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NFL Pro Football 2011 Week 2 Picks

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Fearless Rick's NFL Week 2 Picks - Early Games

Rick Gagliano | September 18-19

All times Eastern - Click here for late games.

Sunday, Sept. 18

Kansas City Chiefs at Detroit Lions (-8 1/2, 45) 1:00 pm - After being absolutely embarrassed by Buffalo, generally regarded as a lower-tier team, 41-7, the Chiefs have begun their 2011 campaign in complete disarray and face an uphill battle if they intend to repeat as a playoff team because their schedule is much more difficult than last season's.

Meanwhile, the Lions roared with a 27-20 win at Tampa Bay on opening weekend. Considering the relative strengths and weaknesses of the two combatants, the obvious choice is Detroit, a team which should reach the playoffs as long as Matthew Stafford remains healthy.Besides, the Lions are on a five game win streak extending back to last season and their front line defense looks shockingly good.

Prediction: Lions 31 Chiefs 13

Seattle Seahawks at Pittsburgh Steelers (-14 1/2, 40) 1:00 pm - As sloppily as the Steelers played - 7 turnovers - in their 35-7 defeat at the hands of arch-nemesis Baltimore, the chances are that they won't repeat the same mistakes at Seattle.

That said, the Seahawks remain one of the weaker teams in the league, being shut out in the first half of their eventual 33-17 loss at San Francisco last Sunday, and it's doubtful the Seahawks will be able to move the ball on the ground (64 rushing yards against the 49ers), leaving the offense in the unsure hands of Tarvaris Jackson. Looks like a blowout.

Prediction: Steelers 34 Seahawks 10

Oakland Raiders at Buffalo Bills (-3 1/2, 42 1/2) 1:00 pm - Buffalo tore apart an unprepared and uninspired Kansas City team last week, 41-7, on the road to get their season off to a positive start, while the Raiders toughed out a 23-20 win at Denver, so both teams enter this fray looking t go 2-0.

The Bills are a miserable 1-4 both SU and ATS when playing Oakland and 1-5 ATS when playing Oakland at home, though the two teams haven't met since 2008, when the Raiders came in as a 10-point dog and lost by a point, 24-23. Both teams had solid offensive performances in Week 1, especially the Bills, but they'll be up against a much better defense in the Raiders this week.

Bottom line is the Bills were geared up against a very bad-looking Chiefs squad and splattered them, while the Raiders went into hostile territory playing a team with a serious chip on its shoulder and still came out on top. Getting 3 1/2, the Raiders look the choice.

Prediction: Raiders 24 Bills 20

Green Bay Packers (-10, 46) at Carolina Panthers 1:00 pm - The Panthers are one of the most banged-up teams in the league, with nine players listed on Injured Reserve, though they do have the rookie QB Cam Newton working in their favor.

But, after a nifty 42-34 win against the Saints last Thursday, the Packers should be well-rested and ready to roll against anyone. Somewhat surprising this line is not more like -13 or -14, so giving the Panthers 10 at home against arguably the best team in the league looks like quite a good deal.

Prediction: Packers 35 Panthers 14

Baltimore Ravens (-6, 38) at Tennessee Titans 1:00 pm - Well, the Ravens were the recipients of some gifts from the Steelers last week, picking up seven turnovers in their 35-7 victory, so the amount of offense generated has to be tempered somewhat in comparisons with the Titans.

The Titans took one on the chin at Jacksonville, losing 16-14, but covering the spread, and scoring a late TD when it was needed.

Some of the stats from that game are shocking and possibly revealing. Matt Hasselbeck actually had a good day throwig the ball, 24-for-36, for 263 yards, 2 TDs and one pick, but Chris Johnson only had nine carries for 24 yards and the Tennessee time of possession was just 20:22. And they lost by two points.

If the Titans can sustain any kind of offense, they will stay in this one, because their defense is solid and a late FG could win it.

Prediction: Titans 20 Ravens 17

Cleveland Browns (-3, 38) at Indianapolis Colts 1:00 pm - The Colts were absolutely shredded by the Texans in their 34-7 opening day loss and will be under pressure until Kerry Collins finds his way to work the Indy offense or Peyton Manning returns at QB, which may be next season.

Now, the Browns, they blew a 17-13 4th quarter lead at home to Cincinnati, allowing two late TDs for an embarrassing 27-17 loss and they'll have to play better than that if they intend to start winning some games.

Colt McCoy threw two TD passes and just one INT in their opening loss, but expect the Browns to try running more with Peyton Hillis to open up the Indianapolis defense.

Prediction: Browns 24 Colts 16

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Minnesota Vikings (-3, 40 1/2) 1:00 pm - The Bucs faced a tough and ready Detroit team in their opener, losing 27-20 at home, but played well while the Vikings came up a TD short in their 24-17 loss at San Diego, blowing a 17-7 half time lead and being shut out in the second half.

The Vikings ran only 43 plays to the Chargers' 77 and QB Donovan McNabb was just 7-for-15 for 39 yards. Adrian Peterson fell just two yards short of the century mark and remains the focus of the Minnesota offense, but the Buccaneers need a win badly and are, top to bottom, a better team, though defense will likely be the biggest factor here. Both teams are solid on D, but the Bucs probably can generate more sustained drives than the Vikes.

Prediction: Buccaneers 20 Vikings 13

Arizona Cardinals at Washington Redskins (-4, 44 1/2) 1:00 pm - Probably one of the more shocking results of the opening weekend was Washington's stunning 28-14 dismantling of the Giants which put the Redskins in a tie for first place in the NFC East with the Eagles. Of course, there are 15 more games to be played, so not getting too excited about Rex and the Redskins might be a prudent choice.

The Cardinals came from behind in the 4th quarter with two TDs - one on an 89-yard punt return by Patrick Peterson - to upend the Panthers last week at home, 28-21, and traditionally don't travel well to the East coast, but they had only 15 first downs against Carolina and yielded 26. The Redskins play a very controlled type of offense and could grind down Arizona and come away with a win if they can hold off Kevin Kolb and Larry Fitzgerald late.

In a game that's really too close to call, take the points on the road.

Prediction: Cardinals 26 Redskins 24

Chicago Bears at New Orleans Saints (-6 1/2, 47) 1:00 pm - The Bears really stuck it to the Falcons in Chicago with a 30-12 stunner last Sunday, controlling the clock, sustaining drives and making key third down stops on defense, so everything that was supposed to happen for the Bears to win, did. How well they'll fare against the Saints on their Superdome rug is unclear, though the line seems to believe the Saints have about a touchdown advantage.

One cannot fault the Saints for their Thursday night loss to the Packers, coming up short at the goal line for the tying score with time expiring, and giving up 42 points to the best offense in the league - on their home field - is also not shameful.

Truth of the matter is that the Bears' offense is a little better than expected, their defense sound and hard-hitting, while the Saints defense may be good, but not good enough. Saints win, don't cover.

Prediction: Saints 27 Bears 23

Jacksonville Jaguars at NY Jets (-9, 38 1/2) 1:00 pm - This ought to be a slug-fest as both teams want to control the clock, run the ball and play stout defense, so we may be looking at one of the lower-scoring games of the weekend.

The Jets gained only 45 yards on the ground against Dallas on 16 carries, while the Jaguars rushed 47 times for 163 yards, so they stuck to the game plan in their 16-14 win over Tennessee.

With yards and points probably difficult to come by, the Jets may come out on top, but not by nine points.

Prediction: Jets 20 Jaguars 14

All times Eastern - Click here for late games

Copyright 2011, 2012, 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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