Nfl week 2 2015 picks

Nfl week 2 2015 picks DEFAULT

The NFL's Week 2 slate of games features teams looking to reinforce what went well in the first week, while at the same time, shaking off whatever issues they had. The same can be said of my against-the-spread-picks for Week 1, where I finished the week Coming out on the winning side of is always great, but there were definitely a couple more games in which the spread was just barely wrong for my picks (e.g., Green Bay beat Chicago by eight points, with my pick of the Bears +7 coming in one point on the wrong side.)

Can I improve on the performance? Let's see where the picks this week fall.

New England Patriots (-2) at Buffalo Bills

This just seems strange. New England is not getting their normal big numbers, which means Vegas either is beginning to fall in love with Buffalo. Rex Ryan's typical blustery talk seems to have had an effect here. I know Buffalo looked good in Week 1 and has a string defense, but can you trust Tyrod Taylor yet? I don't. 
Pick: New England (-2)

Houston Texans at Carolina Panthers (-3)

I picked this game as one of my write-ups because I am surprised this line is this small. Essentially, this is a pick-em line, with Carolina only receiving the home-field advantage points. Carolina is not exactly a dominating team, and the NFC South is not the top conference in the league, but Carolina is only getting home-field advantage points against a team that is already making a quarterback change? I'll give those points.
Pick: Carolina -3

Miami Dolphins () at Jacksonville Jaguars

Miami has a lot to prove after not looking impressive in Week 1. Jacksonville is looking to avoid an start. The Miami defense is angry, and they will be looking to take it out on Blake Bortles. Jacksonville has allowed at least 4 sacks in eight straight games (H/T Armando Salguero), and now face an angry Ndamukong Suh and (if his hamstring allows him to play) Cameron Wake. This game could go multiple ways, but I think in most of them Miami wins this by at least a touchdown. 
Pick: Miami


Arizona Cardinals () at Chicago Bears
Pick: Chicago +

San Francisco 49ers at Pittsburgh Steelers ()
Pick: Pittsburgh

Atlanta Falcons at New York Giants (-2)
Pick: New York -2

Tennessee Titans (-2) at Cleveland Browns
Pick: Cleveland +2

Tampa Bay at New Orleans ()
Pick: New Orleans

Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings (-3)
Pick: Minnesota -3

St. Louis Rams () at Washington Redskins
Pick: St. Louis

San Diego Chargers at Cincinnati Bengals ()
Pick: Cincinnati

Baltimore Ravens (-7) at Oakland Raiders
Pick: Oakland +7

Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles (-5)
Pick: Philadelphia -5

Seattle Seahawks at Green Bay Packers ()
Pick: Green Bay

New York Jets at Indianapolis Colts (-7)
Pick: Indianapolis -7


Before Week 2 of the NFL season schedule kicks off, I thought we would have some fun by taking a look at the spreads for this week's round of games. (Click here for NFL Week 2 picks without regard to the spread.)

Here are my suggestions when trying to beat the odds. You can find all of today's NFL betting lines and more at the SB Nation odds page. My record so far this season: Decent start.


Arizona Cardinals () at Chicago Bears: The Bears played a lot better than expected in Week 1. It was easy to think they were going to get killed by Aaron Rodgers. Instead, they kept the score within one possession. Still, I think Carson Palmer and Arizona can get the best of them here. Pick: Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons at New York Giants (-2): The Giants' defense is bad. They're going to struggling against this Falcons offense. With that said, I typically hate picking the Falcons when they're on the road. I'll make an exception for now: Pick: Falcons +2

Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings (-3): This seems like a crazy line. The Vikings were crushed in San Francisco on Monday Night Football after being way too over-hyped this offseason (sound a little bit familiar). Meanwhile, Detroit showed some good signs before collapsing in San Diego. I like the Lions with the points here. Pick: Lions +3

Houston Texans at Carolina Panthers (-3): Yuck. The Panthers will be without Luke Kuechly, so that's a big blow to their defense. Luckily for them they'll only have to face Ryan Mallett. This has the makings of a defensive struggle, and could be close, but I have to take the home team. Pick: Panthers -3

New England Patriots (-2) at Buffalo Bills: There's a fun stat that the Bills have only beaten the Patriots in the regular season the last two times New England won Super Bowl rings. I don't have the Patriots winning the Super Bowl this year. So by that logic, the Pats are going to win. That Bills defense is good but I'm taking Tom Brady over Tyrod Taylor every time. Pick: Patriots -2

San Diego Chargers at Cincinnati Bengals (): The Bengals are really good at home. They're the easy pick here. Pick: Bengals

San Francisco 49ers at Pittsburgh Steelers (): The line seems out of whack to me. The Steelers are still without some of their key players and their defense looked pretty bad in Week 1. Everyone's been down on the 49ers but San Fran is coming off a quality win. They will at least make this game close. Pick: 49ers +

St. Louis Rams () at Washington Redskins: This is probably going to be an ugly game. The Washington team is going to struggle against the St. Louis defense. The Rams are coming off a big Week 1 win but I expect them to slow down here. Still, Washington is just so bad. Pick: Rams

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints (): Weird things can happen in rivalry games, so this big line is a little scary. Then again, the Buccaneers are just awful. The Saints are at home and should be able to take care of business. Pick: Saints

Tennessee Titans (-2) at Cleveland Browns: How could anyone ever bet against Marcus Mariota? Sorry, Johnny Football. Pick: Titans -2

