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NFL Picks: Week 2

Last Week (Only one right games)
James: 11-5 (Falcons, Jets, Texans)
Michael: 8-8
Colin: 8-8

Overall
James: 11-5
Michael: 8-8
Colin: 8-8

James got a huge boost from being the only editor in week one to pick the Jets, Falcons and Texans to win their respective games. Four of the five games he picked wrong were games that everybody got wrong.

But it’s only one week into the season! Next week there are 16 more games to change the standings.

One fun fact about BTSD’s NFL Picks: James has correctly picked the result in the Jets each week dating back to week six of last season.  Which way will he go this week?  You’ll have to read on!

Pittsburgh Steelers (1-0) at Baltimore Ravens (0-1)
Colin: Steelers- Flacco is 6-6 against the Steelers in the regular season. With this weeks distractions and a short week of rest I expect an ugly game from the Ravens.
Michael: Steelers- Like the Steelers in this one. Running game continues to be strong.
James: Ravens – In Steelers-Ravens, it doesn’t matter who is favored; the home team will win by a field goal every time in an “edge of your seat” battle.  Must see football.

Miami Dolphins (1-0) at Buffalo Bills (1-0)
Colin: Dolphins- They really impressed me last week beating the Patriots handily. This team can get off on the right foot winning its first two games out of the gate.
Michael: Dolphins- I think the Bills win last week was a fluke. Dolphins by at least two scores.
James: Dolphins – Two undefeated teams, one of them is set to start 2-0 unless they wind up tying.

Jacksonville Jaguars (0-1) at Washington Redskins (0-1)
Colin: Redskins- Coin flip game. The only reason I’m picking Washington is because the Jags showed they couldn’t finish last week.
Michael: Redskins- Part of me wants to pick the Jags but for the sake of my record, going with RG3 on this one.
James: Redskins – I really hate picking Washington but I kind of have to pick them in this game.

Dallas Cowboys (0-1) at Tennessee Titans (1-0)
Colin: Titans- Gut feeling has Tennessee.
Michael: Cowboys- PLEASE fantasy gods have Tony Romo bounce back for me this week
James: Cowboys – I still don’t think the Titans are that good but only time will tell, this would be a huge win for Tennessee.

Arizona Cardinals (1-0) at New York Giants (0-1)
Colin: Cardinals- The nothing about the Giants looked good last week. I don’t see that trend changing anytime soon.
Michael: Cardinals- Giants seem lost in new offensive scheme. Will be good for an Arizona defense trying to get better.
James: Cardinals – A comeback win over San Diego was huge for them and they should keep rolling against the Giants.

New England Patriots (0-1) at Minnesota Vikings (1-0)
Colin: Patriots- I’m not taking them by much though. They have a bunch of problems on both sides of the line. I would like to see much better play in the run defense game.
Michael: Patriots- Pats will prove that they moved on from the disgusting first game and into the win column.
James: Patriots – The Vikings win last week is just like LSU’s win over Sam Houston State, they played a Division III team basically.

New Orleans Saints (0-1) at Cleveland Browns (0-1)
Colin: Saints- I am with James here I think New Orleans wins this, but I want them to win it, by like three.
Michael: Saints- Kind of a no brainer here.
James: Saints – Just hoping that Brian Hoyer plays well enough to keep his job forever or at least until Johnny Football goes away.

Atlanta Falcons (1-0) at Cincinnati Bengals (1-0)
Colin: Falcons- That was a huge confidence booster with an overtime win last week. Expect a great game from this one with Atlanta coming out on top again.
Michael: Bengals- Picking them for the sole purpose of trying to snag a win against James. Could see this go either way though.
James: Falcons – I really have no clue where to go here.  I really like Cincinnati but I think Atlanta is in for a big bounce back season.

Detroit Lions (1-0) at Carolina Panthers (1-0)
Colin: Lions- Detroit will over power the Carolina defense.
Michael: Lions- Explosive showing on Monday will carry over against a weak Carolina team.
James: Lions – The Panthers defense will keep them in it the entire time but a good 17 points from the Lions may be enough to win it.

Saint Louis Rams (0-1) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-1)
Colin: Buccaneers- The Rams are not good at football.
Michael: Rams- Thats right James. (Happy Birthday btw 9/10/14 1:44am EST)
James: Buccaneers – No comment.

Houston Texans (1-0) at Oakland Raiders (0-1)
Colin: Texans- The Jets tried to throw that game away last week and still couldn’t. Now the Raiders play a much better defense.
Michael: Texans- Surprised me last week. Losing Clowney doesn’t help anything though.
James: Texans – Dominated a weak Redskins offensive line last week.  They get a weak Oakland line now without a quarterback who can make plays with his legs.

