The first week of the NFL gave us a small view of what we might see the rest of the season. We saw explosive offense, explosive defense and unforgettable plays. We expect much more of the same this week. Our weekly game predictions went well for all of us last week, as all five of us came out of Week 1 with double digits games predicted correctly. Aman and Dan hold a slight lead after the first week after predicting 12 games correctly. The rest of us already have some ground to make up, but we still have plenty of time, although we can’t afford to lose anymore ground. Let’s see who we’re picking for each Week 2 game!
Buccaneers @ Panthers (Thursday night)
Despite scoring 17 points, the Buccaneers looked terrible offensively. Technically, the Bucs scored just 10 points, as the other seven points came from a pick-six by the defense. Jameis Winston looked pretty much the same as he always has. He threw a touchdown pass, but he also threw three interceptions, two of which were returned for touchdowns by the 49ers. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised to him throwing more interceptions against the Panthers.
Despite losing to the Rams, the Panthers actually looked pretty good offensively. Their offensive success came mostly because of Christian McCaffrey, who ran for 128 yards and two touchdowns and added another 81 yards as a receiver. If the Bucs want to win this game, they have to stop McCaffrey. They held the 49ers to 98 rushing yards, but McCaffrey is far better than anyone they have in the backfield.
Cardinals @ Ravens
Lamar Jackson was “Not bad for a running back” on Sunday, completing 85% of his passes for 324 yards and five touchdowns against the Miami Dolphins. The scary part is, he didn’t do much with his legs. It’ll definitely be interesting to see if he can keep up that kind of play. If he can, and then adds in the running, the NFL better watch out. This week will be a little bit of a tougher test against the Cardinals, but we should expect Jackson to keep balling out.
Rookie quarterback Kyler Murray and his offense took a while to get going, but they came back to force a tie against the Lions, looking really good in the second half. We’re interested to see how Murray reacts to playing against the Ravens’ defense, as they’re on of the best in the NFL. They dominated the Dolphins. Can they do the same to Murray?
Chargers @ Lions
I think it’s safe to say the Chargers didn’t miss Melvin Gordon at all. Austin Ekeler stepped up big time for the Chargers, as he ran for 58 yards and a touchdown and added 96 yards and two touchdowns as a receiver. I knew I drafted him on my fantasy team for a reason! Stopping Ekeler should be a focus for the Lions, but they’ll also have to figure out how to stop Keenan Allen, Hunter Henry and more! As we saw against the Cardinals, they struggled down the stretch to cover all the weapons Murray had available to him. Rivers has several targets at his disposal, which doesn’t spell good news for the Lions.
There should be some concern for the Chargers defense against the Lions too. They game up 24 points to the Colts, and allowed a 120.7 passer rating to Jacoby Brissett. Matthew Stafford looked great against the Cardinals, throwing for 385 yards and three touchdowns. With multiple running backs and receiving threats on the Lions’ offense, the Chargers also have their work cut out for them. The difference in this one will likely come down to the running game. Which quarterback will get more from his running backs?
Colts @ Titans
The Tennessee Titans looked great last week, putting up 43 points against the Cleveland Browns. Marcus Mariota threw three touchdowns, Derrick Henry was good on the ground and as a receiver, and rookie receiver A.J. Brown had himself a nice game. This offense looked better than it has in a long time. Oh, and the defense didn’t look too bad either. They allowed just 13 points to a Browns team who had been hyped up all offseason. They picked off Baker Mayfield three times!
This week they’ll face off against Jacoby Brissett and the Colts. Brissett had a nice game despite losing last week. Can he have another good performance. He didn’t turn the ball over against the Chargers, and as made obvious by the Titans forcing turnovers against the Browns, that will be key heading into this game.
49ers @ Bengals
Both teams looked a lot better to start the season than they did a year ago, although they faced different outcomes. The 49ers got a win against the Buccaneers, while the Bengals lost by one to the Seahawks. Despite the loss for the Bengals, things did look a little different. Andy Dalton threw for 418 yards and two touchdowns, while receiver John Ross emerged as a real threat with seven catches for 158 yards and two touchdowns. They lacked a running game, but the offense overall looked much improved.
The 49ers looked really good on defense, recording three interceptions, two of which went for touchdowns. The 49ers were flying around on defense at every position, so it’ll be interesting to see how the Bengals handle that. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo looked average last week, but he’ll need to be better as the season goes on for this team to succeed. Will he improve this week against the 49ers, or will he have another mediocre performance?
Jaguars @ Texans
The Jaguars have already lost Nick Foles due to injury, and now the fate of their team lies on the shoulders of rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew. Minshew actually looked pretty good in his time against the Chiefs, missing on just three of his 25 passes and throwing for 275 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. While Minshew did look good in relief of Foles, I have to wonder if it was him or the Chiefs’ defense that made him look good. We’ll see how he does against the Texans.
The Texans will be looking to rebound after a tough loss to the Saints on Monday night. They were so close, but just couldn’t get the job done defensively against Drew Brees. Part of the problem for the Texans was their offensive line. Even after making moves to address this weakness, they gave up six sacks. The Jaguars got minimal pressure on Mahomes, getting just four quarterback hits and zero sacks. If the Texans can prevent the Jags from pressuring Watson, the Texans should win, but we know we can’t count on it.
Vikings @ Packers
Regardless of if you love or hate the Packers and Vikings, you have to love watching this matchup between the two division rivals. These games always seem to be great, and we’re likely to get another great one between two teams who have been revamped.
