Sep 9, 2012; Kansas City, MO, USA; Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones (11) scores a touchdown on a catch against the Kansas City Chiefs in the first half at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-US PRESSWIRE

NFL Week Two: Predictions

Week Two has been kinder to me than Week One – so far. At least I’m starting off 1-0 as opposed to 0-1, but things get a bit more muddled this week. It happens every year as some teams outperform week one and others underperform. The trick is figuring out what’s what.

Kansas City @ Buffalo – Should be a lot of scoring in this one. I read the schedule wrong earlier and thought it was at Arrowhead, but the Bills get their home opener. Same result, however. Chiefs by 12

Cleveland @ Cincinatti – The Bengals are a heavy favorite in this game, but I think Cleveland might’ve had a chance with CB Joe Hayden in the game and Trent Richardson getting fed. The Bengals looked worse than they should’ve and the Browns nearly upset the Eagles, picking off Michael Vick 4 times. Bengals by 4

Minnesota @ Indianapolis – Both teams have horrible defenses, which should make fantasy players happy. This matchup in some ways looks like the Jags/Vikes matchup last week. I think the Colts win this one on the home field, but it really could go either way. With little confidence, I’m thinking Colts by 4

Oakland @ Miami – Another battle of also-rans here. Miami and Oakland both looked horrible, but Oakland’s special teams issues could be what makes the difference. Miami’s lone TD against the Texans came on a long punt return, so they apparently have it together in ONE of the three phases of the game. Dolphins by 5

Arizona @ New England – Here’s your “Eliminator Challenge” gimme of the week – Patriots by 17

Tampa Bay @ New York Giants – VERY interesting game here. The Giants at home coming off a loss aren’t a team you want to be facing. The outcome will help tell us if Carolina was just unprepared or bad, or if the Bucs really have improved that much. The Bucs only won by 6 despite outplaying the Panthers in a big way, which makes me think that inexperience factor could play a bigger role this week. Giants by 7

Sep 9, 2012; Cleveland, OH, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick (7) watches as Cleveland Browns linebacker D

Baltimore @ Philadelphia – Before the season, I’d have thought this would be a battle of top teams. Both are 1-0, but there’s that whole 4 INT thing against the Browns. Flacco has the team going smoothly, and there’s a great matchup of Ray Rice vs. LeSean “Shady” McCoy. Boy, do the Ravens look strong so far. Ravens by 13

New Orleans @ Carolina – Two favorites that lost last week and looked bad in doing so. New Orleans’ defense was torched by RG3, and Cam Newton has a full year and training camp under his belt now. Drew Brees has 8 consecutive 350-yard passing games, and that will probably go to nine. Whoever can run better should win, and Carolina probably gets Jonathan Stewart back. After 10 rushing yards against Tampa Bay, bet that Ron Rivera emphasized it in practice this week. Panthers by 4

Houston @ Jacksonville – Another “Eliminator” pick here (if you didn’t last week when Houston waxed the Dolphins). However, something tells me this may not be the blowout people expect. It’ll probably hinge on MJD’s effectiveness. Texans by 9

Washington @ St. Louis – RG3 was declared “The Best Player in the NFL” by John Madden after his performance against the sieve-like Saints defense. It was impressive for a rookie’s initial outing, but his stats were pumped by one TD pass that was more like a long handoff and long RAC – on the play that “Griffining” became the rage ‘o the week. He’d been knocked on his behind on that throw and St. Louis has a very good defensive line. They also have Cortland Finnegan and Janoris Jenkins at corner. Welcome to the NFL, Mr. League MVP. Rams by 11

Dallas @ Seattle – ANOTHER “Eliminator” game…I know you can only use a team once a year, so I’m trying to point out several for strategy. Rookie QB Russell Wilson is facing the NFL’s best and deepest group of CBs after having under 100 yards passing against the Cardinals. The Seahawks’ defense should keep this one close for a while, but not for 60 minutes. The wild card is that Seattle plays very well at home, so it’s really not a shoo-in after all for Dallas. Cowboys by 6

Aug 26, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis (24) during the second half of their game against the Carolina Panthers at MetLife Stadium. The Panthers defeated the Jets 17-12. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-US PRESSWIRE

New York Jets @ Pittsburgh – Darrelle Revis is going to miss the game with a concussion, and that doesn’t bode well for the Jets’ defense. Antonio Cromartie should be lining up on Mike Wallace as a result. This will really test the up-and-down Jets offense quite a bit as the Steelers just don’t give up a lot of yards…just big plays to WRs named Demaryius Thomas. Jets rookie Stephen Hill gets a catch-and-run TD perhaps, but the scoring won’t be easy – for either team. Hard to win in Pittsburgh, though. Steelers by 9

Tennessee @ San Diego – The Titans are having growing pains at QB with Locker struggling and leaving the New England game with a non-throwing shoulder injury that didn’t look too bad. Doesn’t matter who starts at QB and there are more concerns about CJ2K again. Meanwhile, San Diego had issues in red-zone scoring against a bad defense, Oakland, last week. The more stable team at home blows it wide open this week. Chargers by 24

Detroit @ San Francisco – The Lions can’t run in the first place, so San Fran’s rush defense won’t be tested. Matt Stafford and Megatron and the gang certainly will test the rest of the defense. With the Niners’ offense having added some weapons in the offseason, they should handle the Lions pretty easily at home. Niners by 18

Denver @ Atlanta – Boy, this week is filled with tough calls. The Monday night matchup here looks to be one of the better ones and the fun will be when Denver’s pass rush faces off against Matt Ryan and as dangerous a pair of WRs as you’ll find anywhere in the NFL – Roddy White and Julio Jones. The Falcons rarely lose at home unless it’s a playoff game and this is not one of those. In a nailbiter, I’m taking the Falcons by 3

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