Pete’s Picks: A Guide to Week 2 of the NFL

 

Week one is in the books, and it didn’t disappoint… unless you’re a Browns fan. Time to analyze what the Hell just happened. 

 

Buccaneers @ Panthers – Panthers

I went out on a limb and took the Bucs as a darkhorse at home last week; what a dire mistake. The 9ers looked solid on the road and gave Tampa the work. The defense and offense do not look good as of now. Tampa may put up a little fight because they always seem to step it up against their division rivals, but the Panthers will not entertain that on Thursday night.

The Panthers defense let up 30 points against the Rams, but I suspect it had a lot to do with first-game jitters and the fact that they were playing the Rams. CMC is playing out of his mind and will for the rest of his career, he is an every-down powerhouse and I truly believe he will have another MVP caliber year. I expect both the defense and CAM to have bounce-back games in Charlotte, Cam did not look himself week 1 and he’ll show out to quiet his doubters in the primetime. 

 

Cardinals @ Ravens – Ravens

LAMAR. JACKSON. NEW ERA 8. GOOD LORD. This man is for real, and is the future of the quarterback position. Defense in the NFL is an art form, and more important every year. In a game where defensive players become increasingly elite season, mobility at the quarterback positions importance increases as well, and this man is the king of scramble. Get this man some eggs, they’ll be mashed by Monday. Lamar is not messing around anymore, and this week he gets to do it in front of the Baltimore faithful. Hollywood Brown and Andrews look like perfect targets for Lamar in the scramble, deep threat and the check down, and Mark Ingram played lights out like I said he would.

The defense is playing like a true Ravens defense, forcing turnovers and only allowing 10 on the road while the Ravens put up 59. I knew they would have a field day in at Hard Rock, but 59?! The Ravens look good. Granted, the Dolphins defense is in the midst of a big struggle, but Baltimore took advantage beautifully. Kyler Murray played nicely and showed many streaks of greatness, especially leading his team to a comeback tie highlighted by a sideline bomb catch from Fitz.

We all saw the throw, on the money, perfection. Arizona defense didn’t play stellar, but they still impressed me against a tough Detroit passing attack. The Cardinals have a lot of potential this season and for years to come, but until further notice, I’m as high as you can get on the Ravens. Lamar and company put on a show at M&T this weekend. 

 

Cowboys @ Redskins – Cowboys

Did the Cowboys actually fire on all cylinders and function towards the greater good as a unit?

Yes, yes they did. The Redskins came out hot in Philly, thanks to an unbelievable touchdown catch and run by my man Vernon Davis, big S/O. Shortly after this, they went right back to being the Washington Redskins and doing Redskin-type things. I don’t have much to say about the Skins this week, refer back to last weeks (start Haskins.) The cowboys, on the other hand, looked like America’s franchise that has 5 Lombardi’s.

These receivers are absolutely icy, to say the least, Cobb was a phenomenal off-season snag for the slot. Amari and Gallup are far too crafty for no safety help, and Cobb could have a huge season. Amari and Gallup are textbook deep threats. Paying Zeke will always turn out well, now it’s time to pay Dak. Dak has faced some of the most biased one-sided criticism of any young quarterback I’ve ever seen, and I for one will not tolerate it.

I feel it’s only because he was so perfect at Mississippi State, but nobody likes to note the incredible throws this man has stared down in his NFL career. This is the backfield that could win Dallas a 6th Super Bowl. The Dallas Cowboys are no longer building, they are built. The defense is elite. Barring injury, the Cowboys have no excuse. 

 

Colts @ Titans – Titans

First things first, I owe a massive apology for using the term “stagnant” to describe the Tennessee Titans. The Titans executed four perfect quarters of football, in a certain wild Dawg Pound as well so they get bonus points. Defensively the Titans played top tier, and they looked very promising on offense as well; Mariota was unconscious. Mike Vrabel is a great fit for them, and if they continue to play like this they could make a run at a division that’s consistently up for grabs.

The Colts showed flashes of genius in their comeback, (Malik Hooker COME ON NOW), Jacoby is ready to go and take on an unexpected 2019 campaign under center. Both of these teams showed promise in week one, but I can’t go against the Titans again hereafter they shut me up quickly last week. When Derrick Henry is playing his best, he might be the most intimidating person you could try and tackle.  

 

Seahawks @ Steelers – Steelers

This game sounds so fun to me. Seeing this matchup brings back memories of Shaun Alexander and Hines Ward tearing it up in the Super Bowl, the good ole days, to say the least. ANYWAYS Seahawks looked real nice week one on offense. On defense, they allowed the Bengals to put up a wild day of passing offense, which surprised me, but A.J. Green’s absence does put the spotlight of opportunity directly on these receivers, and they stepped up. D.K. Metcalf came out and quieted some doubters right away, showing us the transition to the NFL might not be a challenge for him.

