Posted: Thursday September 15, 2011 10:55AM ; Updated: Thursday September 15, 2011 6:23PM
Peter King
Peter King>WEEKEND PICKOFF

NFL Week 2
 
Last week: 12-4 (.750); Season: 12-4 (.750)
 
Sunday, Sept. 18
 
1 p.m. ET (FOX) Seattle Seahawks (0-1) at Pittsburgh Steelers (0-1)
Remember that five-game stretch in 2009, when the Steelers couldn't buy a win, when the defense was as effective as a John Lackey start, when the players just didn't respond to Mike Tomlin's bleatings to snap out of it? That's the only time I remember Tomlin's pleas falling on deaf player ears since becoming coach in 2007. And why I don't expect the sense of urgency that enveloped the Steelers after falling in Baltimore to be phony.
 
1 p.m. ET (CBS) Oakland Raiders (1-0) at Buffalo Bills (1-0)
This is a tough game to call, particularly because I'm not sure the interior of the Buffalo offensive line is going to hold up against an Oakland front that was dominant in Denver Monday night. I'm counting on a guy very few of you know -- Buffalo tight end Scott Chandler -- to be the go-to guy for Ryan Fitzpatrick while he's on the run more than he'd like to be Sunday in the Bills' home opener.
 
1 p.m. ET (FOX) Arizona Cardinals (1-0) at Washington Redskins (1-0)
Cam Newton strafed the Cards for 422 yards. Fill in the blank: Rex Grossman will throw for ___ yards as the Redskins, relevant for the first time in years in the NFC East, start 2-0.
 
1 p.m. ET (FOX) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-1) at Minnesota Vikings (0-1)
In the same imploring voice that Elaine Benes used when she said in the broilingly humid Del Boca Vista apartment of Jerry's parents, "Mrs. Seinfeld, I BEG you, PLEASE turn on the air-conditioning," I urge Donovan McNabb to walk into offensive team meetings and say to coordinator Bill Musgrave: "Coach, PLEASE call some plays for me to throw to the tight ends!" I mean, Kyle Rudolph is an impact player if someone would allow it to happen.
 
1 p.m. ET (CBS) Jacksonville Jaguars (1-0) at New York Jets (1-0)
The Jags' only chance: Give it to MoJo 32 times ... and stay very far away from Darrelle Revis.
 
1 p.m. ET (FOX) Chicago Bears (1-0) at New Orleans Saints (0-1)
For the last couple of seasons, the Bears waited for Tommie Harris to resume his dominance at defensive tackle. He never did. In his place last week was a former college running back, Henry Melton, who began his campaign for Most Unknown Player to Make the Pro Bowl with two sacks of Matt Ryan -- and five other quarterback hits and pressures. Expect Drew Brees to slide more protection inside, and, especially with favored target Marques Colston (broken collarbone) out, go to the tight ends more. In other words, use Jimmy Graham in fantasy this week.
 
1 p.m. ET (FOX) Green Bay Packers (1-0) at Carolina Panthers (0-1)
The last time these teams met in Charlotte, in 2005, Jake Delhomme outdueled Brett Favre in a proverbial barnburner, 32-29. I'm tempted, after the way Cam Newton played last week, to give the Panthers a real shot in their home opener. And though he'll score enough, no defense in the league is built to stop Aaron Rodgers right now -- and Pack defensive coordinator Dom Capers will have a few things to show Newton that he hasn't seen yet.
 
1 p.m. ET (CBS) Baltimore Ravens (1-0) at Tennessee Titans (0-1)
I know Tennessee offensive coordinator Chris Palmer, and I have been around him when he has a difficult defensive matchup coming, and the one thing about this underrated offensive coach is this: He will not butt his head against the Baltimore wall. He won't send Matt Hasselbeck into the game with a 60-40 pass-run ratio. He has an M-80 in his control, ready to be lit, in Chris Johnson. He knows the Ravens are coming, with Terrell Suggs the most dangerous pass-rusher in the game right now. And I think he sends Johnson at the Ravens 27 times and makes this a ballgame.
 
1 p.m. ET (CBS) Kansas City Chiefs (0-1) at Detroit Lions (1-0)
I picked games at a 75-percent clip last week, the one I really blew was Buffalo-Kansas City. Who knew? Who knew the Chiefs, who didn't show up for their preseason games with much excitement, would be a 34-point loser to Buffalo in the home opener. Going to Detroit has been an elixir for so many teams for so many years. No mas.
 
1 p.m. ET (CBS) Cleveland Browns (0-1) at Indianapolis Colts (0-1)
A line-of-demarcation game for both teams. I am hard-pressed to find many good reasons for the Browns to win, except I think the Colts are in disarray right now. And I think Colt McCoy will be the best quarterback on the field Sunday, by a good margin.
 
4:05 p.m. ET (FOX) Dallas Cowboys (0-1) at San Francisco 49ers (1-0)
Romo's Resuscitation. It had better be. Starting 0-2 for the Cowboys, with the improved Redskins and dangerous Detroit coming up before the early bye, would be brutal for their playoff chances.
 
4:15 p.m. ET (CBS) Cincinnati Bengals (1-0) at Denver Broncos (0-1)
John Fox says he doesn't hear the cries for Tim Tebow. Okay. But one more bad performance from Kyle Orton and they won't be drowned out by anything. This fan base in a tinderbox right now. Orton's got to play well to make sure the fuse doesn't get lit.
 
4:15 p.m. ET (CBS) San Diego Chargers (1-0) at New England Patriots (1-0)
If Tom Brady and Chad Henne threw for 933 last Monday, shouldn't Brady and Philip Rivers throw for 1,033? Amazing game Monday night. But just keep this in mind: The Patriots had a 69 percent-31 percent pass-run ratio against the Dolphins. Bill Belichick is a class changeup gameplanner. I wouldn't be surprised to see the run get used in this one. A little bit, anyway.
 
4:15 p.m. ET (CBS) Houston Texans (1-0) at Miami Dolphins (0-1)
"I thought all along this would be the key game for Miami," Chad Pennington, the former Dolphin, told me this week. "You figured they'd probably lose to New England, and so this was the one they absolutely have to get." Look at the schedule. What a weird near future for Miami. Five of the next six games are on the road. Three-game road trip, one at home, then a two-gamer on the road. Miami's good enough to win this game. Crazy to think it, but it IS almost a must-win for them to not fall way far behind (with the looming schedule) in a division with two very good teams.
 
8:20 p.m. ET (NBC) Philadelphia Eagles (1-0) at Atlanta Falcons (0-1)
Not a gambling man, so I don't know the line to this game, but this feels like an upset pick. I just think it's a backs-against-the-wall game for Atlanta, for a lot of reasons. They can't have Mike Vick come into his old house and own it, and Matt Ryan has to prove he can take the pressure of a game like this. The nuts and bolts here may come down to whether Michael Turner can run enough to keep Vick's possessions down to nine or 10. One other important point: I hope John Abraham's in good shape. He's going to have to do a lot of chasing Sunday night.
 
Monday, Sept. 19
 
8:30 p.m. ET (ESPN) St. Louis Rams (0-1) at New York Giants (0-1)
This isn't as much an affirmation of liking the Giants as it is an acknowledgment of who the Rams will be without ace running back Steven Jackson and slot receiver Danny Amendola. If the Patriots lost BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Wes Welker, I wouldn't be mecessarily picking against them in a close game. But Sam Bradford cannot afford to lose his rushing crutch (though I love Cadillac Williams as a B-minus relief pitcher) and his favorite receiver and hope to win a road game against a struggling but still decent team with a very strong running game.
 

 
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