Last night proved yet again, any team can be in any game, with just a few exceptions (I’m looking at you Buffalo). So far, no team has separated itself from the rest. This week though, a noticeable division pecking order should develop, especially in the NFC North and South, and maybe the AFC East. Off to the games, remember, these are the opening lines, because there has already been some movement.
San Francisco at Kansas City (Chiefs -1)- I really want to believe in the Chiefs, that city really deserves a winning team. With a 2-0 record, Arrowhead will be rocking, and that defense will be ready to go again. The problem is Matt Cassel really is not a good quarterback right now. It hasn’t killed them yet, but with a solid set of skill players, the Chiefs can’t keep relying on pick 6 and punt returns. None of that will matter this week, because the 49ers are coming off a tough loss, and a short week. They probably won’t be full into this.
Detroit at Minnesota (Vikings -11)- Two things: 1) Like I said yesterday, with a healthy Stafford, the Lions are 2-0. 2) The Vikings are either winning this game by three touchdowns, or completely falling apart. Sadly, I’ll take the easy Vikings win option. The Lions secondary is still really weak, which will help Favre find his receivers.
Buffalo at New England (Patriots -13.5)- Poor Bills. Brady and company are going to be in full “F you” mode this week.
Atlanta at New Orleans (Saints -5)- The first really good division battle of the week, and a great chance for the Falcons to prove themselves. They’ve shown they can play with an elite team on the road, which tells me they can win this game. The Saints are just too good at home though, I think they win this one by a field goal.
Tennessee at New York Giants (Giants -3)- A week after looking like a possible Super Bowl team, the Titans laid a giant egg. Vince Young is back starting again this week, and I think his mobility will really help against the Giants pass rush. Plus, is Chris Johnson really going to get held down two weeks in a row?
Pittsburgh at Tampa Bay (Bucs -3)- Not surprisingly, this line shifted to even and then the Steelers became the favorites. I do believe the Bucs are a much better team than anyone thought, but I don’t think they are quite ready for the Steelers. Even if Charlie Batch is starting, I don’t think Josh Freeman can handle the Steelers defense quite yet.
Cincinnati at Carolina (Panthers +1.5)- The Panthers appear headed toward disaster, and the Bengals defense shouldn’t have too much trouble with Jimmy Clausen.
Cleveland at Baltimore (Ravens -8.5)- I scared myself there by picking four road teams in a row, but we finally landed on a good home team. I think Jake Delhomme is back starting this week, which means the Ravens defense might get three touchdowns on their own.
Dallas at Houston (Texans -3)- The only question here is which positional coach Jerry Jones fires after this week. I assume he will save the Wade Phillips firing for later in the season.
Washington at St. Louis (Rams +3.5)- The Redskins aren’t a bad team, and if they are really a contender in the NFC East (suddenly not a very good division by the way), they should win this game with ease.
Philadelphia at Jacksonville (Jaguars +3)- Sadly, the Jags aren’t that good, which means Kevin Kolb won’t get the butt kicking he needs so Mike Vick can start. The Eagles just have too many weapons, and the Jags just don’t have much of anything.
Indy at Denver (Broncos +5.5)- It’s the week of the road team! Peyton Manning reminded the world who the best player in the NFL is last Sunday, and I see no reason the Colts won’t continue to roll now. The Broncos were able to get a lot of yards against a bad defense last week, but they won’t have it quite as easy this time.
Oakland at Arizona (Cardinals -4)
San Diego at Seattle (Seahawks +6)- I have a feeling the Seahawks are going to be really good at home all season long, even if they don’t win all their games there, they won’t get blown out.
Jets at Dolphins (Dolphins +1)- Expect a score very similar to the Jets’ week 1 game. If Revis doesn’t play, the Dolphins will have the advantage of using their one good wide receiver. I still like sipping the Hard Knocks Kool-Aid though, and I think Rex Ryan’s defense pulls this one out.
Packers at Bears (Bears +1)- I don’t have all my thoughts for this game together yet, but I’m leaning towards the Packers by a field goal, if only because I picked almost every road team this week.