Prior to an always interesting Week 1 in the NFL, the staff turned in some mediocre picks. Matt Shelter led the way, going 11-4 with the rest of the staff right behind him at 10-5.
No one in the NFL picks 100 percent of the games right week after week, but I would expect our picks in Week 2 to be slightly more on track.
Kansas City @ Buffalo
Both teams’ defenses gave up big numbers a week ago to the Falcons and Jets respectively. The difference is the return of Tamba Hali, Brandon Flowers and Kendrick Lewis for the Chiefs will make a difference for their team. C.J. Spiller will have to play big again for Buffalo to win it.
Bills: Shetler, Gajtka, Weiss
Cleveland @ Cincinnati
Don’t look down on the Bengals just yet. Remember the Steelers were crushed in the opening week a year ago in Baltimore: not an easy place to play Week 1. Brandon Weeden had a lower passer rating than his professional baseball ERA in Week 1. Trent Richardson will be looking to get close to the 100-yard rushing mark for the season after only having 39 yards in the opener.
Bengals: Harding, Shetler, Gajtka, Weiss
Minnesota @ Indianapolis
Andrew Luck will make his home debut after throwing for over 300 yards in his first career start, but throwing 3 INTs in the process. Adrian Peterson showed his ACL is as good as he said running for 84 yards on only 17 carries. Dwight Freeney is questionable for the game and that’s the biggest factor.
Vikings: Harding, Shetler
Colts: Gajtka, Weiss
Oakland @ Miami
Darren McFadden was bottled up for only 32 yards last week, while Carson Palmer threw for 297 yards and 1 TD. Ryan Tannehill threw for 219 yards and 3 INTs in his debut against a stingy Houston defense. Oakland’s defense and ball control will be the difference.
Raiders: Shetler, Harding, Gajtka, Weiss
Arizona @ New England
The Patriots defensive draft picks showed their value early this season after a strip sacked turned into a TD. Tom Brady is Tom Brady. The Cardinals were forced to turn to Kevin Kolb maybe sooner than expected as John Skelton suffered an ankle injury.
Patriots: Shetler, Harding, Gajtka, Weiss
Tampa Bay @ NY Giants
New head coach Greg Schiano’s emphasis on the run game proved vital for the Bucs’ opening day victory against the Panthers. Doug Martin had 95 yards on the ground while Josh Freeman was efficient in the air. Don’t let the Giants opening loss to Dallas fool you. Their defense will be hungry this week and may get Prince Amukamara back in action.
Giants: Harding, Shetler, Gajtka
Baltimore @ Philadelphia
The Ravens offense played with a chip on their shoulder to hammer the Bengals. Maybe Joe Flacco is still trying to prove his elite-ness as he was 21 for 29 for 299 yards. Ray Rice averaged 6.8 yards per carry and Ed Reed found the end zone on yet another INT return. Philly fans are already ranting for rookie Nick Foles to get some action after a solid preseason. Eagles also just listed Jackson and Maclin as questionable.
Ravens: Harding, Shetler, Weiss
New Orleans @ Carolina
Both teams enter this game coming off a loss after many predicted wins for them. Both quarterbacks threw for over 300 yards, but also had 2 INTs last week. The Saints were penalized 107 yards last week and were only 2 for 11 on third down. Maybe RG III exposed some weaknesses that Cam Newton can exploit, but money would still be on Drew Brees turning it around quickly.
Saints: Harding, Shetler, Gajtka, Weiss
Houston @ Jacksonville
The Texans put on a small display in their season opener for a 30-10 rout of the Dolphins. Schaub was efficient and Arian Foster has 2 td’s on the day. It is apparent that Blaine Gabbert made strides in the offseason, but his true test will be against this Houston defense.
Texans: Shetler, Harding, Gajtka, Weiss
Washington @ St. Louis
The Redskins have a new found hope with Robert Griffin III at the helm. He led the Skins to a 40-32 win over the Saints with over 360 yards of total offense and a 73 percent completion rate. Sam Bradford has been on the slower track for the Rams who are looking to avoid going 0-2 for the fifth consecutive season.
Redskins: Shetler, Harding, Weiss
Dallas @ Seattle
The Cowboys shocked many people by going into New York last week and stunning the Super Bowl Champion Giants. Don’t let anyone tell you differently: if Tony Romo stays healthy he is a gem under center. Russell Wilson needs to find a way to get the ball to the end zone and lead his team to more discipline. The Seahawks committed 13 penalties in the opener, after setting a franchise record 138 penalties a year ago.
Cowboys: Shetler, Harding, Weiss
NY Jets @ Pittsburgh
The Pittsburgh Steelers will need to bounce back after a tough loss in the opener in Denver. The Jets on the other hand will try to keep their high-powered offense rolling. Injuries may plague both teams as Troy Polamalu and James Harrison are questionable for the Steelers, while Darrelle Revis is listed as out for the Jets. Pittsburgh is 9-0 since 2003 in home openers.
Steelers: Shetler, Harding, Gajtka, Weiss
Tennessee @ San Diego
How tough are the Chargers if Philip Rivers doesn’t turn the ball over? Even with Ryan Mathews out a week ago Rivers completed nearly 73 percent of his passes for 231 yards and 1 TD. The Titans offense seems to be in complete disarray. Unsure of which quarterback will be under center after Jake Locker was injured in the opener, Chris Johnson still only had four yards on 11 carries.
Chargers: Shetler, Harding, Gajtka, Weiss
Detroit @ San Francisco
The Niners defense will be tested again in Week 2 after only giving up 22 points in the win against Green Bay last week. Alex Smith looked very good, completing 20 of 26 passes for 211 yards and two TDs. The Lions are coming off a close 27-23 victory against the Rams where Stafford threw for 355 yards, one TD and three INTs. Expect an exciting game – remember the coach’s hand shake after last year’s game?
Niners: Shetler, Harding, Weiss
Denver @ Atlanta
Peyton Manning returned to the league with a big 31-19 win over Pittsburgh, looking like he never missed a beat. He was 19 for 26 with 253 yards and two TDs. His counterpart, Matt Ryan was 23 for 31 with 299 yards and 3 TDs last week in a 40-24 win against the Chiefs. This will be a good chance to look at Atlanta’s defense early this season.
Falcons: Shetler, Gajtka
Broncos: Harding, Weiss