Why give you one perspective on the NFL Week 2 predictions when we can give you two? Rob and Bryan debate it out.
Kansas City @ Buffalo
Bryan Lienesch (@bclienesch): I don’t get the dark horse playoff buzz surrounding KC, but Buffalo looked awful in Week 1. Both teams apparently have tons to prove but I’m not sure a win here would be too convincing for either team.
Rob: The loss of Fred Jackson in Buffalo is going to be tough for the Bills, and I’m expecting the Chiefs to have opposite luck in the running game, with Peyton Hillis kicking up his game this week (especially with Shaun Draughn challenging him). I do think Buffalo’s going to look much better this week as their defense continues to gel. Which team are you more confident in?
Bryan Lienesch (@bclienesch): Eh, flip a coin. My Eight ball popped up Buffalo.
Rob: I’ll go the opposite route. I think the Chiefs are going to have a decent game, with Jamaal Charles and Dexter McCluster looking explosive on the ground and in the air.
New Orleans @ Carolina
Bryan Lienesch (@bclienesch): I thought for sure this would be a match up of 1-0 teams. So much for that theory. Either team has a chance of taking this one, but the one thing that IS guaranteed is that this one will be a shootout.
Rob: The Panthers can’t be TOO happy about that, but unless Jonathan Stewart gets back on the field (game time decision), they won’t be able to trust this to be a “control the clock with the run” gameplan, especially given last week’s pathetic result without him.
Bryan Lienesch (@bclienesch): The running game will be there, but it should be more Cam and Steve vs. Drew and Marques. I say the Saints edge the Panthers as the two teams flirt with 80 combined points
Rob: I can’t imagine the Saints falling to 0-2, so I definitely agree with you here. I’d say it’s certainly a guarantee that they combine for more than 50.
Cleveland @ Cincinnati
Bryan Lienesch (@bclienesch): This is a game a lot of the survival football pool entries will be watching. A week ago, this looked to be a sure-fire victory for the Bengals. But after getting dismantled Monday night, is anything a guarantee here?
Rob: I wouldn’t touch it in a survival pool. In fact, I’m looking forward to the outcome here because there’s the potential for it to say a lot about the Eagles and the Ravens. If the Bengals throw up huge numbers, the Baltimore Defense is much better than I give them credit for, and the Eagles Offense is terrible.
Bryan Lienesch (@bclienesch): A lot changes from week to week in the NFL, so I’m not going to look at these results too much in connection with went on in Week 1. Philadelphia and Baltimore will tell me plenty about themselves with how they handle their own games this week. Either way, I’ll go Cincy.
Rob: Yeah, this one seems like a no brainer. Even if the Browns defense is looking good, I still think the Bengals offense will find ways to score against them, and score often. The Browns offense is still seeking its identity, and certainly won’t be able to keep up.
Minnesota @ Indianapolis
Bryan Lienesch (@bclienesch): Everyone is saying AP is back, but I’ll reserve judgment until I see how he makes it through this ENTIRE season. On the flip side, Indy didn’t look good against Chicago, but it’s about what we expected. This is a battle of two teams who should have Top 10 draft picks next April.
Rob: Whether Adrian Peterson gets 40 touches or 10, he’ll still have a huge impact. I’m most interested in seeing whether Christian Ponder can get it done against the Colts defense, because he had some nice stats in week 1 (20 for 27 for 270).
Bryan Lienesch (@bclienesch): How about Andrew Luck? He sure didn’t look like the prophet everyone was making him out to be against Chicago. Minnesota will be a good rebound test for him. I say he gets it done against the Vikings.
Rob: I’d have to agree, and I think he’s going to find the end zone a few times against a Vikings team which didn’t do well against JACKSONVILLE in week 1.
Houston @ Jacksonville
Bryan Lienesch (@bclienesch): Houston. Next question. Oh, you need more? Okay. Umm, how about impressive defense and more impressive offense versus a team that is miserable on both.
Rob: That’s a good call, I don’t think the Jaguars stand much of a chance, despite it being played in Florida. I would look to see if Blaine Gabbert can continue his “decent” ways that he showed in week 1, but no one on the Jacksonville squad should be able to put up comparable numbers to their Texans counterpart, aside from Maurice Jones-Drew.
Bryan Lienesch (@bclienesch): And a one-dimensional offense is easy stop, especially when you’re as good as the Texans. Like I said. I like Houston. Probably by two touchdowns or more.
