Great reviews on last week’s inaugural Who’s Winning article, so Lienesch and I are back at it again. Now you’re going to get a better taste at how all of the future articles are going to look, ’cause we don’t just have predictions to make, but we’ve got some fallout from last week to talk about.

What, no mention of this Thursday’s game? Nope, we’re not talking Patriots vs Jets, since we didn’t predict it last week. Same with Eagles vs Redskins and Chargers vs Texans. Maybe those outcomes will come into play as we predict, but we’ll see how it all goes down.

Now let’s get at that fallout. This time around, we’ve got one game to mention, and I think it’s no surprise which one that is…

Week 1 WTF Game: New England Patriots @ Buffalo Bills

Pigskin Pig – I imagine a lot of people took those pretenses I mentioned about the Bills not winning the game… and they felt less secure in what they knew about the teams they know about than they did for most of the other outcomes. I think it’s about time for Bryan to gloat for a minute…

Bryan Lienesch (@bclienesch) – “Allow me to make a case for the Bills. First, Manuel IS starting, and he’s the one rookie quarterback, surprisingly, that didn’t look like a hot mess in the preseason. Second, this offense, overall, is much improved. If the defense can have just MODERATE success against the Patriots, the Bills might have the firepower to go toe-to-toe with them. Third, it’s a division rivalry game and it’s in Buffalo. And finally, it’s Week 1. Crazy things happen at the beginning of NFL seasons. So, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Bills can nail the upset, but I still have to take the Patriots in a pick’em”.

Pigskin Pig – Right, and with the Patriots needing to kick a last second field goal to make it happen, my boy Bryan’s looking smart on that. Oh, and I think we talked about how the Giants were undefeated in Jerry Jones’ new stadium, and I said you could gloat if you were right and it turned to 0-5 and the strong law of large numbers needed a bit more time… well there’s no gloating going on here, so we’re going to move on right along…

Bryan Lienesch (@bclienesch) – Yes, had I banked on the Giants having their worst game fundamentally in a quarter century, I too would’ve gone with the Cowboys.

Pigskin Pig – And all those picks we made… How’d we do all together?

Pigskin Pig – 9 correct; 4 wrong

Bryan Lienesch – 8 correct; 5 wrong

Pigskin Pig – It’s a long season, so there’s no need to gloat about one win advantages either way, especially when week 1 starts us from knowing not much of anything and moving from there. Now that the ugly part’s out of the way, let’s get on from here and give you our picks and the reasons with it. Roll out, Week 2…

St Louis Rams @ Atlanta Falcons

Pigskin Pig – I know that the Rams won their opening game and had some decent offense when they went about it, but let’s be real about the fact that the Atlanta Falcons are one of the top teams in the NFC, and the Rams still have a lot of growing to do. The Falcons got this one covered… and if they don’t, I’m going to be really interested in how that all goes down, because it’s going to take some doing.

Bryan Lienesch (@bclienesch) – Falcons, easy. I’m not going to waste my time explaining why the Rams can’t win.

San Diego Chargers @ Philadelphia Eagles

Pigskin Pig – As the season progresses, I’m just waiting for Chip Kelly’s offense to lose steam and bottom out – regardless of whether a Mike Vick injury is involved. Players aren’t going to be able to sustain it and opposing defenses are going to figure it out, but Eagles fans just might not have to worry about any of that in Week 2. The Chargers don’t have what it takes to be the one to crack the code and shut them down… especially on the road all the way across the country.

Bryan Lienesch (@bclienesch) – I’m not waiting for Chip Kelly’s offense to lose steam so much as get figured out. Did the Redskins look really, really bad against them? Sure, but where was the game tape for them to prepare with? Now teams have 60 minutes of footage of what Chip Kelly wants to do and, after today, that’ll double. It’s like the wildcat. Sooner or later, people are going to figure out how to stop it. But those people aren’t the Chargers and the Philadelphia will cruise to 2-0.

LeSean McCoy and Chip Kelly

So happy together

Dallas Cowboys @ Kansas City Chiefs

Pigskin Pig – I like the Chiefs a bit this year, but I didn’t get all giddy from their win last week. There’s a big difference between Jacksonville and Dallas. I don’t think there’s as big a difference between Dallas and the Chiefs, though, but I’ll pick the Cowboys to win this one – if only by a little bit.

