Week 2 was much like week 1 for my predictions, a 1-1 split. Where’d did I slip up? I gave too much credit to the defending champs. Or maybe not enough credit to the Bears defensive unit as a whole. Either way, Chicago took advantage of a couple missed field goals by Reed and an improving Jay Cutler forced them passed the Steelers and into the win column. Pittsburgh better figure out how to convert third downs, or their offensive line will be the goat when they start losing more games to the elite AFC teams as the year progresses (no, that doesn’t yet include the Patriots).
I did accurately predict the Vikings covering against the Lions. Detroit, for all the talk of improvement, is still the worst team in the league. It takes more than an optimistic attitude to climb out the cellar that quickly, and the Vikings bring a balanced offensive attack and sturdy defense to the table every week. It was inevitable they’d win by more than 10.
Speaking of the Vikings, let’s stay with them as the home team for this week’s matchup against the 49ers. The purple warriors are a seven-point favorite? They’re still not getting any respect. Yes, the 49ers aren’t the Lions, but they’re hardly in the upper echlon of teams even in their own conference. Shaun Hill is asked to manage games for San Francisco, not win them (yet). Yeah, Frank Gore is a beast, but it might not be enough against a team with an all-around better offensive game, and that includes a stronger running back to boot in Adrian Peterson, who’s healthy and killing it so far this year. I’m not sold on the 49ers, and they’re on the road. The safe bet is to take the Vikings to cover. Something tells me they’ll separate in garbage time and this one won’t even be close.
Now over to the AFC, where the once might Titans (remember last year?) take aim at the Jets, a team not to be dismissed or messed with. The Jets are for real, rookie QB and all, and they’ll be in the playoffs come the winter. We’re looking at a 3-point line in favor of New York in this one, and I have to say, that’s again too generous for the road team. If you’ve watched the Titans games so far, you have to realize something’s missing from Tennessee this year, they’re not the 13-3 team they were last year. Explosive Chris Johnson and dependable Kerry Collins aside, the defense was credited with too much in Week 1. (see notes on Steelers offensive line above).
You figure they’re sure as hell not going to get that contribution from CJ every week, and they still managed to lose against Andre Johnson and Houston. So not only are they 0-2, but the big offensive game was upstaged by their opponents big offensive game, as well. Will they rebound on the road against the tough Jets defense? Not likely. Expect a decent game from Johnson, maybe 90 yards and a score, but the Jets will keep this one in control and probably win by 10-13. I’d be them to cover, and probably take the under on this one, as well.