Falcons Bears Football

Bears running back Tarik Cohen (29) tries to weave between two Atlanta defenders during their Week 1 game Sunday in Chicago.

One week down and a long, long way to go. 

While all the sportswriters did fairly well with their Week 1 prognostication, Kash struggled a bit out of the gate with only six correct picks among the 15 games. But on the positive side, Kash was the only one to predict Jacksonville's victory over Houston. 

Joe Deacon grabbed what's almost certain to be a short-lived lead, going 12-3 with the only correct selection of Kansas City over New England. Randy Reinhardt and Randy Sharer are only one game behind while Randy Kindred and Jim Benson are two back. 

Kindred was the only one impressed enough by the Bears' showing against reigning NFC champ Atlanta to pick Chicago at Tampa Bay, which is coming off a Week 1 bye necessitated by Hurricane Irma. Kindred also went alone in picking Miami to win its opener and spoil the Chargers' home debut at StubHub Center in Los Angeles. 

Deacon also went alone on two games, calling for Minnesota to win at Pittsburgh and Green Bay to upend the Falcons in the Sunday night game. Of course, Kash had to deliver at least one solo pick and this week he's got Denver to win at home against Dallas. 

The panel split evenly on Washington visiting the Rams at the L.A. Coliseum, while everyone went with Kansas City, Arizona, Baltimore, Carolina, Oakland and Seattle. 

Want to play along? Click here to sign up and play in our Pro Football Challenge. And read below the chart for the Associated Press picks by Barry Wilner.  








Last week 10-5 10-5 11-4 11-4 12-3 6-9 

Judging by the performances of their blockers in the opening week of the season, it's fair to wonder if there will be more sacks than points in Thursday night's game between the Texans and Bengals.

Cincinnati allowed Andy Dalton to be trapped five times, half as much as Houston yielded in its loss to Jacksonville. Yes, 10 sacks.

At that rate, AJ McCarron might be on the field soon for Cincinnati because of the battering Dalton is taking.

As for Tom Savage or Deshaun Watson or whoever is taking snaps for Houston, two words of advice: WATCH OUT!

"What we talk to quarterbacks about all the time is put us in the play that you can," Texans QBs coach Sean Ryan said. "We preach that all the time to those guys. They always do their best to see what's going on defensively and get that done for us.

"And then the next thing for the quarterbacks is let's have that clock in your head. Know when it's time to get the ball out of your hands or know when it's time to tuck and go. It's something that you're constantly working with the quarterbacks on and we still work on it and always will."

Looks as if more work is in order.

Cincinnati is a 4-point favorite over Houston, which also has a slew of people in concussion protocol. It's difficult to believe the Bengals are really as inept with the ball as the Ravens made them look. BENGALS, 20-13

Knockout tip: The Broncos made us sweat it out in the final game of opening week. We expect OAKLAND will be much kinder to our nerves.

* N.Y. Jets at Oakland: Thought about 10 seconds before making this ... BEST BET: RAIDERS, 34-10

* Washington at L.A. Rams: Rams basically had bye vs. Luckless Colts. Redskins more formidable. UPSET SPECIAL: REDSKINS, 27-16

* New England at New Orleans: Tom Brady is mad and isn't going to take it anymore. PATRIOTS, 30-20

* Dallas at Denver: Solid early season matchup that a true O-line will win. Bengals and Texans should pay attention. COWBOYS, 17-14

* Tennessee at Jacksonville: Titans have a quarterback, something Texans didn't seem to have against Jaguars. TITANS, 22-17

* Cleveland at Baltimore: Can't see Browns winning on road this early, maybe later in season. RAVENS, 13-7

* Philadelphia at Kansas City: Two of the NFL's impressive teams in Week 1. CHIEFS, 23-17

* Green Bay at Atlanta: If Packers win this, stamp them as NFC favorites. FALCONS, 31-30

* Minnesota at Pittsburgh: Steelers looked rather blah in their win over Browns. Vikings looked terrific vs. Saints. STEELERS, 24-20

* Buffalo at Carolina: Don't be fooled by Bills' home win vs. Jets. PANTHERS, 28-13

* Arizona at Indianapolis: A shame this game is missing David Johnson and Andrew Luck. CARDINALS, 24-7

* Chicago at Tampa Bay: Will Bucs be rusty or chomping at the bit? Go with the latter. BUCCANEERS, 23-13

* Miami at Los Angeles Chargers: Will Dolphins be rusty or chomping at the bit. No matter. CHARGERS, 28-27

* San Francisco at Seattle: Seahawks will show some offense this week. SEAHAWKS, 23-6

* Detroit at N.Y. Giants: Betting on Beckham returning, making huge difference for Giants. GIANTS, 21-17


Assistant Sports Editor

Assistant Sports Editor for The Pantagraph.

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