Ramblin’ Fan’s NFL Picks and Predictions: Week 2

NFL Picks Week 2
Sep 8, 2013; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Rams defensive end Robert Quinn (94) knocks the ball away from Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer (3) during the second half at Edward Jones Dome. The Rams recovered the ball and went on to defeat the Cardinals 27-24. Mandatory Credit: Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports /

Week 1 of the regular season is in the books and its time to review Ramblin’ Fan’s NFL Picks and Predictions, and make new picks for week 2.  If it hadn’t been for a wild come from behind victory by the Houston Texans on Monday Night Football I would have gone 8-8 in my NFL picks for week 1.  Then there is the Pittsburgh Steelers, who saw that egg about to be layed?  There were also several games that seemed to be a coin toss in week 1 that just didn’t go my way.  While I would argue that weeks 1-4 are typically the most difficult weeks to make your NFL picks, I still had high hopes for at least a 10-6 mark in week 1.  Well with a pretty mediocre week of NFL picks behind us we should set our sights on week 2 and strive for more success.

Jets @ Patriots (TNF).  Tom Brady will likely have to find a new favorite target as the New England Patriots host the New York Jets on NFL Network’s Thursday Night Football.  Danny Amendola has been reported as “unlikely to play” after aggravating an injury sustained in the preseason.  The Jets will have to hope for some more good fortune to pull off the upset here, but Bill Belichick’s team rarely makes mistakes that cost them games.  With Shane Vereen and Amendola on the shelf the Patriots offense may struggle a little to put points on the board against the Jets, but Brady and Belichick will find a way to pull out the win at home.   Patriots win 20 – 13.

Rams @ Falcons.  The game every St Louis Rams fan circled when the NFL released the schedule is here.  The Rams will travel to take on the Atlanta Falcons and Steven Jackson.  SJ39 only had 11 carries for a healthy 77 yards, but 50 of those yards came on one beautiful run.  The Falcons offensive line struggled to protect Matt Ryan all day, and Roddy White’s high ankle sprain isn’t helping with Ryan’s comfort level.  If the Rams can manage to contain Julio Jones and Tony Gonzalez (no small task) they will have a solid shot at springing the upset.  The Falcons are very tough to beat at home in the Matt Ryan era though, so I will wait at least one more week before picking the Rams in an upset. Falcons win 30 – 28.

Chargers @ Eagles.  The San Diego Chargers will head east to take on the Philadelphia Eagles.  Each of these teams provided somewhat of a surprise on week 1’s Monday Night Football double-header.  The Eagles offense racked up over 300 yards of offense in the first half of their game against the Washington Redskins, while the Chargers just let one slip away against a very good Houston Texans team.  Early games on the east coast have a history of being difficult for west coast teams, so I would be surprised to see the Chargers jump out to a lead early against the Eagles in this one.  If Michael Vick can avoid turnovers the Eagles should come away with another win.  Eagles win 24 – 20.

Cowboys @ Chiefs. Perhaps the Dallas Cowboys are finally ready to put it all together, or maybe they were just the luckiest team in the NFL last week with the New York Giants gift wrapping 6 turnovers.  The Kansas City Chiefs absolutely blew out the Jacksonville Jaguars, which really wasn’t a huge surprise.  The Chiefs had 6 pro-bowlers on their roster last season, add to that talent level Andy Reid and Alex Smith and you have a team poised for a playoff appearance in the AFC.  Alex Smith will be his usual efficient if unspectacular self, while Tony Romo will be his usual self flashing equal parts brilliance and incompetence.  There is also a chance Dez Bryant doesn’t play in this game which would likely reduce the Cowboys offensive production. Chiefs win 21 – 13.

Dolphins @ Colts. The Miami Dolphins and Indianapolis Colts did nothing to impress me in their week 1 wins over allegedly inferior opponents.  With that in mind I will bet on Andrew Luck over Ryan Tannenhill pretty much any day, and if that weren’t enough its always good to back the home team in a “coin flip” type game.  I will go with the Colts in this one, expecting to see quite a bit more passing out of Luck than we saw in week 1.  This game could easily turn into a shootout if Ryan Tannenhill and Mike Wallace get on the same page.  Colts win 27 – 20.

