My NFL Week 2 picks start on Thursday when Houston battles Cincinnati. Which disappointing loser from Week 1, the Texans or Bengals, gets the job done on Sep. 14? The 2 games I like on Sunday have Chicago battling Tampa Bay in Florida and Washington at the L.A. Rams. Can Chicago beat a fired-up Tampa Bay squad that had to sit out Week 1 due to Hurricane Irma? How is Washington going to stop the Rams incredible passing attack?
NFL Week 2 Picks
Houston at Cincinnati
When: Thursday, Sep. 14 at 8:25 pm ET
Where: Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, OH
TV: NFL Net
Odds: Cincinnati -3
Analysis: The Baltimore Ravens beat Cincinnati 20 to 0 in Week 1. It wouldn’t have been so bad if Cincinnati hadn’t lost at home to the rival Ravens. The Bengals couldn’t stop the Ravens from rushing the football. Baltimore ran for 157 yards against Cincy’s defense.
As bad as Houston’s offense looked on Sunday in the loss to the Jaguars, I think Cincinnati’s defense is just plain awful. The Bengals are a tired bunch. If there’s any team in the NFL that needs a makeover, it’s Cincinnati.
With a full week of practice (okay, 3 days of practice) as the starting QB, DeShaun Watson should play much better in Week 2 than he did in Week 1. Expect Houston to hand the ball off to RB Donta Foreman more in this game. They’ll also target DeAndre Hopkins more.
Houston is the play on the money line.
Pick: Houston money line
Chicago at Tampa Bay
When: Sunday, Sept. 17 at 1:00 pm ET
Where: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, FL
Odds: Tampa Bay -6
Analysis: Tampa Bay’s first game of the season was cancelled because of Hurricane Irma. The Buccaneers were raring to go. By all accounts, QB Jameis Winston looked great in camp. Winston got a new TE in O.J. Howard. Speedster DeSean Jackson also joined the Buccaneers’ receiving corps.
But, the real reason to like Tampa Bay is because of RB Jacquizz Rodgers. I believe he just needs a shot to prove that he’s as effective, if not more so, than last year’s starter Doug Martin. Rodgers has a chance to prove how capable he is against a Bears’ defense that Atlanta couldn’t take advantage of in Week 1.
Tampa’s defense figures to do a decent job against Bears’ QB Mike Glennon. I don’t mind laying the points.
Pick: Tampa Bay -6
Washington at L.A. Rams
When: Sunday, Sept. 17 at 4:25 pm ET
Where: L.A. Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, CA
Odds: L.A. Rams -2.5
Analysis: Washington looked like garbage in Week 1. Kirk Cousins, as I expected, pushed way too much. He threw 2 interceptions to the rival Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles destroyed Washington 30 to 17.
The Rams? Yeah, so, the Rams hired Washington offensive coordinator Sean McVay as their head coach. Already, it’s paid dividends. As a -3 favorite over the Andrew Luck-less Indianapolis Colts, McVay’s offense hung 46 onto Indy.
The Rams beat the Colts 46 to 9. Does Washington have any shot in this game? I don’t believe they do. I think the Rams are legit. Let’s not forget that Aaron Donald, a Defensive Player of the Year candidate, about a day ago just signed to play this season.
Rams hang a second “L” onto the flabbergasted D.C.’ers.
Pick: L.A. Rams -2.5