Baltimore (-1.5) at Cincinnati, Sunday 1 p.m.
Comments: The Ravens are coming of a big (albeit ugly) win Monday night against the Jets on the road, while the Bengals essentially began the second half down 31-3 in an embarrassing performance against the Patriots. Still, a lot can change in this league over a short span, and Baltimore will be travelling during a short week - never an easy task. Joe Flacco threw just one TD and was picked off four times by Cincinnati last season, and Leon Hall may shadow Anquan Boldin on Sunday, so Ray Rice will be a big part of the team's game plan in Week 2... The Bengals improbably won all six of their division games last year, and while that's highly unlikely to happen again in 2010, they better be focused after their Week 1 performance -- especially with two road games looming. Forget Week 1, Cincy is better than that (and New England sure looks like one of the best teams in football), and the added depth in the WR corps should come in handy against a depleted Baltimore secondary. It remains to be seen whether Carson Palmer can take advantage, but he better be able to, because Cedric Benson is facing an extremely tough front seven.
Predictions: Joe Flacco throws for 220 yards with a score to T.J. Houshmandzadeh, while Ray Rice adds 100 total yards and a TD run. Cedric Benson is shut down, but Carson Palmer throws for 225 yards with scoring strikes to Terrell Owens and Jordan Shipley, as the home team prevails. Bengals 20-17.
Miami (+5.5) at Minnesota, Sunday 1 p.m.
Comments: The Dolphins won a tough divisional game on the road last week, but Buffalo very well may be one of the three worst teams in the NFL, and Miami's young secondary probably isn't as good as Trent Edwards made them look. Brandon Marshall is going to be a target monster this season, but Chad Henne remains a major work in progress. Minnesota still has a nasty run defense, which means this is a bad setup for a Dolphins team that relies on the ground game. Indoors in a loud arena, this could spell trouble for Henne, who may be asked to throw quite a bit Sunday... There wasn't a tougher place to play than Minnesota last season, but this is a new year, and especially after Week 1, we don't know who this Vikings team is. With no Sidney Rice (hip) and now Percy Harvin (hip) also questionable (and even if he plays, further practice time missed hurts), will they once again be forced to use a scaled back game plan like they did in New Orleans?
Predictions: Chad Henne throws for 220 yards and a touchdown to Brandon Marshall, while Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams combine for 100 yards with a TD run. Adrian Peterson answers with 140 yards from scrimmage and hits paydirt twice, while Brett Favre adds 230 passing yards and a score to Visanthe Shiancoe, as Minnesota gets into the win column. Vikings 24-17.
Chicago (+7.5) at Dallas, Sunday 1 p.m.
Comments: Chicago enters 1-0, but they barely beat the Lions (who entered 2-30 over the past two seasons) at home and largely because of a questionable rule negating a sure touchdown by Calvin Johnson. The Bears outgained Detroit by nearly 300 yards and dealt with some unlucky fumbles and were stopped at the goal line four straight times, but they also benefitted from the Lions having to use their backup QB over the second half. Detroit's defensive line has vastly improved, but the Bears' O-line remains a big question mark. Turnovers will remain a problem all season long with Jay Cutler and Mike Martz running the offense... Dallas also greatly outplayed its opponent in Week 1 in a close game, only they ultimately lost. Coaching is still a big problem here, and it was the main reason why the Cowboys enter 0-1. Still, this is a defense that could be dominant in 2010 (they allowed just six points on the road in Week 1), and the offensive line gets a lot healthier in Week 2. Tony Romo should pick apart this Bears' defense, with the help of Miles Austin and exciting rookie Dez Bryant. Coming off a loss, expect a far better effort from Dallas this week.
Predictions: Jay Cutler is sacked a few times, commits two turnovers and throws for 250 yards with scores to Devin Aromashodu and Johnny Knox. Matt Forte totals 70 yards but is held out of the end zone, while Felix Jones and Marion Barber combine for 110 total yards and a touchdown. Tony Romo adds 280 passing yards with TD strikes to Jason Witten and Miles Austin, as Dallas wins it. Cowboys 27-17.
Philadelphia (-4.5) at Detroit, Sunday 1 p.m.