When talking about anomalies of athleticism and pure skill, this guy is the complete package, and having him on just one of my fantasy teams is not enough. Chris Carson played his brand of hard nose smash mouth, and it’s hard for me to go against them, but the Steelers just got smacked by the Pats on opening Sunday night, and this is a team and staff that historically, bounces back. Seattle and Pittsburgh are without a doubt two of the most challenging places to get a win, and the home-field advantage sways to Pittsburgh this time.

If Seattle’s secondary plays like they did last week, expect JuJu to have himself a day.  

 

Bills @ Giants – Giants 

G-MENNNNNN. Yes, the Giants got SHMACKED. Yes the Bills won a close, nailbiter of defensive battle of the sophomore QB’s, but I’m all on the Giants train at the meadowlands this weekend, Bills won’t win there two weeks in a row. Eli is at the end of the road in New York, maybe Daniel Jones can gel with the rest of these skill players at some point because even without OBJ I see potential in the Giants.

Saquon and Evan Engram look like top dogs at their positions, and I’ll say it: my man Sterl Shep is about to have a big year. Sterling’s been waiting for this opportunity, and he’s gonna run with it, especially with Golden Tate still out. I’m also a huge fan of Cody Latimer and Bennie Fowler, as they balled out in Denver and helped Peyton win us SB50. I think the Giants take this one, but the Bills took it from me last week, but I’m gonna bet against them once more, just to stir the pot a little. 

 

49ers @ Bengals – Bengals 

Bengals impressed everyone monumentally last week, and John Ross reminded us what he’s capable of. 49ers looked like a dominant threat, but this one could sway either way based off of their performances last weekend. The 49ers defense is clicking, and they have playoff talent on both sides of the ball, but the Bengals impressed me a strange amount last week.

I knew the 9ers could go into Tampa and play that way, I did not know the Bengals could go into Seattle and play that way. Bengals lost a winnable game, and once I think these receivers take this opportunity and run with it in front of Who Dey Nation. If the defense can focus on Kittle without giving Jimmy G. too many options elsewhere, the Bengals could win in Cincy. 

 

Chargers @ Lions – Lions

Week one was thrilling for both the Chargers and Lions, and technically both teams are undefeated. The chargers defense was somewhat exposed against the colts, showing many areas that still need improvement. Danny Amendola looks like a great replacement for Golden Tate so far, and Stafford still slings that ball the length of the field every other play. Seriously though; when you think of Stafford if you visualize anything other than a hail mary-type bomb thrown directly vertical straight into the heavens to who knows where you’re lying to me; dude literally just chucks it.

The Detroit receivers always seem to have extreme speed and agility, giving them the ability to hone in on all these Stafford UFOs. The Lions passing attack is silent but deadly, year after year. Endless high scoring shootouts. Kerryon Johnson is ANGRY after his game last week too, believe that. He should have multiple breakout runs this week, the Cardinals really did a great job of containing him. Lions rant over, I see the Chargers being great all year but will face nothing short of an uphill battle in Detroit.

Chargers entirely have the talent to win and are the better football team, but with injuries and a close call against Indy, I think Stafford goes off for his first win of the year at Ford. 

 

Vikings @ Packers – Vikings 

As bad as I want to say the Packers take this easy at Lambeau, I gotta go against my gut because the Vikings just looked too damn good. We all know how Rodgers plays at home, but the Packers always have very interesting divisional matchups. It’s still September, so Green Bay isn’t quite frozen over yet, which is very convenient for the dome residing Vikes.

The Vikes strong secondary just has to play like glue on these receivers (DeVontae Adams). The Vikings are going to keep giving it to Dalvin, he’s playing at peak. The Vikings don’t even need to pass if he continues to play at this rate, but when they do they’ll have some of the most consistent hands, so the Vikings shouldn’t face too much trouble on offense this year, that is, if Kirk can play like he did at Michigan State. Kirks got the ability inside of him, it’s all about his confidence as the franchise quarterback going forward in Minnesota.

The Vikings are another team that is built to be heavy contenders now, it’s just all about fitting the puzzle pieces together. I’m excited to see the chemistry of this Vikings team in rival territory on Sunday. 

 

Jaguars @ Texans – Texans

The division rivalries are a good time this week. The Jags are coming off of a tough, tough loss at home, but a lot would say the Texans loss was a whole lot tougher. The Texans almost went into New Orleans on opening Monday night and beat a very frustrated and incredible Saints team, in fact, it’s a miracle for Sean Payton and co. One less clutch Drew Brees throw and no record-breaking last-second Lutz kick, and the Texans would have turned heads their entire way home.

The Texans played a phenomenal game of football, and Deshaun Watson probably just got a whole lot hungrier. Deshaun Watson can do incredible things on a football field, and the world is his oyster if he can stay healthy. His weapons are all there, locked and loaded in the arsenal.

