Not much happened in the NFL this week. (Pause for dramatic effect…) I won’t get into the Ray Rice situation much because everyone knows what’s going on. All I’ll say is that it was very convenient that the tapes were released right before the Ravens played a Thursday night game. (It helps that the Revel casino at which the incident happened just closed a couple weeks ago.) This whole thing is far from over. Now back to the game on the field.
Survivor Pick of the Week:
GREEN BAY over N.Y. Jets
There are two clear survivor choices this week. The primary choice is the Packers coming off a longer layoff than their opponent. The Packers should be licking their chops as they look to rebound from a flat first game. The Jets don’t have as good a pass rush as Seattle, so the injury to starting right tackle Bryan Bulaga isn’t as big of an issue. (Everything went bad for Green Bay once Bulaga went down. New right tackle Derek Sherrod became a turnstile.) The Jets’ secondary is very questionable to begin with and it’ll look like high school quality for Green Bay after facing Seattle last week.
The second option this week is Denver, who host a downtrodden Chiefs team. Week 1 was quite terrible for the Chiefs as they lost Derrick Johnson and Mike DeVito on a defense that was already missing Joe Mays and Marcus Cooper. I’m sure Andy Reid is smart enough not to completely ignore Jamaal Charles this week, but Kansas City is going to need a lot more firepower to compete with Denver’s offense. The situation gets worse given the Chief’s injuries.
Those are the two clear picks this week, but the riskier players will chase San Francisco hosting Chicago, Cincinnati hosting Atlanta, Washington hosting Jacksonville, or New Orleans traveling to Cleveland. I’ll play it safe again.
Teams used: Philadelphia
Thursday Night Pick:
BALTIMORE-3 over Pittsburgh
One of the greatest rivalries in the NFL gets renewed tonight and there’s obviously a lot of drama surrounding one of the franchises. As for the game itself, Baltimore’s offense didn’t put its best foot forward in Week 1, so they should be determined to do better this week. Joe Flacco won’t win many games in which he’s throwing the ball 62 times. The defense did well to hold Cincinnati to five field goals before giving up a back-breaking long touchdown to A.J. Green. John Harbaugh is a good coach and he’ll likely rally his team around Rice’s departure.
Pittsburgh isn’t as desperate after beating Cleveland last week, but their second half should be cause for concern. Cleveland pounded them with the run in coming back from 24 points. Maybe Pittsburgh got complacent or maybe it took Cleveland a half to put the appropriate game plan together. Look for Baltimore to attack Cleveland with a better running effort.
There’s not much in this game and it’ll likely come down to the last possession. I’ll take the more desperate team in a low scoring game.
Kyle’s pick: Baltimore
Last Week: 8-8