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Survivor Pool Analysis – Week 2

I’ve always believed the toughest week to predict in the season is Week 2. You look at the point spread and you think you know a team and then the complete opposite happens. Or you start telling yourself that there is no way Pittsburgh will start 0-2. You don’t see the Cincinnati Bengals going 2-0. The Giants have to rebound at home, right?

Plenty of big favorites in Week 2, but which teams are for real? Check out my full game-by-game analysis and selections.



SUNDAY AFTERNOON


Jacksonville Jaguars @ New York Jets
– The Jets open their season with a second straight home game and as a 10-point favorite to 1-0 Jacksonville. New York should play better than they did on opening night and win this game, but I like the Jaguars to cover the number.

Chicago Bears @ New Orleans Saints
– The Saints will look to avoid starting 0-2 and they will take on a Bears team that still doesn’t seem to get much credit. Chicago, a home underdog on opening day, is a seven-point dog in New Orleans. I like the Saints to rebound and pick up a win at home.



Kansas City Chiefs @ Detroit Lions

– All of the hype in the preseason was on the Lions and they came through in Week 1 with a good road win. The opposite was the case for the Chiefs and it continued into the regular season. However, with Week 2 always being unpredictable, I am going to pass on this game. It does look like the Chiefs have come down from their playoff season a year ago, but I will give it one more week.


Oakland Raiders @ Buffalo Bills
– The Raiders picked up a road win in Denver while the Bills destroyed the Kansas City Chiefs in Arrowhead. You have to give Buffalo credit for that road win, but you have to wonder what type of year Kansas City is in for. Pass on this game, but the winner will be 2-0, which will be strange to see due to their struggles over the past few years.


Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Minnesota Vikings
– Tough game to call so I would look elsewhere. If I had to choose, I would go with Tampa Bay.


Arizona Cardinals @ Washington Redskins
– Speaking of struggles, the Redskins overcame their six-game losing streak to the New York Giants and looked like a decent team. They showed that last year on opening day against the Dallas Cowboys, so only time will tell if they are a mirage or not. Despite Arizona coming from west to east, I am going to pass on this game as well.


Green Bay Packers @ Carolina Panthers
– I would prefer to go with home teams and there should be other opportunities to take the Packers this season.


Baltimore Ravens @ Tennessee Titans
– The line continues to get higher on this game as it has climbed from 3.5 to now six in some places. The Ravens are favored on the road and they should be, but one thing concerns me in this game. Baltimore spent all their time in the offseason preparing for this game against Pittsburgh. It was a game they had to win in which they put a lot of emotion into. Now, the Ravens travel to Tennessee to face the Titans in their home opener. You have to expect Chris Johnson to get the ball more in this one as well. I like Tennessee with those six points and will look elsewhere in survivor.


Seattle Seahawks @ Pittsburgh Steelers
– Pittsburgh will rebound and pick up a win against Seattle. The line is more than two touchdowns, which is a lot of points, but with straight-up survivor pick’ems, they are Week 2’s top selection.


Cleveland Browns @ Indianapolis Colts
– The Colts are a home underdog. That statement is shocking enough, but when you add that the 0-1 Browns are the favorite, it’s even more mind-boggling. However, that is what a Peyton Manning neck injury will do. I’m torn on this game since Cleveland let the Bengals beat them at home.


Dallas Cowboys @ San Francisco 49ers
– The old rivalry is renewed as the Cowboys enter San Francisco after they fumbled the game away in New York. I don’t trust Alex Smith, but you cannot trust Tony Romo in key spots. I think the 49ers will find a way to win this game at home. Don’t take a chance in survivor, though.


Houston Texans @ Miami Dolphins
– Another point spread that is less than a field goal so I would stay away from this game.


San Diego Chargers @ New England Patriots
– Hold off on New England until they play a mediocre team.


Cincinnati Bengals @ Denver Broncos
– The Broncos are a risky Week 2 pick, but I do not see Cincinnati winning two straight road games to start the season. The one thing that holds me back about taking a chance on Denver is Tim Tebow. If Kyle Orton gets off to a slow start, the fans will begin the “We want Tebow” chants. A lot of pressure will be on Orton in this game and you have to wonder how he will respond.



SUNDAY NIGHT


Philadelphia Eagles @ Atlanta Falcons
– Atlanta is coming off a poor performance in Chicago, but now they return home to take on the favored Eagles. Green Bay shredded Atlanta last postseason in the dome, but Matt Ryan’s record at home cannot be disputed. I like Atlanta to win at home.



MONDAY NIGHT


St. Louis Rams @ New York Giants
– The injury list goes on for both of these 0-1 teams. I would pass on this game since the Giants have a few questions with arguably the two most explosive players on their team on each side of the ball in Justin Tuck and Hakeem Nicks.


SELECTIONS

There are several heavily favored teams in Week 2, but my top pick would be
PITTSBURGH. If you would rather look elsewhere, go with the
NEW YORK JETS. If you want to take a risk this early in the season, roll the dice with
DENVER, but Pittsburgh and New York are your main two options this week.

Teams to avoid: I would wait on
DETROIT one more week and pass on
RAVENS after they put everything into that game against Pittsburgh and now go on the road.

Hold off on the Packers until they’re home and wait until New England faces a lesser opponent.

Good luck in Week 2!

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