LAST WEEK: 8-8
COLTS PREDICTIONS: 1-0
Last week was, what we call in the Predictification business, a mixed bag. Hit on some, missed on others... and just plain whiffed on a couple. 68 of you beat me in the Stampede Blue Yahoo! League (League ID 34464, Password: AndrewLuck) so congratulations to those folks. The leaders in the league this week tied at 12-4... Not too shabby.
Here's why I'm a genius:
- Colts @ Bears - Although (according to our poll) 52% of you thought the Colts would win their Week 1 matchup with the Bears, I kept one foot in reality. The Bears were too much for the Horseshoes but don't lose heart. Remember, Vinatieri missed an easy field goal to end the half, the Bears should have called for offsides on Luck's first interception and the Colts offensive line was held together by duct tape - sunnier days are ahead. But, thanks to my predictification powers, I knew this game would be too much.
- Jaguars @ Vikings - I said this would be a three point spread and I nailed it. Remember, when games look even on paper go with the home team by a field goal - That's my rule of thumb.
- Dolphins @ Texans - I probably shouldn't brag about this one, but I will. I said it was my lock of the week and the Dolphins looked like a train wreck. Nearly the score I predicted.
- Chargers @ Raiders - Neither team looked dominant in this one and it played as close as I predicted. When games go like this I feel smart.
- Bengals @ Ravens - People mocked my Super Bowl pick of the Ravens. Who's laughing now?
- Falcons @ Chiefs - OK, so this was my upset pick of the week and the Falcons put up 40 points. In my defense, at halftime the score was 20-17 and looked like it could go either way. It didn't. Oops.
- Redskins @ Saints - I didn't see RGIII going nuts on the Saints and Drew Brees looking like the second coming of Ryan Leaf (OK, that's a bit harsh). I doubt many of you saw this coming either, but this was a HUGE miss.
- Bills @ Jets - I thought the Jets would be a disaster early in the season and the Bills may surprise some people - Boy, was I wrong. The Jets couldn't be stopped and I'm not sure if they were that good or the Bills were that bad.
- Seahawks @ Cardinals - I was right that only one rookie quarterback would win in Week 1, I just picked the wrong one. I thought the Seahawks would be a team that got off to a hot start and they lost a game that was winnable against a team that isn't expected to compete for anything.
- Steelers @ Broncos - Pile on. I got more flack from Manning fans than anything else when I picked against him and said that he'd struggle. I was wrong. I still don't think Manning looked great, but he looked very good. Take away his bubble-screen TD and Manning was 18/25 for 182 yards and a TD. Not overwhelming, but very, very good.
Andrew Luck should have the opportunity to restore the preseason optimism of Colts fans in the home opener. The Colts brass obviously saw what we all did on Sunday and tried to upgrade the offensive line this week. Jared Allen will pose a threat to Luck staying upright, but they don't have the same pass rush the Bears can generate. Adrian Peterson showed that he is still a beast and is healthy enough to be a handful for the Colts run defense all day. This game has enough going in the Colts favor that I think they pull it off.... Remember when games look even on paper take the home team by a field goal.
COLTS WIN 27-24
The Packers, believed by many to chase perfection again, stumbled out of the gates. The 49ers may have given the Packers opponents a blueprint for beating the offensive juggernaut. The Packers haven't had a 100 yard rusher in 28 games - by far the longest drought in the league - and have become WAY to dependent on Aaron Rodgers. It seems to have gotten to the point where if Rodgers isn't spectacular the Packers will struggle (sound familiar, Colts fans?). The Bears don't seem to be a one-trick pony. Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall showed that they are going to be a dominant tandem, Matt Forte is still one of the best running backs in the NFL and, by all indications, their defense should be near the top of the league as well. All that said, I can't believe the Packers start 0-2 and both losses at home.
PACKERS WIN 31-27
The Chiefs let me down last week but I won't hold it against them. I'm still a believer in playmakers Dwayne Bowe and Jamaal Charles. It should be enough to overcome a Bills team that seems confused on defense and Ryan Fitzpatrick who appears to be colorblind (19 interceptions in his last 10 games).
CHIEFS WIN 24-17
Cleveland Browns at Cincinnati Bengals
The Bengals get a chance to redeem themselves after an embarrassing loss to the Ravens last week. The Browns stayed close with the Eagles for most of the day thanks to their defense. They lose CB Joe Haden this week to suspension and they still have rookie Brandon Weeden at quarterback - Not good news for the Dawg Pound. Look for Andy Dalton and A.J. Green to get some rhythm this week against an overmatched Browns team. This team will still be close (it's the battle of Ohio, afterall) but Bengals win it.
