Welcome back to week # 2 of NFL Gameday. Time to go over this week's games with some of my views and predictions. We'll go over all the key matchups and maybe an unexpected surprise or two. So enjoy your morning coffee, have the wife take the kids to the zoo (or anywhere that's at least a mile away from your computer and TV), and get ready for another Sunday of football.
Buffalo vs Green Bay
This is a matchup between one of the best teams in the NFL and one of the worst. Trent Edwards will struggle behind this offensive line with the Packers pass rush. Outside of Lee Evans, he doesn't have a strong receiving corps to get the ball to. CJ Spiller is an elite talent but can't create a hole in the O-line where there isn't one.
Clay Matthews should some damage to the Bills offensive line with his pass rush. Aaron Rodgers has such a vast array of receiving threats, that it is hard to imagine a scenario where he has another off week like he did against the Eagles. The Packers run game will struggle with Brandon Jackson filling in for the injured Ryan Grant but Rodgers should easily pick up the slack. The Bills D isn't as bad as most people think. They held a superior Dolphins offense to 15 points last week. With that being said, the Packers Win 31-10
Miami vs Minnesota
This game had a chance to be a "Water Cooler" game but I left it out as one of the top tier games, because of all the injuries. Favre is showing his rust and also how much he is missing his big, fast receiver, Sidney Rice. Percy Harvin is considered questionable for this game with a hip injury and Bernard Berrian acted in week 1, like he has no clue on how to catch a football. The 2 young corners for Miami, Sean Smith and Vontae Davis should look down the Vikings remaining healthy receivers. I expect Greg Camirrillo to be used sooner and more often in this game against his former team. Favre has become quickly comfortable with the newly acquired receiver. Visante Shiancoe should also play a significant role in this game, especially in the redzone, but Adrian Peterson will be the main focal point of the Vikings offense. There is a hole in the Dolphins defensive line because defensive end Jared Odrick is out for at least the next 6 weeks. Also, inside linebacker Bobby Carpenter will likely be filling in for the injured Channing Crowder. These are 2 areas that I would expect to see AP running at all game.
The Dolphins have a strong running game themselves with Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown but with the stout defensive line of the Vikings, expect Miami to see what Chad Henne is capable of doing this week. Antoine Winfield is talented but I don't know if he can lock down the much taller Brandon Marshall. With the injuries to the Vikings secondary, I expect Marshall to get over the top in this game for a long touchdown or 2. Asher Allen will be starting opposite of Winfield and could cause worry when facing off against Davone Bess. This one may come down to the wire. Dolphins Win 20-17
Kansas City vs Cleveland
The Chiefs are a team that I expect to win the AFC West. They have a lot of weapons but just need to get on the same page. This game could come down to special teams. You have Josh Cribbs the most electrifying return man against Dexter McCluster the new, up and coming return man. Chiefs fans are hoping that McCluster is the new Dante Hall for them. K.C. is hoping that Matt Cassel gets his passing game on track. This would be a good week for that to happen as it would open of the running game even more for Thomas Jones and Jamaal Charles. Charles is becoming one of the elite backs of the NFL and should have several big runs this week.
Jake Delhomme is doubtful to play this week so, expect Seneca Wallace to step in for him. Wallace has placed decent in the past when stepping in for an injured Matt Hasselback in Seattle but I don't believe he will be able take this team on his back. No against an Eric Berry led secondary. Peyton Hillis has been the surprise back of the preseason and week 1 for the Browns and I would feed Hillis over Jerome Harrison and go old school football to try and beat KC. Kansas City Wins 24-13
Chicago vs Dallas
The game of the most wishy-washy quarterbacks. You can't predict what Tony Romo and Jay Cutler are going to do week in and week out. Cutler looked impressive in the new Mike Martz offense and still seems to like the bigger target in Devin Aromashodu. Matt Forte is still struggling in the running game but showed up big in his new Marshall Faulk role of pass catching running back. Cutler usually struggles against the 3-4 defense and should have severe problems with Demarcus Ware.
The Cowboys offensive line needs to be worried about looking bad for a second straight week, especially with how great Julius Peppers has looked for Chicago so far. I believe Dallas will find bigger roles for Dez Bryant and the running game this week. Each week Dez should force out Roy Williams a little more. He is a premier receiver. Dallas didn't go to the run as much last week but they should correct this against the Bears. Cowboys Win 30-20
Arizona vs Atlanta
Promising teams from 2 years ago, who now both have serious questions. Derek Anderson had a solid week last week and has a chance to perform at a high level once again against a questionable Falcons' secondary. Steve Breaston has stepped up as Anquan Boldin's replacement opposite Larry Fitzgerald. Arizona needs to get Beanie back healthy to run alongside of Tim Hightower.
