PFT’s Week Two picks


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.

43 responses to “PFT’s Week Two picks

  1. Rams will win this game. Robert Quinn and Chris Long are going to have huge games. Rams are going go finally get some respect after this ass kicking. Matt Ryan has trouble when he is pressured.

  2. Us Jaguar fans have to suffer through yet another season to get Bridgewater with #1 pick. It works for other pathetic franchises that get their guy (Aikmen, both Mannings, Vick, Stafford, Bradford, Newton) over the years to get a legit franchise QB so why not us. So we have to endure horrific QB play again, what’s one more year. Sounds like a win win to me.

  3. Need some extra cash in your pocket? Take the Jets and the points, easy money. Not saying they’re going to win but that spread is silly when looking at the numbers.

  4. I think the biggest fiction of the Monday nighter is: “With James Harrison bent on making the Steelers regret letting him go “.

    I don’t think there is a shred of evidence supporting this.

    No one wants to play Harrison and that will be the case Monday, but nothing special.

    Oh and its the Bungles.

    Steelers = 1st Place in AFC North

  5. The Colts barley eeked out a win against the pathetic Faiders.
    The Dolphins destroy and own the Faiders for what it’s worth.

    Luck is great but the Dolphins D will torment him to the point of mistakes. Last years game could have been won on a field goal and Miami corrected that issue during the draft.

    Close game but Miami pulls it out.

  6. All offseason many Vikings fans talked as if there team was a 12 or 13 win ball club with serious SB aspirations. They sure didn’t look like even an 8-8 team on Sunday and if they lose this Sunday 0-2 already. I never understood what they were seeing this offseason – that secondary is trash besides Harrison Smith. The QB is 1 of the bottom 5 or 6 in the league even when he’s facing 8 and 9 man boxes – that’s pathetic.

  7. If the Cowboys stop the run Alex Smith will be a statue in the pocket and will get absolutely crushed. That cowboys front 7 ain’t nothing to mess with. This was your worst pick. The Chiefs will be better but people jumping on their bandwagon has me chuckling.

  8. Not a fan of either club – but I see this 49ers /Seahawks “rivalry” the way I saw the Lakers/Kings “rivalry” 10+ years ago. One team was a flagship & pillar for the league and the other was a temporary title contender with the best home court advantage in the NBA.

  9. “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.”

    You do know that the coach doesn’t actually play in the game, right?

    You do know that this time he won’t have the same personnel, right?

    You do know that Alex Smith is afraid of angry men running at him, right?

  10. Watching the Steelers lose games is going to be fun. Watching Steelers fans lose their minds is going to be even more fun.

  11. The Bears force Ponder from the game by half time. Cassel comes in and gets injured on a sack. The Vikings are forced to play the rest of the year with a QB who knows they don’t want or trust him.

    Bears 31 Vikings 10

  12. Giants got jobbed in their first meeting. Phantom pass interference at end of game killed them. Second meeting, dc played prevent all game which got him fired. This game will be close. Jacobs return and “win one for Eli” makes this an upset in the making. The rest of the broncos schedule is garbage. They have to lose one and this could be it.

  13. I am hoping Buffalo can contain Cam Newton, but I think the Defense is exactly the same as it was last season, terrible against the run. New England was able to run decently last week, Carolina will probably double that total. With mainly backups prowling the Defensive backfield, the Bills will probably get beat through the air as well. The only way Buffalo sticks in this game is if Manuel matches point for point. It took him 2 quarters to get up to speed against New England, he won’t have that much time available this week. Home field advantage won’t be enough.
    Panthers 38, Buffalo, 24

  14. Upset special – Minnesota +6 over Chicago. If Minny starts the season 0-2 it won’t be by more than 3 points in this game. I see them grabbing the outright win – 23- 20.

  15. “With James Harrison bent on making the Steelers regret letting him go…”

    The Steelers asked Harrison to take a 30% paycut. He would have been making almost $4.5m per season with them. The Bengals signed him to a 2-year deal for the same amount.

    He should be bent on going after his agent instead.

  16. Hey Tyler, why should James be mad @ his agent? He got his $ AND HE’s on a better team.
    Oughta be thanking him!
    That being said, i hope the Black & putrid Yellow are out in full force with their Dainty little yellow hankys. Theres gonna be alot of crying when PBGH fans realize this team is a shell of its old self and has now become a weekly punching bag!
    WHO DEY!!!!

  17. chrisdavidgarcia says:
    Sep 12, 2013 9:46 AM
    Rams will win this game. Robert Quinn and Chris Long are going to have huge games. Rams are going go finally get some respect after this ass kicking. Matt Ryan has trouble when he is pressured.


    You’ve lost your mind. Rams will get torched even if Roddy and Julio watch from the sideline.

  18. @- jhein23
    I don’t know what Vikings fans you are referring to. The typical fan that comments on this site have Zero Clue! I have a ton if close friends that are Packer fans, if they acted like the Packer fans on this site , we have issues. The comments on this board have gone down hill fast. That being said, as a Viking fan , I went into this season with realistic expectations. Ponder is horrible, and despite a young and talented roster, he is awful and I predicted a 5-11 season. The unfortunate part is, Jacksonville is even worse. I think Teddy Bridgewater is the Real deal, and would love to have him as our QB. It probably won’t happen, unless we go 0-16… And even then, Jacksonville may go 0-16 too. There are several QBs coming out next year that will be great @ the next level.
    Bears 31
    Vikings 17

  19. It seems like the Dolphins need to be facing the Jaguars or Raiders for these “experts” to actually pick them to win a game. The Dolphins were the obviously better team heading into last week’s game against the Browns and yet, almost no one was picking them to win. Why? Probably just because their name is the “Dolphins”. Regardless of what players end up on their team, they’ll never be taken seriously until they have back to back winning seasons. Winning season number 1 starts this year. I expect them to beat the Colts this Sunday.

  20. Cowboys beat Giants week one, KC beats Jacksonville. Spencer returns to the line up and Brian Waters steps in at Guard. Should be interesting.

  21. vgferenzi says:

    The Bears force Ponder from the game by half time. Cassel comes in and gets injured on a sack.

    The Vikings are forced to play the rest of the year with a QB who knows they don’t want or trust him.


    I think the Vikings are already doing that.

  22. Only week 2 and already the biqueen toads are twisting in the wind. The saddest part of this is both Allen & Peterson are wasting HOF careers in the Land of 10k Trailer Park Cesspools.

  23. Agree with Florio on the SEA / 49ers game but if the Niners lose it’ll be because of Dixon’s and Whitner’s fat fingers. I also see Chiefs losing to the Cowboys and while the Browns D is for real it’s still not good enough to beat Joe Flacc-o.

  24. If the Titans can run the ball early,i believe they have a good chance to pull the upset. The Texans didn’t get home til early Tuesday morning from San Diego which is a big advantage for the Titans. That lack of rest will show itself late in this game. BOOK IT!!!

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