Lions (2-0) @ Vikings (0-2)
Vikings and Lions meet for the first time this season with the Lions on the rise with young team improving by the week and Vikings going backwards unsure what to do at the QB position. Lions have started off this season impressive 2-0, offensively they are firing on all cylinders scoring a total point of 75 points after huge blowout win over the Chiefs beating them 48-3 with Stafford looking healthy and chemistry with his receivers are on display they look like they can score on each drive, likewise the Vikings have looked unimpressive thus far after taking a 17-0 into HT against the Buccaneers, they only could manage to score 3 points for the next 2 quarters after Tampa kept them quite which allowed them to come back and win 24-20. Lions have been dubbed a playoff team but they haven’t played any elite teams yet, its important they win their first divisional game to push for that playoff spot with the Superbowl champions and NFC runners up the Bears in the same division it more important than ever to win the divisional games, Vikings are still looking for their first win they need to play better in all four quarters, after the last two games were they have taken the lead but cannot hold onto it.
Who to watch:
Had a impressive game against the chiefs after making two spectacular catches during the game also showing he a tough guy after a scrap with CB Brandon Flowers ripping his jersey off, at Boise State he was impressive racking up huge numbers in that offense, he playing against a team that is aging he could get a chance, could be targeted more during the game with his quickness.
Vikings O-Line v Lions D-Line:
Star if the show for the Vikings has been AP who recently signed a new contract has shown why he has deserves it with the help of his run offense they have able to create gaps and get penetration on opposing D-lines but they going against the fearsome foursome of the Lions who have looked pretty good getting pressure on the opposing offensive lines and creating pressure, can the Vikings o-line get up the field have block for AP and get the penetration to create holes for AP, the Lions are hoping the likes of Suh, Fairly can plug up that whole and stop the run putting the pressure on McNabb to throw the ball and create mistakes.
Taking in the top 15 in the draft surprised many draft experts who graded him a late first round to 2nd round talent but the Vikings saw something in him and took him early. They signed McNabb so Ponder could learn behind a veteran for a couple of season before taking the starting job for the Vikings but McNabb has looked quite simply awful throwing for 39 yards in game one, game 2 looked better after but 2nd half he didn’t do anything and Tampa bay came back to win the game, if things don’t start out well for McNabb we may see Ponder come into the earlier than expected and begins his career as the Vikings starting QB.
I expect the Lions to come out on top in this game after two good performance also they look more organized as a team and hitting on all cylinders on defense and offense with the Vikings in a flux on offense who don’t look like they going to hold onto the lead towards the end of the game, having already blown 2 leads I don’t see this going in the favor of the Vikings, if Vikings are able to pressure the lions o-line a weakness for this team and are able to capitalize on turnovers and time they have the ball then they have a chance for victory, the Lions must not go into this game and expecting a victory not taking their NFC North rivals lightly which could cost them the game, final score 28-7 Lions.
KC (0-2)@ SD (1-1)
Woeful start by the Chiefs who can’t catch a break after losing probably their best two players to IR S Eric Berry and RB Jamal Charles and things don’t like they going to get any better with Matt Cassel looking horrendous start to the season can’t get anything going and Todd Haley seat could be heating up if things continue this way, Andrew Luck Sweepstakes anyone?, for the Chargers they have been impressive in the opening two games offensively anyway with Rivers and Jackson connection looking good against the Patriots, they couldn’t finish off plays after 2 goal line stops by the Patriots, but special teams is still a concern has looked shaky so far and giving up a 102 Yard TD to Harvin on the very first play on the opening day.
Who to watch:
During the Patriots game Tolbert had a fumble which should have never have happened as he decided to go back and not forward which allowed the Patriots defense to get him to fumble the ball, another play he got stopped on the goal line, so it will be interesting to see how many carries he has with Mathews getting better game by game, possibly using Tolbert less in certain situations when before Mathews was never used before.
Jamal Charles is out for the season, Thomas Jones will probably become the featured back for the Chiefs, McCluster will get more carries and is a dynamic play maker could have a breakout season for the Chiefs to show what he can do also with the Chargers having a poor ST, expect McCluster to take some out the end zone especially how woeful the chargers ST are but don’t be surprised to see if any end up in the end zone.