Comments: The Lions played the Bears tough in Chicago last week, despite losing Matthew Stafford to yet another shoulder injury. The defensive line looks to be greatly improved, thanks to Ndamukong Suh and Kyle Vanden Bosch, and while that unit will not only help the run defense but also the secondary, Detroit will remain plenty susceptible to the pass. Don't forget just how bad this secondary has been over the last two years. The team needs to target Calvin Johnson more, and Jahvid Best should play faster at home and on turf, but Stafford's propensity to get injured is concerning... The Eagles not only were beat by the Packers at home Week 1, but they lost their starting QB (who looked dreadful beforehand) to a concussion and also their starting center and fullback for the season as well. The Jamaal Jackson loss is a really big blow (over 926 snaps last season, he allowed just two sacks, didn't commit a single penalty and was an elite run blocker), but this is still a team with a lot of talent on its roster (and losing to Green Bay is hardly cause for panic). Michael Vick was highly impressive in relief, showing his old speed. He's not going to be an elite option for Philadelphia, but with that rushing ability, he very well could be for fantasy owners, especially with the dangerous options surrounding him. He's a top-10 QB start in fantasy leagues for Week 2.
Predictions: Shaun Hill throws for 150 yards with a touchdown to Calvin Johnson, while Jahvid Best is held in check. LeSean McCoy responds with 75 total yards sans a TD, while Michael Vick runs for 70 yards and a score. He also adds 200 passing yards with a TD to Jeremy Maclin, as Philly comes out on top. Eagles 23-16.
Arizona (+6.5) at Atlanta, Sunday 1 p.m.
Comments: Arizona comes in 1-0, but they were somewhat lucky to win last week in St. Louis, as the team has clearly taken a step back in 2010. Derek Anderson got 7.2 YPA and posted an 85.1 QB rating last week, but as usual, he was extremely inaccurate, completing just 53.7 percent of his passes against a weak secondary. Larry Fitzgerald (knee) will be good to go Sunday, but he's not yet 100 percent, and Chris Wells continues to battle a knee bruise. Early Doucet (hernia) is out Sunday, so Steve Breaston will need to step up again... Atlanta opened its season with a loss last week, but they really had no business being favorites in Pittsburgh, even with Ben Roethlisberger suspended. Make no mistake, this is a Falcons team that could win 10-11 games this season, and at home against the Cardinals in Week 2, they should roll. Expect Matt Ryan and Michael Turner to start rewarding fantasy owners, while Roddy White could lead the league in targets this season. Despite current records (as well as last year's), this is a mismatch.
Predictions: Derek Anderson throws for 225 yards with a touchdown to Larry Fitzgerald, while Tim Hightower again gets the bulk of the workload in Atlanta's backfield, resulting in 70 total yards and a goal-line score. Michael Turner counters with 125 rushing yards and two touchdowns, while Matt Ryan adds 240 passing yards and a TD toss to Tony Gonzalez, as Atlanta gets the victory. Falcons 27-17.
Kansas City (-1.5) at Cleveland, Sunday 1 p.m.
Comments: Kansas City is riding high after an upset win against San Diego, but they won't have the benefit of a raucous Arrowhead crowd in primetime this week, having to travel after playing on Monday night. Moreover, the Chiefs' huge upgrade on special teams (Javier Arenas and Dexter McCluster already both look like top-five returners in football) will be offset Sunday by Josh Cribbs, who is pretty good himself. There's no doubt, this is a KC team improving fast, and Matt Cassel should put up better stats not playing with a lead and not dealing with poor weather conditions, but don't overreact to one nationally televised game. Todd Haley may just be dumb enough to keep Jamaal Charles off the field half the game... The Browns are likely to finish with one of the worst records in the NFL this season, but note that's partially because they are in one of the toughest divisions in football, and they entered the fourth quarter with a four point lead while on the road last week after winning their final four games last season. Unless further fumbling occurs, Jerome Harrison's fantasy owners should get used to an even split with Peyton Hillis moving forward (and the latter should dominate goal-line work too). This is a good time to buy Cleveland low against the spread.
Predictions: Matt Cassel throws for 240 yards with a touchdown to Dwayne Bowe, while Jamaal Charles impresses when on the field, resulting in 80 total yards. Still, it's Thomas Jones who gets the goal-line score. Jerome Harrison and Peyton Hillis combine for 100 yards and a TD run, while Seneca Wallace gets the start at QB over an injured Jake Delhomme (ankle). Wallace runs for 40 yards and throws for 180 and finds Ben Watson in the end zone, as Cleveland wins it. Browns 20-17.
Buffalo (+13) at Green Bay, Sunday 1 p.m.
