NFL Week 2 Picks - Early Games

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NFL Week 2 Early Games

All times Eastern

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Week 1: Rick: 9-6-1; Coin: 4-11-1

Thursday, September 12

8:20 pm Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Carolina Panthers (-6 1/2, 49 1/2 - The Panthers showed plenty of moxie in their opening week, 30-27, loss to the Rams. What they did not show was defense, and that may be a problem to plague Carolina.

They should fare better against Tampa Bay, as the Bucs came up empty against the 49ers last week, losing at home, 31-17. Since this is a divisional game, Carolina should be able to score in bunches and also hold the Buccaneers back.

Coin Flip: Tampa Bay

Prediction: Panthers 34 Buccaneers 16

Sunday, September 15

1:00 pm Arizona Cardinals at Baltimore Ravens (-13 1/2, 47) - After routing the Dolphins, 59-10, the Ravens might be a bit punchy and may get some push-back from the Cardinals, fresh off a 27-all tie with Detroit in week one.

Kyle Murray was steady in his first professional start, but he may be scrambling more against the ferocious Baltimore defense.

Lamar Jackson threw five TDs in the win at Miami and was 17-for-20 overall for 324 yards. He's becoming a peak performer. Arizona defenders will have to be on their toes to keep this one close.

Coin Flip: Baltimore

Prediction: Ravens 31 Cardinals 24

1:00 pm Buffalo Bills (-1 1/2, 43 1/2) at New York Giants - As expected, the Giants were manhandled by Dallas on the road, losing, 35-17, last week, while the Bills erased a 16-0, third quarter lead to defeat the Jets in New York, 17-16.

If momentum means anything at all, the Bills will have learned much about themselves in week one and carry it over to their home opener.

Coin Flip: Buffalo

Prediction: Bills 24 Giants 17

1:00 pm Dallas Cowboys (-4 1/2, 46 1/2) at Washington Redskins - Dak Prescott threw four touchdown passes and the Cowboys took a 25-point lead into the final quarter, topping the visiting Giants, 35-17, in week one.

The Redskins blew a 17-point lead to the Eagles, didn't score in the second half until 0:06 left in the game and lost 32-27. This week, they'll get to be boo'ed by their own fans.

Coin Flip: Washington

Prediction: Cowboys 28 Redskins 13

1:00 pm Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans (-3, 45) - Week One's biggest shocker was Tennessee's 43-13 plastering of the Browns in Cleveland. Everybody expected the Browns to steamroll the Titans, but Cleveland QB, Baker Mayfield, threw three picks and was sacked five times. While Marcus Mariota was sacked four times, the Titan QB threw three TD passes and no picks.

Tennessee held the Browns to 102 yards rushing, which should set them up well against the Colts, 30-24 losers at the LA Chargers last week. Led by QB Jacoby Brissett, Indy kept the game close and actually tied the score in the third quarter, sent it to overtime, only to lose on an Austin Ekeler seven=yard run. Second straight game on the road spells doom for the Colts.

Coin Flip: Tennessee

Prediction: Titans 31 Colts 23

1:00 pm Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans (-8 1/2, 43 1/2) - Houston had the Saints on the ropes the entire game, but lost, 30-28, on a 58-yard field goal by Will Lutz in New Orleans. They'll be out for blood and a larger margin this week when the Jags come calling.

Jacksonville lost Nick Foles in the first quarter of their 40-26 loss to the Chiefs and he won't be back until at least week 11 with a broken clavicle. Gardner Minshew took over for Foles and hit 22 of 25 passes for 275 yards against KC's questionable defense. It won't be so easy this time.

Coin Flip: Jacksonville

Prediction: Texans 38 Jaguars 10

1:00 pm Los Angeles Chargers (-2 1/2, 48) at Detroit Lions - Some teams are going to lose almost every week and the Lions look like that sort. They get home field for the Chargers, who held off Indianapolis, 30-24 in week one.

The Lions tied the Cardinals, 27-27, which says little about either their offense or defense. Arizona is still one of the weaker teams in the league, so Detroit probably isn't any better. Look for the Chargers to get a big road win here.

Coin Flip: LA Chargers

Prediction: Chargers 29 Lions 20

1:00 pm Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers (-3, 44) - The Vikings handled Atlanta, just fine last week in a 28-12 victory, while Green Bay and Chicago put everybody to sleep Thursday night with the Packers prevailing, 10-3.

Green Bay's defense looked mighty good, or the Chicago offense just wasn't clicking. Chicago QB Mitchell Trubisky was 26-for-45 and threw one pick. The Bears rushed for just 46 yards.

Kirk Cousins was 8-for-10 for 98 yards, but the Vikings rushed for 172. Atlanta didn't score until the fourth quarter. Green Bay isn't good enough to be favored here. The Vikings won, 24-17, the last time these two met.

Coin Flip: Minnesota

Prediction: Vikings 23 Packers 20

1:00 pm New England Patriots (-19, 48) at Miami Dolphins - That's a load of points to give a team in just the second game of the season. everybody knows the Pats are locked and loaded after crushing Pittsburgh, 33-3, Sunday night, and Miami did lose to the Ravens, 59-10. Well, maybe Miami isn't very good, after all.

Coin Flip: New England

Prediction: Patriots 42 Dolphins 6

1:00 pm San Francisco 49ers at Cincinnati Bengals (-1 1/2, 45) - Don't be shocked if the Bengals win their home opener. They're 5-2 in such games since 2012. In 2011, they opened in week three against the 49ers and lost, 13-8.

History could repeat because the 49ers didn't look so bad beating up on defenseless Tampa Bay in week one, 31-17, though they were aided by four TB turnovers. The 'Niners coughed up a couple of their own, and if they do so against the Bengals, Andy Dalton - who threw for 418 yards at Seattle last week - and company may make them pay. However, Dalton dropped the ball twice in that 21-20 defeat, as did receiver Alex Erickson. It better not rain on Sunday, or there might be a case of "whoopsie" in the Queen City.

Coin Flip: San Francisco

Prediction: Bengals 24 49ers 21

1:00 pm Seattle Seahawks at Pittsburgh Steelers (-4, 46 1/2) - Wow! Pittsburgh looked like a team from another planet - called Victim - in a 33-3 opening loss to the Patriots, rushing for just 32 yards and Big Ben chucking the ball 47 times with only 27 completions and a pick. Either the Pats are sensationally good or the Steelers are just plain bad.

Whatever the case, Seattle ought to outplay them, just like the Patriots did. Seattle did just slip by the Bengals, 21-20, but they'll take the W, thank you. Give them another, this time on the road.

Coin Flip: Pittsburgh

Prediction: Seahawks 27 Steelers 21

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