Pigskin Pick’em: Week 2 begins

  • By Nolan Rose
  • Wednesday, September 16, 2015 9:42pm
  • Sports

The opening week of the NFL season is always a bit of a head scratcher. Vegas has had months to prepare lines, the mystery of how new acquisitions will perform, new coaches, etc… It’s a bit like throwing darts at the dart board, only you’re drunk, and just did 100 consecutive triple sow-cows, after an unfortunate encounter with Tonya Harding.

We did learn that siding with the Oakland Raiders is still, all these years later, an incredibly stupid idea, the Jacksonville Jaguars should continue buying stock in paper bag companies, and that the Cleveland Browns have the worst uniforms in the history of the NFL. When you watch the Browns, all you can think of is a dingy outhouse in the middle of a pumpkin patch. The outhouse, coincidentally, also resembles their play.

Despite the confusion the column managed to post an 8-7-1 mark. We can only hope to do better in week two.

Denver Broncos @ KANSAS CITY CHIEFS -3

Great Thursday night matchup to kick off the week! The Chiefs impressed in their road opener against the Houston Texans. Tight end Travis Kelce looks like a dominant force and Jeremy Maclin should assist the passing game. For the first time since last season Peyton Manning looked old. What’s the over/under on how far Manning can throw a football, 30 yards? I might take the under. The Broncos looked shaky in an opening week win over Baltimore. The offensive line and Gary Kubiak’s scheme need more time to gel. Chiefs win 26-17

HOUSTON TEXANS @ Carolina Panthers -3

For reasons unknown the Texans started Brian Hoyer at quarterback over the youthful, cannon-armed, Ryan Mallett. Hoyer couldn’t cut it with the Cleveland Browns a year ago, so the Texans decided he would be a great fit for them! Can you believe NFL Execs get paid millions of dollars to come up with brilliant ideas like that? Expect Mallett to start this week. An injury riddled Carolina team got by the Jacksonville Jaggy-wires. J.J. Watt and company will provide a stiffer challenge. Texans win 24-16

San Francisco 49ers @ PITTSBURGH STEELERS -5.5

The 49ers, to my surprise, won their opener over the Minnesota Vikings. I don’t want to give the whiners too much credit though, both teams committed a comedy of errors. Really, the biggest disappointment was watching Colin Kaepernick bounce right back up after the massive hit he took from Harrison Smith near the sideline. Kaepernick can’t throw a football, but he’s definitely a tough dude. Pittsburgh has had 10 days to prepare for this one and the Steelers are stinging from a “weird” night in New England. Both these teams leave week two at 1-1. Steelers win 31-21

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS @ New Orleans Saints -11

The Prince of Prognostication believes the Bucs are a terrible football team, but they can’t possibly be 28 points worse than the Tennessee Large Persons, can they? Jameis Winston struggled mightily in his professional debut. The rookie passers first attempt was intercepted and returned for a touchdown. Somebody give Winston a high-five! The Saints will win, and win easily, but a garbage time score will give Tampa Bay a backdoor cover. Saints win 31-21

DETROIT LIONS @ Minnesota Vikings -2.5

Nordic peoples predating real life Vikings drank a concoction called “Grog”. Grog was mix of barley, honey, cranberries, lingonberries, various herbs and grape wine imported from Greece and Rome. Needless to say Grog was a very potent beverage. The modern day football Vikings looked like they had drank too much Grog the night before their miserable opening day loss in San Francisco. There’s nothing worse than a Grog hangover. I expect the Vikings to be in bed before curfew this Saturday, but it won’t be enough against their rival Detroit Lions. Lions 24-21

ARIZONA CARDINALS @ Chicago Bears -2.5

Anytime you can side with Jay Cutler’s opponent for less than a field goal you just do it. Don’t think about it, don’t mull it over, just take the other side! Cutler is awful in the most beautiful sense of the word. NFL talent evaluators love to talk about how well Cutler can “spin it”. Unfortunately, when the ball doesn’t stop spinning until the opposing team catches it, it’s a problem. Even the Clarion’s own resident Bears fan, Joey Klecka, surely has had enough. Desert Bats win 33-19

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS @ Rex Ryan Bills even

Bill Belichick owns Rex Ryan. For years Buffalo’s head man, then with the New York Jets, chided Belichick and the Patriots. Ryan would constantly provide bulletin board material, which the Patriots would use as ammunition to down the Jets. Nothing’s changed in Buffalo. As good as the Bills looked week one against the Indianapolis Colts, they’ll look that bad against New England. Don’t buy the Tyrod Taylor hype. That guy can’t win games in the NFL. Patriots win 23-13

