Unlike last week, I'm going to actually post my predictions before the week's slate of games. I'll also post my reasons for my picks, which, as you'll see, range from pretty good to downright crazy. Let's get started...
Raiders @ Bills - My Pick: Bills
The Bills blasted the Chiefs last week...on the road. Oakland outplayed Denver at Mile High, so this is their second straight road game. The Bills have a pretty good offense, but this game will come down to one player in particular: Scott Chandler. The Raiders have a fairly good CB tandem in Routt and Johnson, so the Bills will probably look to their TE early and often. He needs to be a force for them to win this game. It would also help the Bills if that O-line were able to tame the Raiders' ferocious DL rotation.
Prediction: Chandler delivers another helluva game. I'm thinking and 8-90-2 line is not at all out of reach.
Chiefs @ Lions - My Pick: Lions
The Lions head home in time to further humiliate the reeling KC Chiefs. If the Chiefs defensive woes continue (and with Eric Berry OFTS, there's a good chance of that), then this could be another blowout. Can Matt Cassel and Dwayne Bowe match the production of Stafford and Johnson? Unlikely, ergo Lions win.
Ravens @ Titans - My Pick: Ravens
The Ravens proved last week, against a pretty darn good Steelers team, that they were legitimate SB contenders. The Titans are biding time until they can hand the reins to Jake Locker, and CJ's rust isn't doing them any favors. Ray Rice should have a big game, considering what MJD did last week.
Browns @ Colts - My Pick: Browns
Normally, this would be a slam dunk. This year has turned out to be everything but normal, though. I simply can't see the Colts winning with Collins behind center; I'd say they have a better chance with Curtis Painter. Look for McCoy to rebound nicely after last week's loss and showcase that West Coast O.
Prediction: Peyton Hillis surpasses 100 yds...receiving. Watch for McCoy to look for the Madden cover-boy early and often as a check down.
Buccaneers @ Vikings - My Pick: Bucs
Yes, the Vikes have Peterson, and they are playing at home, but their defense just doesn't seem like it'll hold up against the young, talented Bucs' O. If McNabb's game doesn't take a drastic jump, Christian Ponder could see the field rather soon.
Prediction: Blount and Peterson match each other blow for blow, and Freeman's arm is the difference in this game. Look for a 60+ yd TD to Williams or Benn.
Bears @ Saints - My Pick: DA BEARS
Two potent offenses, one great defense. This game goes one of two ways: the Bears' D plays some inspired football, led by 54, and the O plays a solid game to hand the Saints a rather devastating loss...OR...both offenses come alive in a highly entertaining shootout, culminating in a Robbie Gould game-winning FG.
Prediction: Brian Urlacher plays a la Brett Favre after his father's passing. May God bless their late parents.
Jaguars @ Jets - My Pick: Jaguars
Questionable. Crazy. Stupid, even. Somehow, I see the Luke McCown-led Jaguars triumphing over the Jets. This is a game in which both tight ends (Lewis and
Clark Keller) will be key to the passing game. If the Jets run game resembles what the Titans trotted out last week, then the Jags can quite conceivable take home a win here.
Seahawks @ Steelers - My Pick: Steelers
The Steelers were embarrassed last week. Utterly humiliated. Look for them to bounce back big in this game, pounding the
scrap metal Seahawks into submission.
Prediction: Antonio Brown has a monster game. Because I'm not starting him on (one of) my fantasy team(s).
Cardinals @ Redskins - My Pick: Redskins
Both of these teams won in week 1. They both feature offenses with capable RBs (Wells and Hightower) and quarterbacks looking to prove themselves (Kolb and Rexy). This game will come down to defense, and the 'Skins have the markedly better one, especially with rookie Ryan Kerrigan playing like...like...Brian Orakpo? Those two should be the difference in a contest that has some folly potential.
Packers @ Panthers - My Pick: Panthers
Unlikely? Sure. Impossible? Not quite. You will probably never see me pick the Pack, even if a match-up appears to be strongly in their favor. If the Panthers are going to win this game, it's gonna fall on the legs of Cam Newton. He's gonna face pressure, and if he can deal with it, the Panthers might be able to pull this one out.
Cowboys @ 49ers - My Pick: Frisco
Yes, the 'Boys have a star-studded team. I think, however, that Patrick Willis has the game of his life here, and single-handedly tips the scales in the 49ers' favor. I think that their D will play hungry, and come away with a W.
Bengals @ Broncos - My Pick: Tigers
I'm not gonna go all Brad Evans and create some pun about tigers eating horses or whatever (no offense, Brad). I see AJ Green coming alive here, and rewarding the Bengals for drafting him by catching a pair of TDs, which will be the difference in this game.
Texans @ Dolphins - My Pick: Texans
If Miami's "Passing Yds Allowed" is over 1,000 after this game, I will not be surprised. Both teams have question marks on D, though their offenses are more than capable. A shootout in the making, and the Fins drop their second straight at home.
Chargers @ Patriots - My Pick: Bolts
Both of these teams have elite QB's and above average defenses. Special teams could be the deciding factor here. Look for Vincent Jackson to explode against that Pats' secondary. The TE tandem of Gronkowski and Hernandez can even the scales, though. Tough one, and I just went with a gut feeling...
Prediction: One QB is gonna throw for over 400 yards, the other for 250-300. The latter will win the game.
Eagles @ Falcons - My Pick: Falcons
After the beatdown suffered in Chicago last week, Matt Ryan and co. head back home to welcome back Vick and his "dream team." Home sweet home...for the Falcons, that is. I don't see them losing this one simply because of their potential. They are one of the few offenses with enough weapons to match that three-headed monster of a CB rotation for the Eagles. A close, well-fought victory is in sight.
Prediction: Julio Jones and Roddy White combine for 8 catches, 90 yards, and a TD. Gonzalez matches that.
Rams @ Giants - My Pick: Rams
This one is simple: if Bradford plays, the Rams win. The 2nd-year QB wasn't a 1st-overall pick for nothing. He's got great potential, and he's gonna show us all exactly why in this game. His counterpart, Eli Manning, is still searching for a slot/3rd-down receiver to replace Steve Smith. I don't think he finds that man in this game. Look for Laurinaitis and co. to shutdown that Giants O on MNF.
Prediction: Eli continues to struggle against a pretty underrated Rams' defense. 3 TO's and a plethora of dropped passes kill the G-men in this one.
12-4 last week...can I top that this week? We'll see come Sunday...
Thanks for reading. Feel free to comment and tell me that I need a new crystal ball.