Comments: The Bills managed just 166 yards of offense at home against Miami last week -- this looks like a brutal team. Buffalo has major issues at offensive line, no viable option after Lee Evans at WR, and a truly horrendous situation at quarterback. C.J. Spiller had quite possibly the worst debut ever by a running back taken in the top-10 of their draft, but he should get better moving forward once he starts being more patient. Sunday's game seems like a sure blowout, but crazier things have happened, and it's worth noting just how good the Bills' secondary is... The Packers might very well be the best team in football, and the loss of Ryan Grant (ankle) for the season means far more to fantasy owners than to Green Bay, who will hardly be affected at all. There won't be a better add in fantasy formats than Brandon Jackson all season long. Aaron Rodgers may not go nuts Sunday against an underrated Bills' secondary while likely playing with the lead mostly, but Green Bay's defense should have a big game, as the Packers win handily.
Predictions: Trent Edwards has a rough game, getting sacked multiple times, committing a couple of turnovers and getting just 180 passing yards with no touchdowns. C.J. Spiller doesn't total a bunch of yards, but he does break one for a score, while Brandon Jackson answers with 100 total yards and hits paydirt. Aaron Rodgers throws for 240 yards with scoring strikes to Jermichael Finley and Donald Driver, as Green Bay wins easily. Packers 27-13.
Pittsburgh (+5) at Tennessee, Sunday 1 p.m.
Comments: The Steelers squeaked out an ugly (at least offensively) win last week, as the game's only touchdown was scored in overtime. Dennis Dixon didn't seem overly impressive, but he ended the game with a 69.2 completion percentage and even more importantly, a whopping 9.1 YPA mark. He'll face a tougher task on the road in Tennessee this week. The loss of Ben Roethlisberger is certainly a big deal, but just like last week, Vegas seems to really overrate that aspect, as it's hard to figure how Pittsburgh is five point underdogs here... The Titans rolled Week 1 and are now 9-2 over their last 11 games dating back to last season - all Vince Young starts. They have a solid defense and are well coached, capable of beating any team in the league, especially at home. But their WR corps is among the worst in football, and the offense relies heavily on Chris Johnson, who has ran for 100 yards in 12 straight games, two shy of the NFL record held by Barry Sanders. It will take an extraordinary effort to make it 13 against this Steelers' run defense.
Predictions: Dennis Dixon runs for 30 yards, passes for 170 yards and finds Hines Ward in the end zone. Rashard Mendenhall totals 80 yards but doesn't score, while Chris Johnson gets 100 yards from scrimmage but also fails to record a touchdown (or reach the century mark rushing). Vince Young throws for 180 yards with a TD strike to Kenny Britt, as Tennessee wins a defensive battle on a late field goal. Titans 16-13.
Tampa Bay (+3) at Carolina, Sunday 1 p.m.
Comments: The Bucs enter 1-0, but it's worth pointing out they were down 14-3 at home versus a bad Browns team last week, so while they are moving in the right direction, Tampa Bay remains a work in progress. The offensive line has the talent to improve over last year's disappointing performance, the two rookies should really help the defensive line, and the team gets back standout corner Aqib Talib (suspension) this week. Josh Freeman should also get better during his second year in the league and the further he's removed from his thumb injury, while Mike Williams looks to be a star sooner rather than later. Still, there are coaching issues here, a lack of depth on both sides of the ball and one of the least-explosive backfields in the NFL... The Bucs are 1-0 and the Panthers are 0-1, but this line suspiciously opened at just -2. Carolina absolutely has the potential to make the playoffs this year, although admittedly quarterback remains a question mark. They are coached well, have a strong defense and one of the three best rushing attacks in the NFL. Matt Moore doesn't have to be star, he just has to protect the ball better than Jake Delhomme did (and he was unsuccessful in Week 1, throwing three interceptions inside his opponents' red zone). Still, at home, expect the Panthers to handle the Buccaneers with ease Sunday.
Predictions: Josh Freeman throws for 170 yards with a touchdown to Mike Williams, while Tampa Bay's ground game is held in check. DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart combine for 160 yards and each score a touchdown, while Matt Moore (concussion) throws for 180 yards with a score to Brandon LaFell, as Carolina comes out on top. Panthers 24-13.
St. Louis (+3.5) at Oakland, Sunday 4:05 p.m.
