Yes, MDS finagled a one-game win in Week One, getting 12 of 16 right while I hit on 11 of the games.
After four years of doing this, however, I finally dropped the proverbial hole in one, picking the exact score of the Bears-Bengals game.
And under the new rules of the PFT Picks contest, revised by me this morning, a hole in one counts for three wins.
OK, it doesn’t. So I’ll have to try to erase the gap by being right on the two games on which MDS and I disagree. The full list of our picks appears below.
Jets at Patriots
MDS’s take: The Jets looked better than I expected on Sunday, and the Patriots looked worse than I expected Sunday. That has me thinking the Jets will be more competitive in this game than most people expect. Just not competitive enough to win.
MDS’s pick: Patriots 24, Jets 20.
Florio’s take: Rex Ryan started 3-2 against Bill Belichick. Since then, Rex is 0-4. Make that 0-5 as a team that fell into a win in Week One walks into a buzz saw during what likely will be Rex’s last trip to New England.
Florio’s pick: Patriots 30, Jets 17.
Rams at Falcons
MDS’s take: After losing to their toughest division rival in Week One, the Falcons definitely don’t want to fall into an 0-2 hole in Week Two. I don’t think they will, as the Falcons’ defense will make life tough on Sam Bradford.
MDS’s pick: Falcons 28, Rams 10.
Florio’s take: An old NFC West rivalry gets rekindled, and Steven Jackson gets an early crack at the only other team for which he’s ever played. With receivers Roddy White and Julio Jones injured, Atlanta will need a big day from Jackson. Even then, it may not be enough.
Florio’s pick: Falcons 23, Rams 20.
Browns at Ravens
MDS’s take: The Ravens gave up seven touchdown passes to Peyton Manning in Week One. I feel reasonably confident saying they will not give up seven touchdown passes to Brandon Weeden in Week Two. The Browns’ offense looked pretty bad in the opener and will continue to look pretty bad in the second game of the season.
MDS’s pick: Ravens 21, Browns 7.
Florio’s take: Brandon Weeden is no Peyton Manning. He’s also no Eli Manning. And he may be no Cooper Manning. Besides, with 10 days to prepare and a superior team on both sides of the ball, the old Browns will get to .500 as the new Browns stake out more familiar territory at 0-2.
Florio’s pick: Ravens 34, Browns 17.
Panthers at Bills
MDS’s take: Both teams played well in losses to good opponents in Week One. In Week Two, I think the Panthers are going to get their offense moving and earn a road win.
MDS’s pick: Panthers 34, Bills 21.
Florio’s take: Each team blew a chance to secure an eye-opening win in Week One. The Bills seem to be the better team at more positions, but where the Panthers have the edge, it’s a big one. Flip a coin. And then go for two-of-three, three-of-five, four-of-seven, or whatever it takes for the home team to prevail.
Florio’s pick: Bills 21, Panthers 17.
Vikings at Bears
MDS’s take: A playoff team a year ago, the Vikings are at risk of starting 0-2, with both losses in the division. That’s a deep hole for a team to dig itself in the first two weeks of the season, and that’s the hole the Vikings are going to dig, as the Bears’ defense is going to force Christian Ponder into multiple turnovers.
MDS’s pick: Bears 20, Vikings 10.
Florio’s take: A Minnesota native who never got a chance to coach the local team gets a chance to beat the local team in his second game as an NFL head coach. It helps that Marc Trestman has a legitimate passing attack, and that the Vikings don’t.
Florio’s pick: Bears 31, Vikings 20.
Redskins at Packers
MDS’s take: Speaking of playoff teams from a year ago digging 0-2 holes for themselves, that’s where the loser of this game will be. Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers will keep Green Bay from that fate with a big game against Washington’s defense.
MDS’s pick: Packers 27, Redskins 17.
Florio’s take: With the Packers spending their offseason focused on stopping mobile quarterbacks, Robert Griffin III will have to do what Colin Kaepernick did in order to outscore the Packers. I don’t think he can, not in Green Bay’s building.
Florio’s pick: Packers 30, Redskins 23.
Titans at Texans
MDS’s take: The Titans’ defense looked great in the opener, but I have a feeling that by the end of the season we’ll say Week One was an indication more that the Steelers’ offense is terrible than that Tennessee’s D is strong. The Texans are rolling after their comeback win on Monday night and will keep rolling when the team formerly known as the Oilers returns to Houston.
MDS’s pick: Texans 27, Titans 21.
Florio’s take: While Tennessee’s accomplishments in Pittsburgh shouldn’t be disregarded, the Steelers are a far cry from the Texans, who got a valuable lift from the biggest come-from-behind win in team history. It’ll be a rude welcome back to Houston for the franchise that used to play there. Mittens off for Bud Adams, everybody!
Florio’s pick: Texans 30, Titans 16.
Dolphins at Colts
MDS’s take: Reggie Wayne looked ageless against the Raiders in Week One, catching all eight of the passes Andrew Luck threw his way. I see Wayne having another eight catches or so as the Colts eke out another close win.
MDS’s pick: Colts 17, Dolphins 16.
Florio’s take: Jim Irsay demands better protection for Andrew Luck. Irsay would be better off demanding a second serving of pudding. The Dolphins have the horses up front to harass Luck far worse than the Raiders did. While the Colts still should win, Luck won’t be operating from a clean pocket.
