NFL Office Pool Picks Week 2
by Trevor Whenham - 9/13/2011
That opening weekend was one I would like to forget in my office pool, and I’m sure that that is the same for a lot of people. The list of disappointing teams is long — Denver, Dallas, Seattle, the Giants, Cleveland, Kansas City, Tampa Bay, and the mystifying Falcons and Steelers. I’m just going to pretend that none of that happen and start fresh this week. Here’s my list of NFL office pool picks for this week’s games — remember, these are all picked straight up, not against the NFL point spread:
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Seattle at Pittsburgh - Both teams put forth concerning performances in the opening week. The Seahawks have the QB issues most expected, and their special teams were impossibly bad. The Steelers were just plain awful — seven turnovers is beyond comprehension. There are obvious concerns about Pittsburgh, but they clearly have the better team, so I have more faith in their ability to turn things around —especially at home. Take the Steelers.
Baltimore at Tennessee - The Ravens were the most impressive overall team. Some teams played better offense, but no team had all aspects of their games playing better at the same time. Tennessee struggled, and will continue to struggle against a very good team. Take the Ravens.
Jacksonville at New York Jets - The Jets are heavily favored here. While I don’t like several things about this team, they are certainly in better overall shape than the Jaguars. Jacksonville got solid QB play in the opener, but with an extra week to prepare for the change I expect the Jets to do a much better job of handling the offense than the Titans did. Take the Jets.
Arizona at Washington - Both of these teams are flawed, but both got off to very solid starts in the opener. Washington is at home, but the Cardinals have more potential to be explosive, and are a more complete team at this point. Take the Cardinals.
Oakland at Buffalo - The Raiders were surprisingly effective in the opener, but they were still very vulnerable to the pass. They are up against a red-hot QB and a confident team here, and Buffalo will be looking to make another statement and prove that their opener was no fluke. Take the Bills.
Tampa Bay at Minnesota. - The key number here is 39. That’s the number of passing yards that Donovan McNabb managed against the Chargers in the opening game. The Bucs play a stout brand of defense, so McNabb isn’t going to rebound with a huge effort here. Take the Bucs.
Chicago at New Orleans - I was surprised by how well the Bears played in their opener, and by how terrible the New Orleans defense was. The Saints have had a few extra days to work things out and I expect them to be much better against Jay Cutler than they were against Aaron Rodgers. I also expect the Bears to be less impressive. Take the Saints.
Green Bay at Carolina - I will fully admit that I was caught completely off guard by Cam Newton’s offensive explosion. As exciting as it was, though, I don’t expect him to be able to repeat it, and it hid a whole lot of other issues with the Panthers on both sides of the ball. The Packers are impressive, and they will shine here. Take the Packers.
Cleveland at Indianapolis - This is an ugly, ugly game. The Browns are so troubled that they got beaten up by the lowly Bengals. The Colts looked as bad as a team can possibly look against the Texans. It’s a total toss up. I’ll take the Browns. I guess.
Kansas City at Detroit - The Chiefs were one of the biggest disappointments of the first week, and they are clearly a troubled and beaten up team. Detroit is confident, and they played very well in their opener. I expect more of the same against a team they can outplay. Take the Lions.
Dallas at San Francisco - The Cowboys seemingly have an endless capability to underwhelm and disappoint. The Niners, on the other hand, played with a lot of spunk and heart in their opener. I’ll go against the odds in this one and take the Niners.
Cincinnati at Denver - The Broncos weren’t all that I hoped, but Kyle Orton at least played decent football. While the Bengals won their opener, I am still confident that they are a lousy team. Take the Broncos.
Houston at Miami - I really like both these teams — or at least big parts of both of them. Tom Brady absolutely torched the Miami secondary, though, and Matt Schaub has the tools and the skills to do so as well. The Dolphins have a short week to fix their problems, and that will be tough. Take the Texans.
San Diego at New England - This is clearly the game of the week. Both teams are obviously talented. The Chargers aren’t a great road team, though, and they have been wildly unreliable in September in past year. I am concerned about the New England secondary, but not concerned enough to go against them. Take the Patriots.
Philadelphia at Atlanta - Sooner or later the Falcons are going to get things turned around. After a horrible preseason and a lousy opener, though, they have a lot of work to do. This is a very tough spot for them to get back on track. Philly is loaded and confident. Take the Eagles.
St. Louis at New York Giants - This is a truly lousy game for a Monday night. The Giants are an incomplete and uninspiring team. The Rams were really bad in the opener, and pretty much everyone on their offense seemed to get hurt in that game. I’ll take the Giants, but I’m not happy about it.