Comments: The Rams addressed the most important position on the field by selecting Sam Bradford with the first overall pick of the draft, and while he's sure to be inconsistent this year, he's already impressed. Ideally, the team won't ask him to throw 55 times like they did in Week 1, but Mark Clayton's emergence is exciting, both for the Rams and for fantasy owners in need of a WR sleeper moving forward. He received a whopping 16 targets in Week 1 and should have success with an easy schedule, a QB willing to go downfield and little competition for looks... Despite JaMarcus Russell's absence, Oakland was still dominated in Week 1, although it was a tough task playing in Tennessee, especially as a west coast team. The Raiders will hold the advantage Sunday, facing a Rams' team who has to play outdoors with a rookie QB. Darren McFadden played his best game in the NFL last week, and if Michael Bush (thumb) is again out in Week 2, he's a must-start in all fantasy formats at home against a soft Rams' front seven.
Predictions: Sam Bradford throws for 210 yards with a touchdown to Mark Clayton, while Steven Jackson totals 100 yards and scores. Darren McFadden responds with a similar line, while Jason Campbell adds 225 passing yards and a TD toss to Zach Miller, as Oakland prevails. Raiders 23-17.
Seattle (+3.5) at Denver, Sunday 4:05 p.m.
Comments: Seattle won 31-6 last week, but no score was more misleading. And they now go from having a huge homefield advantage to playing on the road in an environment that is one of the few venues that's even more advantageous for the home team. The Seahawks' offensive line held up surprisingly well last week, but this is still a vulnerable group that could collapse in Denver. And the Seahawks seem determined to limit Justin Forsett's touches, instead giving them to the far inferior Julius Jones (what else is new?)... The Broncos lost last week, but they return home and get a pretty favorable matchup. Kyle Orton is a sleeper in fantasy leagues this week, and both Knowshon Moreno and Jabar Gaffney should be started with confidence as well. LT Ryan Clady's further improvement in health and with more practice reps will be a huge boost, although expecting anything close to a repeat performance from Brandon Lloyd would be unwise.
Predictions: Matt Hasselbeck throws for 180 yards with a touchdown to Mike Williams, while the Seattle rushing attack is again a committee resulting in modest production. Knowshon Moreno totals 80 yards with a touchdown, while Kyle Orton throws for 250 yards and a TD strike to Jabar Gaffney, as Denver comes out on top. Broncos 20-16.
Houston (-3) at Washington, Sunday 4:15 p.m.
Comments: Donovan McNabb was far from impressive during his Redskins debut last week, but he has a much more favorable matchup Sunday, and both Santana Moss and Chris Cooley look like they will turn out to be fantasy bargains, especially the latter. Still, Washington's group of running backs has the least amount of upside in the NFL. It's a young man's position, yet they've gone the opposite direction. The Texans have been tough against the run ever since the second half of last year, so McNabb is going to have to make some plays to win Sunday... The Texans enter coming off one of the most impressive Week 1 wins (against the defending AFC champ Colts) while the Redskins are coming off one of the least impressive victories (scoring six points on offense at home, although they did win against a good Cowboys team). This could easily be the year Houston finally breaks through and makes the playoffs, but three point favorites on the road against the Redskins basically assumes as much if not more. Arian Foster is going to go down as the single best pick in 2010 fantasy drafts, but expectations need to be held in check in Week 2, and the same should be said with Matt Schaub and the rest of Houston's passing attack.
Predictions: Donovan McNabb gets 250 passing yards and finds Chris Cooley and Santana Moss in the end zone, but the Redskins' rushing attack is stagnant. Arian Foster gains 75 yards with a TD run of his own, while Matt Schaub throws for 225 yards with scoring strikes to Andre Johnson and Owen Daniels, as the road team prevails. Texans 21-20.
Jaguars (+7.5) at Chargers, Sunday 4:15 p.m.
Comments: The Jaguars opened 2010 with a win, but it's a far different task in Week 2, travelling to play a San Diego team coming off an embarrassing performance on Monday Night Football. David Garrard is already a fifth of the way to last season's TD total through the air, and he could have to throw playing catch up quite a bit Sunday as well. Mike Sims-Walker has recorded two catches or fewer in five of his past six games, totaling just 129 yards with one touchdown over that span. Fantasy owners sure hope he shows a pulse Sunday... San Diego has been a notoriously slow starter in recent years, going a collective 5-10 now to start their years since Norv Turner took over as head coach. Run blocking is an issue, and Week 2 still qualifies as early in the year, but expect the Chargers to take out last week's frustrations at home against an inferior Jaguars team Sunday. It might get ugly.
Predictions: David Garrard throws for 230 yards with a touchdown to Mike Sims-Walker, while Maurice Jones-Drew totals 75 yards and a TD. Ryan Matthews counters with 100 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown, while Philip Rivers adds 300 passing yards and three touchdowns, with Antonio Gates, Malcom Floyd and Legedu Naanee the recipients, as San Diego wins in a blowout. Chargers 31-14.
