WEEK 2: PICKS OF THE WEEK
Week 1 of the NFL season brought joy to my heart, as it signified the return of meaningful football to our lives. Week 2 has many intriguing games as well, and with all 16 teams suiting up on Sunday, no fan should be left on the sideline once again this weekend.
In addition to my predictions to all 16 NFL games, I will be forecasting college football games that include the teams that Elite Team makes blankets for. I was a solid 10-6 on my predictions last week, and expect an even better result this time around.
Thursday September 15th
New York Jets (0-1) at Buffalo Bills (0-1)
The Jets and Bills were both unsuccessful in their opening game matchups, however New York put up quite the fight in their slugfest against the Bengals. If not for a last minute field goal by Cincinnati, the Jets would have sneaked by with a victory. The Bills, on the other hand, could only muster 7 points on a goal line touchdown from Lesean McCoy. In this division matchup, I see the Jets take one away from Buffalo on the road behind an explosive day from Ryan Fitzpatrick.
New York Jets 31 Buffalo Bills 28
Sunday September 18th
Cincinnati Bengals (1-0) at Pittsburgh Steelers (1-0)
These two teams had very different games last week, as Cincy scathed by the Jets with a close win while Pittsburgh laid down the hammer against Washington on MNF. This division rivalry has produced some of the closest games these past few seasons. I expect this one to be no different. I have the Steelers taking it at their home Heinz Field, however.
Pittsburgh Steelers 34 Cincinnati Bengals 33 (OT)
Tennessee Titans (0-1) at Detroit Lions (1-0)
The Titans looked miserable in their Week 1 loss to Minnesota, allowing two different defensive turnover touchdowns. Conversely, the Lions played turnover-free football and won on a last second Matt Prater 43 yard field goal. The Lions offense was firing on all cylinders last week, and it wouldn’t be bold to think they can do It again versus a less threatening Titans D.
Detroit Lions 27 Tennessee Titan 16
Baltimore Ravens (1-0) at Cleveland Browns (0-1)
Joe Flacco and Mike Wallace put on some fireworks last week, and it wouldn’t surprise me if a repeat performance occurred versus Cleveland. The Browns could barely contain the Eagles offense, even with a rookie quarterback under center.
Baltimore Ravens 25 Cleveland Browns 16
Dallas Cowboys (0-1) at Washington Redskins (0-1)
Simply put, Dak Prescott looked less than impressive Week 1 against New York, given his preseason performances. While the Redskins didn’t look too stellar themselves, I see them taking advantage offensively and winning through the air. Lock this in for home win for Washington.
Washington Redskins 28 Dallas Cowboys 21
New Orleans Saints (0-1) at New York Giants (1-0)
Despite the loss, the Saints offense put out an incredible showing. Drew Brees shined like usual and Willie Snead and Brandon Cooks lit fantasy leagues on fire. The Giants squeaked by in their win, and will need a better showing from their passing attack if they are going to keep up with Drew and Co. Saints grab one on the road.
New Orleans Saints 34 New York Giants 23
San Francisco 49ers (1-0) at Carolina Panthers (0-1)
I was not expecting that Week 1 loss for Carolina, and was generally worried about the health of “Superman” after all those hits to the head he received. The 49ers defense is for real, but I’d expect the defending NFC champs to take care of business at home against a subpar team.
Carolina Panthers 30 San Francisco 49ers 10
Miami Dolphins (0-1) at New England Patriots (1-0)
Jimmy Garroppolo didn’t put up mind-blowing stats in Brady’s absence, but he got the job done and the Patriots defense did a nice job of limiting the potent offense that usually is the Arizona Cardinals. The Dolphins lost in a snore of a game versus the Seahawks. At Gillette Stadium against a weak Dolphins team, give me the Pats my three scores.
New England Patriots 27 Miami Dolphins 10
Kansas City Chiefs (1-0) at Houston Texans (1-0)
The Chiefs outdueled the Chargers in an instant overtime classic while the Texans took care of business at home versus the overmatched Bears. In this game, I foresee the Chiefs forcing a lot of pressure on the Texans run game by cutting off passing lanes for Osweiler and Houston receivers. Chiefs snatch a road win by a field goal.
Kansas City Chiefs 23 Houston Texans 20
Seattle Seahawks (1-0) at Los Angeles Rams (0-1)
To say that these two offenses underperformed would be an understatement. Todd Gurley never broke off a run, and Russell Wilson and the Seahawks looked like they were playing as if they were carrying bricks on their backs. The Seahawks putting up 12 points at home is not a good sign, unless your convinced it’s a sign the 12th man is working ☺. Either way, Seahawks take this one.
Seattle Seahawks 22 Los Angeles Rams 13
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-0) at Arizona Cardinals (0-1)
The Cardinals offense looked pretty stagnant versus New England, and the Buccaneers put out a pretty complete performance. I expect this one to be a shootout and the Cardinals defend their home field with a win. I don’t think it’s going to be a cakewalk, however.
Arizona Cardinals 30 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 26
Jacksonville Jaguars (0-1) at San Diego Chargers (0-1)
The Chargers looked very good last week, and it was promising to see Melvin Gordon to reach the end zone twice after his injury-marred, disappointing rookie season last year. The Jaguars were close to stealing the game versus the Packers and T.J. Yeldon played very well with Chris Ivory not even suiting up. This one is going to be close, overtime close!
San Diego Chargers 31 Jacksonville Jaguars 27 (OT)
Atlanta Falcons (0-1) at Oakland Raiders (1-0)
Derek Carr outdueling someone like Drew Brees is a sight to behold for Raiders fans. That is an impressive feat, especially when the score is that high. The Falcons defense did not perform in Week 1. A weaker defense versus an up and coming offense spells trouble for Atlanta when they visit the “Black hole” on Sunday.
Oakland Raiders 27 Atlanta Falcons 21
Indianapolis Colts (0-1) at Denver Broncos (1-0)
The Broncos defense put up one hell of a performance against Carolina and the Colts could not pull out in a heartbreaker at home last week. The Broncos as a team is good but I don’t see them beating a better opponent two weeks in a row. Colts take it at Mile High.
Indianapolis Colts 20 Denver Broncos 17
Green Bay Packers (1-0) at Minnesota Vikings (1-0)
Aaron Rodgers returned to MVP-type form in the game against Jacksonville, and the Packers defense was able to generate significant pressure on Blake Bortles. As long, as the secondary can hold up, this could be a special season in Titletown this year. The Vikings will struggle in their stadium debut. I expect a Peterson scoring and not much else. Packers take win one in U.S. Bank Stadium history.
Green Bay Packers 27 Minnesota Vikings 13
Monday September 19th
Philadelphia Eagles (1-0) at Chicago Bears (0-1)
Carson Wentz and Co. looked good last week against Cleveland. The rookie signal caller and Jordan Matthews seemed like they have formed a decent connection and Ryan Mathews put out a solid outing. The Bears look alright but their defense still needs a lot of work. Philly keeps up with their winning ways.
Philadelphia Eagles 30 Chicago Bears 21
Enjoy Week 2 NFL fans!
-Z-Man, Resident Sports Columnist at Elite Team