It's tempting to overreact to Week 1 developments when making your picks against the point spread in Week 2.
One week of the 2011 NFL season is in the books. For the Pittsburgh Steelers, it was a week to forget, as the six-time Super Bowl champions got waxed on the road by the rival Baltimore Ravens, 35-7. It's too early to tell whether the Steelers just came out flat against a hungry team, or if the veteran squad's age has finally caught up to them. But a Week 2 home matchup with the lowly Seattle Seahawks may be just what the doctor ordered for Mike Tomlin and his men.
Let's take a look at the Week 2 NFL lines and make some picks.
Last week's record: 8-6-1
- Too emotional of a win for the Jets for me to like their chances at blowing out Jacksonville this week. The Jets would have lost in Week 1 if not for Tony Romo's series of miscues down the stretch. I think New York wins, but not by double digits. Pick: Jacksonville
- The Saints don't match up particularly well with the Bears, but being that it's their home opener at the Super Dome, I think you have to take New Orleans at -7 and hope for a push at worst. It's probably a stay-away game, but New Orleans did look pretty darn good on offense in their loss to the Packers last Thursday night. I imagine they'll resolve some of their tackling issues and obviously Chicago is not quite as potent as Green Bay is offensively. Pick: New Orleans
- Love the Bills here at -3. Oakland, feeling great about after a rare Monday Night Football road win against the hated Broncos, have a short week before having to travel allllll the way across the country to take on Buffalo. They'll kickoff at 10:00 AM their body time. It looks like Oakland may be fairly competitive this year, but this is not a spot they're ready to negotiate just yet. Pick: Buffalo
- I'm not sure that Washington is a legit contender, but I think they have the right coaching staff and just enough balance to be able to handle an Arizona team that's been pretty mediocre away from home in recent years. Again, another west coast team having to adjust to a major time zone difference. Pick: Washington
Baltimore Ravens (-6.5) at Tennessee Titans (-115)
- After watching Baltimore thrash the Steelers, it's hard not to like their chances against a Titans team that doesn't really scare anybody in the passing game. Baltimore is stout enough against the run to keep Chris Johnson from going off, and even though Baltimore may be susceptible to an emotional letdown following last Sunday's big win over the rival Steelers, John Harbaugh knows what he's doing and he's got veteran leaders on his squad to help him make sure that the group doesn't let their guard down this week. Pick: Baltimore.
Seattle Seahawks at Pittsburgh Steelers (-14.5)
- Man, 14.5 points is awfully high for a team that looked so pedestrian last week. But I watched a lot of Seattle's opener against the 49ers and was decidedly unimpressed with their offensive attack. If Pittsburgh can avoid any costly gaffes on special teams and finish in the black in the turnover department, they should be just fine. Pick: Pittsburgh
- Impressive debut for Cam Newton, but Arizona's secondary isn't the best barometer of how Newton will fare during his rookie season. I like the opportunistic Packers defense to force Newton into several costly mistakes, and Aaron Rodgers to stay hot against a so-so defense. Pick: Green Bay
- Love Minnesota here. The Vikings are one of my sleeper teams - not necessarily to go deep into the playoffs, but to give teams fits most weeks. Pick: Minnesota
- Who would have ever thought that the Browns would be road favorites over the Colts? I do wonder if the Browns might struggle with the crowd noise at Lucas Oil Stadium, but that's assuming that there will be a full house that's rocking and loud this Sunday. Because Cleveland's offensive line is fairly solid, I'll roll the dice. Pick: Cleveland
- Sheesh, if you had guessed what this line would have been before the season, I guarantee you wouldn't have said Lions by 9. I'm sorry, I'm just as impressed with Lions and intrigued by what they might be able to accomplish as the next guy, but I'm not ready to take them in blowout wins, even at home against teams that looked atrocious the week before. Not yet at least. Pick: Kansas City.
- San Francisco's offense is a work in progress, but there defense is formidable enough where I think they can force Tony Romo into yet another series of mistakes on the road. I'll take the 49ers here, feeling confident at least that they'll likely not lose by more than 3. Pick: San Francisco
- We're just tallying wins and losses, not betting real money where even money value is taken into consideration, but it's that +100 even money that persuades me to go with Houston here, even though Miami showed the country something Monday night against the Patriots...at least on offense. Houston basically got to shut it down at halftime, and they have an extra day of rest and preparation over the Dolphins who played on Monday night this past week. Pick: Houston
- If this game weren't in New England I'd go with San Diego because of the short week factor. But that's a might long trip from the southwestern tip of the U.S. all the way up to New England. Add in the injuries sustained by the Chargers in their Week 1 win over Minnesota and I think New England is the safe pick here. Pick: New England
- The Bengals are a more complete squad than people realize, even if they are in flux at the all important QB position. Cincinnati's defense should be up to the task of forcing Kyle Orton to dink and dunk his way down the field, and though Orton is average at doing just that, he's proven that he's not able to burn teams consistently enough with big plays in the vertical passing game. Cedric Benson should have his second consecutive 100+ yard game to begin the year based on what we saw out of Denver's rush defense against Oakland on Monday night. Pick: Cincinnati
- If you're inclined to pick Atlanta, you should take them on the money line rather than to cover three points at -130. I think the Falcons get back on track here with a much better showing in Week 2. Pick: Atlanta
- Just too many injuries for St. Louis to like their chances on the road against a Giants team that will be angry and focused all week. Steven Jackson should be limited if he plays at all due to a bruised quad muscle; and Sam Bradford lost his favorite target in Danny Amendola to a season-ending elbow injury. We'll see what Bradford is made of, but seems like a tall order this week. Pick: New York