In My Opinion | Greg Cote

Greg Cote’s Week 2 NFL picks

 

gcote@MiamiHerald.com

I can hardly claim even mild satisfaction over Week 1’s 11-5 mark straight-up, in that one of the losses was my thinking the Browns would beat Miami. I should be tarred, flogged or, worse, made to watch a “Big Bang Theory” marathon of scenes only involving the insufferable Sheldon character. Wait, it gets worse. My opening-week record against the betting line was so bad I can’t bring myself to type it here because the Herald has rules against publishing obscenities. I knew I was doomed when Upset of the Week pick Carolina was looking good and looking and then … you know. But am I a quitter? Rhetorical question, but, no. No I am not. Note: Thursday-game pick was Patriots (-12) over Jets, 27-13.

OverallPctVs. spreadPct.
Last week11-5.6884-11-1.281
Season11-5.6884-11-1.281
Final 2012166-89-1.651114-120-22.488

DOLPHINS (1-0) AT COLTS (1-0)

Line: IND by 2.5.

Cote’s pick: MIA 24-23.

TV: 1 p.m., CBS (airing in South Florida).

Miami is a marginally better all-round team and the betting line — which shrank to 1 point in some books — indicates as much. Indy’s clear advantage is in the passing game, if you recall how Andy Luck (why be so formal, Andrew?) shredded the Dolphs for 433 yards last season and FIU’s T.Y. Hilton danced twice into the end zone. Colts have flaws, though. Miami’s pass rush will bother Luck, whose protection is nothing special, and the ground game should get untracked after running in quicksand last week. Also, Ryan Tannehill could have a big day against a so-so Nags secondary. (You, too, Mike Wallace. Join us, won’t you?) These are two teams that figure to be in the AFC wild-card hunt so this result could be big down the road. By the way, the Miami-market 18.1 TV rating for last week’s opener in Cleveland , though modest, marked a 20 percent spike over a year earlier. There is fragile optimism/excitement for this Dolphins season, and a 2-0 start would solidify it. With Falcons/Saints/Ravens on deck, a 2-0 start looks like just what this season needs, too. So: Upset.

BRONCOS (1-0) AT GIANTS (0-1)

Line: DEN by 4.5.

Cote’s pick: DEN 30-27.

TV: 4:25 p.m., CBS (airing in South Florida).

It’s the Manning Bowl. It’s Peyton vs. Eli. How could it not be the Game of the Week! Although I must say the GOTW committee nearly came to blows as one faction lobbied hard for Niners-Seahawks. (No, wiseguy, the tiebreaker vote was not made by Archie Manning.) Peyton (462 yards, seven TDs) is coming off a phenomenal opener even for him. Eli’s lot in life is to throw for 450 yards and four TDs and be the “other” guy. Big Bro is 2-0 in Manning Bowls and should make it three here, especially with extra time to prepare after playing last Thursday. The line seems a bit fat, though. An outright upset would not shock; I’ll take Biggies with the points. After all, I hear Archie has ordered a close game.

49ERS (1-0) AT SEAHAWKS (1-0)

Line: SEA by 3.

Cote’s pick: SF 27-24.

TV: 8:30 p.m., NBC (airing in South Florida).

“AAAWWWK!” shouts the Upset Bird. “It pains me to pick against a team called Seahaaawwwks!” Picking a defending Super Bowl finalist might not even seem an upset to many of you, but consider that Seattle was 8-0 at home last season and won the most recent meeting with the Niners 42-13. Plus some SF scrub Tweetingly referred to the opponent as “She-hawks,” only adding to the homies’ fire. The Sunday night stage might not be filled bigger than this all season, and I’m riding Tats Kaepernick. “This game could only be better if you put a Manning in it,” notes U-Bird. “Manning! Mannaawwk!”

JAGUARS (0-1) AT RAIDERS (0-1)

Line: OAK by 5.5.

Cote’s pick: OAK 20-13.

TV: 4:25 p.m., CBS.

I’d call this a game only a mother would love, but I understand most players’ moms won’t be watching. Chad Henne starts at QB for Jax because Blaine Gabbert is beset by both a lack of talent and 15 stitches in his hand. This is like upgrading your meal from Spam to liverwurst. I have little faith in Terrelle Pryor or Oakland, either, but Jaguars are worst team in NFL until you hear otherwise.

RAMS (1-0) AT FALCONS (0-1)

Line: ATL by 7.

Cote’s pick: ATL 24-20.

TV: 1 p.m., Fox.

This game involves the top three overall picks of the 2008 draft in Jake Long, Chris Long and Matt Ryan. One of them will be on the winning team. Also notable, Steven Jackson will face his longtime former team. Give me Birds but STL to keep it close, with neither Julio Jones nor Roddy White all that healthy.

PANTHERS (0-1) AT BILLS (0-1)

Line: CAR by 3.

