Here are my picks for the NFL’s Week Two:
*SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 18*
Kansas City (0-1) at Detroit (1-0) – 1:00 PM [Line: Lions by 8]
Last week the Lions won 27-20, on the road, against a team that went 10-6 last season. Meanwhile, the Chiefs lost 41-7, at home, against a team that went 4-12 last season. Kansas City also lost Pro Bowl safety Eric Berry for the season.
RJ’s Pick: Detroit by 13
Oakland (1-0) at Buffalo (1-0) – 1:00 PM [Line: Bills by 3]
Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick threw four touchdown passes last week in Buffalo’s win at Kansas City. Raiders running back Darren McFadden had 150 yards on 22 carries in Oakland’s win at Denver. The Raiders committed 15 penalties for 131 yards last week.
RJ’s Pick: Buffalo by 8
Tampa Bay (0-1) at Minnesota (0-1) – 1:00 PM [Line: Vikings by 3]
The Buccaneers managed just 56 yards rushing on 16 carries last week in their loss to Detroit. Only one of their 17 first downs came on a running play. The Vikings blew a 17-7 halftime lead against the Chargers last week, losing the game 24-17. Minnesota quarterback Donovan McNabb was embarrassingly bad, completing just 7 of 15 passes for 39 yards.
RJ’s Pick: Tampa Bay by 4
Chicago (1-0) at New Orleans (0-1) – 1:00 PM [Line: Saints by 6.5]
The Bears beat the Falcons last week, 30-12. Chicago RB Matt Forte gained 68 yards on the ground and also caught five passes for 90 yards and a TD. The Saints lost in a shootout to the Packers last week, 42-34. QB Drew Brees threw for 419 yards and three touchdowns in the loss.
RJ’s Pick: New Orleans by 3
Baltimore (1-0) at Tennessee (0-1) – 1:00 PM [Line: Ravens by 6]
The Ravens dismantled Pittsburgh last week, 35-7. Baltimore’s defense forced seven turnovers, and QB Joe Flacco threw three touchdown passes in the win. The Titans lost a close one, 16-14, at Jacksonville last week. Tennessee managed only 43 yards rushing on 13 attempts in the loss.
RJ’s Pick: Baltimore by 11
Cleveland (0-1) at Indianapolis (0-1) – 1:00 PM [Line: Browns by 2.5]
The Browns lost at home to division rival Cincinnati last week, 27-17. Cleveland RB Peyton Hillis had 57 rushing yards and caught six passes for 30 yards in a losing effort. The Peyton-less Colts got crushed 34-7 by division rival Houston last week. Manning’s replacement at quarterback, Kerry Collins, fumbled three times, losing two.
RJ’s Pick: Indianapolis by 3
Jacksonville (1-0) at New York Jets (1-0) – 1:00 PM [Line: Jets by 9]
Jaguars RB Maurice Jones-Drew ran for 97 yards and a touchdown last week in Jacksonville’s win over the Titans. The Jets scored the final 17 points of the game, all in the 4th quarter, in their 27-24 win against the Cowboys last week. QB Mark Sanchez threw for 335 yards and two scores.
RJ’s Pick: New York Jets by 5
Seattle (0-1) at Pittsburgh (0-1) – 1:00 PM [Line: Steelers by 14]
The Seahawks lost to the 49ers last week, 33-17. They allowed both a kickoff return for a TD and a punt return for a TD. Seattle gained just 64 yards on the ground on 22 attempts. Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger threw three interceptions and lost two fumbles in Pittsburgh’s 35-7 loss to Baltimore last week.
RJ’s Pick: Pittsburgh by 7
Arizona (1-0) at Washington (1-0) – 1:00 PM [Line: Redskins by 4]
The Cardinals beat Carolina 28-21 last week. Arizona RB Beanie Wells rushed for 90 yards and a TD on 18 carries. The Redskins beat the Giants 28-14 in Week One. Washington QB Rex Grossman looked excellent, throwing for 305 yards and two TDs with no interceptions in the win.
