NFL Office Pool Picks Week 2
That first week of NFL action was just plain weird. So many quarterbacks forgot how to play. Teams like Giants, Seahawks and Texans - serious playoff contenders all - have serious issues on offense. Teams that were easy to hate before the season - I'm talking to you Cincinnati and Indianapolis - were far worse than you could have imagined. And then there was Jacksonville. And New England - whatever that was. Tough week. Ugly week. Sadly, largely a boring week. As is often the case with the first week of the season, I'm just going to pretend it never happened, learn what I can from it, and move on. Here are the straight up NFL office pool picks for Week 2:
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Houston at Cincinnati: No game features two teams coming off of more disastrous outings. Houston didn't show up at home, and Cincinnati apparently is very determined to get Marvin Lewis fired - which is a great idea. The difference is that the Bengals are what they are, while Houston is much better than they showed. Take the Texans.
Cleveland at Baltimore: This, on the other hand, features two teams that were much better than it was reasonable to assume. Baltimore gets to play at home this week, and that should be the difference. Take the Ravens.
Buffalo at Carolina: Both teams are coming off of solid wins. And both teams played bad teams. The difference, though, is that Buffalo is a pretty bad team themselves, while Carolina is incomplete and still has questions to answer, but they are solid enough. And the game is in Carolina. Take the Panthers.
Arizona at Indianapolis: The Colts are not even close to an NFL team right now, and we know now that Andrew Luck is still weeks away. Arizona has some issues - losing David Johnson is a massive blow - but it's still a total mismatch here. Take the Cardinals.
Tennessee at Jacksonville: Tough game again because neither team was what I expected them to be. Tennessee wasn't nearly as strong as I hoped. Jacksonville was bizarrely dominant. Both results showed that the only thing you have to know about the NFL is that you don't know much. Tennessee should bounce back angry and are the better team even if they didn't show it. Take the Titans.
Philadelphia at Kansas City: There is a real risk of a letdown for the Chiefs after their huge opening win, but the effort was no fluke and they have had plenty of time to move past it. I liked a lot of what we saw from Philadelphia, but Kansas City is tough at home. Take the Chiefs.
New England at New Orleans: The Patriots had a rough opening week, and they are going to be playing angry here. New Orleans was lousy in their opener, too, but the difference was that while New England seemed broken in ways that can mostly be fixed, the Saints just didn't look very good. Take the Patriots.
Minnesota at Pittsburgh: This is suddenly a very interesting game. Sam Bradford and the Vikings looked really good in their opener. The Steelers looked good, too, but it was only against the Browns and a rookie QB so it's hard to tell what it means. I wouldn't have guessed it a week ago, but this might be the game of the week. Home field is what we'll go with, so take the Steelers.
Chicago at Tampa Bay: Breaking news has the Bucs hosting this game on Sunday. Tampa Bay should be itching, though, and while the Bears were surprisingly solid in their opener, Tampa is much better. Take the Bucs.
Miami at Los Angeles Chargers: L.A. lost a game they probably should have won in their opener, and Miami didn't have an opener. That means Jay Cutler has had extra time to prepare - but with a hurricane evacuation sprinkled in. Total coin flip game. Take the Chargers.
New York Jets at Oakland: The Jets are a joke. A bad one. Oakland was dominant in their opener, and it wasn't particularly a fluke. This one is going to get ugly. Take the Raiders.
Dallas at Denver: Denver won, but I didn't love what they did, and I'm not particularly a believer. I'm not absolutely in love with the Cowboys, either, but I like more of the things they do - starting at QB. Take the Cowboys.
Washington at L.A. Rams: I guess it's nice for a team with a young QB to get an extra exhibition game. That's what that Rams opener against the Colts was - Indy is impossibly bad. Washington lost but wasn't terrible and should have an easier go of things here. Take the Redskins.
San Francisco at Seattle: Let's review what we know. We know that Seattle's defense is dialed in. We know that their offense has work to do. We know that San Francisco's defense isn't great. And we know that their offense is a mess. And we know the game is in Seattle. Take the Seahawks.
Green Bay at Atlanta: Green Bay took a while to get going on Sunday, but the defense looked to be in midseason form. Atlanta won last week, too, but letting Chicago stay in the game and make it a contest isn't exactly inspiring. I continue not to believe in the Falcons. Take the Packers.
Detroit at New York Giants: I was really quite impressed by the Lions and what they had to offer in the opener. I was much less impressed by the Giants and whatever you would call that total mess of an opening effort. I was keen on Lions anyway, so I'll maintain my faith. Take the Lions.
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