Oh, how smug I was, thinking I had everything figured out after one week. How the mighty have fallen. Just…wow.
Seriously, who thought the Colts, Eagles, Ravens and Seahawks would be 0-2, or that the freakin’ New York Jets would be 2-0? It’s just weird, man. Is Marcus Mariota for real or not, or Jameis Winston for that matter? Could the Oakland Raiders or Washington Redskins actually post a winning record at some point this season? Never thought we’d be asking these questions.
And that, I suppose, is why they play the games. On to the picks. (Winners in italics.)
Washington at N.Y. Giants: If the Redskins win this, I think we’ll all realize we’re in a mirror universe and will all start sporting goatees.
Atlanta at Dallas: In Wheedon we trust? Don’t think so. Besides, Atlanta actually won an away game already this year. Sky’s the limit.
Indianapolis at Tennessee: I do, in fact, think Mariota is for real, and the suddenly suspect Colts secondary is a nice proving ground. He’ll fire passes through a two-meter exhaust port, let alone the Colts’ D.
Oakland at Cleveland: I have no idea what to make of either of these teams. They’re ciphers, capable of being really good or abysmally bad — sometimes in the same game. So I’ll default to home field.
Cincinnati at Baltimore: The Ravens have never started 0-3, and while it might be fun for John Harbaugh to channel brother Jim on the sidelines and have an aneurysm, I don’t think it’ll happen.
Jacksonville at New England: The Tom Brady victory tour continues.
New Orleans at Carolina: Did you see Cam Newton pull that Cirque de Soleil move on his TD run last weekend? That was a total Matrix moment.
Philadelphia at N.Y. Jets: If the Jets win this, I’m anointing them this year’s scrappy band of Browncoats, because I’ll actually want to root for them.
Tampa Bay at Houston: Whether or not the Jack Sparrows are good, the Texans are better than their record, and should have this well in hand.
San Diego at Minnesota: This is my Admiral Ackbar game. (“It’s a trap!”) I have no idea whether the Vikings are sustainably good yet.
Pittsburgh at St. Louis: Another weird matchup in that I think these two teams are surprisingly evenly matched. Anything is possible. Black is white. Puce is chartreuse. The Strain is a good TV show.
San Francisco at Arizona: Arizona is certainly looking like the One Team to Rule Them All in the NFC. Of course, I’m regularly wrong, and magic rings are hard to come by.
Buffalo at Miami: The AFC East is looking like one of the more competitive divisions in the league. If you used the TARDIS to go back two years ago to tell someone that, they’d laugh at you.
Chicago at Seattle: Kam Chancellor is back, Jay Cutler is out, and it’s Seattle’s home opener. All too easy.
Denver at Detroit: I still maintain the aging Terminator that is Payton Manning is losing some zing on the ball this season. Here, it won’t matter. Hasta la vista, Lions.
Kansas City at Green Bay: The North Remembers…how to win effectively.
Last week’s record: A woeful 7-9, but still as good or better than nine of these guys.
Season record: 18-14, and only one of the ESPN pickers is better. Feeling slightly better about things. Slightly.