NFL Week 2 Picks - Early Games

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NFL Week 2 Early Games

All times Eastern

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Week 1 results: Rick: 7-8-1; Coin: 9-6-1

Thursday September 17

Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns (-6, 43 1/2) 8:20 pm (NFLN) - This figures to be a spirited encounter, being a divisional game with both teams vying for their first win of the season. Cleveland was completely outclassed at Baltimore week 1, on the losing end of a 38-6 score while the 'Natty dropped a 16-13 decision at home to visiting Las Vegas. Both teams should fare better offensively, but the Browns don't seem to be deserving of being nearly a touchdown favorite.

Coin Flip: Cleveland

Prediction: Browns 23 Bengals 20

Sunday September 20

New York Giants at Chicago Bears (-5 1/2, 42) 1:00 pm (CBS) - Chicago avoided disaster by coming back in the fourth quarter to upend the Lions in Detroit last week, 27-23, though a loss was avoided via dropped Detroit pass in the end zone late in the contest. While the Bears sputtered offensively throughout their opening game, the Giants couldn't keep the Steelers out of the zone, dropping a 26-16 decision on Monday night.

In 2019, the Giants were equally bad at home and on the road where they went 2-6. All but one of their road losses were by more than 5 1/2, so the Bears look like an obvious choice even with no fans in attendance.

Coin Flip: Chicago

Prediction: Bears 31 Giants 17

Atlanta Falcons at Dallas Cowboys (-4 1/2, 52 1/2) 1:00 pm (Fox) - Dallas fans say they were robbed on a late offensive pass interference call, but the refs may have gotten it right. In any case, Dallas is off to an 0-1 start again, which they've done every other year since 2013. Opening the season with a loss on even-numbered years is a habit the Cowboys may want to enshire, because they've made the playoffs each time (2014, 2016, 2018).

The Falcons were brutalized by the play of Seattle's Russell Wilson, who tossed four TD passes in a career day. Seattle's passing stats should give Cowboys' QB Dak Prescott confidence and RB Elliott was just four yards rushing short of the century mark in week 1.

Coin Flip: Atlanta

Prediction: Cowboys 30 Falcons 20\

Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers (-6, 49 1/2) 1:00 pm (Fox) - The Lions let one get away last week, losing to the Bears, 27-23, and now they hit the road to Lambeau, where they have had limited success, 3-7 since 2010. Aaron Rodgers had another typically magnificent outing in week 1, throwing four TD passes on 32-of-44 for 364 yards with no picks in a 43-34 win at Minnesota.

The Lions have enough defensive lapses and holes that Rodgers is certain to have another stellar outing and keep the Packers atop the NFC North. Some shoring up of the Packers' defense is also expected.

Coin Flip: Detroit

Prediction: Packers 38 Lions 13

Minnesota Vikings at Indianapolis Colts (-3, 48 1/2) 1:00 pm (Fox) - While Phillip Rivers was a solid pickup for the Colts at QB, he's still just one guy, whereas the Vikings' Kirk Cousins has a strong supporting cast. The Vegas line here looks to be way off the mark. The Vikings didn't fare well against the Packers, but they should regroup in time to upend the Colts, who aren't really a top notch bunch.

Coin Flip: Minnesota

Prediction: Vikings 27 Colts 14

Buffalo Bills (-5 1/2, 41) at Miami Dolphins 1:00 pm (CBS) - Josh Allen may have had his best day as a pro QB in week 1, throwing for 312 yards and 2 TDs while leading the Bills in rushing with 57 yards and another score in their 27-17 win over the Jets. While beating the Jets isn't such a great feather in Buffalo's cap, a win is a win and the Bills figure to keep their sights on an AFC East title this season.

Miami's largely expected, 21-11, defeat at New England included three picks thrown by QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, who is apparently past his "use by" date. The Bills know this offense well and will capitalize on offensive lapses.

Coin Flip: Miami

Prediction: Bills 24 Dolphins 7

San Francisco 49ers (-7, 42 1/2) at New York Jets 1:00 pm (Fox) - If last week's 27-17 loss at Buffalo was what one should expect from the Jets, this blowout by what may be the class of the NFC should be more convincing than necessary.

Coin Flip: San Francisco

Prediction: 49ers 34 Jets 10

Los Angeles Rams (-1, 46) at Philadelphia Eagles1:00 pm (Fox) - The Eagles are beginning to look like their 2019 counterparts, delivering much less than promised. Sunday's second half collapse at Washington came on both sides of the ball. Neither the offense nor the defense could prevent blowing a 17-0 lead. Carson Went was sacked eight times and Washington QB Dwayne Haskins Jr. picked apart the porous Philly secondary for a 27-17 romp.

The Rams took down a talented Dallas team on Sunday night and should have no problem scoring the football against an overrated Eagles' defense. Rams' defense is solid.

Coin Flip: Los Angeles Rams

Prediction: LA Rams 28 Eagles 20

Denver Broncos at Pittsburgh Steelers (-7 1/2, 41 1/2) 1:00 pm (CBS) - In week 1, the Steelers took a 10-point win at the Giants (26-16) prior to the Broncos surrendering late to Tennessee, 16-14, both teams playing on Monday night. With the Broncos having to travel, the onus is upon them for improvement, but the offense generated only 241 yards offense against the Titans, whose kicker, Stephen Gostkowski, missed three of four field goal attempts and blew a point after. Denver won't be so lucky against Pittsburgh, but this should be one of the better defensive battles of week 2.

Coin Flip: Denver

Prediction: Steelers 17 Broncos 13

Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-9, 47 1/2) 1:00 pm (Fox) - Get used to seeing the Bucs favored no matter where they play, per the Brady-Gronk connection, whether that's working or not. Fans should consider the line in any Buccaneers game to be two to four points off in Tampa's direction.

Until it becomes apparent that Tom Brady is 43 and has lost some of his skills, it's a no-brainer to take the other side. The Bucs were outclassed, 34-23, at New Orleans in week 1, while the Panthers fell short at home to the Raiders, 34-30. Should be plenty of offensive fireworks, but at this stage of their respective careers, Panthers' QB Teddy Bridgewater may be better than Brady.

Coin Flip: Carolina

Prediction: Carolina 24 Tampa Bay 21

Jacksonville Jaguars at Tennessee Titans (-9, 42) 1:00 pm (CBS) - Say what you will about Gardner Minshew II, Jacksonville's QB, but he was 19-for-20 passing for 173 yards and three TDs in the Jags' 27-20 home win over the Colts. The Jacksonville offense is designed behind ball control, though that may not be so easily accomplished against the Titans, who bring one of the NFL's top defenses.

Tennessee's 16-14 gutty win at Denver last week shows the Titans' run to the AFC championship last season was no fluke. In their home opener, they may just run roughshod over the Jaguars. Last year's meeting in Nashville produced a 42-20 Tennessee victory.

Coin Flip: Tennessee

Prediction: Titans 38 Jaguars 17

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