No hope for the Chiefs this week, looked poorly in the first two games this season can’t get nothing going on offense and losing Moeki, Charles on offense and Berry on defense is a massive blow for this young team, Rivers and Jackson have hit the ground running don’t expect it to stop against the Chiefs he will continue to put up big numbers with many fantasy owners being happy with is 170 yards against the Patriots, Gates had no catches against the Pats expect Rivers to try and get his TE involved in the game early to make the Chiefs D worry about both Gates and Jackson. Final score 31-3 Chargers.
WAS (2-0) @DAL (1-1)
Washington surprisingly sits on top of the NFC East after first two games of this season, after comfortably beating the Giants and needed a late field goal to win against the Cardinals. Cowboys should be 2-0 but costly errors in the first game against the Jets cost them the victory, many of the media and fans alike calling Tony Romo a choke artist after a INT, Fumble in game one against the 49ers Romo was seriously impressive playing with a cracked/bruised ribs led his team from a 10 point deficit to beat the 49ers in overtime after a 77 yard pass to reality star Jesse Holley for Dallas to hit the winning FG in the overtime. Both defenses have been impressive so far this season as Rob Ryan puts his stamp on the Dallas defense creating more pressure on opposing teams, Redskins 3-4 defense is taking shape after last year’s disastrous performance finishing in the bottom 5 in overall defense.
Who to watch:
Came back in the 4th quarter to help his beat the 49ers in overtime, played with cracked/bruised ribs which he left the 3rd quarter, it will be interesting to see how he copes with the injury, can he move freely in the pocket when the redskins defense brings the pressure from all sides, the young O-line must protect Romo for Dallas to have a chance with his injury, I still expect Romo to play on MNF also Romo must get ball out quicker to avoid getting hit during the game and forcing to come out of the game.
Redskins O-Line V Dallas D O-Line:
Both defenses coming to this game looking pretty good with Jim Haslett and Rob Ryan finally putting their stamps onto their respective teams both playing 3-4 defenses which o line will be able to cope with the pressure from the opposing defenses after both teams have rebuilt their O-Lines, both have looked decent so far but will take 4-5 weeks to be one after not having enough time to practice together after being locked out so it will be interesting to see how well both o-line cope with both defenses bringing the pressure.
I expect a close between these two rivals especially with Redskins improving from last season, for the redskins to win this game Rex Grossman must protect the ball after last week performance against the Cardinals which was shaky but was impressive against the Giants he must stay consistent for the Redskins to have a chance to beat Dallas and win the division, if they able to get Hightower going in this game it takes the pressure of Grossman allowing him to throw between 20-30 times instead of 30-40 times. Dallas need to win this game to take some pressure of Romo and playing at home cranks up the pressure for this team to win but to win comfortably against their NFC East rivals. Final score 23-20 Dallas.
NYG (1-1)@PHI (1-1)
Both teams meet for the first time this season after a memorable finish last season when DeSean Jackson took back a punt with less than 10 seconds left on the clock after the punter for the Giants Matt Dodge was told to kick the ball away he did the opposite and decided to kick it to Jackson and we all saw what happened he no longer on the team no surprise there. During the off season Eagles having being assembling a ‘dream team’ together in the words of the new backup QB Vince Young, signing Cullen Jenkins, Babin, Nmandi and trading for DRC with Kolb going in the opposite direction, while the giants are losing players through injury with the likes of Marvin Austin, Terrell Thomas going on IR and Osi Umenyiora having a operation keeping him out for a while. Eagles could be 2-0 going into this game but losing Vick and having a dropped catch in the last minute of the Falcon game which could possibly helped them cap off the drive to win that game, while Giants have been unimpressive in the opening 2 games with Eli not looking great at all but with Vick Concussed and may not be able to play against the Giants this Sunday could be the opportunity the giants have been waiting for.