RJ’s Pick: Washington by 9
Green Bay (1-0) at Carolina (0-1) – 1:00 PM [Line: Packers by 9.5]
The Packers looked almost unstoppable offensively last week, scoring 42 points in their win against the Saints. Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers completed 27 of 35 passes for 312 yards, three touchdowns, and zero INTs. The Packers also gained over 100 yards on the ground. The Panthers lost to the Cardinals in Week One, 28-21. But rookie QB Cam Newton threw for 422 yards and two TDs in his NFL regular season debut. Panther WR Steve Smith had eight receptions for 178 yards and two scores in a losing effort.
RJ’s Pick: Green Bay by 15
Dallas (0-1) at San Francisco (1-0) – 4:05 PM [Line: Cowboys by 3]
The Cowboys lost a heartbreaker in Week One, falling to the Jets by a score of 27-24. Dallas TE Jason Witten caught six passes for 110 yards. The Cowboys were held to just 64 yards rushing on 26 attempts. The 49ers beat Seattle last week, thanks largely to Ted Ginn, who returned both a punt and a kickoff for touchdowns. San Francisco QB Alex Smith had a 75% completion percentage and ran for 22 yards and a score.
RJ’s Pick: Dallas by 6
San Diego (1-0) at New England (1-0) – 4:15 PM [Line: Patriots by 7]
The Patriots beat Miami in Week One by a score of 38-24. Tom Brady threw for an amazing 517 yards and four touchdowns. New England WR Wes Welker caught eight passes for 160 yards and two TDs, including a 99-yard touchdown reception. The Chargers had to come from behind to win last week against the Vikings. San Diego RB Mike Tolbert ran for 35 yards and a TD, and also caught nine passes for 58 yards and two scores.
RJ’s Pick: New England by 3
Houston (1-0) at Miami (0-1) – 4:15 PM [Line: Texans by 3]
The Texans crushed the Colts last week, 34-7. Houston RB Ben Tate rushed for 116 yard and a touchdown while WR Andre Johnson caught seven passes for 95 yards and a score. The Dolphins lost to New England last week in a high scoring affair. Miami QB Chad Henne threw for 416 yards and a TD and also ran for 59 yards and a score in a losing effort.
RJ’s Pick: Houston by 8
Cincinnati (1-0) at Denver (0-1) – 4:15 PM [Line: Broncos by 4]
The Bengals beat the Browns last week, 27-17. Cincinnati RB Cedric Benson gained 121 yards and scored a touchdown on 25 rushing attempts. Rookie QB Andy Dalton had to leave the game with an injury to his wrist, and is unlikely to play this week. Bruce Gradkowski would replace Dalton under center. The Broncos lost a close one to division rival Oakland in Week One. Fans were chanting for Tim Tebow to replace starting QB Kyle Orton, even though Orton threw for 304 yards and a touchdown. Of course, he also threw a pick and lost a fumble, and his completion percentage was barely above 50%.
RJ’s Pick: Broncos by 1
Philadelphia (1-0) at Atlanta (0-1) – 8:20 PM [Line: Eagles by 2.5]
The Eagles beat the Rams 31-13 in Week One. Philadelphia quarterback/convicted felon Michael Vick threw two touchdowns and had no interceptions, but completed just 14 of 32 passes. RB LeSean McCoy gained 122 yards on the ground, and scored two TDs (one rushing, one receiving). The Falcons lost badly to the Bears last week. Atlanta QB Matt Ryan threw for 319 yards, but no TDs and with one interception. RB Michael Turner looked great with 100 yards rushing on just 10 attempts, and also 40 receiving yards on three catches. Atlanta’s only touchdown came on a 4th quarter interception return by DE Kroy Biermann.
RJ’s Pick: Atlanta by 4
*MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 19*
St. Louis (0-1) at New York Giants (0-1) – 8:30 PM [Line: Giants by 4.5]
The Rams lost to the Eagles last week. QB Sam Bradford left the game with a finger injury, but he is expected to play this week. RB Cadillac Williams had 91 rushing yards and 49 receiving yards in the loss. The Giants lost to division rival Washington in Week One. QB Eli Manning was 18-for-32 passing with 268 yards, no TDs, and one interception. WR Hakeem Nicks made seven receptions for 122 yards, including a 68-yard catch.
RJ’s Pick: St. Louis by 2