Gardner Minchu came in after a heartbreaking Nick Foles collarbone injury ended what was his first real start in a Jags uni, but Gardner filled the spot exceptionally against an elite Chiefs squad. Leonard Fournette can be absolutely legendary if he can hold onto the football. I’m interested to see what happens with the Jags in the Minchu-lead offense, but red hot rival Houston is probably the last team the Jags should want to play this way – especially in H town. 

 

Patriots @ Dolphins – Patriots 

 

Yeah, you know the drill. 

 

Chiefs @ Raiders – Chiefs

(AP Photo/Perry Knotts)

Raiders looked horrifyingly good. Seriously, it made me sick. In a very, very desolate, downhearted night as a Denver fan, it did give me some light seeing Gruden’s massive smile jogging to the fans to celebrate his 100th win (just wish it was the Raiders). Carr was on the money, very reminiscent of 2016, 12-4 record Derek Carr, which people seem very quick to forget.

Josh Jacobs and Darren Waller are both going to be incredible, and I’m not excited for it over here in the mile high. Alas, we move onto the bigger thorn in our Bronco butt, and that’s the Kansas City Chiefs. Big injury to Tyreek, but Sammy Watkins and the receiving core stepped it up huge last week anyways, Mecole Hardman should give them that same deep downfield threat with his insane speed. Long story short, Chiefs really haven’t lost a step, they’re top tier elite, and it’s all because of young man Mahomes.

If Mahomes doesn’t bring Chief Andy a ring, nobody will. 

 

Saints @ Rams – Saints

Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

New Orleans saw this one on their schedule and started licking their chops. Week two, the wound is still fresh. The Saints are and have been locked in on a Super Bowl for a long time, and I’m confident that Super Bowl would’ve gone a WHOLE LOT DIFFERENT had Drew Brees been on the other side of the field. Nothing against Goff and the Rams, they’re incredibly established and could easily make another Super Bowl run, but the offense clearly didn’t have the experience of confidence to go against the dynasty that is the New England Patriots.

Make no mistake here, I still know the Rams will come out the gates firing and ready to go against the Saints, but I’d think the revenge factor and a very sour taste in their mouths should give NOLA the advantage here. Back judge, down judge, side judge; DUMB judge.

Those idiots lost Drew Brees a chance at another Super Bowl and a TRUE fan of the games standout heroes will never forgive that. Neither will Drew. WHO DAT in LA.

 

Bears @ Broncos – Broncos

(Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)

Vic Fangio in his first-ever home game against his old system, easy money. We’ve always rocked navy and orange better anyway.  

On a real note — If we can get the same pressure the Packers did on opening night, this is our game. Not a lot of positives came out of Monday night, clearly, but the Joe Flacco – Courtland Sutton connection looks very promising… I know this man Courtland is going to break out at some point, and when he does there will be no turning back. You’ve been warned.

 

Eagles @ Falcons – Falcons

Well damn, this is a hard pick. Eagles lit up the second half against the Skins for a wild home win, while the Falcons efforts were too little and too late in Minnesota. DeSean Jackson always goes all-in against his ex teams, but that looked like rookie D Jax, he’s back. The primetime game, the matchup of some NFC dirty birds, I will only lean Falcons because I know how wild the dome gets in primetime.

Julio and Calvin Ridley could be on another level of “impossible to guard”, Sanu continues to be a consistent option, Hooper has iron giant potential, and I still believe Devonta Freeman still has a good amount of gas left in his tank. Matty Ice can still toss the rock, but I’ve always thought he plays in his own head far too often.

This game could go either way, I feel the Eagles are the better overall team at this point, but NBC in Atlanta will bring them a whole new energy from what they showed last weekend. I’m sticking with the Falcs for SNF.  

 

Browns @ Jets – Browns

Browns shocked us all Sunday as we all know the ceiling is sky-high (great film, btw) in Cleveland. My thoughts? Yes, they looked very bad, but I 100% believe it was that weird week one twilight zone we see every single year, where teams we thought were totally ready, aren’t at all? Yeah, that was Sunday for Baker. He didn’t look like himself, which is a good thing for Cleveland going forward, because when he does look like himself, he’s an excellent QB1. Yeah, it looked real shaky; doesn’t change the fact that they have one of the most intimidating and talented teams in the NFL right now. Jets lost a close one, even after their defense forced four turnovers, a safety, and only allowed 17 total points.

To me that screams one thing, and that’s an offense that cannot help their defense, plain and simple. With the new Sam Darnold mono news, I expect Trevor Siemian playing at the same sub-par level he did in Denver.

The Browns defense is still very talented, they just have to find their rhythm. This game will be a huge challenge for them right away though, as they face another very sound defense, especially on the road on Monday Night Football.

 

 

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