Poupart's Picks

Here are the fearless predictions for Week 2 of the 2006 NFL season, courtesy of Dolphin Digest Associate Editor Alain Poupart.

Sunday, Sept. 17

Tampa Bay (0-1) at Atlanta (1-0) — The Bucs were embarrassed at home by Baltimore last week, while the Falcons pulled off an impressive upset at Carolina. But the Bucs have always been very tough on Michael Vick, and we think it's going to be more of the same here. Prediction: Tampa Bay, 19-4.

Oakland (0-1) at Baltimore (1-0) — After last week, is there any reason to think this game will be close? The Ravens will do to the Raiders exactly what San Diego did: Run, run, run and beat up the quarterback. Prediction: Baltimore, 24-6.

Detroit (0-1) at Chicago (1-0) — Mike Martz didn't have much of an impact on the offense in Detroit's debut, and things don't get easier facing the tough Bears defense. The Lions will improve at some point, but not yet. Prediction: Chicago, 20-10.

Cleveland (0-1) at Cincinnati (1-0) — The Bengals could be scary if what they did on defense against K.C. was a sign of things to come. In this matchup, they simply have too ammo for the Browns. Prediction: Cincinnati, 31-17.

New Orleans (1-0) at Green Bay (0-1) — The Packers looked dreadful last week against Chicago, while the Saints won at Cleveland. So logic says the Saints go 2-0 ... except that we think Green Bay will pull it together against a still-suspect defense. Prediction: Green Bay, 24-20.

Houston (0-1) at Indianapolis (1-0) — This has mismatch written all over it. Peyton Manning should have a big day. Prediction: Indianapolis, 35-14.

Buffalo (0-1) at Miami (0-1) — The Bills are banged up on defense and the Dolphins are very tough to beat at home in September. Logic says the Dolphins even their record, but it could be dicey. Prediction: Miami, 23-20.

Carolina (0-1) at Minnesota (1-0) — The Panthers have stumbled out of the gate, in part because of Steve Smith's hamstring injury, but we see a big effort on defense against a Vikings offense that doesn't have enough playmakers. Prediction: Carolina, 20-16.

N.Y. Giants (0-1) at Philadelphia (1-0) — With a trip at Seattle next weekend, the Giants could be looking at 0-3 if they can't win at the Linc. The Eagles are much better than last year now that T.O. is gone and McNabb is healthy, but they're not as good as might have appeared against a hapless Houston team. This might be the best game of the weekend. Prediction: N.Y. Giants, 27-24.

St. Louis (1-0) at San Francisco (0-1) — The 49ers beat St. Louis twice last year, but the Rams are much better on defense now thanks to new coordinator Jim Haslett. Besides, the Rams offense will come to life after a slow start against Denver. Prediction: St. Louis, 31-14.

Arizona (1-0) at Seattle (1-0) — There are some who believe the Cardinals actually could challenge for the division title, and they get a chance to make a statement early in the season. Arizona is good enough on offense to stay with the Seahawks, but we're having a hard time picturing the defense making Seattle sluggish on offense for a second consecutive week. Prediction: Seattle, 35-27.

Kansas City (0-1) at Denver (0-1) — Both teams are coming off disappointing opening losses, but the Broncos at least still have their quarterback. The Chiefs, meanwhile, have to go with Damon Huard in this one. There's your ballgame right there. Prediction: Denver, 23-13.

New England (1-0) at N.Y. Jets (1-0) — The Patriots should feel fortunate to be 1-0 after their tough struggle against Buffalo, while the Jets saw a rejuvenated Chad Pennington have a big day in the opener. But he was passing against Tennessee, and he will find things a lot more difficult against a Patriots defense that will bring the heat. On the other side, the Jets' run defense will have its hands full with Dillon and Maroney. Prediction: New England, 22-15.

Tennessee (0-1) at San Diego (1-0) — Look for another game where Philip Rivers throws the ball a dozen times or so and just hands off to LaDainian Tomlinson while the defense roughs up the opposing quarterback. Prediction: San Diego, 20-10.

Washington (0-1) at Dallas (0-1) — The Cowboys owned the Redskins before Washington took both games last year, but both teams enter this game with issues at quarterback. This has the makings of a defensive struggle, but the Cowboys have the home-field advantage. Prediction: Dallas, 13-10.

Monday, Sept. 18

Pittsburgh (1-0) at Jacksonville (1-0) — Ben Roethlisberger is expected to play in this one and he could be the difference in a close contest. Don't expect a lot of scoring in this one, but remember this: The Steelers are 18-7 in Monday night games under Bill Cowher. Prediction: Pittsburgh, 16-13.

Last week's record: 11-5

Season record: 11-5

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