Overall: 12-4
Last Week: 12-4

Broncos @ Chiefs

Despite all the heartbreak, Peyton Manning has personally given me so many football memories. I’m going down with the ship. Obviously, Peyton Manning isn’t the same. How could he be? His neck surgery threatened Peyton’s way of life as a father, let alone as a football player at the most important and demanding position. He still cannot feel his fingertips. And that sensation is not coming back. Can we please appreciate at the medical marvel that is Peyton Manning? Even if Peyton is 75% of his old Hall of Fame self, his diminishing capacity is considerably better than what backup Brock Osweiler would provide for Denver. Peyton’s Week 1 struggles were the result of an atrocious offensive line that could neither keep Peyton upright nor could they generate any semblance of push to create holes for the running game. The 2015 season will not be easy for Manning and the Broncos. Denver will have to fight for every single win and the onus is on the defense to make them a Super Bowl contender. I still believe. The Broncos need luck on their side, but the window is narrowly open one last year.

Win: Denver Broncos

Patriots @ Bills

I hate the Patriots. And I hate Tom Brady. My appreciation of Rob Gronkowski is steadily growing into annoyance. New England should beat Buffalo handily. But I cannot root for that. As unlikeable as I find Rex Ryan, my hatred of everything about the cheating abomination in New England is much more intense. Does anyone truly believe Tom Brady did anything wrong? You can get away with cheating without consequences, but that doesn’t absolve you from guilt. Let’s all just remember that when the media is giving Brady a golden shower of praise later this year. Without polar bear Gronk rumbling and grumbling over everyone, this Patriots team would be merely average with a mediocre Tom Brady. I want to live in a world where Buffalo can win this game. Considering the bleak dystopian landscape of Buffalo, this matchup has probably been elevated to the most important game in the last 20 years of Bills football. Rex Ryan teams have a penchant for playing New England tough. I don’t think Tyrod Taylor is much more than a knockoff version of an older, less athletic Michael Vick, but I could see his athleticism extending plays to give the Patriots problems. I doubt LeSean McCoy is healthy enough to inflict serious damage, but there’s enough talent on Buffalo for the Bills to make this a close game.

Win: Buffalo Bills

Cardinals @ Bears

Another new coach has brought another new season of guarded optimism among Bears fans. Could this finally be the year that Jay Cutler puts it together? No, no it’s not. The new leadership of John Fox and Adam Gase will do their best to prevent Cutler from making stupid decisions. But this is Smokin’ Jay Cutler we’re talking about. Chicago couldn’t hang with the Packers last week despite a heroic effort from Matt Forte. This week, the Bears will feature Matt Forte once again against an Arizona defense that is stout versus the run. However, the Cardinals got shredded by running back screens against New Orleans last week, which Chicago will use as a blueprint. As the Bears have found out, you can only ride a running back so far. Jay Cutler will likely need a clean performance with 3 TDs today to outpace Arizona. Carson Palmer will bank impressive numbers against Chicago’s hot garbage defense. Unless the Cardinals kill themselves with mistakes, this seems like a close game early that gets out of hand later in the second half after Cutler implodes under pressure.

Win: Arizona Cardinals

Chargers @ Bengals

It’s tough to find a matchup of quarterbacks that I find more unlikeable. Who do I hate more: Philip Rivers or Andy Dalton? Although Andy Dalton has his own sense of undeserved self-esteem, I feel like that ginger knows he isn’t good deep down in his soul. Or maybe it’s true that gingers don’t have souls. When I see Philip Rivers jawing at opposing teams, I can’t fight the urge to shove my foot in his stupid face. I’ve never grown accustomed to the way he throws like a girl and his awful personality is why I want him to get swallowed up in an earthquake. San Diego is the same mediocre team they’ve always been and will be with Philip Rivers. On the other side, Cincinnati is similarly hamstrung by their own quarterback as well. The Bengals will continually fight for a playoff spot and the right to an early exit with Dalton airmailing passes and stalling and otherwise steady offense. Jeremy Hill and Gio Bernard should dominate the opportunities in this game so Dalton only needs to connect on a few passes to A.J. Green in order for Cincinnati to secure the victory.

Win: Cincinnati Bengals

Titans @ Browns

Ugh, I never know what is going on with the Tennessee Titans. Over the past few years, the Titans have been mostly terrible yet somewhat unpredictable. Tennessee can appear impressive against good competition and then proceed to shit the bed against inferior teams. Could this week serve as another Jekyll and Hyde performance? Right now, I’m going to bet on Marcus Mariota stabilizing the sinking Titans ship. Captain Ken Whisenhunt could still steer the ship into an iceberg, but I’ll certainly side with Mariota over Manziel for this game at least. Cleveland is a dumpster fire of a city and football franchise.

Win: Tennessee Titans

Lions @ Vikings

So much for all of that Teddy Bridgewater hype. I wasn’t buying it, but I expected more from Minnesota in the late Monday night game against San Francisco. The Vikings made Jim Tomsula look competent for a week. I don’t know what Norv Turner was thinking trying to feature Bridgewater from the shotgun. Especially when it came at the expense of Adrian Peterson. Detroit and Minnesota are equally matched division rivals, but neither are in the same stratosphere as Green Bay. Maybe one of these teams could challenge for a Wild Card spot in the NFC, but you aren’t going very far with either Matthew Stafford or Teddy Bridgewater. In this matchup, I’ll give the benefit of the doubt to Stafford since he has the better offensive weapons and defensive supporting cast. I wouldn’t be shocked if Minnesota wins at home, but this is an unremarkable game that people only care about because of fantasy implications.

