The first week of the season went pretty much true to form. It was fairly easy to pick winners. Week 2? Not so much. The Rams went from the worst team on the planet to beating Seattle in one week. The Chiefs and Raiders proved conclusively that momentum doesn't exist. Sam Bradford, for the first time as a pro and totally unpredictably, looked like a first overall pick, and he made Green Bay look old and creaky in the process. The Bucs and Jags spit in the eyes of any who thought they were turning a corner and heading towards respectability. Detroit couldn't hold a lead at home against Tennessee, which is proof that every bad thing ever said about them was deserved.
Yes, there were some rough spots. It's a new week now, though, and dare I say that it feels like a week in which we are going to pick a whole lot of straight up winners for our office pools:
Houston at New England: Jacoby Brissett is the likely starter for New England this week. I wasn't wild about him in college, so I can't get excited about having him here as a rookie. It doesn't matter, though. New England is motivated by their hardships right now. They will find a way. Take the Patriots.
Arizona at Buffalo: Arizona played angry last week after losing their opener. They showed what a dangerous team they are. The Bills are just plain awful. They will lose. The only drama is who Rex Ryan blames and fires next. Take the Cardinals.
Oakland at Tennessee: Nice closing effort by the Titans last week. Ugly late effort by the Raiders at home against the Falcons. I am going to ignore both results. I feel like Oakland is the better, more rounded squad. Take the Raiders.
Cleveland at Miami: Cody Kessler was a disaster for bettors in college. Not good. Now he is starting for the Browns - the third quarterback in three weeks for the worst team in the league This is not a good thing. Take Miami.
Baltimore at Jacksonville: I have been disappointed by the Jaguars this year. You would think that history would have taught me that trusting them and having hopes for them was a bad idea. I can't quit them yet, though. Baltimore has had issues with sustained consistency and is on the road here. Take the Jaguars.
Detroit at Green Bay: It has been a very concerning start for the Packers. It looks like perhaps they just aren't as good as expected - or at least they aren't as young as they used to be. Detroit has been decent but shouldn't be in the same class here. I'm nervous trusting the Packers but really have no choice. Take the Packers.
Denver at Cincinnati: I'm still not totally convinced by Denver despite their record, but their defense is playing fantastic football right now. They will find ways to punch Andy Dalton in the mouth, and that doesn't always turn out well. Take the Broncos.
Minnesota at Carolina: What an effort by Sam Bradford last week! I don't think that it was too much of a fluke, either - despite his issues I'm still solidly in his camp. Still, Carolina is a strong team at home, so they are tough to dismiss. Take the Panthers.
Washington at New York Giants: Kirk Cousins looks far more ordinary than last year, and the team around him has been poor. The Giants are not as good as their record suggests, but they don't need to be to win this one. Take the Giants.
Los Angeles at Tampa Bay: The Rams were as shocking as any team this year last week. Still no offense, but what a defensive showing. The Bucs were shocking, too - shockingly bad last week. If this game was in L.A. then it might be different, but I can't pick a team that still hasn't scored a touchdown. Take the Bucs.
San Francisco at Seattle: I said often that I felt like there were some issues in Seattle heading into the season. It appears I wasn't totally wrong. Playing this San Francisco team at home should be a remedy, though - if it isn't then it is really time for the 12th Man to panic. Take the Seahawks.
New York Jets at Kansas City: I can't even describe how annoyed I was by the no-show effort by the Chiefs last week. So ugly. They are better than that, though - and the Jets just aren't very good. Take the Chiefs.
San Diego at Indianapolis: The Colts have mastered the art of being not quite good enough. I was just about ready to write off the Chargers for the whole season, and then they dominated last week. Tough game. I'll default to the home squad. Take the Colts.
Pittsburgh at Philadelphia: The battle for Pennsylvania is much more interesting this time around than it seemed like it would be. Carson Wentz is good already and will only get better. He's up against a better quarterback here, though. It shouldn't be a blowout, but take the Steelers.
Chicago at Dallas: Dallas has looked solid overall and finally managed to win a game with a backup quarterback at the helm. They will do so again for one big reason - Chicago is terrible. No offense. Questionable defense. Bad coaching. Nothing to love. Take the Cowboys.
Atlanta at New Orleans: The Falcons showed a nice sign of life. The Saints continue to show vulnerability. This is far from a classic, and it definitely isn't a comfortable pick. Take the Falcons. I guess.
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