, but the problem for St. Louis is that the offensive line is a mess, and they’re not going to be able to put many points on the board.

MDS’s pick: Redskins 20, Rams 13.

Florio’s take:  If the Rams had known how RG3 would make his NFL debut, the price for the pick that was sent to the Redskins would have been a lot higher than three ones and a two.  And the Rams may regret sooner rather than later the decision to not simply pick Griffin themselves.

Florio’s pick:  Redskins 28, Rams 20.

Cowboys at Seahawks

MDS’s take: Russell Wilson struggled against the Cardinals’ defense, and he’s going to struggle again against an athletic Cowboys defense that can limit Wilson’s mobility. The fans in Seattle may be calling for Matt Flynn soon.

MDS’s pick: Cowboys 21, Seahawks 6.

Florio’s take:  Tony Romo returns to Seattle for the first time since he fumbled the snap on a field goal that would have secured a win in his first career playoff game.  This time around, the defense will be the difference, especially since the Seahawks’ receivers are banged up.

Florio’s pick:  Cowboys 24, Seahawks 13.

Jets at Steelers

MDS’s take: No one saw the Jets’ offensive explosion coming last week, so maybe I’m underestimating them here, but I just don’t like Mark Sanchez’s chances of moving the ball effectively against the Steelers’ defense.

MDS’s pick: Steelers 17, Jets 10.

Florio’s take:  The Steelers saw some Tebowing late in Sunday’s loss to the Broncos.  The Steelers will be hoping to see none of it on Sunday.

Florio’s pick:  Steelers 20, Jets 10.

Titans at Chargers

MDS’s take: Chargers linebacker Shaun Phillips had an excellent game against the Raiders, and he’s going to make Titans quarterback Jake Locker’s life very difficult on Sunday. The Chargers will be off to their first 2-0 start since 2006.

MDS’s pick: Chargers 24, Titans 17.

Florio’s take:  The Chargers begin what could be one of their final seasons in San Diego  in style.  Except for all the empty seats at the stadium.

Florio’s pick:  Chargers 21, Titans 17.

Lions at 49ers

MDS’s take: The Lions survived with an unimpressive win over the Rams at home, while the 49ers had an extremely impressive win over the Packers on the road. San Francisco may just have the best team in the NFL.

MDS’s pick: 49ers 27, Lions 17.

Florio’s take:  The 49ers have gotten better since the last time these two teams met in Detroit.  The Lions haven’t.

Florio’s pick:  49ers 31, Lions 17.

Broncos at Falcons

MDS’s take: The loss of starting cornerback Brent Grimes is a huge blow to the Falcons, and Peyton Manning is the worst quarterback to face for a team trying to adjust to an injury in the secondary: Manning will find places to pick apart the Falcons’ secondary and get a big road win against a good team.

MDS’s pick: Broncos 31, Falcons 28.

Florio’s take:  Last year, Denver’s defense kept games close long enough for the quarterback to do something heroic.  This week, they’ll do the same thing — without having to give up so few points.

Florio’s pick:  Broncos 38, Falcons 35.

57 responses to “PFT’s Week Two picks

  1. “The Packers have beaten the Bears in five of their last six games. ”

    I don’t think you can take the last 6 games as an indication on how the game will play out. Entirely new Bears offense puts them in the best position to win in the last 3 years.

  2. Raiders at Dolphins

    MDS’s take: Both of these offenses looked like they leave a lot to be desired in their Week One losses, but I have a lot more faith in Carson Palmer turning things around than I have in Ryan Tannehill turning things around. The Dolphins, who started last season 0-7, will take another step toward another dismal start.

    MDS’s pick: Raiders 24, Dolphins 6.

    Florio’s take: The Raiders may need sunglasses to dull the glare of all those empty orange seats. And it will only get more empty in the second half.

    Florio’s pick: Raiders 24, Dolphins 17.
    ____________

    C’mon guys..you don’t even take into account that the Raiders played Monday night, they have to travel cross country into EST, the game will feel like 10:00 in the morning! Dolphins only had 6 minutes of bad football where they otherwise hung with Houston ON THE ROAD. The Dolphins have also owned the Raiders the last several years. Who are the Raiders receivers again this week? They become one dimensional and Miami is not bad against the run. Where is the real analysis and not just Dolphin bashing for the sake of it??

    Dolphins win this game.

  3. Easiest game Redskins play all year. Rams lost to Rex…cased closed. RGIII continues his path to greatness and our front seven shallacks that Rams O-Line all game long.

