And we’re off. Literally.
Through Week One, MDS and I are in midseason pick form. He went 10-6 in the first slate of games. I was one behind, at 9-7.
We disagree on only one game this week. All picks appear below.
For picks against the spread, check out the “Best Bets” video. He was 2-1 last week, and I went 1-1-1, with a push coming from Seattle’s three-point loss at Denver.
Ravens at Bengals
MDS’s take: The winner of this one is all alone in first place in the AFC North after Week Two. I think it’s the Ravens, coming off a dominating performance over the Bills.
MDS’s pick: Ravens 24, Bengals 17.
Florio’s take: The winner of this one takes over first place in the AFC North. And the Ravens will never look back.
Florio’s pick: Ravens 30, Bengals 20.
Panthers at Falcons
MDS’s take: Matt Ryan turned in a disappointing performance against the Eagles, but I think he’ll bounce back and the Falcons will match the Panthers at 1-1 in the NFC South.
MDS’s pick: Falcons 28, Panthers 20.
Florio’s take: The best division in football delivers a great Week Two contest. Edge goes to the team with three days of extra rest, and the privilege of playing at home.
Florio’s pick: Falcons 24, Panthers 21.
Colts at Washington
MDS’s take: Adrian Peterson and Chris Thompson looked like an excellent pair of running backs in Week One, and I think they’ll have a big game against a suspect Colts defense.
MDS’s pick: Washington 23, Colts 20.
Florio’s take: Just as the home team’s 50-year sellout streak prepares to end, the home team prepares to potentially be pretty good.
Florio’s pick: Washington 23, Colts 14.
Texans at Titans
MDS’s take: Deshaun Watson looked a little rusty in Week One, but I think he’s going to have a good Week Two against a Titans defense that looked like it had some holes in it last week.
MDS’s pick: Texans 30, Titans 20.
Florio’s take: Houston’s new team visits Houston’s old team and the better team erases a bad AFC East road memory from Week One.
Florio’s pick: Texans 21, Titans 16.
Eagles at Buccaneers
MDS’s take: I’m tempted to pick the Buccaneers to keep rolling with Ryan Fitzpatrick, but I just can’t pull the trigger on an upset of the defending champions.
MDS’s pick: Eagles 21, Buccaneers 20.
Florio’s take: Doug Pederson understands the challenge of making key decisions during the flow of the game well enough to find a way to deliver. The fact that the Bucs are banged up makes that a little easier.
Florio’s pick: Eagles 30, Buccaneers 24.
Chiefs at Steelers
MDS’s take: I loved the Chiefs’ new-look offense in Week One, and I think Patrick Mahomes will continue to play well in Week Two.
MDS’s pick: Chiefs 34, Steelers 31.
Florio’s take: The Chiefs navigate a tough early-season road schedule with a pair of wins, thanks to a potent offense and a good-enough defense.
Florio’s pick: Chiefs 23, Steelers 20.
Dolphins at Jets
MDS’s take: I thought the Jets’ Week One win was more about the Lions being bad than the Jets being good, but I think Sam Darnold will be a little better in his second start and the Jets will move to 2-0.
MDS’s pick: Jets 24, Dolphins 21.
Florio’s take: The overlooked Miami resurgence continues with an outcome that, after Monday night, will be regarded as an upset. It shouldn’t be.
Florio’s pick: Dolphins 20, Jets 17.
Chargers at Bills
MDS’s take: You could look at the Bills one of two ways: “This team sucks so Nathan Peterman has to be benched,” or “This team sucks so they’d be crazy to throw Josh Allen to the wolves.” Either way, the Bills lose.
MDS’s pick: Chargers 30, Bills 14.
Florio’s take: Poor Josh Allen.
Florio’s pick: Chargers 27, Bills 10.
Vikings at Packers
MDS’s take: I wish I could know for sure whether Aaron Rodgers will be healthy on Sunday. If he is I think the Packers win, if he’s not I think the Vikings win. I think Rodgers will be able to go.
MDS’s pick: Packers 20, Vikings 17.
Florio’s take: If Aaron Rodgers plays, Green Bay wins. If he doesn’t play Green Bay loses. Best guess at this point is that Rodgers finds a way.
Florio’s pick: Packers 27, Vikings 20.
Browns at Saints
MDS’s take: The Saints did not look good in Week One, but a visit from the Browns always helps a team turn things around.
MDS’s pick: Saints 31, Browns 17.
Florio’s take: Hey, 0-1-1 is still better than 0-2.
Florio’s pick: Saints 42, Browns 27.
Lions at 49ers
MDS’s take: Jimmy Garoppolo should bounce back against a Lions defense that looked lost in its first game under new coach Matt Patricia.
MDS’s pick: 49ers 35, Lions 21.
Florio’s take: Matt Patricia faces a quarterback with whom he has plenty of first-hand experience, and Kyle Shanahan faces a former defensive coordinator whom Shanahan wishes he didn’t have one specific experience with a/k/a 28-3.
Florio’s pick: 49ers 31, Lions 20.
Cardinals at Rams
MDS’s take: Sam Bradford stunk in Week One, and Aaron Donald will make his life miserable in Week Two.
MDS’s pick: Rams 24, Cardinals 10.
Florio’s take: At least when the Cardinals limp home, they won’t have to go very far.
Florio’s pick: Rams 34, Cardinals 17.
Patriots at Jaguars
MDS’s take: The AFC Championship Game rematch should be a good one, and I think Tom Brady will have some fourth-quarter heroics.
MDS’s pick: Patriots 30, Jaguars 27.
Florio’s take: Go ahead and put your best corner on Gronk, Jags, and watch what happens when that corner isn’t available to cover any of the team’s receivers. Also, Blake Bortles.
Florio’s pick: Patriots 24, Jaguars 20.
Raiders at Broncos
MDS’s take: I’m expecting a better game from Case Keenum in Week Two, after he looked a little shaky but still managed to pull out a win in Week One. The Broncos should win comfortably.
MDS’s pick: Broncos 28, Raiders 17.
Florio’s take: The skunk at the Oakland Coliseum will be glad to see the Raiders on the road for a week, if only to improve temporarily the scent of the place.
Florio’s pick: Broncos 27, Raiders 17.
Giants at Cowboys
MDS’s take: This looks like an ugly, low-scoring game to me, but I think Dak Prescott will put just enough points on the board for the Cowboys to win it.
MDS’s pick: Cowboys 13, Giants 10.
Florio’s take: This has the feel of an all-too-early elimination game, even if it isn’t. Home team gets the edge, primarily because the offensive line is better than New York’s wall of blockers.
Florio’s pick: Cowboys 17, Giants 13.
Seahawks at Bears
MDS’s take: I think the Bears will be reeling after Sunday night’s meltdown.
MDS’s pick: Seahawks 20, Bears 10.
Florio’s take: The Bears may need a while to recover from Week One. With road games at Denver and Chicago to start the season, the Seahawks may need to figure out who they pissed off at the league office.
Florio’s pick: Seahawks 23, Bears 17.