View from across the pond - Week 2 in the NFL
A ho-hum start to the season with an 8-8 mark so I find myself trailing both Darin Shaw and Lee Bromfield in the unofficial pundit stakes. But it's a long season and I've always been a slow starter. It's just the dip in the middle and the slow finish that I tend to get worried about.
Chicago Bears at Carolina Panthers
No-one expected the hated Panthers to go across country last Sunday and beat the supposed-best team in the AFC in their own back yard. I mean, only the Bucs are allowed to win from the NFC in Qualcomm Stadium even it was nearly six years ago when we did it. We could do without the Panthers going 2-0 to lead our division but that looks likely. Pick: Carolina.
Tennessee Titans at Cincinnati Bungles
The over/under on which week Marvin Lewis gets fired is down to Week 9 now. Chad Tinky Winky or whatever his name is now gets to look stupid in front of his own fans. Sad stat of the week - Carson Palmer has been held to one TD or less in 10 of his last 15 starts. Pick: Cincinnati.
Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions
If Rod Marinelli was going to try and re-create Tampa in the North, don't you think he should have done it with better ex-Buccaneers than Kalvin Pearson, Ryan Nece and a washed-up Brian Kelly? Pick: Green Bay.
Buffalo/Toronto Bills at Jacksonville Jaguars
Was that a surprise win over the Seahawks last week or did the Bills just get lucky (punt return score, fake fieldgoal score)? Sorry but lightning doesn't strike twice. Pick: Jacksonville.
San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks
See above. Pick: Seattle.
Oakland Raydurs at Kansas City Chiefs
We had former Raider QB Jay Schroeder as a guest on the British TV coverage on the NFL and even someone was wildly inaccurate as he was could see that Al Davis is the problem in Oakland. Pick: Kansas City.
Indianapolis Colts at Minnesota Vikings
This is the first time in four years that the Colts haven't started the season 7-0. No way they begin it 0-2. The over-rated Vikings continue to see people jump off their band-wagon. Pick: Indianapolis.
Exit 16W of the Jersey Turnpike Giants at St.Louis Lambs
And until they start playing like an NFL team, they are Lambs not Rams. How far has this franchise fallen since the days of the Greatest Show on Turf? With parity so rife in the NFL, you just know that a ridiculous upset could be on the cards but even I've taken the Giants in a Survivor competition this week. Pick: NY Giants.
New Orleans Saints at Washington Redskins
Little Danny Boy Snyder must have thrown his toys out of his pram over the inept performance by Jim Zorn's team last week. His blanket and pacifier could go this week. Meaningless Buc stat of the week - with Jeremy Zuttah playing his first NFL game last week, Jim Zorn is no longer the last person alphabetically in the all-time list of Buccaneer players. Pick: New Orleans.
Atlanta Falcons at your Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Hey all those "Rich McKay is a great GM" people on the internet sure have gotten quiet over the last 12 months. Normal service is resumed today at Ray Jay - Bucs win 27-10. Pick: Tampa Bay.
Miami/London Dolphins at Arizona Cardinals
Roll up, roll up. Spaces on the Cardinal bandwagon are filling fast. All those leaving Minnesota for Arizona, please do so as quickly as possible. But this win is only against the Dolphins remember. Pick: Arizona.
San Diego Super Chargers at Denver Broncos
A pair of interesting teams who are not as their Week 1 performances show. Denver only beat a bad Raydur team, and San Diego can't be that bad again. Can they? The return of Brandon Marshall from suspension will help the Bronco offense but to me, this is the most intriguing game of the week. Pick: San Diego (on a coin toss).
Baltimore Ravens at Houston Texans
Postponed. Our thoughts are with the people on the Texas coastline affected by Hurricane Ike.
New England Video Cheats at New York J-E-T-S Jets Jets Jets
Belicheat has watched the tape (including the illegal ones) about 40 times and every time, Tom Brady still gets hurt. And so Matt Cassel makes his first start since we all sang Prince's 1999 song at the end of the century. Pick: NY Jets.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns
And yes that is Brady "The Mighty" Quinn warming up in the bullpen. Derek Anderson looks as shaky as Seth McClung did pitching for the Old Rays. After the Browns go 0-2, Quinn gets to start. Pick: Pittsburgh.
Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys
Over/under on how quickly Jerry Jones gets his ugly re-vamped mug on the screen on the sideline? Early third quarter. Time to let my seven-year-old daughter Tanith pick a game each week after she went 5-2 at the end of last season to whoop her daddy's ass (who didn't?). Tanith's pick: Dallas.
Paul Stewart, The Tampa Tribune, 14 September 2008