Win: Detroit Lions

Buccaneers @ Saints

You are out of your element, Jameis. Tampa Bay needs to be prepared for a long, arduous season. After getting embarrassed by fellow basement dweller Tennessee last week, expect the Buccaneers to get shredded by Drew Brees and a New Orleans offense starving for some numbers.

Win: New Orleans Saints

Falcons @ Giants

A tantalizingly boring matchup of slightly above average teams. Atlanta showed more than I expected in the opener, but the Falcons wouldn’t be a contender in any other division. On the other side, New York already gave away their first game of the season. Since Atlanta surprised Philadelphia and New York giftwrapped the win to Dallas in Week 1, I’ll go with the law of averages in Week 2 and predict an illogical victory for the Giants at home. It doesn’t make much sense and I don’t have any faith in Tom Coughlin to remember to take his pills—let alone guide an NFL team. But a lot of stupid shit happens in the NFL. Even after a dominant performance last week, Atlanta’s defense could easily fall on their face.

Win: New York Giants

49ers @ Steelers

Jim Tomsula

Similar to the theory above, Pittsburgh can’t be as bad as they were against New England and San Francisco can’t be as good as they were against Minnesota. Perhaps the 49ers could be better than we all thought after nearly every defense starter either left or got arrested. But I’ll bet on the Steelers showing something more than their terrible Thursday night NFL kick-off opener.

Win: Pittsburgh Steelers

Rams @ Redskins

St. Louis is the early favorite for the overhyped sleeper that falls apart later in the season. But I have to give the Rams credit for once again pulling out all the stops and riding some amazing special teams plays to an overtime upset against Seattle. Playing a division foe extremely tough is a staple of a Jeff Fisher team. While I concede St. Louis might be a little better than I thought, the Rams aren’t going anywhere in the NFC West. I hope Jeff Fisher has the balls to once again send out every player St. Louis acquired in the RG Knee trade to the coin toss. And the perfect troll move would be for the future Los Angeles Rams to pick Griffin up from the scrap heap next year so they can add him to the group every time they face Washington. Dan Snyder continually needs his nose rubbed in his own shit. I will be thoroughly disappointed if Washington pulls off the win in front of their rapidly diminishing home crowd. It would be perfect poetic justice if this is the week where RG Knee is thrust into action and St. Louis injures him to trigger that ridiculous clause where Washington has to guarantee all his millions next season. I can dream.

Win: St. Louis Rams

Texans @ Panthers

Another contender for shittiest game of the week. Regardless of whether Ryan Mallett or Brian Hoyer starts, Houston isn’t any good—especially without Arian Foster. Unless J.J. Watt manages to play the part of Bane by snapping Cam Newton’s back, Black Superman should be able to put the Panthers on his back for the victory. Then again, Carolina isn’t very good and occupies the same status as Atlanta—a contender in their division only. It’s possible the Texans could eek out a win. But I wouldn’t call it probable. Maybe questionable at best.

Win: Carolina Panthers

Ravens @ Raiders

Baltimore will be hungry for a win after choking last week in Denver. Oakland is without David Carr, which puts Matt McGloin in at quarterback for the Raiders. Yes, that is a true statement and not a pitiful simulation of reality in a Madden video game. The Ravens would need that human pelican Joe Flacco to shove footballs in his gullet to choke badly enough to lose against this pathetic Raiders team.

Win: Baltimore Ravens

Dolphins @ Jaguars

By definition, every game involving the Jaguars is guaranteed to be an awful television experience. Fortunately for Jacksonville, the Titans/Browns game is the shittiest matchup of this week’s slate. If Miami cannot dominate their in-state competition, then we will know the Dolphins are pretenders rather than contenders. After nearly giving away last week’s game to Washington, my level of faith in Miami is fading. Ryan Tannehill’s ceiling may simply be that of a more mobile Alex Smith. Even at his worst, Tannehill is substantially better than what Blake Bortles has shown in his stint as an NFL QB. I cannot even envision what would need to happen for the Jaguars to win this game. Ryan Tannehill would basically need to have the worst performance of his career. Even career backup Matt Moore should be capable of guiding the Dolphins to a victory.

Win: Miami Dolphins

Cowboys @ Eagles

It was so satisfying to see Chip Kelly’s offensive philosophy fail so spectacularly last week. On the other hand, it would have been nearly as satisfying to see Dallas choke even after New York put them perfectly in the position to win last week. Again, these things seem to balance themselves out sooner than later. If the Cowboys can get out to an early lead and control the clock, a victory would be a monumental early step distancing themselves from every division foe. Somehow, it doesn’t seem like it will be that easy.

Win: Philadelphia Eagles

Seahawks @ Packers

Just copy + paste my rant about the Patriots here. Let’s not forget about the rampant PED abuse in Seattle over the past few years. Cheating and being unlikeable is a bad combination. Although Seattle seems likely to even their record, it won’t be easy on the road at Lambeau in Green Bay. The Packers will need to ride Aaron Rodgers and his health is back to normal compared to the last time Green Bay gifted Seattle another stroll to the Super Bowl. Hopefully the rest of the supporting cast is up to the task of helping Rodgers secure a 2-0 record with a home victory on the not yet frozen tundra.

Win: Green Bay Packers

Jets @ Colts

After predictably embarrassing themselves against Buffalo, the Colts better be ready to play the same type of swarming defense that gave them trouble. Indianapolis still has an offensive line patched together with Frankenstein parts protecting the most indispensible NFL QB. Oh, and the defensive is just as awful. Fortunately, Ryan Fitzpatrick is the Jets starting QB and the team has little to no talent in the supporting offensive cast. If Indianapolis doesn’t want Marcus Mariota cruising to a division crown, then the Colts need to prove they can beat the Jets.

Win: Indianapolis Colts

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