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Brutal start. No way to sugar-coat it.
Going .500 if you’re a baseball batter is masterful, but miserable if you’re picking NFL winners, straight up, not against the spread. I went 8-8 in Week 1.
Let’s get right to it for Week 2:
Cincinnati at Cleveland, Thursday
KRYK PICK: Cleveland
Correct. Up to 2-0 on Thursdays. There’s hope. And hope is a good thing, someone once said.
N.Y. Giants at Chicago, Sunday, 1 p.m. EDT
KRYK PICK: Chicago
Both offences are so hit-and-miss, so hot-and-cold, this is a real coin flip. Home team, then. Mitchell Trubisky still has so much to prove. Daniel Jones needs way better pass protection. Still.
Atlanta at Dallas, Sunday, 1 p.m. EDT
KRYK PICK: Dallas
Cowboys pass rush ought to harass Matt Ryan all day. And Atlanta’s always-bad defence seems to be in mid-season form already, after Russell Wilson ripped it apart in Week 1.
Detroit at Green Bay, Sunday, 1 p.m. EDT
KRYK PICK: Green Bay
The Lions (not to be outdone) are in mid-season form already, too, but in blowing leads, and also are without at least three starters including top WR Kenny Golloday. Packers all day.
Minnesota at Indianapolis, Sunday, 1 p.m. EDT
(TSN5; CTV Winnipeg; via FOX)
KRYK PICK: Indianapolis
This ought to be close and ferociously fought — two teams in opposite conferences with legit playoff plans, neither of which wants to drop to 0-2. Colts must slow the Vikings’ rush.
Buffalo at Miami, Sunday, 1 p.m. EDT
(CTV Toronto, Kitchener; CTV2 Ottawa; via CBS)
KRYK PICK: Buffalo
The Bills, historically, are much like the Patriots, in that playing at Miami often is a sure-fire roll-wrecker. If Ryan Fitzpatrick can avoid dumb picks, this could be close. Still, take Buffalo.
San Francisco at N.Y. Jets, Sunday, 1 p.m. EDT
(CTV BC, Alberta; via FOX)
KRYK PICK: San Francisco
The Niners right now, with star TE George Kittle out, might field a corps of pass-catchers as bad as New York’s. But San Fran’s pass rush is still elite. Sam Darnold has another long day.
L.A. Rams at Philadelphia, Sunday, 1 p.m. EDT
KRYK PICK: Philadelphia
The Eagles O- line was so bad against Washington, it’s hard to see how all-world Rams tackle Aaron Donald won’t clobber Carson Wentz throughout. But somehow, Philly pulls it out.
Denver at Pittsburgh, Sunday, 1 p.m. EDT
(CTV Northern Ontario, Saskatchewan; CTV2 BC, Albert, Atlantic; via CBS)
KRYK PICK: Pittsburgh
Big Ben’s return to Heinz Field, after missing most of last season with all those torn and detached elbow tendons. The Steelers defence is for real. Good test here for the offence.
Carolina at Tampa Bay, Sunday, 1 p.m. EDT
(CTV Montreal, Ottawa, Atlantic; CTV2 Toronto, London/Windsor; RDS2; via FOX)
KRYK PICK: Tampa Bay
No one’s talking about how sharp Teddy Bridgewater was in his debut as Panthers QB. Don’t dismiss Carolina’s chances. But Tom Brady hasn’t started 0-2 since 1998 at Michigan.
Jacksonville at Tennessee, Sunday, 1 p.m. EDT
KRYK PICK: Tennessee
If we’re still all shaking our heads about Gardner Minshew and those upstart, undefeated Jaguars come Sunday night, well, none of us knows anything about anything.
Baltimore at Houston, Sunday, 1 p.m. EDT
(CTV2 nationally; RDS2; via CBS)
KRYK PICK: Baltimore
Is the Texans offence so reliably inconsistent because of QB Deshaun Watson, the dearth of playmakers surrounding him, or Bill O’Brien’s attack? Probably all three. Ravens romp.
Washington at Arizona, Sunday, 4:05 p.m. EDT
KRYK PICK: Arizona
The Cardinals’ upset of San Fran last week was legit, whereas the Washington Football Team’s upset of Philly last week was, well, not. Its 32 nd -ranked offence remains a major liability.
Kansas City at L.A. Chargers, Sunday, 4:25 p.m. EDT
(CTV nationally; via CBS)
KRYK PICK: Kansas City
K.C. in the AFC West has become like New England in the East, 2001-19. Annually pick K.C. as winner of all six annual intra-division games and you’ll be right AT LEAST 4-5 times.
