NFL Week 2 picks, odds, TV: Saints get revenge on Rams (and refs), Broncos and Bears play thriller in Denver
Wondering which NFL teams are going to win in Week 2? You've come to the right place to find out
I don't usually rush to judgement about any teams after watching them play only one game, but guys, I'll be honest, I don't think the Miami Dolphins are going to make the playoffs this year.
Not only did they get trounced in Week 1, but their season has already gone off the rails, which doesn't even seem possible considering the season is only one week old. Now, they are exploring.
As a matter of fact, just when I thought the Antonio Brown situation would be the craziest thing we would see all season, along come the Dolphins, who are apparently close to pulling a mutiny on new coach Brian Flores.
So what does that even mean?
Well, let me just say that I've seen enough "Pirates of the Caribbean" movies to know exactly how a mutiny works and quite frankly, I don't see how this is going to end well for Flores. He's either going to lose his job and end up marooned on a desert island or he's going to keep his job but his players will be unhappy, which is arguably worse than being stuck on a desert island.
I think what I'm trying to say here is that I probably won't be picking the Dolphins to win this week, but you probably already knew that. Anyway, there are still 15 other games to pick this week, so let's get to the picks.
Actually, before we get to the picks, here's a quick reminder that you can check out the weekly picks from every CBSSports.com NFL expert by clicking here. If you click over, the first thing you'll notice is that you didn't even need to click over, because I had the best straight-up picks of Week 1, and yes, I will definitely be rubbing that fact in Will Brinson's face for the next 48 hours.
Speaking of Brinson, he's the host of the Pick Six Podcast, and just in case I didn't make it clear last week, I'll be joining him at least three days per week on the podcast -- Monday, Tuesday and Friday -- for the rest of the NFL season (Click here to check it out, and listen to Tuesday's edition below).
We'll also be joined by Ryan Wilson and Sean Wagner-McGough. If you've never listened, we spend most of the podcast either talking about football or making fun of each other or both, and apparently, our chemistry is so good together that people now think we should be the "Monday Night Football" announcers.
Although that job sounds like fun, I have a lot on my plate right now. I write my picks column on Monday nights and I am NOT willing to give that up.
Alright, that's enough self-promotion, let's get to the Week 2 picks.
Pete Prisco and R.J. White joined Will Brinson on the Friday edition of the Pick Six Podcast to break down the gambling angles on all the games and give their best bets. Give it a listen below and be sure to subscribe:
Minnesota (1-0) at Green Bay (1-0)
1 p.m. ET (Fox)
Point spread: Packers, -2.5
The Minnesota Vikings are paying Kirk Cousins $27.5 million in base salary this year, but I'm not quite sure what they're actually paying him to do, because they're definitely not paying him to throw the ball. I mean, if they're paying him for his dance skills, that makes sense, because those are amazing...
... but if they're paying him to play quarterback, that's not good. In the Vikings win over the Falcons on Sunday, Cousins threw the ball 10 times. TEN TIMES.
Nothing says, "I don't trust my quarterback, I wish we could get out of his fully guaranteed contract" quite like only letting him throw the ball 10 times. Throwing the ball just 10 times means that Cousins is now entering Tim Tebow territory, which isn't even really fair to Tebow, because he won a playoff game in his NFL career and Cousins still hasn't.
The thing is, if Vikings coach Mike Zimmer was making the offensive decisions, I'm not even sure the Vikings would have a quarterback. If Zimmer were running the NFL, I'm pretty sure the forward pass would be abolished. If Zimmer had a time machine, he would go back to 1932 and coach football in that era for the rest of time.
The problem for the Zimmer is that he's actually going to have to let Cousins throw the ball if the Vikings fall behind in a game, and that's exactly what I expect to happen in Green Bay. The Packers have an improved defense, they'll be coming off of 10 days of rest and they're unbeatable at home in September -- and when I say "unbeatable at home in September," I mean they're 12-0-1 in their past 13 games.
The prediction here is that Cousins is going to throw more than 10 passes, but the Vikings are still going to lose.
The pick: Packers 23-20 over Vikings
New Orleans (1-0) at L.A. Rams (1-0)
4:25 p.m. ET (Fox)
Point spread: Rams, -3
If you're wondering whether or not Saints fans are still bitter about last season's pass interference no-call in the NFC title game, the answer is yes. Saints fans are the best kind of petty and they proved it in Week 1 when they all dressed up as refs for New Orleans' season opener on Monday night.
That's the kind of pettiness you usually only see when you're watching "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills," not that I watch that show. OK, maybe, I might, but it's usually because I'm channel-surfing and can't find anything else to watch.
You'd think that after watching the Saints get screwed over last season, the NFL would feel bad about what happened, but apparently not, because the league screwed them over a again with this game: The Saints have to fly halfway across the country to face the Rams and they're going to have one less day of practice this week because they played on Monday night.
