Week one is in the books and The Old Man went a respectable 12 and 4, a much better start than ANY of the AFC North teams. Week one saw a lot of safeties, Peyton Manning having a so-so day (7 TD’s, really?), Jim Harbaugh and Clay Matthews setting the table for an off season for a WWE cage match, and a several incredible finishes. What does week two hold? Hopefully more of the same, so let’s get to it! As usual, all games picked are straight up, no points. I list the points only for reference. Editor’s Note: Bears Claws doesn’t endorse gambling. He who gambles, lives in shambles.
New York Jets (+12.5) at New England Patriots – Thursday Night
Both teams pulled out wins in the last minute on Sunday, but the Old Man believes the Patriots actually won their game while the Jets were given the game due to a mental lapse by Tampa Bay. This week the Jets and their anemic offense travel to Foxboro. Look for Brady and company to be much sharper than in week one as they take the Jets to the woodshed.
San Diego Chargers (+7) at Philadelphia Eagles
Wow, both of these teams were on Monday night football and both teams had flashes of brilliance, but the Chargers are still the Chargers and found a way to lose. The Eagles were very impressive for most of the evening. Solid performances by McCoy and Jackson have many Eagle fans excited about this year. However, the worrisome thing for Eagle fans has to be the durability needed by the QB position in this high-powered offense. Michael Vick is already limping around and if he were to get injured and miss any amount of time, it could alter the Eagle offensive attack. This week, Vick is okay and the Eagles will win.
Cleveland Browns (+6.5) at Baltimore Ravens
The Old Man knows this, there is no way the Ravens will give up seven TD passes to Brandon Weeden this week. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if Weeden tosses seven interceptions. Look for the Ravens to focus on the run, force Weeden to throw, and win this game easy. The AFC North won’t go 0 for this week. Ravens put away the Browns early in this one.
Tennessee Titans (+8.5) at Houston Texans
Last week, I told you that the Titans would give the Steelers all they could handle, but I didn’t think they’d actually win the game! This week the Titan road show goes to Houston, who erased a 21-point deficit in week one. I think Houston will be a much more focused team and they’ll pull away from the Titans.
Miami Dolphins (+3) at Indianapolis Colts
Both teams are coming off opening week victories. The Dolphins played about as good a game as they could in their win, while the Colts seemed to take most of the second half off. If the Colts play in week two like they did in week one, they’ll lose this one…but they won’t. Colts start the season 2 and 0.
Carolina Panthers (-3) at Buffalo Bills
Both of these teams almost pulled off upsets in week one. The Bills were somewhat validated with their first round pick of Manuel and the Old Man thinks the Bills will keep up the good play. Upset here, taking the Bills at home.
St. Louis Rams (+7) at Atlanta Falcons
Sam Bradford and the Rams surprised the Old Man with their resolve in week one. I like what Jeff Fisher is doing and I look for this type of effort to be the norm from the Rams. The Falcons lost a close on the road to the Saints and, I know it’s early, but they cannot afford to lose this one. Look for a bounce back at home as the Falcons get their first W.
Washington Redskins (+7) at Green Bay Packers
For the first three quarters Monday, RG3 looked as rusty as the hinges on the door to the Old Man’s doublewide. If this happens again, the relationship between DC and RG3 may need some counseling from Dr. Phil. On the other side, the Packers are coming off a tough loss to the 49ers, but the Old Man has to admit the Pack looked pretty darn good in defeat. Look for the Pack to bounce back and for Dr. Phil in DC very soon.
Dallas Cowboys (-2.5) at Kansas City Chiefs
The Cowboys had six takeaways in their victory against the Giants. But consider this, they gave up 450 passing yards, only won by 5 points, and have injuries to Romo and Dez Bryant. On the other sideline, the Chiefs took it to the Jags on the road in week one. The Old Man smells another upset as the upstart Chiefs take their second of the year.
Minnesota Vikings (+6.5) at Chicago Bears
The Old Man thought Adrian Peterson might rush for 2,000 yards in this game alone as he broke his first one for 78 yards. However the Lions held him to 15 rushing yards the rest of the game. Meanwhile my Chicago Bears came back and defeated a very solid Bengals team at home. My take on this one, the Bears D line will be better and they’ll force Ponder to beat them, which he won’t. The Bears start off 2 and 0.
New Orleans Saints (-3) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
How’s that song go about New York? If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere? Well the Bucs didn’t make it there and they won’t make it at home this week either. Saints and Drew Brees have a big day. Tampa could be in for a very long season.
Detroit Lions (-1) at Arizona Cardinals
If you’ve followed the Old Man over the years you know I can never predict the Arizona Cardinals correctly, and I missed again in week one. The Lions looked pretty darn good against the Vikings and the Cards lost a tough one to St. Louis on the road. Tough one here, but I think the Lions are the better team for this day.
Jacksonville Jaguars (+6) at Oakland Raiders
Okay, perhaps the worst offense in the league doesn’t belong to the Raiders, it might belong to their next opponent the Jags, who were only able to muster 2 points against the Chiefs. Look for Terrelle Pryor to run for 150 yards or more as the Raiders win against the Jags.
Denver Broncos (-5) at New York Giants
It’s Manning e Manning as Peyton and his high powered Broncos offense take on “Eli and the Amazing Technicolor Turnover Machine.” Okay, maybe the joke didn’t work, but Peyton and company will. I don’t think the Giants D is healthy enough to stop the multiple Bronco threats. Look for Peyton and company to put up at least 40 in this one as they roll.
San Francisco 49ers (+3) at Seattle Seahawks – Sunday Night
A great Sunday night match up as two of the top NFC teams battle it out in the great Northwest. The Old Man was very impressed with Kapernick and company last Sunday and not so impressed with Russell Wilson. Both QB’s are in their sophomore season and Wilson seems to be suffering the “sophomore slump.” I think the 49ers have more weapons and are sharper out of the gate. 49ers win.
Pittsburgh Steelers (+7) at Cincinnati Bengals – Monday Night
Outside of Troy Polamalu’s exceptional timed blitz/sack, the Old Man really didn’t see anything from the Pittsburgh Steelers that made him take notice. The Bengals, on the other hand, did a very good job of keeping Andy Dalton safe against the vaulted Bears pass rush and he made several connections with wide receiver AJ Green. Look for a lot of passing by the Bengals as they win their home opener.
That’s it for this week. Take it to the bank!