Cote’s pick: BUF 19-16.

TV: 1 p.m., Fox.

Upset. Liking the home ’dog here, in the assumption Buffs will give the same effort that nearly stunned New England a week ago. Carolina seldom a good road team, and EJ Manual — Williams’ first rookie starting QB since Joe Ferguson in ’73 — show some good signs. Venue pick.

VIKINGS (0-1) AT BEARS (1-0)

Line: CHI by 6.

Cote’s pick: CHI 24-20.

TV: 1 p.m., Fox.

Chitown has won six of past seven in this divisional grudge and seems an easy choice, but don’t discount Minny. Adrian Peterson has averaged 148.1 yards in his past seven division games, and Jay Cutler’s propensity for chaos still exists — latent, but it’s there. Like Purples getting almost a touch.

REDSKINS (0-1) AT PACKERS (0-1)

Line: GB by 7.5.

Cote’s pick: GB 31-24.

TV: 1 p.m., Fox.

This has potential to be a big, interesting matchup if you think Robert Griffin III and the (offensively Unmentionable Nicknames) have it in them to bounce back from their Monday night fizzle. The thing is, Pack is in bounce-back mode, too. Washers stay close, but Aaron Rodgers is on a 19-1 run at Lambeau.

COWBOYS (1-0) AT CHIEFS (1-0)

Line: KC by 3.

Cote’s pick: DAL 28-23.

TV: 1 p.m., Fox.

Betting line might seem odd but isn’t. Cowboys face letdown after prime-time beating Giants, and Chiefs get home-opening goose. Plus, Andy Reid was 17-12 vs. Dallas with Philly, which counts. So I get the line. I just hunch the ’Boys are going to turn it upside down, especially with Jamaal Charles banged up. Upset.

BROWNS (0-1) AT RAVENS (0-1)

Line: BAL by 6.5.

Cote’s pick: BAL 38-13.

TV: 1 p.m., CBS.

Ravens have won 10 in a row in this lopsided series, and the defending Super Bowl champions will be amped for this home opener after being denied the home field by the Orioles last week in that embarrassing show against Denver. Axoim: A team that can’t beat Miami at home can’t win in Baltimore.

TITANS (1-0) AT TEXANS (1-0)

Line: HOU by 9.

Cote’s pick: HOU 27-16.

TV: 1 p.m., CBS.

Titans stunningly won in Pittsburgh last week, and Houston needed big rally to escape San Diego but expect a leveling and return to normalcy here. That means Texans looking real good and Tenners not. Matt Schaub has 105.6 rating in past eight vs. Titans. Aside to Gary Kubiak: Please run Arian Foster a lot and keep him happy. He’s on my fantasy team!

CHARGERS (0-1) AT EAGLES (1-0)

Line: PHI by 7.5.

Cote’s pick: PHI 34-28.

TV: 1 p.m., CBS.

Are we sold on Chip Kelly and that blur-speed Birds offense? Do we trust Michael Vick? I’m not sure what to make of Philly yet, and Diego always seems unpredictable, so this is a game I’d avoid. I do like Eagles at home but also give Bolts a real upset shot in what could be Week 2’s biggest shootout.

LIONS (1-0) AT CARDINALS (0-1)

Line: DET by 1.

Cote’s pick: ARI 23-21.

TV: 4:05 p.m., Fox.

Has new Detroit mayor Reggie Bush gotten the city out of hock yet? I’m just asking. Tend to like the home team in a near-pick-’em game, although Cacti are riskier than most. But ’Zona has won four in a row in series — including last year; plus I’m counting on Ndamukong Suh to do something else stupid. Upset!

SAINTS (1-0) AT BUCCANEERS (0-1)

Line: NO by 3.5.

Cote’s pick: NO 27-24.

TV: 4:05 p.m., Fox (airing in South Florida).

Drew Brees has rolled six consecutive 300s and has had 10 touchdowns passes in a 3-0 run in this Buccaneers series. But Saints won’t match the intensity they had in beating Atlanta, and T-Bay should be fighting mad after giving away a win against Jets. Still like N’Awlins, but running with ’dogs on that dangling half point.

STEELERS (0-1) AT BENGALS (0-1)

Line: CIN by 7.

Cote’s pick: CIN 21-20.

TV: 8:30 p.m. Monday, ESPN (airing in South Florida).

There wasn’t a bigger Week 1 NFL surprise than Pittsburgh losing at home to Titans. Now, this Monday nighter demands that we adjust the division paradigm to accept that the Steelers are clearly inferior to a Cincy club they once dominated. And into their Iron City beer they wept, Terrible Towels to wipe their tears. Whoa now. I said the Bangals are clearly better, but not a LOT better. As James Harrison switches sides in this series, Pitt has still won 10 of past 11 in Cincy, and should give ’Gals all they handle here.

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