Who to watch:
Had an impressive performance against the Falcons keeping the download threat limited and making the Falcons throw underneath, but allowed TE Gonzalez to get open on many occasion. Eagles must try and stop Hicks and Manningham limited down field and force Giants to go in a different direction with Kevin Boss gone at the TE position, Jake Ballard must step up and become a target for Manning underneath and up the field, Manning has been giving up a lot of INT with the likes of Samuel, Nmandi and DRC in the back end of the secondary Eli must protect the ball and throw the ball away if he can’t find an open receiver.
Giants Run Game:
Eagles LB corps hasn’t been really impressive with Turner and Jackson having big runs against them, with the Giants having two good running backs in Jacobs and Bradshaw they Giants may decide to grind out this result and stop Vick getting on the field if he able to play after leaving last week with a concussion, if the Running game can get into the opening field expect them to break tackles and pick up huge yards.
Tough one to pick with the unknown of Michael Vick who needs to pass a few tests before he is given the all clear to play on Sunday with Young injured, Kafka looks like the likely start who was pretty impressive on the last drive of the game for the Eagles putting number of passes together even with the amount of pressure brought by the falcons could have won the game for the Eagles if Maclin was able to catch the ball and continue the drive who knows what happens. The Giants must stop turning the ball over and limit the mistakes but with the number of losses taking by the giants and the Eagles playing at home I expect to win this one. Final Score 24-17.
Packers (2-0) @ Bears (1-1)
Oldest rivalry in the NFL meet against after 3 fascinating games last season, 2 during the regular season which was one a piece but the Packers winning the all important one at home to get them into the playoff, Packers and bears met one final time in the season in the NFC champion game were the Packer over came the Bears after trilling end where the 3rd string QB for the bears nearly came back from behind to beat the packers but INT from Sam Shields sealed the game for the Packers. A lot of controversy was created after Cutler was unable to come back in the 2nd half to finish the game as getting banged up during the 2nd quarter but number of NFL players took to twitter to criticized Cutler for not going back but all the Bear players had backed him up. All in important 3rd game at Soldier Field as the winner could go top of the division and go 1-0 in divisional games which the packers were unsuccessful last season finishing 2nd in the division as the bears won 5/6 divisional games and being crowned NFC North champions.
Who to watch:
Bears O-Line gave up the most sacks last season with Cutler taking number of big hits and was unable to finish the NFC Championship playoff after getting injured, this season has already started bad for the O-Line giving up 6-7 Sacks already this season the O-Line started off well against the Falcons but Cutler took a number of hits against the Saints who got after him but many of those hits also are down to the QB holding onto the ball far too long in which allows the opposing team to get after him.
Steps in as the starting safety for the rest of the season after Nick Collins was ruled out for the season, Peprah was excellent last season after replacing Morgan Burnett who was on IR last season and replaced him comfortably last season, Collins had started off this season fast and will be a massive blow to this team, Peprah must step up and take the lead role as the starting safety and guide Burnett to develop into big time player in that position to take the pressure off himself and rest of the secondary to help with the loss of Collins.
I expect this affair to be a close after looking at past results, with fundamentals and mistake free football is the name of the game during the Bears and Packers matchup, Packers will remember this clearly after losing to the Bears in their first meeting in 2010 after giving up the most penalties in the team’s history wiping out couple of TD and Hester returning two TD on a kickoff. Both have weak O-Lines but bears is seriously weak after giving up the most sacks last season, for the bears to win this game they must protect Cutler and Cutler must get the ball out quickly or throw it out and not take the hits because he may not last long in this game, Packers must get pressure to the QB after giving up over 400 yards over the first two games they must tighten up the pass defense and not give up the big plays because the team who gives up the big plays wins this game. Final Score 21-17 Packers.
Jacksonville Jaguars (1-1) @ Carolina Panthers (0-2)
The battle of the rookie quarterbacks will take place in Carolina this weekend as the number one overall pick Cam Newton takes on Blaine Gabbert the number 10 overall pick. Newton has made a historically good start to the season, throwing for over 400 yards in his first two games, an NFL record. Gabbert has been on the bench for his first two games but with Luke McCown’s meltdown against the Jets, Jacksonville coach Jack Del Rio has turned to Gabbert to turn around his ailing squad. Both teams have struggled in their opening two games with Newton and the passing game the one shining light for the Panthers.