If I were Sean Payton, this would make me mad, but not as quite mad as last January when the refs missed that pass interference call in the NFC title game. The good news for Payton is if there are any missed pass interference calls in this game, he'll be allowed to challenge them. Although to be fair, the Saints should probably get infinite challenges in this game just to make up for last year's debacle.
If you believe in revenge games, then the obvious pick here is the Saints, and I've seen "Jaws: The Revenge" enough to know that I believe in revenge games. The Saints have a lot of offensive weapons, which is bad news for a Rams team that couldn't even stop just one weapon in Carolina during Week 1 (Christian McCaffrey totaled 209 yards and two touchdowns). This game's going to be a shootout, and as long as the Saints don't get hosed by the refs again, I think they're going to Escape from L.A. with a win.
The Saints are Kurt Russell in that photo.
The pick: Saints 33-30 over Rams
Chicago (0-1) at Denver (0-1)
4:25 p.m. ET (Fox)
Point spread: Pick'em
The Bears had the best defense in football last season, which is good news for the Broncos, because Chicago's old defensive coordinator (Vic Fangio) is now Denver's head coach. The only reason I'm pointing that out is because if any coach in the NFL knows how to exploit the weaknesses of Mitchell Trubisky -- and there are a lot of them to exploit -- it's definitely Fangio.
Think about it: Fangio got to watch his defense go up against Trubisky every day in practice last year. Sure, there's a chance that Trubisky could be slightly better than what Fangio saw last season ... Actually, who am I kidding, we all saw how Trubrisky played in the opener last week, he's not better. As a matter of fact, I'd say the biggest winner in the Antonio Brown sweepstakes was Trubisky, because it made everyone forget about his horrible game in the Thursday night opener.
Of course, Trubisky wasn't the only problem in the Bears' season-opening loss: The offensive line was bad, receivers were dropping passes and Matt Nagy gave up on his run game in the first quarter, which is a weird time to give up on your run game. The Bears had a lot of issues in Week 1 and I'm just not sure they're going to be able to fix things, especially when you consider that they'll be playing on the road against a usually tough Broncos defense.
The one wild card in this game is Joe Flacco. I have no idea how Flacco is going to play against the Bears defense, but as long as he's slightly better than Trubisky, the Broncos are going to win. Unfortunately for Denver though, after watching Flacco play on Monday night, I"m not convinced he's going to be better than Trubisky, so I'm taking the Bears in a thriller where their kicker actually comes through WITH A GAME-WINNER.
The pick: Bears 19-16 over Broncos
Cleveland (0-1) at N.Y. Jets (0-1)
Monday, 8:20 p.m. ET (ESPN)
Point spread: Browns, -6.5
I'm not sure who had the worst coaching debut of the 2019 season, but I feel like I can confidently say that it was either Freddie Kitchens or Adam Gase. On one hand, I feel like Kitchens had the more disappointing debut, but then I remembered that the Browns have been disappointing their fans for more than 20 years now, so there's a good chance no one in Cleveland was actually disappointed following the Browns 43-13 loss to Tennessee.
As for Gase, his team somehow blew a 16-0 third quarter lead to a Bills team that barely averaged 16 points per game in 2018 (16.8). Leading Buffalo by 16 points in the third quarter is the equivalent of leading a normal team by 71 points. There's no way the Jets should have blown the lead, but they did, so here we are, heading into Week 2, with the two most disappointing coaches of Week 1 going up against each other.
If the NFL wants to add some serious spice to this game, they should go full WWE and make this is a "loser leaves town" game where the losing coach gets fired on the spot. That might sound harsh, but trust me, Kitchens is not going to want to go back to Cleveland if the Browns start 0-2 and Gase isn't going to survive the New York media if the Jets start 0-2. I mean, Gase is the guy who couldn't even make it through his first Jets press conference without things getting weird.
If the losing coach got fired after this game, I have to think it would actually be doing that person a favor.
The biggest difference between Gase and Kitchens in Week 1 is that Kitchens actually looked like he knew what he was doing. If Baker Mayfield didn't have a total meltdown in the fourth quarter, the Browns might have been able to win. On the other hand, Gase's offense did zero against the Bills to make me think they can beat anyone (The Jets defense has scored as many points as the Jets offense this season). As for the Browns, if they had one problem in Week 1, it was protecting Mayfield, but that might not be an issue this week because two of the Jets' best defenders -- C.J. Mosley (groin) and Quinnen Williams (ankle) -- will likely be hobbled by injuries if they play on Monday.
The pick: Browns 26-23 over Jets
Update (9/12): Guys, Sam Darnold has mono, which means he won't be playing on Monday against the Browns. We're only one week into the season and the Jets are already falling apart. Not only are they dealing with Darnold's issue, but pretty much everyone on the team is injured.
