Anyone who was not nervous at some point during week one picked Denver on Thursday night and was sitting back laughing at everyone else. The Sunday and Monday games were crazy.
We sweated out the Indianapolis win over Oakland and survived to week two.
With all of the week one results in, we are even less confident going into week two.
Here's how we see things shaping up:
NY Jets (+12.5) @ New England - Largest early spread of the week. We don't like that that this game is on Thursday. Strange things happen in short weeks. But we feel this most likely benefits the Patriots more than the Jets. Despite last week's win, the Jets are a team in disarray. And New England seems like a team more likely to be ready after a short week. Early picks are heavy on the Patriots.
Tennessee (+8.5) @ Houston - The Texans barely escaped the late Monday game with a win. The Titans played surprisingly well in their upset of Pittsburgh Houston will have a short week coming off the late Monday night game in San Diego.
Washington (+7.5) @ Green Bay - Robert Griffin III looked very rusty in the first half of the Redskins' Monday night game. He looked much better in the 2nd half. The Packers lost to a superior San Francisco team on the road. Again, Washington will have a short week and has to go on the road.
Cleveland (+6.5) @ Baltimore - The Ravens' defense looked bad against Denver. But the Broncos do have Peyton Manning. The Browns lost to Miami. At home.
Jacksonville (+5.5) @ Oakland - We can't believe we are actually talking about this game. But the Terelle Pryor-led Raiders took Indianapolis to the gun. And the Jaguars were absolutely atrocious at home against Kansas City. We are quite confident this will be the only time Oakland is mentioned positively regarding Survivor Pools.
The Thought Process:
While Houston is probably a pretty safe pick, coming off the Monday night game and the fact that they still face both Oakland and Jacksonville later in the season, we are passing on this one. While it is still way to early to make picks based on who a team faces in the future, we were going to pass on this one anyway. The future games are only a bonus.
Green Bay has Aaron Rodgers. Washington has RGIII. We'll take Rodgers any day. But with RGIII anything is possible. If he catches fire, the Pack will be running around trying to stop him all day long. We really think Green Bay wins going away, but there are better picks and the RGIII factor is enough to scare us away from this game.
Oakland is very, very tempting. If this were week five or six, then we're probably pulling the trigger on this one. But this early in the season, we are really in survival mode, move on to the next week and deal with things as they come.
That leaves two games. New England/NYJ and Cleveland/Baltimore
Both games are divisional games, which we like to stay away from. But these seem like the best best bets to survive. The Browns and the Jets are not very good. The Patriots and Ravens both lost key pieces to their teams during the offseason. New England has Bill Belichek, and after that close call in Buffalo, he'll have the team ready to play. Baltimore has had extra time to prepare since they played the opening Thursday game. The Patriots have more future value than the Ravens.
All that being said...........
Baltimore. With the other games being eliminated for various reasons, we think the Ravens and Patriots are the surest picks for week two. We don't thing either pick could go wrong. We are going with Baltimore based on future value. Yes, we know what we said earlier about future value. But when that is the tiebreaker in deciding whom you pick, it's relevant.