Ace Picks: Week 2

DeMarco-Murray-Eagles-221x300If you’re in a Pick’Em league then you know how difficult it is to pick every single game every week, especially in week 1 because week 1 is as uncertain as you can get when it comes to football. The preseason stats might look appealing, but there’s a reason these games count and those didn’t. I try not to think too much when picking that first week because I can overthink then, and the results were good.

I picked these teams as winners in week 1:

New England
Green Bay
NY Jets
Kansas City
Miami
Arizona
Tennessee
Denver
Cincinnati
San Francisco

As usual in the first week, though, there were some dud selections, like Indy, Jacksonville, Philadelphia, the Giants, Detroit, and Seattle. The Giants and Eagles had sufficient chances to win at the end, but failed, and the Seahawks took the Rams to overtime before losing. That’s the breaks in Pick’Em. But just like with fantasy football there is another week ahead, so which teams should you pick in week 2?

SUNDAY GAMES

Atlanta @ NY GIANTS – Atlanta did everything at the end of that Monday Night game to try and hand it over to the Eagles, but they hung on for a 2-point win instead. But now they go on the road @ a Giants team that *did* give away their game last week against the Cowboys in Big D. The Giants will get it together in this one and won’t let it slip away against an Atlanta defense that was exposed against the Eagles in the second half last week. Pick: GIANTS.

New England @ BUFFALO – Don’t look now but the Bills are for real. Yes, the Patriots took out the Steelers on the opening Thursday night, but that defense is a mere shadow of its former self, and this Bills defense… is for real. They pressured Andrew Luck into getting out of rhythm and they will do the same against Tom Brady. Divisional rivalries are always tough games to pick, but I don’t see a letdown from the Bills defense, which will blanket Gronk and Edelman all night and dare the New England running game to beat them. It won’t. Pick: BUFFALO.

ARIZONA @ Chicago – Absolutely nothing from last week makes me feel that the Bears are ready for a defense like the Cardinals have, or for their defense to stop Carson Palmer, even in Chicago. Pick: ARIZONA.

San Diego @ CINCINNATI – The Bengals traditionally play better in September under Marvin Lewis, and they started off the season with a lights out victory on the road last week. They will keep it going here in a game that will be close, but that will be decided by Jeremy Hill late. Pick: CINCINNATI.

TENNESSEE @ Cleveland – I’m a Mariota believer, and I have been since the Titans picked him 2nd in the draft, so it didn’t surprise me what he did last week. It wasn’t a fluke, and even though this is his second game on the road he will make it feel like home. Bishop Sankey will also do well against a porous Browns defense. Pick: TENNESSEE.

Detroit @ MINNESOTA – Nothing about the Lions tells me they can take care of business when it matters most. Building a huge lead and then letting it slip away — not to mention costly Stafford interceptions — is a sign that this team isn’t ready or built to win right now, especially not on the road against an angry AP. Pick: MINNESOTA.

ST. LOUIS @ Washington – The Redskins are a mess, and St. Louis is coming off a great win against Seattle. This might be a recipe for a letdown from the Rams, but I don’t think it is. I think it was just a sign of things to come. Rams will win this one big as Cousins will turn over the ball more than once. Pick: ST. LOUIS.

Tampa Bay @ NEW ORLEANS – Okay, I’m sold on the Saints doing well enough to win here. I’m not sold on the blowout other experts are expecting. Something just isn’t right about this New Orleans team, even now, even at home, and until they show me they can sustain a level of play, I’m not trusting them. But it’s Tampa Bay. Pick: NEW ORLEANS.

SAN FRANCISCO @ Pittsburgh – I’m not saying this is the same 49ers team that went to the Super Bowl a few years ago, but this isn’t the mess everyone made them out to be before the season began. They showed some real chops on both sides of the ball against the Vikings last week, and it carries over here against a poor Steelers D that is still missing Le’Veon Bell and Martavis Bryant. Pick: 49ers.

HOUSTON @ Carolina – For me this really is a tossup because both teams didn’t play well last week. If the Panthers had been playing anyone besides Jacksonville I don’t think they win (you know, unless it was Oakland). Houston is starting Mallett in this one, and he has something to play for, so they take a close one on the road. Pick: HOUSTON.

BALTIMORE @ Oakland – It’s Oakland. No. Really. Pick: BALTIMORE.

MIAMI @ Jacksonville – Let me get this out, and then I’m done. Miami disappointed me big time last week, even with the win. They need to play better than that to beat anyone but the Redskins (you know, unless it’s Oakland). But this is Jacksonville, and even though their defense is playing better they won’t be able to keep up with a resurgent Tannehill. Pick: MIAMI.

Dallas @ PHILADELPHIA – Speaking of angry teams, this Eagles team was one missed field goal away from coming into this one tied with the Cowboys. Speaking of angry players, DeMarco Murray was held to 9 yards rushing in the opener, and this is his former team. Revenge time. Eagles get after the Bryant-less Romo early and often. Pick: EAGLES.

Seattle @ GREEN BAY – I really want to pick the Seahawks to take this one, but I honestly don’t see any way they do, not with the defense I saw last week in St. Louis. But Green Bay’s defense is not playing well right now either, so this could be a shootout. I pick Aaron Rodgers in a shootout. At home. Every time. Pick: GREEN BAY.

MONDAY NIGHT

NY JETS @ Indianapolis – The week is capped off by what should be a good one from Indianapolis. The Colts just don’t ever lose two in a row, do they? Last year the only time they lost two in a row was at the very beginning of the season, dropping games to the Broncos and the Eagles, two high-flying offenses (at the time). Do the Jets have what it takes to drop them in an 0-2 hole? I think they do, because they have a very good defense, and they just saw the blueprint to take care of business from the Bills. It will be the close, but I see the Jets taking a close one at the end and going to an improbable 2-0. Pick: NY JETS.

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