Baltimore Ravens (-7) at Oakland Raiders: Derek Carr isn't going to be % so that's already a concern. The Ravens should be able to win this one. Pick: Ravens -7

Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles (-5): The Eagles NEED to win this game. The Cowboys are missing a lot of key players. Philadelphia is destined to win this one, but it might be a little closer than expected. I'll take the Cowboys to cover and the Eagles to win. Pick: Cowboys +5

Seattle Seahawks at Green Bay Packers (): Are the Seahawks really going to drop to ? It's going to be tough to beat Aaron Rodgers at Green Bay so probably. Pick: Packers

New York Jets at Indianapolis Colts (-7): The Colts are coming off a bad showing in Week 1. They should be able to get back on track at home. Andrew Luck's record in games after losing the previous week is pretty ridiculous. The Jets won't be looking so hot on the road. Pick: Colts -7

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N.F.L. Week 2 Previews and Picks

Bills Coach Rex Ryan said he could “go home early” this week, as his game plan to beat the Patriots has “been ready for a long time.”

Top Five Games to Watch

Patriots () at Bills ()

1 p.m. Line: Patriots by 2

After his team’s upset of Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday, Buffalo Bills Coach Rex Ryan presented a game ball to the team’s owner, Terry Pegula.

“He had the guts to hire me, and I am proud to be the coach of the Bills,” Ryan said after the game.

We should probably all thank Pegula for keeping the Rex Ryan vs. Bill Belichick rivalry alive. The thought of losing that twice-yearly coaching matchup was one of more disappointing aspects of Ryan’s firing by the Jets in December.

The week leading to the game has lived up to expectations. It started with Ryan boasting that he could “go home early” this week, as his game plan to beat the Patriots has “been ready for a long time.” And it ramped up with Belichick — in what may be the closest thing to smack talk you’ll ever hear out of his mouth — saying: “Well I think our record against him has been O.K. I’ll take it.”

The Bills looked like a playoff team in their Week 1 victory, with a bruising defense throttling the Colts’ offense. The Patriots, who were against the Jets during Ryan’s tenure, looked much like the team that won the Super Bowl last season in a victory against the Pittsburgh Steelers. It should make for one of the more exciting Sundays upstate New York has seen in a while.

PICK: Bills

Seahawks () at Packers ()

p.m. Line: Packers by 3 ½

Brandon Bostick is no longer with the Green Bay Packers, but his ghost will loom large over Sunday night’s game. It was Bostick’s botched attempt at an onside kick recovery in last season’s N.F.C. championship game that helped the Seattle Seahawks overcome a point fourth-quarter deficit to pull off an improbable comeback and a berth in the Super Bowl with an overtime win. But you won’t hear Packers Coach Mike McCarthy talk about his team seeking redemption this weekend.

“We’re playing at Lambeau Field,” McCarthy said, adding: “It’s our first home game. I don’t really think we need to get past that.”

Seattle, coming off a overtime loss to the Rams, has lost five straight to the Packers in Green Bay, where the home team went last season (including playoff games). There, the Seahawks will be facing one of the league’s most explosive offenses, which isn’t good news for a defensive unit that gave up a league-worst eight plays of 20 yards or more in Week 1. It seems that the absence of the holdout safety Kam Chancellor is being felt.

PICK: Packers

Cowboys () at Eagles ()

p.m. Line: Eagles by 5 ½

How long the Dallas Cowboys will be without the services of the star receiver Dez Bryant has turned into a great mystery. Initial rumors had him missing four to six weeks with a broken bone in his right foot. Then there was speculation that he would miss as many as eight weeks. This was followed by reports that he may be out for the season. All of which means he’ll probably come out wearing a boot and score a touchdown Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Meanwhile, one can assume that Eagles running back DeMarco Murray, a former Cowboy, has been looking forward to this game for some time. How many touches Murray, the reigning N.F.L. offensive player of the year, will get and how effective he will be is another question. He carried the ball only eight times for 9 yards in the Eagles’ loss to the Atlanta Falcons last week.

PICK: Eagles

Lions () at Vikings ()

1 p.m. Line: Vikings by 3

Adrian Peterson struggled in his first week back from a tumultuous in a loss to the San Francisco 49ers, leading some to question whether a year-old running back with a ton of mileage on him could return to form after missing a season. Peterson’s patented burst was missing, and at times he seemed hesitant carrying the ball. Whether or not that’s just the product of a little rust that can be easily shaken off will very likely factor heavily in the kind of season the Minnesota Vikings will have. Peterson has had some big games against the Detroit Lions, who lost their star defensive linemen Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley in the off-season and gave up yards to the San Diego Chargers last week, blowing a lead in the course of losing, So this matchup could be a good barometer of what type of season Peterson will have.

Pick: Vikings

Falcons () at Giants ()

1 p.m. Line: Giants by 2 ½

In the wake of Eli Manning’s telling running back Rashad Jennings not to score in a crucial moment of the Giants’ Week 1 loss to the Cowboys, here’s a TV sitcom idea: Manning telling people throughout history not to do things. Similar to Comedy Central’s “Drunk History,” which features intoxicated comedians recounting key moments throughout history, this show would feature historical re-enactments where we’d see the ramifications of people listening to Manning’s advice not to do something. We’d see the surely comic effects of his advising Ben Franklin not to travel to France in or maybe advising Marlon Brando not to do “A Streetcar Named Desire.”