New York Jets (1-0) at Green Bay Packers (0-1)
Colin: Packers- Rodgers is going to have a field day.
Michael: Packers- Aaron Rodgers and the Packers receiving corps are in for a very fun day against a terrible Jets secondary
James: Packers – Lock of the week based on my history in picking the result of the Jets games.

Kansas City Chiefs (0-1) at Denver Broncos (1-0)
Colin: Broncos- Denver is just the better team.
Michael: Broncos- Thought KC was a fluke last year, proved me right. No difference this year.
James: Broncos – While sitting at 9-0 last year it was a loss to Denver that sent them into a spiral that they have still failed to escape.

Chicago Bears (0-1) at San Francisco 49ers (1-0)
Colin: 49ers- They looked unstoppable in Dallas last week, I don’t expect that to change very much.
Michael: Bears- Bears D is simply better, won’t have Dallas’ to run over. Also Chi needs to come back from a terrible week one loss.
James: 49ers – They rolled over a very bad Cowboys defense, now they face a defense that also looked very bad in week one.

Philadelphia Eagles (1-0) at Indianapolis Colts (0-1)
Colin: Eagles- No O-line is bad news for this Colts team.
Michael: Colts- This might be the best matchup coming up in week two, really a toss up for me but going with Indy at home.
James: Colts – Oh my, this is a tough one.  This is also set to be a great game and I am sure to be dialed in on it.

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Key stretches in Red Sox 2015 schedule

by James B. Terry

The Boston Red Sox suck this year and that shouldn’t be a secret for anybody who follows baseball.

But on April 6, 2015 all 30 teams across Major League Baseball will be undefeated once again and there will be new hope fall all.  With the 2015 schedule being released this afternoon, a fresh start seems just a little bit closer.

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Five lessons learned in Patriots week one loss

by James B. Terry

1. The offensive line misses Logan Mankins
There were many reports that quarterback Tom Brady was upset after the team traded All Pro guard Logan Mankins a few weeks ago and you can see why after the Patriots fell to the Dolphins in the season opener.

Brady was sacked four times and fumbled the ball twice in the second half, both of which were turned into points by the Miami offense.  A shaky offensive line placed Brady 23rd this week in Total QBR, behind quarterbacks such as Geno Smith, Derek Carr, Brian Hoyer and Matt Cassel.

Brady has never been as successful when under pressure, as seen by the team’s two Super Bowl losses to the Giants and if this is a season long issue then the offensive line could be the first black mark on a down season.

2. Knowshon Moreno loves playing against the Patriots
Dolphins running back Knowshon Moreno finished the day with 134 rushing yards and a touchdown, averaging over five yards per carry.  This raises concerns because with the likes of Vince Wilfork returning to the lineup from injury, the run defense was set to improve.

Or maybe it isn’t the run defense, maybe Moreno just owns New England.  The former Georgia standout had over 200 yards on the ground against them last year as a member of the Broncos.  Due to a high number of injuries over his career his only other regular season game against the Patriots came back in 2009, his rookie season, when he ran for a then career high of 88 yards and picked up a number of key first downs as Kyle Orton and the Broncos upset the Patriots.

If he can stay healthy, the Patriots will now see him twice a year as he is in the division and they need to find a way to shut down a player who they have historically had no answer for.

3. Teams are not afraid of Revis
Patriots cornerback Darrelle Revis had a game high two pass deflections and recovered a fumble but it seems as if “Revis Island” is a place that quarterbacks don’t mind throwing at these days.

Revis was tasked with shadowing Miami receiver Mike Wallace and it’s fair to say that Wallace won that battle after coming away with a game high seven catches and by scoring the game tying touchdown at the end of the third quarter.

Mike Wallace is a good receiver, but there are plenty of guys better than he is.  Ryan Tannehill is a good quarterback, but there are plenty of guys better than he is.  The point: Revis will get tested all season long and by better competition too.  He needs to be better.

Tannehill threw for under 180 yards on the afternoon; when it was all said and done, the Patriots pass defense wasn’t that bad.  But Wallace 88 yards accounted for almost half of their yards through the air, and that was Revis allowing it.

4. Gronk isn’t Gronk (yet)
Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski is a huge difference maker and there are a thousand stats to prove it.  But Tom Brady was just 4-for-11 when targeting him yesterday, a completion percentage of 36% isn’t ideal for an elite quarterback throwing to his top target.

