For the second straight week, I nailed 11 of my 15 total picks, but overall The Sports Wave Instagram followers did better, hitting on 12 of their picks. With the exception of the Broncos/Steelers game, all our picks were identical, but that changes in Week 3. Be sure to vote on the polls every Friday on our Instagram, @thesportswaveofficial. Without further adieu, let’s get to this week’s games.
TSW Followers: 20-10
49ers vs Giants
The Niners play their second straight game at MetLife Stadium, a place that delivered several knee injuries and a high ankle sprain, among others. They face the Giants, another team that has had tough luck when it comes to staying healthy. With no Jimmy Garoppolo, Saquon Barkley, and likely no George Kittle, this game will be quite uninteresting. The 49ers have the better scheme and overall roster, so expect a comfortable win for San Fran.
Prediction: 49ers 24, Giants 10
TSW Follower Vote: 49ers 80%
Washington vs Browns
Two mediocre 1-1 teams who find their respective strengths on opposite sides of the ball square off in the early window of games. The Football Team looks to bounce back after being blown out last week by the Cardinals. Their defensive line should do better against Baker Mayfield, who is much worse at avoiding sacks than the elusive Kyler Murray. The Browns are seeking their second straight win, but their defense will need to step up against Dwayne Haskins and company. Overall I give the Browns the advantage, but the game should be close.
Prediction: Browns 27, Football Team 23
TSW Follower Vote: Browns 67%
Bengals vs Eagles
Carson Wentz and Miles Sanders lead the struggling Eagles as they look for their first win of the season. They face the Bengals, a team whose only bright spot so far has been Joe Burrow. Both winless teams have had struggles defensively and on the offensive line, which is expected for the Bengals, but not for the Eagles. If Philly expects to make their 3rd straight trip to the playoffs, they will need to win this game. However, I envision an upset, as Burrow leads the way with 4 passing TDs.
Prediction: Bengals 34, Eagles 30
TSW Follower Vote: Eagles 55%
Raiders vs Patriots
After a confidence-boosting win against the Saints, Jon Gruden the Raiders head to Foxboro. In his head coaching career, Gruden is 0-2 against Bill Belichick, with his first loss in the infamous “Tuck Rule” game. The Patriots showed promise in Week 2 in a close loss to the Seahawks, but 2019 DPOY Stephon Gilmore was exposed by DK Metcalf. Fortunately, no Raiders receiver is a clear threat to the strong Patriots secondary, and overall the Pats have the better team and coach. The Raiders should make this interesting and cover the spread, but ultimately I see a Patriots win.
Prediction: Patriots 26, Raiders 21
TSW Follower Vote: Patriots 66%
Bears vs Falcons
In their first two games, the Bears have led by exactly 4 points in down-to-the-wire situations that nearly ended in touchdowns for their opponents. Mitchell Trubisky has shown flashes, but has struggled to play well consistently. On the other side, the Falcons have been lighting up the scoreboard, but the defense has been letting them down. They let the Cowboys erase a 20 point deficit and lost in embarrassing fashion. Personal bias may factor in, but I predict a Bears win.
Prediction: Bears 29, Falcons 23
TSW Follower Vote: Falcons 71%
Rams vs Bills
Head coach Sean McVay and defensive coordinator Brandon Staley deserve a lot of credit for turning around the Rams after a disappointing 9-7 season. Jared Goff has played much better, and the defense is yet to allow 20 points. The Bills have looked like a contender in the AFC and Josh Allen has played like an MVP candidate. The defense needs to step up, but the offense should have no trouble matching the Rams. I see the Bills edging out the Rams in an offense heavy game.
Prediction: Bills 34, Rams 31
TSW Follower Vote: Bills 57%
Texans vs Steelers
After a brutal opening to their schedule that included games against the two best teams in the league, the Texans play yet another undefeated team. Deshaun Watson will be mauled by the fierce Steelers pass rush that will wreak havoc on the Texans spotty o-line. Big Ben has bounced back well for the Steelers, and is certainly an upgrade from Mason Rudolph and Devlin Hodges. Nothing in this matchup favors the Texans, so expect a comfortable win for the Steelers.
Prediction: Steelers 31, Texans 18
TSW Follower Vote: Steelers 67%
Titans vs Vikings
Currently, the Tennessee Titans sit at 2-0, but have only won their games by a combined 5 points. They look like they can compete in the AFC and maybe make another run at the AFC Championship, but they need to elevate their play. On the other side, the Vikings have been blown out in two straight games and have shown little promise. Kirk Cousins has struggled without Kevin Stefanski, and their secondary has been awful, at best. Expect another blowout, with Ryan Tannehill possibly posting a perfect passer rating.