The possibilities for Nielsen ratings gold are virtually limitless.

Pick: Giants

The Rest

Texans () at Panthers ()

1 p.m. Line: Panthers by 4 ½

If you watched the recent season of HBO’s “Hard Knocks,” you know that Houston Texans Coach Bill O’Brien is a master at the art of well-timed profanity. And you can bet the profanities were spewing in Houston in the wake of his team’s being throttled at home by the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 1.

You also know, if you watched “Hard Knocks,” that after naming Brian Hoyer the starting quarterback, O’Brien told Ryan Mallett to stay prepared in the event his number is called.

“You’ve got to earn it every day,” O’Brien told his quarterbacks on the show. “What I would expect from you, Ryan, is to be a professional about it, to prepare like a starter, be ready to play.”

O’Brien was most certainly not kidding; Hoyer has been benched after one week as the starter, and Mallett will start this week against the Carolina Panthers.

PICK: Texans

Buccaneers () at Saints ()

1 p.m. Line: Saints by 10 ½

For the first time during the Sean Payton-Mickey Loomis era in New Orleans, confidence is waning among the Who Dat faithful. There’s a feeling that the current regime’s best days are in the rearview mirror, that the good times have ceased to roll, that the wheels might start to come off.

Feeding into that, Payton’s contentious relationship with his defensive coordinator, Rob Ryan, picked up right where it left off in a Week 1 loss to the Arizona Cardinals, with television cameras capturing palpable sideline tension between the two. Some observers think that Ryan could be fired before season’s end if his young, injury-riddled defense doesn’t at least improve to the level of a mediocre N.F.L. defense.

Still, if ever there were a remedy to cure what ails what’s wrong with the New Orleans Saints, at least temporarily, it might be the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Jameis Winston was dreadful in his debut; his first pass was intercepted and returned for a touchdown, and it didn’t get much better from there, as Tampa Bay fell to the Titans,

Then again, if ever there were a cure to what ails a rookie quarterback coming off a bad first game, it might be a Rob Ryan defense.

Pick: Saints

49ers () at Steelers ()

1 p.m. Line: Steelers by 6 ½

One of the biggest surprises to come out of the first week was that the San Francisco 49ers looked like, well, the 49ers in the course of beating the Vikings, , on Monday night. Many thought this would be the year the now Jim Harbaugh-less team would fall off the cliff, back to irrelevancy.

But Colin Kaepernick looked as dangerous as ever while also appearing in complete command of the offense. The defense looked as frenzied and suffocating as ever under its new defensive coordinator, Eric Mangini. With a victory against the Pittsburgh Steelers, maybe, just maybe, the average football fan will learn the name of the team’s new coach (it’s Jim Tomsula).

PICK: Steelers

Cardinals () at Bears ()

1 p.m. Line: Cardinals by 1 ½

Although the Chicago Bears fell at home, , to their hated rival, the Packers — which of course featured the oh-so-predictable backbreaking fourth-quarter interception of Jay Cutler — running back Matt Forte saw signs of encouragement in the team’s loss.

“The mentality, which I was proud of, is nobody had that stupid look on their face like before when something would happen and everyone would kind of say the game was lost already, when there’s time left,” Forte said after the game. “So, I was glad we didn’t have that.”

The Chicago Bears: No More Stupid Looks on Their Faces. Get excited, Bears fans.

Pick: Cardinals

Titans () at Browns ()

1 p.m. Line: Even

The Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota looked every bit the franchise quarterback Tennessee Titans brass hoped he would be when they drafted him in the spring as he became the first player since to post a perfect passer rating in his first N.F.L. game. On the other hand, his fellow former Heisman winner Johnny Manziel — who looks like he will be starting opposite Mariota for the Browns this week — has yet to show that he’s worthy of the hype as the Browns lost, , to the Jets.

Interestingly enough, Mariota and Manziel were once both committed to play football at the University of Oregon. Manziel eventually changed his mind and attended Texas A&M, but it’s hard not wondering who would have been the starter for the Ducks had Manziel remained.

PICK: Titans

Chargers () at Bengals ()

1 p.m. Line: Bengals by 3

The San Diego Chargers are hoping to start the season for the first time since , but to do that, they will have to win on the road against the Cincinnati Bengals, who looked dominant in their thrashing of the Oakland Raiders. The Chargers will also be without the services of one of the best young offensive linemen in the game, D. J. Fluker, who sustained a high ankle sprain in the team’s opening week win against the Lions.

PICK: Bengals

Rams () at Redskins ()

1 p.m. Line: Rams by 3 ½

Can Kirk Cousins be a quality starting quarterback? That has to be the question on the mind of every long-suffering Washington Redskins fan entering this game against the St. Louis Rams. Cousins wasn’t terrible in the team’s loss to the Miami Dolphins, but he wasn’t exactly great, either, going 21 for 31 passing for yards and a touchdown with two interceptions. It remains to be seen whether he can make plays to win games on a consistent basis.

One thing, however, is certain: it’s hard not to pull for a man who reportedly commutes to practice in his grandmother’s year-old conversion van.

PICK: Redskins

Ravens () at Raiders ()

p.m. Lines: Ravens by 6

It’s apparent that Baltimore Ravens Coach John Harbaugh is not a big fan of cross-country flights. During the off-season, he requested, unsuccessfully, to have the N.F.L. schedule its road games against Oakland and San Francisco on consecutive weeks, so that his team could just stay in the Bay Area during the week between the two games.

