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NFL Week Two Preview & BRB Pick 'Em Extravaganza

The man is 100% ninja.
The man is 100% ninja.

Week One has come and gone, so now it's time to see which teams can be consistent. Last season, there were eight teams who started 2-0. Five of those eight went on to the playoffs, and sixteen teams know that a 2-0 start could help their playoff chances tremendously. Through Battle Red tinted glasses, let's take a look at the rest of the league's Week Two plans.

After the jump, we'll also get an update on BRB's 50-player Pick 'Em League. Who dominated the others with their genius? Who made the gutsiest pick of the week? Who truly believed in the Houston Texans? You'll have to read on to find out.


Pittsburgh Steelers @ Tennessee Titans (Sunday 09/19 @ Noon Central)
I definitely didn't expect both of these teams to notch a "W" on Sunday, but they both did. Tennessee rode a fantastic offensive performance over the Raiders while Pittsburgh got down n' dirty on defense to snuff out the Falcons. The Steelers and Titans have had some tough games over the past decade, and this will be another tight one. Seeing how the Steelers performed better against a better opponent, I have to pick them here to beat the Titans. As a Texans fan, there's also a side of me that hopes the Steelers win. Steelers win 19-17

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Carolina Panthers
Last week, Tampa Bay struggled a bit with Cleveland, while Carolina put up a fight against a tough Giants team. Carolina managed to force a few turnovers, block some kicks, and cause havoc out there at times. I think they can do enough to confuse the young Bucs while the Carolina ground attack does just enough to win the game. Panthers win 22-13

Kansas City Chiefs @ Cleveland Browns
Coming off an emotional and gutsy win, the Chiefs head to Cleveland to take on the winless Browns. This may be a returner's game as Javier Arenas and Dexter McCluster take on Joshua Cribbs. While I want to go with the Browns in their home opener, I saw too much speed from the Chiefs to pick against them here, especially against the Browns. The Chiefs win behind their defense and special teams. Chiefs win 20-13

Miami Dolphins @ Minnesota Vikings
I thought the Dolphins would win big last week...oops! Minnesota struggled early but settled in against the Saints. The Vikings defense should be in Chad Henne's face all day and force some turnovers while the Vikings should be able to get their offense going. I'll take the Vikings to win in a raucous dome environment. Vikings win 27-17

Arizona Cardinals @ Atlanta Falcons
Arizona struggled against the Rams while Atlanta lost in overtime to a third-string quarterback. For all the hype of a dynamic Atlanta offense, they struggled. I do believe that Arizona can put up yards and points on Atlanta's secondary, but the Falcons should get their offense right against a Cardinals defense that struggled against a rookie quarterback. Falcons win 24-16

Philadelphia Eagles @ Detroit Lions
Coming off a heart-breaking loss, the Lions open at home with a better team than that city has seen in a long, long, long, long, long time. However, they're not playing with Matthew Stafford. I can't see game-manager Shaun Hill beating an aggressive Philadelphia defense. Whether it is Michael Vick or Kevin Kolb, the Eagles should be able to win this game. Eagles win 30-17

Chicago Bears @ Dallas Cowboys
Chicago won on a bad NFL rule while the Cowboys emptied a machine gun into their feet last week. Both teams share a similar problem of putting up yards without scoring points. With the game in Arlington, I think the Cowboys should manage a win, but this team doesn't look like the Super Bowl contender the media would lead you to believe they are. Cowboys win 16-13

Baltimore Ravens @ Cincinnati Bengals
The Ravens played a tough, physical brand of football on the short week while the Bengals came out of the gate slow. The short week and physical battle are making me lean Cincinnati's way, but the Bengals defense did not inspire any confidence last Sunday. I'll take the Ravens to continue their defensive ways and win another game. Ravens win 34-20

Buffalo Bills @ Green Bay Packers
Packers. Blowout. Next. Packers win 38-10

St. Louis Rams @ Oakland Raiders (Sunday 9/19 @ 3:05 PM Central)
I picked the Raiders as an ultimate sleeper team and was rewarded for my faith with a terrible performance. I'm not picking the Raiders again anytime soon. The Rams, behind impressive rookie QB Sam Bradford, should be able to take this from the Raiders. Rams win 20-17

Seattle Seahawks @ Denver Broncos
The Seahawks surprised many last week and rewarded their fans with a big season-opening win. Now, they go home to a Denver team that, for all intents and purposes, did not look good in week one. Seattle was able to spread the defense and throw the ball around while forcing the Niners into mistakes last week. I think the Seahawks can do the same against Denver and pull out another "shocking" win. Seahawks win 24-19

