NFL Insider

NFL INSIDER: Playing show and tell with the NFL

2013-09-12T18:30:00Z 2013-09-20T02:33:06Z NFL INSIDER: Playing show and tell with the NFLMatt Erickson NFL Insider nwitimes.com
September 12, 2013 6:30 pm  • 

Week 1 in the NFL showed us a lot of things, but it told us, it seems, very little.

It showed us seemingly outmatched teams like Buffalo and Oakland could hang around with heavy favorites like the Pats and Colts. It told us they'd ultimately cave, but put up some scares along the way.

It showed us the Eagles and Titans and Dolphins could outperform expectations – but did it tell us that's going to be the norm, and that everyone was wrong all along?

That, of course, is what Week 2 is for – to start to figure these things out.

A few heavier favorites look solid this week. I like the Falcons to bounce back in a big way at home after a tough opening-week loss to the Saints. Same should go for the Packers. Nine points is a lot, but the Texans should knock the Titans back down to size thanks to a much better running attack than the Steelers offered Tennessee last week. And the Ravens have won 10 straight against the Browns.

As for your home teams, the Bears will need to seriously step up their team defense against the Vikings. Giving up two 90-yard scoring drives at home was not a good sign against the Bengals. The Vikings likely will give Adrian Peterson a massive workload – that's their key to the upset.

The Colts, though, should have significantly fewer troubles at home against the Dolphins. Andrew Luck threw for 433 yards against the Fish last year, and he could pile up big numbers again.

Minnesota (0-1) +6 (41.5) at BEARS (1-0)

MattE's pick: Bears 27, Vikings 23

Miami (1-0) +3 (42.5) at COLTS (1-0)

MattE's pick: Colts 31, Dolphins 20

San Diego (0-1) +7.5 (54.5) at Philadelphia (1-0)

MattE's pick: Eagles 31, Chargers 28

Cleveland (0-1) +6.5 (43.5) at Baltimore (0-1)

MattE's pick: Ravens 31, Browns 13

Tennessee (1-0) +9 (43) at Houston (1-0)

MattE's pick: Texans 34, Titans 20

Carolina (0-1) -3 (44) at Buffalo (0-1)

MattE's pick: Bills 23, Panthers 17

St. Louis (1-0) +7 (47.5) at Atlanta (0-1)

MattE's pick: Falcons 34, Rams 17

Washington (0-1) +7 (49.5) at Green Bay (0-1)

MattE's pick: Packers 37, Redskins 17

Dallas (1-0) +3 (46.5) at Kansas City (1-0)

MattE's pick: Cowboys 27, Chiefs 20

New Orleans (1-0) -3 (47) at Tampa Bay (0-1)

MattE's pick: Saints 28, Bucs 20

Detroit (1-0) -1 (47.5) at Arizona (0-1)

MattE's pick: Cardinals 27, Lions 23

Jacksonville (0-1) +6 (39.5) at Oakland (0-1)

MattE's pick: Raiders 26, Jaguars 20

Denver (1-0) -4.5 (55) at N.Y. Giants (0-1)

MattE's pick: Broncos 31, Giants 26

San Francisco (1-0) +3 (44.5) at Seattle (1-0)

MattE's pick: 49ers 27, Seahawks 24

Pittsburgh (0-1) +7 (40.5) at Cincinnati (0-1)

MattE's pick: Bengals 24, Steelers 20

Last week: 10-6 straight up, 7-8-1 against the spread.

Matt Erickson is an award-winning journalist whose NFL picks have appeared in The Times for 12 seasons. He covers mixed martial arts for The Times and is assistant MMA editor for USA Today and MMAjunkie.com.

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