But after falling to the Broncos, , in Denver last week, Harbaugh opted not to have his team fly back to Baltimore. Instead, the Ravens flew to Oakland, where they spent the week preparing for Sunday’s game against the Raiders. Asked what went into his decision, Harbaugh said, “We just looked at the options and the problems when you travel west like that two weeks in a row, then travel all the way back and then all the way back out again. We felt like cutting down on travel would be a real plus for us.”

PICK: Ravens

Dolphins () at Jaguars ()

p.m. Line: Dolphins by 6

The Dolphins dodged a bullet when the N.F.L. declined to discipline Ndamukong Suh for appearing to kick off the helmet of Redskins running back Alfred Morris after a tackle. So Suh, who is becoming football’s version of a cartoon villain who just can’t help himself, will suit up against the Jacksonville Jaguars, who lost their opener, , to the Panthers. It will be interesting to see how Jacksonville’s revamped offensive line holds up in this one.

PICK: Dolphins

Jets () at Colts ()

p.m. (Monday) Line: Colts by 6

It is probably safe to say that few would have wagered that the Jets would be entering this game They lost their starting quarterback Geno Smith to a broken jaw, courtesy of a teammate’s fist. That, among other things, had some expecting the same old butt-fumbling Jets in Conversely, with Andrew Luck coming off a career year, the Colts, some predicted, would win the A.F.C. But the script has been turned on its head, with the Jets dominating the Browns and the Bills beating up on Luck and the Colts.

“They beat us pretty bad,” Luck said of last Sunday’s loss to the Bills. “You don’t let one game necessarily define you, but that doesn’t make it any easier of a pill to swallow.”

Making matters worse for the Colts, questions continue to surround their running game, and the star wide receiver T.Y. Hilton may miss the game with a knee injury.

On the Jets’ side, the perpetual castoff quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick looked relatively solid against Cleveland. He seems to have developed good chemistry with wide receiver Brandon Marshall. Also, running back Chris Ivory, who rushed for 91 yards and two touchdowns, looks poised for a breakout year. Expect the Colts to get a steady diet of him Monday night.

PICK: Jets

NFL Week 2 Matchups Breakdown - DraftKings Fantasy Football Picks

There's no harder week to pick than Week 1. Offseason moves and meaningless preseason action aren't the best tools for prognostication, so it's actually pretty damn impressive that our panel of experts cumulatively managed to hit on 11 of 16 games last week. And in fairness, how many folks had Buffalo over Indy, St. Louis over Seattle and Tennessee over Tampa?

So things should get even easier in Week 2, right? Eh, not necessarily.


Get all kinds of NFL stories, rumors, game coverage, and inane comments from the NFL media in your inbox every day.

Things kick off on Thursday with the Chiefs hosting the Broncos, which is a lot harder to predict after KC throttled Houston and Peyton Manning went touchdown-less against the Ravens last Sunday (but still won somehow). You also wouldn't have expected Monday night's Jets-Colts game to be a challenge -- until Indy laid an absolute egg against the Bills, whose defense is very similar to a Gang Green unit that held the Browns to 10 points in their opener.

And how about Dallas vs. Philly? You would expect Tony Romo's high-powered gang to outpace an Eagles offense that looked lost for much of its trip to Atlanta, but how much does that change with Dez Bryant on the sideline?

And we haven't even mentioned Cardinals-Bears, Titans-Browns or Bills-Pats, all of which are even lines in Vegas.

The toughest game to pick this week might be the NFC North matchup in Minnesota. The Vikings were still in preseason form in a Monday night loss to the 49ers -- Adrian Peterson didn't even break 60 yards rushing. It's hard to imagine Mike Zimmer not having his team a little more fired up this week. Detroit blew an point lead at halftime, but it all evaporated when they let the Chargers score 23 points in a comeback win. The OddsShark computer has that one dead even with its score projection, , giving it to the Lions in a tiebreaker.

What I'm saying is that Week 2 ain't exactly a walk in the park if you're picking games. Good luck, fellas.

(Mind you, these are picks to win the game, not against the spread.)

Week 2Ryan Van BibberStephen WhiteJoel ThormanDavid FucilloDanny KellyMatt UffordPFT CommenterOddsShark

Our panel consists of: David Fucillo, SB Nation's fantasy guru; Danny Kelly, SB Nation NFL contributor; PFT Commenter, SB Nation's hot takes expert; Joel Thorman, SB Nation NFL blogs manager; Matt Ufford, editorial producer; Ryan Van Bibber, SB Nation's NFL editor; and Stephen White, retired NFL defensive end and SB Nation NFL contributor.

Our panel's record last week and for the season:

Van BibberWhiteThormanFucilloKellyUffordPFTCOddsShark
Week 1

* * *

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2015 2 nfl picks week

NFL Week 2 picks: Teams out to prove first impressions don't last long

It was very good indeed to be a new head coach in the NFL in Week 1, unless you happened to exit Denver in order to pursue your new opportunity. Five of the league&#x;s seven new coaches won their debuts: the Jets&#x; Todd Bowles, the Broncos&#x; Gary Kubiak, the Bills&#x; Rex Ryan, the Falcons&#x; Dan Quinn and the 49ers&#x; Jim Tomsula. The only two new coaches to rack up a Week 1 defeat were the Bears&#x; John Fox and the Raiders&#x; Jack Del Rio, who were a very successful act together the past three seasons with the Broncos.

