Cleveland @ Baltimore
The Browns didn't get blown out by the Steelers in Week 1 and the collective reaction from the nation was, "Hey, good for you!" Meanwhile the Ravens went to Cincinnati and shutout the Bengals 20-0, and the collective reaction from the nation was, "Ooh baby, don't be too nasty now!" It stands to reason that If Baltimore could go on the road and shut out the Bengals they should have no problem at home against the Browns. But as Winston Churchill once said, "Reason is the wisdom of fools. Now pass the mushy peas, because I'm on a diet, boo hoo! Merely kidding, it hasn't been that bad. Portion control is really the key." With that in mind I say Cleveland hangs around before fading late.
Chicago @ Tampa Bay
Mike Glennon is making his return to Tampa, and I can only imagine that the reaction of Bucs fans will be something along the lines of, "Oh hey Mike. Wait are you not our back-up QB anymore? You're the Bears' starter? Oh awesome! We're definitely gonna win now." Well the joke's on you Bucs fans, because Glennon was not terrible against Atlanta in Week 1. Though, he wasn't good enough to get the win either, so I guess you were right all along. You guys are pretty smart, and cool. Want to hang after this, er ...? Yeah just let me know later.
Minnesota @ Pittsburgh
Oh baby, this is an intriguing interconference match-up that has football fanatics salivating. Many were surprised and/or impressed with the Week 1 play of Sam Bradford and the Vikings' offense. I wasn't shocked, however, because they were playing at home against the Saints. If you're impressed by a team putting up stats in that scenario you'd probably also be impressed by someone bragging that they saw boobs at a strip club. Now, if they can pull off the same sort of performance in Pittsburgh I'll be impressed, and that's coming from a guy that's been to over two strip clubs in his life. So uh yeah, I guess you could say I know what I'm talking about here.
New England @ New Orleans
Oh baby, this is an intriguing interconference match-up that has football fanatics salivating. You may or may not remember that last week I suggested to the Patriots that it would be understandable if they stopped playing football. Well it took them until the second half of their opening night game, but it seems like they finally read my post. Now the question becomes, are they really calling it quits or will they rally behind some Belichick motto, win 12 or 13 games, and make it to at least another AFC Championship game? I agree, they're definitely going to just quit. That being said, I'll go ahead and pick them to win a wild one. A wet n' wild one? Ew no. Gross. Also, they're playing in a dome, so even if that was only referring to rain it would make no sense.
Philadelphia @ Kansas City
Oh baby, this is an intriguing interconference match-up that has football fanatics salivating. Both teams are coming off impressive road wins in Week 1, but only of them was against the defending Super Bowl champs. I think we both know which team that would be, so let's just go ahead and both say the name of that team on the count of three ... 1 ... 2 ... 3 ...
Well you didn't say anything either! Are you implying that I'm not 100% sure because I forgot to watch that game last Thursday due to the fact that I spent most of the night reading articles about how to impress your friends? Well you're wrong, they were about how to make friends. And it was only one article. I'm a slow reader! Anyway, I do know that Kansas City beat New England, and I expect them to completely replicate their offensive explosion from last week. Or maybe just come down to earth a bit while still getting a win.
Tennessee @ Jacksonville
For years I've been picking the Jaguars to be a sleeper playoff contender, and each time they fall spectacularly short of that. Well I finally learned my lesson this season and picked them to finish 6-10. They then promptly won their opener 29-7. Nice try Jags, you're not suckering me in. I don't care how impressive you looked, or that when I watched the game I couldn't help but feel proud, or that when it was over all I wanted to do was call you. No! I don't care about any of that. You've hurt me too many times in the past and I just can't trust you. Consequently, I have to pick Tennessee. I hope you understand Jags, we're both adults after all, I don't see any reason why this has to be contentious. But just know, I'll be watching and thinking of us.
Arizona @ Indianapolis
Both of these teams looked pretty lousy in Week 1. Well one looked lousy, while the other looked downright vomitacious. But let's get real, it's only Week 2, the shine hasn't worn off of the season to the point that you're not going to watch this game. C'mon, what else are you going to do, go out to eat with loved ones? If so, I just have to ask the question ... Can I come? I'll get one of the cheaper entrees and only order water for a drink. Unless, of course, somebody else just gets water; at that point I feel like it wouldn't be an issue if I went ahead and ordered a beer. Big deal, right? What's an extra $5? Though, now that I look at the menu the lowest price for a beer is $7, and actually the one that I want is $9.50. Ya know what? Don't definitively say yes or no yet. We'll just cross that bridge ... I said DON'T definitively say ... Why are you being like this?
