PEWTERREPORT.COM STAFF STANDINGS

Scott Reynolds 10-6

Jim Flynn 9-7

Hugh MacArthur 7-9

LAST WEEK

Scott Reynolds 10-6

Jim Flynn 9-7

Hugh MacArthur 7-9
 
Tampa Bay at Atlanta (Sunday 1:00 PM ET)

MacArthur – There is nothing like a nasty division rivalry game to get the bad taste out of your mouth from the Bucs’ demoralizing loss to the Ravens in game one.  Franky, I need to get the taste out from a dismal 7-9 start to the season! In truth, the Buccaneers did not play as poorly as the score would indicate, but Chris Simms must limit his mistakes this week, make better decisions with the football, and throw the ball more accurately.  The numbers all favor the Falcons, but the Bucs play well in the Dome and don’t want to start 0-2.  Look for Jim Mora to be spitting into his cell phone at the end of this one. Tampa Bay

Reynolds – The Bucs couldn’t be playing the Falcons at a better time. They match up well with them and have had success against them, evidenced by last year’s sweep. A win, and the Bucs are back in it. A loss and … gulp! Tampa Bay

Flynn – This game is not what the doctor ordered for the wounded Buccaneers, who are coming off a 27-0 loss to the Ravens. Sure, the Bucs swept the Falcons last year, but the Dirty Birds are coming off a huge road win against the Panthers and will be looking for revenge when the Pewter Pirates roll into town. I’m not saying the Bucs can’t win this game, but they don’t deserve to be picked to win after their Week 1 debacle. Atlanta

Detroit at Chicago (Sunday 1:00 PM ET)

MacArthur – You certainly have to like the under in this game.  Chicago seems to have more on offense this year, and Rex Grossman is healthy.  Martz will need more time to see what he can get out of his Lions, and that won’t be enough to overcome the Bears’ D in their home opener. Chicago

Reynolds – Chicago got an easy win last week at Green Bay, but Detroit is no pushover. I think the Lions offense will rebound in a big way. Rod Marinelli’s defense is already showing improvement. Go, Rod … and the Lions. Detroit

Flynn – This should be a great defensive battle, but Chicago is more experienced and has more offense than Detroit. Look for this one to be closer than most expect, but the Bears should emerge victorious from this NFC North contest. Chicago

New Orleans at Green Bay (1:00 Sunday ET)

MacArthur – Could the Packers possibly be as bad as they looked Sunday against the Bears?  Could the Saints actually be a decent team?  The Saints will pound the ball and get Reggie Bush 25 touches, but they scraped by last week due to inexplicable play calling by the Browns.  The road wins stop here, and Brett Favre gets his first win of the 2006 season. Green Bay

Reynolds – Break up the Saints! They’re 2-0! Wouldn’t that be something if New Orleans led the NFC South after two games this year? It will happen. Green Bay may be the worst team in the league.New Orleans

Flynn – Dare I say the Saints could be 2-0 after the second week of the 2006 regular season? It’s completely possible. The Packers are coming off a 26-0 loss to the Bears and barely have a pulse. Green Bay downed New Orleans 52-3 in a regular season meeting last year, but the Saints are a much better team and could escape with a win on Sunday. New Orleans

Buffalo at Miami (Sunday 1:00 PM ET)

MacArthur – We saw last season in Tampa that the Bills do not like the Florida heat in September.  The Fish will be ready to play after a long layoff.  Geritol on the rocks for Messrs Wilson and Levy. Miami

Reynolds – I think the Fins bounce back at home this week. Ronnie Brown’s running impressed me last week at Pittsburgh and I think Daunte Culpepper avoids the INTs in the home opener. Miami

Flynn – Both Buffalo and Miami were impressive in their respective losses last week. Daunte Culpepper should rebound from a horrific fourth quarter outing in Pittsburgh to lead the Dolphins to their first win of the year. Miami

New York Giants at Philadelphia (Sunday 1:00 PM ET)

MacArthur – Nobody seems to like the Eagles this year, which I find odd.  All they did was improve on defense and get rid of TO.  As I recall, they tended to get to NFC Championship games with regularity with good defense and no TO.  The Giants are good, but Tiki won’t be running for 130 yards against this Eagles’ defense. Philadelphia

Reynolds – I should take Philadelphia. They are the home team. This is a rivalry game and the home team usually has the advantage. Donovan McNabb is healthy. The Eagles are coming off an opening day win. Something is telling me to take the Giants, though. We’ll see. New York Giants

Flynn – The Indianapolis at New York Giants game lived up to the hype last week, and this NFC East rivalry should be just as good. The Giants are a good team, and the Eagles appear to be better without Terrell Owens. The Giants have proven they can win in Philadelphia and will do it again thanks to Tiki Barber. New York Giants

