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NFL Survivor Pool Picks and Advice: Week 2
by Matt Severance - 9/15/2011

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Pittsburgh QB Ben Rothlisberger

Well, so far so good.

So what did we learn from Week 1 in the NFL? Apparently Indianapolis has morphed into the Bengals (although Cincy did win) without Peyton Manning. I did say that Colts-Texans game was a potential huge trap, but I apparently didn’t realize that Manning also plays defense and special teams. Indy looks like the worst team in football after one week.

I also pondered the Browns against the Bengals, yet somehow Cleveland lost to its in-state rival because Pat Shurmur might be the worst coach in the NFL through one week. Cincinnati scored the game-winning touchdown essentially while the Browns defense was still in the huddle. I’m sure Shurmur is a fine coach, but Cleveland did look like the most unprepared team in football last week.

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I also mentioned it was worth considering Arizona against the Panthers, and that worked out despite Cam Newton’s record-setting day, and the Chargers against the Vikings, although San Diego had to rally. But my top suggestion was the Patriots over the Dolphins, and Tom Brady made Swiss cheese of that Miami defense.  I’m not the type who believes in saving a team until later in the season because you never know when a devastating injury will strike.

With that said, onto my Week 2 thoughts:

Worth Considering

Chiefs at Lions: I was big on the Detroit bandwagon before the season started and certainly nothing changed my mind as the Lions spanked Tampa Bay in Week 1. Kansas City I thought would take a step back this year and the Chiefs looked arguably worse than the Colts in getting stomped at home by Buffalo in Week 1. I doubt Detroit has much trouble in this one, but KC can’t be that bad.

Jaguars at Jets: Luke McCown is the Jarrett Lee (LSU) of the NFL in that both QBs are simply asked not to make mistakes and lose the game for their team. McCown didn’t do much wrong against the Titans. But the Jets may be due for a letdown off a crazy come-from-behind win over Dallas last Sunday night.

Seahawks at Steelers: Seattle actually played pretty well at San Francisco last week (defensively) before Ted Ginn Jr. went all Devin Hester on the Seahawks. But I’m not sure that speaks of Seattle’s defense or the fact that the Niners offense is lousy. The Steelers are biggest favorites on the board this week, and are no doubt going to be ornery after getting bombed by Baltimore.

Too Even To Bother

Raiders at Bills: I have no idea what to make of either team after both won road games last week. Oakland is probably more for real.

Browns at Colts: I’m starting to think Indy will just tank the season to draft Andrew Luck.

Bucs at Vikings: Somehow Minnesota had the Chargers on the ropes for a while despite the fact that Donovan McNabb threw for 39 more yards than you and I did last week. Look for Christian Ponder by about Week 5.

Bears at Saints: Chicago had one of the more impressive Week 1 efforts and apparently will have Brian Urlacher in the lineup even though his mother died this week. He could be a beast on Sunday. But the Saints will have had a few extra days to prepare and now they can’t really afford to go 0-2 even though the NFC South suddenly looks lame.

Cardinals at Redskins: Again, no idea what to make of either team or either starting quarterback.

Cowboys at 49ers: I don’t really care about either team, but in a way I hope that Tony Romo has another fourth-quarter meltdown just to hear more about how he chokes in crunch time. I’m tired of the overhyped Cowboys. That Niners defense looked great last week. But it was against the Seahawks.

Bengals at Broncos: Why even bother? I will say that if Denver loses this game at home then Kyle Orton is out.

Chargers at Patriots: Do I even need to explain why?

Eagles at Falcons: I personally wasn’t all that impressed with Philly last week as Michael Vick wasn’t very accurate. But he will no doubt be juiced to have a big game in his return to Atlanta. That said, the Falcons don’t want to be 0-2 and Matty Ice is money at home.

Stay Far, Far Away

Ravens at Titans: This feels like a huge trap game for Baltimore. Tennessee’s offense did nothing for three quarters vs. Jacksonville last week, but the Ravens are coming off a huge high in dominating Pittsburgh. This screams letdown.

Packers at Panthers: This is one of those games where a majority of your competition will take Green Bay off its dominating offensive effort in Week 1. Plus the Pack had a few extra days to prepare. But maybe Newton is for real?

Texans at Dolphins: This smells like another huge trap game for Houston. The Texans had a dominating effort against a wounded Indy team last week. And apparently Arian Foster will be back. Plus Miami is on a short week after being torched by Brady. Still, I would stay away from Houston on just a hunch.

Rams at Giants: Honestly, you should never pick the MNF game if you can help it because if there’s a late injury then there’s nothing you can do about it. But there are several potential big absences in this one, so stay away.

And The Pick Is ….

I thought about the Jets for a minute, but will go with Pittsburgh. I hate to pick a club that almost everyone else will, but it’s all about advancing. Plus, maybe a chunk of your league will go with Green Bay and maybe the Pack somehow get upset.

So, I have used the Patriots and Steelers so far this season.

Good luck in Week 2!

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