BENGALS WIN 20-17
Traditionally, NFL teams don't fair well when traveling across the country for a game. Let this be a statement of how bad I think the Dolphins are - I think the Raiders win this game. The Dolphins didn't show much in the loss to the Texans and the Raiders showed some fight in their loss to the Chargers (one could argue that they may have won the game if they had a backup longsnapper). Carson Palmer and Darren McFadden are talented enough to carry the team to a victory over rookie Ryan Tannehill and Reggie Bush.
RAIDERS WIN 23-17
Kevin Kolb and his undefeated Arizona Cardinals come to town for a showdown against Tom Brady and the undefeated Patriots (I tried to make this sound better than it is...). The Cardinals won a game they should have lost last week. The Cardinals have made it pretty obvious they have little faith in Kolb - and I have little faith in the Cardinals. The Patriots, on the other hand, have been a consistent 10-12 win franchise for quite awhile - hard to imagine them losing their home opener. It's my lock of the week.
PATRIOTS WIN 31-13
The defending champs were served a slice of humble pie last week by the Cowboys. I expect them to respond like champions. The Buccaneers haven't seemed to be able to recapture the magic from a few seasons ago, Josh Freeman in particular. The Giants will win this one and should look convincing doing it.
GIANTS WIN 27-17
This should be a great game. The Ravens seemed to be in midseason form against the Bengals last week. Joe Flacco looked like an elite quarterback, the receivers looked solid with plenty of big play potential, the defense looked as solid as ever and Ray Rice looked like,... um.. Ray Rice. The Eagles DID NOT appear to be in midseason form but found a way to win a close game. I expect them to be better this week. The Ravens are the better team at this point of the season, they should win here.
RAVENS WIN 27-20
Cam Newton didn't look like the quarterback everyone expected during last weeks loss to the Buccs. I haven't been as high on the Panthers as a lot of other people. I think Newton will struggle this season as teams begin to cater their defenses to stop him - but he'll be alright. The Saints have to be embarrassed by their Week 1 loss and I expect them to come out fighting mad. If not, then I think you can write of New Orleans this year - an 0-2 start would doom this team in my opinion.
SAINTS WIN 34-27
The Texans won easily last week - and I don't think they were firing on all cylinders. As the season progresses I expect this team to develop a pretty potent chemistry that will overwhelm teams in the AFC. Jacksonville played better than expected last week but doesn't have the talent to match wits with the Texans. Easy call here.
TEXANS WIN 27-13
Redskins were a pleasant surprise this past week - and I think they should win again. The Rams played hard for Head Coach Jeff Fisher last week and nearly upset the Lions. I think the Rams could upset the Redskins if they can confuse Robert Griffin III (which is possible) but logic says to ride the hot team. I'll take the 'Skins.
REDSKINS WIN 24-17
Last season this is a game the Cowboys would lose - Huge road win where they exceed expectations only to fall flat to an inferior opponent. I'm giving the Cowboys the benefit of the doubt this year (at least this game) that MAYBE they've turned the corner. The Seahawks didn't impress as I thought they would against the Cardinals last week and an 0-2 start may be enough to squash any early season momentum.
COWBOYS WIN 27-20
The Jets overcame a lot of doubters with an offensive explosion in Week 1 - I don't expect a repeat performance. I'm prepared to say that the Jets may be better than I thought they'd be, but they aren't beating the Steelers in Pittsburgh. The Steelers nearly won last week until a late Ben Roethlisberger interception. They will be angry and looking to avoid 0-2. Watch out New York.
STEELERS WIN 24-20
Can the Chargers start 2-0? San Diego is typically a slow starter but I think they win again. Now I will say this - I think San Diego will be the worst 2-0 team in the league, they just got the benefit of a soft opening schedule. The Titans didn't seem to have much going in their loss to New England - has anyone seen Chris Johnson?
CHARGERS WIN 27-24
This game looks like a great matchup on paper - I don't think it'll play out like that. The 49ers looked VERY dominant in their win over Green Bay. Detroit, on the other hand, needed a late touchdown to beat the Rams. Matt Stafford has shown a tendency to force the ball, and you can't do that against the 49ers. The Lions aren't quite ready for this primetime matchup on the road.
49ERS WIN 34-21
Maybe I'm making up for last week, but I have a good feeling about the Broncos this week. I liked what I saw out of the defense and Peyton Manning surely gained a lot of confidence. The Falcons were awfully impressive over the Chiefs and Julio Jones will be a handful. Another close one that Peyton pulls out at the end.
BRONCOS WIN 27-24
Agree? Disagree? As always, comments are welcome! I will track my picks during the season and brag when I'm right (and pretend I was right if I'm wrong). Pick against me if you dare - Remember, I'm a Predictificationist.
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