Oakland at Baltimore (Sunday 1:00 PM ET)

MacArthur – I made the mistake of thinking the Raiders would have some pride last week.  It is impossible to imagine a team playing worse on either side of the ball for 60 minutes.  It is also impossible to imagine the Ravens are as good as they looked against the Bucs, but they are certainly good enough to beat a divided team 3,000 miles from home.  Over / under on Brooks’ sacks is 13. Baltimore

Reynolds – If Aaron Brooks was sacked nine times by the Chargers (and lived), you can pencil Bart Scott and the Ravens in for 1,873 sacks this weekend with the pressure they’ll bring. The Ravens are the dark horse team in the AFC. I like them big on Sunday. Baltimore

Flynn – Raiders quarterback Aaron Brooks was sacked nine times en route to San Diego’s shutout win over Oakland last Monday. So what’s going to happen when the Raiders travel to Baltimore to take on the Ravens, who have a defense that completely dominated and shut out Tampa Bay last week? If you have any Raiders in Fantasy Football, you probably want to drop them this week as the Ravens will drop the Raiders on Sunday. Baltimore

Cleveland at Cincinnati (Sunday 1:00 PM ET)

MacArthur – The battle for Ohio will look more like Custer vs the Sioux nation. Cleveland will be more competitive this year, at some point, I think,  but the Bengals will be out on parole long enough to handle the Browns Sunday. Cincinnati

Reynolds – The Browns always seem to give the Bengals fits, but not this year. It must be the in-state rivalry thing. Cincy may be the best team in the AFC … next to Baltimore. I like ‘em at home. Cincinnati

Flynn – The Browns gave the Saints a fight last week, but they’re no match for their in-state rival, the Bengals, who have a potent offense and an improving defense. Combine that with homefield advantage and the Browns are hard pressed to down the Bengals on Sunday. Cincinnati

Houston at Indianapolis (Sunday 1:00 PM ET)

MacArthur – Katie bar the door!  The Colts aren’t galloping, but they hung 26 through the air on a very good Giants’ Defense.  This just in: the Texans’ defense isn’t that good. Indianapolis

Reynolds – Peyton Manning and the Colts. David Carr and the Texans. Hmmmm … I’m taking Indy at home in this one. Geez, that was a tough call – not! Indianapolis

Flynn – Indianapolis is coming off an impressive road win over the New York Giants. While the Colts offense still is explosive, they have to be concerned about their running game, or lack thereof. The Colts’ passing attack will be enough to defeat the rebuilding Texans, but I smell overtime in this one. Indianapolis

Carolina at Minnesota (Sunday 1:00 PM ET)

MacArthur – This seemed like a no-brainer to pick prior to week one (of course I missed both the Panthers’ and Vikings’ games last week!).  The Vikings can’t run the ball as well as the Falcons, but they can run it well enough to give Carolina fits.  The dome will be loud, and Brad Childress will get his second win, sending a suddenly desperate Panther team to Tampa at 0-2. What a shame. Minnesota

Reynolds – Minnesota will likely be favored at home after their win at Washington last week, but Carolina is backed into a corner and can’t afford to start 0-2. The Panthers defense will tee off on Brad Johnson. Carolina

Flynn – The Panthers were embarrassed at home last week when they lost to the Falcons, 20-6. It’s hard to imagine Carolina falling to 0-2 on the season, especially with wide receiver Steve Smith returning to the lineup. Look for the Panthers to get back on track with a road win over the Vikings, who are coming off a short week. Carolina

Arizona at Seattle (Sunday 4:00 PM ET)

MacArthur – – I like the over in this game.  Two explosive offenses square off in Seattle.  Unfortunately for the Cardinals, they managed to make the 49ers offense look like the late 90s Rams last week.  Cardinal defense also set to install new strategy this week:  tackling. Seattle

Reynolds – I could see Arizona in an upset here, especially since Seattle scored 9 points in a narrow road win and the Cards score a lot more than that against the 49ers. However, the 12th man in Seattle will help the Seahawks in a narrow victory.  Seattle

Flynn – Seattle’s offense was held to just nine points in Detroit last Sunday, but the Seahawks should have no problem moving the ball on Arizona’s defense, which allowed the 49ers to move the chains quite often last week. The Cardinals are improved, but they’re on the road, and in Seattle, where the Seahawks went 8-0 last season. Seattle

St. Louis at San Francisco (Sunday 4:05 PM ET)

MacArthur – Jim Haslett has had an immediate, positive impact on the Rams’ defense.  I am guessing the offense will get to do more than kick field goals against the 49er defense.  Kevan Barlow gets to giggle again. St. Louis

Reynolds – The Rams scored a stunning upset of the Broncos last week. This week’s victory won’t be near as stunning. After all, it is the 49ers … and they are really bad. St. Louis

