Houston over Jacksonville
If you haven’t already used your Eliminator pick on the Texans over the Dolphins last week, this week offers another weak opponent. Interestingly enough, Blaine Gabbert’s improvement should be tested against the top defense in the NFL in 2011. There’s absolutely no chance that Kubiak overlooks anything especially after seeing how Tampa Bay upset Carolina in a bit of an upstart move. The difference between Houston’s defense and last week’s Vikings D is night and day. I don’t think the home field will help the Jags.
New England over Arizona
This one’s a no-brainer of a pick. the Pats are the Pats and playing at home. The Cards have huge QB issues on the road at one of the best teams in the NFL over the past decade and consistently plays at a high level. BB teams just don’t make unforced errors, and while Arizona’s defense is their strength, you really have to have the offense to go with it – plus a bit of luck – to even hope to win at Foxboro.
San Francisco over Detroit
Another no-brainer since the Niners proved to be the team to beat in the NFC in their first game of the season. Detroit’s weak secondary won’t be as much of a concern this week as stopping the run will be, and Stafford’s free-slinging style could get himself in some trouble if he’s under pressure. I think he picks his game back up and his turnovers down (2 or fewer INTs this week) but it won’t be near enough to win.
BTW, with Week One under the belt, sometimes there’s a tendency to try to “steal a game” here and there. First of all, since you only get use one team a week, you’ll have to pick some difficult choices especially in December. I’ve felt the pull of the Dark Side myself, too….so let’s take a look at a couple of likely candidates there:
Cincinnati over Cleveland
When a team disappoints in their first outing, you sometimes don’t quite know what to think or how far they’ve fallen. Well, here’s the thing. The Bengals are playing at home, it looks like the Dalton/Green connection continues to flourish, and the Browns are without top CB Joe Haden. Rookie QB Brandon Weeden looked like Blaine Gabbert in his first game, so the Bengals can load the box against Trent Richardson and dare Weeden to have a half-decent game. The more I think about the matchups, the more I see the 2011 Bengals likely to appear. Picking on the weak, just like last year.
Dallas over Seattle
Dallas’ defense looks more and more like the Jets as Rob Ryan has the best CB depth and breadth to cover. It’s sick how much talent they’ve got at corner now and they’re facing a Rookie QB that struggled last week. Russell Wilson didn’t even have 100 yards passing at Arizona, and should struggle at home this week as well.
Kansas City over Buffalo
It looks like injured CB Brandon Flowers could be back for this one, and the Bills looked atrocious last week. Sure, the KC defense isn’t the Jets, and the Bills had 28 points…but only 7 of those were scored when the outcome was still contested. Look for the Bills offense to keep struggling and so long as the Chiefs can contain breaking-out RB C.J. Spiller, they should have enough weapons of their own to outscore the Bills. The Bills’ defense looked bad against a mediocre offense last week.