Bryan Lienesch (@bclienesch) – Oh, boy am I tempted to pick Kansas City here. They got their confidence and stats padded in Week 1 against the worst team in the NFL which makes a middling team like Dallas the next logical test. You know what? I’m going with Kansas City. Not because of how good they looked against Jacksonville but because of how bad Dallas looked against New York.

Miami Dolphins @ Indianapolis Colts

Pigskin Pig – I’m posing this one more like a question to my colleague here: Did Indy’s game against the Raiders scare you enough to think that the Dolphins are going to be able to compete in this one? Because last week, before we saw either of these teams play, I would’ve predicted the same I’m doing now: Colts win.

Bryan Lienesch (@bclienesch) – I’m with you. A win is a win in the NFL. The Colts aren’t going to bowl over teams, but they ARE going to win more games than they lose. Like this one here against Miami.

Tennessee Titans @ Houston Texans

Pigskin Pig – I love these divisional games, because teams always play over their heads in them, even when they’re on the road. That’s what the Titans would have to do if they were going to beat the team which took over the city they vacated… and this is a game where the new Houston team is going to make the Titans regret leaving. Most NFL fans might not care about the Titans / Oilers link, but I’m betting to a lot of fans in Houston, it matters.

Bryan Lienesch (@bclienesch) – Houston had a tremendous comeback against a crappy team. Tennessee stayed ahead of a good team that just decided not to show up. Houston, however, IS going to show up and Tennessee’s defense won’t be able to keep the Texans off the board until the fourth quarter like they did with the Steelers. Houston rolls.


Washington Redskins @ Green Bay Packers

Pigskin Pig – Talking about the importance of having a pre-season! That first half against the Eagles last week was ugly. UGLY. And what makes this game so hard to predict is that we don’t know what the biggest impacts were on the second half of that Redskins / Eagles game. The Washington offense looks darn potent, and while I’d like to predict they’ll get back on track, I know that the Packers team is real talented, so I just have to go with them at home.

Bryan Lienesch (@bclienesch) – Until the Redskins can prove that they are the team they were a year ago, I have to assume they are the same team they were in every OTHER season under Shanahan’s tenure. Is that unfair? Maybe, but a team like the one they’re playing today has EARNED the benefit of the doubt. The Packers nearly beat the 49ers on the road. Washington looked befuddled at home. Green Bay improves to 1-1.

Cleveland Browns @ Baltimore Ravens

Pigskin Pig – Yeah, the Ravens got BLOWN OUT by Peyton Manning in the opening game of the season, but I don’t think anyone’s going to favorably compare the Browns to the Broncos. I’m going Baltimore all the way on this one.

Bryan Lienesch (@bclienesch) – A game like the one the Ravens endured on opening night you just sort of have to shake off. Was it a bad loss? Yeah, but there’s no difference between winning by 1 or 51 points in the standings. Baltimore needs a scrub team to hand them a bounce-back win and Cleveland is just what the doctor ordered. I agree, Ravens take this one.

Carolina Panthers @ Buffalo Bills

Pigskin Pig – The Patriots offense isn’t that dynamic, and that’s why I’m thinking that the Bills were able to look real decent last week in their opener. The Panthers might not be great, but they’ve got some dynamic pieces, and the Bills didn’t prepare for them the same way they would’ve prepared for the division rival Patriots, so I’ve got the Panthers picking up the win.

Bryan Lienesch (@bclienesch) – Tsk, tsk, tsk. How’s the saying go Pigskin Pig? Fool me once, shame on you? What happens if you’re fooled twice? You want to talk about how the Patriots offense isn’t dynamic, the only team to score fewer points than the Panthers last week were the Jaguars. What’s more is, even though Seattle had trouble finding the endzone, they still racked up 370 yards of offense. The Bills are going to surprise you AGAIN, Pigskin Pig, and this time they’re going to pick up the ‘W’.

