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NFL Pro Football 2010 Preseason Week 2 Picks

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Fearless Rick's NFL Preseason Week 2 Picks - Early Games

Rick Gagliano | August 19-21

All times Eastern - Click here for late games.

Thursday, Aug. 19

7:30 pm Indianapolis vs. Buffalo (-3 1/2, 33) at Toronto - Both teams on short weeks, but especially the Colts, who played Sunday afternoon, thrashed by the 49ers, 37-17, but the Colts had a 10-0 lead with Peyton Manning behind center. When Curtis Painter came in the complexion of the game changed, as he threw the first of three interceptions early in the second quarter, which Reggie Smith returned 91 yards for a TD.

The Bills and their new head coach, Chan Gailey, on the other hand, were thoroughly scalped by the Redskins, 42-17, in Washington on Friday. The product they're putting on the field is about as useful as a wooden frying pan. All the Bills have going for them are three quality running backs: C.J. Spiller, Fred jackson and Marshawn Lynch. The rest of he team is glick. Buffalo could easily qualify as the worst team in the NFL in 2010.

Expect the Colts to ring up a 14-0 lead in the first quarter and rest their starters for most of the remainder of the game. The Bills will be lucky to score.

Prediction: Colts 31 Bills 10

8:00 pm New England at Atlanta (-2 1/2, 37) - Well, at least there will be one decent game on Thursday. Both teams are seeking playoff spots in the new season and have good opportunities to either win their divisions outright or get in as a wild card, so this game may be a good gauge toward their early-season success. Both teams come off wins; New England beat the Saints, 27-24, while Atlanta topped KC, 20-10.

None of Atlanta's QBs looked particularly sharp in their opener, and the defense was barely adequate against a pretty bad Chiefs team. The Pats' second and third units blew a 24-7 lead in the second half, but won the game with less than a minute to play on a 28-yard field goal by Stephen Gostkowski. New England appears ready for the regular season, and you can bet Tom Brady won't leave this one without a lead. The Pats also have waves of running backs who will get plenty of playing time.

Prediction: Patriots 21 Falcons 14

Friday, Aug. 20

8:00 pm Philadelphia at Cincinnati (-3, 37) - TO caught four balls and Ochocinco one in Cincy's 33-24 win over Denver last week, but the dynamic duo only accounted for 27 yards of offense. They did, however, open up the secondary for some of the other guys, as the Bengals three QBs threw for 228 yards, not bad for preseason. Expect Carson Palmer to play the full first half and maybe even some of the third quarter. He's committed to getting the offense - and himself - in sync, though against Philly's stout defense that may be a tall order.

The Eagles need to tighten up the secondary, after being burned 3 times by Jacksonville's Luke McCown for touchdowns. Unless they get their coverages worked out in practice this week, they'll be up against it if Palmer plays as much as expected. Kevin Kolb looked OK at QB, but Michael Vick may end up the starter if he keeps playing at the level he did in the preseason opener (11-for-17, 119 yards, 1 INT, 50 yards rushing on 6 carries, 1 TD).

Should be an interesting, close, enjoyable game. Take the Eagles and the points to cover.

Prediction: Eagles 24 Bengals 23

Saturday, Aug. 21

7:00 pm Baltimore at Washington (-3, 38 1/2) - If the Ravens insist on playing Troy Smith for most or all of the second half, this one's easy: the Redskins will wipe them. Smith, entering his 5th year out of Ohio State, still doesn't get it, and it's a wonder why he's still even in the league.

The guy has great wheels but no touch, pocket presence or offensive understanding. In last week's 17-12 win over Carolina, Smith nearly blew the game with his inconsistency. Sure, he ran for an 8-yard TD on a perfectly-called QB draw, but that was only because the Ravens started on the Carolina 11. Otherwise, the Ravens had nine possessions, four first downs, 3 sacks, a fumble and six punts.

With the starters for both teams going most of the first half, the score should be about even, but the Redskins will prevail in the second half.

Prediction: Redskins 27 Ravens 17

7:00 pm Pittsburgh (-3, 36) at N.Y. Giants - The Giants didn't look very good until the second half in their new Meadowlands opener against the Jets Monday night, but three TD passes to unheralded, undrafted, UMass rookie Victor Cruz turned a 13-10 Jets' lead into a 31-16 Giant runaway.

New York's defense played well in the second half, but that was against the 2nd and 3rd offensive units of the Jets.

Pittsburgh had their way with the Lions, winning a 23-7 laugher without the services of Ben Roethlisberger. Dennis Dixon and Byron Leftwich were more than adequate replacements for Big Ben, who will play in this game despite being handed a 4-game regular season suspension by the league. Further complicating matters is the health of Giants' QB Eli Manning, who took 11 stitches after taking a blow to the head in the first half of Monday night's contest.

He may not play at all, depending on his condition and the advice of the team doctor. If he's a no-go, the Steelers should have their way here. Even if Manning does play, it won't be for long, so Pittsburgh looks like a steal, even giving three points on the road.

Prediction: Steelers 20 Giants 14

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7:30 pm Kansas City at Tampa Bay (-2 1/2, 34) - Here are two teams struggling to become respectable, with loads of positions in open competition. Kansas City will find they need another quarterback by midseason, though Matt Cassell will start here and get most of the first half reps. Tampa Bay played Miami to a standstill in a 10-7 loss, but they need only to hold onto the football, having coughed it up four times to the Dolphins.

Josh Freeman could be the real deal for the Bucs, and, being at home never hurts. Kansas City, as evidenced by their 20-10 ho-hum loss at Atlanta, doesn't have much going for them on either side of the ball.

Prediction: Tampa Bay 21 Kansas City 6


7:30 pm Miami at Jacksonville (-2, 36) - Miami is coming off that 10-7 win against Tampa Bay, and now travels up the coast for the Jaguars, who may have found their secret weapon in Luke McCown, who was 11-for-15, for 244 yards and 3 TDs against the Eagles last week.

McCown could be looking for David Garrard's job, and even if he doesn't get it by outperforming in the preseason, a couple of early losses could make coach Jack del Rio's decision simpler. Garrard has never been an elite passer, and nobody doubts McCown's arm strength. Miami's secondary will put him to the test, but it appears he will succeed.

Chad Henne didn't impress for the Dolphins, and Tyler Thigpen, though he didn't look bad, can't crack the end zone, so, with those guys getting reps ahead of Chad Pennington (who did not play in their first preseason game), don't expect much offense from the Dolphins. They may be content to just evaluate while losing all of their preseason games, including this one.

Prediction: Jaguars 17 Dolphins 7

7:30 pm St. Louis at Cleveland (-3, 35 1/2) - Sam Bradford looked just like a rookie QB in his debut last week against Minnesota, sacked four times and throwing just six completions in 13 attempts for 57 yards as the Rams were thumped, 28-7, by the Vikings.

In Cleveland, Jake Delhomme showed he could still play and the rest of the team showed some real resolve, battling the Packers all the way to a 27-24 voctory on the road. While the Browns may be a little better than last season, Bradford isn't going to fix everything wrong with the Rams. Their defense is still woeful and they lack a go-to receiver. To the delight of the home crowd, the Browns should handle them easily.

Prediction: Browns 31 Rams 17

All times Eastern - Click here for late games

Copyright 2010, 2011, Rick Gagliano, Downtown Magazine. All rights reserved. Downtown Magazine is located in the Uinted States of America and is not affiliated with the National Football League or the NCAA. For more information, contact us here. Use of this site is for entertainment purposes only.


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