AFC Editor Matt Loede’s NFL Picks For Week Two

Last Week: 10-6
Season: 10-6

Oakland at Buffalo – The Bills surprised everyone with a great showing against the Chiefs on the road, and will need that type of effort against the Raiders. Oakland can run, and will against the Bills, and if the Raiders can keep it close, they will eventually pull out a win with their run game and a play and kick down the stretch from Sebastian Janikowski. Look for a good game between two up and coming teams in the AFC that will come down to the end. Oakland 27 Buffalo 24

Kansas City at Detroit – Detroit won a key early game in Tampa last week to gain some early confidence, and not with Matt Stafford playing in his first home game in what seems like forever, they come home for the Chiefs. Last week the Chiefs couldn’t get their run game going against the Bills, and it won’t be easy this week against that solid Lions D line. Look for Stafford and the Lions to pick on the Chiefs secondary without Eric Berry, and the Lions to be 2-0. Detroit 31 Kansas City 17

Chicago at New Orleans – The Bears beat up the Falcons in a week one win, and want to come out and play the same physical game against the Saints. Won’t happen, as they may be without Brian Urlacher, and on the road in the dome the Saints pass game will get up and down the field. The question is – can the Bears offense exploit the Saints like the Packers did a week and a half ago? They can, but it won’t be enough to win in a shootout. New Orleans 29 Chicago 21

Cleveland at Indianapolis – Wow. The Colts without QB Peyton Manning laid a HUGE egg in Houston last week, and now will come home against a Browns team that lost at home late to the Bengals. Indy will need to protect Collins better, and use the run game more, as Cleveland showed against the Bengals they still can’t stop the run. Colt McCoy won’t have a ton of time to throw, and the Browns need to run Peyton Hillis more than they did a week ago. Look for the Colts to rebound against a Browns team still finding itself. Indianapolis 24 Cleveland 14

Tampa Bay at Minnesota – Last week the Vikings took a big step closer to having Christian Ponder under center, as Donovan McNabb was awful in San Diego. The Bucs won’t be nice either to McNabb, and Minnesota needs to run Adrian Peterson 20-25 times. The Bucs need to be more physical on offense, as they got away from that against the Lions. Look for the Bucs to make more plays in the passing game, and for the run game to have a better week as well. Tampa Bay 17 Minnesota 10

Green Bay at Carolina – Last week Cam Newton came out of nowhere to throw for over 400 yards, and the Panthers looked like a legit team again in the NFC. It won’t be so easy this week, as the big bad Super Bowl champs come to town, and they will look to confuse as well as pressure Newton into mistakes, something the Cards didn’t do in week one. It will be a challenge for Ron Rivera to get the Panthers D up to try and stop Aaron Rodgers and the Packers offense, and while this will stay close for a half, the Pack will pull away in the second half. Green Bay 34 Carolina 20

Seattle at Pittsburgh – The Steelers committed 7 turnovers and were awful in Baltimore last week, and won’t be so nice when Tarvaris Jackson and the Hawks take the field at Heinz this Sunday. Seattle was in the game till Ted Ginn ran back a kickoff and punt to put Seattle away, put this one will be a much tougher test on the road on the east coast. Look for the Steelers to play a much more mistake-free game, and force a couple mistakes from Jackson and the Hawks. Pittsburgh 27 Seattle 10

Baltimore at Tennessee – Last week Chris Johnson was basically a non-factor against the Jags, and this week he’s got the Ravens coming to town to again try and shut him down. Baltimore played a perfect game against the Steelers last week, and Joe Flacco was great against a tough Steelers D. Now on the road, he needs to have a similar effort to get out of LP Field with a win. The Titans need more from their offense, but the Ravens won’t allow it and get to 2-0. Baltimore 20 Tennessee 13

Arizona at Washington – Last week the Cards survived a great outing from Cam Newton, but got big plays down the stretch to get to 1-0. Kevin Kolb was solid in his debut for the Cards, and this week he will go against a Redskins D that held Eli Manning down in a win over the Giants. Rex Grossman has to be careful against the Cards secondary, and if they are going to get to 2-0, they need to be smart and run the ball with success as well. Look for this to go down to the wire. Arizona 20 Washington 17

Jacksonville at New York Jets – The Jets and Rex Ryan can thank Tony Romo for an awful pass in helping them get a win at home over the Cowboys last Sunday night. The Jags at home played a solid game in topping the Titans, as Luke McCown pulled off the game plan to perfection. This week they will need a huge game from MJD to get a win in the big apple, but look for the Jets D to get down to business, and force mistakes as the Jets get to 2-0. New York Jets 17 Jacksonville 10

Dallas at San Francisco – Why was anyone shocked to see Tony Romo throw a pick with the game on the line in New York? That’s been his MO over his career, and you could see a mistake coming a mile away. Now they head to San Fran, playing a 49ers team that has a little swagger after a huge win over the Hawks at home. The 49ers did it with special teams, but also will need to get more from Alex Smith and Frank Gore to beat the Cowboys. Dallas needs to pressure Smith, and if they can get a big game from Romo and Dez Bryant, they won’t need a big fourth quarter to beat the Niners. Dallas 27 San Francisco 14

Cincinnati at Denver – The Bengals shocked on the road last week, beating the Browns with some trickery and a great game clinching run to win 27-17. Now they head to Denver, as the Broncos are licking their wounds after an awful Monday night game. Can Kyle Orton and the Broncos run game get on track? Cincy’s defense did a nice job against Petyon Hillis and the Browns, and if they can force Orton to beat them, it could play in the Bengals hands. I think this could be a huge win for the Bengals, getting them to 2-0. Cincinnati 28 Denver 17

San Diego at New England – While there’s no way Tom Brady and the Pats can be as good against the Chargers as they were against the Dolphins last week, they will still be able to get points on the board against a Chargers team that had to rally to beat the Vikings. San Diego got a lot from Mike Tolbert on the ground, and they will need that again to win in New England. The Chargers rise up it seems like against the best in the AFC, but the Pats are on a mission early in the season. New England 31 San Diego 23

Houston at Miami – Who knows what to make of the Dolphins, a team that it looks like can score, but they just don’t have the horses across the board to win a lot of game IMO in 2011. The Texans see the writing on the wall, and know that the AFC South without Peyton Manning can be theirs. They can’t lay an egg in Miami, and with Matt Schaub and the return of Arian Foster, they won’t, scoring more than enough points to win. Houston 35 Miami 24

Philadelphia at Atlanta – Emotions will run high as Mike Vick returns home with the “Dream Team” against a Falcons team that needs a win after they were punched out against the Bears. Vick had a decent outing against the Rams, but many seem to think that eventually he’s going to get hurt, as the Eagles O-line is suspect. The Falcons will run Mike Turner, and Matt Ryan will rebound to have a better game. Look for the Falcons D to do enough to keep Vick in check, and a late turnover from their former QB to be the difference. Atlanta 24 Philadelphia 23

Monday:

St.Louis at New York Giants – The Rams need Steven Jackson, but without him the focus will be on Sam Bradford, and it won’t be easy for them to get it done in the big apple. The G-Men were shell shocked by the Redskins, and they made way too many mistakes to win on the road. Tom Coughlin will shore them up this week, and under the prime-time lights, the Giants D will stuff Bradford and the Rams run game enough to get a win. New York Giants 24 St.Louis 13


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