Matt Ryan has stayed middle of the road since a breakout rookie season and Roddy White has helped keep Atlanta in games. Michael Turner needs a stellar performance. He has struggled since a solid first season in Atlanta in 2008. Arizona has an underrated defense that most people aren't talking about and I really like their secondary. Matt Ryan needs to avoid throwing in safety Adrian Wilson's direction. Arizona Wins 24-23
Tampa Bay vs Carolina
Division foes face off with Tampa Bay hoping to get out to a surprising 2-0 start. Matt Moore might not be able to play due to a concussion. Keep your eyes peeled for a Jimmy Clausen sighting. Carolina should go heavy on the run, regardless of the quarterback. Tampa Bay has struggled to stop the run recently, even with the draft picks of Gerald McCoy and Brian Price at defensive tackle.
Second year quarterback, Josh Freeman has found a weapon in rookie wide receiver, Mike Williams. Carolina's cornerbacks will have their hands filled with Williams. Cadillac Williams has been playing solid and should stay this way if he can finally stay healthy. Carolina Wins 19-17
Philadelphia vs Detroit
Two teams with starting quarterbacks that were knocked out in game 1. The main difference is, the Lions backup is Shaun Hill and Philly has Michael Vick. Vick is starting to get back to his old ways on the field. Detroit's defense has gotten a lot better than they were 2 years ago but their secondary is extremely weak. Vick should be able to catch CC Brown cheating up after running on this D a few times. When he does, Vick will rack up passing yards to Brent Celek and Desean Jackson.
Jahvid Best had a 2 touchdown performance in his first game but only had 20 yards on 14 carries. He should grow on that for Detroit as Lesean McCoy continues to grow on his solid rushing and receiving performance. The Lions will try to get Calvin Johnson more involved during the game but I don't know how much Shaun Hill can. Eagles Win 23-9
Seattle vs Denver
These two teams are headed in different directions, if you ask me. Denver in my opinion is headed to the AFC West basement. That's right! Below Oakland. Seattle has a chance to win the NFC West, due to the internal destruction in San Francisco and no Kurt Warner in Arizona. The reemergence of wide receiver Mike Williams in Seattle has helped the Seahawks offense and Matt Hasselback. Seattle needs to make Leon Washington the starter and their offense would even start clicking more.
Denver is really missing Elvis Dumervil on defense and Mike Nolan's play calling. The Broncos secondary is very talented but the front seven is killing them. Kyle Orton will have more help coming with rookie Demaryius Thomas being cleared to play in this game but the speed of rookie safety, Earl Thomas will lead to some picks by Orton. Seattle Wins 21-16
St. Louis vs Oakland
New quarterbacks, same offensive production. Jason Campbell didn't run this offense as advertised. This week he needs to work on getting the ball to tight end Zach Miller a lot more. Darren McFadden carried the Raiders on his back last week and hopefully that's a good sign going forward.
Last week Sam Bradford threw 55 passes and Mark Clayton stepped up to look like a solid performer for the Rams. They can't keep using Bradford like this though. At this rate they'll run Bradford and running back Stephen Jackson into the ground before their time. Call me crazy but I really like this Raiders defense. They could shut down Jackson this week and it would make the weight of the game fall on Bradford's shoulders. Raiders Win 20-7
Houston vs Washington
One of these teams will find themselves 2-0 come Monday. The Texans look to be on the verge of finally getting that first playoff season. They could get caught in a trap game with the excitement of division foe Indy last week and hated rival Dallas next. The Redskins also have the advantage of having their head coach employee the Texans head coach, o-coordinator, d-coordinator, d backs coach, and tight ends coach.
The Texans finally showed a running game last week with Arian Foster. They had the number 1 passing attack last year with Matt Schaub and Andre Johnson. Donovan McNabb has made Probowls with no name receivers before but he couldn't get this group going last week. Look for him to start building chemistry with them this week, especially Chris Cooley the tight end but I think Clinton Portis will struggle against a strong Texans rush defense. Foster won't have another 200 yard week but still should have a good performance. The match up to watch though, is Mario Williams vs rookie left tackle Trent Williams. Texans Win 27-17
Jacksonville vs San Diego
These two teams have records that you would expect of the other one. Jacksonville 1-0 and San Diego 0-1. San Diego is missing their franchise left tackle and Jacksonville has Aaron Kampman and a solid defensive line. The Jaguars are stout up front and should shut down Ryan Matthews but they are extremely weak in the secondary and I expect a huge day from Malcolm Floyd. Gates should get back going this week as well.