Rob: No argument from me on that one.
Oakland @ Miami
Bryan Lienesch (@bclienesch): Oakland didn’t look great against San Diego, but the way the Dolphins are protecting Tannehill, he’ll be throwing from the fetal position by their bye week. This should be a nice tune-up game for Oakland after a tough loss.
Rob: I’d like to have seen the outcome of the Raiders / Chargers game if there wasn’t a long-snapper issue for Oakland. The only thing that has me thinking that the Dolphins have a chance is that it’s a loooooong trip east for the Raiders.
Bryan Lienesch (@bclienesch):I’m not too worried about it. I expect very little from Miami this season and Week 1 didn’t do much to change my mind. Oakland should handle them.
Rob: I wouldn’t want to bet the line on this one because I don’t know what the score is going to look like, but I also expect Oakland to come out on top.
Arizona @ New England
Bryan Lienesch (@bclienesch): Arizona scrounged up a nice victory over Seattle, but New England is a different beast entirely. There’s just too many holes in this Cardinals team for them to keep pace with the Patriots.
Rob: No doubt about that, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the Patriots make two statements this week: 1 – Wes Welker hasn’t taken a step back (likely to be Tom Brady’s pet project this week) and 2 – the Patriots young defense has REAL potential. I’m sure Bill Belichick has figured out how to deconstruct the Cardinals defense, and he could very well rough them up.
Bryan Lienesch (@bclienesch): The Patriots will make plenty of statements this week. Fighting a punching bag often does.
Tampa Bay @ New York Giants
Bryan Lienesch (@bclienesch): Tampa Bay has more spunk than I originally gave them credit for, but the defending champs are far better than the Panthers. Tampa Bay will have to be firing on all cylinders to nab this one.
Rob: I’m very interested to see how Josh Freeman gets back on track and how he gels with the much lauded Vincent Jackson, who still needs to prove himself in my opinion. The Bucs running game could be a huge factor here, too. Which route you see this one going?
Bryan Lienesch (@bclienesch): The Giants have always been prone to turmoil and a loss to Tampa Bay seems like a fitting chapter before they battle back and make the playoffs. But this isn’t scripted, and I see the Giants winning.
Rob: I’m not a huge believer in the Giants, and I could easily see them dropping to 0-2, which is always a great story for the defending Super Bowl champs. I think there are too many weapons in Tampa Bay to discount them too much. I’ll officially pick the Bucs to beat New York.
Baltimore @ Philly
Rob: A high-powered offense from Baltimore showing up to play an Eagles team that struggled against a questionable Browns squad (and ALMOST lost).
Bryan Lienesch (@bclienesch): The fact that Baltimore is putting up numbers on offense is very bad news for everyone else in the AFC. Their defense is stolid and if their offense does to Philly what it did to Cincy, the Eagles won’t have a chance.
Bryan Lienesch (@bclienesch): I don’t know about exposing him. He’s seem pretty exposed the last year and a half. Nevertheless, the Ravens should win this one.
Rob: A large portion of the media still seem to consider him a great weapon for the Eagles, and that’s what I’m thinking is going to be exposed. If the Eagles do much of anything (which doesn’t include winning), it’ll be because of Shady McCoy.
Dallas @ Seattle
Bryan Lienesch (@bclienesch): I like Russell Wilson and I’m liking this Seattle story, but Dallas is no Arizona and they lost to the Cardinals. On the other hand, Dallas is a team that has the potential to lose on…how’s that saying go…any given Sunday?
Rob: The Cowboys might’ve beaten the Giants during Opening Night, but I don’t think either of the two teams played all that well. If the Cowboys can’t play any better than that, it could be a very close game.
Bryan Lienesch (@bclienesch): It could be, and, quite frankly, I think it will be. But I don’t think Seattle will win. Russell Wilson and co. will go 0-2.
Rob: I don’t think Seattle has enough weapons to make it happen against Dallas this week. They couldn’t even get past the Cardinals last week, and Arizona isn’t loaded at all. I really really really want to root for Seattle, especially this week, but I agree, Dallas is very likely to win.
Washington @ St Louis
Bryan Lienesch (@bclienesch): If people were waiting for a team to be the “fluke test” for RG3′s stellar debut, St. Louis isn’t it. It’s a little ironic though. This Washington team has a lot of parallels to the Rams team of Bradford’s rookie year.
