Last Week's Projections
(8-8) Straight Up - 50.0%
(6-10) Against The Spread - 37.5%
Baltimore (-4) at Tennessee
A strange thing happened to Baltimore on Monday night. They
lost the one thing they needed to... their QB. Wright is a much
better option considering Baltimore's O-line made Dwight Freeney
look like Lawrence Taylor. This line is just not built for run blocking.
So, Wright’s escape skills will be welcome. Lewis needs to
get his stuff in order with only having 48 yards rushing. But that
was because they were so far behind. The welcome site was Mason
who came close to the 100-yard mark.
Was this team pitiful or what? I really thought they would have
a better showing but uh-uh. McNair looked horrible against the
great Steeler D. They have to find a way to move the ball and
stop somebody. I doubt this is the week. The Ravens D will eat
them alive and they will lucky to escape with their lives.
Final Score: Ravens 24, Titans
Buffalo at Tampa Bay (-2.5)
Man this is tough one. Tampa Bay looked great against a supposedly
great Vikings defense. Understand that this was not expected. The
Bucs D was not supposed to be the same as in prior years. But you
have to hand it to Gruden they came ready to play. Cadillac looks
like the real deal and Griese was efficient. I think they will win
simply because they can stop the Bills D and they are more efficient.
The Bills looked good in their opening game. However the Texans
will never by confused with the Colts. Losman made no mistakes
and McGahee was the central point. That is their formula all year.
This defense is special. I would put them against anyone right
now. However I think they will have trouble scoring in this one.
Final Score: Bucs 21, Bills
Detroit (-1.5) at Chicago
Well this is a strange line. The Lions looked very good in their
opening game against the Packers. Strangely enough the Lions are
usually ran over by Farve and crew. This time they showed this
is a different Lions club. A club with some defense. They made
Favre look horrible and the Packers had no running game. At the
end of the day they are balanced and that should be enough
You know the Bears were going to have some trouble. Again the
defense is as good as advertised but the offense was just as bad.
They mustered about 170 yards worth of offense and Orton looked
like he was a little out of his comfort zone. He will get better
though so don’t worry. It just won’t be this week.
I think they just can’t put up enough points to make it
Final Score: Lions 20, Bears
Jacksonville at Indianapolis
(-9) 1:00 p.m
Whew boy. Did the Colts put on a show or what??? They played the
best defense a Colts team has played since Unitas was there. They
had pressure and they didn’t allow the big play that has
plagued them for so long. They should easily dispense of the Jags.
Don’t be scared of the line. This one is a no-brainer in
Indy. Play all the Colts players that you have. They will score
The Jags looked dominant against the Seahawks. Leftwich has a
good game with 252 yards and a couple of big time TDs. Taylor
looked like the old Taylor . The thing that impressed me the most
was J Smith who was burning up the field. He had 130 yards and
a couple of scores but he will be not much more than a spectator
this week. If the Colts D keeps this up then they will be very
Final Score: Colts 28, Jags
Minnesota (+3) at Cincinnati
Beginning the season 3-5 against the spread is not exactly what
I had planned, but I guess it’s a fitting start, considering
some of the big upsets in Week 1. The Vikings, who were on the
unfortunate end of one of my losing picks last week, looks to
rebound against the Bengals, a team on the rise. I guess my saving
grace last week was discouraging readers from putting any Vikings
running back in their lineup, advice that turned out to be pretty
decent. If only Daunte Culpepper hadn’t turned the ball
over several times, it might have been a halfway decent preview.
While I don’t think you can abandon Culpepper this early,
it looks like he might be a different QB without Moss, so keep
your options open if you drafted him early. Burleson’s probably
still the best option at WR for these guys, so look for him to
catch 5-7 balls and grab a score.
The Bengals were sharp against their Ohio rivals, the much-beleagured
Cleveland Browns, in the opener, and it seems Carson Palmer is
starting to turn into the quarterback I never thought he would
become. With some solid offensive weapons and a formidable defense,
this team just keeps getting better. With confidence, start Rudi
Johnson, Chad Johnson and Palmer, and stop calling them the Bungles.
Final Score: Bengals 27, Vikings
New England (-3) at Carolina
The Patriots have won 3 million in a row and will keep on winning
them until they run into someone who can stop Tom Brady, or at
least pressure him into throwing multiple interceptions deep inside
their own territory. While the Panthers and their solid front
four can apply some pressure, I don’t think the Panthers
offense is quite up to task yet in converting turnovers into scores.
