With the way the Giants secondary made Kevin Ogletree look like Michael Irvin and Josh Freeman have a field day its hard not to see Cam Newton shining in his first primetime showcase. The Giants got some breaks in their comeback on Sunday but also lost two key players in David Diehil and Ahmad Bradshaw, hard to imagine they will be full strength as the Giants have the mid week blues again.
After an ugly Thursday Night loss against the Packers, the Bears are feuding and fuming with QB Jay Cutler continuing to show his lack of a maturity. The Bears played well at home in Week 1 and I expect them to play well again, as they need a good performance to silence the critics who in Chicago seem to be just waiting for Cutler to screw up so the can pounce on him for failing to live up to the Bears expectations for him to be the long sought after franchise quarterback.
Saw some good things from the Browns in their two losses to start the season. First they picked off Michael Vick four times, than they got a decent game from rookies RB Trent Richardson and QB Brandon Weeden against the Bengals. The Bills after an ugly Week 1 played well and won at home last week. With this game in Cleveland, I see the Browns picking off Ryan Fitzpatrick a few times and this time with the initial butterflies gone from the rookies the Browns will get their first win of the season.
The Buccaneers have played seven solid quarters, it just that last quarter in the Meadowlands that was a problem as they saw their lead melt away against the Giants. The Bucs may have angered some with their hit on Eli Manning at the end of the game, but it symbolizes that this year’s team won’t quit. Though this week it will be tough to imagine a win in Dallas as the Cowboys will look to make a statement in their home opener.
It does not matter who starts for the Jaguars dangling Chad Henne or Blaine Gabbert neither of them are any good. Like the Colts last year this season for the Jaguars will be a year of futility as they are perhaps the earlier leaders in the pursuit of Matt Barkley. The Colts who won the Suck of Luck sweepstakes, equal their win total from last year as Andrew Luck continues to love the his Indiana home with another solid win at Lucas Oil Field.
For the past four years the Dolphins defense has practiced against the various schemes from Tony Sparano. After four year with diminishing results in Miami, Sparano was sent to the sleep with the fishes. He resurfaced as the Jets Offensive Coordinator and he has the Wild Cat revved up with Tim Tebow. However, I can’t imagine the Dolphins being too fooled by it. Look for Reggie Bush to continue his surge into a big time NFL Running Back as the Dolphins get a big division win at home.
No team has looked stronger in the first two weeks than the 49ers, who are one of six teams left with no losses. Facing a NFC North team for the third week in a row they head into the Metrodome to face a Vikings team that has gone to the wire in each of their first two games. Fans won’t need to watch the full 60 minutes this week as the 49ers defense will give Quarterback Christian Ponder nightmares. Look for this to be an easy win for the team in red and gold.
At 0-2 no team needs a win more than the Saints, whose defense has been lit up two weeks in a row. Hidden in those losses the fact that Drew Brees can still throw that old pigskin, the Chiefs defense meanwhile has not looked very good either. With the game in the Superdome and the Saints getting more bad press I just see one hell of an eruption as they take their frustrations out and score at will. The Chiefs will score too, but it will be like Mazda racing a Ferrari, as the Saints score more than 50.
So far this year the Lions have looked shaky, splitting their first two games. Heading on the road they face a desperate Titans team who will be at home looking to avoid a 0-3 start. Traditionally the Lions have been sluggish on grass and with Chris Johnson leading the way I see that trend continuing as the Titans get a boost from Music City early and hold off the Lions late.
Robert Griffin III finally gets to play for the home fans in old DC, but it’s the lack of Pro Bowler Brian Orakpo and Adam Carriker that will make the difference. RGIII has played well so far, but like his team he has yet to learn how to win consistently. Against a playoff contender like the Bengals that is when rookies get exposed. Look for this game to be close, but in the end the Bengals have too many weapons and the Redskins defense is too beat up.
Two more 2-0 teams meet in the desert, and they could not be a more unlikely set of teams to have won their first two games. The Cardinals fumbled late, and watched as the Patriots game winning Touchdowns was wiped out by a holding and a Field Goal sailed left as they stunned the Patriots in Foxboro. While the Eagles have turned the ball over eight times in two games, and found a way to win both by one point. The Eagles luck stops here as the Cardinals defense led by Patrick Peterson continues the Eagles troubles with turnovers, as former Eagles QB Kevin Kolb gets the win.
Another game between two teams that have many similarities, both have solid talent on both sides of the ball, but can’t seem to win in the playoffs. Both teams are also off to 2-0 starts so a win here will push one team into the early driver’s seat in their division. The Falcons are the team that has more against them, with the short week after Monday Night and the distraction of RB Michael Turner’s DUI arrest. I like the Chargers to keep their early season momentum as QB Phillip Rivers is the difference in a close game at Qualcomm.
Nothing makes the Houston Texans spine shiver more than the name Peyton Manning. For a decade, Manning made mincemeat of the Texans time and again while playing with the Colts. Peyton Manning had a shaky start last week on Monday Night, but finished strong. Coming home to Denver I see the Broncos racing by the Texans as they use the Mile High air to their advantage in another close battle.
When QB Carson Palmer was a rising star in Cincinnati he had his share of nightmares against the Steelers. This includes the 2005 playoff loss where he suffered a knee injury in the first quarter. The Raiders are a mess having been run over last week by Reggie Bush in Miami. The Steelers meanwhile shock off injuries and a Week 1 loss to beat up the Jets. Back on the road the Steelers continue their winning was with an easy win as fans in Oakland begin to turn on Carson Palmer.
A rematch of the AFC Championship Game is the main event on Sunday Night. Both teams are coming off frustrating losses in Week 2 that dropped them to 1-1. One of these AFC favorites will be in trouble after this game. The Ravens loss was a tough road loss in Philly, where they outplayed the Eagles. The Pats suffered a home loss to the Cardinals and they were the ones who were outplayed. Look for the Patriots offensive line struggles to continue as Aaron Hernandez is doubtful and the Ravens usually excel at home when playing under the lights.
Aaron Rodgers better bring his ear plugs if he thinks he can win this one, as the Seahawks 12th man will be extra loud having a chance to show off on Monday Night. The Seahawks secondary is strong and can take an interception to the house at any moment. However, with all the weapons at Rodgers disposal the Packers should be able to win a close one, as Rookie QB Russell Wilson will undoubtedly have some nerves in his first Monday Night game, and it does not help that Clay Matthews of the Packers has been eating quarterbacks for breakfast