There were no ties in Week One of the NFL regular season. Except for right here, where MDS and yours truly both went 9-7. We split on the four games on which we disagreed, as if anyone beyond the two of us care.
This week, there will be no tie. Unless there’s a tie in one of the three games on which we disagree.
For all of the picks, scroll down — and please don’t wager anything of value based on our assessment. You’d be better off burning your money; at least that would generate enough heat for boiling Ramen noodles.
Jets at Bills
MDS’s take: If there’s such a thing as a must-win game in Week Two, Rex Ryan has one. Losing a home division game after starting 0-1 would put Ryan on a trajectory toward missing the playoffs and losing his job. Unfortunately for Rex, I think the Jets’ defense is going to control a low-scoring game.
MDS’s pick: Jets 13, Bills 10.
Florio’s take: The race to the bottom of the AFC East starts early, and it feels like the Bills are destined to land there. The Jets would be destined to lose this one, but only if a playoff berth were on the line.
Florio’s pick: Jets 23, Bills 20.
Bengals at Steelers
MDS’s take: After an impressive Week One showing, I think the Steelers’ offense can keep it going and put 30-plus on the board for the second week in a row.
MDS’s pick: Steelers 31, Bengals 24.
Florio’s take: Currently the most intense rivalry in football, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh hope to not let emotions factor into the outcome. Everyone else sort of hopes they will. Home team gets the edge, even on a short week.
Florio’s pick: Steelers 24, Bengals 22.
Titans at Lions
MDS’s take: The Titans’ “exotic smash mouth” offense disappointed in the opening loss to the Vikings. I think Marcus Mariota will play much better against the Lions, but Detroit’s offense can put plenty of points on the board and win a close one.
MDS’s pick: Lions 30, Titans 27.
Florio’s take: Tennesse returns to Detroit for the first time since a 47-10 Thanksgiving blowout during the team’s 0-16 season. The Titans won’t be 0-16 this year, but they likely will be 0-2.
Florio’s pick: Lions 30, Titans 17.
Ravens at Browns
MDS’s take: Considering how badly Robert Griffin III played in Week One, Josh McCown will probably be an improvement. But the Browns have problems all over the roster, not just at quarterback, and the Ravens should get a division road win.
MDS’s pick: Ravens 24, Browns 12.
Florio’s take: The Ravens are ready to scratch and claw their way to enough one-score wins to make it to the playoffs.
Florio’s pick: Ravens 16, Browns 10.
Cowboys at Washington
MDS’s take: The loser of this game is in a world of hurt in the NFC East race. I think that loser will be the Cowboys, who simply can’t find a way to win without Tony Romo: In their last 37 games they’re 17-5 with Romo and 1-14 without him.
MDS’s pick: Washington 17, Cowboys 14.
Florio’s take: Washington is reeling after a home loss to the Steelers on a big stage. They now get a crack at a team they need to beat in order to have a realistic chance to win the division.
Florio’s pick: Washington 20, Cowboys 17.
Saints at Giants
MDS’s take: Last year this matchup provided us with one of the highest-scoring games in NFL history, a 52-49 Saints win. This year I see another high-scoring game but the Giants coming out on top.
MDS’s pick: Giants 38, Saints 34.
Florio’s take: Another week, another shootout for the Saints. The defense doesn’t need to improve much; if it does, the Saints will start racking up the wins.
Florio’s pick: Giants 34, Saints 30.
49ers at Panthers
MDS’s take: The 49ers looked better than I thought they would on Monday night, but most of that was the Rams looking worse than I thought they would. At Carolina, the 49ers are going to run into a buzz saw.
MDS’s pick: Panthers 30, 49ers 10.
Florio’s take: A short week plus a cross-country game plus a team that has extra rest and more talent equals a mess for the 49ers.
Florio’s pick: Panthers 35, 49ers 13.
Dolphins at Patriots
MDS’s take: Some teams find ways to win, some teams find ways to lose. The Patriots, without Tom Brady, found a way to win at Arizona in Week One. The Dolphins, despite having every opportunity to pull an upset in Seattle, found a way to lose in Week One.
