2014 Week 2 Review & Week 3 Picks
Week 2 Review (Week, 4-1, Season, 5-5)
Week 2 represented a complete turn around from our 1-4 Week 1 start, bringing us back to .500 on the season. Our picks were successful mainly because they each capitalized on over reaction from Week 1. Every team we picked for played poorly in Week 1, or played a team who outperformed expectations in the previous week. Generally these types of overreactions are reserved for the first few weeks of the season, and thus, moving forward we will focus more on finding teams we believe are being systematically over or undervalued.
Week 3 Picks*
Oakland +14 @ New England
On the surface, this game has blowout written all over it. New England is coming off of a huge win and is playing its home opener against an 0-2 West Coast team starting a rookie quarterback (the type Belichick usually eats for breakfast) and traveling East for a 1pm game. However, below the surface, New England is quietly struggling in a few key areas. What will become great offensive and defensive units have struggled to gel and the team as a whole has relied heavily on turnovers to both stop opponent drives, and generate points of their own. So long as Oakland can avoid turnovers, they should be able to hang tough with New England.
Green Bay +3 (120) @ Detroit
Last week, both of these teams under performed. Detroit's offense, and Stafford in particular, really struggled against what is proving to be a still great Carolina defense. Green Bay on the other hand struggled against, and in many respects were lucky to beat, a middle of the road New York team. Green Bay's match up against Detroit will be very similar as they face an extremely talented front four, but relatively week back 7. We expect Aaron Rodgers to be under constant pressure. However, unlike other elite QBs who must rely on pre-snap protection shifts and audibles to avoid pressure, Rodgers thrives under the rush. This Detroit defense is a slightly inferior version of New York's defense, and we expect Rodgers to have similar success moving the football on his way to a road victory.
Dallas PK @ St. Louis
As the season progresses, we learn more and more about each team. This is especially true for Dallas. Though we initially attributed Dallas' huge Week 1 rushing totals to a poor San Francisco run defense, it would appear that it should be the other way around. Furthermore, Dallas' defense has proven surprisingly resilient despite expectations that it would be worse than last year's historically bad unit. Though we typically require points to take a road team, we believe that Dallas' is being severely undervalued and like them to win.
Seattle -5.5 vs Denver
Another year, and another Jekyll and Hyde Seattle team that disappoints on the road and over delivers on even the highest expectations at home. As we discussed in our Super Bowl pick last year, this is a horrible match up for the finesse Denver offense. It is difficult to pick and rub corner backs when they are the size of Seattle's. Seattle relies on setting the tone and pace of games to achieve success and they should have no problem doing so in what will most likely be the loudest and most hostile environment possible for an NFL regular season game.
*Also included in this week is our Thursday night pick of Tampa Bay.