Pittsburgh 33, Seattle 3
Are the Steelers that bad, or the Ravens that good? I think the answer is neither and that it would be unwise to base anything off that abomination. Even after Super-Bowl losses I have never been so sick to my stomach at a Pittsburgh performance. Unfortunately for the Seahawks, they will be standing on the tracks when the train pulls into the station.
Sunday was a real eye-opener for Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers.
San Diego 24, New England 23
Well, now that the Steelers bandwagon experienced more jumps than a cheerleading competition in the last week, I suppose these are the two AFC favorites to reach the Super Bowl. The Patriots, despite not having won a title since 2005, are still considered dominant, apparently based on nothing more than taking in others' problem children and making them behave. Yes, Tom Brady looked magical in throwing for 500 yards last week, but let's see him do it with someone in his face. We'll go with the QB (Philip Rivers) that everyone says is elite, despite never having won a thing.
Green Bay 30, Carolina 15
Last Week: 6-10
Wow! Nobody saw that kind of performance coming from Cam Newton. His 400-plus-yard effort showed two things: Perhaps he's better than we thought, and even with super-human performances from their rookie QB the Panthers can't prevail. Aaron Rodgers continues his early case for MVP.
New Orleans 28, Chicago 21
Boy, did the Bears ever look impressive on both sides of the ball slicing through the Falcons last week. The Saints proved they will once again score points, but can they stop anyone? Looks like New Orleans has upgraded at running back by trading Reggie Bush and signing Darren Sproles.
Baltimore 36, Tennessee 10
If the Titans couldn't find a way to get it done against the Jags, what should make us believe they have what it takes to beat the Ravens? Well, for starters there's Chris Johnson. OK, so it starts and ends there. Baltimore's Ray Rice should have a field day in this one.
Tampa Bay 13, Minnesota 12
Two teams with high expectations suddenly find themselves in a battle to avoid starting 0-2. In cases like this the natural tendency is to go with the experienced QB, but that would be the Vikes' Donovan McNabb - he of 39 yards in his debut for the new team.
Detroit 35, Kansas City 20
Everything you thought you knew about the Chiefs can be thrown in the garbage disposal and chewed up. How in the world a team like the Bills - Fluffalo, for crying out loud - walks into Arrowhead and drops a 41-point dagger, is beyond me. The Lions, on the other hand, are who we thought they were.
N.Y. Jets 31, Jacksonville 14
Thanks to another horrible late-game performance from Tony Romo, the Jets escaped last week despite giving up a huge chunk of real estate. They won't have to work nearly that hard in this one, and thus the "We're No. 1!" chants will begin echoing in the new Meadowlands.
Buffalo 27, Oakland 21
To be honest, I'm looking at this game a little differently than I was a week ago. I told you the Bills had the makings of perhaps something special offensively, but nobody saw that coming. Buffalo sitting at 2-0? Somewhere Chris Berman is smiling.
Arizona 26, Washington 13
Here's another that suddenly is filled with more intrigue. The Cardinals had to scratch and claw, but every game this revamped offense gets under its belt, the better the numbers will look. Forget the fact that Rex Grossman threw for 300-plus yards last week. It's still Rex Grossman.
Indianapolis 17, Cleveland 0
Man, who would have thought this would be a tough choice? The Colts got taken behind the woodshed last week, but the Browns lost to the Bungles. On that note alone, the pick is Indy.
Dallas 27, San Francisco 20
It's looking more and more as if Romo doesn't have that 'it' gene the experts rave about in quarterbacks. Time and again he's come up short in big games, but luckily for the Cowboys this doesn't qualify as such.
Denver 38, Cincinnati 6
Right about now John Fox has to be asking himself what he got into. Chances at victory are going to be few and far between this season, so the Broncos better get them when possible. Along those lines, the NFL schedule-maker sends the Bengals to town this week.
Miami 29, Houston 23
So the Texans pounded the Colts and Arian Foster didn't even play? That last part upsets me greatly because the injury probably cost me a couple fantasy victories. I'm still not sold on Houston, and I like the Dolphins a lot more with this revamped offense.
Atlanta 28, Philadelphia 26
Do you think Michael Vick has been waiting on this one, or what? His return to the (dog) house he built is oozing with stories, the least of which is the most important. That has to do with the Falcons absolutely not wanting to fall to 0-2 if they want a home playoff game.
N.Y. Giants 22, St. Louis 12
The Giants have too much talent to stink it up two weeks in a row, so a Rams team that is still a couple seasons away from truly contending is just what the doctor ordered.
Shawn Rine can be reached via e-mail at Rine@theintelligencer.net