While all of the experts are saying that you cannot overreact to Week 1 (moments before they then make some definitive statements based on the first games), here’s a few things we did learn from the opening action in the 2014 NFL season:
- Ray Rice should never play in the NFL again. The release of the video that showed him knocking out his then fiancée was abhorrent and shocking; the fact that he showed no remorse for his actions at the time (or since) and instead just treated a fellow human being with complete disregard and without compassion is at least as bad as the original act. If the Packers signed Rice, I would stop rooting for them and I am sure fans of the other 31 teams would feel the same.
- Talking of Green Bay, the fact they lost to the Seahawks in Seattle is not too much cause for concern for me; especially as the team that has been touted as their main rival in the NFC North – the Chicago Bears – were beaten at home by the Bills.
- Right now there are three teams tied atop the AFC East at 1-0, while the Patriots are bottom as the only ones to lose in Week 1 – falling to the Dolphins in Miami who scored 23 unanswered points in the second half.
- The NFC East is probably the weakest division in the league (again) this year and their combined score in the first half this week was 73-16. Had it not been for Philadelphia’s second half comeback against the Jaguars, all four teams would have been 0-1.
- Defense was not on display in Atlanta’s overtime victory over New Orleans as both offenses racked up 34 points in regulation, before the Falcons got the win with a field goal in overtime.
Week 2 Predictions
Last Week, 11-5; Season, 11-5
Home teams in bold
Steelers +2.5 over Ravens – Pittsburgh were far from impressive in giving up their lead to the Browns and only winning in overtime, but even though they have finally cut Ray Rice (once there was irrefutable video evidence of his actions) I just cannot pick Baltimore this week.
Falcons +5.5 over Bengals – The Atlanta offense looked more potent than the Bengals, who only scored field goals in the first 55 minutes of their victory over Baltimore last week. So I am taking the points.
Dolphins -0.5 over Bills – In a few weeks, I think that beating the Patriots will be more impressive than defeating the Bears, but for some reason I really hope that Buffalo will be good this year. I do not believe it yet though.
Browns +6.5 over Saints – I think this will be a relative close game, even if New Orleans can avoid going 0-2, I cannot see Drew Brees putting up enough points to blow out the Browns outside on the banks of Lake Erie.
Titans -3.5 over Cowboys – This seems almost too easy: the Cowboys looked awful against the 49ers (especially in the first half), while Tennessee had a comfortable victory at Kansas City. The closest contest could be who will throw more touchdown passes to Titans players: Jake Locker or Tony Romo.
Lions +2.5 over Panthers – Carolina will have Cam Newton back and scored an impressive win without him in Week 1 (albeit over the Buccaneers, who I do not think will be good again this season), but Detroit’s offense looked great against the (admittedly also woeful) Giants.
Patriots -3.5 over Vikings – One of the hardest picks to make this week I think. The Patriots are 2-6 on their last 8 road games and did not look good against Miami, but the reasons to choose New England – Tom Brady has Gronkowski back as a target and a week of practice with him; Patriots rarely lose two in a row; Minnesota beat a poor Rams team…and I just convinced myself and changed my selection away from the Vikings.
Cardinals +1.5 over Giants – The chance to get points against an NFC East team…done!
Jaguars +5.5 over Washington – See above!
Rams +5.5 over Buccaneers – I honestly do not have any clue which way this game between two mediocre teams will go so taking the points.
Seahawks -5.5 over Chargers – Seattle have had 10 days to prepare for this matchup and Sn Diego played late on Monday night.
Broncos -13.5 over Chiefs – I am not sure how many points they would have had to make this in order for me to take Kansas City – I think Peyton Manning will enjoy racking up the points and his own stats.
Packers -8.5 over Jets – completely biased pick of which I am not ashamed.
Texans -2.5 over Raiders – Why do I have confidence in a team that won just two games in 2013, giving points on the road? Ah, they are playing Oakland.
49ers -7.5 over Bears – San Francisco may have taken the second half off against the Cowboys in Week 1, but they still won at a canter. Chicago really needs to bounce back from their opening game defeat to the Bills, but even as they are adjusting to a new stadium, the 49ers will be very tough to beat.
Eagles +2.5 over Colts – Philadelphia scored 34 points in the second half against the Jaguars last week to overturn a 17-0 deficit; the Colts scored twice in the final 8 minutes to cut the score from 31-10 to within seven against the Broncos. This could be a high-octane fourth-quarter and I could see either team winning in a blowout, or a really close game. So basically, I have no idea and am taking the Eagles on gut instinct.