The Saints have looked just terrible so far this year, but you have to think they’ll figure it out, at least offensively. New Orleans’ 316 passing yards per game has translated into only a 19.5 average in two games this year. The Saints have also kept Adrian Peterson on the sideline for most of the snaps this season, and need to make a decision regarding his future with the team. I expect Peterson to play a more extended role Sunday and New Orleans to score at a New Orleans’ pace again. Carolina’s offense has been a struggle, and if the Saints can put points on the board, they can pull this one out.
Kansas City Chiefs
People have a hard time believing the Chiefs are real. I think they are, but that won’t stop me from picking the Chargers Sunday. Philip Rivers and the gang are one of the better 0-2 teams in the league, losing close games against Denver and Miami. Because they play in the tough AFC West, the Chargers’ record at the end of the year will not be indicative of their talent, but they can battle with the best of them.
Kareem Hunt has been lights out so far for the Chiefs, but there’s no way the rookie can keep up this level of production all year. The Chargers’ run defense hasn’t been strong, but they will be keying on Hunt out of the backfield. Sunday will be a reality check for the rookie and Kansas city.
Green Bay Packers
Aaron Rodgers has beaten every NFL team except one, the Bengals. Green Bay’s quarterback has not been able to conquer Cincinnati, so we’ll ride that streak Sunday. The Bengals’ defense has given up just an average of 16.5 points per game to start the year and has the tools to keep Rodgers in check. The Packers have been unable to run the ball again so far this year, and their receivers look slow, and won’t have an easy time with the Bengals’ secondary.
It’s hard to think that the Bengals, who are the last team without a touchdown, will outscore Aaron Rodgers. But nothing will help Andy Dalton and the Bengals’ offense more than the awful Green Bay secondary. Dalton needs this game to calm the rumors surrounding his job security, and I think he’ll come through.
Although this is a battle of two 2-0 teams, there’s no doubt that Atlanta has the edge over Detroit. But the Lions have looked good in their first two games, most notably on the ground. Detroit has recommitted themselves to the run game, trying to take some of the responsibility off of their well-payed quarterback. The Lions are averaging 110 yards per game on the ground so far this year, compared to 83 and 82 in the last two seasons. Atlanta is the easy pick coming off an impressive win at Green Bay, but look for the Lions to bring Atlanta back down to earth.
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