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Pigskin Pundit’s Picks, Week 2

Well, the inaugural week of 2022 is in the bag, and so is my record, at an anemic 9-7. Perhaps not as anemic as the Denver coaching plan Monday night or Lovie Smith’s rank cowardice in not going for it in an early season, meaningless game when you should absolutely try stuff you wouldn’t later in the season. His team got the message; ‘no confidence’ from Coach. Good luck getting these guys to buy back into your program, Lovie. My consolation is that my benchmark for picking accuracy is NFL Network’s Nick Shook, their best. He finished the same as me this week, so I’ll try this again. Here’s the picks.

Chargers at Chiefs – You had to love both these teams last week, as they did what they do best – score lots and defend enough. The Bolts stuffed the Raiders, despite all the stockpiled talent and shiny new coach Vegas got in the offseason. Herbert looked very comfortable throwing from the pocket or rolling out, but he won’t be keen on losing Keenan for this one. Patrick the Great looked sharp, tossing five tds on the way to putting Arizona in a coma. I’m giving the homers an edge here, because I need to see the Chargers put together a string of games like last week’s before I’m on board with them. I know what Mahomes, Kelce and Company can do. Lightning strikes the Bolts in Arrowhead.

Dolphins at Ravens – Miami had enough gumption to beat the ghost of the Patriots last week. This week is another story. Tua refreshed everybody’s doubts about whether he can be an NFL starter by again making questionable decisions, and not being able to rip it downfield to his epic receiver corps. Conversely, Lamar ‘Play Action’ Jackson uncorked several bombs, showing the world that he doesn’t intend to be a leg-man his entire career. After last season’s record-setting injuries, Baltimore has to be torqued about losing newly-signed CB Fuller last week, especially with Waddle and Hill coming in. Even so, they are the better team. Can Tua ensure the Phins will score in Baltimore? Quoth the Ravens, ‘Nevermore’.

Jets at Browns – The Green Goblins of Gotham did as expected, as Joe Flaccid flopped and Saleh’s salvoes were stopped. This week we get to watch Basement Joe run for his life as Myles ‘Garrotte’ Garrett strangles his pocket. The Jets are mired in decades of mediocrity, with no end (or endzone) in sight. While the same can be said for the Brownies, they have Nick ‘Chuggin’ n Luggin’ Chubb to keep the sticks moving, and a Baker Beatdown in Carolina under their orange belts. GangGreen falls to the Cleveland Pains Dealer.

Commanders at Lions – The Reprimanders got it done in late innings last week, and travel to face Danny Campbell’s Cryin’s in Motor City. Carson Wentz deep four times, as McLaurin shines like a new McLaren. For the silver & blue, Jared Goff continues to be…Jared Goff. He will see a lot of burgundy jerseys this week, and Deondre will need to be very Swift to take some of that pressure off Goff. Detroit has trouble putting the brakes on the run game, so Antonio ‘Hoot’ Gibson should have fun doing the boot ‘n scoot boogie. I’ll take the Commanders, but not that stupid team name nor their ‘college boy’ looking helmets from the 1950s. Time for another naming contest… and a new owner.

Colts at Jaguars – I felt like a jackass after picking Indy to win their division and then watching that debacle last week as they failed to win OR lose to the lowly Texans. After the missed field goal to win, the Dolts cut their kicker Rodrigo Sunkenship and are trying out anybody who has two legs. Think placekicking isn’t important? Review the Steelers/Bengals highlights. Anyway, the Jags are actually getting better each week, but unless idiocy strikes twice a week apart, Indy will hand Longhaired Lawrence another close loss this week. Note to Frank Reich: if you score touchdowns, you don’t need great kicking. Horseshoes get a ‘Taylored’ win in Jacksonville.

Buccaneers at Saints – This game will actually be interesting, as two undefeated division rivals collide. Jameis turned up the gas late in the game, making a number of really big throws and nailing down the win. He has good weapons, and always Alvin. Brady’s Bucs leaned heavily on Lenny the Lugger last week, and he delivered big. Losing Godwin (again) and their left tackle will hurt, so the Tampa D is going to have to tighten things and keep Winston and Kamara off the field, if they are going to prevail. This game feels like a pick ‘em to me, but I will lean on experience and stalwart defense to carry it. Pirates pillage the Whodat’s village.

Panthers at Giants – Barkley is baaack! No, not Charles. Saquon returned to top form, tearing through the Titans for nearly 10 yards per carry, and catching a slew of passes along the way. As good as the Panther defense is, I don’t think they are ready to contain Barkley’s rejuvenated explosiveness. His efforts opened up things for Danny Dimes, who had a passer rating over 115 as a result. On paper, Carolina is the better team. On execution and exuberance, Big Blue is playing better than they actually are. I’ll take the overachievers to do it again this week. Giants Rhule over Panthers.