The NFL&#x;s new starting quarterback set was not quite so impressive. Of the nine teams that went with new options at the game&#x;s most pivotal position, just four were victorious in Week 1: Tennessee with rookie sensation Marcus Mariota, Buffalo with Tyrod Taylor, the Jets with Ryan Fitzpatrick and St. Louis with Nick Foles. On the losing side of the ledger were quarterbacks Brian Hoyer of Houston (since replaced in the lineup by Ryan Mallett), Cleveland&#x;s Josh McCown, Philadelphia&#x;s Sam Bradford, Washington&#x;s Kirk Cousins and of course, Tampa Bay rookie and No. 1 overall pick Jameis Winston. And if you had Hoyer being on the shortest leash of any starting quarterback, you win a prize.

But first impressions often don&#x;t last in the NFL, and there&#x;s plenty more to learn in Week 2 about the teams with the fresh faces at head coach and quarterback. How will another 16 games worth of results change the dynamic by late Monday night? We&#x;re about to find out.

&#x; Last week: 11&#x;5; Season: 11&#x;5 ().

&#x; Best pick in Week 1: Green Bay 31, Chicago 22 (actual score: Packers 31&#x;23).

&#x; Worst pick in Week 1: Minnesota 34, San Francisco 17 (actual score: 49ers 20&#x;3).

Below are my Week 2 picks. And here&#x;s my pick for Thursday night&#x;s game between Denver and Kansas City.

&#x; [Better than average at fantasy football? Top half of this FREE 1-week league wins cash on Sunday! Sponsored by FanDuel]

You think Brian Hoyer got the quick hook from Texans coach Bill No short leash O&#x;Brien? I covered the Bucs, who were coached by Sam Wyche, and he benched starting QB Steve DeBerg at halftime of the opener at home against Joe Montana&#x;s Chiefs. Tampa Bay trailed 17&#x;3 at the break, and the year-old DeBerg, Montana&#x;s onetime 49ers teammate and quarterback mentor, had thrown for just 79 yards, with a pick, a sack and a fumble. In came Craig Erickson for the third quarter, but the Bucs still lost, 27&#x;3. DeBerg was cut by midseason and the Bucs went 5&#x; So perhaps Hoyer should feel fortunate he still has a job, even though he had to quickly give way to Ryan Mallett last week. The Texans offense will play better under Mallett, but it won&#x;t be enough to get the job done against a stout Carolina defense. The Panthers are about to start 2&#x;0 for the second year in row, and this time they won&#x;t follow that with a stretch like they did in

Peyton Manning, Broncos stun Chiefs in dramatic fashion at Arrowhead

I took my medicine and offered a mea culpa to 49ers fans via Twitter, after pronouncing that their favorite team would start the year 0&#x;8 in my 20 bold predictions column this preseason. Missed that one by a mile. And even if San Francisco swoons starting now and stands 1&#x;7 at midseason, I&#x;m not going to claim partial credit. But for now, the 49ers are 1&#x;0 and coming off a game in which they totally out-played the Vikings, setting an aggressive tone and getting stronger as the game wore on. Carlos Hyde, you have our attention. But I expect reproducing that entire effort in Heinz Field will be considerably harder. Pittsburgh&#x;s defense needs to bounce back in a big way after the loss at New England, but nothing wrong with that Steelers offense, even without Le&#x;Veon Bell, Martavis Bryant and Maurkice Pouncey. Pittsburgh was the only team in Week 1 to boast a yard rusher (DeAngelo Williams), yard receiver (Antonio Brown) and a yard passer (Ben Roethlisberger).

The loser is going to own sole possession of last place in the NFC South after this one, and a sold-out Superdome for the Saints home opener is not the ideal venue for Jameis Winston to try and erase the stench of his Week 1 performance. New Orleans showed plenty of vulnerability on defense last week in losing at Arizona last week, but the Bucs aren&#x;t close to being able to capitalize on those weaknesses. The Saints should roll, and sew the seed of doubt a little deeper as to whether Lovie Smith is the coach who&#x;s capable of stopping the bleeding in Tampa Bay. Smith is staring at 2&#x;16 in his Bucs tenure if his guys can&#x;t pull the upset.

Remember when teams didn&#x;t want to visit in Soldier Field? Now Chicago is one of the most popular road trips you can take in the NFL, with the Bears going 5&#x;10 in their past 15 home games, dating to early in the season. The Cardinals reflect their straight-talking head coach, Bruce Arians, and he&#x;s not intimidated by many things in the NFL, least of all a Chicago club that hasn&#x;t won at home since beating Tampa Bay in Week 12 of last year. The Bears blew it when they opted to not hire Arians in , opting for Marc Trestman. Chicago would have hailed him as the next Mike Ditka, and Arians probably would have a steakhouse or two with his name on it by now.

&#x; KLEMKO: How Detroit's Tim Wright manages a multitude of playbooks

I believe in the Bills and don&#x;t see them turning into a mirage later this season. But I also believe in the edge that Bill Belichick seems to give his team when it has extra time to study an opponent, which came courtesy of playing the Thursday night opener. The NFL said this week that tight ends combined for 22 receiving touchdowns in Week 1, the most in any week in the last 15 seasons. New England&#x;s  Rob Gronkowski didn&#x;t score all of those. It just seemed that way against Pittsburgh.

