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Sam Farmer's Week 2 NFL picks

The Times' football writer breaks down this week's matchups and makes his predictions.

September 15, 2011|By Sam Farmer
  • Will the Chargers' Philip Rivers come out on top of his quarterback duel with the Patriots' Tom Brady on Sunday?
Will the Chargers' Philip Rivers come out on top of his quarterback… (Denis Poroy / Associated…)

Oakland at Buffalo – The Bills stopped the run against Kansas City, last season's No. 1 rushing team. If they can do that against Oakland – a team that lives or dies by the run – they'll win. Bills 21, Raiders 17.

Green Bay at Carolina – As well as he played against Arizona, Cam Newton would have to play even better against the defending Super Bowl champions to keep pace with Aaron Rodgers. Packers 35, Panthers 21.

Kansas City at Detroit – The Chiefs should bounce back after a disastrous performance against Buffalo, but asking them to beat the rising Lions on the road – without safety Eric Berry – is a lot. Lions 24, Chiefs 17.

Cleveland at Indianapolis – If Kerry Collins can protect the football better than he did in Houston, the Colts should win. The lockout hurt the inexperienced Browns as much as it hurt any NFL team. Colts 18, Browns 15.

Tampa Bay at Minnesota – The Vikings do have some offensive weapons, even if that wasn't always apparent in the opener. Donovan McNabb will rebound from his cover-your-eyes debut. Vikings 24, Buccaneers 20.

Chicago at New Orleans – The Bears were very sharp in their opener, particularly on defense, and they're 3-0 against the Sean Payton-coached Saints (although all those wins came in Chicago). Bears 27, Saints 24.

Jacksonville at New York Jets – Maurice Jones-Drew should keep Jets defense honest for a while, but New York has too many ways to score, and Jaguars will find it hard to survive a shootout. Jets 30, Jaguars 17.

Seattle at Pittsburgh – The Steelers had seven turnovers against Baltimore and completely collapsed. They're due for a big bounce-back, and Seattle will have a hard time keeping this one interesting. Steelers 35, Seahawks 13.

Baltimore at Tennessee – These teams are already heading in opposite directions. If the Ravens stay focused, there's no reason they shouldn't control the clock (and Kenny Britt) and win. Ravens 24, Titans 14.

Arizona at Washington – If Cam Newton was able to throw for 400 yards against the Cardinals, Rex Grossman is capable of having a good game against them. Arizona's secondary will be tested again. Redskins 21, Cardinals 20.

Dallas at San Francisco – The Cowboys fell apart down the stretch against the Jets, and San Francisco's defense is playing well. But Dallas pass rushers should be able to get to Alex Smith. Cowboys 24, 49ers 17.

Cincinnati at Denver – Asking the Bengals to open with two wins on the road is a lot, especially for a franchise that hasn't won in Denver since 1975. Broncos aren't good, but they're good enough here. Broncos 21, Bengals 15.

Houston at Miami – Arian Foster should be back, and that will help the Texans control the tempo. The Dolphins are coming off a short week in which they surrendered 622 yards to the Patriots. Texans 28, Dolphins 24.

San Diego at New England – The Chargers could surprise here – Philip Rivers played well in an injury-riddled AFC title game in Foxborough – but it's hard to bet against Tom Brady and his midseason form. Patriots 30, Chargers 27.

Philadelphia at Atlanta – The Eagles play their home games outside, but they have the speed to be a great dome team. Michael Vick gets the edge in his homecoming to the Georgia Dome. Eagles 27, Falcons 24.

Rams at New York Giants – It looks like Sam Bradford is a go for the Rams, but that still won't be enough for a team ravaged by injuries in Week 1. Eli Manning should hold on at home. Giants 17, Rams 14.

Last week: 11-5.

Against the spread: 6-9-1.

sam.farmer@latimes.com

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