Fearless Rick's Football Picks - Week 2 early games

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All times Eastern

Week 1 Results: Coin: 3-12; Fearless Rick: 9-6

Cumulative Preseason: Coin: 30-32-2; Rick: 31-31-2

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Thursday, September 14

Houston Texans at Cincinnati Bengals (-3 1/2, 38 1/2), 8:25 pm, NFLN - Both teams looked horrible in week one, with the Texans having a plausible excuse in their 29-7 thumping by Jacksonville: too many distractions.

The Bengals had no answers for the Ravens and no ready replacement for QB Andy Dalton, who tossed four picks and coughed up a fumble.

Surely, the Texans will be putting pressure on Dalton throughout.

Coin Flip: Cincinnati

Prediction: Texans 24 Bengals 17

Sunday, September 17

Cleveland Browns at Baltimore Ravens (-7 1/2, 41), 1:00 pm, CBS - Despite a 21-18 loss to the Steelers in week one, Cleveland QB Deshone Kizer was 20-for-30 with a TD and a pick, and ran for another score. The Browns need to step up their rushing game, but overall, they're not at all bad.

Baltimore has thus far proven that they can beat Cincinnati. By season's end, that claim will probably be made by six or seven different teams, so there's no reason to count the Browns out this early in the campaign. More than a TD in a divisional game? Take it.

Coin Flip: Cleveland

Prediction: Browns 19 Ravens 16

Buffalo Bills at Carolina Panthers (-7, 42 1/2), 1:00 pm, CBS - Beating the Jets last week at home, 21-12, wasn't really anything special. If the Bills had lost it would have been interesting, but note that the Jets did score more than once, and that should worry Buffalo fans.

The Bills are far from a complete football team and they'll find themselves outclassed in Carolina. The Panthers should be challenging for the NFC South, whereas the Bills will spend the latter part of the season looking at 2018 draft picks.

Coin Flip: Buffalo

Prediction: Panthers 26 Bills 13

Arizona Cardinals (-7 1/2, 44) at Indianapolis Colts, 1:00 pm, FOX - Both of these teams were defeated in week one, bu the Colts' loss was far more severe than that of the Cardinals.

Indy was thoroughly trashed by the Rams, 46-9, and without Andrew Luck calling the signals, the Colts are likely to lose. Understandably, the Cardinals are a heavy road favorite and should take this one to the win bank.

Coin Flip: Arizona

Prediction: Cardinals 31 Colts 10

Tennessee Titans at Jacksonville Jaguars (even, 44), 1:00 pm, CBS - While the Jaguars were a big surprise in their season opener, putting it on Houston, 29-7, the Texans' defeat can be attributed to lack of preparation and distraction for Hurricane Harvey. That may be an easy out, since neither Tom Savage nor Deshaun Watson were particularly effective at QB, throwing for a combined 110 yards on 19 of 36 passing.

Savage lost two fumbles and Watson one, and Watson was also intercepted, so Jacksonville had the benefit of a 4-0 turnover margin.

Tennessee was outclassed at home by the Raiders, 26-16, and these teams split their season series in 2016, each winning at home, though the Jacksonville victory was suspect because of the absence of Tennessee QB Marcus Mariota. Tough call here, though the Titans, with Mariota, are probably the team to beat.

Coin Flip: Jacksonville

Prediction: Titans 23 Jaguars 20

Philadelphia Eagles at Kansas City Chiefs (-4 1/2, 47 1/2), 1:00 pm, FOX - Kansas City ate up the Patriots in the second half of their Thursday night season opener, putting up four TDs to close out a 42-27 romp. Truth be told, New England did not look like Super Bowl champs.

The Eagles took care of business at Washington with a 30-17 victory and are off to a positive start. This game comes up even in many regards, so taking the generosity of the point spread would be the prudent call.

Coin Flip: Philadelphia

Prediction: Eagles 26 Chiefs 24

New England Patriots (-6 1/2, 54 1/2) at New Orleans Saints, 1:00 pm, CBS - New England didn't fare well in their season opener at Foxboro and now they have to travel against to New Orleans for the Saints' home opener. New Orleans lost to Minnesota 29-19 on Monday night, but have the benefit of home field where the fans will be a factor.

New England doesn't deserve to be favored here after the bomb laid on opening night. The Saints should win this one outright.

Coin Flip: New England

Prediction: Saints 34 Patriots 27

Minnesota Vikings at Pittsburgh Steelers (-6, 45 1/2), 1:00 pm, FOX - Pittsburgh just barely defeated the Browns, 21-18, in Cleveland, but the Browns may be a little better than people think. Minnesota comes into this game fresh off a 29-19 win over the Saints, in which QB Sam Bradford was exceptional, throwing for 346 yards and three TDs.

Minnesota's defense should keep the Steelers in check and this one figures to be very close, with the Vikings possibly winning outright.

Coin Flip: Pittsburgh

Prediction: Vikings 24 Steelers 21

Chicago Bears at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-6 1/2, 43), 1:00 pm, FOX - The Bucs had their season opener with Miami cancelled due to Hurricane Irma and that may work against them. The Bears were not blown off by the Falcons in week one, losing, 23-17, and they were effective at stopping the Atlanta running game.

The Bears are not going to be a pushover this season and this line is far too wide.

Coin Flip: Chicago

Prediction: Bears 24 Buccaneers 23

Miami Dolphins at LA Chargers (-4 1/2, 45) 4:05 pm, CBS - Another case of not having played in week one as Miami's game was cancelled.

The Chargers almost defeated the Broncos in Denver, but missed a tying field goal late after rallying for two fourth quarter scores in a 24-21 loss. The Chargers cannot afford to go 0-2, so they'll be well-prepared for the Dolphins.

Coin Flip: Miami

Prediction: Chargers 26 Dolphins 20

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