The Chargers can&#x;t be spotting the Bengals an point lead like they did the Lions, because Cincinnati still plays defense and there won&#x;t be another comeback win in the offing for San Diego. The Bengals looked great against the Raiders, but I&#x;m having a difficult time gauging how much that&#x;s really worth. This should be one of the most entertaining games of the week, but Cincinnati is pretty adept at protecting its home turf.

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That point victory at Tampa Bay last week made Marcus Mariota the first rookie quarterback to win by that big of a margin in an opener since the Bears&#x; Johnny Lujack won his opener by 38 points in Like Mariota, Lujack was a Heisman winner, but the NFL scouts probably picked him apart that year before the draft because they weren&#x;t share his brand of quiet leadership would work. Or something like that. Mariota will have a poor game at some point this season, but not here, against a mistake-prone Browns team that already has had instability at quarterback.

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The jittery Vikings clearly weren&#x;t ready for their close-up Monday night in San Francisco, and there wasn&#x;t a single element of their game by which I came away impressed. Teddy Bridgewater needs to relocate his comfort zone, and fast. And Adrian Peterson needs to be worked into the flow of the game from the outset, instead of selectively used here and there. This is a Lions team that just discovered there might be a problem on defense after all this season, so Minnesota needs to pounce early, build a lead and keep the doubts growing in Detroit.

Desperation is often the greatest motivator in the NFL, and Eli Manning and the Giants should have the sense of urgency on their side after giving that game away in the final minutes in Dallas on Sunday night. Atlanta started fast and then hung on at home against the Eagles, but we saw how the Falcons secondary can be susceptible to giving up yardage in chunks. It&#x;s time for the Giants passing game to kick it into high gear, and keep their wits about them when the game gets late and tight. If New York is going to be heard from at all in the NFC East, this is a win Tom Coughlin&#x;s club has to have.

No pressure Rams, but with a win in Washington you can move to 2&#x;0 for the first time since , and rise to two games above for the first time in coach Jeff Fisher&#x;s tenure. St. Louis often hasn&#x;t been able to follow a big win with a consistent performance, so this is significant early test whether or not the Same Old Rams still exist. But with the strength of St. Louis&#x;s defensive front, it should be a very long day for Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins, who has been known to get sloppy with the football when he&#x;s under pressure.

&#x;  AUDIBLES PODCAST: Overreactions from Week 1's most surprising results

Not smart, Blake Bortles. You can&#x;t win when you talk down to the fans, whether you have a valid point or not. The Jaguars quarterback basically scoffed at fans who criticize the team&#x;s play-calling, comparing it to a conversation between a kindergartner and a college student. But when you&#x;re the quarterback for a franchise that doesn&#x;t even seem capable of taking baby steps of improvement in recent years, you really don&#x;t have too much right to lecture. The Dolphins stay on the road, but stay unbeaten, giving their in-state AFC rivals a lesson in humility. Jacksonville the next two weeks travels to New England and Indianapolis, so not getting the job done at home against the likes of Carolina and Miami won&#x;t bode well for Year 3 of the Gus Bradley era.

NFL Power Rankings Week 2: Patriots stay on top; Colts, Ravens tumble

The Harbaugh-ians of Baltimore are getting their two road games against the AFC West out of the way right off the bat, and if they can&#x;t take this one, they&#x;ll be 0&#x;2 for the first time in a decade. Not going to happen. The Ravens were pretty dreadful on offense last week at Denver, joining the Vikings and Broncos as the only teams to go without an offensive touchdown on kickoff weekend. But they won&#x;t struggle to move the ball and score anywhere near as much against the Raiders, who laid one of the biggest eggs of Week 1. Look for Baltimore to establish some nice offensive balance and give quarterback Joe Flacco the downfield shots he&#x;s begging for in the passing game. Even if quarterback Derek Carr plays with his bruised throwing hand, Oakland won&#x;t have enough success against a Ravens defensive front missing Terrell Suggs.

No Dez Bryant for a while, and DeMarco Murray now plays for the Eagles&#x;no one in Dallas envisioned this situation the last time the Cowboys visited Philadelphia, for that big 38&#x;27 win in Week 15 which basically won the NFC East for Jerry&#x;s team. But that&#x;s the reality of things in , and that means advantage, Eagles. Philly couldn&#x;t quite close the deal on that almost-comeback-win in Atlanta on Monday night, but Chip Kelly&#x;s team showed how quickly it can rally once Sam Bradford starts getting in a groove. Dallas will put up a decent fight, but the Eagles know winning this game will start charting their path to a division title.

Start 'Em, Sit 'Em: How to set your fantasy lineups for Week 2

How&#x;s the bitter Super Bowl loss going to affect this season in Seattle, everyone asked all offseason? I think when the mother of the team&#x;s star running back feels open enough to trash the offensive coordinator&#x;s play-calling and call for his firing, you start to get the sense that the rubicon has been crossed and nothing will be off limits in Like a politician trying to camouflage their biggest weakness, the Seahawks brain trust didn&#x;t need to be giving anyone reason to question their decision-making about now, but that&#x;s exactly what happened in St. Louis last week, with the flubbed overtime kickoff and that failed fourth-and-1 call. And the vibe isn&#x;t going to get any better for Seattle this week, once Aaron Rodgers and Green Bay exacts a little revenge for last January&#x;s NFC title game. The Seahawks aren&#x;t in serious trouble at 0&#x;2, but it&#x;s only going to ratchet up the noise surrounding the two-time defending NFC champions.

