This week, AMOS will get right to the point and declare Travis Benjamin the AMOS Player Of The Week for Week 2, and then move on to the Week 3 picks. Although Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown, Adrian Peterson, Larry Fitzgerald, Giovani Bernard, Matt Ryan, and of course Tom Brady were strong candidates, the Cleveland WR caught 3 passes for 115 yards, 2 of which were TDs, and returned a punt 78 yards for a TD in the Browns 28-14 victory over the Tennessee Titans. Congratulations to Travis Benjamin, the Week 2 AMOS POTW!
Here is what I wrote Wednesday night about the Thursday game…
Washington (1-1) +3.5 at NEW YORK GIANTS (0-2)
This man has not thrown an interception all year. Call me crazy, but I’m thinking next week when he plays against the Bills, he’s due.
“This is obviously a must-win game for the Giants, who would be sunk at 0-3, even in the suddenly shabby NFC East. With the Eagles floundering, the Cowboys hurting, and Washington being themselves, the division is now wide open, but if the Giants go to 0-3 they’re pretty much done. I do think the Giants will win Thursday night, it’s hard (but fun!) to imagine them blowing another double digit 4th quarter lead, but these division games are always tough, so I’ll usually take the team getting more than 3 points. The Giants will keep their season alive, but it’ll be close.”
Okay, so the game wasn’t very close, but Giants fans have to admit, they were getting a little scared in the 4th quarter.
Pittsburgh (1-1) -1 at ST. LOUIS (1-1)
It’s almost unfair how many weapons the Steelers have on offense now.
This should be a great game, as the Steelers explosive offense comes up against a formidable Rams defense. But with Le’Veon Bell returning to the lineup, I expect the Steelers to win. I hate the Steelers as much as humanly possible, but it’s hard not to appreciate a team that, under the new PAT rules, is committed to going for 2 points after every TD.
MINNESOTA (1-1) -2.5 vs San Diego (1-1)
Peterson had 31 touches for 192 yards last week.
I’m a little concerned the Chargers will be able to beat the Vikings with their deep passing game, as WRs Keenan Allen and Malcom Floyd are tough match ups for the Vikings CBs, but it looks like Adrian Peterson is beginning to feel like himself, and as long as the Vikings can stay in the lead or at least within one score and Peterson isn’t expected to pass block, the Vikings should win. And most of the time any spread less than 3 is a pick ‘em.
HOUSTON (0-2) -6.5 vs Tampa Bay (1-1)
I went back and forth on this one quite a bit; a rookie QB vs JJ Watt, or a Texans offense without Arian Foster or DeAndre Hopkins that is QB’d by Ryan Mallett. This has all the ingredients to be a very ugly game, but perhaps hilariously so, as every fan likes to see an overall #1 draft pick QB like Jameis Winston befuddled and humiliated by an all-time great defensive lineman like JJ Watt. Earlier this week, Winston said he was “looking forward” to playing against Watt, to which Bucs right tackle Gosder Cherilus said, “I wish he didn’t say that.” I expect to see some pivotal turnovers and perhaps a JJ Watt TD dance or two before this game is over.
NEW YORK JETS (2-0) -2.5 vs Philadelphia (0-2)
The two biggest surprises of the young season so far meet Sunday in a battle of teams going in two different directions. The Jets are looking to make Ryan Fitzpatrick this generation’s Trent Dilfer, while the Eagles are on the precipice of one of the most disastrous implosions in NFL history. With his roster finally shed of star players who doubted his genius, Chip Kelly is in the unenviable position of a guy who very publicly insisted and got everything he wanted, and now has to live with it.
LeSean McCoy was jettisoned in favor of DeMarco Murray, who is averaging half a yard per carry in two games, or just under $100,000 per yard according to his 5 year, $40 million contract. And it’s not just Murray; the Eagles have amassed a grand total of 70 rushing yards in two games, even though they also acquired Ryan Matthews in the off-season and retained Darren Sproles. Sam Bradford is an obvious downgrade from Nick Foles, and Zack Ertz, their tight end, is their best receiver. Their offensive line sucks, and their defense spends 40 minutes on the field every Sunday, suffering attenuated breaks from duty because of the offense’s inability to get even a single first down on many of their “drives.” It is only a matter of time before the defense throws in the towel and guys like Murray solace themselves by reveling in their wealth rather than focusing on the disaster taking place on the field every Sunday. Eagles fans are already impatient, and once they go to 0-3, there will be early calls for Kelly’s head, which will grow louder throughout the season. Think of the day Jameis Winston is going to have in Houston, and then apply that feeling all year to Chip Kelly. This is the easiest game to pick this week.
CAROLINA (2-0) -6.5 vs New Orleans (0-2)
If you score a TD upside-down, it should be worth double points.