The Vikings looked good on offense last week against the Falcons, especially in the running game. Dalvin Cook ran for 111 yards and two touchdowns on two carries. Alexander Mattison also added 49 rushing yards on nine carries. Kirk Cousins only had to throw the ball 10 times, which is probably what the Vikings want. For the Packers offensively, they didn’t look great. They scored just 10 points, but it was against one of the best defensive units in the NFL.
The defensive units for the Vikings and Packers looked good last week, so this game could come down to which defense plays better. The Packers’ revamped defense held the Bears to three points, while the Vikings held the Falcons to just 12. Can Dalvin Cook carry the load against this new Packers defense? Can Aaron Rodgers lead his offense against another tough defense?
Cowboys @ Redskins
Dak Prescott finished last week’s game against the Giants with a perfect passer rating after throwing for 405 yards and four touchdowns. He had five receivers with at least three receptions, found four different receivers for touchdowns and had two receivers over 100 yards. The passing game looked great for Dallas. The offensive line didn’t allow a single sack, giving Prescott the time he needed, and Prescott delivered. Ezekiel Elliott ran for just 53 yards, but he only had 13 carries, and he did score a touchdown. He’ll get more carries in this game, and will only get stronger as the season goes on, as he always does. Can Prescott keep his offense looking explosive against the Redskins?
Washington’s quarterback Case Keenum looked pretty good himself, throwing for 380 yards and three touchdowns. The Redskins got off to a hot start, but they couldn’t hold on to their lead, as they let the Eagles come back. Where the Redskins need to be better is in the running game. They failed to control the clock against the Eagles, which obviously cost them the game. If they can’t do so against the Cowboys, Prescott might just make them pay.
Seahawks @ Steelers
Can the Steelers rebound from the beating the Patriots put on them? Are they really that bad, or are the Patriots really that good? I’ll go with the Patriots being that good, so don’t count the Steelers out just yet. The Patriots forced Roethlisberger to make short throws that didn’t move the offense. This could be the case against the Seahawks too.
Seattle got five sacks against the Bengals last week. If they can put that sort of pressure on Roethlisberger, he won’t have time to throw and will have to make those short throws once again. Will Roethlisberger be able to find open receivers, or will the Seahawks get the best of them defensively?
Bills @ Giants
The Giants got burned by the receivers of the Dallas Cowboys last week, and I can’t help but seeing the same thing happen to them against the Bills. Bills quarterback Josh Allen isn’t the most accurate thrower, but he can throw the ball down field. Receiver John Brown had seven catches for 123 yards and a touchdown against the Jets last week. If the Giants want to win this game, they must prevent that from happening.
However, as you know, the Giants have a running back in Saquon Barkley who must accounted for at all times. The Bills did a nice job against Le’Veon Bell, holding him to just 60 yards rushing. How will they fare against Barkley?
Patriots @ Dolphins
The Patriots put a 33-3 beatdown on the Steelers last week, proving their still the best team in football. The Dolphins got beat down 59-10 by the Ravens, proving they’re probably the worst team in football. Dolphins players are already demanding trades, so that’s about all you need to know heading into this game.
Chiefs @ Raiders
The Raiders had a nice season debut against the Broncos, but can they keep up with the explosive offense of the Chiefs? They may be able to if the Chiefs continue to play poor defense. They made Gardner Minshew look awesome last week. How will Derek Carr fare?
This one will come down to the defense. The Chiefs aren’t great defensively, so the Raiders could put up a lot of points. The Raiders looked a lot better defensively than they did a year ago, but how will they look when they face Patrick Mahomes and all his weapons?
Saints @ Rams
A rematch of the NFC Championship game. The Rams won last time and went to the Super Bowl, but we all know who really should have won that game. The Saints will be seeking revenge in this game, and after a big time win against the Texans, it’s likely they’ll come out firing on all cylinders.
The Rams will need to get their explosive offense back if they want to keep up with Brees and company in this one. They scored 30 points last week, but Goff threw for just 186 yards with one touchdown and one interception. The running game looked fine, but Goff needs to be better in order to beat the Saints.
Bears @ Broncos
Which offense will find their groove? The Bears scored just three points last week, while the Broncos scored just 16. We have to expect that both teams will put up more of a fight on offense this time around. However, the defense will likely be the real story here. The Bears still have a tough defense, and the Broncos struggled against the Raiders’ new look defensive unit. The Broncos seemed to struggle a bit defensively last week, but we’ll see which defense can make the bigger impact this time around.
Eagles @ Falcons (Sunday night)
The defense of the Vikings made life very difficult for the Falcons. Can the Eagles duplicate that? They allowed 27 points to the Redskins, but they held them off when it really mattered. The key seems to be shutting down the Falcons’ running game. They were held to just 73 yards rushing against the Vikings, and we saw the problems it created for them in the passing game.
The defense of the Falcons looked poor, especially against the run. They allowed 172 yards rushing against the Vikings, and the Eagles ran for 123 yards last week. If they can’t stop the Eagles on the ground, they may not stop them at all.
Browns @ Jets (Monday night)
The Browns couldn’t have had a worse start to the season than what they had against the Titans. Baker Mayfield threw three interceptions and the Browns scored just 13 points. If they’re going to rebound, this game against the Jets may be a good opportunity. The Jets scored just 16 points against the Bills last week, and gave up a lead to end up losing 17-16. There didn’t seem to be anything explosive about this Jets offense. If the Browns can hold them to a low point total, the Browns will have a good opportunity to get back on track offensively.