Titans @ Texans. The Tennessee Titans will head to the franchise’s old stomping grounds to take on the Houston Texans.  The Titans pulled off what many considered to be an upset last week, while the Texans survived a scare on Monday Night Football.  As long as Arian Foster and Andre Johnson are healthy enough to be effective this Texans team will be difficult to beat.  The Titans seem to be headed in the right direction but the Texans are already legitimate contenders in the AFC.   Texans win 17 – 6.

Redskins @ Packers.  RGIII was a little rusty to start the game against the Eagles on Monday Night, if there is any more rust left to shake off in this game the Green Bay Packers could turn it into a route.  The Packers played a pretty good game against the San Francisco 49ers last weekend and came up just short in a very competitive (and controversial) game.  After seeing how the Eagles offense shredded the Redskins defense I have to imagine Aaron Rodgers is chomping at the bit to get his shot at them.  The Packers also finally have some talented players in the backfield that will at least present the threat of the run, making the Packers passing game all the more dangerous.  Packers win 31 – 21.

Browns @ Ravens.  The Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens are both hoping to bounce back after disappointing performances in week 1.  The Ravens were in a pretty good game until the 3rd quarter started, while the Browns never really got the train rolling as Brandon Weeden threw 3 interceptions before halftime.  The good news for the Ravens is they wont be facing one of the game’s top signal callers this week, the bad news is they wont have one of their more dynamic playmakers in Jacoby Jones.  Perhaps its time for the Ravens to lean a little more on Ray Rice and a little less on Joe Flacco with a limited receiving corps.    Ravens win 20 – 16.

Panthers @ Bills. The Carolina Panthers nearly pulled off the upset of the week, but they appeared to go into their “4 minute” offense after taking the lead late in the second quarter.  The Buffalo Bills were nearly the runner-up for the award as they came painfully close to taking down Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.  I expect the Panthers to try to open up the offense a little bit more and let Cam Newton be the dynamic multi-threat QB that he is.  Can EJ Manuel secure his first career victory against a highly under rated Panthers defense?  I’m going to say no, but this could be a pretty entertaining game. Panthers win 24 – 21.

Vikings @ Bears.  The Minnesota Vikings allowed Christian Ponder to throw the ball 28 times while only handing the ball off to Adrian Peterson 18 times in their loss last week.  With his 18 carries Peterson scored two touchdowns and rushed for 93 yards while Ponder threw 1 TD (to Peterson) and 3 INTs.  Following Peterson’s 2nd touchdown of the day the Vikings lead the game 14-6 and somehow managed to lose the game by double digits because of what can only be described as a questionable offensive gameplan.  The Chicago Bears got a hard-fought win against the Cincinnati Bengals last weekend which was largely fueled by their defense.  If the Bears can figure out how to slow down Adrian Peterson (which they didn’t do well last year) they should have a great chance to take this game at home.   Bears win 27 – 20.

Saints @ Bucs. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were stunned last weekend by Geno Smith and the New York Jets while the New Orleans Saints took down the Atlanta Falcons.  Both of those games came right down to the wire, something I don’t expect to happen in this game.  The Bucs will have a hard time slowing down the Saints offense now that Sean Payton is back on the sidelines, and the Saints defense may actually be better than many expected.  Even though the Bucs are at home I just don’t trust Josh Freeman to be able to lead them to victory over Drew Brees and the Saints.  Saints win 31 – 17.

