So in week 1 of my self-experiment, I think I started off the season rather well. A 9-5-2 record is nothing to be ashamed of. I tied the Sports Gal's week, which I'm going to take as a good thing, as she's already two games up on the Sports Guy. Of course, I'm not sure that's saying much anyways.
Regardless, I'm over .500, which is the goal for the season. This week, I believe proves a little more difficult, as there are numerous spreads over a touchdown, which always makes things more difficult. "How badly will Team A beat Team B?" is always more difficult than "Will Team A beat Team B?"
Again, all spreads are taken from Sheridan's Odds from the USA Today the day before the first game of the week. You can find them here.
Buffalo (+9.5) at Pittsburgh - I don't know where this line came from, as Buffalo only lost by the buzzer-beater of buzzer-beater field goals to a solid Denver team, while Pittsburgh beat up on a team whose starting quarterback isn't even on the team anymore... and it's Week 2. Pittsburgh wins, but Buffalo keeps it close.
Cincinnati (-6.5) at Cleveland - Speaking of Cleveland, how many weeks until Romeo Crennel starts looking for a new job? Wouldn't throwing in Brady Quinn now buy him a few weeks, even if it hurts Quinn's development to get knocked around so early? Normally, I don't like road teams playing on a short week, but this one is too easy.
Indianapolis (-7) at Tennessee - There's no way the Colts can match their energy from their opener, but they've also had 10 days to plan for this game. And the Titans showed they might actually have a running game to help Vince Young, but that was against a Jaguars team I don't think is going to be very good. I guess what I'm saying is that I have no idea.
Houston (+6.5) at Carolina - Over the years, I've picked up a few things. One of these things is to never trust the Panthers. Whenever everybody hops on board the bandwagon, it inevitably seems to break an axle. Everybody seems to think their win over St. Louis is a sign of things to come, which means I'm going the other direction.
St. Louis (-3) vs San Francisco - Neither team showed me much last week, and it makes me a bit nauseous trying to think back to that Monday Nighter for the 49ers. Orlando Pace is out (again) for the Rams, but going back to my road team on a short week theory, I'll go with the Rams. It doesn't hurt that Steven Jackson is running against me in fantasy, a sure sign of a good week.
New York Giants (-2) vs Green Bay - Ah, another game that makes no sense to me... A team that needed two muffed punts to win at home travels to a team that put up 35 against what was considered a solid defense, but is without their running back and possibly their quarterback. Let's go with the home team giving the points.
Atlanta (+10) at Jacksonville - Another thing I've picked up over the years... never, ever, ever trust the Jaguars. You think David Gerrard will change that? Good luck with that. The Jaguars have single-handedly knocked out more people from my survivor pool over the years than any other team. Even Joey Harrington can keep the Falcons within 10, right? Right?
New Orleans (-3) at Tampa Bay - The Bucs put a scare in me for a bit last week, playing the Seahawks tough for a half, but when the dust settled, things played out like I thought. The Saints have had 10 days to regroup after the blowout last Thursday, and as a Bears fan, while I'd like to think the Saints' struggles will continue, there's just too much talent on this team.
Detroit (-2.5) vs Minnesota - Adrian Peterson scares me in this game. He could go for 200 total yards and a couple TDs or be stopped for 50 yards and I wouldn't be surprised either way. But the Vikings can't count on returning two Harrington passes for touchdowns this week, so the question of "who else can score?" still needs to be answered. Detroit doesn't have that problem.
Dallas (-4) at Miami - You can throw against Dallas. Miami can't throw. Is there a simpler analysis needed here? On a personal level, can Ronnie Brown please just at least fall into the endzone once this week? And can Tony Romo just decide to handoff the entire game to get the Cowboys' running game going? No on both counts? Okay, thanks...
Arizona (+3) vs Seattle - The Cardinals can't possibly be as bad as they looked on Monday night, right? That offense has way too much talent to struggle like that. Was it the 49ers defense, the pressure of MNF, or are these just the Cardinals of old? Most likely, it's the latter, but I'll give them one more chance at home. That soft cast on Shaun Alexander's left arm may play a roll as well.
New York Jets (+10) at Baltimore - You're telling me that an unimpressive, banged-up Steve McNair or Kyle (no description needed) Boller is favored by 10 against anybody? The defense is bruised up, and now they have to go up against... Kellen Clemens? Wait a second... can I rethink this? Are there even going to be 10 points scored this entire game?
Oakland (+9.5) vs Denver - The Raiders lost at home to the Lions, which may not be as embarrassing as you might think. The offense showed a little life, and may get some more if Daunte Culpepper goes this week. And LaMont Jordan isn't hurt yet. The Broncos squeezed out a road win in week one, and should roll in their home opener, but 9.5 is a lot of points for a divisional game... unless it's the Chiefs.
Chicago (-12) vs Kansas City - Speaking of the Chiefs, is there a more disorganized franchise right now outside of Cleveland than Kansas City? And now Larry Johnson not only has to carry the load of 1200 carries this season, but the controversy around his alleged rap? And how long can a team have Eddie Kennison as their #1 receiver? The Bears may have some question marks, but the Chiefs are just that bad.
New England (-4) vs San Diego - We all know about CameraGate for the Patriots. But the Chargers have spent the week chirping at the Bears. Shouldn't they be more focused on, oh I don't know, the team that knocked them out of the playoffs last season? In weeks of controversy, who do you have more faith in keeping the team together... Bill Belichick or Norv Turner? Yeah, me too...
Philadelphia (-7) vs Washington - After the Eagles debacle last week in Green Bay, Donovan McNabb gets a chance to show he's back on Monday night. Jason Campbell gets the same opportunity... I don't think that's a good thing. If Ronnie Brown can rack up 40 receiving yards against the Redskins, I don't even want to know how many Brian Westbrook will have. Of course, on national television, Clinton Portis might blow up for 3 TDs, or just physically blow up... either way, it's worth watching.
Last Week: 9-5-2