Rob: The Rams are going to be a lot more competitive this season than people are giving them credit for. Jeff Fisher is going to make a huge difference and the St Louis Defense is much more stout than people realize. The real question is whether the Rams are going to regret trading the #2 overall draft pick to the Redskins.
Bryan Lienesch (@bclienesch): I disagree. I think the real question is will the Rams regret trading down from the Redskins pick. I think they will, and I think Washington wins this one.
Rob: Sam Bradford is understandably gun shy, and although I think this season will see a significant improvement in statistics for him, I think this week will be a set-back, as the Redskins defense are going to take another step forward. I’ll agree that the Redskins are advancing to 2-0.
New York Jets @ Pittsburgh
Bryan Lienesch (@bclienesch): The Jets fans think they’ve solved the offense, but a Buffalo defense still getting used to itself is far different than a tough, tough Pittsburgh defense. All the shirtless runs in the rain won’t help Tim Tebow OR Mark Sanchez put points on the board.
Rob: The biggest issue for the Jets this week is probably going to be the loss of Revis from their defensive secondary. The Steelers aren’t likely going to have much success running the ball, as their real weapons are sidelined, but I’m not sure how New York is going to cover Wallace and the other receivers with their best cover corner on the shelf.
Bryan Lienesch (@bclienesch): There’s still talent back there, but it will be a challenge. Offense or defense, somehow Pittsburgh will find a way to get it done.
Rob: I fully agree, and I think we’re going to find out just how good the other Steelers receivers are, and why Pittsburgh’s front office doesn’t want to pay Wallace. The Steelers run defense is going to probably look stout this week, too. Another spot where we’re going to agree on a winner.
Tennessee @ San Diego
Bryan Lienesch (@bclienesch): These are two pretty closely-matched team and both should finish around .500 no matter what happened in Week 1. However, I am fascinated to see if Chris Johnson can bounce back and, if he does, if it’ll be the much anticipated return or more of the frustrating inconsistency we saw last year.
Rob: I’m not a believer in the Chargers this year. Not at all. And with the return of Kenny Britt to the Titans, I think Tennessee is going to have a huge jolt on Offense, even if CJ2K can’t make it happen. So it’s safe to say we’re both picking the Titans?
Bryan Lienesch (@bclienesch): Never! No, I do. But I think these teams are pretty even, so for the sake of debate I’ll take the Chargers
Detroit @ San Francisco
Bryan Lienesch (@bclienesch): Everyone is calling the Green Bay victory a statement game. I don’t know about all that, but this Niners team looks to be for real. Detroit will be another great test for them. This time, though, they get to play at home.
Rob: I’d love to see what the Lions could do against this 49ers team on a neutral field with all of their runningback weapons available, but neither of those things is happening.
Bryan Lienesch (@bclienesch): No, and on the flip side, the Niners backfield has enough talent congested into their depth chart the traffic jam in that backfield is more fitting of SOUTHERN California. But, I like the play-making ability of Megatron and Stafford. I’ll take the Lions on another “flip of the coin” call.
Rob: We’re definitely at odds on this one, because I fully expect San Francisco to be able to score more than Detroit as they keep Megatron from single-handedly destroying them.
Denver @ Atlanta
Bryan Lienesch (@bclienesch): This is another interesting game, and Week 2 will be one of those rare weeks where Monday Night Football will be more interesting than Sunday Night Football. Peyton’s lost a little mustard on his throws, but all that means is he isn’t completely immortal. But Atlanta has a superstar in the making with Julio Jones.
Rob: Don’t forget about Roddy White, who may not have hit superstar status in terms of hype, but he certainly put up the numbers for the Falcons. The big questions are going to revolve around the Falcons running game and the ability of the Broncos to fight it out in a dome.
Bryan Lienesch (@bclienesch): I’m still waiting for Jacquizz to turn into this fantasy sleeper everyone was touting him to be. And while I wait, I have a feeling Peyton and his Broncos will nab another victory.
Rob: I’m not a big fan of J.Rodgers, and I don’t expect him to be a huge impact here against a STOUT Broncos defense. Also, I don’t think the Broncos are going to get destroyed by Julio and Roddy, as the Denver cornerbacks are one of the better tandems available. I’ll also go with Denver to stay on a winning streak.
We’ll do a follow-up article to talk about how awesome some of our picks were, and where we went wrong with the others.