Each and every week the NFL brings excitement, thrills and unpredictable performances much different than the prior week. One comes to expect the unexpected, roller coaster rides with a lot of peaks and valleys. From a botched snap on special teams, to a forced fumble resulting from a sack, to a tipped-ball interception returned for a touchdown, randomness reigns.
The Week 1 NFC Offensive Player of the Week award was given for an outstanding showing by rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III. In an outing that won’t soon be forgotten, he became the first individual in NFL history to throw for 300-plus yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions in his debut. The 2011 Heisman Trophy winner completed 19 of his 26 attempts, with a passer rating of 139.9 – the highest mark for a first-year player since Atlanta Falcons signal-caller Matt Ryan’s special performance in 2008 against the Oakland Raiders.
Winning on the road is a huge accomplishment. Defeating Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints in the Superdome, as the youngest Redskins quarterback to start since the 1970 merger, was priceless. As RG3 and the Redskins travel to St. Louis to take on the Rams, the question becomes whether he can repeat or even surpass last week’s display. Can the Rams apply enough pressure on the pocket in passing situations to disrupt the multiple bubble screens, not to mention Griffin’s throws deep and outside the numbers? Can they solve the Baylor zone-read option running attack that is a major part of the Redskins’ ground game? Back-to-back stalwart turns by a rookie are incredibly hard to achieve, but this bright-eyed young gun, blessed with off-the-charts athleticism and attributes for the quarterback position, will give it one hell of shot.
As for the two teams squaring off at the Edward Jones Dome, I like the Rams in this game. Coach Jeff Fisher and his staff have this young squad extremely focused. They are at home, and the fans will be rocking the confines with their energy and excitement.
In many respects, the Rams won the battle last week against the Lions only to ultimately lose the war. Look for St. Louis to rebound and find a way to win its first contest of 2012. To score the victory, the Rams must keep it close with a ball-control offense, giving RG3 limited on-field opportunities, and play high-pressure defense with takeaway production. In the end, the onus very well could be on rookie kicker Greg Zuerlein to seal the deal with a late field goal.
Softli’s NFL Picks Week 2
Chicago @ Green Bay = Bears (I tweeted my prediction – Bears)
Washington @ St. Louis = Rams
Kansas @ Buffalo = Bills
New Orleans @ Carolina = Panthers
Minnesota @ Indianapolis = Colts
Cleveland @ Cincinnati = Bengals
Houston @ Jacksonville = Texans
Arizona @ New England = Patriots
Tampa Bay @ NYG = Giants
Baltimore @ Eagles = Eagles
Oakland @ Miami = Raiders
Dallas @ Seattle = Cowboys
NYJ @ Pittsburgh = Steelers
Tennessee @ San Diego = Chargers
Detroit @ San Francisco = 49ers
Denver @ Atlanta = Broncos
Remember, I’m not a professional oddsmaker, nor am I picking the winning teams, for that matter. Please, please don’t bet the farm or mortgage the house on the above information (even though I was 11-5 after Week 1).