Week one was full of thrilling games, and week two is promising to be just as exciting.  So let’s not waste any time.

Let’s begin with this week’s Lock of the Week.

It pains me to say this, but this week it has to be New England over Arizona.  Historically, the Cardinals have not done well when they’ve traveled to the east coast.  When you consider how seldom the Patriots lose at home, it doesn’t add up to a winning recipe for Arizona fans.

I don’t anticipate a blowout by any means.  In fact, I think the Cardinals will cover the spread (currently 13 ½ points).  Let’s look at why I think it will stay within two touchdowns.

First of all, the Patriots defense has not shown all that much improvement over last year’s below average squad.  I know it’s still early, and maybe they will prove me wrong in the coming weeks, but I haven’t seen any reason to be optimistic just yet.

Second, the Cardinals defense is one of the best inside the red zone.  They showed that over the last nine games of the 2011 season and then again last week against Seattle.  If you’re going to score big on them, it needs to be big plays from outside the twenty.

The problem for Arizona is the Patriots are one of the best in scoring from outside the twenty.  They have one of the best arsenals in the league when it comes to big pass plays.  With Brady at the helm, a double whammy at tight end, a newly established running game and a couple of solid receivers, the Cardinals will have to be at the top of their game to stop the Patriots from blowing this up quickly.

The most obvious concern for Arizona is their offense.  With Skelton inactive from last week’s ankle injury, Kevin Kolb will need to play the entire game like he did in the fourth quarter of the first week’s victory over the Seahawks.  Anything less than that will result in an ugly game.

A little help from the offensive line would go a long way in actually getting a running game going, which would only be beneficial to Kolb’s passing game.

In recap, there are just too many things that need to go right for the Cardinals to steal a win at Foxboro.  I think they will stay within striking distance, but will ultimately come up short.

Next up, this week’s Upset of the Week.

This one is kind of a strange call for me because I really don’t see this as an upset.  However the odds makers have the Eagles favored over the Ravens by 2 ½, so I have to go with Baltimore over Philadelphia for this week’s upset.

After last week’s fiasco over the AFC North’s worst team in Cleveland (I know, the Eagles won17-16, but man was it ugly), Philly now needs to take on the same division’s best team in the Ravens.  If they put up another performance that even closely resembles last’s week’s game, they will be looking at the wrong side of blowout.

Add to last week’s terrible performance by Michael Vick the fact that his top receiver Jeremy Maclin is going to be playing today at about 40% or less, and the Eagles have some serious problems.  They need to figure out how to get the ball in stud running back LeSean McCoy’s hands more often.  That won’t be easy against the Raven’s top notch defensive front seven.

Finally, can the Eagles defense keep up with a Baltimore offense that is playing better than it has is years?  I don’t think so.  With the new, fast-paced game plan in place, Flacco is thriving.  With Smith and Bolden as his primary targets, Ray Rice is going to have a lot of fun this season.  Today will be no exception.

I am not only calling for the ‘upset’, I think this game will be over by the end of the third quarter.

Last up is this week’s Game of the Week.

I am really looking forward to this game.  The fact that it is being played on Monday only makes it that much more exciting.  Once again, I have to disagree with the odds makers, as I am going with Denver over Atlanta.

Both teams have an arsenal of offensive weapons.  They both have very good running backs, a solid tight end and a handful of explosive wide receivers.

They both have defensive units that have improved considerably from last year.

But the one thing that cannot be argued is the fact that the Broncos have the edge at quarterback, which will be the difference in this week’s game.

This is not meant to take anything away from Atlanta’s QB Matt Ryan.  He is a solid player that has a very good record in the regular season.  Given the weapons that he has on offense, the Falcons should be able to put up some points this week.

However, the Broncos have Peyton Manning.  Do I need to say anything more?  He appears to be fully healed and back in the saddle again.  He has the ability to walk up to the line and know what defensive scheme has been called, change to the play accordingly and gain positive yardage nearly every time.  No other quarterback in the league today can do this as well as Manning.

In the end, that will be the difference in the game.  This will probably come down to the last possession, but the Broncos will take this one from the Falcons!

Okay, I’ve taken two upsets this week.  Was this was a bold move or just a big mistake?  We’ll talk more next week!


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