Bet On It: Week 2 predictions
Before you dismiss
As for my guess that Peyton Manning would have 300 yards and two picks, I didn't know he was going to throw so many short and intermediate passes against Pittsburgh. The one prediction my editor said was too safe, Carolina rushing for 175 against Tampa Bay, didn't quite pan out. The Panthers ran for 10 total yards. Either Carolina's injuries were too much or offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski has a personal vendetta against me.
Lesser prognosticators would be scared by a 2-8 start. I look at it as a solid base for improvement. With that in mind, I'll try to be even bolder in Week 2.
Rodgers has had success against Lovie Smith's Cover 2 defense through the years. He has a 102.9 passer rating in eight regular season games, with 15 TDs and 5 INTs. Even in a losing effort against the stingy 49ers defense, Rodgers threw for 303 yards, 2 TDs and 1 INT.
Even as their overall defensive statistics have fallen, the Packers still manage to create turnovers. Cutler is awfully confident and will take some risks downfield on Thursday night.
New England completely shut down the Titans running game in Week 1 and should have little trouble containing a Cardinals attack that managed only 43 yards on the ground against Seattle. As a result, Kolb will end up in passing situations and New England's pass rush will be able to steamroll past Arizona's inexperienced offensive line on its way to the quarterback.
Everyone is ready to hand over the AFC North to the Ravens, but don't forget Cincinnati and Pittsburgh. We didn't get a true indication of where the Bengals were last week -- they ran into a buzzsaw playing at Baltimore in primetime. Cincinnati will get back to its conservative offensive gameplan against Cleveland, and its very questionable defense. Meanwhile, we should also throw out the Steelers' opening loss. They missed safety Ryan Clark in Denver and lacked their usual confidence. Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez was nearly perfect last week against Buffalo, but we've seen him have big games against the Bills that didn't carry over into performances against other teams.
The Vikings running back made a statement with his punishing runs late against the Jaguars. He won't need many carries to reach the century mark against a Colts defense that didn't show anything against the Bears.
Kansas City gets pass rusher Tamba Hali back from a one-game suspension and has too many quality defensive players to repeat last week's disappointing performance against the Falcons. The Bills are without running back Fred Jackson and receiver David Nelson, and quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick was sloppy against the Jets.
The Tennessee coaching staff will scramble to figure out something after Johnson ran for just four yards on 11 carries against New England. At the very least, Johnson can catch the ball out of the backfield like Oakland's Darren McFadden did against the Chargers last week.
Newton actually didn't have big passing yardage numbers against New Orleans last year (224 and 158 yards). And Newton hasn't put up consistently big numbers since the midway point of last season. The Saints' defense has to be fired up after getting embarrassed by a rookie in the opener.
Vick threw four picks against Cleveland, and the Ravens defense was outstanding against Cincy. But this looks like a trap game, with Baltimore having a short week and the Eagles licking their wounds despite getting a close win. Vick has to realize holding on to the ball and trying to make plays downfield isn't working right now.
I'm sticking with this every week until Tebow actually scores (on the field). The Jets' backup quarterback is a perfect red-zone weapon -- especially since the Jets don't have any tall receivers they can count on close to the goal line. After all this hype, Tebow had better get in the darn end zone at some point or I'm demanding a refund on all the energy spent talking about him during the offseason.