Eric’s NFL Week 2 Picks

Remember, use my picks to wager $$$ at your own risk. If you lose, I had nothing to do with it. If you win beaucoup $$$, a 10% tip would be cool.  But, I’m realistic. This is just for your entertainment…or not, and for me to keep my sports “mojo” going until “I’m back in the saddle”. Remember the league’s unofficial motto…“ON ANY GIVEN SUNDAY, MONDAY, THURSDAY, FRIDAY OR SATURDAY“…………

Eric’s record after Week 1: 12-4

WEEK 2

ARIZONA  (1-0) +6.5 @ ATLANTA  (0-1)  O/U 43 pts
-Cardinals were fortunate to get a win against a bad and rebuilding Rams team. Falcons played poorly losing at Pittsburgh against a Steeler team with Dennis Dixon at starting quarterback. No matter. Atlanta’s a better team than Arizona. Come on! Cards have Derek Anderson at QB. Falcons have Matt Ryan. Atlanta will get on track, especially in the Georgia Dome. FALCONS

BALTIMORE  (1-0) -2.5 @ CINCINNATI  (0-1)  O/U 39.5 pts
-The Ravens are the best team in the league. LB Ray Lewis is a legend. Baltimore “hard-knocked” Rex Ryan and the Jets into oblivion at the Meadowlands Stadium last week. Defending AFC North Champion Cincinnati got roasted at New England. The Ravens won’t go undefeated and this is the Bengals home-opener with Terrell Owens and Chad Ocho-Cinco making their tandem debut at home. These division rivals know each other well. It’ll be a hard-fought, close game. BENGALS

KANSAS CITY   (1-0) +2 @ CLEVELAND  (0-1)  O/U 38.5 pts
-The Chiefs look as if they’re getting better under the old New England Patriot hierarchy. In week one’s 21-14 win over defending AFC West Champion San Diego, KC played stellar in all three (special teams, defense & offense) fazes of the game. Jamaal Charles and rookie Dexter McCluster ran circles around the Bolts. Cleveland lost at Tampa Bay. QB Jake Delhomme played well but got banged up. He’s got a sprained wheel. So, Seneca Wallace could get the start at QB and Josh Cribbs will be the best player on the field. Right now, Kansas City’s the better team. CHIEFS

CHICAGO (*1-0) +7 @ DALLAS (0-1)  O/U 40.5 pts
-The Bears got a gift in their home-opening win over Detroit last week. Don’t get me started because I‘ll just ramble on!! The Cowboys got skunked in Washington by their arch rival Redskins. It’s their home-opener. What I would suggest to the Cowboys coaches (like they’d listen to me) is to have the most over-rated and over-hyped quarterback in league history, **Tony Romo (see Joke of the Day below), hand-off to his running backs a minimum of 30 times. COWBOYS

PHILADELPHIA (0-1) -6.5 @ DETROIT (*0-1)  O/U 41.5 pts
-Let me get this straight. If your 4th and goal at the one. Your running back just stretches the ball over the plane of the goal line, or, if the offensive player goes towards the end zone pylon leaps in the air, with most of his body out of bounds, but reaches the hand holding the ball over the pylon………THOSE ARE TOUCHDOWNS?!?! But when a player  (i.e. Lions WR Calvin Johnson) clearly catches the ball with both hands six yards in the end zone, comes down with both feet touching the ground and puts the ball in one hand and leaves the ball on the ground after scoring an apparent game-winning touchdown and runs with glee (sorry) to his sideline……ISN’T A TOUCHDOWN?!?!? WHAT?!?! That rule needs to be re-written because the Lions got robbed!! Regardless of bad calls, the Lions are much improved on both sides of the ball. Problem is, second year QB Matthew Stafford suffered a separated shoulder against the Bears and is out for four to six weeks. So back-up Shaun Hill is your starter for at least the next month. Don’t get me wrong, Hill’s a capable back-up having played a couple of years with the 49ers. Meanwhile, the Eagles will be going with everyone’s DAWG, Michael Vick, at QB after Kevin Kolb suffered a concussion against Green Bay last week. We’ll see how Vick, voted the most hated athlete in an ESPN random poll, free-lances and how it affects the Eagles. The Eagles are the favorite. But, it’s the Lions home-opener with a new ferocious defense, led by second overall pick Ndomukong Suh, that’s got to be pissed they got a win taken from them. LIONS

