Week Two is here. It can’t get here soon enough.
We got off to a rough start in Week One. I got only nine of the games right straight up. MDS was 7-9.
This week, we have only one disagreement in our straight-up competition. Scroll for our picks as to all of the Week Two games.
Giants (+3) at Washington
MDS’s take: I’d feel better about this pick if Ryan Fitzpatrick were healthy, but given how bad the Giants’ defense looked on Sunday, I think Taylor Heinicke should be able to put up good numbers on Thursday night as well.
MDS’s pick: Washington 24, Giants 17.
Florio’s take: Washington needs to hold serve at home, or a promising season could quickly be on the ropes. They’ll do just enough to make it happen.
Florio’s pick: Washington 21, Giants 16.
Saints (-3.5) at Panthers
MDS’s take: The Saints turned in a shockingly strong performance in Week One. The Panthers looked pretty good, too, but I think that will prove to be mostly a function of playing the Jets.
MDS’s pick: Saints 28, Panthers 20.
Florio’s take: The Panthers may soon regret that they didn’t give Jameis Winston a longer look, either in 2020 or 2021.
Florio’s pick: Saints 30, Panthers 21.
Texans (+12.5) at Browns
MDS’s take: The Browns let one get away in Week One against the Chiefs. That won’t happen against the Texans.
MDS’s pick: Browns 30, Texans 20.
Florio’s take: When the Browns build a 22-10 first-half lead this week, they won’t blow it.
Florio’s pick: Browns 34, Texans 24.
Bengals (+2.5) at Bears
MDS’s take: I think the Bears are in for a long year if they don’t build their offense around Justin Fields. And so far they’re still trusting Andy Dalton.
MDS’s pick: Bengals 17, Bears 14.
Florio’s take: This could get ugly at Soldier Field, where the Bengals may be the better team on paper. The fans will be throwing something other than paper onto the field if they don’t see more of Justin Fields.
Florio’s pick: Bengals 20, Bears 17.
Raiders (+5.5) at Steelers
MDS’s take: The Steelers’ defense is going to win a lot of games for them, even if Ben Roethlisberger is way past his prime.
MDS’s pick: Steelers 17, Raiders 13.
Florio’s take: The Raiders have won five of the last seven against the Steelers, and Las Vegas still leads the all-time series. However, a physical game that went nearly 70 minutes with a long flight and a short week doesn’t bode well for the road team in this one.
Florio’s pick: Steelers 24, Raiders 17.
Bills (-3.5) at Dolphins
MDS’s take: The Dolphins could make a huge statement in the AFC East with a win, which would make them 2-0 in the division and give them a two-game lead over the Bills. I don’t see that happening, though.
MDS’s pick: Bills 23, Dolphins 20.
Florio’s take: It’s too early for any game to be regarded as huge. This one, in the AFC East, is huge. Buffalo got a wake-up call in Week One, and Miami escaped with a game it should have lost. Things get corrected quickly.
Florio’s pick: Bills 27, Dolphins 20.
Rams (-4) at Colts
MDS’s take: Matthew Stafford easily outplays Carson Wentz. This one won’t be close.
MDS’s pick: Rams 31, Colts 14.
Florio’s take: The Colts continue to take early-season body blows.
Florio’s pick: Rams 34, Colts 20.
49ers (-3.5) at Eagles
MDS’s take: I loved how Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts played in Week One, but that will prove to be a lot harder against the 49ers than it was against the Falcons.
MDS’s pick: 49ers 23, Eagles 21.
Florio’s take: The Eagles are better than we realize. The 49ers are still pretty good. Kyle Shanahan will make sure they hear it all week long after they tried to blow the Week One blowout of the Lions.
Florio’s pick: 49ers 30, Eagles 20.
Broncos (-6) at Jaguars
MDS’s take: The Jaguars looked like a mess in Week One, a mess that’s going to take Urban Meyer a long time to clean up.
MDS’s pick: Broncos 28, Jaguars 17.
Florio’s take: There’s “no chance” Urban Meyer will coach USC. There’s only a slightly better chance his overmatched Jaguars will cover the spread against the Broncos.
Florio’s pick: Broncos 31, Jaguars 20.
Patriots (-6) at Jets
MDS’s take: Mac Jones vs. Zach Wilson may be a close call, but the Patriots vs. the Jets is an easy one.
MDS’s pick: Patriots 31, Jets 20.
Florio’s take: Patriots quarterback Mac Jones studied Jets film after losing to the Dolphins. It’s important to sometimes get a little break from watching real NFL football. (I’m kidding, Jets fans.)
Florio’s pick: Patriots 24, Jets 14.
Vikings (+4.5) at Cardinals
MDS’s take: Kyler Murray will have his second consecutive big game as the Cardinals improve to 2-0 and the Vikings fall to 0-2.
MDS’s pick: Cardinals 30, Vikings 27.
Florio’s take: Arizona looks to be better than we thought they’d be. Minnesota looks to be worse.
Florio’s pick: Cardinals 27, Vikings 20.
Falcons (+12.5) at Buccaneers
MDS’s take: The Falcons looked like a disaster in Week One. The Bucs should win easily, with a second consecutive home game and three extra days to prepare.
MDS’s pick: Buccaneers 30, Falcons 14.
Florio’s take: The Buccaneers got three extra days to prepare for Tom Brady’s third game against the Falcons as the Tampa Bay quarterback. The Falcons will be lucky to win three games this year. This one will be over by the third quarter.
Florio’s pick: Buccaneers 28, Falcons 3.
Titans (+5.5) at Seahawks
MDS’s take: I don’t think the Titans can possibly be as bad as they looked in Week One, but I do think their defense is going to let the Seahawks put plenty of points on the board.
MDS’s pick: Seahawks 35, Titans 31.
Florio’s take: Russ will cook. Ryan will cook. Russ will cook a little more.
Florio’s pick: Seahawks 33, Titans 27.
Cowboys (+3) at Chargers
MDS’s take: The Cowboys played well against the Buccaneers in Week One and I think they’re going to continue to play well in Week Two, this time earning a hard-fought win.
MDS’s pick: Cowboys 21, Chargers 20.
Florio’s take: The Cowboys have a bunch of injury issues, already. The Chargers, for a change, don’t.
Florio’s pick: Chargers 27, Cowboys 23.
Chiefs (-3.5) at Ravens
MDS’s take: The Ravens are going to fall to 0-2, with their secondary unable to keep up with the Chiefs’ passing game.
MDS’s pick: Chiefs 30, Ravens 20.
Florio’s take: There’s never a good time to play the Chiefs. Six days after losing a physical overtime heartbreaker in Las Vegas is not a good time to play the Chiefs.
Florio’s pick: Chiefs 31, Ravens 23.
Lions (+11) at Packers
MDS’s take: Aaron Rodgers can’t possibly look as bad against the Lions as he did against the Saints.
MDS’s pick: Packers 30, Lions 23.
Florio’s take: Green Bay’s Week One no-show raises the stakes for this one, considerably. Even with the various distractions created by the quarterback’s tenuous status, Green Bay should win this one easily — and then the Lions could finagle another back-door cover.
Florio’s pick: Packers 34, Lions 24.