The Opening Drive: Week 2, 2014

It’s time for week two! After a rather one-sided game last night on CBS that was chock-full of extra storylines, we can get back to the real action this Sunday as the NFL season rolls on. There’s only 16 weeks left of the regular season! *Sniff* BUT NO TIME FOR TEARS! We have an Opening Drive to get to!

(1-0) Miami Dolphins at
(1-0) Buffalo Bills

This showdown is between two UNDEFEATED teams atop the AFC East. Wait, one of them is the Bills. It must be just week two. Nevermind about all that. Miami pressured the hell out of Tom Brady in week one, so Buffalo’s offensive line better be up to the task. If the Bills’ running game can produce the same way it did against Chicago *grumble*, then their line won’t need to pass protect as much. Don’t be surprised if Buffalo pulls out another win… just so it can make their future collapse all the more painful.

(0-1) Jacksonville Jaguars at
(0-1) Washington Offensive Names

At least Jacksonville had a positive first half versus the Eagles before things went all to shit. Washington can’t even say that, mustering only six points in their frustrating loss to the Texans. This game pits two offenses committed to “running the ball” against each other, so I guess its up to those defenses, huh? Jacksonville can’t put the same kind of pressure on RG3 as Houston can, so expect Griffin to have more success. Maybe he can spring for an exciting run or two so everyone can SHUT UP about Washington’s weird quarterback controversy.

(0-1) Dallas Cowboys at
(1-0) Tennessee Titans

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. I’m still laughing about the Cowboys’ week one collapse. They’re down south this week to take on the Titans, who pulled a surprise win out of their butt in Kansas City. Tennessee forced three turnovers from Alex Smith last week, so one can only imagine the bonanza they’re hoping for from Tony Romo. Romo killed the Cowboys in week one, throwing putrid passes at the worst possible moments. Dallas just needs to have a not-TERRIBLE game and it’ll be considered an improvement.


Hold on. Still laughing about the Cowboys.

(1-0) Arizona Cardinals at
(0-1) New York Giants

Speaking of NFC East teams needing improvement… the Giants looked ungodly bad on Monday night in Detroit. Their offense is consistently sputtering and shows no signs of improvement. The Cardinals, despite their injury woes (which now includes the retirement of John Abraham), had a tough enough defense to hold ground with the Chargers on Monday night. They could ROUGH UP Eli Manning and friends. It may not be pretty. Unless Carson Palmer fails all over himself.

(0-1) New England Patriots at
(1-0) Minnesota Vikings

Minnesota took it to the Rams’ defensive front last week, and now they’re dealing with the Patriots’ hulking front seven. Bill Belichick will do his damndest to take Adrian Peterson out of this game, likely stacking the box against the downhill runner. He’ll also be concerned about his offense, which couldn’t sustain drives over four quarters against the ‘Phins. I’d be cautious about picking the Patriots to go 0-2, because I have no idea if Matt Cassel is going to turn on the suck at any moment.

(0-1) New Orleans Saints at
(0-1) Cleveland Browns

I’m surprised to see one of these teams at 0-1. (Hint: it’s not the Browns.) New Orleans fell short in a shoot-out with the Falcons, so their defense needs to rebound against a Browns team that only managed to score because of their no-huddle offense. I mean, they should probably stick with that, right? If it’s not supremely broken, then it’s better than what Cleveland usually puts out on the field. This is early enough in the year that the weather probably won’t be a factor, so look for Brees to get on the board early with big plays against rookie corner Justin Gilbert.

(1-0) Atlanta Falcons at
(1-0) Cincinnati Bengals

Cincy eked out a win over the Ravens with a last second bomb, and things might not get any easier against the Falcons, who had a strong showing at home in week one. In a contest between Andy Dalton/A.J. Green and Matt Ryan/Julio Jones, I’d maybe give the slight edge to Ryan and a healthy Jones. ‘Tis a shame that all these other players have to get in the way and decide these games. Cincy’s defense will likely snag them a home win.

