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Week 2 Predictions

Posted Sep 16, 2016

BBC Radio 5 Live's Mike Carlson makes his Week 2 predictions and will bring fans commentary on Sunday of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers game against the Arizona Cardinals.

Everybody watching jumps on bandwagons in week 2, makes crazy judgements and predictions based on scant evidence, and picks up undrafted rookie Jalen Richard for their fantasy teams and inserts him into the starting lineup based on one 70 yard run. It’s when Jimmy Garoppolo and Carson Wentz book their places in the Hall of Fame, Terrance Williams becomes greatest GOAT, and Jeff Fisher parlays a loss into a long-term contract with the Rams. One of those previous is actually true.

It’s when Kenny Stills proves that Einstein was right when he said insanity was to keep throwing deep to Stills and expecting him to catch it. It’s when Keenan Allen’s injury casts a shadow over the next 15 games for the Chargers, and where you wish Jason Verrett could play both ways. It’s when the Saints surrendered 35 points and lost arguably their best defensive player, CFL product Delvin Breaux, to a broken fibula (say two months out). Signing BW Webb, who I liked coming out of college but now joins his fourth team in four years, probably won’t plug that gap.

And as usual, it was unpredictable. We had ten road wins, six games decided by less than a field goal (four by one point, two by two) and one go to OT. And unlikely as it ever seemed I would write this, we had Jacks Or Better Jack Del Rio go for two down 34-33, and get the win to avoid OT against the Saints. To paraphrase Al Davis, just play to win baby.

SUNDAY

San Francisco (1-0) at Carolina (0-1): How do I love this pick? Let me count the ways: Gabbert vs a tough pass rush; Cam vs a suspect secondary; Niners on the red-eye to Charlotte. Pick: Panthers

Baltimore (1-0) at Cleveland (0-1): The Ravens know how to win ugly, the Browns know how to lose ugly, and the Browns will be going with the Best Available McCown at QB. This might well help them: McCown is a better fit for Hue Jackson, and remember he played well when the Browns won in Baltimore last year. The Brownsest play last week was the ‘fake’ punt where the punter lined up as a wingback and the snap went direct to Duke Johnson. Maybe they thought their punt team could out block the Eagles return team, I dunno. Look for a return to the Notre Dame Box formation this week, with Johnson throwing to Johnny Manziel….what? he’s not? This is not the sure thing people think, but still, pick: Ravens

Tennessee (0-1) at Detroit (1-0): If you have jumped to the conclusion that Mike Mularkey’s offense might flounder against Curly Lambeau style defenses you might be right. Meanwhile gool ol’ boy Jim Bob Cooter and Matt Stafford seem a nice fit. Go figure. But the Vikes’ offense didn’t win that game. Pick: Lions

Kansas City (1-0) at Houston (1-0): Kubiak (and Wade) Bowl! The Chiefs staged a tremendous comeback despite the Chargers harassing Alex Smith to within an inch of his game-managing life. Losing Allen hurt SD, but Spencer Ware out of the backfield proved an option the Chargers’ D couldn’t stop. Houston did much the same thing to Jay Cutler, but held on for the win, as Brock Osweiler delivered McCown quarterbacking. Pick: Chiefs

Miami (0-1) at New England (1-0): Kenny Still announced he was going to continue making anthem protests. This week, he’ll drop his helmet during the song. The NFL announced they were investigating to see whether Pats’ long-snapper Joe Cardona took the K-ball used on the Cardinals’ attempt at a winning field goal and filled it to 13.5psq with nitrous oxide. Pick: Pats

New Orleans (0-1) at New Jersey Giants (1-0): The Giants were gifted a win when Terrence Williams forgot to run out of bounds to stop the clock for the winning field goal kick. The Saints somehow blew a 24-10 lead established with a 98 yard Brees to Cooks TD, and with Breaux out will have a tough time stopping OBJ. Pick: Giants

LIVE on Sky Sports 2 at 6pm: Cincinnati (1-0) at Pittsburgh (1-0): AJ Green lit up Darrelle Revis for a monster game. Watching Justin Gilbert tape won’t keep him awake all night. But the Steelers are at home, played well at Historic Fedex Field, and ought to have the guns to hold off Green and Dalton. Pick: Steelers

Dallas (0-1) at Washington (0-1): You can lead Terrance Williams to the sidelines but you can’t make him think. At Historic Fedex Field Kirk ‘Kissin’ Cousins ought to have a good game second try, and Dak might have more troubles. Pick: Skins

LIVE on BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra: Tampa (1-0) at Arizona (0-1): All of a sudden this is a harder game to pick than it was last Saturday. Infamous Jameis threw four TD passes against the Falcons, and the Cards couldn’t solve a patchwork New England team. But these are the Cards, and their D ought to have answers for Winston; their O ought to be able to put together scores, though Tampa are likely to give them the same zone looks the Pats did. Pick: Cardinals

LIVE on Sky Sports 2 at 9:05pm: Seattle (1-0) at Los Angeles (0-1): On Hard Knocks, Jeff Fisher swore his team was not going to be a 7-9, 8-8 team again. I’m afraid he may have been right. Right now we still don’t know if Russell Wilson plays for Seattle or if they’ve spirited Clipboard Jesus into town. If they play Treyvon Boykin, it may be that Pete Carroll really does think he’s going against UCLA. Pick: Seattle

Indy (0-1) at Denver (1-0): Two on the trot at home and extra time to prepare? Someone up there must really like the Broncos. I’d worry about Trevor Siemian more if the Colts’ had a really strong D, but Kubiak’s system can win at altitude with that D against the Colts, unless Luck lights them up as he’s prone to do. Pick: Broncos

Atlanta (0-1) at Oakland (1-0): It is a tribute to how strange a world the NFL actually is that I am really looking at Oakland as the second-safest pick of the week. Pick: Raiders

YOUR Jacksonville Jaguars (0-1) at San Diego (0-1): The Chargers were up 24-3 over KC, but Keenan Allen injured his ACL, they handed the Chiefs some short fields, and forgot to cover the above-mentioned checkdowns to Spencer Ware. The Jags actually had chances to beat Green Bay at home, and I think they will have chances on the road, but it’s always tougher on the road. When Danny Woodhead is your leading rusher… pick: Chargers

SUNDAY NIGHT: Green Bay (1-0) at Minnesota (1-0): Mike Zimmer’s playing cagey with his starting QB choice. Shaun Hill did what Shaun Hill does, but it wasn’t the offense that led to win over the Titans, and it seems inevitable that Oklahoma teammates Sam Bradford and Adrian Peterson are reunited in the Vikings’ backfield. Dom Capers must be drawing up plans to make Bradford throw and get turnovers Hill didn’t provide the Titans. Pick: Pack

MONDAY NIGHT: Philadelphia (1-0) at Chicago (0-1): The knock on Carson Wentz was that at North Dakota State he played in FCS (1AA) where nothing prepared him to face teams as bad as the Browns. The Bears aren’t as bad as that, the Eagles and their rookie are on the road, and who knows how wide Jim Scwartz’s nine will stretch to pressure Jay Cutler. Pick: Bears

LAST WEEK: 11-5

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