BUFFALO (0-1) +12.5 @ GREEN BAY (1-0)  O/U 42.5 pts
-Unless Jim Kelly, Bruce Smith, Andre Reed and Thurman Thomas suit up for the Bills……………PACKERS

PITTSBURGH (1-0) +5 @ TENNESSEE (1-0)  O/U 37 pts
-Steelers QB Dennis Dixon, subbing for suspended Ben Roethlisberger, played well in Pittsburgh’s overtime win over Atlanta in last week’s home-opener. It helps when RB Rashard Mendenhall scampered 50 yards for an OT touchdown giving the Steelers the 15-9 win. Titans QB Vince “I’ll take the vacant Heisman” Young led a huge win over Oakland last week. RB Chris Johnson is on his way to 2500 yards after gaining 142 yards on the Raiders. No Dixon/Mendenhall Magic this week. TITANS

MIAMI (1-0) +5.5 @ MINNESOTA (0-1)  O/U 39 pts
-Dolphins barely beat the Bills last week, 15-10. None-the-less, they did win. Ageless QB Brett Favre and the Vikings lost their second straight in the Big Easy last week to the Super Bowl Champion Saints, 14-9. Although the Vikings are still a bit unsettled at wide receiver, they’re the better team and it’s their home-opener. Favre and RB Adrian Peterson will have big games while that defense puts the clamps on Chad Henne, Ronnie Brown and company. VIKINGS

TAMPA BAY (1-0) +3 @ CAROLINA (0-1)  O/U 39 pts
-QB Josh Freeman looked good in the Bucs season-opening 17-14 win over Cleveland last week. Matt Moore and the Panthers held a 16-14 halftime lead over the Giants at the Meadowlands Stadium last week. Then, the Giants began to run all over them and came from behind to record a 31-18 win. Moore was knocked out with a concussion late in the game. Notre Dame rookie Jimmy Clausen could see his first start at QB for the Panthers. These teams are mirror images of each other. Carolina home game. PANTHERS

SEATTLE (1-0) +3 @ DENVER (0-1)   O/U 40.5 pts
-Say what you want about Pete Carroll regarding his tenure at USC. The guy can flat out motivate players and coach football. Seahawks looked like they were having fun in last week’s home-opening 31-6 win over San Francisco. QB Matt Hasselbeck looked healthy and rejuvenated. Meanwhile, Denver looked, well, eh, losing at Jacksonville, 24-17 last week. It’s the Broncos home-opener so I’ll go with an upset. If you can call it that. SEAHAWKS

ST. LOUIS (0-1) +3 @ OAKLAND (0-1)  O/U 37.5 pts
-The latest edition of the “EX-LAX BOWL” could require viewers to have Mylanta on hand. The Raiders looked as bad with new QB Jason Campbell calling the signals in their 38-13 loss at Tennessee last week as they did in three seasons with JaMarcus Russell. Oakland looked inept in all fazes of the game. How is Tom Cable, fired as head coach at  the University of Idaho a few years back, still the head coach of the Raiders I have no idea. Meanwhile, the Rams have found themselves a quarterback. Rookie and top overall draft pick Sam Bradford looked solid in his NFL debut last week. The Rams lost their home-opener to Arizona, 17-13 but Bradford had them in position to win. He passed for 253 yards and a touchdown. He did throw three picks, including one on a late drive for the possible win. Rookie mistakes to be sure, but he looked good none-the-less. Rams looked inspired and played well in all fazes. Both teams are works in progress. St. Louis happens to be progressing faster. But it’s the Raiders home-opener. Considering Titans RB Chris Johnson reeled of 142 yards against the Raider defense, just think what a dose of Steven Jackson might do to it. Rams will set up the pass via Jackson’s running. RAMS

