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When you pick a team to win and they put up 445 yards of total offense - 200 more than the other team - while not punting once all game, you would think a win is a given.
Narrator: It isn't.
Two of my four survivor entries went up in flames before Week 1's late kickoffs as a result, just like the many who followed my column last week and the other millions who didn't. Here's to a better fate in Week 2.
Confidence rankings (CR) are out of 10 based on the author's picks
|AWAY||HOME (SPREAD)||PICK (CR)|
|Jacksonville||Tennessee (-10)||TEN (8)|
|Kansas City||LA Chargers (+9.5)||KC (8)|
|Baltimore||Houston (+6.5)||BAL (7)|
|Denver||Pittsburgh (-6.5)||PIT (7)|
|Carolina||Tampa Bay (-8.5)||TB (7)|
|Atlanta||Dallas (-5)||DAL (6)|
|New Orleans||Las Vegas (+5.5)||NO (6)|
|New England||Seattle (-4)||SEA (5)|
|San Francisco||NY Jets (+6.5)||SF (4)|
|LA Rams||Philadelphia (PK)||LAR (4)|
|Washington||Arizona (-6.5)||ARI (4)|
|Minnesota||Indianapolis (-3)||IND (4)|
|NY Giants||Chicago (-5)||CHI (3)|
|Detroit||Green Bay (-5.5)||GB (3)|
|Buffalo||Miami (+6)||BUF (3)|
|Cincinnati||Cleveland (-6)||CLE (2)|
(Odds source: theScore Bet)
Despite Stephen Gostkowski missing three field goals and an extra point, the Titans managed to escape Week 1 unscathed. They moved the ball well, with 26 first downs and close to 400 yards of offense, while the defense held the Broncos to just two scoring drives on 11 attempts. Tennessee would have run away with a comfortable double-digit win in a tough road game to start the season - had the kicking game not gone completely sideways.
Now Mike Vrabel's team returns home for a much easier matchup - at least on paper - with the Jaguars. As I mentioned before, Jacksonville defied the odds for a 1-0 start to the season despite being significantly outplayed. Only the Washington Football Team (239) posted fewer yards of offense than Jacksonville (241) in Week 1, while the Jags defense gave up 445 yards - the third most in the league.
It was a nice way for Jacksonville to begin after a tumultuous offseason, but the losses will certainly pile up if those trends continue. Ryan Tannehill and the Titans dismantled the Jaguars at Nissan Stadium last season - Jacksonville gave up 471 yards in a 42-20 defeat for their sixth straight loss in Tennessee.
Derrick Henry piled up 116 yards on the ground in Week 1's difficult matchup against the Broncos' stingy run defense (4.2 yards per attempt last season) and now gets the chance to run wild against a Jaguars team that was torched on the ground a year ago (5.1 yards per attempt allowed, 31st in the NFL). Henry ran for 159 yards and two touchdowns in this game last season and will be the catalyst for the Titans in what should be a straightforward victory to push them to 2-0.
When you look at the results for these teams from the first week, a Packers win looked close to a guarantee on Sunday - Aaron Rodgers was in superb form, while the Lions crumbled in a way only they can. But there's more to those contests that at least warrants consideration before locking in Green Bay as your Week 2 survivor pick.
An incredibly raw group of Vikings cornerbacks - who weren't up to speed following a shortened offseason - partially attributed to Rodgers' outstanding day, and Danielle Hunter's absence muted Minnesota's pass rush, leaving Rodgers comfortable in the pocket. Detroit also has a banged-up secondary, but the team is hopeful third-overall pick Jeff Okudah will return this week, and Desmond Trufant could also be back in the lineup.
The Vikings also gashed the Packers on defense. Long, sustained drives from the offense helped to limit the Vikings' opportunities, but they averaged a league-high 7.8 yards per play in Week 1 - almost a full yard more than the next closest team. While that should be taken with a grain of salt, since they padded some of the stats in garbage time, Minnesota also managed a league-best 6.1 yards per rush, which has to worry Packers fans since it was the squad's biggest shortcoming a season ago.
Detroit has three very capable running backs that could help them control the clock and keep Rodgers on the sidelines, and they're also expecting to get star wideout Kenny Golladay back from injury. The Lions have won two of its last three trips to Lambeau, and they have the recipe to cause another upset on Sunday. Proceed with caution.
Alex Moretto is a sports betting writer for theScore. A journalism graduate from Guelph-Humber University, he has worked in sports media for over a decade. He will bet on anything from the Super Bowl to amateur soccer, is too impatient for futures, and will never trust a kicker. Find him on Twitter @alexjmoretto.