Punt, Pass and Pick: Week 2
Well, I at least started out the year on a good note, finishing 3-2 in my picks from Week 1.
But, since Jesse had the exact same picks as me except for the Falcons vs. Saints game, and the Saints won, I technically lost.
Who is really keeping score though? I know I’m not, and neither are the dozens of other Browns fans in America this week who are reeling from a gut punch delivered by Brandon Weeden over the weekend.
This weekend, I plan to be reduced to a sobbing pile of orange when Weeden disappoints once again against the Ravens as I wear my totally out-of-date Colt McCoy jersey.
Thankfully, I’ll have Punt, Pass and Pick to redeem myself over the weekend as I go up against Assistant Sports Editor and fellow podcast host Matt Hamilton.
Hello Towson! I’m Matt Hamilton and I’d like to say thank you to Munch for inviting me to do Punt, Pass and Pick. I’m especially excited for picking the Browns and Ravens game, so I can walk into the office Monday morning with a smile on my face as Munch mourns yet another Cleveland loss. However, I’m here for a clean sweep, so watch out Munch, I’m bringing the brooms.
Cleveland Browns +6.5 at Baltimore Ravens
To start things off, I would like to recount a visit to M&T Bank stadium when I was roughly 13. I was with my dad, seeing the Browns vs. Ravens game for a 4 p.m. game.
I was minding my own business, hanging out and tailgating with some of my dad’s friends, when I look over to see a 30-something woman in a Ray Lewis jersey drop her pants in a dumpster and pee.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is attending a NFL game in a nutshell. Moving on from public urination; that was also the game when Phil Dawson won the game for the Browns on a last-minute field goal that was originally ruled no good because it hit in the back of the crossbar and bounced out of the field goal post.
The refs eventually overturned the play, and my dad and I raced to escape the stadium before Ravens fans threw more beer at us. I predict a similar outcome to this game, except it’ll be Billy Cundiff kicking instead of Dawson.
Browns 17, Ravens 14
I don’t have a grasp on many concepts in this world, but I do know a few things about this game.
I know that Munch loves the Browns and I love the Ravens. I watched as Munch cheered his team on Sunday, only to be disappointed by the end result.
I know that Brandon Weeden may be the worst quarterback not named Blaine in the league. I know that he threw three interceptions and completed less than 50 percent of his passes last week.
I also know that the Ravens are coming off of an embarrassing torching courtesy of Peyton Manning. I know that their pass defense will be extra determined to come back strong.
Like I said, I don’t know much, but this one seems like a no brainer. Sorry Munch, seems like another somber Sunday is headed your way!
Baltimore 34, Cleveland 17
Washington Redskins +6.5 at Green Bay Packers
This game features two teams who are playoff favorites, but got off to a 0-1 start to the season.
The Packers lost to the San Francisco 49ers 34-28, but Cheeseheads cried foul when the 49ers were magically awarded an extra down inside Green Bay’s 20. (Touchdown Seahawks anyone?).
Washington almost made a comeback Monday night against the Eagles, but eventually fell short as its offense really struggled to get anything going.
Alfred Morris only had 45 yards, and quarterback Robert Griffin III only had 24 rushing yards on five attempts. The Packers run defense was surprisingly effective against Frank Gore in Week 1, holding him to just 44 yards.
If the Redskins can’t get the ground game going, this will be an easy win for Green Bay.
Packers 34, Redskins 20
Now, this is a very intriguing match, as both teams are coming off losses in their openers. Green Bay looked less than impressive in stopping Kaepernick and company, while God, I mean RG3 struggled to get his offense going.
Green Bay is at home though, which will be a raucous occasion for all at Lambeau Field. The Packers don’t get to rest on anyone this season, as their next opponent is the Bengals, so this game is vital.
Washington had a lot of question marks on both offense and defense against Philadelphia. Green Bay is not the place to figure out your problems. Sorry, no “HTTR” on this day.
Green Bay 27, Washington 21
Dallas Cowboys +1 at Kansas City Chiefs
Everyone is jumping on the Kansas City Chiefs bandwagon after Sunday, but they beat up on the Jacksonville Jaguars.