Buffalo @ Carolina
The Bills come into this game at 1-0 after beating the Jets in Week 1. The Panthers come into this game at 1-0 after beating the 49ers in Week 1. In other words, we have no idea if either of these teams are as good as their undefeated records may suggest. My gut and eyes tell me that Buffalo is the lesser of the two, but I suppose we'll find out soon enough. Speaking of my gut, this figures be a saucy match-up, considering we're dealing with two cities famous for sauces. Why not embrace this and slather the ball with hot sauce for Bills possessions and some slippery, vinegar BBQ sauce for the Panthers? Because that's a stupid, pointless idea? Yep.
New York Jets @ Raiders
Well this is finally it, the week it hits home that Chris Berman is no longer covering the NFL for ESPN. And why now? Because this Jets/Raiders game will most likely come and go without anyone making reference to the Heidi game. Are we better off? Yes. But does that mean I'm glad I don't have to hear that tired old routine once again? Also yes. The Raiders looked solid last week, while the Jets looked a little more viscous. This is a game so easy to call that a young girl in the Swiss Alps could figure it out.
Miami @ Los Angeles Chargers
It's finally time for Jay Cutler's first start as a Dolphin and I couldn't think of a better spot for it than in front of 27,000 screaming(?) fans at the StubHub Center. He'll feel like he's back at Vanderbilt ... or at least a version in which Vanderbilt Stadium is 13,000 seats smaller. The thing is though, the ticket supply at StubHub still outweighs the demand from Los Angeles Chargers fans. People in LA do not care. There's more buzz generated by a beach ball being bounced around the bleachers in Dodger Stadium. So who will show up to these games? Here's my guess at the breakdown: 60% visitors' fans, 30% Charger fans, and 10% confused folks who don't understand why this Galaxy game costs so much. That being said, the Chargers were sometimes outnumbered in Qualcomm too, so it's nothing new for them. With a probably more bored than usual Jay Cutler at the helm for the Dolphins I expect the "home" team to get the win.
San Francisco @ Seattle
The Seahawks only put up 9 points last week in what was a very disappointing effort. At the same time though, the 49ers only put up 3 points last week, so it could be worse. If the Seattle o-line can keep the San Fran sack rate under 25% the Hawks should have a good shot. If it's around 10% it should be a blow out.
Washington @ Los Angeles Rams
The Rams absolutely thrashed the Colts in Week 1, leaving us to wonder, was that a symptom of facing weak competition or is this Los Angeles team a force to be reckoned with? Well it's the Rams, so I'll say the same thing I say to all of these climate change conspiracy theorists, with my arms crossed and a knowing smirk on my face, "I'll believe it when I see it." And if it takes me bubbling to death while I gasp for air a la the end of Total Recall, then so be it; at that point I'll admit that you were right. So yeah, that's basically how I feel about the Rams. Doesn't mean they won't win this week though.
Dallas @ Denver
This is a bit of a tricky one to decipher, so I thought it would be a good choice for the Pickler Game of the Week. In case you don't remember from last week, Pickler is a football picking goblin who I turn to for advice on one game a week, and this is that game. When Pickler finally showed up to my home I asked him what he thought about this match-up. His response was, "Yum yum, eating garbage is fun!" He then plunged headlong into my trash bin. The whole thing shook violently as discarded paper towels and food stuffs flew in every direction. Eventually he emerged with a banana peel in his mouth, hopped out of the bin, and scampered for the door. Just as he left though, he shouted in his squeaky, shrill voice, "Take the Cowboys!" The whole incident was pretty perturbing, but at the same time I got what I asked for. The weirdest part though was that I haven't eaten a banana in months.
Green Bay @ Atlanta
It's an NFC title game rematch and the only man worthy of breaking it down is Sunday Night Football analyst Cris Collinsworth:
Thank you Cris.
Detroit @ New York Giants
Astute readers will recall that I picked the Giants to make the NFC Championship game this season. So was I discouraged during their dismal performance in a 19-3 loss to the Cowboys last Sunday night? No, because I didn't watch a lot of it. But what I did see wasn't great. That being said, I'm proud of the Giants for sticking it out until the game was over. A lesser team would have simply left the field, and gone down in history as the only team to ever do that. I expect the G Men to show the same aplomb on Monday when they lose again. But wait, you say, Matthew Stanford never beats winning teams on the road! Check the standings dingus, right now the Giants aren't a winning team.