Minnesota Vikings @ Chicago Bears

Pigskin Pig – I know the Bears defense isn’t the same as it was back in the day, but I think they’re just as stout as what the Lions have, and I didn’t see the Vikings doing a ton last week. Even though I think the Vikings are going to be better than last year, I’m not seeing it work out for them this week.

Bryan Lienesch (@bclienesch) – Well, we’ll save the debate of whether Minnesota will be better than they were a year ago for a later date, but I agree Chicago takes this one. I see Minnesota’s passing attack getting stalled very early on and, when everyone tries to jump on AP’s back and have him carry the mto victory, the Vikes fall short.


New Orleans Saints @ Tampa Bay Bucs

Pigskin Pig – The Saints ain’t going to lose too many games this season, and this isn’t going to be one of the losses. I don’t care that it is a divisional opponent, nor that it’s being played in Florida instead of Louisiana. Saints got this.

Bryan Lienesch (@bclienesch) – Your poor grammar aside, yes, the Saints will win this one. This isn’t Varsity Blues. New Orleans is MUCH better with their coach and I expect them to get 12 or 13 wins this season. That doesn’t leave a whole lot of room for losing to Tampa Bay, even if it’s on the road.

Detroit Lions @ Arizona Cardinals

Pigskin Pig – How great was that Reggie Bush performance a week ago? I’m not sure you’re going to see ALL of that again, but I’m thinking he and Megatron are plenty for the Lions to put down the Cards.

Bryan Lienesch (@bclienesch) – It was a nice performance. So nice, in fact, I’m almost waiting for the NCAA to vacate it. Detroit’s going to feel right at home inside the dome in Glendale and hand Arizona their second loss in as many weeks.

Jacksonville Jags @ Oakland Raiders

Pigskin Pig – To me, the Jags are like the Raiders of a few years ago, and the Raiders are like an up-start team that’s improving but hasn’t done enough yet to get stable. It’s easy for me here, I’m going Raiders.

Bryan Lienesch (@bclienesch) – To ME, the Raiders are Twiddledee and the Jaguars are Twiddledum. Neither is going to do much this season, and this may be the battle for the first pick of next year’s draft right here. Jacksonville’s going across the country, though, and Terrelle Pryor is going to have a warm homecoming so Oakland takes this one.

Denver Broncos @ New York Giants

Pigskin Pig – I don’t care that this one is being played in New York and I don’t care that young Eli isn’t so young and inexperienced anymore, did you see his stat-line last week? No chance is that going to hold up against Peyton. If you give Peyton an opening, he’s gonna tear it wide open, and even if Eli does a better job, I don’t see anything in the Giants running game that makes me think they’ve got a chance here. Broncos all the way.

Bryan Lienesch (@bclienesch) – Allow me to make a case for the Giants. Oh, wait, no, they just turned the ball over again. Nevermind. This one’s going to be ugly, folks. Look for Archie Manning to come in at half time and tell Peyton to be nicer to his little brother. Broncos unload yet another blowout.


San Francisco 49ers @ Seattle Seahawks

Pigskin Pig – What a great Sunday Night game this is going to be, though I don’t think it’s going to be as good as what we saw in the 49ers game last week. The Seahawks did good last year, and they’re a talented team, but I still don’t think they’re the same caliber team as the 49ers.

Bryan Lienesch (@bclienesch) – Ahem, the Seahawks did WELL last year. You and your grammar this week, Pigskin Pig. You want to talk about ‘good’, though, let’s talk about Seattle’s track record at home. 8-0 last year and that included the 49ers paying them a visit. If they can beat San Francisco tonight, I see another crazy eight coming this season. And I DO think they will beat San Francisco tonight.

Monday Night Football?

Pigskin Pig – I’m not going to predict this Pittsburgh @ Cincinnati game, but I do think it has the chance to be the changing of the guard, what with one of the teams’ woes and the other building up some fine pieces.

This week, maybe we’ll do a bigger recap article together, or maybe we just wait until next week and do this whole “Who’s Winning” thing all over again for the Sunday games. Until then, you should follow Bryan on Twitter, as you might’ve seen the links above… and if you want, you can follow me too (@PigskinPig), because I am remembering to get on there on Sundays, at least for now.