by Daniel Hartmann
TEXANS (2-0) AT PATRIOTS (2-0)
This week three match-up would have been my most anticipated game of the week if Jimmy Garoppolo hadn’t been hurt. He was though, so we’re going to see a rookie quarterback going against one of the scariest defensive lines in the game. For the Texans, Brock Osweiler makes enough throws to win a game, and Lamar Miller is severely underrated, even with his new contract. The Patriots D is good, but not good enough to make up for Brissett’s first game.
FINAL- Texans 24- Patriots 16
CARDINALS (1-1) AT BILLS (0-2)
The Cardinals are a Super Bowl contender, even after a week one loss at home to the Patriots. The Bills are not. Carson Palmer has weapons galore. Tyrod Taylor has an injured Sammy Watkins and…. I’ve got nothing. Patrick Peterson shuts down Watkins, and we see another Arizona Blowout.
FINAL- Cardinals 42- Bills 16
RAIDERS (1-1) AT TITANS (1-1)
This game is disappointing to me. I wish we could have seen this one in week 8 or 9. This is a match-up of two up and coming teams with vastly different styles. Oakland will try and stretch you vertically with Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree. The Titans will beat you by exhausting you with repeated runs up the middle and a few play-action fakes a game. Titans run game beat’s Oakland’s pass game. And the Titans D is better than Oakland’s overall.
FINAL- Titans 20- Raiders 14
BROWNS (0-2) AT DOLPHINS (0-2)
The Dolphins might be the most frustrating team in football. For two quarters they look like the best team in the game, and for the other two quarters, they look like the worst. Oh, look at that! The Dolphins play the actual worst team in football this week! Corey Coleman is fun to watch, but that’s about it for Cleveland, and on top of that, he broke his hand. Yay Cleveland.
FINAL- Dolphins 27- Browns 17
RAVENS (2-0) AT JAGUARS (0-2)
Mike Wallace was one of the more underrated pickups in football this offseason. The guy is a burner off the edge, and Joe Flacco can get him the ball a couple times a game. Blake Bortles is like a young Flacco. The arm strength, the mobility, the touch, but not the decision making. The Allen’s should have a bounce back game as well. At some point I’m going to look dumb for continuing to support the Jaguars, but I’m sticking with them for now.
FINAL- Jaguars 31- Ravens 27
LIONS (1-1) AT PACKERS (1-1)
The Lions dropped a tough one last week to the Titans, but don’t put the blame on Stafford. You’re not going to win a game when you commit that many penalties. The Packers lost to the Vikings on MNF, so they come into this one on short rest. At some point, Aaron Rodgers will look like Aaron Rodgers again, and when it happens, everyone who doubted him is going to look silly. I think that happens this week.
FINAL- Packers 24- Lions 17
BRONCOS (2-0) AT BENGALS (1-1)
Poor Bengals. Back to back against bruising defenses, and top AFC contenders. AJ Green got shut down last week, but here’s to saying that it won’t happen again. The Broncos have already handled Cam Newton and Andrew Luck. Unfortunately for the Bengals, Andy Dalton isn’t on their level. Bengals lose another close one.
FINAL- Broncos 20- Bengals 18
VIKINGS (2-0) AT PANTHERS (1-1)
I’ve been saying it since the preseason. The Vikings have the best defense in football. They’re 2014 Seahawks good. Super Cam made an appearance last week though, and Kelvin Benjamin is the difference maker that he needs. Plus you can never forget about Greg Olsen. And I haven’t even mentioned Peterson’s injury yet.
FINAL- Panthers 23- Vikings 16
REDSKINS (0-2) AT GIANTS (2-0)
If there’s a must win game this week, the Redskins are looking at it. The Eagles and the Giants are off to undefeated starts, and the Redskins need this one against a division rival. Unfortunately, they’re not going to get it. Eli Manning has too many weapons with the emergence of Sterling Shepherd, and Janoris Jenkins is already living up to his contract.
FINAL- Giants 37- Redskins 21
RAMS (1-1) AT BUCCANEERS (1-1)
Yes, I’m biased against the Rams. But last week’s matchup against Seattle was a typical Rams game. Beat up a bad offensive line, make a few good throws, and hope the special teams can win you a game. The Bucs made me look bad last week, but it won’t happen again. With Doug Martin hurt, look for Jameis Winston to abuse a slow-starting Rams secondary.
FINAL- Buccaneers 25, Rams 13
49ERS (1-1) AT SEAHAWKS (1-1)
I told you the 49ers were better than people thought this year. Here’s the chance to prove it. The worst line in football, with an injured Russell Wilson? Blaine Gabbert gets replaced at the half by Colin Kaepernick, who leads the comeback win.
FINAL- 49ers 17- Seahawks 10
JETS (1-1) AT CHIEFS (1-1)
I like the Jets this year. The offense can spread the ball to all of its playmakers, and the defensive line is the deepest in football. The Chiefs on the other hand, brought back Captain Checkdown last week in Alex Smith. Jamaal Charles is back, Spencer Ware is good, but Revis shuts down Maclin, and that’s where the game is decided.
FINAL- Jets 27- Chiefs 17
CHARGERS (1-1) AT COLTS (0-2)
Melvin Gordon. Where were you last year? Gordon’s emergence gives this team the balance it needs. Travis Benjamin is showing his game-breaking abilities as well. For the Colts, the defense is just too bad for Andrew Luck to carry every game. Is it a stretch to call this my upset of the week? Technically the Chargers come in to this one as the underdogs.
FINAL- Chargers 31- Colts 27
STEELERS (2-0) AT EAGLES (2-0)
The only undefeated match-up this week except for TNF, I’m expecting a blowout in this one. The Eagles line is good, but it’s not that good. Carson Wentz hasn’t seen a defense like the Steelers yet either. Big Ben on the other hand, has unknown guys like Sammie Coates stepping up and putting up monster numbers. The Steelers depth is scary. They’re winning the Super Bowl this year.
FINAL- Steelers 34- Eagles 17
BEARS (0-2) AT COWBOYS (1-1)
Watching Monday Night Football last weekend was illuminating. As a former Rams fan, I now realize that Chicago fans have it just as bad right now. No Jay Cutler makes this worse. Or better. Your choice. The Cowboys on the other hand, could be 2-0 if Terrance Williams understood basic football rules. Dak Prescott uses the play-action threat of Ezekial Elliott to put up big numbers against a Swiss cheese defense.
FINAL- Cowboys 28- Bears 17
FALCONS (1-1) AT SAINTS (0-2)
Monday Night Football this week features two explosive offenses from the NFC South. I think the Saints defense showed something last week against the Giants. They only gave up 16 points to Eli Manning and co. The Falcons have given up an average of 29.5 points a game. Drew Brees’ offense gets there at the half to pull the Saints out of the winless ranks.
FINAL- Saints 48-Falcons 31