Jacksonville will plan the opposite, they will go heavy on Maurice Jones-Drew and light on David Garrard because of the strength of San Diego's secondary. I wouldn't expect a performance out of Marcedes Lewis like he had last week. Chargers Win 31-13
New Orleans vs San Francisco
San Francisco is drama central right now and New Orleans is just dedicated to a repeat Super Bowl victory. San Francisco's season was over when they decided to stick with Alex Smith. What did Singletary see in Smith to think that he had developed into a starter? The 49ers have solid a defense as everyone is aware and they have weapons all over the offense but the main shining weakness is quarterback.
New Orleans is pretty much what everybody already knows. The defending champions that can score from anywhere on the field. I believe that Reggie Bush has become more of a running back this year. The defense plays with more confidence as well. Saints Win 34-14
"Water Cooler" Games
Baltimore vs Cincinnati
The first game that everybody will be talking about around the water cooler coming Monday, combines hated division rivals. The hype monsters of Ray Lewis, Ochocinco and T.O will share the field where there could actually be more talking than playing. Carson Palmer has been given every weapon this year. If this offense doesn't produce, it's no one's fault but Palmer's.
The Ravens defense could make the Bengals look like a team with no chemistry though. This is the first year in awhile where the Ravens might actually have an equally powerful offense as their hated foes as Baltimore went out and gave their quarterback some talented receivers as well. Two high power offenses but one defense is obviously a lot more feared. Ravens Win 21-16
Pittsburgh vs Tennessee
Lendale White isn't around to step on the terrible towel this year. What will the Steelers use as motivation to stay in this game? Pittsburgh still has one of the top defenses and I think most people forget that when talking about Roethlisberger being out. Dennis Dixon and Rashard Mendenhall ran this offense as about as good as could be expected.
The Titans defense isn't as dominant as a few years ago but they are better than advertised. They will cause fits for Dixon. Vince Young and Chris Johnson are a perfect duo for each other and should be able to move the ball sufficiently against the Steelers D. This could turn into a defensive battle though with a couple big plays making the difference. Titans Win 13-6
New England vs Jets
I'm one of the biggest critics against New England winning the AFC East this year but if they win this game convincingly, I might have to review that thought. I just believe that there are too many issues in the New England locker room and that they have an aging core to the team. The Jets are the fresher, younger, brasher team. But, have they talked themselves up too much? If Revis is 100%, I can see him taking Moss out of the game. Not just because of his talent, but because we all know that Moss will quit on his team if he isn't completely happy.
The New England running game isn't impressive at all. This Jets defensive line could get pressure on Brady and get inside his head. The Jets running game couldn't get going against Baltimore but that is against one of the premier defenses. My biggest concern while watching the Jets, is Mark Sanchez. I don't see anything that he does exceptionally well. At the moment, I think he is more of a liability than anything. New England's defense has youth in many crucial spots. If Sanchez can get the offense going and the running game gets on track, I just don't see the veteran leader that will step up and make the stop for the D. Jets Win 30-27
Giants vs Indianapolis
The Manning Bowl II. I have different feelings on both of these teams than most people. I believe that Indy is in a lot more trouble than most people will admit. I don't see them finishing higher than 3rd in the AFC South. The Giants I believe are a lot better than what most would agree on and I could see them winning the NFC East. The Colts defense has an obvious problem with stopping the run. The Texans laid out the perfect blueprint for beating Indy. Run the ball down their throat and eat up clock and leave Peyton on the sideline frustrated.
The Giants have the big back in Brandon Jacobs to just beat down the D and the speed back in Ahmad Bradshaw to get the edges for the homerun. Hakeem Nicks is a weapon and the #1 option at receiver for the Giants. Peyton can always single handily beat a team. Pierre Garcon had some key drops in the lost to Houston, that I fully expect him to make those catches in the next game. The Indy running game hasn't been consistent since Joseph Addai's rookie year. This should be a high scoring game but if the Giants manipulate the clock, they should come out 2-0 and more shocking, send Indy to 0-2. Giants Win 34-28
That's another week of NFL Gameday in the books, I'll be back next Sunday morning week for week 3 coverage. Don't forget to check out NFL Rage mid week where I vent my frustrations at some of the dumbest calls and decisions from this week's games. NFL Gameday - It's easy like Sunday Morning! - Jayson Braddock
Jayson appears on Sports Radio 790 AM in Houston, TX once a week as the football insider on the Dylan Gwinn show. He's a graduate of the Sports Management World Wide Football GM & Scouting Course and has been mentored by former NFL player / executive John Wooten and Sporting News.com NFL Draft Expert Russ Lande. His work is mostly appreciated by die-hard fans interested in every little detail about their team and not just watered down mainstream talk.
If you would like to ask Dr. Roto a question, call (646) 915-9367 on Friday nights at 10:00pm EST and ask your question live on the that weeks Fantasy Football 411 Podcast.
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