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NFL Picks Week 2: The More Things Change

Week 1 featured some fantastic games and surprising results, now we set our sights on Week 2 of the 2016 NFL Season.

Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Saints travel to MetLife Stadium for the first road game of the 2016 season, as they face the New York Giants.  The Saints are coming off a 35-34 loss against Oakland, while the G-Men are fresh off a big road win in Dallas.  These two teams faced off in the most exciting game of the 2015 season, which the Saints won 52-49, a game that set defensive football back fifty years.  This time the scene shifts to the east coast.  Will the Saints and Giants set off offensive fireworks once again?  We'll just have to wait and see.

Last week I went 8-8

I told you so: Bucs over Falcons!

What do I know: Cowboys over Giants?


Thursday, September 15th - Thursday Night Football

Jets(0-1) at Bills(0-1)

Buffalo seemed to have the Jets' number last season, but that turns around this year.  The Jets will rebound from a tough Week 1 loss by winning in Buffalo.

Pick: Jets


Sunday, September 18th - Early Games

49ers(1-0) at Panthers(0-1)

Carolina was also left stinging after losing the season opener, but they'll rebound at home against San Francisco, who had the luxury of not facing an NFL offense in Week 1.

Pick: Panthers


Cowboys(0-1) at Redskins(0-1)

The cellar-dwellars of the NFC East meet in an early "must win" game in Washington, as an 0-2 hole could be too much to overcome early on for the loser.  Dallas, who botched their opportunity for victory last week, gets a close win here.

Pick: Cowboys


Bengals(1-0) at Steelers(1-0) - Game of the Week

We should have a fantastic game here, as the AFC's most dynamic offense, in Pittsburgh, hosts the defending NFC North champs.  Bad blood will continue to boil in this game, as Cincy has recently replaced Baltimore as the Steelers' toughest, most bitter rival.  The Bengals have the defensive advantage, but the Steelers have the quarterback advantage with Ben Roethlisberger.  The Steeler offense will be up to the task against a tough defense.  Pittsburgh will not overwhelm Cincy like they do others, but they will make enough plays to win this game.

Pick: Steelers


Dolphins(0-1) at Patriots(1-0)

New England will be playing their backup quarterback against Miami and will still have a massive advantage at the position over the Dolphins despite it.  Jimmy Garoppolo will lead the Pats to victory over another very good defensive unit.  The Patriots continue to roll on, Brady or not.

Pick: Patriots


Chiefs(1-0) at Texans(1-0)

Alex Smith will utilize his favorite target, tight end Travis Kelce, to keep the Houston defense off balance and off his back.  Kansas City wins a big road game here.

Pick: Chiefs


Titans(0-1) at Lions(1-0)

Detroit will face a much better defense in Tennessee than they did in Week 1, but they'll still get enough from their offense to win here at home.

Pick: Lions


Ravens(1-0) at Browns(0-1)

The Baltimore defense looked as dominant as they have in years, last week.  That will continue against the dead-in-the-water Browns in Cleveland.

Pick: Ravens


Saints(0-1) at Giants(1-0)

The big question for Saints fans in this game is how New Orleans expects to handle Giants standout receiver Odell Beckham Jr., and its a valid question.  The Saints' depleted depth at cornerback is downright frightening, and when you place not only Beckham but also a healthy Victor Cruz against them, the cause seems hopeless.

Despite this, not all hope is lost.  Since the Brees/Payton era began in 2006, the Saints are 4-1 against the Giants and have outscored them by an average score of 41-32.  In those five starts, Drew Brees has averaged 345 yards and 3 TDs against the Giants defenses.  As proven last week, and all of the Brees/Payton era really, the Saints can score with the best of them.

The problem for the Payton-led Saints is that with the exception of the electric 2011 team, once the Saints lose in Week 1 they generally follow it up with a second consecutive loss (see 2012, 2014, & 2015).  This is far from encouraging, as this team certainly feels closer to those teams than they do 2011.  The lack of pass rush could be remedied this week, and the tackling on the back end may shore up, but it would be a miracle for the secondary to overcome the dearth of experience and talent at corner against such a formidable set of receivers.  Whoever Ken Crawley is covering will be in for a monster game and the Saints can't hide that fact because the depth is non-existent.

Thanks to their dynamic offense, the Saints will keep it close, but once again fall short.  Giants win 31-28.

Pick: Giants


Sunday, September 18th - Late Games

Seahawks(1-0) at Rams(0-1)

The Seattle defense looked as good as ever last week, while the Los Angeles offense looked worse than anyone imagined.  Pete Carroll returns to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum for the first time since his USC days, and he will be as dominant with the Seahawks there as he was with the Trojans.  Seattle will roll the offensively offensive Rams.

Pick: Seahawks


Buccaneers(1-0) at Cardinals(0-1)

This matchup is far more even than anyone will give it credit for.  In fact, I argue Tampa has much better quarterback play that Arizona does.  The difference in this game will be how effective Larry Fitzgerald and the Cardinals receiving corps is against the Bucs defense.  Ultimately, Arizona's offensive balance will secure a close victory for the Cards at home.

Pick: Cardinals


Jaguars(0-1) at Chargers(0-1)

Jacksonville will pick up a mildly surprising win in San Diego, as the Bolts defense continues to spiral, following their Week 1 collapse.

Pick: Jaguars


Falcons(0-1) at Raiders(1-0)

There will be plenty of points in this one, as both teams will test each others secondary with their dangerous passing attacks.  Ultimately, Atlanta's lack of offensive balance will be their undoing in Oakland.

Pick: Raiders


Colts(0-1) at Broncos(1-0)

Andrew Luck will do everything he can to keep Indy alive in this one, but Denver's defense will overwhelm the Colts' dreadful offensive line.  Denver's offense should face little resistance from the Indy defense as well.  Denver gets the win here at home.

Pick: Broncos


Sunday Night Football

Packers(1-0) at Vikings(1-0)

Green Bay has to avoid turnovers and get their ground game going against a tough Minnesota defense in this one, and they should be able to do it.  Minnesota opens their new stadium in this homecoming game, and the Vikings fans should be amped up for this one, but the Packers will spoil the night for the U.S. Bank Stadium crowd.

Pick: Packers


Monday, September 19th - Monday Night Football

Eagles(1-0) at Bears(0-1)

Carson Wentz had a solid NFL debut last week, but that was against the Browns, and well, its the Browns.  This week, its on the road, in primetime against a solid defense in Chicago.  The Bears will beat the Eagles and their rookie QB in this one.

Pick: Bears


That's how I see it, tell us how you see Week 2 playing out.  Leave your comments and insight below.  Who Dat!