Friday, September 18, 2009

Week 2 Pick: Marquee Game

My choice of Marquee Game for week 2 could have gone in a few directions. If Donovan McNabb was healthy, I would have definitely gone with Eagles/Saints. Jets/Patriots has promise, also. Giants/Cowboys? As a Giants fan, it's too hard for me to pick division games; they're horribly unpredictable. But I think I whittled it down to what is actually the Marquee Game of the week, and that of course is:

Baltimore Ravens @ San Diego Chargers

Over/Under: 40 1/2
Line: Chargers by 3 1/2

My Thoughts:
This game is full of good matchups to watch. Rookie offensive tackle Michael Oher (read the book) against Shawne Merriman, Shaun Phillips, Larry English, and all of San Diego's good pass rushers. Antonio Gates versus the Ravens talented, ball-hawking linebackers and safeties. Haloti Ngata up against a banged-up Chargers offensive line. Joe Flacco vs Philip Rivers; two young QBs who both like to throw deep. Both teams will be trying to establish the run with some very good backs. Both teams have quarterbacks who are representatives of the new generation of great NFL passers. Both have very talented defenses looking to rebound from unimpressive week one debuts. Oh yeah...this should be a good one to watch.

This shapes up to be a great game for any football fan. There will be huge hits, great defense, explosive offensive plays, and big-name players all over the field. Two AFC heavy-weights trying to establish themselves as elite teams. If you don't have DirecTV and the NFL Sunday Ticket, pray one of the networks carries this one nationally.

I really believe in the Ravens this year, and I think (as I said in an earlier post) that the Chargers will again suffer a somewhat slow start. Baltimore just has very good players at every spot on their roster. Sure, the WR group isn't real deep, but Todd Heap and Ray Rice can make catches if Derrick Mason can't. This will probably be a very close game, but I think Baltimore will run the ball more effectively, play smarter defense, and come out of this one with a hard-earned victory. I can see this one maybe hitting over the O/U, but I say take the points and the Ravens.

Ravens 24
Chargers 21

Yeah, I picked an upset here, but this isn't my pick for Upset Game. That comes later.


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