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Guessing Winners In NFL Week Two

Mill Woods

Posted on September 13, 2018 16:27

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Some people like Fantasy Football; others like guessing who will beat the point spread. For me, it's excitement enough just to try to pick winners and losers; I call my picks 'educated guesses'. We certainly learned in Week One that no team is safe from an upset. Maybe we shouldn't even call them upsets; it's the National Parity League.

In my view, picking 10.5 out of 16 contests last week was quite an accomplishment.  The extreme parity in the NFL these days has turned so many matches into a coin toss that it is no longer surprising if I get less than half the winners correct.  No one that I know (or follow) gets close to all of 'em correct.

In Week One, we witnessed the Cleveland Browns as they nearly defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers.  One team went 0-16, while the other made the playoffs the last four seasons.  The Browns earned a tie, guaranteeing that they will not be 0-16 this year.

Last weekend's other big shocker was the Tampa Bay Buccaneers putting up 48 points down in New Orleans over the Saints.  Tampa already had an outstanding corps of receivers; they went to Ryan Fitzpatrick at QB because Jameis Winston is serving a three-game suspension.  

And it also looks like the Bucs' pass protection may have improved.  That, plus questionable defense by the Saints, turned the dome into a track meet: Fitzpatrick registered 417 passing yards, throwing three TD passes and running for another. Whew!

Are the Bucs about to have a major QB controversy?  We may well get an answer on Sunday when the Bucs host the Philadelphia Eagles.

Teams can be quickly revamped using free agency and the draft (young players are becoming NFL starters quicker than ever), and it appears that this off-season's quarterback shuffle has invigorated a half dozen teams.

On the other hand, the first week also showed how badly things can go when old lessons are not learned.  On Monday night, we saw Oakland Raiders QB Derek Carr and Detroit Lions QB Matt Stafford toss the ball a little too carelessly at times.  

Carr threw three interceptions, while Stafford gave up four, helping send their teams down to crushing defeats.  These are two quality teams that are likely to rebound, but their rocky start makes me question whether they are playoff material.

Looking ahead, one of the most important games this weekend features the Atlanta Falcons, who were edged by the Eagles last Thursday.  The Falcons need to have a big day against the powerful Carolina Panthers, who also made the playoffs.  

And, in another barn burner, the tough Jacksonville Jaguars host the New England Patriots in a rematch of the AFC Championship.

Here are all the weekend's festivities - and my picks.

1. Ravens at Bengals                    Bengals
2. Panthers at Falcons                   Falcons       The biggest NFC game
3. Colts at Redskins                      Redskins
4. Texans at Titans                       Titans
5. Eagles at Buccaneers                Buccaneers
6. Chiefs at Steelers                     Chiefs
7. Dolphins at Jets                        Dolphins
8. Chargers at Bills                       Chargers
9. Vikings at Packers                     Vikings       
10. Browns at Saints                     Saints
11. Lions at 49ers                         49ers
12. Cardinals at Rams                    Rams
13. Patriots at Jaguars                    Jaguars     The biggest AFC game
14. Raiders at Broncos                   Broncos
15. Giants at Cowboys                   Giants
16. Seahawks at Bears                   Bears

Enjoy!

Mill Woods

Posted on September 13, 2018 16:27

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