(1-0) Detroit Lions at
(1-0) Carolina Panthers

Carolina’s defensive front seven might be just as good as last season. This might be partially due to the fact they’re letting defensive play Greg Hardy play as he appeals his conviction of assaulting a woman and communicating threats. Where’s the outrage for this trash bag?  More importantly, where’s the suspension? This is some grade A bullshit being peddled by the NFL here.

Cam Newton’s back in place of Derek Anderson, who didn’t totally suck last weekend and blah blah blah. I hate this game right now. I hope it ends in a tie that no one watches. I need a distraction right now.

Box Kitty


(0-1) St. Louis Rams at
(0-1) Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Okay, I’m better now. Mostly. The Rams are in Tampa this week and are hoping that Shaun Hill is ready to go for Sunday, despite not practicing most of this week. Believe me, that’s an awful spot to be in when you’re hoping the QB equivalent of cardboard can get on the field. Lovie Smith’s defense gets the benefit of facing a back-up quarterback for the second straight week, which offsets the fact that’s trotting out his own. (Sorry Josh.) I like the Rams’ chances at home, especially with Chris Long out for St. Louis after his ankle surgery.

(1-0) Seattle Seahawks at
(0-1) San Diego Chargers

West Coast Battle! The Seahawks leave their impressive home field advantage to head to San Diego for the first road game of their season. If Russell Wilson really has taken the next step (and my preseason prediction is to be proven accurate), the Seahawks have to travel better than in years past. San Diego has been prognosticated as a dark horse playoff entrant, so they need to avoid the dreaded 0-2. I will never take Philip Rivers against this Seahawk secondary. Ever. And Earl Thomas has been demoted from punt returner, so Pete Carroll has corrected his only real mistake from last week.

(1-0) Houston Texans at
(0-1) Oakland Raiders

Two of the worst teams in the NFL last season, these squads have differing reasons to hope for improvement. Houston picked up a week one win against Washington thanks to a stingy and attacking defense, but can they count on 100+ yards from Arian Foster every week? Especially when it requires nearly 30 carries? This could be a perfect display of stagnant offenses. Derek Carr could put-duel Ryan Fitzpatrick, but if he can at least put forth the same mistake-free effort as last week, the Raiders might stay in it.

(1-0) New York Jets at
(0-1) Green Bay Packers

You know who used to play for both of these teams? You know who I’m talking about. Yeah you do. That guy.

Get On With It

Aaaaaaannnnyways, something tells me the Jets are going to find themselves in a tougher battle against the Packers than they did versus the Raiders. That something is probably logic. Eddie Lacy will be on the field for the Packers following a concussion in week one, so good luck halting all that offense. And Julius Peppers will likely strip-sack Geno Smith at least once. This is the kind of crap game Peppers will be up for.

(0-1) Kansas City Chiefs at
(1-0) Denver Broncos

WOO YEAH. This will be the first game in 2014 in which we really find out if the Chiefs can begin to compete with the Broncos for the AFC West crown. Last year it was a resounding no, with Denver winning two games vs KC in three weeks. Now they can start all over again. If Alex Smith gives up possessions like he did in week one, Peyton will have more than enough drives to snag an insurmountable lead. If it’s close late, the Broncos will have to focus on Montee Ball and their running game, which failed them down the stretch against Indy.

(1-0) Philadelphia Eagles at
(0-1) Indianapolis Colts

Monday Night brings us a fascinating game between 2013 winners of crappy divisions. The Colts nearly mounted another one of their crazy comebacks against the Broncos in week one, but couldn’t muster up enough defense to get the win. The Eagles started slow versus the Jaguars, but then put up 34 points in a single half. I’m not a huge fan of these Colts, as everyone knows. Still, they’ll have the bonus of being at home in primetime. This feels like a pick ’em, and Vegas mostly backs that up with the Colts a standard three point home favorite.


I’ll be glued to my TV and twitter account on Sunday, so follow along for all the NFL fun @MostlyAvgJoe!