By Tony McClean
Updated: September 13, 2007
NEW HAVEN, Ct. – Before we get started with this week’s picks, the thoughts and prayers of the entire BASN staff and our readers are with Buffalo tight end Kevin Everett and his family.
While things like this can only be put into God’s hands, we wish Mr. Everett and his loved ones strength and hope during this most difficult time. The fact that he’s slowly making a good recovery is a testament to his will.
As for on the field affairs this week, Week Two is usually time for most fans of 0-1 teams to overreact a bit after a loss. However, recent history says teams that start either 1-1 or 0-2 shouldn’t get ready to prepare for the draft yet.
S ince realignment in 2002, 34 of the 60 playoff teams during that period (roughly about 57%) began the year either 1-1 or 0-2.
In fact, three of the past six Super Bowl champions have begun their seasons with a 1-1 or 0-2 record.
So listen to your Uncle Tony and remember, “It’s just one damn week!!!!”
FACTOID OF THE WEEK
This weekend, two storied NFL franchises can reach milestones with a victory.
With a win over Buffalo, the Pittsburgh Steelers can become the first AFC team to reach 500 regular-season wins.
Also with a victory over the Giants, the Green Bay Packers can join the Chicago Bears (686 wins) as the only NFL teams with 650 victories.
Last weekend, San Diego’s LaDainian Tomlinson threw his seventh career touchdown pass against the Bears. What player has thrown for the most TD passes (8) by a non-QB since 1970?
A. Walter Payton
B. Marcus Allen
C. Keith Byars
D. Greg Pruitt
(The answer comes at the end of the column).
LAST WEEK: 9-7.
Considering how unpredictable the first games can be, we’ll take a .500 opening week. We split with our upset specials (Damn you, Jason Elam!!!) and on Monday Night. We took a chance on a couple of road dogs (Bears, Ravens) and got burned badly. I knew it was going to be a crazy one when the Boys from Motown won on the road and the Eagles laid a egg at Lambeau.
PACKERS at GIANTS
Eli or Jared? Jared or Eli? Salad or fries? That’s one of the biggest questions facing Big Blue as they open their home schedule against the Cheeseheads. Brett Favre can also make his own history with a win Sunday. Ol’ No. 4 can become the NFL’s all-time winningest quarterback if Green Bay can handle the Giants. I know they beat Philly last week and they may be facing a neophyte under center, but I get the feeling that the Giants’ D will be looking to avenge last week’s 45-point uprising at Dallas.
COLTS at TITANS
Both teams looked like they never missed a beat in their debuts last week. While the Colts dismissed the Saints, VY and Chris Brown ran the ball down Jacksonville’s throat Sunday. In their last meeting, the Titans overcame a 14-point deficit and got a 60-yarder from Rob Bironas for the win. Can lightning strike again? Remember what Indy did to ex-teammate Jason David last week? Sunday, the Colts go up against ex-teammate Nick Harper. Do the words “asbestos underwear” mean anything to you?
VIKINGS at LIONS
Fresh off a road win at the “Black Hole”, the Boys from Motown will try to make a statement to their fans and the league in their home opener. We got a quick peek at Detroit’s dynamic new offense last week. But will they be able to cut loose against a better defensive team? And for that matter, will the Lions be able to handle Minny’s electric rookie Adrian Peterson. This has all the makings of a barn burner. I’ll bite my tongue and hold my breath and go with the home team.
CHARGERS at PATRIOTS
This playoff rematch didn’t really need much more juice, but with “Tapegate” as a backdrop, it just got a little juicier. You remember last year’s playoff game at Qualcomm when the Pats danced off (literally) to an improbable win. The loss virtually got Marty Schottenheimer canned and left the Bolts with a bitter taste in their mouths. They’ve been pinpointing this game since the schedule came out. While I know these are the kind of games that New England usually wins, but the Chargers will have a chip the size of the San Andreas fault on their shoulders. I think it will be enough for a win.
REDSKINS at EAGLES
Just a good old fashioned NFC East battle at Philly will put a capper on Week Two. While the ‘Skins had to go to overtime (Sorry, Glenn!!!) to defeat the Fish, the Eagles just looked a bit flat in their loss at Green Bay. I’m guessing it was rust and anxiousness, but Donovan McNabb just didn’t look like himself last week. Since the Washington D is a tad bit better than Green Bay’s, me thinks No. 5 will be struggling again. This should be a close one, but I’m liking the road dog.
Panthers over Texans: Houston will keep it close, but Carolina should outlast them.
Bengals over Browns: For this week’s celebration, Ocho Cinco will be passing out “Romeo Must Die” DVD’s to the Dog Pound just to rub it in.
49ers over Rams: One of these days, St. Louis will be introduced to some defense. Unfortunately, this Sunday won’t be one of those days.
Ravens over Jets: Gang Green fans who cheered Pennington’s injury, be careful what you wish for.
Steelers over Bills: If football was a 58-minute game, Buffalo would be division champs.
Jaguars over Falcons: I’m just guessing, but I think Joey Harrington will be easier to catch than the talented Mr. Young.
Saints over Bucs: Chucky could have eight quarterbacks on the roster and Tampa would still score six damn points.
Cardinals over Seahawks: Just a hunch that the Birdies will catch Seattle nappin’.
Cowboys over Dolphins: At halftime, the entire Marlins roster will show up for a special edition of “What’s My Line?”.
Bears over Chiefs: Good Rex will outperform Bad Rex by a hair in this game.
Broncos over Raiders: You know it’s bad for Oaktown when the “Black Hole” is more interesting than the product on the field.
TRIVIA ANSWER: A. Hall of Famer Walter Payton has thrown for the most TD passes by a non-QB since 1970. His eight scores are just one ahead on LT’s seven. Allen, Byars, and Pruitt each have six.