NFL Week 2: How to survive and advance in your knockout pool

NFL Week 2: How to survive and advance in your knockout pool





One down 16 (maybe) to go

USAT

For those who avoided the pitfalls known as the Detroit Lions and Indianapolis Colts, congratulations. You move on to Week 2 of the obstacle course and it doesn’t look like 2020 is getting any easier.

Don’t even think about it

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

There was big football news in Ohio this week and it certainly isn’t the Cleveland Browns playing host to the Cincinnati Bengals in a battle of Heisman Trophy winners. The Rams come East to play the Eagles. Los Angeles is coming off a big victory over Dallas and Philly is coming off a brutal loss to Washington. This is too much of a tossup. Daniel Jones vs. Mitchell Trubisky wouldn’t have been worth a pick if it was Duke vs. North Carolina, let alone the New York Giants at the Chicago Bears. The Patriots-Seahawks game offers an intense watch and the opportunity to realize both teams will offer better chances on other weeks. Dallas seems like a good pick against Atlanta until you weigh the loss of Leighton Vander Esch and Blake Jarwin.

Let the bettor beware

AP Foto/Seth Wenig

Oh, are the Ravens so tempting against the Texans. As Aerosmith said, “Get a Grip.” Baltimore has Cleveland again and Cincinnati twice. Why on earth would you risk it all against Houston? The Steelers also feel like a good thing playing host to the Broncos. However, Denver always plays close games and the Steelers also have the blessing of two games each against the Browns and Bengals. The Saints are coming off the big win against the Bucs and head to Vegas. Don’t roll the dice against the Raiders when New Orleans will line up against Carolina and Atlanta a total of four times. The Cardinals and Washington each pulled surprises in Week 1. Arizona is the “it” team of the week, but Washington had eight sacks and that is enough to cause trepidation. Looks like the Niners are in a great spot to square their mark. However, the Jets have to come into this as if they are playing for their coach and lives.

Tempting fate

 Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Just not going to risk it with the Bills going on the road to Miami. If you were going to make this a pick, why not wait until the Fish come North later in the season? The Vikings and the Colts, who knows what will be had from either of these teams. Lots of offense and plenty of peril in trying to tab the winner here. The Titans are coming off a short week. And if it becomes a kicking game against the Jaguars, do you seriously want to hold your breath? The Chiefs will have much better weeks to use than against the Chargers in a road game, which would have seemed like a home contest if fans were allowed.

Go for it

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

There are some tempting plays. The Green Bay Packers tend to devour the Detroit Lions. Aaron Rodgers over Matthew Stafford seems too easy. The Lions had one awful quarter and there could be a hangover. Can the Bucs go 0-2, especially against a Panthers team that allowed 34 points to Raiders? Have to think Tom Brady will bounce back despite all the chatter after the season-opening flop in New Orleans. This looks like the sweet spot.

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