Gronkowski is still a powerful red zone target but between the 20-yard lines he looked like just an average tight end at best, struggling to run that seem route up the middle that made him so dominant.  Gornk wasn’t beating linebackers that he’d normally have two or three steps on and he wasn’t going up and winning jump balls consistently either.

He just doesn’t look 100% healthy and maybe it’s a mistake to let him play this early in the season.  Playing contact football every Sunday and taking hit after hit isn’t a way to get better.  New England should still be able to beat teams like Kansas City, Oakland and Minnesota these next three weeks with or without him so I want to know why he is playing.  Brady was a perfect 3-for-3 when throwing at second tight end Tim Wright, hacing no Gronk could even allow him to make a larger impact.

If he isn’t 100% now, 16 weeks of football will ensure that he isn’t 100% for the postseason.  And that won’t be a good thing for this team in the long run.

5.  Aaron Dobson’s roster spot could be in jeopardy
Many fans had high hopes for Aaron Dobson after the team drafted him in the second round just one year ago.

But after a lackluster rookie season and a subpar training camp, Dobson found himself listed as a healthy scratch for yesterday’s loss.  Fellow wide receiver Brian Tyms is currently serving a four game suspension but when he is activated in a few weeks the team will need to make a decision on who to cut for his roster spot and Dobson just might be the odd man out at this point.

He may not have much more time with New England to showcase what he’s got and that becomes even harder if he can’t dress for the games.

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Best and worst case scenario for AFC East teams

by James B. Terry

Buffalo Bills
Best case scenario
Quarterback EJ Manuel, who was limited to just ten games last year due to a knee injury, remains healthy for a full season and builds on his solid rookie season.

With stability at quarterback, fourth overall pick Sammy Watkins wins Offensive Rookie of the Year and proves that he is as advertised.    2013 second round pick Robert Woods builds on a strong rookie season in which he caught 40 balls and scored three touchdowns, making him a strong number two option for the Buffalo passing attack.  Buffalo native Mike Williams comes over from Tampa and also makes a huge impact at receiver after a hamstring injury limited him to just six games last season.

Veteran defensive end Mario Williams continues to be one of the better pass rushers in the NFL and is the leader of a young defensive core that improves this season and keeps the Bills in more games.

With the Bills young talented all starting to come around, they sneak a few wins surprise wins in against elite teams such as New England, Denver and Green Bay and with the schedule of a last place team also find a number of easy wins as well.  This is enough to push the Bills into the postseason with a bright future ahead of them.

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Former Pats Pro Bowler to be on “Biggest Loser”

by James B. Terry

Former Patriots offensive lineman Damien Woody will be a contestant on the upcoming season of “The Biggest Loser.”

Woody, a former Pro Bowl lineman who was on the Patriots Super Bowl winning teams in 2001 and 2003, will also be joined by former NFL quarterback Scott Mitchell as a contestant.

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Celtics fill training camp roster with three signings

by James B. Terry

The Boston Celtics have made minor moves in the past few days to help fill out their training camp roster as the preseason quickly approaches.

The signings include undrafted rookie Tim Frazier as well as Rodney McGruder and Christian Watford, both of whom went undrafted in 2013 and played professionally in other countries last season.

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Red Sox signing of Rusney Castillo gives fans more hope for 2015

by Michael Husson

Reports came out today that the Red Sox had reached an agreement with Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo on a seven year, $72 million deal. This being the highest paid contract for an amateur free agent. Castillo will most likely join the team at somepoint this season after he gets some time in the minors. Continue reading

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Castillo expected to pick team next week; would be major pull for Red Sox

by James B. Terry

The Boston Red Sox are one of many teams thought to be in contention for Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo as the sweepstakes for the highly sought after international prospect come to a close.

Other teams in the running include the New York Yankees, Detroit Tigers, Philadelphia Phillies and San Francisco Giants.  Castillo is expected to receive a five year contract worth no less than $50 million.

Boston signing Castillo would be a major turn of events for a franchise that has only made the playoffs once in the past five seasons and is on track for their second last place finish in three years.

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Ups and downs continue as Red Sox season goes on

by James B. Terry

The Red Sox opened up the second half of the season by tearing off four wins in a row, highlighted by a sweep of the Kansas City Royals and a 14-1 win over the Toronto Blue Jays.

This surge made Red Sox fans irrationally excited for what was to come, making many expect the team to be buyers rather than sellers as the trading deadline drew closer.

But the theme of the year for Boston has seemed to be streaks and that has even shown these past two weeks.

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