NFL Game Picks: Week 2
Week one is in the books. We’re only one week into the season and we’ve already seen plenty of surprises, and there are sure to be more in week two. Let’s jump right into the game picks for this week.
Baltimore Ravens (1-0) @ Cincinnati Bengals (1-0):
Both the Ravens and Bengals looked impressive last week in their victories over the Bills and Colts, respectively, but Baltimore’s utter domination of Buffalo certainly stands out more. Factor in John Harbaugh’s impressive track record in primetime games and it’s clear the Ravens should be favored, but this game still has potential to be one of the most exciting of the week.
The pick: Baltimore 29, Cincinnati 24.
Carolina Panthers (1-0) @ Atlanta Falcons (0-1):
It’s been a rough week for the Falcons, who are now losing key defensive players like Deion Jones and Keanu Neal after Thursday’s defeat in Philadelphia. Carolina hasn’t fared much better with Greg Olsen’s foot injury but at least the Panthers came away with a win. Atlanta will need to make up for their losses in order to avoid going 0-2, and they have the talent to do it.
The pick: Atlanta 20, Carolina 16.
Los Angeles Chargers (0-1) @ Buffalo Bills (0-1):
On paper, this looks like a regular game between two 0-1 teams, but in reality, it’s an incredible mismatch. The Chargers looked sharp in Week 1 despite their loss to Kansas City, while the Bills were absolutely blown out of the water against Baltimore. Josh Allen could turn out to be a better option than Nathan Peterman, but it’s never a good thing to have your rookie quarterback making his first career start against the likes of Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram. Chargers could win big.
The pick: LA Chargers 37, Buffalo 14.
Cleveland Browns (0-0-1) @ New Orleans Saints (0-1):
It’s been a strange start to the season for both Cleveland and New Orleans. The Browns finally snapped their losing streak, but a tie isn’t exactly the way you want to do it. Meanwhile, the Saints need to find a way to patch up the defense before Sunday. Drew Brees may keep the points rolling, but it would help if he didn’t have to run the score all game.
The pick: New Orleans 35, Cleveland 24.
Minnesota Vikings (1-0) @ Green Bay Packers (1-0):
Excellent outings from both teams in week one make this one of the key games to watch in week two. The Minnesota defense looks about as excellent as it ever has, and Aaron Rodgers continues to be the greatest player in the NFL. It’s hard to tell who has the edge in this one. Last Sunday’s bout in Lambeau was a true dogfight; expect this one to be similar.
The pick: Minnesota 21, Green Bay 20.
Houston Texans (0-1) @ Tennessee Titans (0-1):
Tennessee might be in big trouble. With Delanie Walker likely out for the year, Taylor Lewan injured, and Marcus Mariota an uncertainty for Sunday, the offense may struggle against a tight Texans squad. Meanwhile, Tennessee’s defense will have to deal with Deshaun Watson and DeAndre Hopkins. It’s not looking good for the Titans.
The pick: Houston 29, Tennessee 13.
Indianapolis Colts (0-1) @ Washington Redskins (1-0):
Despite the Week 1 loss, it looks like the Colts are set to get back on track with a healthy Andrew Luck. But it won’t be easy against to do against the Redskins, who looked incredibly fluent against Arizona last week, especially in the backfield with Adrian Peterson and Chris Thompson. Here’s a sleeper pick for one of best matches on Sunday.
The pick: Washington 32, Indianapolis 27.
Kansas City Chiefs (1-0) @ Pittsburgh Steelers (0-0-1):
The Chiefs look like they haven’t missed a beat without Alex Smith, as Patrick Mahomes and Tyreek Hill made for an explosive duo against the Chargers. The Steelers didn’t look as sharp without Le’Veon Bell, but they’ve always had the Chiefs’ number. Expect Pittsburgh to bounce back from last week’s troubles to play competitively with Kansas City.
The pick: Pittsburgh 22, Kansas City 20.
Miami Dolphins (1-0) @ New York Jets (1-0):
Jets fans have reason to be excited once again. After throwing an interception on his first pass, rookie quarterback Sam Darnold lit up the Lions defense in Detroit. Now that he’ll be playing in front of a home crowd against a division rival, the stakes are even higher. Miami may be feeling fatigue from last week’s seven-hour bout against Tennessee, so the opportunity to strike is perfect for New York.
The pick: NY Jets 30, Miami 20.
Philadelphia Eagles (1-0) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-0):
What a fascinating game. Just a week prior, this looked like it would be a stinker, but now we’ve got intrigue. Nick Foles and Ryan Fitzpatrick will be the starting quarterbacks in this one. Who will the magic on his side in this one? It may not matter, as Philadelphia’s defense still stands as far superior to Tampa Bay. The Eagles should be favored.
The pick: Philadelphia 28, Tampa Bay 16.
Detroit Lions (0-1) @ San Francisco 49ers (0-1):
Both of these squads had high hopes coming into 2018, but one will be leaving this game with an 0-2 record, a disastrous way to begin the year. Jimmy Garoppolo certainly didn’t shine against Minnesota, but he’ll have a second chance against Detroit. Matthew Stafford had an even worse game against the Jets, so he’ll need to return to form for this one too. This is anyone’s game.
The pick: Detroit 19, San Francisco 13.
Arizona Cardinals (0-1) @ Los Angeles Rams (1-0):
This one looks easy. The home team put up 33 in Oakland last week while the visitor couldn’t even reach double digits. All signs are pointing to a Rams victory, and it would be smart to pick Los Angeles as the victors. But this is the NFL; anything can happen. Don’t count out Arizona, especially with David Johnson in the backfield.
The pick: Los Angeles 25, Arizona 20.
Oakland Raiders (0-1) @ Denver Broncos (1-0):
It’s been a rocky start for the Raiders, who are coming off a big loss to the Rams and are likely feeling a bit demoralized. Denver narrowly escaped with a win against Seattle, but Case Keenum will need to be a bit sharper to keep the Broncos on track. Denver has the advantage of playing at home, but the Raiders could still very well make some noise.
The pick: Denver 34, Oakland 28.
New England Patriots (1-0) @ Jacksonville Jaguars (1-0):
This one reeks of game-of-the-week potential. Last year’s conference championship saw the Patriots come out victorious, but the tides have shifted. Now, Jacksonville gets the home crowd, and Tom Brady is without many of his primary receiving threats from last year. This one ought to be fun to watch, and it may end up having deep playoff implications a few months from now.
The pick: Jacksonville 28, New England 27.
New York Giants (0-1) @ Dallas Cowboys (0-1):
It seems like the Giants and Cowboys are always playing each other in primetime, and that’s the case here once again. Both teams are trying to avoid that deadly 0-2 start, but one will have to bite the bullet. The more logical pick to win is New York. Saquon Barkley looks ready to rock the NFL stage in his rookie campaign, and the Cowboys couldn’t produce more than eight points in Week 1 against Carolina. The Giants have the advantage.
The pick: NY Giants 19, Dallas 10.
Seattle Seahawks (0-1) @ Chicago Bears (0-1):
The Bears certainly didn’t get any underhand pitches to start the year. First-year coach Matt Nagy will have to deal with Russell Wilson just one week after Aaron Rodgers, a daunting task. But Russell Wilson may be in trouble. His primary target, Doug Baldwin, is doubtful for the game, and the offensive line didn’t look much improved against Denver. But Russell Wilson has pulled some trickery before. Let’s see if he does it again.
The pick: Seattle 23, Chicago 17.
DJ Bauer is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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