I missed making predictions for Week 1, but I’m not about to let that happen again. We’re still trying to figure out which teams are the real contenders and which ones are the pretenders, but after some tough games in Week 2, we’ll probably have at least some idea. For my Week 2 Power Rankings, click here. Also, to check out Joshua Huffman’s awesome 2010 NFL Pick ‘Em Contest, click here.
Here are my predictions for Week 2 of the 2010 NFL season:
Arizona Cardinals (1-0) at Atlanta Falcons (0-1)
The post-Kurt Warner era in Arizona started off with an extremely close win over a rebuilding Rams team. The Falcons, meanwhile, were not able to take advantage of facing a Roethlisbergerless Steelers squad and dropped their first game in overtime. Talent wise, the Falcons are the superior team, and desperately need a win going into their Week 3 matchup with the defending champion Saints. Look for Matt Ryan to decimate the Cardinals’ secondary and for Derek Anderson to look like the Derek Anderson we got to know in Cleveland: A QB who occasionally looks good, but often looks completely lost on the NFL field.
2010 Week 2 Prediction: Atlanta Falcons defeat Arizona Cardinals
Baltimore Ravens (1-0) at Cincinnati Bengals (0-1)
The Ravens’ offense looked bad against a good Jets defense. The Bengals’ offense looked bad against a good Patriots offense. The Ravens’ defense took advantage of the fact that Mark Sanchez is a sub-par NFL QB. The Bengals’ defense…well, I’m not sure their defense even made it to the field against the Patriots. The Ravens may have been disappointing in Week 1, but it was nothing compared to the lackluster performance that Cincy put up against New England. I’m looking for Baltimore to shut down Carson Palmer and his Traveling Circus and put up at least twice as many points as they did against the Jets.
2010 Week 2 Prediction: Baltimore Ravens defeat Cincinnati Bengals
Kansas City Chiefs (1-0) at Cleveland Browns (0-1)
Kansas City pulled off a stunning upset of San Diego in Week 1. They still probably aren’t going to make the playoffs, but at least they showed that they’re going to put up a fight and might only be a year or two away from being a legitimate playoff threat again. The Browns, meanwhile, are so ridiculously awful that I wouldn’t be surprised to see them at 0-16 at season’s end. Which means I expect to utter words that still sound strange: Kansas City Chiefs start season 2-0.
2010 Week 2 Prediction: Kansas City Chiefs defeat Cleveland Browns
Chicago Bears (1-0) at Dallas Cowboys (0-1) **Upset Special**
The Bears were lucky to win against the Detroit Lions in Week 1. The Cowboys, meanwhile, looked sloppy, undisciplined, and at times just plain awful against the Washington Redskins. It seems somewhat unfathomable to pick Jay Cutler to win against a team that, on paper, seems superior, but that’s what I’m going to do. The Cowboys are in complete disarray, and star linebacker DeMarcus Ware might not be able to play. That’s what makes this week’s Bears/Cowboys matchup my Upset Special of the week.
2010 Week 2 Prediction: Chicago Bears defeat Dallas Cowboys
Philadelphia Eagles (0-1) at Detroit Lions (0-1)
It doesn’t matter whether it’s Kevin Kolb or Michael Vick starting for Philly on Sunday. There’s no way the Eagles lose to a Lions team missing their best player (Matt Stafford). Philadelphia may not be a great team right now, but the Lions are just plain bad, and without Stafford they have almost no chance of beating any team other than maybe the Cleveland Browns.
2010 Week 2 Prediction: Philadelphia Eagles defeat Detroit Lions
Buffalo Bills (0-1) at Green Bay Packers (1-0)
The Packers did not look great in their win against Philadelphia, but they got the job done. It’s difficult to see MVP-hopeful Aaron Rodgers having another two-interception performance against the Bills. This game may be closer than expected due to Green Bay getting used to the absence of running back Ryan Grant, but the Packers aren’t going to lose at Lambeau against a team like Buffalo.
2010 Week 2 Prediction: Green Bay Packers defeat Buffalo Bills
Pittsburgh Steelers (1-0) at Tennessee Titans (1-0)
I know the Titans’ impressive Week 1 victory was over the lowly Raiders, but the way they completely dominated Oakland in every facet of the game was impressive. The Steelers, meanwhile, didn’t look great on offense, although their defense was able to keep them in the game long enough to pull off the overtime victory over Atlanta. It’s hard to see the Steelers keeping their momentum going while relying on Dennis Dixon at quarterback. I think this game could easily turn into a second-straight blowout victory for the Tennessee Titans.
2010 Week 2 Prediction: Tennessee Titans defeat Pittsburgh Steelers
Miami Dolphins (1-0) at Minnesota Vikings (0-1)
I doubt the Dolphins are as bad as the team that barely beat the Buffalo Bills in Week 1. The Vikings, meanwhile, aren’t nearly as good as the team that made the NFC Championship game in 2009. Expect some sloppy play and at least one interception from Brett Favre, but also expect the Vikings defense and rushing attack to let them come out of this game with a close victory.
