Submitted by Jim Hurley on Saturday, September 14, 2013 at 1:50 PM
Here's something to chew on as we get set to preview/forecast much of this NFL Week 2 Sunday menu ...
So far there's been 17 regular-season games played in the NFL (including New England's 13-10 non-cover win against the New York Jets this past Thursday Night) and - believe it or not - 13 of the 17 games have been decided by a touchdown or less meaning that nearly 77 percent of the games thus far have been one-score affairs.
No wonder NFL television ratings - already - are through the proverbial roof!
Okay, so let's get to a batch of NFL Week 2 games right here/right now:
SAN DIEGO (0-1) at PHILADELPHIA (1-0) - 1 p.m. ET, CBS
The Eagles are gunning for 100 offensive plays from scrimmage here (remember they were on pace for 106 snaps following their 53-play first half against Washington last Monday Night) but the $64,000 question is will RB LeSean "Shady" McCoy get another 31 carries? If first-year Eagles head coach Chip Kelly has his way, McCoy will be getting 30-plus touches every week, folks!
CLEVELAND (0-1) at BALTIMORE (0-1) - 1 p.m. ET, CBS
Extra prep time should aid the Ravens who will be without WR/KR Jacoby Jones for at least six weeks and let's see if WR Torrey Smith (4 catches for 92 yards against Denver in Week 1) can be his usual dynamite self against the Browns. Note that Smith registered 10 catches for 143 yards and two TDs in last year's two matchups with Cleveland. The Ravens may not be Super Bowl-caliber this year but laying 6 ½ points shouldn't be a major problem providing Browns' slinger Brandon Weeden keeps throwing to the "wrong" team!
MIAMI (1-0) at INDIANAPOLIS (1-0) - 1 p.m. ET, CBS
The Dolphins are only one of three NFL teams being forced to play their Week 1 and Week 2 games on the road (Minnesota and Tennessee are the others) but if Joe Philbin's crew is gonna get out of the gate at 2-0 SU (straight-up) this season then that ground game better get in gear after "cranking out" just 20 rushing yards in last week's 23-10 win at Cleveland. Looks like a suspiciously "short number" here, doesn't it? Hey, did you notice we said the same thing about Philly (+ 3 ½) at Washington this past Monday Night?
ST. LOUIS (1-0) at ATLANTA (0-1) - 1 p.m. ET, Fox
Are the Falcons in "must-win" territory here? Maybe you heard the NFL Network folks yakking the other night about how only 12 percent of NFL teams that start off a season at 0-2 SU wind up making it to the post-season and so there's major heat here on Mike Smith's squad following last Sunday's 23-17 loss in New Orleans. More times than not a team in this type situation gets to be "overpriced" because they have to win - so check out the Rams plus the 6 ½-point price here as St. Loo TE Jared Cook (fresh off a 141-yard receiving game in a 27-24 non-cover triumph over Arizona) could be a major handful. Real close, eh?
My handicappers/bloggers will continue to pound Las Vegas with our NFL Week 2 Sides & Totals plays this Sunday/Monday plus make sure you're all aboard for all the NCAA Football action when you check with the Jim Hurley Network right here online or via our toll-free telephone # of 1-888-777-4155 after 1 p.m. ET on week days and any time after 10 a.m. ET on Saturday and Sunday. Plus get all our down-the-stretch Major-League Baseball winners too!
WASHINGTON (0-1) at GREEN BAY (0-1) - 1 p.m. ET, Fox
Interesting to see folks seemingly jumping off the Redskins' bandwagon this week - did you really think before the year that QB Robert Griffin III and Company would be taking as much as 7 ½ points in any game? - but the short work week, RG3's still-rehabbing knee and the fact the Packers are in an angry mood after once again getting screwed by an NFL official has hiked up this price tag.
DALLAS (1-0) at KANSAS CITY (1-0) - 1 p.m. ET, Fox
Could the KC Chiefs go from a two-win season to the playoffs all in one great leap? Okay, maybe it's best not to jump ahead too far down the line but Andy Reid's new team looked sharp in that 28-2 win at Jacksonville last weekend with QB Alex Smith throwing two TDs and no INTs - and that's the whole key here against a now turnover-minded Cowboys defense that helped to create six TOs by the NY Giants last Sunday night. Tell us Smith throws one pick (or none, again) and the Chiefs will win/cover here.
NEW ORLEANS (1-0) at TAMPA BAY (0-1) - 4:05 p.m. ET, Fox
The TB Bucs have started off a season 0-2 just once in the last six seasons (see 2009 under Rahim Morris - remember him?) but if this woeful offense doesn't get its act together soon then Greg Schiano's club may be headed for a real bomb season. In last week's 18-17 loss at the NY Jets, the Bucs couldn't even get a few plays off due to the play clock expiring - and the like -- and something better give here with the Bucs' ground game as RB Doug Martin (24 carries for only 65 yards in Week 1) was a total non-factor.
DENVER (1-0) at NEW YORK GIANTS (0-1) - 4:25 p.m. ET, CBS
Let everyone in the media continue to trumpet this one as Manning Bowl III - the fact is there are a gazillion neat storylines for this late-afternoon tilt in Jersey and one of'em is can the Giants count on their three-headed wide-out corps of Victor Cruz, Hakeem Nicks and Rueben Randle all be expected to bust the 100-yard receiving mark again here as they did in last Sunday Night's loss in Dallas? Hey, one other thing: If Giants RB David Wilson losses a fumble here, G-men head coach Tom Coughlin will lose it (and then have to deal with the NYC media who's been driving'em crazy all week long with Wilson-related fumble talk). Right, who said it's all about Peyton Manning (7 TD passes versus Baltimore) and l'il brother Eli?
On Sunday Night, it's ...
SAN FRANCISCO (1-0) at SEATTLE (1-0) - 8:30 p.m. ET, NBC
The best game of this whole pro weekend hits the air waves and - if the tilt is as good as the pre-game sniping this will be a blast! Keep in mind that there are various members of the Seahawks none too happy with San Fran head coach Jim Harbaugh who made some disparaging comments regarding the fact Seattle had a recent past where performance-enhancing drugs were tied to a handful of players but the on-the-field business here looks like this: Seattle QB Russell Wilson aired four scoring strikes in a 42-13 win against the Niners late last season and he figures to face an array of blitzes/new looks here and so keep a close eye on DE Aldon Smith (19 ½ sacks last year) while an X-factor for Seattle on defense is do they "spy" San Francisco QB Colin Kaepernick (412 yards passing last week in win/cover versus Green Bay) ... or do they not spy? Maybe the'Hawks better "spy" WR Anquan Boldin after his 13-catch showing at "The Stick" a week ago. Just sayin'!
NOTE: We'll have a Monday Night Football Preview - that's the Pittsburgh Steelers at the Cincinnati Bengals - plus plenty more NFL and NCAA Football News/Notes in the very next edition of Jim Sez.