Flynn – They might have a top 10 draft pick again next year, but the 49ers, good or bad, are a tough team to be at home. The Rams are coming off an impressive win over the Denver Broncos, but I just can’t see them starting the season 2-0. The 49ers win this game in a close one. San Francisco

Kansas City at Denver (Sunday 4:15 PM ET)

MacArthur – – I thought the Bucs’ had quarterback depth problems until I looked at the Chiefs’ roster.  Trent Green’s back-ups have thrown a combined total of 16 NFL passes in the past 6 seasons.  12 of them came last week.  Shanahan gets his smirk back. Denver

Reynolds – The Chiefs come to Denver at the worst time after being deflated by the loss of QB Trent Green. Sorry, Damon Huard doesn’t inspire much confidence. Broncos bounce back at home to go 1-1. Denver

Flynn – Kansas City doesn’t stand a chance of winning in Denver, especially when it will be without quarterback Trent Green. The Broncos aren’t a very happy team seeing as they’re coming off a loss to the Rams. Look for the Broncos to take out their frustration and get back on track against the Chiefs. Denver

New England at New York Jets (Sunday 4:15 PM ET)

MacArthur – This border war always yields competitive games, even when they are mismatches on paper.  Teacher Belichick and pupil Mangini meet for the first time.  Fragile Chad  looks healthy, but the Jets will struggle to run the ball.  Tom Brady leaves Deion Branch behind and is ready to go back to Bridget. New England

Reynolds – Nice win, Jets. You beat the Titans. That’s like beating Chamberlain High School. You should be proud. Now you’ll get a patriotic beat down at the hands of New England. New England

Flynn – The Patriots started off shaky last week and it nearly cost them a win against the Buffalo Bills. Look for a much faster start from New England in this road contest against the New York Jets, who barely escaped Tennessee with a win over the Titans, who might be the league’s worst team. New England

Tennessee at San Diego (Sunday 4:15 PM ET)

MacArthur – The official Vince Young watch has begun.  Unfortunately for the Titans, the Kerry Collins era continues. San Diego

Reynolds – If the Chargers sacked a mobile quarterback who doesn’t know what he’s doing like Aaron Brooks nine times, what are they going to do against a stiff quarterback who doesn’t know what he’s doing like Kerry Collins? Bring the pain (of course) and win. San Diego

Flynn – Titans fans are calling for Kerry Collins’ head. They want to see their first-round pick, Vince Young, in at quarterback. Truth is it won’t matter which quarterback they put in the game – the Titans won’t win. San Diego’s defense sacked Oakland QB Aaron Brooks nine times last week, so it might be a good idea to play Young, who is much more mobile than Collins. San Diego

Washington at Dallas (Sunday 8:15 PM ET)

 MacArthur – Two teams that didn’t expect to be 0-1 are just that entering an important divisional clash.  This game is likely going to come down to whether Drew Bledsoe or Mark Brunell makes the last mistake.  Clinton Portis still isn’t 100 percent, and it says here Brunell makes the fatal error. Dallas

Reynolds – Washington versus Dallas is one of the better rivalries in the NFL. This should be one of the better games. Lucky for NBC that it gets an early-season, must-win game. NBC Sunday Night Football has replaced Monday Night Football in terms of prominence in my opinion. The loser of this one – Washington – goes to 0-2. Ouch. Dallas

Flynn – With both Washington and Dallas starting the season 0-1, the loser of this game will find itself in a deep hole to start the 2006 regular season. The Redskins defense didn’t play well enough to beat the Minnesota Vikings last week, but this unit should be able to limit the Drew Bledsoe-led Cowboys offense. In fact, don’t be surprised if Bledsoe gets pulled if the Cowboys struggle on offense early. Washington

Pittsburgh at Jacksonville (Monday 9:00 PM ET)

MacArthur – The Jaguars proved they could eventually breakthrough against a good defense at home last week.  Drew Bledsoe let the Jags off the hook in the 4th quarter.  The Steelers bring a good defense and an unknown quarterback situation to Jacksonville.  The difference in this game could well be the Steelers’ running game, which continues to roll even without the Bus. Pittsburgh

Reynolds – Aside from Baltimore, I think the other real sleeper team in the AFC is Jacksonville. The loss of DE Reggie Hayward hurts though. I think Pittsburgh might struggle a bit on the road. The ‘Ville will be pumped for this prime time game. Jacksonville

Flynn – Normally I’d pick Pittsburgh to down Jacksonville in this contest, but the fact that the Steelers are well rested and fairly healthy heading into this contest tells me they stand a good chance of defeating the Jaguars. Still, something has told me all along that the Steelers won’t be defending their division title this year, and the Jaguars look like a team that could unseat them. They’ll have a chance to take a step in the right direction on Monday night.  Jacksonville

 
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