Another wild and wacky week in the NFL, and themes from last year came into play in Week 2 in the NFL. Most notably, big favorites covering like Baltimore and Cincy, and even Seattle laying a number after a week they did not score a TD, and all covered the number, bringing back shades of last year when double digit favs covered a ton of games, a rarity in the NFL. There were 5 teams favored by double digits this past weekend. Many teams are in rebuilding phases, as we have 10 new head coaches this year, so I expect to see higher numbers on the lines and some blowouts this season due to these changes and teams in rebuilding modes. My effort landed me with a losing 1-2 Sunday card with 2 very bad beats on Carolina and Green Bay, both of whom blew their games in grand fashion, and who would have expected for Carolina to be 0-2 at this point, as they were tabbed a Super Bowl contender? Here are some takes from last week to ponder.
GREEN BAY- How do you blow a 13-0 second quarter lead to the Saints, at home, and lose in a shootout? No defense for starters and lack of talent overall. Brett Favre seems to be catching a ton of blame here, but the cupboards are bare, especially on defense where Drew Brees shredded them all day with sub par receivers. This is a team that needs to start rebuilding, but QB Favre is not to blame, he played at a high level, but cannot at age 36 carry this team without help, but he gives them a better chance at winning than Aaron Rodgers. Bottom line, a go against team all season, especially against high powered offense's with good receivers.
CAROLINA- Another debacle this weekend for Carolina, who had some injury problems coming into Minnesota, but as in week 1, turnovers, special teams blunders (a huge momentum killer on Sunday), and missed opportunities were apparent. They get Tampa Bay this weekend, who is also having problems at QB, and letting Brian Gresie go to sit on the bench at Chicago was a bad mistake by Gruden, as Chris Simms is simply lacking confidence and is forcing the ball into coverage, and has been under a tremendous pass rush all season. A tale of 2 teams gone bad this Sunday, should be interesting to say the least. Carolina has been their own worst enemy.
CHICAGO- The Bears are real and my leader in the NFC to go all the way as Rex Grossman has proved his worth. The aerial show has been stellar, they have a great 1-2 punch at RB with Jones and Benson, and QB Grossman has been accurate and heady in the pocket as well as rolling out, and the defense is better than last years at this point, but with wins against lowly Green Bay and Detroit, lets see how good they are against some stiffer opponents before we anoint them Kings of the NFC.
NEW YORK GIANTS- Eli Manning proved his worth in a thrilling come from behind win at Philly in OT this past Sunday. Do not rule out the Giants in the NFC as a major contender, who were a playoff team last year, even though they are in a tough division that may see 2 teams out of the 4 in the playoffs. Losing in week 1 to big brother Peyton was no shame, the Colts are the one of the best AFC teams around. Having the confidence to lead his team back from a 24-7 mark in the 4th quarter, on the road, against an excellent team like the Eagles will go a long way in New York. Their 1-2 punch at RB, and excellent receivers, and better than average defense with good rush ends, makes the Giants a contender here, as Dallas in my mind is overrated and Washington is going to be a bottom feeder all year on offense it looks like at this point. Catching Seattle on the road this week is a tall order in back to back roadies, but they are playing with playoff revenge and have the better offense, as Seattle has not yet established the type of running game an offense they has last year as of yet. Deon Branch makes his debut for Seattle on Sunday, and right now they need him!
I love this weeks card and fully expect a HUGE Sunday as I see some things I think the oddsmakers overlooked, and I will expose it big time this Sunday. Read between the lines here and you just might do well yourself.
Tony George is a documented member of the Professional Handicappers League. Read all of his articles at http://www.procappers.com/Tony_George.htm