NFL Week 2 picks: Our Bears-Saints winner might surprise you
MARK POTASH firstname.lastname@example.org September 15, 2011 9:24PM
Updated: May 9, 2012 9:48AM
Cam Newton, meet Dom Capers.
Newton, the Carolina Panthers’ No. 1 overall draft pick, passed for 422 yards in the Panthers’ 28-21 loss to the Arizona Cardinals — the most passing yards by a rookie in his debut in NFL history.
It’s possible the highly touted Newton is a transcendent quarterback who will continue to strafe NFL secondaries in his rookie season.
But more than likely he’s due to be brought back to Earth almost as quickly as he skyrocketed into the NFL record book last week.
The Green Bay Packers’ defense has its vulnerabilities and tends to start slow and finish fast under Dom Capers. The Saints’ Drew Brees strafed the Packers for 412 yards, three touchdowns and a 112.3 rating in Week 1.
But it usually eats up young quarterbacks at any time of the season.
The Lions’ Matthew Stafford threw four interceptions and had a 30.5 passer rating in his first game against Capers’ defense in 2009. The Jets’ Mark Sanchez threw two interceptions and had a 43.3 rating in his first game against the Packers last years.
Even the Bears’ Jay Cutler, in his fourth year in the NFL, threw four interceptions in his first game against Capers’ Packers defense in 2009.
Newton has more natural ability than any of those quarterbacks. But usually it takes more than that to succeed in the NFL — especially against the Packers.
Time: Noon. Line: Packers by 10. Total: 46
Records (overall/ATS): Packers 1-0/1-0; Panthers 0-1/0-0-1
Pick: Packers 31, Panthers 10.
BEARS AT SAINTS
Time: Noon, Fox-32.
Line: Saints by 7. Total: 47.
Records (overall/ATS): Bears 1-0/1-0; Saints 0-1/0-1.
Fast fact: Bears QB Jay Cutler threw 6 TDs, 0 INTs indoors last season (117.7 rating).
Outlook: If improving Bears offense takes a step forward — and Mike Martz offenses usually are better on turf than outdoors — they’re going to be tough to beat. But if they cave in to the intensity of the Superdome crowd, look out.
Pick: Bears 26, Saints 23.
RAIDERS AT BILLS
Line: Bills by 31/2. Total: 421/2.
Records (overall/ATS): Raiders 1-0/1-0; Bills 1-0/1-0.
Fast fact: Raiders RB Darren McFadden gained 150 yards on 22 carries vs. Broncos.
Outlook: After years of ineptitude, Raiders are becoming a pretty good team with strong offensive and defensive lines — five sacks vs. Broncos last week, with only 1 sack allowed. That makes a difference vs. teams like the Bills.
Pick: Raiders 23, Bills 10.
cowboys at 49ers
Time: 3:05 p.m.
Line: ’Boys by 3. Total: 421/2.
Records (overall/ATS): Cowboys 0-1/1-0; 49ers 1-0/1-0.
Fast fact: The 49ers, tied for 14th in sacks last year (36), had five vs. Seattle in Week 1.
Outlook: After winning in Jim Harbaugh’s NFL debut with two clinching kick returns, 49ers due to fall flat against the Cowboys, who threw another win away last week vs. Jets.
Pick: Cowboys 30, 49ers 13.
CHIEFS AT LIONS
Line: Lions by 8. Total: 45.
Records (overall/ATS): Chiefs 0-1/0-1; Lions 1-0/1-0.
Outlook: Disappointing Chiefs served up a reminder they only beat one winning team in ’10.
Pick: Lions 27, Chiefs 17.
BROWNS AT COLTS
Line: Browns by 21/2. Total: 371/2.
Records (overall/ATS): Browns 0-1/0-1; Colts 0-1/0-1.
Outlook: Peyton Manning won seven or eight MVP awards retroactively last week.
Pick: Colts 20, Browns 17.
BUCCANEERS AT VIKINGS
Line: Vikings by 3. Total: 401/2.
Records (overall/ATS): Bucs 0-1/0-1; Vikings 0-1/1-0.
Outlook: Vikes can only hope Donovan McNabb was shaking the rust off last week (7-15, 39 yards).
Pick: Vikings 17, Buccaneers 10.
JAGUARS AT JETS
Line: Jets by 91/2. Total: 381/2.
Records (overall/ATS): Jaguars 1-0/1-0; Jets 1-0/0-1.
Outlook: Jaguars’ resiliency, Jets’ inconsistency makes this one pretty simple: stay away.
Pick: Jets 24, Jaguars 17.
SEAHAWKS AT STEELERS
Line: Steelers by 141/2. Total: 40.
Records (overall/ATS): Seahawks 0-1/0-1; Steelers 0-1/0-1.
Outlook: Steelers won’t have 7 giveaways this week. But Seattle won’t allow 2 return TDs, either.
Pick: Steelers 24, Seahawks 13.
RAVENS AT TITANS
Line: Ravens by 6. Total: 371/2.
Records (overall/ATS): Ravens 1-0/1-0; Titans 0-1/0-1.
Outlook: Ravens unlikely to play as well as they did last week. But they won’t have to.
Pick: Ravens 21, Titans 7.
CARDINALS AT REDSKINS
Line: Redskins by 4. Total: 44.
Records (overall/ATS): Cardinals 1-0/0-0-1; Redskins 1-0/1-0.
Outlook: Rex Grossman, 8th leading passer in the NFL, is unbeaten against the Cardinals in his career.
Pick: Redskins 24, Cardinals 14.
BENGALS AT BRONCOS
Time: 3:15 p.m.
Line: Broncos by 41/2. Total: 40.
Records (overall/ATS): Bengals 1-0/1-0; Broncos 0-1/0-1.
Outlook: Heat already is on Kyle Orton, but ex-Bear usually plays his best in that situation.
Pick: Broncos 28, Bengals 21.
TEXANS AT DOLPHINS
Time: 3:15 p.m.
Line: Texans by 3. Total: 47.
Records (overall/ATS): Texans 1-0/1-0; Dolphins 0-1/0-1.
Outlook: Overshadowed by Tom Brady last week, Miami’s Chad Henne threw for 416 yards, 2 TDs.
Pick: Dolphins 27, Texans 24 (OT).
CHARGERS AT PATRIOTS
Time: 3:15 p.m.
Line: Patriots by 7. Total: 521/2.
Records (overall/ATS): Chargers 1-0/0-1; Patriots 1-0/1-0.
Outlook: Chargers QB Philip Rivers has a 78.4 passer rating in five games vs. the Patriots (1-4).
Pick: Patriots 20, Chargers 17.
EAGLES AT FALCONS
Time: 7:20 p.m., Ch. 5.
Line: Eagles by 21/2. Total: 50.
Records (overall/ATS): Eagles 1-0/1-0; Falcons 0-1/0-1.
Outlook: Falcons, Matt Ryan, should play much better at home than they did vs. Bears last week. Pick: Falcons 23, Eagles 17.
RAMS AT GIANTS
Time: 7:20 p.m., Mon., ESPN.
Line: Giants by 51/2. Total: 44.
Records (overall/ATS): Rams 0-1/0-1; Giants 0-1/0-1.
Outlook: Both teams are banged up, but Giants are at home, and Eli Manning due for a big game.
Pick: Giants 31, Rams 24.