NFL teams begin to separate

Aug 18, 2009 5:07 PM
Pigskin Picks by Andy Iskoe |

The first full weekend of the NFL pre season is almost in the books as we go to press with just the two Monday night games remaining to be played before we can offer up early assessments of each team.

Clearly several teams are ahead of others in terms of being prepared for the regular season and in the evaluation of players that are vying for either starting positions or just to make an NFL roster.

As of press time opening lines for this week’s games had not been posted.

Here’s a look at the second full weekend of exhibition play, taking place again between Thursday and Monday.

Cincinnati at New England: The Patriots, and especially QB Tom Brady, looked sharp in their debut at Philadelphia last week. The Bengals have more concerns regarding their starters and that might be enough of a reason to expect a more aggressive effort from the visitors. PREFERENCE is for CINCINNATI.

Philadelphia at Indianapolis: Both teams are pretty much set at most starting positions so depth should be the major focus for both teams. The same is true for the Colts. PREFERENCE is for PHILADELPHIA.

Tennessee at Dallas: Neither team puts much stock in pre season results and both are veteran laden teams more concerned with being healthy at the start of the regular season. PREFERENCE is for the UNDER.

Kansas City at Minnesota: Kansas City should continue to assimilate QB Matt Cassel into the offense while also giving backups extra playing time. Both teams also are looking to make decisions about receivers so we could see quite a number of passes attempted. PREFERENCE is for the OVER.

Atlanta at St Louis:Both teams played reasonable well in their openers with Atlanta further along the developmental curve than the Rams. After several horrible seasons the Rams have more of a need to generate interest among their fans and as such might put more emphasis on a strong performance here. PREFERENCE is for ST LOUIS.

Tampa Bay at Jacksonville: The situation greatly favors the visitors who have a couple extra days of rest after Jacksonville played Monday night on the road. The Bucs also have more of a competition for the starting QB position which gives them an additional edge. PREFERENCE is for TAMPA BAY.

Pittsburgh at Washington: Pittsburgh was methodical in their opener against Arizona while the Redskins were anything but in their shutout loss at Baltimore. PREFERENCE is for WASHINGTON.

Carolina at Miami: Both teams are off of Monday night games and thus have had less time to critique opening game performances and make adjustments. PREFERENCE is for the UNDER.

Detroit at Cleveland: Detroit rookie QB Matthew Stafford had some good moments in last week’s game against Atlanta. PREFERENCE is for the OVER.

Buffalo at Green Bay: Buffalo bounced back nicely from their Hall of Fame loss to Tennessee as the four Bills quarterbacks combined for 29 of 34 in their win over Chicago. PREFERENCE is for the UNDER.

New Orleans at Houston: Both teams are off wins in their openers. Both teams have similar goals entering the season as each has a potent offense but a suspect defense. PREFERENCE is for the UNDER.

New York Giants at Chicago: The Bears have two extra days to prepare after the Giants played Monday night. PREFERENCE is for CHICAGO.

Oakland at San Francisco: The Battle by the Bay finds both teams off of opening week wins. PREFERENCE is for the OVER.

San Diego at Arizona: Neither team scored much in last week’s losses but neither coaching staff seems overly concerned as both teams moved the ball between the twenties. PREFERENCE is for the UNDER.

Denver at Seattle: Seattle put forth an ordinary effort in winning at San Diego as the starters saw limited action. The defense was not as sharp as they allowed mostly backups to average over 5 yards per play. PREFERENCE is for DENVER.

New York Jets at Baltimore: New Jets coach Rex Ryan returns to face his former employer where he earned his reputation as a defensive guru. PREFERENCE is for the UNDER.

Question? Comment? E-mail me at: Andy Iskoe