Would love to talk football with you! After the games in week one, we are now in full swing of the NFL season for week 2. I have compiled my list of predictions for this week’s games. I am excited to see how each of them turns out and hopefully my Cowboys can bounce back with their first win of the 2016 campaign. Here’s a look at each matchup and my predictions.
Jets vs. Bills
This game has already been played for the week and the New York Jets were able to come out on top to grab their first win of the season. The Jets looked impressive on Thursday and finally seem to be getting closer to their winning form they had at the end of last season. It is now officially time to worry for Rex Ryan and the Bills, with their second straight loss their season is not looking like it is going in a good direction. Luckily for them, there is plenty of time to turn things around.
Game of the Week: Steelers vs. Bengals
This week’s game of the week. A matchup that is quickly becoming one of the fiercest rivalries in football. The Bengals come to Pittsburgh to avenge their loss in last season’s wild card game. A game full of controversy and drama, the Bengals looked sure winners, but bone-headed penalties and turnovers were the Bengals doom. This week features a very injured but talented Steelers team against a young and promising Bengals team. A much anticipated matchup of two of the game’s best receivers in Brown and Green this is a MUST watch game. The Bengals were unimpressive in their win against the Jets last week which is why I lack confidence in them for this matchup. While this game was a nail bitter the past two years, I see the Steelers gaining control from the beginning and taking the victory in their home season opener. Their offense is too strong, and their defense is better than they look on paper.
Panthers vs. 49ers
An intriguing matchup, the 49ers beat up the Rams in week one posting the first shutout of the season and completely ruining Los Angeles’s start to their new season. The Panthers looked good in week one, but could not overcome the team that dominated them in last year’s super bowl. I predict that the Panthers win this match up and dominate behind a great bounce back performance from Newton, and a big game from Kelvin Benjamin.
Ravens vs. Browns
This is probably the easiest pick to make of the week (watch the Browns surprise me). The Browns looked TERRIBLE in week one, losing to a Rookie quarterback and a very average-joe Eagles offense. Wentz torched the Browns in his first game as starter and outplayed RGIII. The Browns lost RGIII for up to 8 weeks and it only looks worse from there. Sorry for the Browns bashing, but I would be very surprised if they win one game this season. Lucky for them, they will be able to build through the draft for the second year in a row. Ravens were unimpressive in week one, but always play well in their division.
Prediction: Browns will have No. 1 pick at the end of this season.
Titans vs. Lions
Another close matchup that could go either way. The Lions beat a resurgent Colts team in week one in a game that was one of the Week one thrillers. The Titans looked incredibly sloppy against a Vikings team without a pure starting quarterback. They turned the ball over too many times, but the run game still managed to produce. In this matchup, I think I’m leaning towards the Lions to win this week in another tight game for them. Look for the Stafford to Tate connection to produce good numbers this week.
Chiefs vs. Texans
A battle between emerging teams looking to become strong playoff contenders. This is a great match-up between two very strong defenses, and two inconsistent offenses. The Chiefs were able to SOMEHOW win their game last week against a very average but yet surprising Chargers team. They looked very complacent and sluggish for most of the game until that inspiring game winning touchdown by Smith in OT. The Texans are a free-agent filled Juggernaut that rebuilt their entire offense this past offseason. They looked the stronger of these two teams in week one so I am looking for them to bring home the win this week in another close fought game. I had a hard time with this pick, since for some reason I believe the Chiefs might actually come alive and blow them out.
Other possible situation: Chiefs win by 3 touchdowns.
Dolphins vs. Patriots
This game looks to be a confusing one to pick a clear winner from. Both teams have promising talent. The Patriots shocked the world by beating a very strong Cardinals team that looked to be a Super Bowl contender in week one, and they did it without Brady. That either speaks to how good this Patriots team is again this year, or how far the Cardinals are from being true contenders. After all it was week one, so I’ll excuse the mishaps for the Cards. And speaking of mishaps, the Dolphins, who have a defense for the ages built around an all-star defensive line, blew many chances in route to a week one loss to the Seahawks. I might be surprising people here, and you might think I’m crazy, but I am going with the Dolphins this week and I see them bouncing back strong and defeating the Patriots in a close game. I saw a lot of promising things from this Dolphins offense, and you can never count out Foster as an RB if he is able to stay healthy. I do not believe that the Patriots have the firepower to beat that Dolphin defense, plus I think that Tannehill and Co. are due to have a break out week.
Saints vs. Giants
Two strong offenses go head to head this week in New York as the Saints come to town. The Giants looked much improved last week against the Cowboys in a game where they were able to squeak out a victory. That 200 million dollar defensive addition seemed to pay dividends for the Giants in the matchup with the Cowboys. A healthy Victor Cruz provides a very dangerous compliment to one of the game’s best WR’s in Beckham Jr. Manning did not look great in the week one matchup, but did enough to bring home the win. The Saints on the other hand lost a close one at home last week against the emerging Raiders. Although the 98 yard run by Cooks was inspiring, they looked like the same old Saints. Powerful offense, very poor defensively. I find it hard to believe that this week will be a close game with the Giants looking to pass all over that Saints secondary. If you are a fantasy owner, Manning, Cruz, and Beckham Jr.(obviously) are all MUST starts for this week.