What to watch:
Maurice Jones-Drew: The Panthers run defense has been poor this season as it has been abused by both Beanie Wells and James Starks, their linebacking unit has been decimated by injuries with both Jon Beason and Thomas Davis falling to season ending injuries. This along with two rookies starting at defensive tackle leaves the Panthers vulnerable against the run and with MJD looking set for a big day. Jones-Drew has opened the season up with two solid performances against decent run defenses (Baltimore, Tennessee) so with the vulnerable Panthers up next he should be in for a superb game. Look for Jones-Drew to find the end zone and put up over 100 yards rushing.
Cam Newton vs Jaguars secondary: The Jags have been poor against the pass for years now and this season is no exception. Mark Sanchez lit them up in the second half and with Newton starting the season off in explosive fashion it could be a long day for the Jaguars. Newton has revitalized the once brilliant Steve Smith who is showing why he was once one of the most feared receivers in the league. Look for Rashean Mathis to struggle against Smith who has found his speed again and is a viable deep threat for the rookie out of Auburn.
Prediction: This game will be closer than a lot of people think, many critics are touting this to be the game where Cam Newton gets his first pro win and it may well be but it should be a close one. Despite the yardage Newton put up in his first few games he has turned the ball over too often and this could put Carolina in trouble against a Jaguars team that can run the ball effectively and run down the clock. Jaguars 24 – 21 Panthers
New England Patriots (2-0) @ Buffalo Bills (2-0)
Everyone knows the story of how the Bills haven’t beat the Patriots since the opening day of the 2003 season, this may be their best chance since that fateful day. The Bills have started the season of in explosive fashion with Ryan Fitzpatrick showing confidence that had eluded him thus far in his career. With this new found confidence Fitzpatrick has turned himself into a very effective starting quarterback at this level, with his talented but unheralded group of receivers Fitzpatrick and the Bills appear to be the real deal. The Patriots on the other hand are anything but unheralded, they appear to be the best offense in the league (A certain Green Bay Packers team may disagree) and Tom Brady has started the season off in record breaking fashion, throwing for 940 yards in his first two games of the season. This should be a shootout as both teams have been putting up masses of points and both look shaky defensively.
What to watch:
Fred Jackson vs Jerod Mayo: Jackson has started the season off incredibly well as he shredded the Raiders in the Bills 38-35 victory last weekend. To do this against the Patriots he will be up against one of the best linebackers in the NFL Jerod Mayo who has been dominant ever since he entered the league. If the Bills are to have success in this game then Jackson will have to get it going in this one and take the pressure off Fitzpatrick. Mayo though has the ability to shut down most running backs in the NFL and it will be a tough game for Jackson.
Deon Branch vs Leodis McKelvin: McKelvin was abused all day by Denarius Moore and the Raiders in week 2 and looks set for a tough week again against Tom Brady’s favorite target. Branch has started the season off well picking up where he left off last season as Brady’s favorite weapon and should be in for a big day against McKelvin who has struggled at corner since he was drafted out of Troy. If Branch can get going then Brady will be looking at another fantastic statistical day.
Prediction: The Bills have started the season off as one of the hottest teams in the NFL and they have home field advantage, yet I can’t see past the Patriots in this one. The Patriots offense is unstoppable at the minute and Tom Brady is the prime candidate for another MVP award. The Pats win comfortably. Patriots 38 – 24 Bills
Denver Broncos (1-1) @ Tennessee Titans (1-1)
Two teams who are yet to define themselves this season meet in this one. Both teams have looked good in one game and struggled in another, the Titans though have the most impressive win as they knocked off the Ravens last week. The Broncos beat the Bengals as they fought off a late rally from rookie quarterback Andy Dalton to earn their first win of the season. This should be a closely fought matchup between two teams who figure to finish the season in the six to eight win range.
