So here’s my theory. Last week, the Pittsburgh Steelers didn’t actually have their season opener. They decided to test out a few new and spectacularly unsuccessful new formations and plays on both offense and defense. It wasn’t until later did they realize that they weren’t playing the final game in preseason but in Week 1. At least I hope that’s the explanation for one of the worst Steeler games I’ve seen since Bubby Brister wore black and gold, because if this was their idea of a season debut with their toughest rivals in the conference, then I’m in for a looooooooooooong season.
This week, the Steelers get to start over again at home against the Seattle Seahawks, where they should do a lot better than they did against the Ravens. I’ll pick them to win big as an answer to their first week, 28-17.
Last week I went 3-3 on my picks. Let’s see if I can’t do better:
- Bucs at Vikings – Both teams started off with a loss, but the Vikes lost theirs on the road while Tampa Bay lost at home. Minnesota started strong against San Diego, but got overpowered in the second half. Donovan McNabb had a poor start, only connecting on seven passes all day for 39 yards. If he can get the passing game going, the Vikings should win this one at home, 23-14.
- Chiefs at Lions – The Chiefs got killed last week by the Buffalo Bills 41-7, and now they have to play the suddenly-competitive Detroit Lions on the road. The Lions might finally be for real, and we’ll get a better answer today to that question. I’m picking them to win at home 31-14.
- Chargers at Patriots – When the Chargers woke up in the second half last week, they put the Vikes away. They won’t get that kind of opportunity in New England, which rolled to an impressive win over Miami last week. They’ll beat San Diego this week, too, and I doubt it will be close, although Brady probably won’t throw for 500 yards again … because he won’t need to. Pats over Bolts, 35-14.
- Eagles at Falcons – Michael Vick makes his return to Atlanta, which will be the lead in every news report of this game. The sublead: Atlanta just isn’t a very good team, as their game against Chicago proved last week. Eagles shouldn’t have any real trouble beating the Falcons 30-20.
- Rams at Giants – You know, there are games that end up on Monday night that could have seemed interesting under other circumstances. But Rams at Giants? How did this get a Monday slot and not, say, Baltimore at Tennessee? Both teams got blown out last week, but at least the Giants were on the road. They’re back home this week and should get their act together against St. Louis. Giants over Rams, 24-10.