Detroit @ Chicago
The Detroit defense took the Green Bay offense behind the woodshed in week 1. Favre and Co. managed only a FG in the game, and lost WR Javon Walker for the season in the process. Chicago looked impressive in Week 1 on defense and even knocked Redskins starting QB Patrick Ramsey out of the game, but their offense was anemic and they came up on the wrong side of a 9-7 loss.
Detroit should continue its success from week 1 on defense and shut down the dreaded Chicago offense. LB Earl Holmes had a terrific day with 8 tackles and should put up similar numbers this week. Chicago on defense will be ready to play at home, and MLB Brian Urlacher and SS Mike Brown should have plenty of opportunities to make plenty of tackles when the Lions force feed RB Kevin Jones down their throat in the 4 th qtr.
Best Bets – Detroit - LB Earl Holmes - Chicago - LB Brian Urlacher
Solid plays – Detroit - LB Boss Bailey - Chicago - SS Mike Brown
Others to Consider – Detroit - DL Shaun Rogers - Chicago - DLAdewale Ogunleye
Minnesota @ Cincinnati
Minnesota was shredded on the ground by rookie RB Carnell Williams in his first ever NFL game. Tampa QB Brian Griese also passed for 213 yds and 2 Tds on the revamped Viking D. Most experts didn’t think Tampa would waltz into Minnesota and come away with a win so easily. Cincinnati blew out the undermanned Browns and their defense surrendered only one TD, which turned out to be a 68 yd play from Trent Dilfer to Frisman Jackson. Not exactly household names.
Expect Culpepper and the Vikings to bounce back this week and put up 2-3 TD’s on the Bengal’s secondary and win this week with a little defense. DB’s Corey Chavous and Darren Sharper were all over the field last week and should have strong outings this week as well. Cincinnati has to be thrilled with the way its newly drafted MLB Odell Thurman performed last Sunday. Thurman is this years Jonathon Vilma and will be a top 15 LB at seasons end, barring injury.
Best Bets – Minnesota -DB Darren Sharper -Cincinnati - LB Odell Thurman
Solid plays – Minnesota -DL Kevin Williams -Cincinnati - DB Madieu Williams
Others to Consider – Minnesota -DB Corey Chavous - Cincinnati - LB David Pollack
Baltimore @ Tennessee
Baltimore was simply dominate the first half of last weekends game vs. the Colts, but Manning got his 2 scores and 250 yards leading the Colts to a decisive victory. Baltimore could have just been just out of gas, mid third quarter, but coach Billick is likely to have them ready to play for 60 minutes next week. Tennessee is such a young and rebuilding team, outside of stud LB Keith Bullock. They are going to be the victims of blow out loses on a regular basis this season.
Expect Ray Lewis and Ed Reed to lead the Ravens to an easy victory over the offensive challenged Titans. Tennessee Keith Bullock will put up monster stats tackling Jamal Lewis and Chester Taylor all game long.
Best Bets – Baltimore - LB Ray Lewis - Tennessee - LB Keith Bullock
Solid plays – Baltimore - DB Ed Reed - Tennessee - LB Brad Kassell
Others to Consider – Baltimore - DL Terrell Suggs - Tennessee - DL Kyle Vanden Bosch
Jacksonville @ Indianapolis
Jacksonville was rather impressive holding the high powered offense of the Seahawks to only two second quarter touchdowns in a 26-14 win. The Jags picked Hasslebeck off 3 times and forced 2 more fumbles on the day. Indianapolis shut out the Ravens for 59 minutes and 47 seconds, before surrendering a late TD score with .13 seconds left. DT Larry Tripplett had a career day with 7 tackles and 2 sacks. He should officially be on your radar at this point. Expect Indianapolis to get its points vs. the very stingy Jacksonville defense and run Edge James the final half quarter to salt the clock. Indy LB Gary Brackett is a tackling machine, and could have another big game. Jacksonville expects LB Mike Peterson to get back on track this week and make up for last weeks sub par performance.
Best Bets – Jacksonville - LB Mike Peterson - Indianapolis - LB Gary Brackett.
Solid plays – Jacksonville - LB Darryl Smith - Indianapolis - DL Dwight Freeney.
Others to Consider – Jacksonville - DL Marcus Stroud - Indianapolis - DL Larry Tripplett.
San Francisco @ Philadelphia
San Francisco recorded 7 sacks a week ago in a huge upset victory over the St. Louis Rams. Julian Peterson especially looked impressive with 2.5 of those sacks and 5 tackles and 3 assists. Philadelphia lost starting Middle linebacker Jeremiah Trotter before kickoff because of a altercation with Atlanta’s backup CB Kevin Mathis. The Eagles never recovered on defense from the loss of Trotter.
Expect Trotter to come out and want to prove how important he is to the Eagles while roughing up RB’s Barlow and Gore in the process. San Francisco stunned the Rams, but don’t expect McNabb and Co. to not take this team lightly after losing week 1 already.