Cowboys vs. Redskins
Rivals collide in Washington this week as the Cowboys and Redskins both look to grab their first win of the season in their week two matchup. Both teams did not impress in week one. The Redskins were supposed to be the team to beat in the NFC East this season with Cousins coming off of a career year in 2015-16 and with Jordan Reed becoming his favorite target, but they faltered against a good Steelers team in Week one. Cousins looked extremely uncomfortable and not on the same page with his receivers. Look for them to come out strong this week against an suspension and injury ridden Cowboys team. The Cowboys, led by emerging Rookie quarterback Dak Prescott almost got the win in week one against a strong New York Giants team, look also to bounce back and grab a win. The much anticipated debut of Ezekiel Elliot was not what fans were looking for, but with his first touchdown under his belt he looks to make a bigger impact this week. The depleted defensive line of the Cowboys has to find a way to get to the quarterback more this week, and the offense needs to get the ball to their playmaker Dez Bryant this week if they want any chance in this one. Look for the Redskins to double Bryant much of the game and make them find other options. This game could go either way, but I think the Cowboys (are you even surprised) will bounce back and open up the playbook to allow Dak to create plays for them on offense and take down the Skin’s this week.
Buccaneers vs. Cardinals
A battle between the Contenders and the Builders. The Cardinals are a team that many consider to be strong enough to win it all, but a week one set-back has people questioning how good this team really is. A strong offense and great defense are ingredients to a winning recipe. The question is…how good is that offense? And can they still depend on their defense? Carson Palmer looks to get things rolling again after losing to a Brady-less Patriots team in a game was sure to be a win for the Cards. Unfortunately things did not go their way. The Buc’s, who I have labeled as the Builders are consistently getting stronger and stronger by the year. Winston looks to play the part of a strong Franchise changing quarterback, and with Doug Martin running the ball like he is, this team is building something special. The Buc’s looked great in week one and will truly test this Cardinal team. I want the Buc’s in this matchup, but I have faith in Palmer and that Cardinal defense to bounce back.
Seahawks vs. Rams
The NFL is back in Los Angeles officially. The Rams have their home opener this week against a strong Seahawks team looking to be the team to beat in the NFC. Last week, the Seahawks squeaked by an talented Dolphins team to get a win, and this week looks to be an easy matchup for them on the road. Shut-outs are rare in the NFL, but last week the Rams were handed an embarrassing loss by the 49ers in their come-back to LA season losing 28-0. The 49ers are not considered to be a playoff team this season and made easy work with the Rams. Expect the Seahawks to get an easy victory again this week. Gurley will have a better showing this week for the Rams and they will play better at home, but the score line will be close to last week’s result.
Colts vs. Broncos
The highest paid player in the league at quarterback who wants to bring success to his franchise vs one of the strongest defenses of all time. This week’s game in Denver looks to be closer than expected, but still another victory for Denver. That defense can shut down the best of them, but the offense continues to struggle without a true strong arm qb, so Denver will win another close game because of their lack of scoring prowess. Indy will put up a fight because of Andrew Luck and his competitiveness, but it’s no small task to take on Denver’s D. Expect the Broncos to come out on top in a boring to watch matchup. Pick: Broncos
Falcons vs. Raiders
The Raiders take on another NFC south opponent in the Falcons this week in Oakland. The Raiders have a great young team that seems to only get better as each season goes on. Last week they seemed down and out, and yet pulled together for a gutsy 2 point conversion call to win the game in New Orleans. The Falcons, behind Julio Jones and Matt Ryan look to bring a stronger attack to Oakland. Look for Jones to break out in this game for Atlanta in a close matchup between the two. The Raiders struggled against a weaker Saints team last week and this week will be a much tougher test. The Falcons will take an early lead and depend on their quarterback and receiver duo to finish the game for them.
Jaguars vs. Chargers
Battle of the bottom level teams. The Chargers came into this season with people not expecting much out of the San Diego team, and they almost surprised some people in their close loss in week one to the Chiefs. If it were not for a fourth quarter collapse they would be 1-0. But since they did collapse, they are now off to a slow and depressing start. Melvin Gordon, the second year running back for the Chargers looks to be the breakout candidate for this game. Chargers defense looked great against a good Chiefs offense last week (excluding the fourth quarter) and they look to build upon that and put together four solid quarters. The Jaguars are well…the Jaguars, they looked descent against a good Packers team last week. Blake Bortles is an emerging quarterback with good weapons to throw to so I am going with the Jaguars to take this tight match up.
Packers vs. Vikings
Another Rivalry game this week with the Packers going against the Vikings in Minnesota. The Packers are coming off a less than impressive victory over the Jaguars from week 1 and look to improve their record to 2-0 for the 2016 season. The big question this week is whether or not Sam Bradford will be starting this week for Minnesota. Bradford gives them a different dimension on offense and gives them the best chance for wins this season. If he is the starter, then the Vikings are going to win this game, if not, it will be a close one. I give the nod this week to the Vikings because of their defense and Run game. You can never count out Aaron Rodgers though as he will lead the Packer offense with Jordy Nelson back and a more slimmed down Eddie Lacy to Run the Ball. This matchup is one of the more difficult one’s to predict so it will be interesting to see how it pans out. Would love to see Minnesota come away with a win this week in their new stadium.
Eagles vs. Bears
The Monday Night Football matchup this week is in Chicago where the Bears will take on the Eagles. The Eagles shocked the world before week one as they traded away their quarterback to the Vikings and went with Wentz as their starter. This was a good move considering they traded up in the draft to get Wentz, it is wise to show their rookie they have full faith in his abilities as their signal caller. They played a horrible Browns team in Week one and won easily behind their young rookie qb. With a win in the books this week they take on Chicago who had a tough time with a solid Texans team the week prior. Look for the Bears to bounce back behind young workhorse Langford and take this one against the Eagles. This will be the first true test for young passer Wentz against a good opponent. The bears would really like to get a win back this week to avoid going 0-2.