The Saints played with lots of emotion, and squeaked one out,
but the Patriots will be using talent and experience, with a lot
of mojo mixed in, to topple the Cats. For the Pats, go with Brady,
Dillon and Branch, and start Jake Delhomme and Steve Smith for
the Panthers. Going with anybody else is a major risk, considering
the state of the Panthers running game.
Final Score: Patriots 30, Panthers
Pittsburgh (-6) at Houston
I got a little bit scared when I saw the Steelers fell behind
7-0 to Tennessee for a second on Sunday, but the planets realigned
themselves and normalcy resumed shortly afterward. It’s
nice to see Willie Parker running well in Jerome Bettis’
stead — it certainly bodes well for the future of that organization.
And I guess with Hines Ward missing so much of training camp and
the preseason with his holdout, it makes sense that they didn’t
go to him too much in the opener. But figure Ward to rebound with
more of his usual possession-receiver self against Houston, whose
defense was almost as useless as nipples on a French fry last
week against Buffalo. Also, go with Parker and Roethlisberger,
who is due for a decent game. The Texans head into Week Two facing
a defense just as tough as the stalwart crew they dealt with in
Buffalo, so don’t expect big things from Domanick Davis,
David Carr, or Andre Johnson this week.
Final Score: Steelers 27, Texans
San Francisco (+14) at
Philadelphia 1:00 p.m
After Philly’s performance on Monday night, I feel slightly
vindicated about some of my views regarding the Eagles, Owens
and McNabb. Nevertheless, the 49ers still aren’t capable
of beating the Eagles in the City of Brotherly Love. The 49ers
have some possibilities with Barlow and Brandon Lloyd, but it
would be unwise to start any Niner given the Philly defense. The
Eagles should get decent games from McNabb, Owens, Westbrook and
L.J. Smith, but don’t be surprised if the Niners cover the
Final Score: Eagles 27, Niners
Cleveland (+6) at Green
Bay 4:05 p.m.
The Browns have resurrected, once again, the living dead in Trent
Dilfer, who might still have a few serviceable fantasy games left
in his old bones. Dilfer might be an OK spot play at QB if you’ve
got nothing else this week, and RB Reuben Droughns seems to be
the best option at RB with the injury to Suggs. Veteran WR Antonio
Bryant (a title you get after three years in the NFL) emerged
as Dilfer’s go-to guy against Cincinnati, and with rookie
Braylon Edwards and new name Frisman Jackson, might get some catches
and yardage against the Pack.
With Green Bay reeling from the loss of Javon Walker, Favre will
look to establish the ground game early with heavy doses of Ahman
Green and lots of dumps to Driver, Ferguson and Franks. Be wary
of Ferguson, most of all, who has yet to return to his previous
form as a strong WR option. Actually, kicker Ryan Longwell may
be the Packers high scoring fantasy player this week.
Final Score: Packers 20, Browns
(+6) at N.Y. Jets 4:05 p.m.
These teams couldn’t have gotten off to more different starts
last week, and it just goes to show you how parity is still the
NFL’s word of the day. The Dolphins put up a staggering
34 points on Denver last week in an apparent tribute to Ricky
Williams, who is still sitting it out for three more weeks due
to his suspension. While the Chiefs ran all over the Jets, I think
Herm Edwards should have his boys whipped into shape following
the KC debacle, so don’t look for anything magnificent from
the Dolphins this week. Start Chris Chambers, Marty Booker and
Randy McMichael, but don’t look for another 275 and 2TD
from Gus Frerotte. The Jets should get big games from Curtis Martin,
Pennington and Laveranues Coles, who returns to the Garden State
following a stint in Washington that made him actually get nostalgic
about New Jersey.
Final Score: Jets 24, Dolphins
Diego (+2.5) at Denver 4:05 p.m.
Week one losses for both teams should put the emphasis on smash-mouth
football in this one. I wouldn’t be surprised if both Tomlinson
and recently anointed Denver back Tatum Bell (you knew he would
be the guy) reached 100 with a score. This one will have some
scoring, but not as much as you would expect. The Chargers have
the offensive advantage with Brees, LT and TE Antonio Gates, who
is anxious to get his season off on the right foot. Brees is the
most questionable start, as he hasn’t had any great games
against Denver, but LT and Gates are must-plays. Keenan McCardell
is another solid possibility, even though he’s an antique.
