The most difficult week to predict is now out of the way, and we all have a better sense as to how teams will play heading into the second gameday of the season. Last week I nailed 11 of the 15 picks, including the Cardinals upset over the 49ers. The Sports Wave followers hit on 9 of the games. Be sure to vote every Thursday/Friday on our Instagram @thesportswaveofficial. Let’s get into this week’s picks, as always with the predicted winner denoted in bold.
TSW Followers: 9-6
Giants vs Bears
After a comeback win against the Lions, the Bears have high hopes heading into their matchup with the Giants. They face one of the weakest defenses in the league, and if Robert Quinn returns, the Monsters of the Midway should feast on the Giants O-line. If the Giants want to have a chance, they will have to get Saquon Barkley going early, something they couldn’t do last week. Overall, I see a sluggish and unentertaining matchup, with the Bears taking the W.
Prediction: Bears 20, Giants 12
TSW Follower Vote: Bears 64%
Rams vs Eagles
Despite a good team win last week against the Dallas Cowboys, I’m still not sold on the legitimacy of the LA Rams. They were a PI call away from losing the game, but overall they looked better than I expected. In my opinion, this game is the most difficult to predict, as both teams have had their share of inconsistencies. If both teams were healthy, I’d take the Eagles, but since several key starters like Miles Sanders, Lane Johnson, and Alshon Jeffery are banged up, the Rams are my pick to win.
Prediction: Rams 23, Eagles 17
TSW Follower Vote: Rams 73%
Falcons vs Cowboys
Two 0-1 teams with high powered passing attacks and spotty secondaries face off in this early matchup. The Cowboys were a PI penalty away from winning or forcing OT last week, but they played sloppily. The same narrative of a team with lots of talent yet the inability to put it all together persists for Dem Boyz, and their window may be closing. As for the Falcons, their window with Matt Ryan and Julio Jones looks to be nearly shut, but a surprise season could turn things around in the ATL. However, the Cowboys are the better team, so I give them the easy win in this one.
Prediction: Cowboys 31, Falcons 24
TSW Follower Vote: Cowboys 55%
Panthers vs Buccaneers
The Carolina Panthers, pegged by many as one of the worst teams in the league, showed out last week against the Las Vegas Raiders, falling by just 4 points. The defense was a clear weakness for Carolina, but their offense, headlined by Christian McCaffrey, Teddy Bridgewater, and DJ Moore looks special. The Bucs struggled against the best team in the NFC, the Saints, but they should bounce back against a much favorable matchup. I got the Bucs winning comfortably in this one, but the Panthers could very easily keep pace.
Prediction: Buccaneers 35, Panthers 20
TSW Follower Vote: Buccaneers 72%
49ers vs Jets
Our 3rd straight matchup of 0-1 teams features two franchises that couldn’t be any different from each other. The 49ers seem to have about everything (when healthy), except for a quality quarterback, and the Jets seem to have just the opposite, with Sam Darnold being the only bright spot with a few exceptions. After a tough division loss last week to the Arizona Cardinals, I expect San Fran to bounce back and win convincingly in MetLife Stadium against one of the worst teams in the NFL.
Prediction: 49ers 33, Jets 10
TSW Follower Vote: 49ers 93%
Broncos vs Steelers
One of my upset picks of the week is that the young Broncos will enter an empty Heinz Field and leave with the win against arguably the league’s best defense. If it weren’t for several drops by Jerry Jeudy, Melvin Gordon’s ball security issues, and Courtland Sutton’s absence, the Broncos would’ve ran away with the victory against the Titans. They should bounce back well, but the defense will have to hold strong in what I see as a low scoring game.
Prediction: Broncos 20, Steelers 16
TSW Follower Vote: Steelers 72%
Jaguars vs Titans
Minshew and company had their magic moment last week against the Colts, but I simply don’t see them beating the Titans this week. The Jaguars had trouble stopping the run last week, and they face Derrick Henry, who has averaged 106.8 yards per game in his last 6 games against the Jags. The reigning rushing champ should eat against a familiar foe, and as long as Ryan Tannehill doesn’t turn into Phillip Rivers, the Titans will be just fine in what I expect to be a blowout victory.