Monday night

The Jets defense is going to keep this one interesting, and we know we&#x;re going to see plenty of Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell, because everyone runs and runs successfully against the Colts. But Andrew Luck doesn&#x;t usually have two bad games in a row, and Indianapolis will scratch out a victory in its home opener, quieting the anxiety level in the heartland.


Editor's Note: Compete against Bleeding Green Nation writers in our week 2 fantasy football league on FanDuel. First place wins $ and the top 20 win cash. Join now!

The Bleeding Green Nation Writer's picks are in for NFL Week 2 of the regular season! Each week we'll predict the winners of each and every NFL game. We'll tally the results along the way and see who comes out on top at the end of the season. Feel free to post your own predictions or discuss the writer predictions in the comments.

After Week 1, I'm in the lead. Allow me to pat myself on the back for being the only writer to take the Bills over the Colts. Mark Saltveit, who is in second, also deserves mention for being the only writer to take the Rams over the Seahawks. Now let's get to the picks.

Editor's Note: Compete against Bleeding Green Nation writers in our Week 2 fantasy football league on FanDuel. First place wins $ and the top 20 win cash. Join now!

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NFL Week 2 picks: Bengals shock Steelers, Rams stun Seahawks

After going with my picks in Week 1, I decided to jump on the crazy train and pick the Rams to win this week.

NFL Week 2

Now, I decided to point that out in the first sentence here so that doesn't get inundated with emails telling us that there's a giant mistake in our headline because no one would ever pick the Rams to beat the Seahawks, especially after what happened Monday night.

If you live on the East Coast and went to bed before the Ramsers game ended, here's everything you missed from the Rams offense. It literally fits into one tweet.

The most exciting play in the entire game didn't actually involve anyone playing in the game: It involved a random fan who decided to run on the field. Generally, I'm against when fans run on the field, but when your only two choices are watching the Rams offense or running on the field, I can't blame you for taking option two.

By the way, if Westwood One radio announcer Kevin Harlan doesn't win some sort of award for the dramatic call in that clip, then we as a society truly need to re-evaluate what winning an award really means because no one deserves one. I don't care if we give him an Oscar, or an Emmy, or a Grammy, just give him something. It doesn't even have to real, we can make the award up now.

On the other hand, the NFL probably isn't going to be giving any awards to the two officials below from the Browns-Eagles game. You would think the easiest part of being an NFL ref was signaling whether or not a field goal went through the uprights. Apparently, that's not the case though.

As it turns out, the easiest part about being an NFL official is getting to work any game that Cam Newton plays in, because then you don't ever have to worry about throwing a flag.

I'll be honest -- I promised myself I would work the word "twerks" into the picks this week, so now that I nailed that, we can move on. I wanted to get it out of the way early, and thanks Antonio Brown.

Anyway, let's get to the Week 2 picks.

Actually, before we get to my picks, here's a quick reminder that you can check out the weekly picks from every NFL expert by clicking here. The reason you should click over this week is because apparently, Fantasy football guru Jamey Eisenberg knows just as much about actual football as he does about Fantasy football. Jamey went with his picks in Week 1.

OK, hopefully I sucked up enough there and Jamey will actually come through with that Jesse Eisenberg autograph I've been asking for since (they're cousins).

Alright, let's get to the picks.

Week 2 Picks

New York Jets at Buffalo, p.m. ET (Thursday, CBS/NFL Network/Twitter): During the offseason, the NFL invented something called the Tri-Cast, which is the league's fancy way of saying "Millennials don't use their TVs anymore, so we're going to put this game on Twitter so that someone under the age of 30 actually watches." Basically this means that the Jets-Bills game will be televised on CBS, NFL Network AND live-streamed on Twitter. The bad news here is that the game won't be shown on MySpace, which means the Chargers and that Tom guy wont't be able to watch, which makes me sad just to think about.

On the other hand, maybe the Chargers and Tom are the lucky ones because Thursday marks the first "Color Rush" game of the year. If you somehow managed to miss it the last time the Bills and Jets played in a "Color Rush" game, I'm not going to rehash it here, but let's just say that it was a bigger disaster than Taylor Swift's last three relationships.

Due to the "Color Rush" jerseys, color blind people had no idea what was happening on the field, which was almost ironic because sometimes I feel like neither the Jets nor the Bills have any idea what they're doing on the field.

Anyway, I should probably get to my pick now. Rex Ryan went against the Jets last season and still seems kind of bitter about the way his time in New York ended, so basically, my plan is to pick any Ryan-coached team over the Jets in any picks column for the rest of time.

The pick: Bills over Jets.

Cincinnati at Pittsburgh, 1 p.m. (CBS): I'm not saying that this should be the "Harambe Memorial Game," but I think Steelers linebacker Vince Williams is trying to say that because why else would you send out the tweet below.

Yes, that is a real tweet. Also, that real tweet is how you know this is the craziest rivalry in the NFL. I mean, when you're taunting the other team with tweets about deceased gorillas, that clearly means your rivalry has gone completely bonkers.

You could put an actual Bengal tiger on the field this Sunday and it wouldn't make the series any more crazy than it already is.

