By Brien O’Donal
Follow me on Twitter @ODonalsVanguard
Another week, another 5 losses on my record. For the season I am currently 21-10 in my picks. The only game that really surprised me was the Texans winning against the Bengals. I guess it will take longer for Cincinnati to get their act together. My other 4 losses I think could have gone either way, but I feel like I was suckered by the Giants. Their offense should be better. I will just have to add them and the Bengals to my list of bottom feeders. That list going into week 3 is the Jets, Bears, Colts, 49ers, and now Giants and Bengals. Until these teams start looking like professionals I will say no to picking them for any wins. And another note: if the Texans don’t fix things soon, they will be on this list too.
Time to start picking winners!
Rams (1-1) at 49ers (0-2)- Thursday 7:25 p.m. CT; NFL Network
Three weeks ago this game looked like a bad idea for Thursday night ratings. Now; not so much. The 49ers defense looked like a tough out against the Seahawks last week and the Rams offense looks much improved in both games they’ve played. I don’t know if this will be a slugfest but I hope it’s better than I thought it would be in the preseason. I like the offense to be the difference in the Rams’ win. Goff seems to have made a huge improvement from his rookie year and Gurley has been making plays when necessary.
Ravens (2-0) at Jaguars (1-1) (London game)– Sunday 8:30 a.m. CT; Yahoo!
What happened to that Jaguars defense? The Titans are good but they’re not 31 second half points good. While I think they have a lot of talent and will match up well against the Ravens’ offense, they still have Bortles at quarterback. The Ravens’ defense is pretty good too and they will make sure he doesn’t beat them. I’m taking the Ravens to win this one.
Browns (0-2) at Colts (0-2)- Sunday 12:00 p.m. CT; CBS
This one is a surprise. I still can’t pick the Colts to win without Andrew Luck so despite the struggles the Browns still have I’m taking them to get a week 3 win. The Colts look awful. The Browns look less awful than the Colts and I think that will get them a win.
Giants (0-2) at Eagles (1-1)- Sunday 12:00 p.m. CT; Fox
Like I said above, I have added the Giants to my no pick list. I especially won’t do it against a divisional opponent who has already played 2 really solid games, one of which was a close loss to one of the best teams in the NFL. The Eagles should enjoy another divisional win.
Dolphins (1-0) at Jets (0-2)- Sunday 12:00 p.m. CT; CBS
The Jets suck. The Dolphins don’t. Dolphins win.
Broncos (2-0) at Bills (1-1)- Sunday 12:00 p.m. CT; CBS
The Broncos defense just got done completely throttling the Cowboys strong running game while they’re offense was firing on all cylinders. The Bills won’t go lightly but I don’t think they have the offensive weapons to notch a victory. I’m taking the Broncos to go 3-0.
Saints (0-2) at Panthers (2-0)- Sunday 12:00 p.m. CT; Fox
This is the first game that gave me fits trying to decide. The Saints are a mess but I still see life on the offensive side of the ball. The Panthers haven’t shown a whole lot of offense but their defense is still pretty decent. In the end I chose to take the Saints to win a very tough game on the road against a divisional opponent.
Steelers (2-0) at Bears (0-2)- Sunday 12:00 p.m. CT; CBS
Yeah, the Bears are pretty bad. The Steelers were able to get back on track last week against the Vikings and Case Keenum and I see this as another chance for them to get more practice against a bottom tier team. They should win this one pretty easily and remain undefeated.
Falcons (2-0) at Lions (2-0)- Sunday 12:00 p.m. CT; Fox
I really want to watch this one. The Lions just took advantage of an obviously flawed Giants team, but they looked good doing it. They are playing at mid season form early on and I like them to be able to put up some points this week. The problem is that they are facing a Falcons team that picked up right where they left off last year. Matt Ryan is leading probably the best offense and their defense is playing well enough. I didn’t get my shootout last week when the Falcons played the Packers, but maybe this will be the one. I like the Falcons to win another one and remain the top dog.
Buccaneers (1-0) at Vikings (1-1)- Sunday 12:00 p.m. CT; Fox
This was another tough call for me. I like what both of these teams have built and I think they will have good seasons. But I have to pick someone to win and I am picking the Vikings, predicated on Sam Bradford playing. If Case Keenum gets trotted out there again Minnesota doesn’t have a chance. I think their offense with Sam Bradford has the ability to wear out Tampa’s defense and their own defense will make some plays to limit Jameis Winston’s downfield attack. It should be a tight one but I am taking the Vikings with Sam Bradford.
Texans (1-1) at Patriots (1-1)- Sunday 12:00 p.m. CT; CBS
Belichick is a master at taking away a team’s best weapon. Since the Texans have only DeAndre Hopkins at receiver and DeShaun Watson at quarterback I thinks it’s a safe bet there won’t be a lot of offensive production out of them. Then there’s the whole Tom Brady thing. He can tear apart any defense and given enough chances he will put up plenty of points. Patriots win this one and leave the Texans fans screaming for heads to roll.
Seahawks (1-1) at Titans (1-1)- Sunday 3:05 p.m. CT; Fox
I like this one. I’m hoping the Titans can take advantage of a Seattle team that looks weaker than they should. Russell Wilson hasn’t been able to get the offense moving and it’s hurting a really good defense. I thought it was just a tough outing in week 1 in Green Bay, but San Francisco held them to 12 points and may have exposed the more serious flaws they have. I think the Titans have built a well balanced team and I think they will have enough to get a nice home win.
Bengals (0-2) at Packers (1-1)- Sunday 3:25 p.m. CT; CBS
The Bengals have yet to score a touchdown and Green Bay’s offense has the potential to be pretty dynamic. They haven’t had a big offensive explosion yet but this game could change that. The Packers defense looked good in week 1 and bad in week 2. I’m thinking they will look good this week and the Packers will cruise to a 2-1 record.
Chiefs (2-0) at Chargers (0-2)- Sunday 3:25 p.m. CT; CBS
Here we go with another AFC West showdown. I feel bad for the Chargers and all their field goal woes. Two weeks in a row they lost games by special teams, a habit that seems to have carried over from last season. I know the Chiefs have a good defense but the Chargers have Philip Rivers and plenty of weapons. They also have some good playmakers on defense. But the Chiefs are the Chiefs. They look like the best team in the NFL right now and at the end of the day I’m picking them to methodically control the game and win on the road.
Raiders (2-0) at Redskins (1-1)- Sunday 7:30 p.m. CT; NBC
The Redskins got a nice win in Los Angeles last week and probably feel good about getting the Raiders at home. Oakland may have it’s defensive concerns but I still think they’re a better team. I’m picking Oakland to win this one on the road and look better than they have doing it.
Cowboys (1-1) at Cardinals (1-1)- Monday 7:30 p.m. CT; ESPN
I was just as shocked as everyone else at how inept the Cowboys looked on offense last week. Denver has a great defense though, so I can’t hold it against them. The Cardinals are supposed to have a good defense and they did well against the Colts last week, but they had to go into overtime to win. That doesn’t bode well for them as the Cowboys should get back on track offensively and without David Johnson their offense doesn’t look that great. I’m taking the Cowboys to win in the desert.