Peyton Manning once again proved that he is not ready to call it quits after helping lead his Denver Broncos to a miraculous 31-24 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs Thursday night. As one of my picks in last week’s column, the Broncos have now moved to 2-0 against the spread, covering both times as a result of defensive touchdowns.
I can’t do any better than I did in my Week 1 preview, but I’ll certainly try to match it with this week’s games. Let’s take a look at some of the most fascinating games.
Week 1 Record: 5-0-0
Season Record: 5-0-0
TENNESSEE TITANS (-1.5) at Cleveland Browns
After Marcus Mariota’s impressive NFL debut against Jameis Winston and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he will now take on another former Heisman Trophy winner in Johnny Manziel. While it’s unlikely that Mariota will throw four first-half touchdown passes again, the Browns are flat out awful with Manziel under center. If you’re getting beat out by Josh McCown in a quarterback competition, you clearly aren’t capable of leading your team to a victory. Mariota and the Titans will capitalize and improve to 2-0.
Prediction: TEN (24) – CLE (13)
New England Patriots at BUFFALO BILLS (Pick)
Is there anything better than watching Bill Belichick square off against Rex Ryan? Coming off a dominant performance over the Indianapolis Colts, the Bills will be extremely confident – taking after their new head coach. We have to hope another headset controversy takes place, resulting in Belichick and Ryan talking trash to one another for the entire game. While the Patriots have dominated this series since 2000, the Bills are too motivated playing in front of their home crowd and too stingy on defense to let the Patriots walk away with a win.
Prediction: NE (20) – BUF (23)
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (+10) at New Orleans Saints
Jameis Winston’s debut in the NFL was a nightmare to say the least. However, he did improve as the game went on, and will continue to get better with more NFL reps. The Saints were far from impressive in their 31-19 loss to the Arizona Cardinals, and aren’t worthy of being favored by double digits against any NFL team. The good news is that Winston can’t start off this game any worse than his last one, and the Bucs should be ready to prove they aren’t as terrible as most people believe.
Prediction: TB (21) – NO (27)
Dallas Cowboys at PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (-4.5)
This NFC East showdown features the two teams most likely to compete for the division crown. While both teams surged back from huge deficits last week, only the Cowboys were able to come away with a victory. Losing Dez Bryant in the process, it’ll be interesting to see who on Dallas’ roster can replace the star wide receiver’s role as the out-of-control maniac constantly screaming at his teammates. Tony Romo will severely miss his most talented pass catcher, and the Eagles should easily march up and down the field against a porous Cowboys defense. The Eagles move to 1-1, and quarterback Sam Bradford gets his first win as an Eagle.
Prediction: DAL (24) – PHI (34)
Seattle Seahawks at GREEN BAY PACKERS (-3)
In a rematch of the NFC Championship game, Aaron Rodgers and the Packers will be looking to avenge last year’s heartbreaking loss. Getting the Seattle Seahawks at home for once, the Packers will look to assert themselves as the best team in the NFC. After watching Seattle’s defense get picked apart by St. Louis Rams quarterback Nick Foles last week, Aaron Rodgers should have a field day against the surprisingly shaky secondary. While Green Bay fans will rejoice with a victory, no one will be happier than safety Kam Chancellor, whose contract demands will continue to grow as the Seattle losses pile up.
Prediction: SEA (24) – GB (31)