MDS’s pick: Patriots 24, Dolphins 20.
Florio’s take: It’ll be another close-but-no-cigar showing for a Dolphins team that soon will be winning these games.
Florio’s pick: Patriots 17, Dolphins 14.
Chiefs at Texans
MDS’s take: Both teams won in Week One, but neither team looked great doing it. I have a feeling the Chiefs can get their offense playing for a full game like it played in the second half last week, and Kansas City will win.
MDS’s pick: Chiefs 32, Texans 20.
Florio’s take: Before the Texans can get past the Patriots, they have to get past the Chiefs. With Brock Osweiler, maybe they will.
Florio’s pick: Texans 24, Chiefs 23.
Seahawks at Rams
MDS’s take: The Rams have played well against the Seahawks in recent years, but it won’t happen this time. This Rams team looks awful.
MDS’s pick: Seahawks 20, Rams 7.
Florio’s take: Pete Carroll returns to the Coliseum facing a Rams team that could have a hard time against the best editions of his Trojans.
Florio’s pick: Seahawks 23, Rams 13.
Buccaneers at Cardinals
MDS’s take: Jameis Winston was one of the best players in the NFL in Week One, but I think the Cardinals are primed to bounce back from their disappointing opener and both teams will be 1-1 after this one.
MDS’s pick: Cardinals 21, Buccaneers 20.
Florio’s take: There really wasn’t an eyebrow-raising upset in Week One. So let’s roll the dice and get ahead of an “I should have seen it coming” moment. The Bucs are for real and the Cardinals could be reeling if they start the year 0-2 at home.
Florio’s pick: Buccaneers 28, Cardinals 24.
Jaguars at Chargers
MDS’s take: A lot of people are impressed with the Jaguars for playing a close and competitive game against the Packers in Week One, but that strikes me as the soft bigotry of low expectations. Don’t the Jaguars have to actually win some games before we give them credit? I see them coming up short again in San Diego on Sunday.
MDS’s pick: Chargers 24, Jaguars 23.
Florio’s take: Former Chargers G.M. A.J. Smith thinks the team won’t leave San Diego, with or without a new stadium. After Sunday, San Diegans may hope A.J. is wrong.
Florio’s pick: Jaguars 31, Chargers 20.
Falcons at Raiders
MDS’s take: Derek Carr is looking like one of the best young quarterbacks in the NFL right now. The Falcons’ defense struggled with a good young quarterback last week and will do so again on Sunday.
MDS’s pick: Raiders 30, Falcons 20.
Florio’s take: They won’t be going for two to win the game this week, because the Raiders won’t need to.
Florio’s pick: Raiders 33, Falcons 24.
Colts at Broncos
MDS’s take: Andrew Luck had an outstanding game in defeat against the Lions in Week One, but his life will be harder against a better defense in Denver.
MDS’s pick: Broncos 24, Colts 13.
Florio’s take: The Colts are 8-1 against Denver. 8-2 will still sound pretty good. 0-2 for the year won’t.
Florio’s pick: Broncos 35, Colts 27.
Packers at Vikings
MDS’s take: The Vikings relied on two defensive touchdowns to beat the Titans last week. They won’t have that kind of good fortune against a much better Packers offense, and they’ll lose their first game at their new stadium.
MDS’s pick: Packers 20, Vikings 17.
Florio’s take: It’s a tattoo game in Minnesota, where the outcome of the first regular-season game at U.S. Bank Stadium will make its way onto the home team’s permanent record, for better or worse. Bet the worse.
Florio’s pick: Packers 27, Vikings 20.
Eagles at Bears
MDS’s take: Carson Wentz deserves a lot of credit for the way he played in Week One, but some growing pains are coming in his first road game. The Bears will force a couple Wentz turnovers and win on Monday night.
MDS’s pick: Bears 20, Eagles 10.
Florio’s take: Welcome to the real NFL, Carson Wentz.
Florio’s pick: Bears 24, Eagles 16.