With Darnold out, Trevor Siemian will be starting and there's no way I'm picking Trevor Siemian to win a Monday night game against a desperate team.
New pick: Browns 27-17 over Jets
Lock of the week
Arizona (0-0-1) at Baltimore (1-0)
1 p.m. ET, CBS
Point spread: Ravens, -13.5
No one asked me to introduce a "Lock of the week" this year, but I decided to give you one anyway, because if there's one thing I'm good at in life, it's giving things to people that they didn't even know they wanted. That's why I got my nephew a steering wheel cover for his last birthday. Sure, it probably would have been a lot more helpful if he was turning 16, but nine-year-olds like steering wheel covers too, right?
The "Lock of the week" debuted last week, and thanks to the Ravens, it was a resounding success. I predicted the Ravens would win by a lot and then they won by more than a lot. As a matter of fact, the Ravens were so impressive last week that I'm sticking with them for this week's lock.
Not only do I think the Ravens are going to win, but they might win by 50. If you thought the Ravens-Dolphins game was a mismatch, just wait until you see what Baltimore does against the Cardinals. For one, the Cardinals had the worst rushing defense in the NFL last year and now they have to face a Ravens team that led the AFC in rushing last season and leads the NFL in rushing this year. The Ravens might rush for 500 yards, and if they don't, it won't matter, because if we all learned one thing from Week 1, it's that Lamar Jackson can actually throw the ball.
As for the Cardinals, if you didn't get to watch them in Week 1 -- and there's a 90 percent chance you didn't because Arizona-Detroit is the kind of game that only gets aired in two percent of the country -- the Cardinals were atrocious. Through the first three quarters of the game, Kyler Murray was 9 of 25 for 70 yards and an interception. Although he led the Cards on a comeback, that had more to do with the ineptitude of the Lions than the play of Murray. Not only will this be Murray's first road game, but he has to play in the eastern time zone, where the Cards are 1-8 since 2016 (Those losses have been by an average of 13 points per game and their only win was a 16-13 overtime victory against a 4-12 Colts team). Also, this game will be the Ravens' home opener and the Ravens aren't going to lose their home opener (The Ravens have won three straight home openers by an average score of 32.7 to 9).
The pick: Ravens 40-20 over Cardinals
Lock of the week record: 1-0 straight-up, 1-0 against the spread
Note: The lock of the week is new this year, and it might end up being the worst idea ever, but we're going to roll with it.
NFL Week 2 picks: All the rest
Panthers 27-17 over Buccaneers
Bills 20-16 over Giants
Bengals 30-24 over 49ers
Chargers 27-20 over Lions
Colts 24-23 over Titans
Patriots 34-16 over Dolphins
Cowboys 31-23 over Redskins
Steelers 20-17 over Seahawks
Texans 13-6 over Jaguars
Chiefs 31-20 over Raiders
Falcons 34-31 over Eagles
Best pick: Last week, I predicted the Bengals Andy Dalton was going to turn into a dark horse MVP candidate with a 418-yard passing game against one of the best defenses in the NFL? Of course I did.in a loss to the Seahawks, and then the Bengals went out and scored exactly 20 points in a loss to the Seahawks. Now did I know that
As the only Dalton apologist left on the planet, it was my job to carry the Dalton torch this offseason, and carry it I did.
Dalton threw for more yards than any other quarterback in Week 1 and he did that even though he was playing behind a below-average offensive line and even though he didn't have A.J. Green. I don't have a Zodiac in front of me, but 2019 is starting to feel like the year of the carrot, which means you should all expect the Carrot-Top Cannon to go off this year.
Worst pick: Last week, I spent five sentences babbling about how Jameis Winston gets intercepted ALL THE TIME, and then, for some reason that I can't explain, I still picked Jameis Winston's team to win. If you somehow missed the 49ers' 31-17 win over the Buccaneers, not only did Jameis throw three interceptions, but two of them were returned for touchdowns, which means he gave the 49ers 14 free points in a game that Tampa lost by 14 points. You do the math. Actually, don't do the math. This isn't a math column, but trust me when I say that Jameis cost them the game.
To add insult to injury, I made a major factual mistake last week. While writing my Buccaneers pick, I mentioned that "former Backstreet Boy Nick Carter" should be the guy running Tampa's front office. The problem with that sentence is that Carter is not a FORMER Backstreet Boy, he is a CURRENT Backstreet Boy.
I shamed myself so badly that I don't even deserve to own my Backstreet Boys albums anymore. As penance for my mistakes, I will listen to "I Want It That Way" 19 times per day for the rest of the week, which actually isn't much of a punishment because I usually do that anyway.
Straight up in Week 1: 12-3-1
SU overall: 12-3-1
Against the spread in Week 1: 8-7-1
ATS overall: 8-7-1
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