New England at Seattle, Sunday, 8:20 p.m. EDT
(TSN; CTV2; RDS2; via NBC)
KRYK PICK: Seattle
Pete Carroll’s Seahawks last decade lost only twice in eight games against Carolina teams piloted by Cam Newton. Five times the Panthers scored 17 points or less. Seattle, easy.
New Orleans at Las Vegas, Monday, 8:15 p.m. EDT
(TSN; RDS; via ESPN)
KRYK PICK: New Orleans
Drew Brees wasn’t very sharp last week. But the New Orleans defence sure was. If fans were on hand here, maybe (probably) I’d pick the Raiders in their new-home debut. As it is, no.
SEASON RECORD: 8-8 (.500), through Week 1.
– – – – – – – – – –
BRADY LOSES CHRIS GODWIN AS A TARGET
Last week, Tom Brady’s top wideout on the Tampa Bay Bucs, Mike Evans, was slowed by a hamstring injury.
This week, the Bucs’ other 2019 Pro Bowl receiver isn’t even available.
Chris Godwin reported concussion symptoms Tuesday, and immediately was placed in the concussion protocol. It is presumed he suffered the head hit at some point in last Sunday’s loss at New Orleans.
Concussion experts all say it is not uncommon at all for symptoms to be remain absent for 48 or more hours after the head-trauma incident.
After being listed Friday as doubtful, the Bucs downgraded Godwin to out on Saturday afternoon.
Godwin did participate in a portion of Friday’s practice, with helmet on. Bucs head coach Bruce Arians said “that was part of the” NFL’s mandated, five-step return-to-play concussion protocol.
The Bucs elevated wide receiver Cyril Grayson from the practice squad for Sunday’s home opener vs. Carolina.
At least Evans was a full practice participant on Friday, after being limited Wednesday and Thursday.
THIS JUST IN
OLD-MAN BOWL: The NFL says Sunday night’s matchup of head coaches Bill Belichick (New England) and Pete Carroll (Seattle) is the ‘oldest’ in league history.
Carroll turned 69 on Tuesday. Belichick turns 69 next April 16. Their current combined age of 137 years breaks the NFL mark of 135 set in 1995 by Buffalo’s Marv Levy (then 70) and Miami’s Don Shula (then 65).
Said Belichick of Carroll: “I’m glad to see that he’s just staying a little bit ahead of me there … as oldest coach in the league.”
CANADIAN UPDATES: Tampa Bay’s blocking-specialist TE, Antony Auclair of Notre-Dame-des-Pins, Que., is on short-term IR with a calf injury. He could return for Week 5 … Minnesota called up C/G Brett Jones of Weyburn, Sask., to the active 53-man roster from the practice squad, with starting RG Pat Eilfin now on IR with a thumb injury.
WOODS EXTENDED: If you missed it Friday night, the Los Angeles Rams re-signed wideout Robert Woods to a contract extension reportedly worth up to $68 million over four years, with $32 million guaranteed.
FIVE BIG QUESTIONS
1. Does Brady bounce back from dud debut? Tom sure didn’t look happy this week talking about his Game 1 loss as a Buc. Needs to win home-field debut against the Panthers.
2. What if Cam Newton has to throw? We saw how lethal the giant QB still can be as a runner, in his Patriots debut. Look for the Seahawks to contain that. So, how effective can Newton be in must-throw situations? With those WRs?
3. Is Josh Allen’s improvement for real? After seeing Newton run like mad against Miami’s defence last week, can Allen resist taking off and running a lot himself? He shouldn’t.
4. Has Aaron Rodgers ever looked better? Maybe not. And isn’t that saying something? Packers QB was razor-sharp in 2020 debut at Minnesota. Detroit doesn’t figure to exactly confuse him.
5. Can Chargers start 1-0 at SoFi too? Sick of hearing about SoFi Stadium in L.A.? Who isn’t. The Chargers make their home-field debut there (as tenant) against the Chiefs. The Rams opened the $5-billion glitz-factory last Sunday with a win.
THE BIG NUMBER
Number of touchdown passes Russell Wilson has thrown since the Seahawks-Patriots Super Bowl following the 2014 season. No NFL QB has thrown for more in that span. Wilson is elite, and on a Hall of Fame trajectory, folks.
It just doesn’t seem right. Or fair. But the NFL says every team that opened on the road last week is home this week, making this the first time since the NFL-AFL merger in 1970 that no team will have begun the season with either two home games or two road games. Shouldn’t this year’s anomaly be standard operating procedure?
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“I don’t really see anybody better than this player … His passing numbers are extraordinary. You could put him up against anybody since he’s been in the league — literally anybody, in any category, really.” — Bill Belichick , Patriots head coach, on Seahawks QB Russell Wilson.
Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2020