Houston Texans @ Washington Redskins (Sunday 9/19 @ 3:15 PM Central)
Denver South versus Denver East. Gary Kubiak takes on his mentor, Mikey-Wan Shanobi. Both teams are also coming off of big season opening wins over divisional opponents. A lot of similar things here, but the Texans are the more talented team so I'm going to stick with the good guys. Texans win 27-17

New England Patriots @ New York Jets
Did you see the Jets last week? They set offensive football back 100 years. It was brutal. It was ugly. They have a defense, but if you can't score a touchdown, then you're not going to be picked. I'll take the Patriots to dial up a defense to harass Mark Sanchez, and score a touchdown which could likely be more than enough. Patriots win 23-9

Jacksonville Jaguars @ San Diego Chargers
I'm a big subscriber to the theory of slow starts for San Diego. I also believe that this team isn't as talented as it has been in years past. The Chiefs won because they were able to harass Philip Rivers at critical points in last Monday's game. Last Sunday, Aaron Kampman and Tyson Alualu led a disruptive effort of their own against Denver while David Garrard passed for three touchdowns. I'm taking the Jaguars on the upset, even though 2-0 Jacksonville wouldn't help us, because I believe they can run a similar, disruptive effort against San Diego, plus Maurice Jones-Drew should be able to handle the load offensively. Jaguars win 23-20

New York Giants @ Indianapolis Colts (Sunday 9/19 @ 7:20 PM Central)
The Giants possess a team capable of playing a physical brand of football. They have Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs to pound the ball, while their defense is coming off a five takeaway performance against the Panthers. Last week, the Colts got punched in the mouth and weren't able to respond. This is a tough game to predict since I know Peyton Manning and team have probably had a tough practice week to get things in line for the home opener. Since they are at home and rarely lose two consecutive regular season games when they try, I'm taking Indianapolis, but I'm not as confident in the Colts as I normally would be. Colts win 34-27

New Orleans Saints @ San Francisco 49ers (Monday 9/20 @ 7:30 PM Central)
After last week's performance, I don't know if I can pick the Niners. They certainly are more talented than their Seattle beatdown showed, but I still don't see them as capable of beating the Saints. Who Dat Winner? Saints Dat Winner. Saints win 31-13

BRB's Pick 'Em League Update:

First off, I'm glad and appreciative that we have a full league. Fifty players is going to make for a lot of fun. With 100% of the players turning in both their picks and confidence points, it was anyone's game. As I said, the prize is that the week's winner (and starting next week, the overall leaders) will get praise here. I'll do it for both the points leader and picks leader even though points matter most here. Before I praise him, I'm just going to call him (and the other 4 guys who did it too) out for picking against the Texans. C'mon man!

Onto the praise...Week One is typically the hardest to pick. You know very little about the teams, so most prognosticators end up whiffing around .500 for picks. However, there was one man who keenly picked up the smallest details. There was one man who analyzed facts so well. There was one man from the great city of San Antonio who outhought everyone in the league that he placed among the best on Yahoo!'s entire Pick 'Em users. That man is the incredible SATexan, and his Cake (his "team" name) is the truth.

SATexan, the pride of the great city of San Antonio I assume because of the "SA," was two games better than his nearest competitors and went an incredible 14-2 last week. Out of a possible 136 points, SATexan scored 122 and thoroughly whipped the rest of the league by a margin ranging from 12 to 70 points, which will happen when you put up the best record. He was untouchable and a man among children. For this week, SATexan was quite simply better than 49 other Battle Red Bloggers, and he is better than you. Bask in his intelligence and bow to the wonder that is the BRB Pick 'Em Week One winner and overall leader...SATexan.

"Should've Put Money On It" Game of the Week: Saints over Vikings and Texans over Colts - 45 people each correctly picked this game.

"We Know Nothing" Game of the Week:
Seahawks over 49ers - 46 people missed this game.

Sippin' On Battle Red Drank (16 confidence points on Houston): PapaBear, NoSafetiesNeeded, Distant_Texans_Fan, Shake, DilloTex, RED56, Leacheatsbabies, and WhiskeyR.

The Intestinal Fortitude Award (Most confidence points on the biggest upset): tehGrindCrusher who put 16(!) confidence points on 4.5 point underdog Kansas City to beat the Chargers. For additional perspective on the gutsyness of the pick, only 6% of all Yahoo Pick 'Em users picked the Chiefs.

BRBer with the best record:
SATexan 14-2
BRBer with the most points: SATexan 122 (of 136)

Remember, Pick 'Em players: Picks are due 5 minutes before kick-off, so don't forget to get them and your confidence points in. Also, I'm open to ideas for other "weekly awards" so feel free to offer suggestions.

Chime in with your league thoughts below. Congrats to SATexan on his Week One dominance! Go Texans! Enjoy Week Two everyone!