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Mike’s Week 2 Picks

Because most of the things we do here at The Hour of Power are essentially a cheap knockoff of Bill Simmons’ Grantland, we thought we’d stick with the status quo and copy the Sports Guy’s weekly picks column, if for nothing else than to add easy content to the site (as you can tell, we’re not that creative).

(Home team in CAPS)

PACKERS over Bears

Green Bay’s defense may be a little under par at the moment, and the Bears finally have a weapon to exploit the Packers’ weak secondary (i.e. Brandon Marshall), but trusting Jay Cutler to not get sacked enough or minimize his mistakes enough to keep up with the Packers offense is a dicey proposition. And I’m pretty sure Chicago hasn’t won in Green Bay since Brett Favre was in diapers (or was it Depends?). 

Chiefs over BILLS

Let’s deem this the Hangover Matchup of the Week. Both teams are trying to recover from the drubbings they took in week 1. Matt Ryan torched the Chiefs defense for a league-high QBR while the Bills did the impossible and make Mark Sanchez look like a franchise QB, in spite of some idiot claiming the defense was going to be the Bills’ strong point. Given the equations Matt Cassel >= Mark Sanchez and Matt Ryan > Ryan Fitzpatrick, we should see the Chief’s defense recover a lot quicker than the Bills.

BENGALS over Browns

This one doesn’t really warrant explanation when you look at last week’s box score. Brandon Weeden did something only astronomers and Stephen Hawking deemed possible: making Blaine Gabbert look like a smart draft pick (in comparison). Weeden’s four picks combined with Trent Richardson’s battle to get healthy make Cleveland’s offense among the worst in the league. Meanwhile, the Bengals will be looking to get back on the right foot after the Ravens made them look like a JV squad.

COLTS over Vikings

Andrew Luck’s first home game against a team that needed a last-second field goal from a rookie kicker and overtime to beat the Gabbert-led Jaguars speaks for itself. Luck had a rough debut against the Bears on Soldier Field, but the Vikings don’t have nearly the defensive power that Chicago does, even with Jared Allen likely to lasso up a couple calves or two in this game. Look for Luck to notch his first (of presumably many) career wins.

Raiders over DOLPHINS

Oakland was three bad long snaps away from beating a superior San Diego team that, again, some idiot predicted to win the division. The Reggie McKenzie era has begun and looks promising for Raiders fans. For those who didn’t watch the game, the long snaps were made by their backup, not their Pro Bowl long snapper, Jon Condo. The Raiders will come into this game with a more experienced QB, a better all-around defense and the most talented player on either roster, Darren (Please Stay Healthy) McFadden. I don’t like Ryan Tannehill’s chances.

PATRIOTS over Cardinals

Back to the equations: Tom Brady >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Kevin Kolb/John Skelton.

GIANTS over Buccaneers

Is it too early for the Giants to be in “Everybody is counting us out” mode yet? If Tom Coughlin’s half as good as we think he is, I say the answer to the question is, in the words of Archer‘s Lane Kane, “Nooooooooooopppeee!” Plus, we can’t expect to see 2002 Ronde Barber instead of 2012 Ronde Barber like we did last week.

Ravens over EAGLES

This one screams of the classic overhype-disappointment game for the Ravens. Like last year, the Ravens started off hot by absolutely TORCHING the Steelers in Week 1, followed by an egg-laying performance against Tennessee, losing 26-13. My gut makes me weary of making this pick, but as much as I don’t trust the consistency of Baltimore, I trust Michael Vick’s accuracy against an Ed Reed-led Ravens’ D even less.

Saints over PANTHERS

Which team can come out in Week 2 and show that the opening weekend was a fluke? Can Cam Newton do his best “RGIII-doing-a-Cam-Newton-Impersonation” impersonation? Maybe, but I don’t expect Drew Brees’ completion percentage to be around 50% again, either. Jimmy Graham is projected to have a heyday and I can’t disagree with the forecast. Look for the Saints to get back on track.

Texans over JAGUARS

Duh…

Redskins over RAMS

St. Louis showed a lot of moxie in their opener against a vastly-superior Detroit team. However, their youth and inexperience, even under the grizzled mustache of Jeff Fisher, is too much to overcome against the Redskins and RGIII. Do you think it’s too early for him to take a page out of Prince’s book and just turn his name into a Superman logo with his initials in it?

Cowboys over SEAHAWKS

As a Cowboys fan, I was very weary of this game. Russel Wilson may very well explode onto the scene here, but I had to go with them, if for no other reason than DeMarcus Ware will likely be facing a backup tackle, hopefully resulting in forced throws into the Cowboys revamped secondary. The 12th Man will likely given Romo ‘Nam flashbacks, but a steady dose of DeMarco Murray and a solid defense should be enough for the ‘Boys to squeak out a victory.

STEELERS over Jets

Mark Sanchez is consistently inconsistent. Ryan Clark and James Harrison should be back. Ryan Fitzpatrick doesn’t play for the Steelers. Yeah, that should suffice.

CHARGERS over Titans

Titans showed hardly anything positive in the rollover against the Patriots last week and have a defense that Philip Rivers and Co. should be able to exploit early and often. They’ve also got a defense that held Darren McFadden to just over 2.0 yards per carry. Bottling up CJ.002K shouldn’t be that tough.

49ERS over Lions

I refuse to acknowledge the end-0f-game controversy and will instead mention that if Matthew Stafford threw three picks against the Rams, how is he going to fare against the defense that essentially bottled up the best QB on the planet? Add in that the Lions and Packers secondaries are equally ineffective and you have Alex Smith playing more mistake-free football (is there another way to describe a nice game by Alex Smith? I feel like “good” is too much).

FALCONS over Broncos

I just can’t see how the Broncos are going to cover Julio Jones, Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez while accounting for Michael Turner all at the same time. They simply don’t have the defensive personnel to do it. Their only hope is Peyton Manning running the slowest No-Huddle offense in history and draining the clock for all it’s worth.

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