As I said when week 2 came in College Football this is my favorite week of the season. You have all your overreactions from week 1 and I love going against many of them. This team is trash, that team is great, that QB sucks, this coach sucks, etc, etc. I feel like 95% of the time teams aren’t as good or as bad as they showed in week 1. It’s by far the biggest week of the season as far as overreactions go. That said here is what I have for week 2….
Falcons (-5.5): The Falcons lost their opener last Thursday to the Eagles in a game they probably should have won. They held Philly to just 232 yards of total offense, but their red zone woes on offense ultimately cost them the W. The general narrative after that game is Sarkisian is an idiot and has an IQ that rivals that of Forrest Gump. While some of his calls were no doubt shaky this is still an offense that has Matt Ryan, Julio Jones and a pair of very good RB’s. Freeman is questionable at the time of my writing this but even if he can’t play Coleman who is arguably the best backup RB in the league is ready to step right in. Defensively they were excellent and even with the loss of Jones this is still a unit that I’m high on. The Panthers are coming off a win over Dallas but I think that game says more about Dallas than it does the Panthers. The Cowboys might have the worst group of WR’s in the league and not surprisingly they weren’t able to do much of anything on offense. The test this week for the Carolina defense will be much stiffer against those Falcons play makers I mentioned above. Speaking of play makers with Greg Olsen now out Carolina frankly doesn’t have many of then. Christian McCaffrey is excellent and we know what Newton can do if he gets out of the pocket, but outside of that there isn’t much to be scared of with that offense. On top of the Falcons being the overall better team they also have the advantage of 3 extra days rest due to playing last Thursday. Both defenses are strong but the Falcons have the more explosive offense, the home field, and extra rest. Good enough for me to lay the 5.5.
Steelers (-5): Feels like a nice buy low, sell high spot here. The Steelers are coming of that ugly 21-21 tie against the Browns in a game they honestly should’ve lost. They turned it over 6 times and yet somehow escaped with a tie. Roethlisberger himself was responsible for 5 turnovers with 3 INT’s and 2 lost fumbles. I’m confident he can bounce back and pick apart a Chiefs defense that had major issues last week. All the attention was on Pat Mahomes and the offense scoring 38 points, but the defense allowed 541 yards to the Chargers. They got off easy allowing “only” 541 as the Chargers WR’s dropped 5 or 6 deep passes that would’ve let to many more yards and points. Overall the Chiefs were outgained by nearly 200 yards and won the game by double digits. Things like that are just in no way sustainable. Mahomes had a monster debut with 4 TD’s and 0 INT’s and now everyone is in love with the guy. I agree he likely has a nice career ahead of him but this feels like a come back to earth spot. Back to back road games, everyone telling him how great he is, I see a few INT’s from him here. For as shaky as the Steelers offense looked at times with all those turnovers the defense was actually very good. They had 7 sacks, and held the Browns to 327 total yards. Carlos Hyde was held under 3 yards per carry, Tyrod Taylor completed only 37.5% of his passes and outside of a few plays by Landry and a couple nice scrambles by Taylor they didn’t allow much of anything. At the end of the day I think the defense gives Mahomes a bit of a welcome to the league, and that Big Ben bounces back with a nice showing through the air.
Cardinals (+13): Going into the season it was thought by most the Rams would be one of the best teams in the league and the Cardinals would be one of the worst. After what we saw from each team in week 1, that looks to be even more true than it was a week ago. The Rams are a legit super bowl contender and the Cardinals might flirt with getting the #1 overall pick in the draft. Just seems like a no brainer to take the Rams and they’ll beat the hell out of them right? Well I’m not so sure. Now obviously the Rams are the far superior team, there’s no debate about that whatsoever. Let’s keep in mind though they are on a short week after playing Monday night. The Raiders aren’t any good but with it being a season opener on National TV it was still a big game. Now on a short week against one of the worst teams in the league this could be a hangover spot for the Rams. As far as performance itself the Rams weren’t as dominating as that 33-13 score might lead you to believe. The Raiders actually outgained them 395-365 and led the game at halftime. Carr made some horrible throws and that masked the fact he threw for over 300 yards and completed 72.5% of his passes. On the Cardinals side there honestly isn’t much positive to say. They were beat 24-6 last week by the Redskins and it was every bit as ugly as the score shows. The defense wasn’t good and neither was the offense. That said 13 points is a lot in an NFL game and with the Rams possibly sleepwalking on the short week I think Arizona could hang around. I’m not calling for an upset but a Rams 27-20 type of win wouldn’t surprise me at all. It’s more a Rams fade than it is a Cardinals play.