NEW ENGLAND (1-0)  -3 @ NY JETS OF NEW JERSEY (0-1)  O/U 38.5 pts
-Sure the Jets made it to last year’s AFC Championship. But, that was last year. Remember, they finished the regular season 9-7 and were able to make the playoffs because Indianapolis decided not to go for an undefeated season in preparation for the playoffs and tanked to the NY Jets of New Jersey  in week 15. Rex Ryan’s team looked terrible losing to Baltimore last week. Sure, that Jets defense played up to its top-rated status. But, on offense under second year QB Mark Sanchez, they looked inept. And all those penalties on both sides of the ball. Meanwhile, New England looked like the team that entered Super Bowl XLII (42 for you non-Romans) undefeated in beating Cincinnati last week. QB Tom Brady and the Pats won just two road games last season, with one on a neutral field in London over Tampa Bay. This is a division game so it should be hard-fought. New England will come to play. Rex Ryan better hope his team plays with more poise. PATRIOTS

JACKSONVILLE (1-0) +7 @ SAN DIEGO (0-1)  O/U 45 pts
-Chargers have everyone exactly where they want them. They’ve won four consecutive AFC West Titles playing under .500 the first five weeks of all those title winning seasons. Bolts lost at Kansas City Monday night and look as if they miss WR Vincent Jackson who’s holding out for more $$. Jacksonville looked strong beating Denver in their home-opener last week. QB Phillip Rivers and the Bolts are better than QB David Garrard and the Jags. Plus it’s San Diego’s home-opener. CHARGERS

HOUSTON (1-0) -3 @ WASHINGTON (1-0)  O/U 43 pts
-This could be the year the Texans make their first playoff appearance. They couldn’t run to save their lives last year. Houston exorcised two demons in its home-opener last week beating division rival Indianapolis and they found a running game. Arian Foster set a franchise-record scampering 231 yards and scored three touchdowns in the Texans 34-24 win over the Colts. Couple that running game with QB Matt Schaub, and WR Andre Johnson, LOOK OUT! New head coach Mike Shanahan and new QB Donovan McNabb led the Redskins to a season-opening 13-7 win over division arch-rival Dallas. Both defenses are solid. Skins offensive line suspect. It’s going to be a close one. TEXANS

NY GIANTS OF NEW JERSEY (1-0) +4.5 @ INDIANAPOLIS (0-1)  O/U 48.5 pts
-It’s “THE MANNING BOWL!” Both Peyton and Eli are tied with one Super Bowl ring each. In head-to-head competition, Peyton leads, 1-0. They only play each other every four years unless they meet in a Super Bowl. Wouldn’t that be fun. Who would father Archie, a pretty good NFL QB on terrible teams in his day, root for? He’d probably wear one of those jersey’s stitching half of each teams colors together. Eli and the Giants looked good in the second half of last week’s 31-18 win over Carolina at home. Peyton and the Colts got slammed in Houston by the Texans. They lost defensive stand-out safety Bob Sanders. He’s always getting injured. Colts have the same record with him in or out of the line-up. Game is Indy’s home-opener and Peyton won’t allow his team to start 0-2. COLTS

NEW ORLEANS (1-0) -5.5 @ SAN FRANCISCO (0-1)  O/U 43.5 pts  (MNF)
-A “BACK IN THE DAY NFC WEST TILT”. Defending Super Bowl Champion Saints are solid everywhere. That’s why they’re the defending champs. Coach Mike Singletary and the 49ers seem to have major issues after getting bum-rushed in Seattle last week, 31-6. Apparently, offensive coaches and their players aren’t speaking the same language causing confusion for QB Alex Smith and the rest of the offense. Isn’t that what the pre-season is for, making sure everyone’s on the same page? It’s SF’s home-opener at The Stick. It won’t matter because how will they stop QB Drew Brees and that Saints offense? Hall-of-Fame 49ers WR Jerry Rice gets his jersey and number retired at halftime. He should put that jersey on for the Niners to have a shot. SAINTS

BYE WEEK – LOS ANGELES (15 seasons, two weeks)

**JOKE OF THE DAY – From reader Barrett Blake via his favorite Sports Writer Bill Simmons: “Q: What’s the difference between Tony Romo and Lindsay Lohan? A: Only Lohan has a decent line in front of her right now!”

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