It's Friday the 13th (ooh, scary!!) But that's ok, because that means The Stack is here with week 2 NFL picks. Went 11-5 straight up last week. I pick straight up every week. Before we get to the picks, what about last night's thriller (sarcasm) between the Patriots and Jets. New England won 13-10 in a second half downpour, but it is clear that the Patriots are not the same on offense as before. You expect that when they don't have the Gronk or Danny Amendola, but they look really, really bad. Tom Brady is off. That's something we don't expect to see. A lot of room for improvement for them and Geno Smith and the Jets. Speaking of improvement, there is room for improvement with the picks so let's get right to the picks (plus a bonus one) and hope that good fortune finds its way on this scary day in "the stack" for today, Friday, September 13:
St. Louis Rams @ Atlanta Falcons 1:00 PM ET FOX
There has to be a lot of concern in Atlanta with the health of their wide receivers Julio Jones and Roddy White. Jones' injury I'm not concerned about. White's is a major concern. He is a big time weapon and the Falcons need him. He'll play, but doubtful he'll be that effective. Having said that, they are a better team than the Rams (who are improving themselves) and they know they can't go to an 0-2 hole to start the year.
Prediction: Falcons 23 Rams 20
Cleveland Browns @ Baltimore Ravens 1:00 PM ET CBS
Ravens can celebrate with their fans in the first home game since winning the Super Bowl. That alone (yes the wide receiver depth is a concern) will be enough to beat a Browns team who looked bad last week.
Prediction: Ravens 23 Browns 10
Carolina Panthers @ Buffalo Bills 1:00 PM ET FOX
Both teams almost upset two of the best teams in the NFL last week (Bills lost to the Patriots, Panthers lost to the Seahawks). Buffalo really surprised last week, but they have some injury concerns in their secondary. At some point the Carolina offense has to pick up. This game is a flat out toss up. Can see either team winning.
Prediction: Panthers 27 Bills 24
Minnesota Vikings @ Chicago Bears 1:00 PM ET FOX
Is it too early to say this is almost a must-win game for the Vikings? At the very least, quarterback Christian Ponder must play better to reassure his teammates, coaching staff and fans that this season isn't lost. Both the offensive and defensive line must play better too. Going to be tough headed to a place where they've won once in what, their last eleven or twelve games? Ouch!
Prediction: Bears 27 Vikings 20
Washigton Redskins @ Green Bay Packers 1:00 PM ET FOX
Until RGIII is fully comfortable and can shake off all the rust, the Redskins will suffer. Alfred Morris isn't nearly as threatening. Against Aaron Rodgers, they'll need to match point for point. Don't see that happening.
Prediction: Packers 31 Redskins 20
Tennessee Titans @ Houston Texans 1:00 PM ET CBS
The Titans had an impressive road win last week at Pittsburgh. Should they win at Houston, they'll really turn some heads. Texans have too much momentum from the come-from-behind victory over San Diego Monday night to let that happen.
Prediction: Texans 31 Titans 16
Miami Dolphins @ Indianapolis Colts 1:00 PM ET CBS
Colts didn't look like they were taking the Raiders seriously last week. They can't do that against the Dolphins or the Dolphins will sneak out of Indy with a win and a 2-0 road record to start the year. Game may come down to an Andrew Luck game-winning drive, something he's done a time or two before.
Prediction: Colts 23 Dolphins 17
Dallas Cowboys @ Kansas City Chiefs 1:00 PM ET FOX
Chiefs head coach Andy Reid is quite familiar with the Cowboys from his days in the NFC East as Philadelphia Eagles coach. That will benefit the Chiefs tremendously, but this is a different Cowboys team. The defense will make things difficult for the Chiefs offense. Tony Romo and Dez Bryant's health is a concern for the Cowboys, but they should be just fine. This game is close to a toss up, but I think the Cowboys have a little bit more to take down KC.
Prediction: Cowboys 30 Chiefs 24
San Diego Chargers @ Philadelphia Eagles 1:00 PM ET CBS
Eagles head coach Chip Kelly says the offense can go faster. Defenses will eventually catch up, but not the Chargers who are flying cross-country on a short week and coming off of a devastating loss.
Prediction: Eagles 37 Chargers 20
Detroit Lions @ Arizona Cardinals 4:05 PM ET FOX
The Lions, particularly Reggie Bush, looked magnificent last week against Minnesota. They appear to have some big time weapons on offense. Arizona was close to getting a win last week and they'll be close again this week. That improved offense though just doesn't have enough to compete with the Lions.
Prediction: Lions 27 Cardinals 24
New Orleans Saints @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers 4:05 PM ET FOX
All sorts of reports this week about the Buccaneers closing in on a mutiny or so it would seem. They seem to be putting F-U-N in dysfunction. And they welcome Drew Brees and the Saints. What could go wrong?
Prediction: Saints 31 Buccaneers 17
Denver Broncos @ New York Giants 4:25 PM ET CBS
Manning Bowl III. Of course that's all anyone wants to talk about with regards to this game. Oh and David Wilson. He'll need to hang on to the ball, because the Giants can ill afford to give up the ball to Peyton Manning (see 7 touchdowns last week). I see a lot of points, but I see the Broncos with more.
Prediction: Broncos 34 Giants 24
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Oakland Raiders 4:25 PM ET CBS
Two of the worst teams in the league. However, Oakland is far better than Jacksonville, at least based on their play from last week. That will happen again despite Chad Henne starting for Jacksonville at quarterback. You scared Oakland?
Prediction: Raiders 27 Jaguars 13
San Francisco 49ers @ Seattle Seahawks 8:30 PM ET NBC
These two teams hate each other. They've developed one of the more fierce rivalries in the game today. Seattle spanked San Fran up in Seattle last year. Despite not looking great last week and Colin Kaepernick looking superb throwing the ball against Green Bay, the Seahawks love playing at home. The 12th man is looking to be loudest on record. That will pump up the Seahawks. What a game it's going to be.
Prediction: Seahawks 24 49ers 23
The college football game of the century is upon us this tomorrow...#1 Alabama vs. #6 Texas A&M. Johnny Manziel had his coming out party against Alabama last year that set up his Heisman Trophy run. Alabama says they don't have revenge on the mind, but come on. After last year and what A&M did to you, you don't want to beat them even a little bit more? Granted Alabama got the last laugh by winning the national championship, but still. Their defense will put a squash on Manziel and I really don't expect a close game like so many people seem to want/think.
Prediction: Alabama 31 Texas A&M 17
Coming up Monday: Reaction to Sunday's NFL games plus MNF preview