The Falcons scored a whopping three points in losing to the Vikings last week. And that's what happens when Joey Harrington is your QB. But this team's problems extend far beyond the quarterback position. They couldn't manage to gain 100 yards on the ground. Their defense couldn't stop the run, allowing over 100 yards to a rookie running back after Minnesota's starting RB left with an injury. Their defense recorded zero sacks, while their offensive line allowed six. It's gonna be a lo-o-o-ong season in Atlanta. The Jaguars managed to lose at home last week to the Titans. Their running game was anemic, and their defense gave up 282 rushing yards. Meanwhile, QB David Garrard was actually competent. Last Sunday must have been "opposite day" in Jacksonville. I think things will turn around (in all departments... ) this week.
RJ's Pick - Jacksonville by 13
San Francisco (1-0) @ Saint Louis (0-1) - 1:00 PM [Sheridan's Line - Rams by 3]
San Fran beat the Cardinals on Monday night. QB Alex Smith struggled, completing less than 50% of his passes, with zero TDs. RB Frank Gore scored a TD, but gained only 55 yards on the ground in 18 attempts, which is just barely over three yards per carry. The Rams lost at home to Carolina last week. Their battered offensive line suffered yet another blow when tackle Orlando Pace went down with a season-ending arm injury. (Guard Todd Steussie is also out for the year due to an injury suffered in the pre-season.) We already knew the Rams were basically a team without a defense, but now they don't have an offensive line either. That's going to make it much more difficult for QB Marc Bulger and RB Steven Jackson to put up big numbers. I'm going with the underdog here.
RJ's Pick - San Fran by 2
Minnesota (1-0) @ Detroit (1-0) - 4:05 PM [Sheridan's Line - Lions by 3½]
Minnesota completely dominated Atlanta last week, winning 24-3. RB Chester Taylor was injured in the first quarter of that game, and may not be able to play this week against the Lions. But it might not matter, if rookie RB Adrian Peterson continues to play like he did against the Falcons, where he rushed for 103 yards on 19 carries. The Vikings defense put up great numbers on Sunday, but they were playing against an awful offense. This week they face Detroit, whose offense looked terrific in a win against the Raiders in Week One. QB Jon Kitna completed 75% of his passes, and threw for nearly 300 yards and three TDs (although he did throw two INTs). New addition RB Tatum Bell rushed for almost 100 yards and a TD. Rookie WR Calvin Johnson has made an immediate impact by catching four passes for 70 yards and a TD in his NFL debut. If Detroit's offensive line can buy enough time for Kitna in the pocket, the Lions shouldn't have too much trouble finding the endzone.