If you didn't keep track of this series last year, here's a friendly reminder that everyone who plays in these games seems to either get fined or hurt. Ben Roethlisberger, Andy Dalton, Le'Veon Bell and Antonio Brown were all injured in a Bengals-Steelers game last year. Not to mention, half of both rosters pretty much ended playing in each Bengals-Steelers game for free because of the roughly $, in fines that were handed out over the course of the final two games these two teams played last season.

Also, let's not forget about the three-game suspension Vontaze Burfict was given for laying a headshot on Brown during the playoffs.

This might be the first revenge game ever where both teams want revenge, which makes picking this game kind of difficult. You know what though, Cincy has an impressive one-game winning streak going on in Pittsburgh, so I'm just going to assume it keeps going.

The pick:Bengals over Steelers.

Miami at New England, 1 p.m. ET (CBS): I learned a very important thing about the Patriots in Week 1, and that thing is that I'm pretty sure they could start a sock puppet at quarterback and Bill Belichick could still coach them to a win.

The Patriots had no Gronk, no Brady, no Solder, no Vollmer and no Dion Lewis. To be honest, the odds were so stacked against the Patriots that I almost felt like I was watching the movie . Somehow, despite the odds, the Patriots still managed to win and spite me for what I wrote last week.

If you found this story by accident, here's what I wrote last week:

"Every time I underestimate the Patriots and pick them to lose in prime time, Bill Belichick rubs it in my face. I don't have the actual numbers in front of me, but I'm pretty sure that anytime I've ever picked the Patriots to lose a prime-time game over the past three years, they've ended up winning."

Well, I picked the Patriots to lose, and they won.

I've learned my lesson.

If Jimmy Garoppolo gets suspended and the Patriots have to start Jacoby Brissett, I'm still going to go with the Patriots. As a matter of fact, the only way I won't pick the Patriots is if Fake Tom Brady starts, because that guy's creepy.

The pick: Patriots over Dolphins

Seattle at Los Angeles, p.m. ET (Fox): I'll admit it guys, the fact that I sat through the entire Ramsers game Monday night and am still picking the Rams to beat Seattle this week doesn't really make any sense. It's like the time I walked out of The Smurfs movie in convinced that Katy Perry was going to win an Oscar for voicing Smurfette. Do they even give out an Oscar for doing voice-overs? I have no idea, just like I have no idea how Jeff Fisher still has a job.

All I know is that as long as Fisher is the head coach in L.A., which might be forever, the Rams are good for two things: They'll finish and they'll somehow manage to upset the Seahawks at least once a season. Since , the Rams are against the Seahawks and against everyone else.

I'm 99 percent sure Fisher only game plans for Seahawks games and then lets elementary school kids game plan for the rest of the season. That would definitely help explain their loss to San Francisco on Monday.

Anyway, a healthy Russell Wilson has trouble beating the Rams, so I'm just not sure how a gimpy Russell Wilson is going to be any better.

The pick: Rams over Seahawks

Green Bay at Minnesota, p.m. ET (NBC): You probably won't believe this, but once in awhile, I actually like to do research before making my picks, so that's what I did before picking the winner here. You see, my first instinct in this game was to pick the Vikings because they're opening a new stadium and no one loses when they're opening a new stadium, right?


Since , NFL teams have gone in their first game played at a new stadium. If my college calculus professor were here, he would probably tell me that that's a small sample size and I should just ignore it. However, I never really paid attention in calculus because not knowing math is pretty much a prerequisite for becoming a writer.

Anyway, here's one number I do know: Aaron Rodgers is in his past six games played in Minnesota. You know what, forget the numbers, I'll be honest, I just don't want to pick Shaun Hill or Sam Bradford to beat a team quarterbacked by Rodgers.

The pick:Packers over Vikings.

Week 1 picks: All the rest

Lions over Titans

Ravens over Browns

Cowboys over Redskins

Saints over Giants

Panthers over 49ers

Chiefs over Texans

Cardinals over Buccaneers

Chargers over Jaguars

Raiders over Falcons

Broncos over Colts

Bears over Eagles

Last Week

Best pick: Last week I picked the Packers to beat the Jaguars by four and then the Packers went out and beat the Jaguars by four. I'm pretty sure the only reason I got the pick right is because it's fate's way of saying that I should include a picture from the Jaguars pool every week. I mean, who doesn't want to see a picture from the Jaguars pool every week?

Without further adieu, let me present our newest feature: The weekly pic from the Jaguars pool!

The guy in the middle isn't even smiling. How could you be in that pool and not be smiling.

Some day, I'll have season tickets there.

On a somewhat related note, there's a good chance that the "Weekly pic from the Jaguars pool" doesn't actually become a weekly thing. However, "Let's all admire the floating Tiki Hut outside of EverBank Field" might become a thing in its place.

They have a pool and a floating bar in Jacksonville. The NFL really should just move every team there.

Worst pick: Even though the Browns have lost every regular-season opener since , I still decided to pick them to win in Week 1. Did I know that RG3's shoulder was going to fall off? Of course not, but since this is the Browns we're talking about, I probably should've assumed it was going to happen.

To be honest, the Browns losing to a QB they didn't want to draft because he wasn't good enough for the Browns was the most Browns thing ever.

If I have the Browns' luck this week, I'll go with my picks and get diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome 10 minutes after I turn them in to my editors.

Picks Record

Straight up in Week 1:

SU Overall:

Against the spread in Week 1:

ATS Overall:

You can find John Breech on Facebook or Twitter and if he's not doing one of those things, he's probably helping the Chargers with their MySpace page.


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