    My picks for WK2-
    Bears
    Chiefs
    Panthers
    Bengals
    Vikings
    Texans
    Raiders
    Cardinals
    Buccaneers
    Ravens
    Redskins
    Seahawks
    Steelers
    Chargers
    Lions
    Falcons

  4. Looks like one of you guys pick the Bills over the Chiefs…

    but don’t get too crazy with the picks now. I wouldn’t want you guys both picking the same teams.

  5. I think the Ravens/Eagles game would be close but I still think the Ravens will win.

    Broncos/Falcons will be a good game. The Falcons have alot of fire power and I’m not sure if Denver will be able to keep up.

  6. Rams have given the Redskins fits the last few times they’ve met. Hopefully this time the defense can shut down the Rams, and Griffin and Co. can keep rolling….

    And how is it that the Cardinals have gone 8-2 over their last 10 games? Maybe they’re going to be better this season….The roiling, boiling ever-changing NFL, gotta love it!!

  7. I have to disagree with the Giants/Buccaneers match up.

    The Buccaneers game against the Panthers last week was supposed to be all about Cam…Cam Cam Cam. He owned the Bucs last season. What happened in Week One, this year? The Tampa Defense held him to FOUR yards rushing. F-O-U-R. The whole Panthers team racked up 10 total yards running the ball.

    Yes, Cam threw for 300+. That is in part because the Bucs gameplan was to STOP Cam. He can make throws all day long, but if he can’t make plays with his feet, the Panthers are in the loss column.

    Now the Bucs face the Giants and are labeled huge underdogs. This game will be Vincent Jackson’s coming out party. Offensive Coordinator Mike Sullivan, formerly of the Giants, knows what it takes to beat New York. Big plays. Eli will be smart with the ball, but he will make mistakes. A few turnovers by Manning and the Bucs will have this game in the bag.

    This will be the theme all year long for the Bucs. Underdogs.

  8. Doesn’t appear to be much reason in that voice. Especially when you envoke the name of Rex Grossman.

    Jeff Fisher inspired defense will be a test for Griffin. A tougher test then the Saints. I hope for a Skins win, but it is anything but a sure thing.

  9. “The 49ers have gotten better since the last time these two teams met in Detroit. The Lions haven’t.”

    Disagreed. Suh and Corey Williams games last week were better than any of their games last year. Eric Wright was a terrible corner, Bentley has been impressive. Our linebackers are in their 2nd year together, and played great last week.

    Our offense is the same as last year, same coordinator. Titus and Pettigrew have improved. Burleson is the playing the best ball of his career. And there’s Megatron.

    Just because we didn’t pick up a Randy Moss doesn’t mean there was no improvement, especially saying that after 1 game.

  10. The Dolphins will beat the Raiders Sunday.
    Tannehill will learn from some of his mistakes, and Carson Palmer isn’t anything special. Raiders Special Teams looked terrible Sunday.
    Go Dolphins.

  11. bathroombenlovemachine says:
    Sep 13, 2012 9:22 AM
    ——-
    RGIII has replaced that clown as far as I’m concerned. Griffin has a better skillset, work ethic and extraordinary intelligence. Those traits make Robert a legend who will transcend his position and the sport. In short, the Michael Jordan of Professional football…all while a member of a historic franchise like the Washington Redskins. Can’t ask for more than that. The complete package.

  12. As a Broncos fan I have my concerns about the Falcons. The Falcons always play well at home and that place is going to be crazy given it’s the Monday night game. I do think that if the Broncos can get them in 3rd and long as many times as they did the Steelers, Matt Ryan will have a hard time getting out of the hole like Ben was able too. Should be a great matchup.

  13. The Bears and Jets will win their next games???

    Does defense not matter anymore??

    LeBeau and Capers are both declining as defensive minds.

    No one has the guts to admit it!!!!

  14. bathroombenlovemachine
    Sep 13, 2012, 6:22 AM PDT
    Most of you are jealous of Mike Vick because he is a young African American that makes more money than you.

