Brimming with confidence from last week, Vinnie is staking his claim to five games once again. Some underdogs, one favored, but the theme of Week 2 is road teams.
Oakland Raiders @ Kansas City Chiefs (-3): Having watched every minute of the Oakland game several nights ago, Vinnie is sold on the AFC West being a division up for grabs. Now despite the Raiders/Chiefs rivalry being such that either team is capable of beating the other any given Sunday, no matter whose record is what, Vinnie’s not buying anything about Kansas City … yet. If the Chiefs defense manages to play, say, 10 times better this weekend than what the Ravens saw firsthand, maybe the home crowd at Arrowhead will have something to cheer about. Sure is hard for Vinnie to imagine that happening, though.
Gimme the Raiders plus the points.
Baltimore Ravens @ San Diego Chargers (-3.5): Baltimore’s running game is looking as good as ever, Joe Flacco is continuing what he started in his rookie season and the Ravens ferocious defense doesn’t appear to have lost much with the departure of Rex Ryan and Bart Scott. For San Diego, LaDainian Tomlinson is hurt yet again so help will need to come in the form of Philip Rivers and the Chargers passing game. Simply put, Vinnie’s going with the better defense.
Gimme the Ravens plus the points.
New Orleans Saints @ Philadelphia Eagles (Even): Obviously the Saints look like a really good team, in part, because the NFL schedule granted them a home opener against the rebuilding Lions. The Eagles were dominant last weekend as well, which they have Jake Delhomme and the lack of quarterback depth behind him to thank. Yes, Philly can be a brutal place to play, but Vinnie’s boiling this one down to Drew Brees versus Kevin Kolb. In that light, Vinnie has no problem taking the visiting Saints.
Gimme the Eagles.
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Chicago Bears (+3): This matchup of playoff-caliber teams loses some of its luster with defensive playmakers Troy Polamalu and Brian Urlacher out. As good a shot as Pittsburgh has to win any game at any time, Chicago has something it didn’t have a year ago – Jay Cutler. His physical attributes are on par with any quarterback in the league, but it’s his propensity to turn the ball over under pressure that sometimes winds up hurting his team. Enter Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau. Needless to say, Vinnie sees the Steelers covering the spread.
Gimme the Steelers minus the points.
St. Louis Rams @ Washington Redskins (-10): With the Redskins having to win by so many points, what it comes down to for Vinnie is, can Clinton Portis carry his team by enough to overwhelm whatever damage Steven Jackson can inflict? It would be easy to get caught up in the big names on Washington’s defense and decide this game will turn into a blowout. But that would be a mistake, according to Vinnie.
Gimme the Rams plus the points.