NFL

Week 2 NFL Picks

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After giving a fairly solid Week 1 effort (10-6), we’re going to see if we can better that this weekend.

Houston vs. Carolina

Outside of Cam Newton, the Panthers weren’t all that impressive against the Jaguars last week.  Still, they found a way to get an ugly victory.  The team returns home to play a Texans team that was pretty much embarrassed Week 1, so much so that they already pulled their stating quarterback.  It’s a .500 league, right?  Texans 20, Panthers 19. 

San Francisco vs. Pittsburgh

Talk about a matchup of strength vs. strength and weakness vs. weakness.  The Steelers prolific offense matches up against a 49ers defense that was dominant in their season opener.  The Pittsburgh defense is about as bad as it’s ever been and they take on an anemic 49ers passing game.  The Steelers won’t drop to 0-2.  Steelers 31, 49ers 21.

Tampa Bay vs. New Orleans

The Bucs have been awful for the last few years and the losing culture has set in.  Meanwhile, the Saints have sizable advantages at head coach, quarterback, on the offensive line and in the backfield.  Tampa will show up, but they don’t have what it takes to beat the Saints in the dome.  Saints 31, Bucs 24. 

Detroit vs. Minnesota

This is a huge game in the NFC North and one of these teams could potentially be two games back in the division after just two weeks.  The Lions have the better quarterback and receivers, they will bounce back.  Lions 24, Vikings 20.

Arizona vs. Chicago

We know the Cardinals are the better team, but this is an enormous game for the Bears and head coach John Fox, as they can’t afford to drop their first two games at home.  Chicago circles the wagons and finds a way. Bears 20, Cardinals 17.

New England vs. Buffalo

It looks like Buffalo has a better 2-53 roster than the defending Super Bowl champs.  That’s great, but the Patriots have Brady and Belichick and that’s usually enough, especially in AFC East games.  Patriots 28, Bills 24. 

San Diego vs. Cincinnati

If this were just Philip Rivers vs. Andy Dalton, it would be a no brainer in favor of Rivers.  Unfortunately there are a lot more factors involved, including an explosive Bengals offense that can carry their mediocre quarterback, along with a team that is traveling across three time zones for a 10:00 a.m. PST start.  Bengals 35, Chargers 27. 

Tennessee vs. Cleveland

Could the Titans, who finished 2-14 last year, stay in first place and start 2-0?  I’d love to say no, but they are facing Johnny Football and all Marcus Mariota does is beat former Heisman Trophy winners.  Titans 17, Browns 13. 

Atlanta vs. New York Giants

The Falcons played some inspired football at home on Monday night as they defeated the Philadelphia Eagles.  The Giants used an amazing amount of stupidity to grasp defeat from the jaws of victory against the Cowboys.  This is a .500 league….Giants 24, Falcons 20.

St. Louis vs. Washington

If the Rams are going to break through to that elusive .500 mark, they are going to have to beat teams that they have more talent than and the Redskins would certainly fit that mold.  RG3 Kirk Cousins will show the Rams that they should have drafted him.  Redskins 20, Rams 13. 

Miami vs. Jacksonville 

The Jaguars have improved their team, but they’re missing Sen’Derrick Marks, Julius Thomas and possibly their starting left tackle in Luke Joeckel.  They don’t have the talent to overcome those losses and still beat a very talented Dolphins team, even if they’re being coached by Joe Philbin.  Dolphins 24, Jaguars 10. 

Baltimore vs. Oakland

Somebody (me) picked the Ravens to win Super Bowl 50.  Their offense struggled mightily against the Broncos, and they will be much better against a Raiders team that should put up a fight.  Ravens 24, Raiders 20. 

Dallas vs. Philadelphia

The revenge of DeMarco Murray!  Maybe he can average two yards per carry against his old team? The Eagles can’t afford to drop this game and fall two games back of the Cowboys.  Eagles 31, Cowboys 27. 

Seattle vs. Green Bay

The Seahawks can’t fall to 0-2, can they?  The Packers were the better team last season when they choked away the NFC Championship Game.  They waited eight months to exact revenge.  Packers 35, Seahawks 21. 

New York Jets vs. Indianapolis

Nobody is giving the Jets much of a chance in this one and it doesn’t really make sense to pick them.  New York will give the Colts all they can handle, but Fitzpatrick vs. Luck is too much of a hurdle to leap over. Colts 27, Jets 21. 

Last week: 10-6

Season: 10-6


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.