What to watch:
Broncos receiving core: The Broncos have been decimated by injuries in this position with Brandon Lloyd dinged up, Eddie Royal out for a few weeks and Demaryius Thomas perennially injured. This leaves Denver with just Eric Decker and Matt Willis as true receivers, the Broncos were so desperate at receiver that Tim Tebow lined up in the slot last week. If they are to succeed in this game then Lloyd will have to perform well despite his minor injuries and Decker will have to pick up where he left of last week. They will be going up against a physical Titans secondary who will make things tough for them.
Chris Johnson: CJ2K has started the season of dismally and is struggling to get going after his long holdout. The Broncos have struggled to stop the run this season so if Johnson doesn’t have a big day here then it may be time to worry for Titans fans and Johnson fantasy owners. He should do well though as he has been practicing for three weeks now and Head Coach Mike Munchack will be keen to get his star player rolling.
Prediction: The Titans were dominant last week against the Ravens and look to be too much to handle for the Broncos. Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck lit up the Ravens secondary last week and with Denver struggling in all phases of defence I think the Titans should go to 2-1. Titans 27 – 20 Broncos
Atlanta Falcons (1-1) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-1)
The first divisional matchup in the NFC South pits the reigning champions of the South Atlanta against the young Buccaneers. The Falcons are fresh off an emotional win in the Georgia Dome against their former quarterback Mike Vick and his Philadelphia Eagles, the Falcons rallied from 10 points down to win 35-31. The Bucs themselves pulled off a great comeback as they trailed the Vikings 17-0 and still found a way to win 24-20. This should be a tough matchup for both sides.
What to watch:
Roddy White vs Aqib Talib: Roddy White has started the season off slowly which is understandable as he has played against two very good secondaries and he has a chance to come up with a big game against the Bucs Talib. The Falcons offense was finally clicking in the fourth quarter against the Eagles and they are riding into Tampa on the crest of a wave after their emotional win, look for Mike Mularkey to open the playbook up and let Matt Ryan air it out. It won’t be easy for White to have a big day though as Talib is an upper echelon corner back who is a great fit in Tampa’s cover 2 system. The two both like to trash talk so it should be a fun matchup to keep an eye on.
Falcons offensive line vs Buccaneers defensive line: Two struggling units face off here and it could be the key to the game. Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan has been obliterated in the first two weeks as he has been under constant pressure, this is in no small part due to the poor play of his offensive line. That line gets center Todd McClure back this week so could be poised for an improvement. They face a Bucs defensive line that is full of promise but has struggled to deliver this season as they have been poor in the run game and have failed to any sacks themselves (Bucs two sacks came from blitzes). If they can get it going against the Falcons then the Bucs have a chance.
Prediction: The Falcons have had the hoodoo over the Bucs since Jon Gruden left and have won five games in a row. I see this continuing as the Falcons showed a lot of improvement in week 2 and the Bucs appear to be struggling to get much going on offense. The Bucs greatest strength is their running game and the Falcons are good at defending the run, particularly the power running game that Tampa employ with LeGarrette Blount. Falcons 31- 17 Bucs
New York Jets (2-0) @ Oakland Raiders (1-1)
The Jets travel coast to coast to face the Raiders who are fresh off a devastating defeat in Buffalo to the Bills. The Jets are undefeated thus far but are yet to show off a truly impressive performance. They have beaten the Cowboys due to a Tony Romo meltdown and a Jaguars side with nothing on offense. The Raiders impressed on offense against Buffalo with Denarius Moore having a coming out party with over 150 yards receiving, Darren McFadden has been the best running back in the NFL this season and may pose the Jets problems.
What to Watch:
Denarius Moore vs Darelle Revis: The rookie had his breakout game against the Bills and he will likely have his back to earth game against the Jets, Revis is the best corner in the NFL bar none and has the experience and skills to stop Moore from having an impact on this game. Despite Moore’s undoubted physical prowess the nous that Revis possesses will stop a repeat of the performance Moore had against the Bills.
Shonn Greene vs Raiders run defense: Greene has once again started the season off slowly but he has the chance to put that right against a Raiders defense that was abused by Fred Jackson and the Bills. Jackson broke off several big runs against the Raiders who for some reason just cannot stop the run. The thing that may stop Greene from fully excelling is the absence of center Nick Mangold, he will be replaced by the undrafted rookie Colin Baxter.