Best Bets – San Francisco - LB Julian Peterson - Philadelphia - LB Jeremiah Trotter
Solid plays – San Francisco - DB Tony Parrish - Philadelphia - DB Michael Lewis
Others to Consider – San Francisco - LB Derek Smith - Philadelphia - DB Brian Dawkins
Buffalo @ Tampa Bay
Buffalo gave up 120 yards total to Houston last week, which is outright amazing. The Texans are no juggernaut on offense, but 120 total yards is a terrible day for a starting QB, let alone passing and rushing yards combined. The Tampa Bay defense wrecked havoc on Daunte Culpepper and the Vikings all afternoon making him look silly, forcing 5 turnovers in the process.
In this game look for a defensive battle with points at a premium. Buffalo will attempt to run Magahee and keep the Bucs defense off their inexperienced quarterback. While Tampa Bay will use QB Brian Griese and WR Joey Galloway to stretch the field to later open up running lanes for RB Carnell Williams. Start your studs and watch them rack up the stats.
Best Bets – Buffalo -LB London Fletcher - Tampa Bay - LB Derrick Brooks
Solid plays – Buffalo - LB Takeo Spikes - Tampa Bay - LB Shelton Quareles
Others to Consider – Buffalo - DB Nate Clements - Tampa Bay - DL Simeon Rice
New England @ Carolina
New England allowed Collins and Moss to drive right down the field and score their first series of the game, but buckled down from that point, outside a 73 yard TD pass play to Randy Moss in the second quarter. Carolina has to be thinking how did we let New Orleans come in our backyard and take one from us. The Saints were playing for pride of their city, but they are an inferior team to Carolina, especially on the road.
A rematch of Super Bowl 38, should be a hard hitting, entertaining dog fight. New England may feature Cory Dillon more this week than normal, with the absence of Carolina’s stud DT Kris Jenkins, who is out for the year with a blown out knee. Carolina isn’t looking to start their season 0-2, losing its first 2 home games. Look for Carolina MLB Dan Morgan to be more productive than he was a week ago.
Best Bets – New England - DB Rodney Harrison - Carolina - LB Will Witherspoon
Solid plays – New England -LB Monty Beisel - Carolina - LB Dan Morgan
Others to Consider – New England -LB Chad Brown - Carolina - DL Julius Peppers
Pittsburgh @ Houston
Pittsburgh was impressive week 1, but it was against the Titans. This week doesn’t look to challenge their defense much either vs. the Texans. Houston looks slower than a year ago on defense and Texans Head Coach Dom Capers got rid of his 30+ LB for younger ones who could run. Not a solid start for their rebuilt defense.
This game figures to be a huge Steelers win with “Fast” Willie Parker racking up yards until its time for Vernon Hayes to check in and get his fill. Houston is no match for the brutal Steeler D, and James Farrior will shadow RB Domanick Davis all afternoon.
Best Bets – Pittsburgh - LB James Farrior - Houston - LB Kailee Wong
Solid plays – Pittsburgh - DB Troy Polamalu - Houston - LB Morlon Greenwood
Others to Consider – Pittsburgh - DB Ike Taylor - Houston - DB C.C. Brown
St. Louis @ Arizona
What can you say about traveling to San Fran to meet the 2-14 49ers team from a year ago, who had the #1 overall pick in last Mays draft and come away with an L. The Rams are more talented in all 3 phases of the game, but were hit in the mouth regularly this past weekend. Arizona is coming off a meltdown courtesy of the NY Giants. Their miscues turned a relatively close ball game into a blowout by the start of the 4 th quarter.
Expect the Rams to bounce back and the Cardinals to hang close until the very end and try and steal the win. Rams DL Leonard Little is in for a big game, and Arizona DB Adrian Wilson is fast becoming one of the very best safeties in the game.
Best Bets – St. Louis - DB Adam Archuleta - Arizona- LB Karlos Dansby
Solid plays – St. Louis - DL Leonard Little - Arizona - DB Adrian Wilson
Others to Consider – St. Louis - LB Chris Clairborne -Arizona - DL Bert Berry
Atlanta @ Seattle
Looking at the smile on Atlanta HC Jim Mora’s face, one would have to wonder if the incident before last Monday nights game was planned. Losing a backup DB vs. the other teams starting middle linebacker had to be music to his ears. Seattle is a team that plays no defense and has a big play offense that is likely to keep their defense on the field even more.
Atlanta DL Patrick Kerney looks like a mad man rushing the end, and DeAngelo Hall was impressive keeping TO out of the endzone for the first time in his last seven Monday night games. Seattle is hoping Jamie Sharper can groom rookie LB Lofa Tatupu into a clone of himself from about 2 years ago. Lofa will be a force when he finally cuts down on the silly mistakes.
Best Bets – Atlanta - LB Keith Brooking - Seattle - Michael Bouleware
Solid plays – Atlanta -LB Ed Hartwell - Seattle - LB Jamie Sharper
Others to Consider – Atlanta - DB Bryan Scott - Seattle - DL Grant Wistrom
San Diego @ Denver
Do you think San Diego hurt themselves by being too demanding with TE Antonio Gates that it cost them a week 1 home game. Many feel Gates would have been the target in the red zone at the end of that game, if he wasn’t suspended by the team. Denver was flat out embarrassing to watch losing on the road to a 4 win Dolphins team from a year ago. No counting the Phins were breaking in a rookie RB and a new QB in town.