Florio’s pick: Colts 24, Dolphins 20.
Cowboys at Chiefs
MDS’s take: Can the Chiefs match their win total from 2012 in the first two weeks of 2013? They can if they avoid turnovers against the Cowboys, and I think that’s what they’ll do, as Alex Smith and Jamaal Charles lead an efficient and effective offense and the Chiefs improve to 2-0.
MDS’s pick: Chiefs 21, Cowboys 17.
Florio’s take: The first time Andy Reid faced the Cowboys as coach of the Eagles, Philly was 0-4 and fading fast. This time, Reid’s Chiefs are 1-0 and conjuring talk of a playoff run. For the franchise that used to be in Dallas and the coach who compiled a 17-11 regular-season record against the Cowboys in 14 years, it’s time to move to 2-0 — and 18-11.
Florio’s pick: Chiefs 27, Cowboys 21.
Chargers at Eagles
MDS’s take: The Chargers’ depth on defense is going to be seriously tested by the fast-paced Eagles offense, and I don’t see how the Chargers keep up. This one could get ugly.
MDS’s pick: Eagles 37, Chargers 14.
Florio’s take: Six days after blowing a 21-point lead, the Chargers likely will find themselves on the wrong end of a similar margin. The only question is whether the Eagles can deliver the knockout punch with pedal on metal.
Florio’s pick: Eagles 34, Chargers 23.
Lions at Cardinals
MDS’s take: This is probably the toughest game of the bunch to call. The Lions are the better team, but they’re also a team that makes so many stupid mistakes that they can lose to anyone on the wrong day. Carson Palmer and Larry Fitzgerald can make plays against the Lions’ secondary, but I expect Reggie Bush to have his second consecutive big game as the Lions win.
MDS’s pick: Lions 31, Cardinals 28.
Florio’s take: Last year, the Cardinals were ultimately horrible despite starting 4-0. This year, they look to be much better, but could be destined to start 0-4. Meanwhile, there’s still time to get on the newest model from Detroit — the Honolulu Blue Bandwagon.
Florio’s pick: Lions 34, Cardinals 24.
Saints at Buccaneers
MDS’s take: The Saints made a big statement that they’re the favorites in the NFC South with their Week One win over the Falcons. They’ll make another big statement by moving to 2-0 in the division with an easy win in Tampa Bay.
MDS’s pick: Saints 24, Buccaneers 10.
Florio’s take: The Bucs are in disarray, and the Saints have picked up an early surge from holding the Falcons to 17 points. New Orleans continues its effort to put together a record stout enough to force the road to an open-air Super Bowl through the climate-controlled Superdome.
Florio’s pick: Saints 35, Buccaneers 27.
Broncos at Giants
MDS’s take: In the Manning Bowl, I trust the Broncos’ secondary to keep Eli in check more than I trust the Giants’ secondary to keep Peyton in check.
MDS’s pick: Broncos 34, Giants 24.
Florio’s take: Peyton and Eli may be brothers, but when it comes to playing against each other, Peyton is still Eli’s daddy.
Florio’s pick: Broncos 41, Giants 27.
Jaguars at Raiders
MDS’s take: Before Week One, I thought these were the two worst teams in the NFL. The Raiders looked better than I expected in a surprisingly close loss to the Colts, while the Jaguars looked even worse than I expected in a surprisingly lopsided loss to the Chiefs. The Raiders get the win and the Jaguars get a step closer to choosing between Teddy Bridgewater and Jadeveon Clowney with the first pick in next year’s draft.
MDS’s pick: Raiders 23, Jaguars 20.
Florio’s take: The worst teams of 2012 continue their early-season round robin, with Terrelle Pryor poised to make something happen against a team that doesn’t look as bad as many thought it would be. The Jags look even worse.
Florio’s pick: Raiders 24, Jaguars 9.
49ers at Seahawks
MDS’s take: I’ve gone back and forth on this one, which is my pick for the best game of the week. I believe the 49ers are the slightly better team right now, but the Seahawks’ crowd will be rocking, and the home-field advantage will be the difference.
MDS’s pick: Seahawks 28, 49ers 24.
Florio’s take: The Seahawks need to hold serve at home; the 49ers need to show they can hang with a team that tattooed the Niners last December in Seattle. Look for Richard Sherman to blanket Anquan Boldin — and for Boldin to still find a way to catch the ball.
Florio’s pick: 49ers 24, Seahawks 21.
Steelers at Bengals
MDS’s take: Everyone in the AFC North started the season 0-1, but the Bengals had a much better showing in Week One than the Steelers. Given Pittsburgh’s poor performance and season-ending injuries to center Maurkice Pouncey, linebacker Larry Foote and running back LaRod Stephens-Howling, it’s tough to see things turning around for the Steelers any time soon.
MDS’s pick: Bengals 20, Steelers 10.
Florio’s take: The new bullies of the AFC North get a chance to rough up a team that spent plenty of time over the years roughing up the Bengals. With James Harrison bent on making the Steelers regret letting him go and the Steelers having little punch on offense, this one could get ugly.
Florio’s pick: Bengals 28, Steelers 13.