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Week 2 Predictions for the 2014 NFL Season
Hope all your teams did good this past week. If not, it is still a long season. Here are my picks for week 2.
Steelers @ Ravens: This is a big game for Baltimore. Starting out 0-2 against divisional opponents will damper the Ravens season. Since 2008, Baltimore has a 3-3 record against the Steelers at home. Not to mention that a majority of those games were decided by four points or fewer. Baltimore gave up 300 yards through the air last week. Lardarius Webb is out again for this week for the Ravens and that will be favorable for Pittsburgh. It will be another close game like always. Pittsburgh will put more emphasis on stopping the run after what happened last week.
Pick: Steelers; even though they lost, this was my prediction before Thursday's game.
Dolphins @ Bills: Miami is coming off a big win against New England last week (expected or not by fans) while Buffalo is coming off a very big win against Chicago at Soldier Field. The momentum will carry on for both teams in this game. The difference for this game is how much the offensive line can hold off the defensive pressure. If Buffalo can hold off Cameron Wake and the other Miami linemen, then Buffalo has a chance. I think it will be tough task.
Jaguars @ Redskins: Washington will go into this game without TE Jordan Reed and DT Barry Cofield due to injuries. That is good for Jacksonville because they struggled with the Eagles' tight ends last week. Washington will also go up against a defense that had 5 sacks last week. Their offensive line looked pretty bad and I think they will continue to struggle.
Cowboys @ Titans: Tennessee will go up against a Dallas offense that will suit to be more potent than Kansas City. They will also go up against a Dallas defense that is not much better. However, for whatever reason I think Dallas will flip the switch for this game after realizing what they should have done last week. Also they won't cough up the ball.
Cardinals @ Giants: I don't see how the Giants win this game with their offense last week amassing 197 total yards (144 pass and 53 run) while allowing 403 total yards. Arizona's defense last week allowed 52 yards on the ground. The Giants' running game won't be a factor against Arizona which will cause Eli Manning to throw the ball more, which will play into the Cardinals favor.
Patriots @ Vikings: With Adrian Peterson out for this game (and possibly a few more), the threat of him in the backfield won't be a factor. However, that doesn't mean Minnesota will not run the ball. Cordarrelle Patterson had more rushing yards than Peterson last week so I expect he will get the ball the same way. Minnesota's defense will follow Miami's game plan and attack the offensive line to pressure Tom Brady in making bad throws.
Saints @ Browns: If Marques Colston hadn't fumbled late in the game last week against Atlanta, it most likely would have resulted in a different outcome. And give credit to the Browns for coming back to almost beat Pittsburgh. Who would have thought? For this game, New Orleans will be up against a Browns offense that doesn't have a deep threat receiver. However, any missed tackles by the Saints and those short passes will go for big gains. The Saints defense has to do their part. They can't put pressure on Drew Brees and Co. to score six the whole game. With that, I think the Saints defense will make a statement to earn their first win.
Falcons @ Bengals: Cincinnati's defense was able to seal a victory last week. What to watch for is how Atlanta will do with protection on Matt Ryan (only 1 sack last week) with LT Jake Matthews doubtful for Sunday's game. I think the Bengal's defense will do enough to hold the Falcons out of the endzone for a few drives. What Cincinnati has to do on offense is to convert those 3 points into 6. This will be a fun game to watch overall.
Lions @ Panthers: Detroit was able to reap the benefits against a lackluster Giants team last Monday night. Matthew Stafford looked different (maybe more mobile?) outside of the pocket but this Carolina defense is more disciplined. Calvin Johnson won't have those long receptions that he usually gets.
Rams @ Buccaneers: St. Louis will be more competitive in this game. Tampa's offensive line is still in the works, but they should be able to hold off a Rams defensive line without Chris Long. It is important for Josh McCown to get that extra time in the pocket so he could get those big receivers involved. Two of the Buccaneers d-linemen, Michael Johnson and Adrian Clayborn, will miss this game that will give the Rams some opportunities to keep it close.
Seahawks @ Chargers: This game might spell 'trap' all over. The Chargers are 5-3 in home openers since 2006 while the 'Hawks are 2-6 in road openers in the same 8-year span. However, Seattle looked really good in the season opener. Also Arizona rushed for 100+ yards against San Diego last Monday. They will have a tough day against Seattle's running backs.
Texans @ Raiders: This game is pretty much a toss up. Either of these teams can win this game. I'm picking Houston because they were able to hold a potentially potent Washington offense to six points and how they were able to get after RGIII. If Oakland can get a run game going, they have a shot at a W.
Jets @ Packers: This game will be pretty close. Green Bay's run defense can't get much worse than last week. But that is their weakness so the Jets will run it most of the game. The Jets' defense did pretty well last week but they will face a much better opponent on Sunday.
Chiefs @ Broncos: There is no upset here. This should be a Denver shutout unless they ease off the gas again. Don't think it will happen because I'm sure they worked that out during the week after nearly blowing the game against the Colts. A late Kansas City touchdown will probably be the only time the Chiefs see the endzone for this game.
Bears @ 49ers: Doesn't look good for Chicago. Both starting offensive lineman Roberto Garza and Matt Slauson will miss this game and they will most likely be without their top receiving threats in Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery. Chicago couldn't get it done against Buffalo giving me reason to say they won't do it for this game. Bold Prediction: Frank Gore will rush for 100 yards and a touchdown against Chicago.
Eagles @ Colts: Comebacks were in sights for both teams. It just worked out well for Philly in the end. Luckily for the Colts, they are going up against a pretty light Eagles secondary as compared to last week. So expect a bigger game from Andrew Luck, Reggie Wayne, and Dwayne Allen. The injuries in the offensive line for the Eagles won't be a factor for this game because of the lack of pass rush for Indy. However, I think the Colts won't blitz that much, if at all, and drop in coverage to compensate for the run game and Zach Ertz. Easier said than done, but I think it will work.