I mean, come on, even the Browns could do that. Jamaal Charles didn’t have a terribly impressive game, carrying the ball 16 times for 77 yards, while new-comer Alex Smith at quarterback threw the ball 34 times.
If Kansas City has to throw the ball that often against the Cowboys they’re going to get burned for it. Even though Tony Romo was mocked for his Sunday night game against the Giants, he did complete 73 percent of his passes for 263 yards and two touchdowns.
If Romo throws the ball that well again and cuts out the one interception he had, this will be a victory for Dallas.
Cowboys 20, Chiefs 14
This match up may be the hardest to pick all week, because both teams seemed to be trending up after Sunday, but neither lined up against a strong team.
Dallas looked pretty strong against New York, but let’s face it, the Giants decided not to play football Sunday night.
However, the Kansas City Chiefs have Alex Smith and a newly-founded offense behind Andy Reid. He didn’t have to do much Sunday, as he was facing Blaine Gabbert and his crippled hands.
Writing this, I’m still not sure who will win this game, but Arrowhead always presents a challenge. So does Kansas City’s defense.
Kansas City 24, Dallas 23
San Francisco 49ers +3 at Seattle Seahawks
This line could definitely change by Sunday afternoon, after the 49ers win and the Seahawks struggles but eventual victory over the Carolina Panthers.
Every NFC West game this season is incredibly important with the talent on the 49ers, Seahawks and even the Arizona Cardinals and St. Louis Rams.
San Fran seems to be the obvious pick here, after the Seahawks only put up 12 points on the Panthers and 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick threw three touchdowns.
But Anquan Boldin was one of the most inconsistent receivers in the NFL last season, so it’d be very bold to say he’s going to have 209 receiving yards again against a Seahawks secondary that held Cam Newton to just 125 yards.
Russell Wilson will have a big rebound game here, and Seattle will prove that they are the Super Bowl favorite everyone says they are.
Seahawks 28, 49ers 20
Well this might be the best game all season in the NFL, so I’ll be glued to my seat for the duration of it.
San Francisco is good, really good. Anquan Boldin is good, really good. I miss my Anquan, I really do.
Seattle escaped a trap game at Carolina, as Russell Wilson went off on the Panthers for 320 yards passing. The Seahawks’ defense was strong, holding Cam Newton to just seven points.
If you like hits, passing, rushing, cool jerseys or loud fans you should watch this game. That’s basically all that’s fun in football except touchdowns.
Who will score more of them? Great question. Anquan has become a number one receiver and Seattle doesn’t have anyone close to as good. I’ll take that as my determining factor.
San Francisco 21, Seattle 17
Pittsburgh Steelers +6.5 at Cincinnati Bengals
Since every team in the AFC North lost this weekend, everyone is technically in second place (that includes the Browns).
The Bengals lost a very Bengals-like game on Sunday against the Chicago Bears. It seemed like Cincinnati was going to win, then the opposing team came back and the Bengals couldn’t muster up any points at the end of the game.
That seems to be the way every single Bengals game in the past two years has ended. This game should be much different, considering Pittsburgh’s leading rusher against the Titans was LaRod Stephens-Howling with a very impressive 19 yards.
A.J. Green is quickly becoming the second-best receiver in the league behind Calvin Johnson, and the Bengals should find themselves up big in this game.
Bengals 30, Steelers 10
Pittsburgh did not score on offense until 1:23 left in the game Sunday. That was against the Titans, who have a lackluster offense and a somewhat decent defense.
Cincinnati lost a nail biter to Chicago, but showed promise. A.J. Green caught a bunch of passes for a bunch of yards, and Andy Dalton threw for two touchdowns.
I hate Pittsburgh, but it just so happens that the Steelers are really bad as well. They have no running game and an old defense. They’re going against a young offense and a good run defense.
The Bengals are at home and are better than the Steelers. What else needs to be said?
Cincinnati 28, Pittsburgh 14