Week 1 is in the books. Some team took a lot of positives out of week 1, many others, came away with a lot to work with, some haven’t even had a chance to play yet because of Hurricane Irma. Regardless, it is on to week 2. The second week always teaches us a lot. What team is capable of making adjustments? What teams were a fluke the first week, and what teams are serious contenders? Here are some predictions of how week 2 will go.
Thursday Night Game
Texans(0-1) at Bengals(0-1)
Line: CIN -6.0
Looks like the NFL is keeping up the proud tradition of Thursday night games being awful. Both of these teams were near the bottom of this weeks power rankings. Both teams suffered embarrassing performances from their Starting QB and O-line. Texans are changing things up by putting Rookie Deshaun Watson in over Tom Savage, but that is more about Watson’s ability to dodge the pass rush than it is his ability to throw. Both teams are bad. This game is tough to pick, but I see little chance Bengals beat that spread. I will take the Texans. Rookie QB is harder to plan for, and the Bengals don’t have the best pass rush, won’t be able to exploit the Texans biggest weakness like the Jaguars did last week. Also, Andy Dalton is historically awful in prime time games, and has struggled against the Texans in past.
Prediction: Texans 24 Bengals 21
Sunday 1pm Games
Browns(0-1) at Ravens(1-0)
Line: BAL -8.0
The Ravens are a better team than the Browns. Better in almost every aspect. But that doesn’t mean the Ravens will run away with this game. The Browns only lost to the Steelers by 3 points in week 1. The Browns may not be a good team, but they are a team that is going to scrap. Deshone Kizer looks promising, and for the first time in forever, you can see some potential in the Browns. Still, Ravens will win this game. It probably won’t be by 8 points, but they will win.
Prediction: Ravens 24 Browns 20
Bills (1-0) at Panthers (1-0)
Line: Car -7.5
Bills managed to win week 1, but only because they were playing the Jets. LeSean McCoy will keep them in most games, but with no other weapons on offense, they will struggle against a strong Panthers defense. Cam Newton looked very rusty in week 1, and the Panthers are lucky that he gets another bad team to play in week 2 to try to get back to form. Look for Kelvin Benjamin to have a bounce back game, and look for the Panthers defense to dominate.
Prediction: Panthers 24 Bills 10
Eagles (1-0) at Chiefs (1-0)
Line: KC -5.5
One of the tougher games to pick this week, and not just because it involves my favorite team. Both teams took major hits to their secondary in week 1, Chiefs lost Eric Berry to a season ending injury, and the Eagles lost Ronald Darby for at least 4 weeks. It is very doubtful the Chiefs will have as good of a game as they did against the Patriots. However, the Eagles are going to have a tough time covering Tyreek Hill. Without Darby, Eagles don’t have any corners who can keep up with Hill. But they do have a defensive line capable of making Alex Smith get rid of the ball quickly. It is tough, but in a game that is hard to pick, I ask myself which team just has more talent, and that is the Chiefs. Also, Andy Reid’s record coming off extended rest is impeccable.
Prediction: Chiefs 27 Eagles 24
Cardinals(0-1) at Colts(0-1)
Line: ARI -7.0
If the Cardinals are a mess, the Luckless Colts are a garbage fire. Without Luck, what does this team do well? They can’t run the ball. They can’t throw the ball. They can’t play defense. It’s just ugly. Cardinals may be without their star RB David Johnson, and Carson Palmer may be ready for the retirement home, but they are still a better team than the Colts.
Prediction: Cardinals 24 Colts 7
Titans(0-1) at Jaguars(1-0)
Line: TEN -2.0
Before last season, there was a lot of hype around the Jaguars. A ton of hot take artists, myself included, picked them to win that division. And then they didn’t. After week 1 this season, maybe that hype had some merit. They get a chance to prove themselves at home against a decent Titans team. Personally, I need to see more than them beating up on the turnstiles that make up the Texans O-line. Titans are the more proven team, at least on offense. Marcus Mariota is a legit NFL QB. Blake Bortles? Not so much.
Prediction: Titans 27 Jaguars 20
Patriots(0-1) at Saints(0-1)
Line: NE -6.5
The sky is falling! So many people are convinced the Patriots are falling apart, after one game. I say calm down. Was week 1 bad? Very much so. But now Brady gets to go up against the Saints defense that made Sam Bradford like, well he looked like Tom Brady. This one will be a high scoring, high flying affair. The over under is set at 56 for a reason. Both teams can score, but the Patriots defense is actually capable of getting a stop.