Patriots at Steelers – Contrasting last week’s lackluster laydown in Miami by the Pats with Pittsburgh’s gutsy, never-say-die OT win over Cincy, I’ll take Tomlin’s Terrors to win at home. Yes, Watt is out, but that Steeler rush….looks like old times again. Falsebisky was adequate in managing the game and making key throws to his excellent receivers. Mac Jones had a mediocre day, apparent back trouble and no long-distance range on his throws. Look for the Pats to run the heck out of Harris and Stephenson so Tomlin’s defense has to stay busy away from Jones. I got stoked watching Pittsburgh’s intensity last week, while the Pats’ unimaginative offense lulled me to sleep in South Beach. Steelers show their mettle while New England settles lower in the rankings.

Falcons at Rams – Atlanta gave the Saints all they could handle last week, which was surprising considering how capable N’awlins’ defense is. The Rammies will not have the same problems, however. The champs are not about to go down 0-2 at home to the likes of Maui Marcus Mariota’s traveling variety show. The Falcons are trying to fly with one wing, which invariably leads to a downward spiral and crash. LA Rams home a victory.

Seahawks at 49ers – The Squawks shocked last week by rebuffing the return of Russell the Magnificent, while the Niners took a soggy loss out of lowly Chicago. Let’s return to Earth this week, shall we? Shanahan’s San Frans are ALOT better than the aberration we saw last week, and even with the loss of Mitchell and the youth of Lance, they should have plenty of horsepower to stuff the birds this week. Seattle lost Jamal Adams last week, and they weren’t stopping the pass anyway. After the Niners’ laundry dries out, they hang the Seahawks out to dry.

Bengals at Cowboys – The Tigers got their fangs pulled last week in OT by an upstart Steeler team in a whacky kickers’ duel that had to be seen to be believed. Burrow gave up four picks along the way, also unusual. This is reset week for the Superbowl losers, and a weakened Cowboys team is a good place to get back on track. Chase was otherworldly even in the loss, so the Bungles ought to find the endzone enough to not have to rely on McFearless’ leg and last-minute artillery. Stripes over Stars this Sunday.

Texans at Broncos – Lovie’s Longhorns lope into Denver this week, with an unbeaten streak of 1 tie on the line….Okay, for starters, let’s give props to the Texan players for showing up, playing to win, and showing their pride. Nobody takes Davis Mills seriously, yet he just keeps performing like a starter. Let’s hope Coach Smith starts believing in his team, too, and turns them loose to take some risks now and then. He’s gonna have to wear that ugly tie from Indy a long time. That said, Denver isn’t going to lay two eggs in a row, in spite of Coach Hackett hacking it on calls; they’re too damn good. Mel G is going to gash Houston’s line this week, and Wilson should find Jeudy even though he will be draped with standout rookie DB Stingley all game. The Broncs hit second gear taking down the Steers.

Cardinals at Raiders – Here’s your Desert Storm brewing, as two vanquished powerhouses look to get their first W. Carr drove erratically last week with 3 INT’s, and too much focus on new toy Adams (17 attempts). Murray in a Hurry had a good game against KC, but had to play from behind all afternoon. The Raiders need to tighten up that leaky secondary, or they are going to have to score 35 every week to have a chance. Vegas gambles and wins on the strength of a balanced attack.

Bears at Packers – The undefeated Rainmakers slosh into Lambeau this week for a Cheesy reality check. Fields is coming along as a starter, but will Pringle chip in with enough catches, or get canned by Jaire Alexander? DaBears run attack was in hibernation last week, and GB’s pass rush and run D ought to be enough to stifle Chicago’s offense and force everything onto Justin ‘Mrs’ Fields’ arm. I’m enjoying all the food references in this game. Bottom line is that the Bears are nacho winners this week as they get buried under lots of hot Cheese.

Titans at Bills – Simple. This isn’t the week where Tennessee gets straightened out. The Bills are coming due quickly, and have more than enough juice to defend home turf against DeWreck Henry and Ryan Tannehill. Buffalo stampedes towards Super Bowl LVII (spoiler alert).

Vikings at Eagles – MNF gets a great game! The Purples are stacked and under new management. Philly is no longer the Feebles. Good ball catchers on both, good defenses and ground games, and a developing rivalry between these two NFC clubs. Hurts’ mobility could create matchup issues for the Vikes, and Philly is tough at home. I’m giving the narrow edge to the visitors, Just because Jefferson is such a playmaker. Vikes rob the Eagles’ nest.

Enjoy the games!

-Pigskin Pundit (Nate Clark)

Nathan Clark

Nathan Clark is a conservative commentator who resides with his wife in New Hampshire. He is passionate about preserving the vision of our nation's Founders and advancing those tried and true principles deep into America's future. His interests range broadly from flyfishing, cooking and shooting to pro sports, gardening, live music and fine-scale modeling.