    Eagles will win Super Bowl 47 and Mike Vick will be Super Bowl MVP

    ——————————————————–

    You are a moron!! None of this is true what so ever. People hate Vick because he killed dogs not because he makes more money and hes black. If they hated black qbs why are Griffen and Newton so popular? Don’t talk anymore, you are not smart enough to talk

  15. No Huddle > Wide-9 Defense.

    The Eagles have great guys to get after the QB, but for most of last week’s game vs Cincinnati, the Bengals’ excellent front 7 couldn’t consistently get pressure on two first time starters on the Ravens’ o-line because of the up-tempo pace of the Ravens’ offense. It won’t be a repeat of last week’s slaughter, but the Ravens do enough on both sides of the ball (including clamping down in the red zone as they always do well, regardless of the yards they might give up) to come out with a W, Ravens take it 31-23.

  16. I’m a Raider fan but there is no way they beat Miami Sunday. It does not matter if Miami loses every game the rest of the year they will beat Oakland. Are Dophins a better team? NO BUT The Nfl makes sure the Raiders lose a few games a year and this is one of those games. No other teams from the West has to fly across country on a short week to play at 10am.
    Broncos beating the Steelers is laughable by the way, You media types got way to high on Manning. It was one game and Manning was playing against the worst D in the NFL. Falcons will blow Broncos out..Raiders will win the West by 2 games

  17. Wow, those Pats-Cards picks are conservative. The Pats will win this one at home by 30. The Cards are not bad but they are the worst traveling team in the league.

  18. Evidently someone was upset that I corrected them on their math issues…as my comment for some odd reason has disappeared…come on “F” are you that sensitive…I was correct you know the Skins did only give up 2 first round picks not 3 as you so kindly stated…but that’s still no reason to remove my post…

  19. @ bathroombenlovemachine— You have got to be kidding me! I dont believe jealousy has anything to do with it. It might have something to do with the fact that he is an arrogant,phony dog killing poor excuse for a human being! Throw in the fact that he is an Eagle and one can understand the public’s opinion of him. He wont ever see an MVP unless of course that stands for Michael Vick is a Phony!! As far as the superbowl!!! hahahah,,hahahaha,lol,lol,lol,!!!

  20. The Raiders aren’t winning, sorry. If you would have stayed up and watched their game Monday you have noticed why.

  21. Warren Sapp may have been right in his assessment of the Steeler defense. The Jets win with another display of their scoring abilities.

  22. I find myself in a dilemma, I care for neither the Jets or the Steelers. Who…. who do I root for? Oh God, who do I root for?!

  23. I’m a Bears fan, but I’ve always been partial to the Redskins game, and the Redskins-Rams game fascinates me from a match-up perspective.

    The Rams DL is under-rated. They have the typical Jeff Fisher, active interior players, and Quinn/Long are a solid tandem off the edge. With Long, you can trust him to stay disciplined and maintain gap integrity. Laurinaitis leads a solid LB group, and Finnegan/Jenkins gives them a potentially solid duo of CB’s. If they can keep Griffin in the pocket, and Finnegan can lock down one side (keeping in mind that Garcon is no lock to be at top form as of now), that could give Fisher and his defensive staff a lot of flexibility to attack Griffin.

    The problem for the Rams is offense. Their defense could shine at times this year, but the offensive skill is still lacking, and the OL is a problem. Still … this Redskins defense still has some question marks in the secondary, and if they can go with an uptempo, quick passing attack, maybe they could hold onto the ball long enough and cause enough damage so that their defense isn’t playing on their heels.

    Not sure who wins or loses, but this seems like a more interesting game than many will think. Just wonder if it may turn out to be a trap game of sorts for the Redskins.

  24. bathroombenlovemachine says:
    Sep 13, 2012 9:22 AM
    Most of you are jealous of Mike Vick because he is a young African American that makes more money than you.

    Eagles will win Super Bowl 47 and Mike Vick will be Super Bowl MVP
    ————————————————
    (Eagle Fan Philly bred here)

    Coming from the hub of the “black QB” i.e. Cunningham, Peete, McNabb; people arent jealous of Vick they show indifference to him.

    The guy was in prison for 2 years and came out to get a job helped by Herman Edwards and Tony Dungy. Vick had a great first 7 games and the Eagles organization made a rushed decision by giving him a $100 mil contract with $40 mil guaranteed and they can dump him and the contract at the end of the year.

    People here in Philly still think there’s a glimmer of the old ATL Vick in there but I personally dont.

  25. huejackson says:Broncos beating the Steelers is laughable by the way, You media types got way to high on Manning. It was one game and Manning was playing against the worst D in the NFL.

