NFL Office Pool Picks - Week 2
by Trevor Whenham - 9/15/2009
It was a good start to the season for our NFL office pool picks. We went 13-3, and there is no reason to really beat ourselves up for the three losses. Let's see if we can do it again. As a reminder, these picks are made straight up, so there is no consideration of point spreads:
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Carolina at Atlanta - The Falcons didn't get off to a flawless start, but it was promising and showed that they are poised to continue the success they enjoyed last year. The Panthers had a disastrous start, and have a QB nightmare on their hands. It's hard to look past the home team here. Take the Falcons.
Minnesota at Detroit - The Saints were able to score at will on the Lions. Minnesota isn't as explosive offensively as New Orleans, but they are still pretty good. In his first start in purple, Brett Favre showed that he is willing to stick to a system and avoid some of the frustrating mistakes that he has been prone to. That's bad news for the Lions, and the losing streak will continue. Take the Vikings.
Cincinnati at Green Bay - I had little confidence in the Bengals coming into the season. Despite that, I picked them in the first week and I was burned. I won't make that mistake again. Green Bay wasn't as good as expected last time out, but the team will gain confidence from an impressive winning drive. Take the Packers.
Houston at Tennessee - I wanted to believe in the Texans this year, but they'll have to show me more than they showed in their opening game before they get my faith. The Titans lost the opening game of the season, but they looked sound doing it, and they were especially strong defensively against the run. That's not good news for the Texans. Take the Titans.
Oakland at Kansas City - This is a game between a couple of duds, but it got more interesting after the efforts the teams put up in the first week.Both lost, but both played tough opponents much tighter than they were expected to. That's makes it hard to pick this game. In the end, though, I give Kansas City the edge based on their better quarterbacking and the location. Take the Chiefs.
New England at New York Jets - Based on their opening performances the Jets would have an edge here. I have to look past that, though. No one does a better job of making adjustments than Bill Belichick, and he'll have the wrinkles from the first game ironed out. He'll also have all sorts of ways to make Mark Sanchez uncomfortable. Take the Patriots.
New Orleans at Philadelphia - I don't trust the Eagles defense, and the Saints couldn't possibly be playing better with the ball. That would perhaps be enough to put me on the Saints by itself. Add in the injury to Donovan McNabb and the uncertainty that that creates and New Orleans has the clear advantage. Take the Saints.
St. Louis at Washington - The Redskins are a flawed team that would be seriously challenged by any real NFL team. Fortunately for them, the aren't playing one this week. The Rams are in terrible shape right now, and it's hard to imagine them winning a game, especially one on the road, until they get their act together. Take the Redskins.
Arizona at Jacksonville - The Cardinals were surprisingly ineffective offensively in their opener. The Jaguars were surprisingly strong defensively in theirs. One of those things is going to give here, and I say it will be Jacksonville. I have more faith in the talent that Arizona has. Take the Cardinals.
Seattle at San Francisco - The Seahawks won the most lopsided game of the first week, but it tells us nothing - their scrimmages before the game were tougher than the Rams were. San Francisco was relentless on defense and competent on offense to earn a solid first divisional win. I don't think that that was a fluke, and I think the hungry Niners will do it again. Take the Niners.
Tampa Bay at Buffalo - The Bucs were better than expected in their debut, but that doesn't hide that they are a troubled team with a world of problems. The Bills were much better than expected as well, and they really deserved to beat the Patriots. Buffalo has more going for them, and that makes them the pick. Take the Bills.
Pittsburgh at Chicago - The Packers made life miserable for Jay Cutler and the Bears. I expect that the Steelers will be able to do the same, even without Troy Polamalu. The Steelers need to be able to establish their run better than they did against the Titans, but Chicago's linebacker problems should help that cause. Take the Steelers.
Baltimore at San Diego - The Ravens impressed in Week 1, while the Chargers were mystifyingly ineffective for much of their win over the Raiders. Both teams are solid and potentially much better than that, so this game is hard to call. My heart says that the Ravens are the pick, but my head says you can't go against San Diego at home. Take the Chargers.
Cleveland at Denver - The Broncos are a team with a pile of issues. That pales in comparison to the woes that the Browns face, though. This will be the furthest thing from a good game, but I expect the Broncos to be able to run on the Browns, and to be better through the air as well. Take the Broncos.
New York Giants at Dallas - Both teams are coming off solid wins, and both are likely to be in a fight for the NFC East title for much of the season. I have to lean towards the Cowboys here for two reasons - the crowd will be in a frenzy for the regular season debut of the new stadium, and they had better QB play last week. Take the Cowboys.
Indianapolis at Miami - I wasn't thrilled with the start that either team had, and I am not particularly optimistic about either of them doing something meaningful in January. Flawed teams make for hard choices. I'll go with Indianapolis here, though - they'll have better QB play, and that should be enough to be a difference here. Take the Colts.