Prediction: Some experts are predicting the Jets will struggle as they travel to the west coast but I disagree. The Jets should be able to get their running game going in Oakland and that will help Mark Sanchez and the play action passing game. That factor along with the Jets strong rush defense will stymie the Raiders game plan and put the game in the hands of Jason Campbell who is not good enough to torch the Jets secondary. Jets 27 – Raiders 21
(1-1) Baltimore Ravens @ St Louis Rams (0-2)
Meeting in the Edward Jones Dome, the Baltimore Ravens and St Louis rams head into week three, both off the back of a frustrating loss in week 2. The Ravens lost to the Titans last Sunday in a relatively shocking performance, especially after their week one demolition of Pittsburgh. They looked abject at times, and will look to bounce back against the Rams, who themselves suffered a defeat at the hands of the New York Giants in a dull Monday Night game that won’t go down as a classic.
The main problem St Louis face is injury, and with a list as long as your arm of sidelined players, this team could struggle all year. The fulcrum of the offense, RB Steven Jackson missed all put two plays in weeks one and two, and will hope to return here, however they still miss CB Ron Bartell, go-to WR Danny Amendola, and strong G Jason Smith. The Ravens will look to swoop into the Rams home and take advantage of their deplete roster, and after what most consider an embarrassing loss, they will be out for revenge (a la Steelers week 2), and could decimate the Rams offensive line.
- Haloti Ngata vs. Harvey Dahl: Ngata is constantly rated as one of the strongest overall defensive linemen in the league, and will relish the chance to face a patched up Rams O-Line. The Rams will look to match him against wiley veteran, the all out mean Guard, Harvey Dahl, who they picked up in Free Agency from Atlanta. Dahl is aggressive, and will look to lead this O Line going forward after seeing the pocket collapse too many times in the first two weeks of the season. Expect a fierce battle in the trenches all day, but this in one matchup to look forward to.
- Ray Rice vs. Rams rush D: The powerful small RB in his fourth year out of Rutgers is an incredibly impressive athlete, combining his low sense of gravity with all out speed and aggression to allow the Ravens reliability in the backfield. He will fancy his chances going into this game up against the Rams rush defense ranked 32nd and last in the NFL. They given up an average 177 yards per game so far, and with their reliance on MLB James Laurinaitus, expect rice to have another big game. The Ravens will have to turn to him if the passing game is anything like last week, where Flacco only threw for 197 yards on 22 attempts, and this week faces the 4th ranked pass D in the league.
The Ravens should be feared in every game this year, however, the Rams should especially fear them knowing how humiliated they fell after losing to Tennessee. The Rams could lay a goose egg this weekend, and when you consider that the O-Line really struggled against the Giants and Eagles, facing an aggressive front seven like that of Baltimore’s will be a scary proposition. As a Rams fan, I would love them to win, but there is very little hope for them going into this, with the only ray of hope sprouting from the possible appearance of Steven Jackson. Pick: Baltimore by 10+.
(0-2) Miami Dolphins @ Cleveland Browns (1-1)
On Sunday in Cleveland, the Browns host the Dolphins hoping to extend their confidence-boosting win streak to two, whilst Miami will relish a road game, having only on once in 13 games at their home stadium.
After both suffered frustrating week on losses, their were differing fortunes last week, as Cleveland travelled to Indianapolis and beat the Colts pretty convincingly, although the score wouldn’t necessarily say so. The Dolphins faced an up and coming Houston team, and were beaten handsomely, again struggling on defense; the same D that preseason was rated within the league’s top 5. Chad Henne has shown that he has at least something about him, slaughtering the Patriots’ defensive backs, and will look to do the same in Browns Stadium, whilst their opponents, under rookie Head Coach Pat Shurmur will continue to combine a successful short pass offense with QB Colt McCoy, and powerful running game with Peyton Hillis, the man who dons the cover of EA Sports’ Madden 12
- Chad Henne vs. Browns pass D: Chad Henne has led Miami well so far, with the team’s passing game ranked 9th in the league, however, on Sunday, up against Cleveland; they may have met their match. The Browns passing D is ranked 2nd overall after the first two games, holding their opponents to an average of 165.5 yards. This may be a misnomer, having only faced Andy Dalton (who left the week 1 game and was replaced by Bruce Gradkowski), and Kerry Collins, however they still have to stop what they face, and they have done so very successfully. If the likes of rookie Phil Taylor and Ahtyba Rubin can bring heavy pressure from the line, Henne could buckle, virtually handing a second win to Cleveland.