    Seriously?? lol. I can see why some people think that maybe the steelers D won’t be dominant this year. I disagree with that but i can see why other people might think it. The worst D in the NFL?!?!?!? What are you smoking?? There is more chance of the Browns winning the rest of their games this season than the Steelers having the worst D in the NFL. That is absoulutely ridiculous! I think they are going to prove people wrong and still be one of the top 5 defenses at the end of the season. I know people are going to disagree and i think that is reasonable but if you want anyone to take your comment seriously you should probably at least try to be realistic.

  26. It just seams like everyone likes hatin on the Raiders. Yea the played a sloppy game. They were still in the game until the 3 blown plays on special teams. Defense was decent offense needs a little more work, but that is just a matter of adjustments. Oakland will win Sunday.

  27. The Vikes quietly continue to march to an unexpected winning season this Sunday. Yes, their first 2 opponents are pushovers, but will provide fuel for the confidence this young team needs to gel, excel, and improve greatly upon last season (not that that’s all that hard to accomplish).

    The real test comes next week and the outcome of that depends on whether or not Frazier and crew have improved their game planning and in-game adjustment skills.

  28. The Factory of Sadness adds a second shift this week with Brandon Weedon looking a lot like the last QB to wear number 3 (Derek Anderson).

    More?

    The defense loses their best DB when Joe Haden gets a four game suspension for PED.

    The hits just keep on coming in Cleveland.

  29. Well after guaranteeing a Raiders win Monday night I’ve managed to finally pry my foot out of my mouth and am back to…predict another Raiders victory.

    Miami’s front 7 is way underrated picking up 8 TFL, 5 QB hurries and 2 sacks on Houston’s offensive line last week. They certainly can make Palmer’s life miserable on Sunday

    Ultimately though, I think the same thing undoes Miami that undid them last week: offensive miscues that give the Raiders good field position to work from.

    The Raiders win this one but not by as much as they should. A last minute drive by Tannehill to score a TD and force OT falls just short.

    Oakland 23 – Miami 16

  30. I’m not a Steeler fan but they did not have Ryan Clark or James Harrison in the lineup for the Broncos. if both of them are back this week it will make a noticeable difference in the D.

  31. I’m not a Redskins or Panthers fan but I wanted to weigh in on the Saints-Panthers game this week.

    So the Saints were caught napping last week? I don’t understand the comment. I thought the Saints were supposed to have more motivation than anyone going into last week?

    I think it’s more likely they’re just not going to be good as everyone thinks this year. Not to mention, maybe not having your SB winning head coach is a big deal after all. Just maybe.

  32. “Tony Romo returns to Seattle for the first time since he fumbled the snap on a field goal that would have secured a win in his first career playoff game. ”

    Actually the Seahawks got the ball back with well over a minute left in the game and a successful FG would have put the Cowboys up by only 2 points.

  33. bears will win, packers wont have the help of the other refs who favored them, hence why that guy whats his name cried like a baby about calls wen he lost. he isnt used to getting a game called fairly.

  34. >I just don’t like Mark Sanchez’s chances of moving the ball effectively against the Steelers’ defense.

    Maybe, but I think you’re underestimating the Eva Longoria factor.

  35. Looking back, I see you both picked the Saints over the Redskins.

    In all honesty, I probably would have too. Although my pick would have been closer to MDS’s than Florio’s.

    Redskins over Rams this week is (hopefully) a no-brainer.

  36. deiong says: Sep 13, 2012 8:20 PM

    bears will win, packers wont have the help of the other refs who favored them, hence why that guy whats his name cried like a baby about calls wen he lost. he isnt used to getting a game called fairly.
    ————–

    Told you the Packers would win.

  37. Look, I’m not saying the Jags are gonna beat Houston, but for
    1) They’re at home in Jacksonville
    2) The majority of the Texans have probably all caught that virus by now. It may not put anyone out for the game, but it will make it very hard to play as good as usual.

    I think Jacksonville has a good chance of winning thing, if not, it should be within 7pts.

    I also think the Dolphins should be the Raiders. Even without Davis, I don’t think Carson can capitalize on this. Miami has a killer defense, especially in the run, and I don’t think the Raiders will get past 90 rushing yards.

    Lastly, I think the Bengals will win, but I think it’ll be a lot closer than you guys at PFT think it will be. Consider how good the Browns defense is.

  38. “Now the Bucs face the Giants and are labeled huge underdogs. This game will be Vincent Jackson’s coming out party.”

    That was my post from a few days ago.

    Before the half Jackson has 3 catches for 87 Yards & 1TD.

    Welcome Vincent.

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