Previewing Sunday’s Week Two Games

jags vs pats
Sunday’s NFL slate will feature a rematch of last season’s AFC title game. (Photo: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Early Games

Browns vs Saints, FOX

The Saints got torched on defense last week against Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Buccaneers, but I’m not expecting that same thing to happen again. Tyrod Taylor struggled, albeit in bad weather, last week against the Steelers. I think Cleveland will look more in sync on offense this week, but they won’t be able to keep up with the New Orleans offense.

Pick: Saints

Panthers vs Falcons, FOX

If Atlanta is going to win their home-opener they’ll have to figure out a way to score in the redzone. They will also be dealing for the first full game without Keanu Neal and Deion Jones, both of whom are on IR. They’ll also be without Devonta Freeman, but despite all of that, I still don’t love the Carolina offense and think Atlanta will pull out a win in a low-scoring game.

Pick: Falcons

Colts vs Redskins, CBS

It was great to see Andrew Luck back on a football field, but unfortunately for Indy, I’m going to be picking them to get off to an 0-2 start. I liked what I saw from the Redskins in Arizona last week and Chris Thompson looks like he is going to be a problem for NFL teams this season and I think the Colts will have a tough time stopping him and the rest of that Washington offense enough to win this game on the road.

Pick: Redskins

Texans vs Titans, CBS

Houston looked rough last week on offense against New England, but the team that looked even worse was the Titans, and now they’re dealing with some uncertainty surrounding the health of Marcus Mariota. The spread is listed as Houston -3 right now and I think the Texans will cover that.

Pick: Texans

Eagles vs Buccaneers, FOX

Can Ryan Fitzpatrick replicate his performance from last week? I’m not going to pick that to happen against what might be the best defense in the whole league. I do think this will be a low-scoring game because the Tampa Bay defense is better to me than they showed last week against New Orleans, but I think Philly will get this one on the road in a low-scoring game.

Pick: Eagles

Chiefs vs Steelers, CBS

I do think people need to slow down on the Patrick Mahomes hype train. He looked good last week against the Chargers, but Tyreek Hill was more responsible for the damage done in my opinion. I do think Mahomes showed a lot of promise though, and Pittsburgh just doesn’t seem right to me. This game being at Heinz Field will definitely make things more difficult for Mahomes and this Chiefs team, but I actually think they’ll go and get this win on the road.

Pick: Chiefs

Dolphins vs Jets, CBS

It’s pretty hard to know what to make of both of these teams after week one. Odds are the Jets won’t be facing a quarterback that played as poorly as Stafford did last week, and the Dolphins played in a game that featured two long weather delays, which really prevented them or the Titans from getting any sort of rhythm going. This is one of the tougher games to pick this week in my opinion.

Pick: Jets

Chargers vs Bills, CBS

I shouldn’t even have to justify me picking the Chargers. The Bills looked even worse than anyone could’ve imagined last week against the Ravens and now they’re going to turn to Josh Allen, who is a guy they didn’t want to start over Nathan Peterman to begin the season. Maybe the Chargers will find a way to lose because that’s what the Chargers do, but I just can’t see that.

Pick: Chargers

Vikings vs Packers, FOX

I’m picking the Vikings regardless of whether or not Aaron Rodgers plays, but the availability of Rodgers is obviously a huge deal. If Rodgers does play, he will give the Packers a chance, especially with this game being at Lambeau Field, but the Vikings look improved on offense with Kirk Cousins, and I think that offense will only improve as the season goes along, and that defense is insane.

Pick: Vikings

Late Games

Lions vs 49ers, FOX

Wow the Lions couldn’t have looked worse against the Jets on Monday Night. Reports surrounding the teams buy in to Matt Patricia also don’t sound good at all. It seems like this season for the Lions could go downhill quickly and with the way Stafford looked against the Jets, I don’t see them scoring too much against what is a pretty good 49ers defense.

Pick: 49ers

Cardinals vs Rams, FOX

Arizona looked horrible last week against a Washington team that is not as good as the Rams. The Rams also looked like the team we expect them to be in the second half against Oakland, and I think the Los Angeles offense will find even more rhythm this week and will put up some big numbers, and that Los Angeles defensive front will get after Sam Bradford.

Pick: Rams

Patriots vs Jaguars, CBS

How’s this for a rematch? Last year in the AFC title game these two teams squared off in what was a really good game. Last week Jacksonville looked a lot like they did last season, which is run the ball, Blake Bortles don’t turn it over, and then play great defense. The Patriots are of course much better on offense than the Giants are, but this Jacksonville defense is no joke and we know that. This game also being in Jacksonville will help out the Jaguars, but a big question is the status of star running back Leonard Fournette. Even if Fournette is able to give it a go with his bad hamstring, he will likely be limited.

Pick: Patriots

Raiders vs Broncos, CBS

Derek Carr looked like he was scared to get hit against the Rams last week and that likely won’t go away against a Denver team that was able to sack Russell Wilson six times last week. I also liked a lot what I saw out the Denver offense. Case Keenum brings a lot more stability to the quarterback position, but he will need to take better care of the ball. I also really liked what I saw from the rookie running backs Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman. I just don’t like the direction the Raiders are going in if I’m a Raiders fan.

Pick: Broncos

Sunday Night Football

Giants vs Cowboys, NBC

I’m fully expecting a low-scoring game in this one. Odell Beckham announced his return with a very good performance last week against what is a much better defense than the Cowboys and while I don’t think much of Eli Manning at this point in his career, I do think New York will just be able to generate more offense because wow the Cowboys looked bad on offense last week. That Dallas offensive line is dealing with some injuries, most notably Travis Fredrick.

Pick: Giants

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