Every week, we’ll look at all 16 match-ups of the round, and give our predictions for each of the games. If you’re a betting man…I’d take the opposite of these picks.
New York Jets (0-1) @ Buffalo Bills (0-1)
The Jets played a tough game against a really talented Bengals team, but losing at home still stings. They’ll take the show on the road to face a Buffalo team that looked solid defensively, but has all kinds of struggles on offense. Tyrod Taylor was about as ineffective as you could be, and with Sammy Watkins out for some time, it may not be getting any better.
Prediction: Jets 24-14
Cincinnati Bengals (1-0) @ Pittsburgh Steelers (1-0)
Cincinnati handled a solid Jets defense and got a tough road win, all while keeping Andy Dalton upright and able to sling it. But Pittsburgh looked better, routing the defending NFC East champ in Washington behind an incredible game from the Pitt offense. The defense was even more of a surprise, as they look to be a solid group again. It’s a battle for an early division lead, and I don’t think it ends after Sunday. Advantage home team this time.
Prediction: Steelers 27-24
Ben Roethlisberger previews Sunday’s divisional matchup with the Bengals. pic.twitter.com/mT8kw1So3W
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) September 14, 2016
Tennessee Titans (0-1) @ Detroit Lions (1-0)
The Titans really struggled in week one, more so on offense than defense. Marcus Mariota was solid, but that running game wasn’t the strength they were hoping for. Turnovers bit them hard – without them, the Titans probably win a slugfest. The defense played well, keeping the shorthanded Vikes at bay. On the flipside, the Lions have one of the most prolific offenses in the NFL. But that defense is bad. This will probably come down to who has the ball last.
Prediction: Lions 31-21
Baltimore Ravens (1-0) @ Cleveland Browns (0-1)
Is this the week I pick Cleveland to get a win? Not so much. Cleveland got carved up by a rookie QB in week one, and I think Joe Flacco will have much more luck throwing on them than he did the stout Buffalo defense. Cleveland also lost their starting QB again, and it just keeps getting worse for the Browns. I don’t think the Ravens are going to help them feel better.
Prediction: Ravens 27-13
Dallas Cowboys (0-1) @ Washington Redskins (0-1)
As crazy as this may seem, this feels like a must-win for both teams really early on. Dak Prescott needs a boosting win to have the confidence to keep the ship afloat until Romo can return, and the Redskins need to stop the bleeding after a humiliating opening night loss. The Redskins need to shore up a defense that looked lost in the secondary, which should have been the strength. And the offense wasn’t something to write home about. Give me the upset here.
Prediction: Cowboys 24-21
New Orleans Saints (0-1) @ New York Giants (1-0)
Sure, the Giants defense looked improved from last season. They were also going against a rookie QB that only targeted his top receiver a handful of times. But the offense looked solid, and there weren’t a lot of mental mistakes. They’ll get all the testing they need against New Orleans, who’s offense looked like one of the best in the league. Only downside: that defense is bad. And I like the Giants to score enough and stop enough.
Prediction: Giants 31-27
— New York Giants (@Giants) September 15, 2016
San Francisco 49ers (1-0) @ Carolina Panthers (0-1)
I don’t think there was a more surprising team in the NFL in week one than the 49ers. They manhandled the Rams, and looked incredible on defense, as well as offense. The Panthers offensive line was bad, but they were still just a field goal away from a win in Denver. The Panthers aren’t the Rams, and they should get back on track at the expense of Kelly’s 49ers.
Prediction: Panthers 30-17
Miami Dolphins (1-0) @ New England Patriots (1-0)
Miami actually looked really good on defense in Seattle. It’s really too bad that their offense didn’t follow suit. Tannehill is going to have to be on his game to provide an upset in Foxboro, as the Pats are riding high after an upset win that looked good on both sides of the ball in Arizona. The Pats aren’t losing at home, but this thing will be closer than the experts think.