Lions @ Cardinals. So most of the offseason I have been telling people the Arizona Cardinals will be better than they think, and last week they nearly got a big road win to start the Bruce Arians/Carson Palmer era.  The Detroit Lions on the other hand got a huge game from Reggie Bush in their victory over the Vikings.  To me this game is a coin toss, as I truly believe the Cardinals defense can slow down the dynamic passing attack of the Lions while a Carson Palmer led offense will be able to churn out yards and points against the Lions defense.  If the Cardinals offensive line can protect Palmer from the Lions fierce defensive line he should be able to find favorable matchups.  Bruce Arians should secure his first victory as a “permanent” NFL head coach in dramatic come from behind fashion, perhaps a Palmer to Fitzgerald fade route in the final 2 minutes?  Cardinals win 28 – 27.

Jaguars @ Raiders. The Jacksonville Jaguars showed almost no signs of life against the Chiefs in week 1, while the Oakland Raiders nearly pulled off the upset behind the scintillating performance of Terrell Pryor.  I don’t know that either of these teams is going to win a lot of games this year, but I do know that the Raiders will be much more entertaining because of Pryor.  Pryor wasn’t perfect in week 1, but with that Raiders offensive line he did more than many would have expected.  The Raiders may be able to churn up the yards in the running game with the combination of Pryor and McFadden.  Raiders win 16 – 9.

Broncos @ Giants. Manning Bowl comes early as Peyton and his Denver Broncos will travel to the Big Apple (or at least New Jersey) to take on little brother Eli and the New York Giants.  Peyton and Eli finished 1-2 in week 1 passing yards, both going over 450 yards, but only Peyton came away with a win.  The Giants have to be hoping that the type of turnover epidemic that hit them against the Cowboys doesn’t recur against the Broncos.  I imagine both Manning’s will throw for 300+ yards and 3 TDs, but Peyton just happens to have the better team and will roll out of Eli’s backyard with the win. Broncos win 35 – 28.

49ers @ Seahawks (SNF). Has anything been talked about more this offseason than the rivalry between the San Francisco 49ers and the Seattle Seahawks?  If there has I don’t remember what it was.  There has been so much talk about which team is the better team, and therefore the best team in the NFL.  While one game certainly isn’t enough to make an informed decision, the answer certainly appeared to be clear following week 1.  The 49ers got  HUGE performances from Colin Kaepernick and Anquan Boldin in their win over the Packers.  Russell Wilson continued his habit of making magic happen when his team needed him the most, throwing for over 300 yards and completing the 4th quarter comeback.  I know this game is in Seattle and “nobody wins in Seattle”, and sure the 49ers suffered a beatdown in Seattle last season, but I just honestly believe the 49ers are the better team.  I believe they have the best offensive line in the NFL, a generally more talented roster, and a clear coaching advantage.  This could be a huge game in terms of NFC playoff seeding, and I expect it to be an “instant classic”.  49ers win 20-17.

Steelers @ Bengals (MNF). What happened to the Pittsburgh Steelers last week?  The Cincinnati Bengals last a hard-fought game in heart breaking fashion, but they were at least competitive against a playoff caliber team.  The Steelers got manhandled by a team that may not win 6 games this season.  When it comes to Monday Night Football and rivalry games you can often “throw out the records”, but I just don’t see how the Steelers can keep this game close after losing their All-Pro center in week 1.  Look for the Bengals to shake off their disappointing loss in week 1 and shine on the big stage of Monday Night Football.  Bengals win 28 – 10.

That will do it for this week’s edition of Ramblin’ Fan’s NFL Picks and Predictions, below you will find the table with all the picks with the NFC West games being in bold and the final row containing my “overall record”.  If you like what you have read follow me and my fellow Ramblin’ Fan writers on Twitter.  Thanks again for reading and as always Go Rams!

NFL Week 2 Matchups


Jets @ Patriots (TNF)


Rams @ Falcons


Chargers @ Eagles


Cowboys @ Chiefs


Dolphins @ Colts


Titans @ Texans


Redskins @ Packers


Browns @ Ravens


Panthers @ Bills


Vikings @ Bears


Saints @ Bucs


Lions @ Cardinals


Jaguars @ Raiders


Broncos @ Giants


49ers @ Seahawks (SNF)


Steelers @ Bengals (MNF)


Last Week


Overall Record