The Saints might be the worst team in football right now. And thankfully for Drew Brees, he’ll probably get some time off after suffering a bruised rotator cuff against the Buccaneers last week. There is speculation he’ll play Sunday, but it was reported he didn’t throw the ball in practice at all Wednesday. His back up, Luke McCown, isn’t terrible, but the rest of this team is, especially the defense. And Carolina has an outstanding defense, so I expect the Panthers to put a hurting on the Saints.
NEW ENGLAND (2-0) -13.5 vs Jacksonville (1-1)
The face Brady will make when he rides the bench mid-way through the 3rd quarter with a 35 point lead Sunday.
The Patriots are playing outstanding football and the Jaguars are the perfect team for them to host after nearly blowing a big lead to Buffalo last week. This will be a very long day for the Jaguars.
Cincinnati (2-0) +2.5 at BALTIMORE (0-2)
The Ravens will be seeing plenty of this on Sunday.
This is a huge, must-win game for Baltimore, but unfortunately for them they are running up against a team that is playing extremely well. The Cincinnati secondary had no problems shutting down the dual deep threat of Malcom Floyd and Keenan Allen last week, so Steve Smith and whoever else the Ravens have shouldn’t pose a huge problem. The Laws Of Parity say the Ravens win, but I like the Bengals, and since they’re also getting points, I’ll take them.
CLEVELAND (1-1) -3.5 vs Oakland (1-1)
Enjoy the Week 3 AMOS Crap Bowl, Cleveland fans! Raiders fans won’t be able to enjoy it because they’re starting in an early game on the east coast, and that is the only reason the Browns are favored by more than 3 points.
Indianapolis (0-2) -3.5 at TENNESSEE (1-1)
Little known fact: Andrew Luck fought the Battle Of Shiloh.
I don’t like giving more than 3 points here, because not only are the Colts 0-2, but they’ve looked like shit getting there. But I have to believe Andrew Luck is going to right the ship, at least on the offensive side of the ball (though if they’d let him play defense, I bet he would). I’m not certain they cover the spread, but I’ll be surprised if the Colts don’t win.
Atlanta (2-0) -2 at DALLAS (2-0)
This fuckin’ guy…
If Romo was healthy there’s no doubt I’d be taking my Cowboys, and honestly I still believe that if the defense can stop or at least limit Julio Jones, and the running game can help them control the clock, they could win. But Jones is playing the best ball of anybody at WR right now, so it would be foolish to assume anybody is going to completely shut him down. The Ryan-to-Jones combo is going to start clicking at some point on Sunday, and there won’t be much Brandon Weeden can do about it.
…and this fuckin’ guy.
Beyond this game, it doesn’t look good for the Cowboys, but if they can pull off a 3-5 record over the next 8 weeks and have Romo and Dez return to a 5-5 team, they will win the NFC East.
San Francisco (1-1) +6.5 at ARIZONA (2-0)
Could these guys really be 3-0?
The 49ers looked great against a mediocre team, then lousy against a good team, but in all fairness they played Pittsburgh in the early time slot traveling from the west coast, which was an easy loss to predict (even though I didn’t – I had as much pre-season rust as anybody). The Cardinals have beaten two very crappy teams, so I expect this to be another competitive divisional game that will be decided by less than 7 points either way.
SEATTLE (0-2) -15 vs Chicago (0-2)
Clausen can expect a lot of this on Sunday.
This is a classic get-well game for the Seahawks, who are gracefully considering a reduction of fines against Kam Chancellor for his two game holdout. The Bears will be without Jay Cutler, which doesn’t sound so bad until you realize Jimmy Clausen will be their QB. It’s going to be a very, very long afternoon for Mr. Clausen, who will be facing one of the best defenses in the league.
On a side, note, it will be interesting to see if the Seahawks get tight end Jimmy Graham involved more in their offense Sunday. Graham has 7 catches for 62 yards and 1 TD in two games and is clearly frustrated. Are the Seahawks a little gun shy about going out of their way to get the new guy the ball after their experience with Percy Harvin? Hard to say, but it’s even harder to believe he was only thrown to twice last week in the Seahawks 27-17 loss to the Packers. In any case, a home game against a dismal Bears defense would seem an opportune time to fluff Graham’s stat sheet and get him and Russell Wilson on the same page.
Buffalo (1-1) +3 at MIAMI (1-1)
The Dolphins could use that guy from “The Office” at QB.
Buffalo is simply the better team, so I’ll take those points.
Denver (2-0) -3.5 at DETROIT (0-2)
Whether it’s Stafford or Orlovsky at QB, you can count on seeing a lot of this.
It’s do-or-die for the Lions, and I’m pretty sure they’re gonna die. Matt Stafford will probably not be playing, and the Denver defense is good enough to carry the ghost of Peyton Manning toward another NFC West division title. I’m sorry, Lions fans, but you guys are toast.
GREEN BAY (2-0) -6.5 vs Kansas City (1-1)
Who needs Jordy Nelson when you can have Max McGee? And hey, who wants front row tickets to the first Super Bowl?
Replay of Super Bowl I! And I’m calling the same final score, 35-10, Packers.
Last week: 7-9