By Lance Tominaga, ESPN Honolulu Web Editor.
So how did you do in Week 1 of ESPN Honolulu’s “Pigskin Picks”? We’re guessing you didn’t fare as well as Patrick Valentin of Mililani, who correctly picked 14 out the 16 games this past weekend. Even better, his predicted score for the Rams-Cowboys game (the Week 1 tiebreaker) was Rams 21, Cowboys 17. The actual score was 20-17! For his efforts, Patrick has won a $100 Ruby Tuesday gift card.
Want to join in on the fun and compete for weekly local and national prizes? Sign up for “Pigskin Picks” HERE. It’s fast, fun and absolutely FREE!
On to this week’s picks:
♦ NY GIANTS @ CHICAGO: Bears’ receiver Allen Robinson may be unhappy with his contract, but the rest of the team must still be on Cloud Nine after Sunday’s remarkable come-from-behind win over Detroit. Mitch Trubisky silenced his critics (at least for this week) by throwing 3 TDs in the fourth quarter to lead Chicago over the Lions, 27-23. The question now: Can the Bears build off their season opener and beat the struggling Giants, who looked shaky in their loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers? The answer is yes. Besides, Bears super fan Ku‘ulei Agbayani (ESPN Honolulu’s Digital Media Manager) might physically harm me if I say no. Pick: BEARS
♦ DETROIT @ GREEN BAY: Just one game into the season, and Packers QB Aaron Rodgers is already back in the league’s MVP conversation. Four TDs against the Vikings will do that. Rodgers still doesn’t have the weapons that he once had, but against this porous Lions defense, he won’t need them. The Packers are looking like bona fide NFC contenders again, while Detroit head coach Matt Patricia might soon be looking at a trip to the unemployment line. Pick: PACKERS
♦ DENVER @ PITTSBURGH: Welcome Back, Big Ben. Ben Roethlisberger shook off some early rust to lead Pittsburgh to a decisive victory over the Giants. The Steelers ground game remained effective even after the team lost James Conner to an ankle injury (his backup, Benny Snell, picked up the slack with a career-high 113 rushing yards). Denver, meanwhile, is going through growing pains. That includes second-year head coach Vic Fangio, who mismanaged Sunday’s narrow loss to the Titans. The Broncos have some good pieces to work with offensively – rookie receiver Jerry Jeudy is going to be a star – but they’re no match for the Steelers. Pick: STEELERS
♦ BALTIMORE @ HOUSTON: Houston is a good team, and so it’s hard to imagine them starting the season 0-2. But that’s what happens when your first two opponents are the Chiefs and the Ravens. Deshaun Watson and the Texans will pose a stern challenge for the stingy Ravens defense, which held Cleveland to 6 measly points, but on the other side of the ball, there will be no stopping Lamar Jackson. Pick: RAVENS
♦ NEW ENGLAND @ SEATTLE: Bill Belichick just finds ways to win. Cam Newton looked great in his Patriots debut, with OC Josh McDaniel tweaking New England’s attack to better accommodate his new QB’s game. Seattle, meanwhile, uncharacteristically went pass-heavy in Sunday’s win over Atlanta. The team’s top two RBs, Chris Carson and Carlos Hyde, combined for only 11 carries against the Falcons. Expect Pete Carroll to try to run the ball early against the Pats. This should be a good one. Pick: SEAHAWKS
♦ NEW ORLEANS @ LAS VEGAS: Both the Saints and Raiders are coming off big wins in Week 1. The Saints convincingly handled Tom Brady and the Bucs at home, while the Raiders escaped with a road win over Carolina. This game will be the NFL’s first-ever game in Las Vegas, and at the brand new Allegiant Stadium. With no fans in attendance, however, the Silver & Black’s home advantage will be minimized. Expect New Orleans to pick apart the Raiders’ young secondary even without Michael Thomas available. Worse for Las Vegas: The Saints held Tampa Bay to just 86 yards on the ground (3.3 yds per carry). If they can keep Josh Jacobs in check, this game could get ugly. Pick: SAINTS
Last Week: 3-3
Season to Date: 3-3 (.500)
# # #