2013 Week 2 NFL picks: San Diego Chargers at Philadelphia Eagles
This would normally scream “letdown game” for the Eagles following an offensive onslaught against the Redskins nobody outside of the Philadelphia locker room saw coming. Then you remember that San Diego is flying east for a 1 pm game after choking away a lead at home in front of a national television audience on Monday night. That was the type of collapse you'd expect to see from the Chargers after Thanksgiving, not before it.
2013 Week 2 NFL picks: Tennessee Titans at Houston Texans
This is my first “upset alert” of the weekend. Tennessee didn't merely beat the Steelers and do so in Pittsburgh where hardly any opposing teams win. Their defense was dominant, holding Ben Roethlisberger to under 200 passing yards. Those expecting the Texans to blow Tennessee out shouldn't forget how bad Houston looked at San Diego until the final 20 minutes of that game. As long as their offense limits mistakes, Tennessee can pull it out on the road. They've done so already this season.
2013 Week 2 NFL picks: Detroit Lions at Arizona Cardinals
The Carson Palmer and Larry Fitzgerald partnership is, on paper, one that will thrive following what we saw last weekend. Then you remember that the Arizona offensive line surrendered four sacks, and that it will be facing off against a pass rush that brought the QB down on three occasions in Week 1. There's also the fact that Fitzgerald could be limited because of a hamstring issue. I can't trust the Cards without knowing Fitz will be 100 percent on Sunday.
2013 Week 2 NFL picks: New Orleans Saints at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Rookie Geno Smith threw for over 250 yards on the Bucs at MetLife Stadium this past Sunday. A rejuvenated Drew Brees, who lit TB up last year and who also has his head coach back, could double that mark. That this game is taking place in Tampa means little to me. This one could get ugly.
2013 Week 2 NFL picks: Jacksonville Jaguars at Oakland Raiders
This would have been a true “Toilet Bowl” candidate but two weeks ago. Then, Terrelle Pryor gained over 300 total yards of offense by himself, including over 100 yards on the ground. Chad Henne will have to be heroic to give the Jags a shot in Oakland.
2013 Week 2 NFL picks: Denver Broncos at New York Giants
Two things need to be pointed out. Peyton Manning isn't tossing seven touchdowns per weekend, and the Giants aren't nearly as bad as they appeared to be at Dallas. New York has, under Tom Coughlin, rallied back from such poor performances with banner wins in the past. The numbers, most notably the age of the older brother, suggests that this could be Eli's final opportunity to win a Manning Bowl; unless the two meet again in February, of course.
2013 Week 2 NFL picks: San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks
I'll just come right out and say it. The Seahawks don't lose at CenturyLink, and you know the stadium will be rocking for Seattle's home opener. San Fran was routed the last time they visited Seattle on a Sunday night. I don't think that will happen this time around, but I also can't go against Russell Wilson and company.
2013 Week 2 NFL picks: Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals
It's bad times for the Steelers. There were questions about the team's wide receivers even before the Tennessee game, and losing Maurkice Pouncey for the season is a huge blow. Cincy gave a win away to the Bears in Week 1, and they'll be looking to rebound against a wounded animal. Andy Dalton is bound to have a big game against the Steelers one of these days. Why not Monday night?