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Fade Material: NFL Week 2 Predictions

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick sets up a pass before throwing to teammate DeSean Jackson for a touchdown against the Washington Redskins in first half of their NFL football game in Landover, Maryland November 15, 2010. REUTERS/Jason Reed (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)

Not a great start last week but not bad either. I hit the Eagles and Bengals but the Colts never arrived in Houston and the Titans fell short in Jacksonville. I’ll try harder today…

Cardinals @ Redskins, 1:00PM ET
Cam Newton was incredible in his debut but Arizona’s defense was sofffffft. Now the Cardinals have to hop a flight cross-country to play a Redskins team that didn’t have to move after playing at home last week. While the situation is built like a house of cards, Rex Grossman played well last Sunday against the Giants and I think he’ll carry that confidence into today. The Cardinals are just 1-6 against the spread in their last seven road games and 1-7 ATS in their last eight games as a road underdog. The Redskins, meanwhile, are 4-0-1 ATS in their last five games overall and 3-0-1 ATS in their last four games versus the NFC.

Browns @ Colts, 1:00PM ET
Apparently I’m a glutton for punishment because I’m right back on the Colts this week after their brutal performance in Week 1. It just doesn’t sit right with me that Indy is a 1-point home underdog against a Browns team that got drubbed by the Bengals at home last Sunday. Kerry Collins looked like crap-o-la in Houston but he should have an easier time this Sunday against Cleveland. The underdog is 3-1-1 against the spread in the last five meetings between these two teams while the Browns are 0-5 against the spread in their last five games versus the AFC.

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NFL Picks & Predictions: Week 2

Throughout the NFL season, I’ll pick four games every week that I tab as my “plays of the week.” I’ll keep track so readers can either cheer my knowledge or hammer my incompetence. Either way, it should be fun.

Gamblers: Proceed with caution and never be afraid to fade.

Rams at Redskins, 1:00PM ET FOX
St. Louis only won two games last year and finished the season on a 10-game losing streak. But they were never shut out – not once. In their opener last week, the Rams were blanked by Seattle 28-0 and the schedule makers were gracious enough to send them back on the road this week. Washington isn’t the most explosive team in the NFL, but the Redskins can methodically beat teams (especially bad teams) by moving the chains with their West Coast Offense. The Rams’ defense was shredded for 167 rushing yards last week, so Clinton Portis should have no problems finding room to run this Sunday. If Jim Zorn were ever going to allow quarterback Jason Campbell to throw the ball vertically more in the offense, this would be the game because St. Louis’ secondary is a mess. Look for Albert Haynesworth to help bottle up Steven Jackson and for the Redskins to cruise to their first victory of the year.
Odds: Redskins –9.5.
Predictions: Redskins 27, Rams 10.

Cardinals at Jaguars, 1:00PM ET FOX
The Cardinals have issues and their loss last week to the 49ers proves it. Losing offensive playcaller Todd Haley was a killer and it’s going to take some time for Kurt Warner and the rest of Arizona’s offense to get adjusted. Also, receiver Anquan Boldin is hurt and can’t create separation in his routes and although “Beanie” Wells showed flashes of his potential, the running game is still a major concern for this team. That said, we should see a more inspired and focused Cardinals team this weekend in Jacksonville. Ken Whisenhunt is a fine coach and is going to do everything in his power not to let ‘Zona fall to 0-2. Jacksonville played an inspired game in Indianapolis last week, but the Jags are still lacking playmakers on the offensive side of the ball and the new additions to the offensive line need time to gel. So while Jacksonville is much improved, they still have issues and I see Arizona’s defense keeping Maurice Jones-Drew somewhat in check. If this game comes down to the wire, I see the Cardinals’ offense coming through this Sunday, unlike last week when they became stagnant in the fourth quarter against the Niners.
Odds: Jaguars –3.
Prediction: Cardinals 16, Jaguars 13.

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