Week 1 is in the books and 241 entries have been eliminated from the 1005 total entrants, mostly at the hands of the Patriots' and Texans' surprising losses. If you listened to me last week, you are one of the survivors. Both the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Buffalo Bills had rather uneventful victories in week 1, which is exactly what I am looking for in my picks. Easy games I didn't even need to watch. Cleveland scored a late touchdown to make the game seem closer than it was with a final of 21-18 against the Steelers.
I laid out my winning strategy in the first article and will continue to reinforce that plan in week 2. So I pull out my schedule and see that the Jets travel to Oakland this week. There is my top pick. The Raiders are considered serious Super Bowl contenders and the Jets will be buying tickets to the game. I wonder if the Jets and Giants combined that they could make one good team? Anyways, I expect the Raiders to get an early lead and then give the Jets a Keith Richards sized dose of Marshawn Lynch. I will be interested to see in the coming weeks if the Raiders defense remains as impressive as they were against the Titans in week 1. If they truly are that much better than the rest of the league we better look out.
My Runner up pick goes to the Baltimore Ravens coming home to face the Cleveland Browns. Baltimore impressed me in week 1, shutting out the Bengals in Cincinnati 20-0. Deshone Kizer actually put up decent numbers for a first start going 20-30, 1TD, 1INT with an added rushing TD. But judging by the yards per rush and without watching most of this game I assume Pittsburgh loaded the box and focused on stopping the run and making Kizer beat them with his arm. Baltimore's stout defense will do the same this week. Can they shut out the state of Ohio? If the Ravens figure out how to score some points they can be a dangerous team down the stretch.
I expect Seattle to get a lot of picks this week as well as being 13.5 point favorites over the San Francisco 49ers. While the 49ers were handled easily 23-3 last week at the hands of the Carolina Panthers, Seattle was very lackluster in my opinion of a game a watched basically start to finish. Their defense did well against the Packers but their inability to score TDs in the red-zone is a concern for me. This is a trap game to me and I would take the 9ers with the points all day.
As you can see by the 241 dropping out after the first week, there is no need to get cute at the beginning of the season. I went with the 1st and 3rd highest point favorites this week. Book a win, and make the easy pick. Much like a poker tournament, you can't win the whole thing on the first hand.