So here we go again. Week one is on the books and there were quite a few surprises. The Bears destroyed the Falcons. The Redskins dispatched the Giants. The Bills owned the Chiefs. This is why I love the NFL. My picks went 7-8 last week (I didn't pick in time for the Thursday game between the Packers and Saints, though I would have chosen the defending champs playing at home, without a doubt).
So, officially I'm on the losers side of 50% right now but unofficially, in my heart, I'm batting .500. I'll try and pick up my game this week. It's a big week for teams that need to rebound - the Falcons, Giants, Saints, Buccaneers, and Steelers, just to name a few, and I think they will.
Here are my picks, with the current odds, as they come courtesy of Odds Shark (see right hand column for current odds).
Oakland Raiders at Buffalo Bills (-4) - This is a tough game to choose as both teams come off Week 1 wins. The Bills spanked the Chiefs on the road and the Raiders outlasted the Broncos. Both teams are pretty inconsistent and unpredictable. The weather will not yet be a factor up in Buffalo so I am going with the Raiders. Pick: Raiders
Green Bay Packers at Carolina Panthers (+10) - The Packers' defense is a lot better than the Cardinals' defense. Cam Newton will get a dose of NFL reality. Pick: Packers
Kansas City Chiefs at Detroit Lions (-8) - I'm not picking the Lions because the Chiefs lost badly at home in Week 1. I'm picking them because they're one of the most exciting young teams in the NFL right now. Matthew Stafford will guide the Lions offense in a high scoring affair . Pick: Lions
Cleveland Browns at Indianapolis Colts (+3) - I realize that Payton Manning is not going to play in this game. I still don't think that the Browns will waltz into Indianapolis and hand the Colts a loss. I'm going with the home team with a chip on their shoulder. Pick Colts
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Minnesota Vikings (-3) - The Vikings looked pretty good in San Diego last week but came up just short. The Bucs looked pretty bad in Tampa Bay last week against the Lions and took the loss. I still think that the Bucs are a team to watch this year and Week 2 is where they start to put things together. Pick: Buccaneers
Chicago Bears At New Orleans Saints (-7) The Saints are tough to beat in the Super Dome. Drew Brees is pretty good at football. The Bears looked a lot better than I thought they would last week against the Falcons but I still have to go with the home team here. Pick: Saints
Jacksonville Jaguars at New York Jets (-10) - I hate to play the "home-team" card again but that, combined with the Jets defense, should be enough for the win. The 10-point line seems a bit much, and I don't think the Jets offense is anything to write home about, but I'd still probably take Mark Sanchez over Luke McCown. Pick: Jets
Seattle Seahawks at Pittsburgh Steelers (-12.5) - As much as I'd like to pick the Seahawks to upset the Steelers here, I just don't see it happening. The Steelers will be looking to get back on track after a bad loss to the Ravens last week, and the Seahawks are unlucky enough to be in their way. Dick LeBeau's blitzing defense is going to give the Seahawks offensive line fits all day, and Tarvaris Jackson isn't going to help matters. Pick: Steelers
Baltimore Ravens at Tennessee Titans (+4.5) - The Ravens destroyed the Steelers at home in Week 1 and should have no trouble with the Titans. Pick: Ravens
Arizona Cardinals at Washington Redskins (-4) - The Cardinals looked pretty good against the Panthers in Week 1, but then again, it was the Panthers. The Redskins fared better than I thought they would as well, and I have to pick Washington in this game. The Cardinals defense is just too much of a liability at this point. Pick: Redskins
Dallas Cowboys at San Francisco (+3) - The 49ers played conservatively on both sides of the ball in Week 1 against the Seahawks and only got the win because their Special Teams were very special. That could happen again this week, but I wouldn't count on it. The Cowboys will come in to San Francisco and get the win. Pick: Cowboys
Cincinnati Bengals at Denver Broncos (-5.5): The Bengals will come in and shock a discombobulated and confused Broncos team at Mile High. The quarterback problems, the run game issues, and the learning curve of a new system and new coaching staff will have the Broncos playing catch up in this one. Pick: Bengals
Houston Texans at Miami Dolphins (+3): Did anyone think that Chad Henne would pass for 400+ yards? I didn't. The Texans pass defense is better than they were last year but I have to go with the Dolphins in this one. Pick: Dolphins
San Diego Chargers at New England Patriots (-6.5): This is the game of the week in my mind, especially if you like good quarterback play. The Chargers will have a tough challenge in New England, and I just can't see them keeping pace with the Patriots potent offense. Pick: Patriots
Philadelphia Eagles at Atlanta Falcons (+1): I think the Falcons will be looking to bounce back. They are very, very hard to beat at home. They'll get the upset over the visiting Eagles. Pick: Falcons
St Louis Rams at NY Giants (-4.5): This is the battle of two injury-ridden teams but I have to go with the Giants. New York will be looking to bounce back from a shellacking at the hands of the Redskins, and they'll look to build on their QB killing ways of last year and take Sam Bradford out of the game early. Pick: Giants