NFL Week 2 picks 2012

The Buffalo Bills’ Week 2 home opener against Kansas City is a game most fans had circled as a win before the season.

How quickly things change.

It’s only one week into the season and the Bills have the same record as teams like the Giants, Saints and Packers right now, but there’s not a lot from last week to build on. Ryan Fitzpatrick threw passes like his ribs were still broken, Mario Williams blitzed like he had all $100 million of his salary in quarters strapped on his back and two offensive starters were lost to injury.

Chan Gailey and the Bills have plenty of time to right the ship on the 2012 season, but nothing they did last week would indicate they can win Sunday by at least a field goal. I could see the Bills pulling out a close one, but until I see further evidence, I’m taking the points.

Statistical odds and ends:

–This Bills are accomplishing the rare right now of leading the NFL in both rushing yards per game and points allowed. That’s including the early game this week.

–Yes, the Bills beat the Chiefs last year 41-7. That’s means … very little. If calling up past success was that easy, the Bills would be 1-0 after Fitzpatrick led the attack over the Jets last week.

–Storyline to watch in this game is Eric Berry on Stevie Johnson. Johnson ended Berry’s season last year on a run block. I’m willing to bet Berry hasn’t forgotten about that.

Kansas City (+3) at Bills — Chiefs

Tampa Bay (+7) at Giants — Giants

Arizona (+13½) at New England — Pats

Minnesota at Indianapolis (+1½) — Vikings (Andrew Luck’s third down passer rating was 0.0 last week!)

New Orleans at Carolina (+2½) — Saints

Baltimore (+2½) at Philadelphia — Ravens

Oakland at Miami (+2½) — Raiders

Cleveland (+7) at Cincinnati — Bengals

Houston at Jacksonville (+7) — Texans

Dallas at Seattle (+3) — Cowboys*

Washington at St. Louis (+3) — Rams

Jets (+5) at Pittsburgh — Jets

Tennessee (+6) at San Diego — Titans

Detroit (+6½) at San Francisco — 49ers

Denver (+3) at Atlanta — Broncos

Largest line of the season: Arizona +13.5 at New England (Week 2)

Last week: Gaughan 3-12, Skurski 7-8, Graham 6-9, Sullivan 6-9, DiCesare 8-7, Northrop 6-9, IAGS 4-11. Rough starts all around. We learn. We adjust.

Overall:
DiCesare 8-7
Skurski 7-8
Northrop, Graham, Sullivan 6-9
IAGS 4-11
Gaughan 3-12

Best Bets:
Gaughan, Skurski, Sullivan, DiCesare, IAGS: 1-0
Graham, Northrop 0-1

Last week:

Bills +2.5 at New Jersey Jets — Bills.
Jets 48-28. Loss

Indianapolis +9.5 at Chicago — Colts
Bears 41-21. Loss

Philadelphia at Cleveland +8.5 — Eagles
Eagles 17-16. Loss

Washington +7 at New Orleans — Redskins
Redskins 40-32. Win

New England +5.5 at Tennessee — Patriots*
Pats 34-13. Win

Jacksonville +4 at Minnesota — Vikings
Vikings 26-23. Loss

Miami +12 at Houston — Dolphins
Texans 30-10. Loss

St. Louis +7 at Detroit — Lions
Lions 27-23. Loss

Atlanta at Kansas City +3 — Chiefs
Falcons 40-24. Loss

San Francisco +5 at Green Bay — 49ers
49ers 30-22. Win

Carolina at Tampa Bay +2.5 — Panthers
Bucs 16-10. Loss

Seattle at Arizona +2.5 — Seahawks
Cardinals 20-16. Loss

Pittsburgh +1.5 at Denver — Broncos
Broncos 31-19. Win

Cincinnati +6 at Baltimore — Bengals
Ravens 44-13. Loss

San Diego +1 at Oakland — Raiders
Chargers 22-14. Loss

4-11, 1-0

*Best bet

NFL Week 2 picks

I’m trying really hard not to be “that guy,” but I’m still far from sold on the Buffalo Bills this year.

They won one game. Against a team that played miserably. We know the Bills aren’t a team that will put up 41 points on a regular basis. I was very impressed with a lot of things last week, but you have to attribute a lot of our success to Kansas City’s poor play.

Steve Johnson hauled in a nice touchdown reception and threw the (legal) cut block on Eric Berry that injured his knee.

Eric Berry went down with a season-ending injury on the first drive after getting flattened by Steve Johnson (imagine what would’ve happened if he tried to cross the Moats). They were without their best player nearly the entire game.

The Bills did well for themselves to score early, but that’s the only reason the Chiefs’ running game never got going. Jamaal Charles didn’t run poorly (5.6 yards per carry), Kansas City was just forced to pass because it was down so many. Charles only had 10 carries.

