NFL WEEK 2: Our Official Predictions For Who Wins This Weekend

GoodellAndrew Burton/Getty ImagesRoger Goodell has been under intense scrutiny this week after completely botching the Ray Rice investigation.

Here’s a weird thing that’s happened on the internet: being smart, and having an interesting take on the news is now something hipsters on Twitter snoot their noses at. 

As a result, I am afraid to try to write anything smart or take-y about the NFL.  But, my goodness has this been a bad week for the NFL. Roger Goodell clearly botched the Ray Rice investigation. 

The leading story in sports has focused on an NFL star slugging his then-fiancee’s face in an elevator. It’s also one of the leading stories in the general media.

This isn’t first, or only awful story involving the NFL. There are other tales of domestic abuse. There are tales of drug use. There’s the overarching concussion and health issue that plagues the sport. 

And yet, the sport is more popular than ever. At some point this nonsense has to catch up with the NFL, right? At some point, we get sick of this violent, nasty game, right? At some point, the fact that people won’t even let their children play the game impacts the quality of the sport, right?

I have no idea. If this were a stock, I would still be long the NFL. But in 3-5 years, I think it has to peak then decline. 

But who knows! For now, people love it. And it’s hard to see what is going to change our minds if nothing has loosened our grip yet. 

Let’s do some picks. Last week I went 5-1. I got Thursday’s game wrong, so I am 5-2 for the season.

All lines come from the Las Vegas Hilton. 

The Carolina Panthers are 2.5 point favourites at home against the Detroit Lions. 

Calvin johnsonGregory Shamus/Getty ImagesCalvin Johnson is crazy good.

It’s hard to get a read on either of these teams after their first games. Both of them played pretty bad teams. 

The Lions beat up on the Giants, and made it look easy. The Panthers beat up on the Bucs, without their starting QB, Cam Newton, but they almost lost that game. 

The Panthers were a team everyone predicted would collapse, but it doesn’t look like it. They look pretty good. But, the Lions offence just looked so good against the Giants, that I have to pick them. Matthew Stafford just slings it to Calvin Johnson, and he grabs it. So, I’m going with the Lions and the points. 

The pick: Lions +2.5

The Tennessee Titans are 3.5 point favourites at home against the Dallas Cowboys.

How about them Cowboys! My goodness! Tony Romo looked spooked. I like the Titans here. I’m going to pick against the Cowboys until they give me a reason to believe otherwise. 

The pick: Titans -3.5

The Arizona Cardinals are 2.5 point favourites on the road against the New York Giants.

Everything I just said about the Cowboys goes double for the Giants. It’s pretty clear that Eli Manning doesn’t like the new offence, or his new offensive coordinator. The Cardinals have one of the most punishing defenses in the league. They’re going to eat Eli alive. 

The pick: Cardinals -2.5

The Cincinnati Bengals are 5 point favourites at home against the Atlanta Falcons.

Roddy WhiteGetty ImagesRoddy White

I’ll take the points on this one, please! The Falcons just have a great receiving group, and with the rules tilting towards passing offenses, I like the Falcons in this one plus the points. Matty Ice isn’t going to post 400 yards every week, but I think he can get enough points on the board to keep it tight. 

Unrelated: Roddy White was awesome on Hard Knocks. He seemed like a fun/annoying person to be around.

The pick: Falcons +5

The Green Bay Packers are 8.5 point favourites at home against the New York Jets. 

Rex RyanAPRex Ryan, my favourite coach. (Don’t tell Chip!)

What if the Packers aren’t any good? Impossible? I don’t think so. If the Packers were really good, this line would be 10, or higher. The fact that it’s so low, it’s telling me something. The question is whether it’s telling me the right thing. I think the Jets’ defence is good enough to cover an 8.5 point spread. So, let’s roll the dice on Rex Ryan and Geno Smith.

The pick: Jets +8.5

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