- Joe Thomas vs. Randy Starks/Cameron Wake: A strong Base 3-4 defense means that Miami will bring a 5 man blitz package often, pressuring the young QB under centre, and attempting to collapse the pocket, however with stellar LT Joe Thomas, McCoy barely needs to worry about his blind side. Thomas, in his fourth year in the league, has been selected to all four Pro Bowls he has been eligible for, and has fast become an elite LT. With him, Cameron Wake will have to find another way to pierce the Browns O Line, even when they match Thomas up with Randy Starks. This should be an interesting area to watch throughout the day, featuring two highly rated players in Wake and Thomas.
The Dolphins are the only team in their division to have lost a game, and although this will change after week 3 when the patriots meet the Bills, it will be tight as to whether they become the last to pick up a win. If Cleveland protect against the pass to the best of their ability, the Dolphins will have to tie their wagon to Reggie Bush, who rarely performs under such pressure. It will be a difficult one to win for Miami, yet Cleveland could falter like we know they can, allowing Miami to walk away with a tight victory. I don’t see however, and don’t have the cajones to pick it, so I have Cleveland by 6.
(1-1) Pittsburgh Steelers @ Indianapolis Colts (0-2)
Travelling to Lucas Oil Stadium on Sunday Night Football, the Steelers face the Colts in a matchup that in previous season would have been hotly anticipated…this weekend, not so much. Without Peyton Manning (oh sorry, did you not know he was injured….yeah, he had some sort of neck surgery I believe, but I don’t blame you for not knowing, it wasn’t widely covered), the Colts are dire. On offense, on defense, on special teams, the Colts are dire, and they will definitely lose to Pittsburgh.
But wait! Didn’t Tennessee beat Baltimore last week? Didn’t Detroit (YES DETROIT) beat Kansas City by 45 points last week? (45 POINTS!) Yes, both of these occurrences were seen week 2, as was Pittsburgh shutting a poor Seattle side out, however who is to say that the tables will turn? Knowing this league, Indianapolis will put a 40 burger on the Steelers, embarrassing them on NBC in prime time. OK, my feet are firmly back on the ground, but I honestly don’t think this is going to be as one sided as some people think.
- Joseph Addai vs. that Pittsburgh D: Pittsburgh has a notoriously aggressive and strong defense, against the pass and against the run. However with Kerry Collins under centre, the Steelers pass rush will look even stronger. It will be up to Addai, the forgotten man in this pass heavy offense to carry the team, and any points scoring may rest on his shoulders.
- Colts vs. fans: For a long time, Indianapolis was the laughing stock of the league. The fans were often cynical, pessimistic, and found booing, however in 1999 it all changed. Drafting Peyton Manning saw a previously laughable team rise. The Colts have been in the playoffs every year for the paast ten, the longest active streak in the NFL, winning a Super Bowl, and losing another, however this year will be a different story. With no Manning, Indy have very little impetus. Players that shined with Manning at QB arent doing the same with Collins, whilst the defense remains vacant. The fans will soon get on their back.
It will be difficult to retract the earlier statement of ‘thee Colts will definitely lose to Pittsburgh’. They have very little about them, and in prime time, could show the world how bad they are. Pittsburgh are a consistently strong team all round, and will quell any pass offense the COlts will attempt to build. This oculd go on of two ways, with one being a shockingly tight game seeing the Colts snatch iit late (very unlikely), or a massive win for the Steelers. Pick: Steelers by 10+