SAN DIEGO CHARGERS @ Cincinnati Bengals -3

The Red Rocket made me look silly with an adequate performance against in the Oakland Raiders last week, but I’m still not convinced Andy Dalton is good at football. The Bengals defense will face a much stiffer challenge this week matching up against Philip Rivers and the Lighting Bolt attack. If the Chargers can jump out to an early lead, forcing Dalton and the Bengals to play from behind, the Red Rocket will run out of fuel. Chargers win 26-24

TENNESSEE TITANS @ Cleveland Browns even

Marcus MAR-ee-OH-tah was spectacular in his NFL debut last week against the Triple-A Tampa Bay Bucs. Is there a single reason to suspect the rookie passer will fare worse against the Double-A Browns? Mariota had a more difficult time against the Stanford Cardinal. Cleveland is terrible. We already discussed their pumpkin patch uniforms. Browns Quarterback Johnny Manziel has thrown the football to the other team so often, he developed tendinitis in his turnover elbow. Titans win 31-17

ATLANTA FALCONS @ New York Giants -2.5

I’m not siding with the road team as much as I’m fading the home team. The New York Giants just seem to invent new ways of losing every week. With a narrow lead late in the 4th quarter in Dallas, Eli Manning refused to snap the ball at the end of the play clock, had no clue how many timeouts the Cowboys had, told his running back not to score a touchdown on the goal line, when said score would have put them up 10 with under two minutes remaining. That’s also known as an advantageous position. Manning also mysteriously chucked the football out of bounds stopping the clock on third down, when falling down in the fetal position would have been the superior play. The Giants should win this game, but they won’t. Falcons win 31-28

St. Louis Rams @ WASHINGTON REDSKINS +3.5

The Lambs deserve credit for their week 1 win over the NFC Champion Seattle Seahawks, but in typical St. Louis fashion they’ll lose a game they should win this week. Ram fans know not to get too excited, St. Louis beats Seattle every year. They did last year, they did this year, its one game! It doesn’t matter. The Native Americans are a debacle but the money here says they get the job done at home. Redskins win 28-21

MIAMI DOLPHINS @ Jacksonville Jaguars +7

I made the stunning mistake of siding with the Jaggy-wires a week ago, breaking one of the ten gambling commandments, “Thou shall not bet on Jacksonville!” Miami’s run defense was gashed last week in Washington, but Jacksonville doesn’t have the ability to take advantage of an opponent’s weakness. Jacksonville’s Quarterback Blake Bortles will throw at least two interceptions, it’s written in his contract. Dolphins win 28-14

Baltimore Ravens @ OAKLAND RAIDERS +7

I’m nothing if not stubborn. I know I just said that siding with the Oakland Raiders is an incredibly stupid idea. Here’s to stupid ideas! The Raiders lost both their starting safeties last Sunday, they can’t stop the run, or score points on offense, making them the clear play in this spot. Something is amiss in Baltimore. The Ravens looked terrible against an above-average Denver Broncos defense. Things should be easier for the Nevermore’s this Sunday, but a late touchdown gives the home side an exhilarating cover. Ravens win 23-20

Dallas Cowboys @ PHILADELPHIA EAGLES -5

Tony Romo was brilliant last week propelling the Cowboys and my fantasy team to a thrilling victory, but Dallas will be without star wideout Dez Bryant in Philly. Bryant broke his foot in the opener, and the Cowboys did nothing to show that the run game would be fine without the departed Demarco Murray. Murray was a non factor for his new team, the Philadelphia Eagles. You can count on Eagles guru Chip Kelly making a point to get Murray involved this Sunday. The Eagles played well in the second half of their opening contest, expect that momentum to carry over into their first home game. Eagles win 31-20

Seattle Seahawks @ GREEN BAY PACKERS -4

Week 1 was a bit of shock for Seahawk fans. Losing to St. Louis wasn’t all that surprising. The Seahawks always lose in St. Louis, but the way they lost was a bit disconcerting. Seattle led 31-24 with a few minutes left. We have the Legion of Boom defense, this game is over! Wait, Kam Chancellor’s replacement literally fell down leaving a Ram wide open for the game-tying score? Our beloved kicker whiffed on the overtime kickoff giving the ball to the Rams at midfield? Marshawn Lynch was stuffed on 4th and one on the ensuing possession to lose the game? Let’s just call it an unsettling start to the year. This is a huge anti-jinx play that will surely make the Clarion’s Jeff Helminiak happy! Packers win big 35-13

NEW YORK JETS @ Indianapolis Colts -7.5

J-E-T-S Jets, Jets, Jets! Fireman Ed is back spurring on Airplane faithful and suddenly Gang Green is playing inspired football? Coincidence? I don’t think so! The Colts were surprisingly awful against the Buffalo Bills in their opener. Indy should perform better on offense at home, but unless the Colts defensive line gains 30 pounds a man they’ll have trouble stopping the Jets run game. A heavy dose of New York’s battering ram Chris Ivory will keep the clock churning and the score close late into the contest. Colts win 24-20

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