Prediction: Titans 38, Jaguars 17
TSW Follower Vote: Titans 80%
Lions vs Packers
The Packers ride a 7-game winning streak against division opponents into their second divisional matchup of the year. Aaron Rodgers announced his revenge tour last week by dropping 364 yards and 4 TDs, as if he was trying to seal his place as Packers starting QB from some new backup. The Lions lost in heartbreaking fashion to the Bears last week in the most Lions way possible (Be sure to read about it in my Week 1 recap article), and it appears as if they are destined for another losing season under Matt Patricia. The Packers should easily win, and maybe even blowout an inferior Lions team.
Prediction: Packers 42, Lions 13
TSW Follower Vote: Packers 87%
Bills vs Dolphins
The Dolphins are a much better team than the one that began the 2019 season, but they are still in a rebuild and have a very tough schedule this year, so don’t expect much success from them. The Bills looked like an elite team in Week 1, but to be fair, that will happen when you play the Jets. Josh Allen is yet to prove himself as a top talent, and he will be tested against the Miami secondary. This matchup favors the Bills, and the Dolphins could make it close, but I don’t see them coming out on top.
Prediction: Bills 27, Dolphins 14
TSW Follower Vote: 87%
Vikings vs Colts
“Disappointing” would be an accurate one word description of the way both teams played in Week 1. The Vikings were carved up by the Packers, and the Colts couldn’t hold a lead against the worst roster in the league. Kirk Cousins will likely not have to worry about his defense allowing 43 points again, but the Vikings can’t get behind early. The Colts, especially Phillip Rivers, need to fix their offensive issues, but this game looks to be a toss up. However, I give the Vikings the slight edge.
Prediction: Vikings 23, Colts 20
TSW Follower Vote: Vikings 70%
Washington vs Cardinals
Everyone’s favorite football team that’s named Football Team looks to build on their Week 1 success that included a monster performance by the front seven. Dwayne Haskins and the offense will have to step up if they want to match the league’s new hottest duo, Kyler Murray and Deandre Hopkins. The pair led the Cardinals to an upset win last week, and they should stay hot on Sunday against the Football Team. Washington may keep it surprisingly close, but they can’t match the future 2020 MVP, K1.
Prediction: Cardinals 30, Football Team 21
TSW Follower Vote: Cardinals 80%
Ravens vs Texans
Bill O’Brien must have done something to piss off Roger Goodell, because after opening the season against arguably the best team in the league, they play a Ravens squad who is also arguably best in the league. They simply stand no chance against the best roster in the league, and Deshaun Watson will be overwhelmed behind an iffy line. The Ravens are clearly the better team; I just can’t sugarcoat any hope for the Texans in this game. I see the Ravens demolishing the Texans with fireworks on offense and 5+ sacks on defense.
Prediction: Ravens 38, Texans 18
TSW Follower Vote: Ravens 87%
Chiefs vs Chargers
While the Chargers may have gotten lucky last week, with a shank by Randy Bullock securing their victory against the Bengals, but like the Texans last week, they don’t stand a chance against the Chiefs. Tyrod Taylor needs to utilize Austin Ekeler more in the passing game to build rhythm in the offense (And more importantly, to help my fantasy team), but even if all gears are turning, the Chargers won’t be able to match Patrick Mahomes and the gang. Expect the Chiefs to win and cover the 9 point spread.
Prediction: Chiefs 31, Chargers 14
TSW Follower Vote: Chiefs 92%
Patriots vs Seahawks
NBC’s Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth are surely ecstatic to be on the call for another Patriots Seahawks game. The pair also called the infamous Super Bowl XLIX matchup, that started a wave of criticism towards the Seahawks for not running the ball that is yet to subside. Nearly 6 years later, the Patriots are a shell of the team that won their 4th ring; even the one that earned the 6th in Super Bowl LIII. This matchups heavily favors the Seahawks, and the Brady-less Patriots will get a harsh wake up call by a much better Seahawks team.
Prediction: Seahawks 24, Patriots 14
TSW Follower Vote: Seahawks 67%
Saints vs Raiders
Allegiant Stadium opens its doors to the NFL for the first time ever as football in Sin City kicks off Monday night. The Saints, having won 13 of their last 15 regular season games, are primed to spoil the grand opening against an outmatched Raiders team. It doesn’t appear that the Raiders can succeed with both Jon Gruden and Derek Carr, and their flaws will be exposed by the favorites in the NFC. Despite missing Michael Thomas, Drew Brees will dissect a weak Raiders defensive unit on their way to a comfortable win.
Prediction: Saints 27, Raiders 16
TSW Follower Vote: Saints 87%