This week in: American Football Week 2

The first weekend of the NFL season is in the books and there are already plenty of talking points.  Most impressive performance of the week went to the Baltimore Ravens, who tore apart their AFC North rival Pittsburgh Steelers, winning 35-7 against the team that knocked them out of last season’s playoffs.  They also forced seven turnovers in the game – have they ever done better than that? “Never More” quoth the Ravens.

February’s Super Bowl winners, the Green Bay Packers, won a shootout 42-34 over the previous year’s champion New Orleans Saints in the NFL opener – the Packers defense stuffing Mark Ingram’s run on the one-yard line in the final play of the game. Elsewhere, Cam Newton looked impressive on his debut, throwing for a rookie record 422 yards and 2 touchdown

Look out Cam Newton - Clay Matthews is coming to town

passes, but his Carolina Panthers team still fell to the Arizona Cardinals 28-21.  The Peyton Manning-less Colts were roughed up in Houston and with their quarterback likely to miss the whole season, it could be a tough year for Indianapolis – and my pick of them making the playoffs.  The Eagles new dream team won their first game of the season in St. Louis; the Jets made a storming comeback, thanks to a fumble from Tony Romo and a blocked punt touchdown, to beat the Dallas Cowboys; and the Redskins defeated fellow NFC east team, the New York Giants.

This week’s fixtures sees the Packers head to Carolina to give Cam Newton a proper introduction to the NFL, as he’ll be seeing Clay Matthews coming around his offensive line – much more intimidating than anything the Cardinals threw at him last week.  The Saints and Bears face off in New Orleans in a matchup of two of last year’s NFC teams; the Steelers can get their season on track with a home game against the Seattle Seahawks and the Cowboys are in San Francisco to play the 49ers – a game that would be a must-see…if this was 1993.

Week 2 Picks

A reminder: Each week I will pick the game’s against the spread (as set by ESPN on Pickskin Pick ’em). Last week I went 9-7 against the spread (see them here) – a whole 1 game better than a coin flip would perform on average.

Home teams in bold

Bills -3.5 over Raiders

Saints 7.5 over Bears

Browns -2.5 over Colts

Lions -8.5 over Chiefs

Packers -10.5 over Panthers

Ravens -5.5 over Titans

Buccaneers +3.5 over Vikings

Jaguars +10.5 over Jets

Redskins -4.5 over Cardinals

Steelers -14.5 over Seahawks

Cowboys +2.5 over 49ers

Broncos -5.5 over Bengals

Texans -2.5 over Dolphins

Patriots -6.5 over Chargers

Eagles -2.5 over Falcons

Rams +6.5 over Giants

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