Prediction: Patriots 45 Saints 38
Vikings at Steelers
Line: PIT -5.5
Vikings looked great in week 1, but I am still not a full believer in them. After their fast start and collapse last year, I need more than one game against possibly the worst defense in the league to buy in. Were this in Minnesota, I would have a tough time predicting this game. Big Ben is coming off a bad game for himself and will be looking for a bounce back. Le’Veon Bell, is also looking for a bounce back. Vikings are coming in on a high, and the ebb and flow of the NFL makes me think that the Viking’s tire will be slightly deflated, while the Steelers get pumped up. Still, this is easily one of the week’s best games, at least on paper.
Prediction: Steelers 24 Vikings 21
Bears (0-1) at Buccaneers (0-0)
Line: TB -7.0
How will the unexpected week off affect the Buc’s? One train of thought says they will come in fresh, but another says they will come in rusty after not getting to practice as much the last week. Put that aside though, and this matchup favors the Buc’s. The Bears secondary is a weakness, and the young Tampa QB Jameis Winston will look to exploit that. Not to mention the fact they are playing in Tampa Bay, which will be emotional after the events of the last week.
Prediction: Buccaneers 31 Bears 21
Sunday 4pm Games
Dolphins (0-0) at Chargers (0-1)
Line: LAC -4.0
As I researched this game, I found a ton of experts were picking the Chargers. Not really sure why? One of this teams made the playoffs last year, the other went 5-11. I am not saying the Chargers are bad, in fact, I kind of like them this year, but why are people so down on the Dolphins. They have a talented, young offense with players like Devante Parker, Jarvis Landry, and Jay Ajayi. Is it Jay Cutler? Is Jay Cutler even a downgrade from Ryan Tannehill? Their defensive line is stout and maybe even elite. They are a good team. Chargers started slowly last week, and like they usually did, blew a chance to win with careless mistakes. Dolphins take this one.
Prediction: Dolphins 28 Chargers 24
Jets (0-1) vs Raiders(1-0)
Line: OAK -13.5
Jets are very bad, and the Raiders are very good. I feel like I don’t even need to break this one down, so I won’t. Raiders run over the Jets. Though the game will be awkward. Raiders already announced they plan to leave Oakland, but will still play there. That is like breaking up with your girlfriend but having to still live with her. Raiders fans are passionate though, I imagine they will still support the team well.
Prediction: Raiders 38 Jets 14
Cowboys (1-0) at Broncos (1-0)
Line: DAL -2.5
Another tough game to pick. Cowboys are the better team, but Broncos at home is not to be trifled with. I don’t think the Cowboys defense is anywhere near as good as they looked against the Giants, although the defense is good. Dak Prescott won’t find much success against this Broncos secondary. Cowboys offense efficient, but unspectacular week 1. The line is interesting. It seems like Vegas is baiting people to take the Cowboys. I won’t be surprised either way by this game, but I very tentatively taking the Broncos.
Prediction: Broncos 20 Cowboys 17
Washington Football Team(0-1) at Rams(1-0)
Line: LAR -2.5
The Rams looked great in week 1, while Washington looked a mess. Rams head coach Sean McVay was, of course, an assistant coach in Washington last year. He seems to have the magic touch with QB’s because where Kirk Cousins fell on his face without McVay, Jared Goff soared. I am still not convinced. The Rams were playing the Colts. As said earlier, ebb and flow of the league, I think Washington bounces back where the Rams stumble.
Prediction: Washington 24 Rams 23
49er’s(0-1) at Seahawks(0-1)
Line: SEA -14.0
49er’s do not have the talent to keep up in this game. Seahawks are notorious for their slow starts, and their defense still looked great for most of the game. Seahawks obviously have some serious issues protecting Russell Wilson, but this is a good matchup for them to bounce back.
Prediction: Seahawks 24 49er’s 13
Sunday Night Game
Packers(1-0) at Falcons(1-0)
Line: ATL -3.0
Aaron Rodgers is the best QB in the NFL. But even more impressive last week, was the Packers new defense. Do I think they are as good as they seemed? No, they were beating up on a bad O-line, but I do think they are good. The biggest thing holding this team back has been their defense. Now the only thing holding them back is their run game. Falcons are hoping to avoid the slump after losing the Superbowl and didn’t look great week 1. They got outplayed by the Bears and only won because of a collapse in coverage by the Bears. They can’t rely on Austin Hooper miraculously running for an 88 yard TD every week.
Prediction: Packers 41 Falcons 28
Monday Night Game
Lions(1-0) at Giants(0-1)
Line: NYG -3.0
It is hard to pick this without knowing if Odell Beckham will be playing. If he is out again, it won’t go well for the Giants. But should he be able to play, it changes everything. The Giants have a great defense, and on offense, OBJ opens up everything. Let’s assume he plays because if he is out I think the Lions win. The Lions have one of the best QB’s, even if many people don’t want to admit it. They also have some good weapons. Still, I think the importance of this game, leads to the Giants having a good game. If they lose, they go into Philly 0-2. Not a good situation for them.
Prediction Giants 27 Lions 24