Football Insiders’ Week 2 NFL Picks


Week 1 was an unpredictable one across the NFL and we will try to learn from what happened to make better choices in our Week 2 picks.

Cincinnati vs. Pittsburgh

Both teams come into this game coming off big road victories.  Although Pittsburgh’s win at Washington was more aesthetically pleasing, Cincinnati beat a much better football team in New York.  The difference in this one is the Steelers inability to defend the pass or get a pass rush.  Bengals 27, Steelers 24. 

Tennessee vs. Detroit

What do you do when you have Mike Mularkey on one sideline and Jim Caldwell on the other?  You look at the rosters and Detroit has more offensive firepower at this point in the season.  Lions 23, Titans 17. 

Baltimore vs. Cleveland

The Ravens are a heavy road favorite in this game and I’m not really sure why.  Sure, the Browns will be without Robert Griffin, III, but Josh McCown played very well last season, better than RG3, and there’s not much dropoff there, if any.  Don’t be fooled by a sloppy Ravens home win against a bad Bills team.  Upset special!  Browns 17, Ravens 16.

Dallas vs. Washington

The Redskins season may be on the line in this game as they can’t afford to drop to 0-2 with a pair of home losses.  Normally I like the more desperate team, especially when the coaching matchup is a wash, but I think Dak Prescott is going to be able to play keep away to protect the defense.  Cowboys 24, Redskins 20. 

New Orleans vs. New York Giants

After dropping a game at home to the Oakland Raiders, the Saints confidence has to be floundering at least a little bit.  The Giants had a victory over the Cowboys where they really didn’t look like the better team.  This is another game that any outcome wouldn’t come as a surprise.  Saints 27, Giants 24. 

San Francisco vs. Carolina

The 49ers already got their win for the first half of the season and the actual sky would fall in Charlotte if the Panthers dropped this game.  That’s not on the radar.  Panthers 38, 49ers 2. 

Miami vs. New England

The Dolphins always seem to play the Patriots tough and Miami posted a really nice “moral victory” last week in Seattle.  The Patriots have heard the praises of the entire nation after defeating Arizona last week and should roll over Miami….unless they don’t.  Upset special! Dolphins 23, Pats 21.

Kansas City vs. Houston

Revenge game?  The Texans aren’t billing it as that, but everyone knows what happened in last year’s playoffs.  Houston needs to show that they’re a much better team in 2016 (which they are) and the Chiefs don’t have Justin Houston.  Texans 31, Chiefs 20. 

Seattle vs. Los Angeles

The Rams always seem to play the Seahawks tough and they even beat them twice last year.  What does that mean for this matchup?  Absolutely nothing.  Seahawks 38, Rams 0. 

Tampa Bay vs. Arizona

This is perhaps the best game of the week as both teams have explosive offenses.  Arizona desperately needs this victory where the Bucs are playing with house money.  Cards 24, Bucs 23. 

Jacksonville vs. San Diego

The Jaguars posted one of the best “moral victories” in the Gus Bradley era, which means very little in the scope of the standings and the idea of Bradley staying employed.  Meanwhile the Chargers coughed up an 18 point lead and a loss here could accelerate Mike McCoy’s ouster.  Tough call, but you have to go with the home team.  Chargers 20, Jags 17. 

Atlanta vs. Oakland

This is one of those prove-it games for the Raiders.  They’re a better team (we think) with a better roster, playing at home.  A win here would help solidify them as they try to get back to the postseason for the first time in 14 years.  Raiders 23, Falcons 13. 

Indianapolis vs. Denver

The Broncos defense looked tremendous in their opening night win over the Panthers.  The Colts defense was atrocious in their home loss to the Lions.  Why will anything change?  Andrew Luck plays great football against Denver and the Colts offensive line actually exceeded expectations last week.  In a matchup of Luck vs. Siemian, give me Luck.  Upset special! Colts 27, Broncos 23. 

Green Bay vs. Minnesota

This is a great matchup as we have the best quarterback in the world in Aaron Rodgers against one of the very best defenses in Minnesota.  The Vikings are opening up their new stadium and energy should be high.  Slight upset special!  Vikings 20, Packers 16. 

Philadelphia vs. Chicago

It’s not a very intriguing matchup, but it should be a fairly close game.  With Carson Wentz coming off a great start against Cleveland, he should be able to replicate the effort against a Bears defense that isn’t all that talented.  Meanwhile, Chicago needs to find a win on a schedule where they will be few and far in between.  Bears 28, Eagles 27. 

Last week: 7-8

Season: 7-8

About Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein is the managing football editor for Football Insiders and has covered the NFL for over a decade.  Charlie has hosted drive time radio for NBC and ESPN affiliates in different markets around the country, along with being an NFL correspondent for ESPN Radio and WFAN.  He has been featured on the NFL Network as well as Sirius/XM NFL Radio and has been published on Fox Sports, Sports Illustrated, ESPN as well as numerous other publications.