Dwayne Bowe had a pedestrian 17 yards on two catches, so I give lots of credit to a banged-up Bills secondary that also limited Matt Cassel to 119 yards.

There were a lot of positives to take from last game. C.J. Spiller even managed to get his first career rushing touchdown. I don’t hate the Bills, I’m just not sold yet. The Raiders present a bigger challenge. People forget Oakland was an 8-8 team last season, and in football, a .500 team is one that was fairly competitive. The Bills probably could have been close to 8-8 if a few key bounces went our way, but they didn’t, and that’s why we were 4-12.

I like the Bills to win a close one at the home opener. I do wish the line was smaller than three points, but everyone else probably does, too.

BUFFALO (-3) over Oakland

NEW ORLEANS (-6.5) over Chicago

DETROIT (-8) over Kansas City

JETS (-9.5) over Jacksonville

Arizona (+3.5) over WASHINGTON

Baltimore (-6) over TENNESSEE

Seattle (+14) over PITTSBURGH

CAROLINA (+10) over Green Bay

Tampa Bay (+3) over MINNESOTA

INDIANAPOLIS (+2) over Cleveland

Dallas (-3) over SAN FRANCISCO

Houston (-3) over MIAMI

NEW ENGLAND (-7) over San Diego

Cincinnati (+3.5) over DENVER

Philadelphia (-2.5) over ATLANTA*

GIANTS (-6) over ST. LOUIS

Last week:

KANSAS CITY (-6) over Buffalo
Bills 41-7. Loss

Pittsburgh (+2 1/2) over BALTIMORE
Ravens 35-7. Loss
TAMPA BAY (-2) over Detroit
Lions 27-20. Loss
CHICAGO (+3) over Atlanta
Bears 30-12. Win
Indianapolis (+8 1/2) over HOUSTON
Texans 34-7. Loss
Philadelphia (-5) over ST. LOUIS
Eagles 31-13. Win
Cincinnati (+6 1/2) over CLEVELAND
Bengals 27-17. Win
Tennessee (+2) over JACKSONVILLE*
Jags 16-14. Push
Giants (-3) over WASHINGTON
Redskins 28-14. Loss
Carolina (+7) over ARIZONA
Cards 28-21. Push
Seattle (+5) over SAN FARNCISCO
49ers 33-17. Loss
Minnesota (+8 1/2) over SAN DIEGO
Chargers 24-17. Win
JETS (-4 1/2) over Dallas
Jets 27-24. Loss
New England (-7) over MIAMI
Pats 38-2. Win
DENVER (-3) over Oakland
Raiders 23-20. Loss
5-8-2, 0-0-1

2010 first round RB watch:

C.J. Spiller 5 rushes, 16 yards, 3.2 YPC, 1 TD.

Ryan Matthews 12 rushes, 45 yards, 3.8 YPC, 0 TD.

Jahvid Best 21 rushes, 72 yards, 3.4 YPC, 0 TD.

NFL Week 1 picks

Jamaal Charles averaged 6.4 yards per carry last season.

It’s Always Game Seven is back for another season of NFL picks, using the same lines that appear in the Buffalo News every Friday during the NFL season.

Last year was the first time I ever picked games against the spread, and hopefully I start off better this season than I did last year.

The Bills are plus-6 at Kansas City. Let’s not forget the Chiefs were a playoff team last year and the Bills are notoriously slow starters. Jamaal Charles will be a good litmus test for the Bills run defense. I’m taking Kansas City.

Pittsburgh (+2 1/2) over BALTIMORE

TAMPA BAY (-2) over Detroit

CHICAGO (+3) over Atlanta

Indianapolis (+8 1/2) over HOUSTON

Philadelphia (-5) over ST. LOUIS

Cincinnati (+6 1/2) over CLEVELAND

Tennessee (+2) over JACKSONVILLE*

Giants (-3) over WASHINGTON

Carolina (+7) over ARIZONA

Seattle (+5) over SAN FARNCISCO

Minnesota (+8 1/2) over SAN DIEGO

JETS (-4 1/2) over Dallas

New England (-7) over MIAMI

DENVER (-3) over Oakland.

There’s my picks. I also picked playoff teams and postseason awards. It’s important to note that after making your picks, you feel like you made every correct pick without a doubt. After the games, you can’t believe you ever thought your team would have beaten the other. Such is life.

I didn’t have a clear-cut best bet this week, but I figured I’d go with Tennessee. Not sold on Matt Hassleback or Chris Johnson’s recovery, but I don’t have any faith in a team that just released its starting quarterback a week before the season. 

Week 8 NFL picks

Last week’s Bills game hurt. Going up big, only to end up losing brought back memories of other heartbreakers like the Monday night games against Dallas and New Engl

(Excuse me for a moment while I wipe those tears away)

Okay all better. Anyway, the difference between those games and the Baltimore game was, well, this game doesn’t exactly matter. We aren’t in the race for a division title, and even if we won out we probably still wouldn’t make the playoffs.

