Week 2 NFL Game Picks
NFL football is back, and Week 1 was packed with excitement. The second week should be just as action-packed, with all 32 teams in action for the first time this season.
Here are this week’s picks and what to watch out for:
Houston Texans @ Cincinnati Bengals
Both of these teams looked pretty pitiful in Week 1. Houston was dominated by Jacksonville. Andy Dalton threw four interceptions in a shutout loss to Baltimore. One of these two teams could turn it around with a win on Thursday, and Houston is the more likely candidate to do so. Deshaun Watson showed promise at quarterback, and J.J. Watt will be back in the huddle. Don’t be surprised if Andy Dalton struggles again against Houston’s defense.
The pick: Houston, 23-14.
Cleveland Browns @ Baltimore Ravens
For the most part, Cleveland was able to keep pace with Pittsburgh on Sunday. Part of that is thanks to rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer, who looked rather impressive in his NFL debut. Baltimore’s offense was less than sharp in Cincinnati, but the defense was able to seal a big win. If Kizer can work on getting the ball out of hands quicker, the Browns have a real chance to win next Sunday. But for now, bet a Ravens victory.
The pick: Baltimore, 20-10.
Buffalo Bills @ Carolina Panthers
Both teams are 1-0 heading into this game, but neither one had a very defining victory. The Carolina defense looked solid in San Francisco, but Cam Newton may not have completely returned to form yet. Buffalo put up 400 yards of offense against the Jets, but, then again, they were playing the Jets. Both of these teams still need to prove they’re for real, and it should be a close one in Carolina.
The pick: Carolina, 28-27.
Arizona Cardinals @ Indianapolis Colts
Tough luck for the Cardinals. David Johnson is out two to three months. Arizona may struggle down the line without him. Starting 0-2 would spell disaster for the Cardinals, but luckily, they’re playing Indianapolis. The Colts looked absolutely awful without Andrew Luck in Sunday’s blowout loss to the Rams. Neither Scott Tolzien nor Jacoby Brissett is going to get this team enough wins. Expect Arizona to win big, even without David Johnson.
The pick: Arizona, 31-13.
Tennessee Titans @ Jacksonville Jaguars
This game looks far more interesting now than it did a week ago. Calais Campbell was a monster for Jacksonville, earning four sacks in his first game as a Jaguar. Marcus Mariota and the Titans’ offense weren’t all that impressive against Oakland, but they can just as easily pick up the pace. Tennessee has the advantage because of the inconsistency of Blake Bortles, but look for the Jaguars to keep this one close.
The pick: Tennessee, 26-21.
Philadelphia Eagles @ Kansas City Chiefs
Not many were expecting the Chiefs to dominate the Patriots, nor were many expecting Carson Wentz to play as well as he did in Washington. This game has the potential to be a classic, but Kansas City definitely has the edge here. Alex Smith has a shiny new toy in Kareem Hunt, in addition to Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce. The absence of Eric Berry on the defense definitely hurts, but I his injury isn’t enough to garner a loss against the Eagles.
The pick: Kansas City, 30-21.
New England Patriots @ New Orleans Saints
This is a hard one to predict. There really could be any outcome for this game. Tom Brady looked sporadic on Thursday. At times, he looked like the Tom Brady we’re all familiar with, and other times, he didn’t. The Saints didn’t really put up much of a fight against Minnesota. Both teams are clearly having some struggles on defense. Week 1 may have been a fluke for New England, but this game will be an indication as to if they can return to their winning ways.
The pick: New England, 31-17.
Minnesota Vikings @ Pittsburgh Steelers
Here’s another one that could have been an easy pick before last week, but now it’s quite the intriguing matchup. The Steelers’ offense seemed strangely off in Sunday’s game against Cleveland. Fortunately, the defense played great, as they recorded seven total sacks on DeShone Kizer. Sam Bradford put on a spectacle against New Orleans, and the defense was none too shabby either. This could turn out to be quite the game if both teams are up to snuff.
The pick: Pittsburgh, 22-20.
Chicago Bears @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Bears did surprisingly well against the defending NFC champion Falcons, hanging on until the very end. Of course, Tampa Bay didn’t play last week due to Hurricane Irma. Jameis Winston and Mike Evans are two talented young guys that can light it up, and the defense is something to watch out for too. Tampa Bay simply has much more talent than Chicago.
The pick: Tampa Bay, 29-18.
Miami Dolphins @ Los Angeles Chargers
Just like the Buccaneers, Miami sat out Week 1 due to the hurricane, but Los Angeles didn’t look all that great. Sure, the Chargers lost by only three points to the Broncos, but for three quarters, they didn’t do a whole lot to earn trust in them. One good quarter typically isn’t going to win the game. For these reasons, the Fins should get the win over the Bolts.
The pick: Miami, 17-10.
New York Jets @ Oakland Raiders
There is some blowout potential with this one. It’s no secret that the Jets don’t look very good this year. Likewise, it’s no secret that the Raiders look great this year. Derek Carr is a far better quarterback than Josh McCown. The Raiders have guys Khalil Mack that can make big plays on defense that New York can’t. If Week 1 is any indication of how the season will play out for these teams, then expect a sizeable win for Oakland here.
The pick: Oakland, 38-12.
Dallas Cowboys @ Denver Broncos
What an interesting game this could turn out to be. Both of these teams look like they have potential to make a run. Dallas dominated New York all game on Sunday night. Denver took command of the field for three quarters against San Diego, but they did soften up a bit in the fourth quarter. The quarterbacks may make the difference here. Dak Prescott has my trust, but Trevor Siemian still has to earn it. The Cowboys will pull this one out in a close one.
The pick: Dallas, 31-27.
Washington Redskins @ Los Angeles Rams
It’s obvious that Kirk Cousins was not on the top of his game against Philadelphia. He has yet to find the groove that he was in last season. Meanwhile, the Rams looked great. They may have been playing a weak Colts team, but the performance was still phenomenal. Jared Goff played better than he ever has. If he keeps it up, Los Angeles may be a contender this season. Also, Aaron Donald is expected to play Sunday, so that helps the Rams’ chances greatly.
The pick: Los Angeles, 34-21.
San Francisco 49ers @ Seattle Seahawks
On paper, this is a lopsided matchup, but it never seems to turn out that way in reality. Both teams are coming off of disappointing games: San Francisco was blanked by Carolina, and Seattle couldn’t keep up with Green Bay. Overall, Seattle has the edge, just because they have the better team, but they’ll need to fix some problems (namely the offensive line) to have a chance at the title this year.
The pick: Seattle, 22-16.
Green Bay Packers @ Atlanta Falcons
This is the kind of game to expect on Sunday night. Both teams are coming off wins. Both teams have a star quarterback that can change the tide of a game. Both teams have an underrated defense that can give opposing offenses headaches. The last time these teams met, Atlanta dominated Green Bay in the NFC title game, but this game figures to be much closer. The Packers have the slight edge because of Aaron Rodgers.
The pick: Green Bay, 29-27.
Detroit Lions @ New York Giants
An 0-2 start would be really ugly for the Giants, and it may very well happen. Eli Manning and the New York offense was shut down all night long by Dallas last Sunday night. Meanwhile, Matthew Stafford led Detroit to yet another comeback victory over Arizona. So far, there’s a lot to love about the Lions and not too much to love about the Giants. Maybe New York can keep it close, but Detroit’s offense looks awfully hard to stop.
The pick: Detroit, 38-16.
DJ Bauer is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.