NFL Week 2 Predictions: The Toilet Bowl and the Manning Bowl

Another NFL week, another high-profile game with the Denver Broncos as they take on the Giants in what should be the final Manning Bowl. Now I like statistical analysis as much as the next guy, but sometimes you have to also factor in more human elements to the game.

Is Eli Manning really going to go 0-3 against Peyton in the NFL? He should get the one win, and the last one for that matter. After a horrible game with two fumbles, David Wilson is all but playing for his career in New York. He should play better because he flat out has to. Denver had 7 TD passes last week while the Giants had 6 turnovers. Those numbers will both come down, favoring the Giants, who at 0-1, cannot really afford another loss to start the season.

There are plenty of real football reasons to like New York in this one. The Giants are at home. They just had three receivers go over 100 yards and Denver’s defense is still missing it’s two best players. Remember when the Broncos couldn’t rush Joe Flacco early? Well now they’ll play an offense with the weapons to take advantage the way Baltimore couldn’t. Jack Del Rio is the master of the “no rush, no coverage” defense. Expect to see a huge day from Eli, who threw for over 500 yards in a similar spot in Week 2 last year against Tampa Bay.

Denver’s offense is still going to be tough to stop, but the running game is not there and this team does get off to slow starts, which is when the Giants need to build a lead. I expect a lot of points in the end, but I also think Eli will be in a similar situation to Sunday: having the ball late with a chance to win, and this time he’ll get it done. Giants win 34-31.

Of course this is self-serving as I picked the Giants to win the NFC East and had Denver starting 1-1, so this probably means the Broncos by 14 points, but we’ll see. I just think this is the game where not having those players on defense will hurt Denver the most.

First Quarter Knockout

Here’s something to watch for on Sunday afternoon. The San Diego Chargers, a Pacific time zone team who just lost a heart-breaker on late Monday night, have to play across the country at Philadelphia in a game that starts at 10:00 A.M. PST. With Chip Kelly’s high-tempo offense, can you see another first quarter knockout in the works? The Chargers may get so far behind that Philip Rivers will have no chance to blow it in the fourth quarter this week.

Toilet Bowl

Based on last year, Chiefs at Jaguars and Jaguars at Raiders sounds like the worst possible start to a season for a NFL fan to suffer through. This Week 2 game looked like a good one for the fast track to the No. 1 pick in the 2014 draft, but now it looks like it’d be an upset if the Raiders lost this one at home. Terrelle Pryor did a lot of exciting things in Indianapolis while the Jaguars were downright embarrassing against the Chiefs. Out with Blaine Gabbert and in with Chad Henne, but here’s a stat from Week 1 I never would have expected in a billion simulations:

The Raiders lead the NFL in offensive yards per drive (44.62) while the Jaguars are dead last (9.87).

I still don’t plan on saying this that often this season, but give me the Raiders on Sunday.

2013 NFL Week 2 Predictions

I’ll always take a 11-5 record in Week 1, which is usually one of the toughest to predict. Week 2 can be even harder if you pay too much attention to what happened last week, or too little and not recognize it’s a new year and some teams just aren’t as good (or bad) as you expected. I had the Patriots winning 20-10 on Thursday night, but they somehow got it done by going scoreless in the second half.

  • Browns at Ravens
  • Vikings at Bears
  • Rams at Falcons
  • Dolphins at Colts
  • Cowboys at Chiefs
  • Titans at Texans
  • Panthers at Bills
  • Chargers at Eagles
  • Redskins at Packers
  • Lions at Cardinals
  • Saints at Buccaneers
  • Broncos at Giants
  • Jaguars at Raiders
  • 49ers at Seahawks
  • Steelers at Bengals

No matter how much I try to tell myself to “trust my gut” I end up picking 14 home teams (counting NE) and practically all the favorites. No chance in hell of that happening, which tells me I should probably pick the Steelers, the Broncos, the Panthers and maybe the Vikings. But I won’t do it. Why? I must just be a *****.

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