I’ve said it one hundred times and I’ll say it again: I don’t care about the results. I just want to see improvement. The Ryan Fitzpatrick-run offense (or rather, the Chan Gailey operated offense) is working. I know it’s a small sample size, but moving the ball that well against Baltimore’s defense didn’t go unnoticed around the league. Thirty four points allowed was the most for the Ravens all season.

Stats I like:

–Ryan Fitzpatrick was the game’s leading passer (382 yards), Stevie Johnson was the game’s leading receiver (158) and Fred Jackson was the game’s leading rusher (73). The last time the Bills had the game’s top passer, rusher and receiver was last year’s 31-7 win over Indianapolis. The last time we had all three and lost? Week 17 of 2008, a 13-0 loss to New England.

–The win marked the first time in the last 60 games that a Bills’ QB had thrown for 300 yards.

–Ryan Fitzpatrick is second in the NFL in passer rating. Check it out below.
Passer rating leaders:
Peyton Manning 103.4
Ryan Fitzpatrick 102.0
Vince Young 98.8
Philip Rivers 97.8
Tom Brady 96.0 

–Bills went 11-for-17 on third down, while holding Baltimore to 2-of-11.

Stats I don’t like:

–Bills gave up 4.6 yards per carry.

–Buffalo was outscored 14-0 in the third quarter, bringing the season total in the third quarter to 77-14.

–Ravens tight end Todd Heap had 59 yards and two touchdowns. Statistically, the Bills are the worst team in the NFL at defending tight ends. Fantasy points for tight ends playing the Bills this year are as follows: 4, 10, 17, 14, 18, [bye week], 17. 

Stat I am indifferent to:

The last overtime game for the Bills Oct. 18, 2009 (Week 6) at the Jets, where the Bills pulled out a 16-13 win. That was the game Buffalo came up with six interceptions.

Hopefully the Bills can get their first win of the season this week at Kansas City. The Chiefs are playing well this year (4-2, first in AFC West), and ran up the score last week at home versus Jacksonville. If the Bills can slay KC’s two-headed running monster, they have shot.

Week 8 picks:

Bills (+7 1/2) at Kansas City–Heck, give me the Bills.  

Denver (+1) vs. San Francisco–Both teams could use a change of scenery, but England is pushing it. I’ll take Mike Singletary to get his guys’ heads where they need to be. 49ers.

Jacksonville (+6 1/2) at Dallas–Jacksonville

Washington (+2 1/2) at Detroit–Washington

Green Bay (+6) at Jets–Jets

Carolina (+3) at St. Louis–Panthers

Miami (+2) at Cincinnati–Miami

Tennessee (+3 1/2) at San Diego–Titans

Tampa Bay (+3) at Arizona–Bucs

Seattle (+2 1/2) at Oakland–Oakland scored the most points in franchise history last week and still can’t get any love. I’ll give them some. Raiders.

Minnesota (+5) at New England–Pats

Pittsburgh (+1) at New Orleans–Pittsburgh

Houston (+5 1/2) at Indianapolis–Peyton Manning. Peyton Manning at night. Peyton Manning at night against a division rival. Peyton Manning at night against a division rival who already beat him this year. You know what? Give me Houston.

Season Standings (best bets)
Sullivan: 54-45-4 (4-3)
Northrop: 52-47-4 (5-2)
DiCesare: 49-50-4 (3-4)
McKissic: 48-51-4 (3-4)
Wilson: 45-54-4 (4-3)
Gaughan: 44-55-4 (5-2)
Game Seven 34-65-4 (4-2-1)

It’s going to be a dramatic comeback.

——

Week 7 picks
Bills (+13) at Baltimore–Ravens.
Baltimore 37-34. Loss
Pittsburgh at Miami (+3)–Steelers
Pittsburgh 23-22. Loss
Cincinnati (+3 1/2) at Atlanta–Bengals
Falcons 39-23. Loss
Jacksonville (+4 1/2) at Kansas City–Chiefs (best bet)
KC 42-20. Win
Philadelphia (+3) at Tennessee–Eagles
Tennessee 37-19. Loss
Washington (+3) at Chicago–Redskins
Washington 17-14. Win
Cleveland (+13) at New Orleans–Saints
Browns 30-17. Loss
San Francisco at Carolina (+3)–49ers
Panthers 23-20. Loss
St. Louis (+2 1/2) at Tampa Bay–Rams
Tampa 18-17. Win
Arizona (+5 1/2) at Seattle–Seahawks
Seattle 22-10. Win
New England (+3) at San Diego–Patriots
Pats 23-20. Win
Oakland (+7) at Denver–Broncos
Raiders 59-14. Loss
Minnesota (+3) at Green Bay–Vikings
Packers 28-24. Loss
Giants (+3) at Dallas–Giants
Giants 41-35. Win

6-8.