Prediction: Patriots 27-21
Kansas City Chiefs (1-0) @ Houston Texans (1-0)
Kansas City needed a miracle to win their game Sunday, and that was against a pretty thin Chargers team. But that team looked like a monster in the fourth quarter. If even a portion of that carries over onto the field Sunday, the Texans have their hands full. They looked good, too, with Osweiler playing well in his debut. He’ll need it against a stout KC secondary that clamped down on Rivers in the second half. We’ll find out a lot about both teams.
Prediction: Chiefs 23-20
Seattle Seahawks (1-0) @ Los Angeles Rams (0-1)
Full disclosure: I’m a big fan of the Rams, and really would like to see Coach Fisher and the Rams succeed in LA. But Monday night was hard to watch. There was literally nothing that went right for LA, which makes it hard to give a template to build. Keenum was bad, Gurley was ineffective, the defense was slow. Seattle’s offense was also pretty bad, but at least got some points on the board. And if the Rams can’t move it on the 49ers, we may see more rough play on Sunday.
Prediction: Seahawks 27-10
— NFL (@NFL) September 14, 2016
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-0) @ Arizona Cardinals (0-1)
The Bucs turned some heads in week one, going to Atlanta and taking a divisional game. Jameis looks poised and collected, and the defense was improved. But the Falcons aren’t Arizona, and a second road trip hurts. The Cardinals are coming off an embarrassing loss to a depleted Patriots team, and know they can’t lose their first two and hope to keep the mantle of the NFC Team to Beat.
Prediction: Cardinals 24-17
Jacksonville Jaguars (0-1) @ San Diego Chargers (0-1)
This game is the battle of the heartbroken after week one. The Jaguars came about as close as you can get to beating Green Bay, coming up short on 4th and one after driving the length of the field. The Chargers put it on the Chiefs for two and a half quarters before committing an epic collapse. Both need a bounce back, but the Chargers loss really stings.
Prediction: Jaguars 31-21
Atlanta Falcons (0-1) @ Oakland Raiders (1-0)
Can the Raiders get the second straight win over the NFC South? The offense looked great against New Orleans. That revamped defense though, oof. The Falcons also put some points up, but the defense struggled all over again. Matty Ice is going to have to be good to go on the road and stop Oakland, but is Oakland actually a team to set as a “lock” at home?
Prediction: Raiders 27-24
“Everyone on this team is so confident in what we can do.”
— OAKLAND RAIDERS (@RAIDERS) September 15, 2016
Indianapolis Colts (0-1) @ Denver Broncos (1-0)
Andrew Luck is legit. But we already knew that. He just helped reaffirm that by putting on a clinic against Detroit. But his defense failed him again, which was the story in 2016. He’ll face a way stiffer challenge in Denver, who just ruined Cam Newton. Denver looks unstoppable after last season, but the offense isn’t superstar level. The Broncos are riding high, but the Colts can’t start 0-2 in this division…do I smell an upset? Maybe.
Prediction: Colts 28-27
Green Bay Packers (1-0) @ Minnesota Vikings (1-0)
The most anticipated game on the docket for Sunday should live up to the hype. The Vikings showed last week that they aren’t going to slow up without Teddy Bridgewater. Sam Bradford should also be taking over by the time this game kicks off. The Packers looked good in their opener, and survived on defense and the heroics of one Aaron Rodgers. And that may just be the difference in this clash: one team has Rodgers and one doesn’t.
Prediction: Packers 27-21
#Vikings veterans understand the importance of this week’s border battle.
— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) September 14, 2016
Philadelphia Eagles (1-0) @ Chicago Bears (0-1)
The Carson Wentz train left the station on Sunday, and he impressed against the Browns. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves though, as the young QB still looked a little rough around the edges. But could he be gifted two better defenses for his first two starts? The Bears are far from scary, but the offense is better than they played in Houston. But the Eagles have proved something so far, and until the Bears do, I’m team Wentz.
Prediction: Eagles 21-17