I’m sorry I went 9-7 last week.
I’m especially sorry I gave you the Saints over the Redskins as my top recommended pick last week.
I’m sorry I called RG3 and the Redskins’ offense “inept.”
I’m sorry my 11-game win streak on top recommended picks is over.
And I’m sorry if your suicide pool season is over before it really got started.
If you read my opinions on each of my picks, you might have seen that I called the Saints a “risk,” saw how I also liked the Texans as a Super Bowl winner, thought they’d rout Ryan Tannehill and took all that to heart in picking Houston, who along with the Eagles and Ravens all did win, giving me a respectable 3-1 finish on my weekly 4-pack of recommended picks.
I will try to do better in week 2, armed with some information/observations from week 1.
1. Patriots over Cardinals
The Patriots already look like they are in mid-season form, having manhandled the Tennessee Titans. I still think the Titans are a playoff bubble team (though I may eventually change my mind on that) – it’s just that New England was that much more prepared and in sync. The Cardinals beat the Seahawks last week, a surprise to some, but not to me. Going into New England is a much tougher test that I don’t expect Arizona to pass. New England simply doesn’t lose very often to lesser teams at home.
2. Giants over Buccaneers
The Giants are too all over the place to make them a top recommended pick. Yes, Dallas is expected to be just as good as the G-Men, so putting too much stock in one game and writing off the defending Super Bowl champs would be a mistake. The Bucs surprised me a little by beating Carolina on the road, but in the ebb-and-flow NFL, I simply don’t see them at 2-0 and the Giants at 0-2; Tampa Bay is not that good.
3. Texans over Jaguars
I’m not too thrilled about going to the well twice in 2 weeks with picking my Super Bowl winning Texans to roll again. But with Jacksonville on the ledger and not too many other clear-cut choices, I’ll burn my second of my four self-imposed recommended picks for the season per team on Houston this week.
4. Bengals over Browns
This one addresses the blowout bounceback theory I have advanced in the past. Many NFL teams who lose badly one week bounce back to win the next week – especially if they’re decent teams. It’s one reason some people do so poorly at picking games – because they assume that a team that looked bad/played bad one week is going to do the same thing the next week (and vice versa with mediocre teams who happen to play well). Inconsistency is the hallmark of the mediocre, especially in the NFL.
(I will throw in that I mulled over Dallas over Seattle and San Diego over Tennessee, but the ebb-and-flow factor scared me off those games, since I’m not sold on Dallas or San Diego to be consistent enough to get to 2-0 and equally not thinking the Titans or Seahawks will play flat again and fall to 0-2).
Yes, the Bengals got spanked by the Ravens, 44-13. I still say that game got away from them in the second half (even though I d have Baltimore as my 4th recommended pick). The Bengals did not beat a single playoff team last season, but still won 9 games – at the expense of weaker teams – and made the playoffs.
Cleveland is one of those weaker teams. The Eagles’ horrible offensive performance was still not enough to lose a road game to the Browns. That ought to tell you plenty about the outlook in Cleveland this season…and if I’m right, I may just pick against them every week.
Other week 2 picks:
GB over CHI
BUF over KC
CAR over NO
IND over MIN
OAK over MIA
BAL over PHI
DAL over SEA
STL over WASH
PIT over NYJ
SD over TEN
SF over DET
DEN over ATL