Prediction: Titans 38, Vikings 10
TSW Follower Vote: Titans 75%
Panthers vs Chargers
After the team doctor went rogue and took out Tyrod Taylor’s lung, the Chargers were left with no choice but to start Justin Herbert last week. It ended up working well for them, as Herbert played great for a rookie and nearly beat the Chiefs. He earns his first career start this week against the Panthers. Carolina seems to be rebuilding, but have shown bright spots, especially on offense. They will be without Christian McCaffrey, a loss which tips the scale in favor of the Chargers, if it wasn’t already that way.
Prediction: Chargers 27, Panthers 20
TSW Follower Vote: Chargers 74%
Jets vs Colts
The worst team in football travels to Indianapolis to face Philip Rivers and the Colts in the most boring of the Week 3 late games. Sam Darnold looks like a competent quarterback, but he is the only player on the Jets offense that has looked somewhat decent. The Colts played well last week after a shameful loss to the Jags in Week 1, and they can get the ball rolling with another win against the Jets. Despite injuries to Malik Hooker and Jack Doyle, the Colts are the clear favorite in this matchup.
Prediction: Colts 25, Jets 9
TSW Follower Vote: Colts 88%
Cowboys vs Seahawks
The runner-up and winner of the Jamal Adams sweepstakes face off on Sunday at an empty CenturyLink Field. Russell Wilson has been cooking to start the season, with 9 TDs and just 11 incompletions, making him the clear MVP frontrunner. Russ should continue to dominate against a weak Cowboys secondary, as Dak and Dem Boyz will struggle to match his excellence. Dallas has talent, but they don’t stack up well against the best team in the NFC. This game could get out of hand, and the Seahawks should easily cover the 5 point spread.
Prediction: Seahawks 40, Cowboys 23
TSW Follower Vote: Seahawks 78%
Lions vs Cardinals
Kliff, Kyler, and the 2-0 Cards host the 0-2 Lions for the second straight year. Last year, the Cardinals led a 17 point comeback in a game that ended in a tie. Since their last meeting, Arizona has improved significantly, while Detroit have yet to record a victory in over 11 months. Kyler Murray is playing like an MVP, and the Cards D has improved greatly compared to 2019. The Lions will struggle greatly, and I can’t envision them winning in any scenario.
Prediction: Cardinals 34, Lions 16
TSW Follower Vote: Cardinals 87%
Buccaneers vs Broncos
After Week 1, which featured mediocre play by the Bucs and promise from Drew Lock, I might’ve given this matchup to the Broncos. However, the football gods spited hopeful Broncos fans with injuries to Drew Lock (shoulder) and Courtland Sutton (ACL). The Bucs appeared in stride last week against the Panthers, and the defense will likely have no problem shutting down Jeff Driskel and the limited Broncos offense. Barring a shocking career revival by Driskel, Tom Brady and the Bucs have this game in the bag easily.
Prediction: Buccaneers 27, Broncos 14
TSW Follower Vote: Buccaneers 82%
Sunday Night Football
Packers vs Saints
After the Packers traded up to draft Jordan Love, a fire must have been lit inside of Aaron Rodgers because he is playing up to par with his 2011 and 2014 MVP seasons. The bad man himself has thrown for 600 yards and 6 TDs in two games, along with 0 ints and 40+ points in each game. He takes on the Saints and Drew Brees, who struggled mightily last week against the Raiders without Michael Thomas at his side. The Saints gave up 34 points to Derek Carr of all QBs, so expect Aaron Rodgers’s revenge tour to continue with a win Sunday Night.
TSW Follower Vote: Packers 63%
Monday Night Football
Chiefs vs Ravens
The two best teams in the NFL battle in what could be the game of the year. This matchup of the 2018 and 2019 MVPs will feature offensive fireworks and likely 30+ points for both teams. While both the Chiefs and Ravens have above average defenses, neither will be able to stop the power of an offense led by either Patrick Mahomes or Lamar Jackson. No deficit is too big for the Chiefs, but they will have to get out in the lead early if they want a chance against Lamar and the potent Ravens. I expect a thriller, with the Ravens winning on a late 4th quarter drive.
Prediction: Ravens 48, Chiefs 45
TSW Follower Vote: Chiefs 53%