We’re off and running with the in-house picks competition. This year, we’re tracking our performance straight up and against the spread.
Maybe we should stick with straight up.
For Week One, MDS was 10-6 on both counts. I was 8-8 and 7-9.
This week, we disagree on only one game straight up. Against the spread, we differ on five games.
For all picks, scroll away.
Bengals (+5.5) at Browns
MDS’s take: The Browns can’t possibly look as bad as they did in Week One. They’ll eke out a close win over the Bengals.
MDS’s pick: Browns 24, Bengals 20.
Florio’s take: If the Browns run the ball and keep running the ball and forget about trying to force the passing game, they’ll win. And if Joe Burrow replicates his handful of Jameis Winston-style gaffes from Week One before a national audiences, the shine could quickly come off this year’s first overall pick.
Florio’s pick: Browns 24, Bengals 20.
Jaguars (+8.5) at Titans
MDS’s take: The Jaguars are better than people think, but the Titans will move to 2-0 on the strength of a strong game from Ryan Tannehill.
MDS’s pick: Titans 28, Jaguars 21.
Florio’s take: The Titans should have beaten the Broncos by double digits. If Tennessee can make a kick or two or three more than they did on Monday night, they should be able to slow down an unexpectedly fast start by Jacksonville.
Florio’s pick: Titans 24, Jaguars 14.
Panthers (+9.5) at Buccaneers
MDS’s take: No one should overreact to the Bucs’ disappointing Week One result. They’re still one of the top teams in the NFC.
MDS’s pick: Buccaneers 30, Panthers 20.
Florio’s take: The Bucs grabbed the shortest possible straw in Week One. The straw gets a lot longer for Week Two.
Florio’s pick: Buccaneers 31, Panther 21.
Broncos (+7.5) at Steelers
MDS’s take: The Broncos are better than people think, but they’re going to fall to 0-2 with a tough matchup in Pittsburgh.
MDS’s pick: Steelers 21, Broncos 20.
Florio’s take: The Steelers at home won’t let the Broncos hang around like the Titans did on the road.
Florio’s pick: Steelers 24, Broncos 13.
Rams (-1.5) at Eagles
MDS’s take: Aaron Donald wrecked the Cowboys, and I have a feeling he’s going to feast on the Eagles’ offensive line as well.
MDS’s pick: Rams 24, Eagles 14.
Florio’s take: The top two picks of the 2016 draft get together. Both have gotten paid like franchise quarterbacks. Both are currently having trouble living up to that title. The Rams are healthy and, for now, the better overall team.
Florio’s pick: Rams 28, Eagles 20.
49ers (-7) at Jets
MDS’s take: The 49ers are beaten up in the secondary, but I’m not convinced the Jets have an offense that can take advantage. San Francisco wins a low-scoring game.
MDS’s pick: 49ers 13, Jets 7.
Florio’s take: It’s get-right Sunday for the 49ers, who’ll face a team that has for the second straight year found itself with a very difficult early-season schedule.
Florio’s pick: 49ers 24, Jets 9.
Bills (-6) at Dolphins
MDS’s take: The Bills looked impressive in Week One, and I think they’re going to make it 2-0 against AFC East opponents.
MDS’s pick: Bills 24, Dolphins 21.
Florio’s take: Tua time is coming.
Florio’s pick: Bills 27, Dolphins 17.
Vikings (+3) at Colts
MDS’s take: These two teams were both major disappointments in Week One. I like the Vikings to bounce back with a road upset.
MDS’s pick: Vikings 20, Colts 17.
Florio’s take: One of these two teams will end up 0-2. The Vikings Offense is better than advertised. Given that Aaron Rodgers is significantly better than Philip Rivers, that should be more than enough of the Vikings.
Florio’s pick: Vikings 30, Colts 21.
Lions (+6) at Packers
MDS’s take: Aaron Rodgers looked as good as he’s ever looked in Matt LaFleur’s offense on Sunday, while the Lions’ defense let Mitch Trubisky have a huge fourth quarter. That’s a recipe for an ugly day for the Lions.
MDS’s pick: Packers 31, Lions 14.
Florio’s take: The Aaron Rodgers Revenge Tour makes its Lambeau debut against a team reeling from letting a rare win get away.
Florio’s pick: Packers 34, Lions 20.
Falcons (+4.5) at Cowboys
MDS’s take: Matt Ryan will put up plenty of yards, but I don’t see the Falcons’ defense getting many stops. Dallas wins this one.
MDS’s pick: Cowboys 31, Falcons 21.
Florio’s take: The Cowboys are in various respects a work in progress. But they should be able to move the ball better against a defense that doesn’t have Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey, and with fans in the stands cheering them on.
Florio’s pick: Cowboys 24, Falcons 17.
Giants (+5.5) at Bears
MDS’s pick: Bears 28, Giants 17.
Florio’s take: The Giants gave the Steelers a much better game than the final score suggests, and the Bears can’t expect to dig out of 17-point holes on a regular basis. The Chicago defense won’t do what the Pittsburgh defense did to Saquon Barkley and company.
Florio’s pick: Giants 24, Bears 21.
Washington (+6.5) at Cardinals
MDS’s take: The Football Team was the most pleasant surprise of Week One, but Kyler Murray‘s mobility is going to give Washington’s defense fits.
MDS’s pick: Cardinals 27, Washington 13.
Florio’s take: One of these teams is going to be 2-0. Take the team with the better quarterback.
Florio’s pick: Cardinals 24, Washington 17.
Chiefs (-8.5) at Chargers
MDS’s take: The Chiefs looked in Week One like they’ve picked up right where they left off, as the best team in the NFL.
MDS’s pick: Chiefs 31, Chargers 17.
Florio’s take: Andy Reid gets a mini-bye to get ready for the Chargers. He won’t need it.
Florio’s pick: Chiefs 30, Chargers 20.
Ravens (-7) at Texans
MDS’s take: The Texans’ defense got a brutal draw to start the season, having to face Patrick Mahomes in Week One and now Lamar Jackson in Week Two. Another loss is coming.
MDS’s pick: Ravens 28, Texans 20.
Florio’s take: The Texans must have pissed someone off at the league office, given that they opened with the two best teams in football. The Ravens seemed susceptible to the run in Week One; do the Texans have the personnel and the patience to play ground and pound?
Florio’s pick: Ravens 24, Texans 14.
Patriots (+4) at Seahawks
MDS’s pick: Seahawks 30, Patriots 17.
Florio’s take: While Russ cooked, Cam baked. Although the Seahawks may not be the same without the 12th Man present, the scheduling of this game in Week Two gives the team with continuity the edge, as the Patriots get their first taste of trying to get Cam to overcome adversity.
Florio’s pick: Seahawks 27, Patriots 20.
Saints (-5.5) at Raiders
MDS’s take: Michael Thomas is a big loss, but I still consider the Saints the Super Bowl favorites. They’ll cruise in Las Vegas.
MDS’s pick: Saints 35, Raiders 21.
Florio’s take: It’s fitting that the Saints are involved in the first NFL game ever played in Sin City. While it won’t be easy without Michael Thomas, the Saints are still an elite team.
Florio’s pick: Saints 31, Raiders 20.