2010 Week 2 Prediction: Minnesota Vikings defeat Miami Dolphins
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-0) at Carolina Panthers (0-1)
The Bucs picked up a close victory against a terrible Browns team. The Panthers, meanwhile, were completely unable to capitalize on some sloppy play from the New York Giants. Neither team looked in-sync in Week 1, and that will most likely continue into Week 2. The deciding factor is this game: Matt Moore’s concussion in Week 1’s drubbing against the Giants. Overall the Panthers have a slight edge over the Bucs, but Moore either isn’t going to play on Sunday or he’s going to still be recovering from his injury. Josh Freeman and the Bucs should be able to take advantage of the injury and pull off the win.
2010 Week 2 Prediction: Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeat Carolina Panthers
Seattle Seahawks (1-0) at Denver Broncos (0-1)
Pete Carroll’s Seahawks were expected to struggle in his first year as head coach. Instead, they obliterated the San Francisco 49ers and now get to face a Broncos team that obviously hasn’t figured out quite what it wants to do with Tim Tebow yet. The Seahawks might struggle adjusting to the altitude in Denver, but they should be able to win against a soft Broncos team.
2010 Week 2 Prediction: Seattle Seahawks defeat Denver Broncos
St. Louis Rams (0-1) at Oakland Raiders (0-1)
Sam Bradford looked as expected in Week 1 against Arizona. He made some good plays and flashed some of the promise that made him the top pick in the NFL draft, but also struggled in his first game against an NFL defense. Fortunately for the Rams, they get to face the Oakland Raiders, who were absolutely crushed by the Titans and look like the only team without a shot in the wide open AFC West. This seems like one of the most likely games to see Sam Bradford’s first NFL victory.
2010 Week 2 Prediction: St. Louis Rams defeat Oakland Raiders
New England Patriots (1-0) at New York Jets (0-1)
The Jets were unable to back up all their big talk in Week 1, falling to the Ravens. The Jets offense may have been the worst in the entire league, and the only positive thing I can say about Mark Sanchez’s performance is that at least he didn’t throw any interceptions. Look for that to change in Week 2, as the Jets face off against a Patriots team that came into Week 1 hungry to prove to everyone that they were still legitimate Super Bowl Contenders. This game won’t be pretty, and the Jets might have to look forward to a season filled with a lot more “hard knocks” than anticipated.
2010 Week 2 Prediction: New England Patriots defeat New York Jets
Jacksonville Jaguars (1-0) at San Diego Chargers (0-1)
David Garrard and the Jaguars looked better than expected in Week 1, making very few mistakes in Week 1’s victory over Denver. The Chargers, meanwhile, struggled playing in the rain against Kansas City, and ultimately lost because of extremely sloppy play and an inability to come through when it mattered late in the fourth quarter. A return to sunny San Diego should help the Chargers hold onto the ball better, although they’re still looking for answers as to how to replace LaDanian Tomlinson at running back and Vincent Jackson at wide receiver. It’ll be a close game, but the Chargers should play better in nicer weather and defeat the Jaguars.
2010 Week 2 Prediction: San Diego Chargers defeat Jacksonville Jaguars
Houston Texans (1-0) at Washington Redskins (1-0)
The Texans stunned the defending AFC Champion Colts in Week 1. Not only did they win against the Colts, but it wasn’t even that close. Running back Arian Foster ran right over the Colts defense, and the Redskins probably won’t fare much better. The ‘Skins didn’t look great in Week 1, but they were able to pull out the victory against the Cowboys. Donovan McNabb and company won’t roll-over and let the Texans dominate them, but I just don’t think they have the weapons to combat a Texans team looking for its first ever playoff berth.
2010 Week 2 Prediction: Houston Texans defeat Washington Redskins
New York Giants (1-0) at Indianapolis Colts (0-1)
Both Peyton Manning and younger brother Eli Manning threw for three touchdowns in Week 1. Eli threw three interceptions, Peyton threw none. The Giants crushed the Carolina Panthers, the Colts got smashed by the Houston Texans. The Colts still look strong on offense, but their defense was unable to do anything against the Texans’ rushing attack. The Giants don’t quite have the rushing game that the Texans did, but Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs aren’t exactly pushovers. It won’t be a blowout, but I expect Peyton to come out and prove that he…I mean the Colts are still Super Bowl contenders.
2010 Week 2 Prediction: Indianapolis Colts defeat New York Giants
Monday Night Game: New Orleans Saints (1-0) at San Francisco 49ers (0-1)
The Defending Champs didn’t look sharp against the Vikings, but the 49ers looked absolutely horrible against the Seahawks. Really horrible. So horrible that the players are already starting to talk about how they aren’t on the same wavelength as the offensive coordinator. The Saints should have no trouble dismantling a mediocre team that is made even worse by internal strife. Anything less than a double digit victory by New Orleans should be considered a coup for San Fran.
2010 Week 2 Prediction: New Orleans Saints defeat San Francisco 49ers
All stats and standings from espn.com