NFL Office Pool Picks Week 2
We got more right than we got wrong in the opening week of office pools action That's not much to crow about, but then there was a lot of bizarreness in that opening week, so I am happy just to have survived. The thing about the opening week is that you know nothing, and you have way too much time to overthink about everything. Now we know a little bit more about teams, so hopefully we can do a little bit better in our next week of office pool picks. Or a lot better, ideally. Here's what I have my eye on for straight up picks this week:
Baltimore at Cincinnati: These are the only two unbeaten teams in the AFC North, and anyone who tells you they saw that coming is lying to you. Cincinnati looked better than expected, but I don't believe in them. Baltimore looked more sustainable. Take the Ravens.
L.A. Chargers at Buffalo: Nathan Peterman. Or the guy who couldn't beat out Nathan Peterman. What a thrilling choice. And either way, it's a team with horrible coaching, a lack of talent, and nothing cohesive about anything. The Chargers didn't look great in their opener, but this will fix them. Take San Diego.
Houston at Tennessee: Both teams lost by identical scores in their opener. Houston was the more disappointing but also the generally better team. This is an important game because both teams need to avoid falling into an early hole. Take the Texans.
Miami at New York Jets: It's hard to judge Miami after that game that seemed to last about two days, but there were things to like there. And while Sam Darnold looked good in his debut, it was against a team that was a total and utter mess, so it doesn't mean too much. Maybe. Tough game. Take the Jets because they are at home.
Indianapolis at Washington: Andrew Luck mostly looked solid, but the team around him just isn't very good. And Alex Smith mostly looked solid, and the team around him is better. I'd comfortably take Washington on the road in this one, so they are the easy pick at home. Take Washington.
Carolina at Atlanta: I was quite disappointed by the Panthers in their opener despite the win. I expected more from them. And despite being quite negative about the Falcons, I still didn't expect them to look as underwhelming as they did. Matt Ryan can't be healthy, can he? Take the Panthers.
Minnesota at Green Bay: I don't trust Aaron Rodgers' health entirely. And despite the impressive comeback, I think the Packers are the second-best team here by a decent margin. Take the Vikings in this massive divisional contest.
Philadelphia at Tampa Bay: I did not see Ryan FItzpatrick coming this week. Obviously. But the one thing I know about Fitzpatrick is that while he can have big days, he struggles to string them together - or he would be a regular starter with far fewer frequent flier miles. Philadelphia has issues to deal with, but at the better team. By a lot. Take the Eagles.
Cleveland at New Orleans: Cleveland showed a whole lot of fight late to pull off their unlikely tie. But there are still a lot of things I don't like - starting at QB. New Orleans was a total mess in their opener, but I am willing to give them a mulligan. Just one. Take the Saints.
Kansas City at Pittsburgh: I didn't like what we saw from Pittsburgh - their heads didn't seem to be into the game. And the Le'Veon Bell situation doesn't seem to be rocketing towards a resolution. Kansas City was feisty in a tough spot in their opener, and I like them in another one here. Take the Chiefs.
Detroit at San Francisco: San Francisco lost their opener, and Jimmy Garoppolo looked pretty rough. But as bad as he looked, he looked like Tom Brady in his prime compared to Matthew Stafford, and the Lions were as bad as an NFL team can possibly be. Take the Niners. Happily.
Arizona at L.A. Rams: Arizona is a long way from prime time - a minor league team playing in the bigs. The Rams are legitimate and tough. This is a mismatch. Take the Rams.
Oakland at Denver: Oakland came out with a lot of fight and effectiveness, but I don't entirely buy it - largely because they couldn't sustain it. It felt like an emotion-driven performance, and I don't know how sustainable it will be. I don't love Denver by any means, but they won at home, and they could do it again in this spot. Take the Broncos.
New England at Jacksonville: This is a very interesting game. Jacksonville stood up to their first test and look to be a continuation of what they were last year. New England felt stronger than I expected out of the gate. This feels like a total coin flip. Take Jacksonville at home.
New York Giants at Dallas: I am not much of a fan of either of these teams. Lousy quarterbacks. Great running backs. Questions on defense. I'll take Dallas at home, but not by much - and I wouldn't argue with you if you disagreed.
Seattle at Chicago: The Bears didn't finish, and it seemed like once they ran out of scripted plays they were done. But what a start it was. They showed spark. Seattle showed much less that was noteworthy. Take the Bears.
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