Week 1 Record: 8-8
An even start to the season. In reflection, some of the blame for our mediocre performance can be attributed to the flukey weather in the Steelers and Titans games, and a surprising result in New Orleans that caught even the experts off guard. The Broncos didn’t make their way onto the list last week, but we did back them and will back them again this week due to their outstanding historical record over the first two weeks.
Season Record: 8-8
Week 2 Picks
Ravens +1 at Bengals
Baltimore won convincingly in Week 1, demolishing the despondent Bills, 47-3. Anything less against the Bills, and I would have had to drop the Ravens from my playoff projections. But, alas, they were able to dominate all aspects of the game. The Bengals, on the other hand, were on the ropes against Andrew Luck as he was driving for a game-winning touchdown before they forced a fortunate fumble that sealed the win. I like the Ravens in a tight one.
Panthers +5.5 at Falcons
As we saw last week with the Saints losing at home to the Bucs, these NFC South games can get wonky. After an uninspired performance in Philly to start the season, it’s hard to imagine the Falcons winning by anything more than a FG. It’s especially hard to imagine considering how good the Panthers defense can be when Luke Kuechly is on the field. Panthers to at least cover.
Chargers -7.5 at Bills
If Peterman were starting again, I would be on the Chargers. Since the rookie Josh Allen, who went 6 for 15 with 74 yards in Week 1, gets the nod, I’ll be on the Chargers.
Vikings +1 at Packers
The Vikings and Packers are going in opposite directions – the Vikes have a great team with an okay QB, and the Pack have a bad team with one of the best QBs of all-time. After a miraculous Week 1 win in which Rodgers may have injured himself, the Packers are ripe for regression. Any points coming the Vikings’ way are a blessing.
Texans -1.5 at Titans
If the Titans can’t beat Miami, who can they beat? The Texans rebound from a 7-point loss in Foxborough.
Saints -8.5 vs Browns
After a surprise loss at home, the Saints have no choice but to circle the wagons and return to form. 0-2 teams rarely make the playoffs, and the Saints are looking to both avenge last year’s devastating playoff loss and make possibly their last deep run with Drew Brees. The Browns won’t be able to keep pace offensively without the +5 turnover differential they had against the Steelers in week 1. Saints, despite the spread.
Jets -2.5 vs Dolphins
Savior Sam’s shaky start turned around, and he actually looked pretty good against a very confused Detroit squad. Those confused Lions only scored 10 points offensively (team total was 17, but they pick-sixed Darnold’s first NFL pass). The Jets themselves scored 34 on offense, although 7 of those came from one, freak Isaiah Crowell 62-yard run. The Fins have one of the worst overall rosters in the NFL this year, but maybe Ryan Tannehill can help them against an unproven division opponent. I’d suggest staying away from this one, but if you must, lean towards the J-E-T-S, Jets, Jets, Jets in a close one.
Chiefs +5 at Steelers
Kansas City was impressive in their opening shootout in LA. Granted, they gave up 28 – albeit to a very good offense – and they basically had home-field advantage, but it’s hard to go against a team that can score that many points. The Steelers missed an OT field goal and ended up with a disappointing (but fitting) tie in Cleveland. Without Le’veon Bell, this team may not have the firepower to keep up with the KCs of the league. Sprinkle some on the moneyline here and definitely take the points.
Eagles -3 at Bucs
The Bucs are setup for a classic letdown in this one. After going into New Orleans and beating up on their division rival in a shootout last Sunday, the Bucs are a smart fade here. The Eagles, on the other hand, have had extra time to prepare Nick Foles for a porous Tampa defense.
Washington -5.5 vs Colts
Washington’s offensive line looked impressive in their Week 1 win at Arizona. They were able to control both sides of the line of scrimmage and earned 38 minutes on the ball! The Colts’ lines are weak relative to the Deadskins and AP knows this Cards defense from his time there last season.
Rams -12.5 vs Cardinals
This year’s Rams looked a lot like last year’s Rams against 2008 Jon Gruden last week. Look for that trend to continue this week against first-year head coach Steve Wilkes and the Cards.
49ers -6 vs Lions
Bill Belichick’s mantra is “Do your job”. Not only is everyone expected to do their job, but they are only given insight into the part of the plan Bill wants them to execute. How does this relate to 49ers v. Lions? This strategy leads to many former Patriots coaches struggling when they have to be the CEO of their team instead of an up-jumped director. Jimmy G eats his Wheaties – San Fran covers.
Patriots -2 at Jaguars
The Patriots aren’t often favored by less than a field goal, even on the road against a team that was one play away from going to the Super Bowl. The Jags didn’t look impressive in Week 1, scoring only one offensive touchdown against the Giants despite an almost even time of possession. It’ll be hard to keep up with the Pats if that level of offensive production prevails.
Broncos -6 vs Raiders
The Raiders looked terrible against the Rams on MNF. Maybe taking a decade off from coaching didn’t make Jon Gruden a better coach, imagine that! The Broncos, meanwhile, looked great offensively in their opener, moving the ball at will. They should be able to win by a TD on the road.
Giants +3 at Cowboys
The G-Men couldn’t muster much offense last week against a stifling Jags defensive unit. Look for them to improve in a hostile environment where they typically play the Cowboys tough. The ‘Boys are still experiencing some O-Line injuries and boast limited weapons on the outside. In a game that should be close and low-scoring, I’ll take the points.
Seahawks +3 at Bears
The Bears came out flat in the second half against the Packers, and after the deflating loss against a division rival, they are ripe for a letdown. Meanwhile, the 0-1 Seahawks will be motivated and looking to avoid starting 0-2. Russ puts the team on his back and a one in the win column in Chicago.