The Broncos have four or five good fantasy options in Plummer,
Bell or Anderson, Rod Smith, Ashley Lelie and Jeb Putzier. Bell
might not get the start, because it looks like Anderson will be
back, but don’t believe anything coming out of the Broncos
injury report. Shanahan is a master of deception when it comes
to injuries and depth charts.
Final Score: Chargers 27, Broncos
Atlanta (+1) at Seattle
Atlanta looked great against the Eagles which is why I am shocked
to see this line. If you don’t jump on this you are not
a true fan. I had to look to see if someone was hurt. They are
not, which makes this even more ridiculous. Vick was running around
and that defense-looked crazy putting pressure on McNabb. Look
for them to move the ball and win this one.
The Seahawks started out good but ended up in a bad way. As we
mentioned above the Jags finally started to dominate them late
and really made Hasselbeck struggle. Some folks may be looking
to shop Alexander around in FF this week. I think at the end of
the day he will have a tough time putting things together this
season. They just don’t have the tools around him to help
ease the pressure. They will have trouble against this pass rush
Final Score: Falcons 23, Seahawks
Louis at Arizona (-1) 4:05 p.m
Can you believe the Rams got the worse end of the stick on the
49ers? That was a rare situation. It just doesn’t happen
and you normally see the 49ers walking off the field dejected.
But the Rams look like they had a very leaky line and I think
that Martz will need to make some changes to protection or Bulger
will not last the year. When you give up 7 sacks to a 49ers team
that is not known for pressure you need to revaluate.
The Cardinals looked good in the beginning but fizzled at the
end against the Giants. They looked pretty good on offense but
understand that this is a work in progress. The Rams D is nowhere
near the caliber of the Giants D so they should be able to maneuver
better. Fitzgerald is an animal and will continue his hot streak
this week. Watch Warner be pumped for this one.
Final Score: Cardinals 30,
Kansas City at Oakland
(+1) 8:30 p.m.
The Chiefs look to run the ball pretty much the entire game but
folks that took Holmes have to be disappointed in what has transpired.
They will now pretty much split carries with Holmes and Johnson
50-50. That is not good for anyone. But as far as this game I
think that the Raiders will be better than what people think and
will show it on prime time. Katy bar the door on this one. This
will be scoring from beginning to ending.
The Raiders looked great for the first half and then succumbed
to a Super Bowl defense in the Pats. You can mark up Collins,
Jordan, and Moss for big time scores. I told you about Alexander
last week. He will get a couple of looks around the goal line
again. The defense is a little better than what I expected but
understand that they will always have trouble against the pass
all year. But they will win this track meet.
Final Score: Raiders 35, Chiefs
Giants at New Orleans
(+3) 7:30 p.m.
The Saints played inspired football against the Panthers and won
a game that nobody thought they would. Give them some credit they
put it all together and made no mistakes. That is what it takes
to be a good football team. Brooks was efficient but he didn’t
have to do it all. McAlister was the focus and that is what will
lead them to better things. He had 2 TDs and didn’t cough
up the football. The defense was in command and forced 4 turnovers.
They will need some more of that this week.
Gaints were in prime form as they started their year off with
a big win against a Cardinal team that was a big chic pick at
the first of the year. Early results are showing that Eli may
be learning the pro game. His passes look much better but he needs
to cut out the turnovers. That will not get it done in this league.
He needs to find another way to win because the Saints defense
will put some heavy pressure on him and I think he will cough
it up a few times. Looks for them to have some problems.
Final Score: Saints 24, Giants
Washington (+6) at Dallas
How ‘bout them Cowboys? It looks like Bill Parcells has
finally got the quarterback he wants, the defensive line he desires,
and the talent to make it all happen. The Cowboys should see more
big games from Bledsoe, Keyshawn, Julius Jones and Jason Witten,
although the big young tight end was a no show last week against
San Diego. Patrick Crayton and Terry “Don’t call me
Teresa” Glenn are also options, but I think MeShawn will
gather up the yardage and catches versus the Skins. The Redskins
have two solid fantasy starters in Clinton Portis and Santana
Moss, but their quarterback issues will mean inconsistency from
that position and most of the surrounding offensive stars. WR
David Patten was much better off as a #3 or #4 receiver in New
England than he is as a #2 guy in Washington.
Final Score: Cowboys 31, Redskins