There is no such thing as a must win in week 2, but both of these teams have high playoff expectations and losing for the 2 nd time in 2 weeks will cause doubts in the team who loses this game. San Diego LB Donnie Edwards is a monster and is a much start, but Denver LB Al Wilson is a risky play because of those other great Lbs covering the same tracks as Wilson .
Best Bets – San Diego - LB Donnie Edwards - Denver - LB Al Wilson
Solid plays – San Diego -DB Terrance Kiel - Denver - DB Nick Ferguson
Others to Consider – San Diego - LB Randall Godfrey - Denver LB DJ Williams
Cleveland @ Green Bay
Cleveland revamped its defense and it showed week one vs. the Bengals. Green Bay wished it could revamp its whole team after a embarrassing week 1 loss to Detroit. Both teams look to rebound, but only one will come out with a .500 record while the other has a 0-2 record.
Cleveland LB Andra Davis is well on his way to being Cleveland’s version of Tedy Bruschi. Green Bay middle linebacker is definitely not the same player he was a rookie. Sure Barnett will put up nice stats from week to week, but he misses quit a few tackles every game as well.
Best Bets – Cleveland - LB Andra Davis - Green Bay - LB Nick Barnett
Solid plays – Cleveland - DB Chris Crocker - Green Bay - DB Mark Roman
Others to Consider – Cleveland - DL Orepheus Roye -Green Bay - LB Robert Thomas
Miami @ NY Jets
Miami shocked the Bronco’s who were probably looking past this game to get to this weeks division rival game with the Chargers. The Jets were just outright embarrassing, with Pennington losing the handle from Center to QB exchange a half dozen times in week 1.
The Jets will attempt to run Curtis Martin regularly and make a monster out of Zach Thomas in week 2. Pennington better get his confidence back, or this Dolphins team may very week be 2-0 to start this season. Expect the Jets LB corps to be more active this week and create problems for RB Ronnie Brown all after noon.
Best Bets – Miami - LB Zach Thomas - NY Jets - LB Jonathon Vilma
Solid plays – Miami - DL Jason Taylor - NY Jets - LB Eric Barton
Others to Consider – Miami - DB Tebucky Jones - NY Jets - Dl John Abraham
Kansas City @ Oakland
Kansas City’s win over the Jets was one of the most dominating performances of week 1. The additions of LB Kendrell Bell, DB Sammy Knight and LB Derrick Johnson make this defense one of the most improved from last year. Oakland on the other hand doesn’t play defense, but instead focus’s on trying to score 40 pts a game.
Expect Moss to break a big one, but Kansas City to win rather easily. The trio of KC Lbs plus their new pass rush make the Chiefs a dangerous team if their defense starts to catch up to their offense. Oakland will use Lamont Jordan early on to bring the SS in the box to help stop the run. Once this occurs look for Moss and Porter to add gravy stats to their totals.
Best Bets – Kansas City - LB Derrick Johnson - Oakland - LB Danny Clark
Solid plays – Kansas City - LB Kawika Mitchell - Oakland - LB Kirk Morrison
Others to Consider – Kansas City - DB Sammy Knight - Oakland - DB Derrick Gibson
NY Giants @ New Orleans
The Saints host the Giants in New York. This is the game that was moved because of hurricane Katrina from the bayou city to the big apple. There is no way this will feel like a home game to the Saints. But they are the home team nonetheless.
The Saints came out last week and took it to Carolina in their backyard and kicked the winning FG with only seconds left to take the game. Saints LB Courtney Watson showed he is capable of keeping the MLB job from here on. Saints DE Will Smith in his second yr had a marvelous game opposite of stud DL Charles Grant. Expect that to continue. The Giants special teams blew open a close game with the Cardinals a week ago. Giants MLB Antonio Pierce is better than advertised and is going to break into the top 10 LB if he is healthy a full season. DL Michael Strahan is back to his dominant self.
Best Bets – NY Giants - LB Antonio Pierce - New Orleans - DL Charles Grant
Solid plays – NY Giants - DL Michael Strahan - New Orleans - LB Courtney Watson
Others to Consider – NY Giants - DB Gibril Wilson - New Orleans - DL Will Smith
Washington @ Dallas
Washington has changed QB’s yet again, turning the reigns back over to Mark Brunell. The Cowboys are looking to continue to dominate this series like they have done, winning 10 of the last 11 games vs. Washington.
Look for Washington to feature RB Clinton Portis and try and free WR Santana Moss for a big play and attempt to steal a win at Texas Stadium on the night the Cowboys triplets (Aikman, Irvin and Emmitt) are being inducted into the ring of honor. Washington has found a MLB to take Antonio Pierce’s place in Lemar Marshall, and Dallas has found a #1 CB in Anthony Henry whom they signed this past off season from Cleveland.
Best Bets – Washington - LB Lemar Marshall - Dallas - DB Roy Williams
Solid plays – Washington - LB Marcus Washington - Dallas - DB Anthony Henry
Others to Consider – Washington -DB Sean Taylor - Dallas - LB Dat Nguyen