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Eric Walden's Four Downs: No doubt, the devil did it in Week 2
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

First down: Baltimore at Philadelphia

11 a.m., TV • Ch. 2

The skinny • It's quite apparent at this point the Ravens have some cosmic, karmic connection to the pop/ska band No Doubt. So much so, in fact, that any day now I expect Ray Lewis to bleach his hair blond, relocate to Orange County and start professing his love of '80s new wave. On the off chance it's not so intuitively obvious to you, I'll spell it out. No Doubt's last studio album and the Ravens' only Super Bowl title both came in 2001. Since then, the band's been on hiatus and so too has Baltimore's bid for another Lombardi Trophy. And now No Doubt has a new album and the Ravens are legit contenders again. While Lewis may not be belting out "I'm just a girl," I bet he's feeling hella good.

The line • Eagles by 21/2.

The pick • Ravens. It's possible booing Santa and cheering paralyzed opponents may have resulted in some bad karma for Philadelphia.

Second down: Arizona at New England

11 a.m., TV • Ch. 13

The skinny • I'm not gonna waste my time waxing philosophical about the enduring greatness of Brady, Belichick, et al. Been there, done that, don't care anymore. Instead let's give Kevin Kolb and the Cardinals their 15 minutes. It's not like they're gonna get any more this year. Kolb's had a rough pro career — twice he's been named a team's heir apparent, only to get injured and pushed aside. So while coming off the bench to beat a team coached by Pete Carroll and QB'd by a rookie may not seem like much to some, I won't belittle it — especially because his streak of success won't last against the Patriots.

The line • Patriots by 131/2.

The pick • Patriots. Tom Brady vs. Kevin Kolb? Come on. I'm not about to put the "mental" in sentimental.

Third down: N.Y. Jets at Pittsburgh

2:25 p.m., TV • Ch. 2

The skinny • Despite the Jets' protestations that they're a serious football organization and not some freak-show circus act, the truth is they're really both. Sure, they make headlines every time clownshoes receiver Santonio Holmes opens his mouth or virginal dreamboat backup Tim Tebow takes his shirt off, but as they showed last week, they can still be pretty good. As for the Steelers, well, all they showed last week is that their defense is aging about as gracefully as Lindsay Lohan.

The line • Steelers by 5.

The pick • Jets. Though picking apart the cardboard-cutout Buffalo Bills defense may not the greatest harbinger of future success, I like their chances against a team that couldn't even touch a half-immobile Peyton Manning.

Fourth down: Detroit at San Francisco

6:20 p.m., TV • Ch. 5

The skinny • Prevailing opinion among the talking heads (as opposed to the Talking Heads, because David Byrne doesn't give a flip) suggests last year's aggressive handshake and backslap heard 'round the world may have some carryover into this year's rematch. Alas, no truth to the rumor Jim Schwartz will respond with a rochambeaux to Jim Harbaugh's nether regions should the Lions prevail on this occasion. Of far more interest are two developments from last week: 1. David Akers, a kicker with 52-yard range, bouncing in a 63-yarder; and 2. Über-athletic tight end Vernon Davis also nailing the crossbar — on a dunk attempt after a TD catch. Unrelated events or byproducts of satanic bartering? Hmmm …

The line • 49ers by 61/2.

The pick • 49ers. Detroit struggled with St. Louis' defense … and I'd argue San Fran's is a tiny bit better.

… and 10 to go

Tampa Bay at N.Y. Giants, 11 a.m. • Bucs are undefeated, G-Men are winless; this one's over already.

New Orleans at Carolina, 11 a.m. • Maybe the Panthers were distracted by Bounty-gate too.

Minnesota at Indianapolis, 11 a.m. • Perhaps Christian Ponder can counsel Andrew Luck on the finer points of being a young quarterback on a crap team.

Kansas City at Buffalo, 11 a.m. • Is it a bad sign when C.J. Spiller is the top player in a game? Yup.

Cleveland at Cincinnati, 11 a.m. • Brandon Weeden already has Browns fans fondly remembering the Colt McCoy era.

Houston at Jacksonville, 11 a.m. • If it were possible for a team to score negative points, the Jags might just pull it off.

Oakland at Miami, 11 a.m. • Before you label Tannehill a bust, name me one Miami WR … Still waiting …

Dallas at Seattle, 2:05 p.m. • Now that everyone's back on the Cowboys' bandwagon, they're due for a flop.

Washington at St. Louis, 2:05 p.m. • Redskins' QB was a No. 2 pick, Rams' was once a No. 1, and yet … I don't think Washington would agree to a swap.

Tennessee at San Diego, 2:25 p.m. • If you're a field goals aficionado, this is the game for you! … and 10 to go

Tampa Bay at N.Y. Giants, 11 a.m. • Bucs are undefeated, G-Men are winless; I guess this one's over.

New Orleans at Carolina, 11 a.m. • Maybe the Panthers were distracted by Bounty-gate, too.

Minnesota at Indianapolis, 11 a.m. • Perhaps Christian Ponder can counsel Andrew Luck on being a young QB on a crap team.

Kansas City at Buffalo, 11 a.m. • Is it a bad sign when C.J. Spiller is the top player in a game? Yup.

Cleveland at Cincinnati, 11 a.m. • Brandon Weeden already has Browns fans fondly remembering the Colt McCoy era.

Houston at Jacksonville, 11 a.m. • If a team could score negative points, the Jags might just pull it off.

Oakland at Miami, 11 a.m. • Quick, name me one Miami WR … Still … waiting …

Dallas at Seattle, 2:05 p.m. • Now that everyone's back on the Cowboys' bandwagon, they're due for a flop.

Washington at St. Louis, 2:05 p.m. • Redskins' QB was a No. 2 pick, Rams' was once a No. 1, and yet …

Tennessee at San Diego, 2:25 p.m. • If you're a field goals aficionado, this is the game for you!

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