Patriots (-2.5) at Jets, Sunday 4:15 p.m.
Comments: The Jets entered the year as one of the most-hyped teams in recent memory, and at least in Week 1, they failed to live up to it. Still, losing to the Ravens by one point with fumbles and penalties playing a major role doesn't necessarily tell us all that much, although the obvious lack of confidence in Mark Sanchez was somewhat revealing (or just plain bad coaching). Why Darrelle Revis didn't shadow Anquan Boldin was mind-boggling, although he's supposed to do so against Randy Moss this week, assuming his hamstring agrees. Fantasy leaguers should be targeting Shonn Greene as a buy-low opportunity... Randy Moss may be unhappy while Wes Welker's knee and the defense remain question marks, but New England could easily win the Super Bowl this season. A 31-3 lead in the third quarter against the Bengals was about as impressive as it gets in Week 1. The team's horrible RB depth is another issue, but with Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, doubt at your own risk. This game is a perfect opportunity to buy-low and sell-high, but I'll be the sucker who does otherwise.
Predictions: Mark Sanchez throws for 220 yards with a touchdown to Dustin Keller, while Shonn Greene and LaDainian Tomlinson combine for 110 total yards and a touchdown run, with LT scoring from in close. The Pats' RBBC counters with 75 total yards with no TDs, but Tom Brady answers with 240 passing yards and scoring strikes to Kevin Faulk and Rob Gronkowski, as New England improves to 2-0. Patriots 17-14.
New York Giants (+5.5) at Indianapolis, Sunday 8:20 p.m.
Comments: This is a tricky game against the spread, since it might be wise to sell the Giants and buy the Colts after last week, especially since Peyton Manning has such a strong history of dominating during primetime. But while Indy is sure to rebound and be one of the best teams in the NFL this season, who's to say the Giants can't be among the elite as well? Surprisingly, Bob Sanders got hurt last week, and the Colts' run defense remains a major problem, which might be an issue once again Sunday. Being vulnerable against the run is definitely better than versus the pass, but New York has the personnel to take advantage, and Eli Manning has quietly become a star (with the help of emerging wideouts). Hopefully Hakeem Nicks (ankle) can suit up Sunday night... Week 1's loss was Indy's first legitimate one in the regular season since Week 8 in 2008, which is pretty remarkable. And it's pretty funny seeing Indianapolis all alone in last in the AFC South. Of course, it will all be short-lived, and this Colts squad remains one of the best in the NFL, and the offensive line will be back to strength in Week 2. In a matchup of brothers, expect a great game in primetime, with the elder ultimately coming out on top.
Predictions: Eli Manning throws for 250 yards with a touchdown to Mario Manningham, while Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs combine for 140 yards and a touchdown run. Joseph Addai counters with 75 yards from scrimmage and a TD, while Peyton Manning adds 275 passing yards and two scores, with Reggie Wayne and Pierre Garcon the recipients, as Indy rebounds with a win. Colts 27-23.
New Orleans (-5.5) at San Francisco, Monday 8:30 p.m.
Comments: The Saints are defending Super Bowl champs and are coming off 10 days' rest after beating the Vikings in Week 1. But don't jump to conclusions here. New Orleans is a different team outdoors, and San Francisco as home dogs on Monday Night Football should be a tough opponent, especially after their horrible Week 1 performance. New Orleans' rushing attack should find tough sledding, so Drew Brees is going to have to really carry the team once again... Maybe SF goes down as the most overhyped team once again, but one week shouldn't result in a final verdict. Last week's game in Seattle could have gone a lot differently, and maybe a wakeup call after a bunch of offseason praise for a team that has proven nothing on the field could ultimately be beneficial. OC Jimmy Raye needs to do a better job of getting the calls in earlier, and Michael Crabtree might want to consider getting some preseason work in next year. Alex Smith is not an above average QB, but SF can make the playoffs with him at the helm in this division, but his surrounding teammates need to respond. Don't be shocked by an upset Monday night.
Predictions: Drew Brees throws for 290 yards with touchdowns to Marques Colston and Robert Meachem, while Pierre Thomas totals 80 yards but doesn't score. Frank Gore counters with 100 total yards and a TD run, while Alex Smith adds 230 passing yards and a touchdown to Vernon Davis, as San Francisco upsets New Orleans. 49ers 20-17.