Marty’s Picks: Week Two

Marty Keane gives his take on how the NFL's Week Two will go.

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There’s always a lot to be learned from Week 1 in the NFL. There’s always teams that shock you whether they over performed or underperformed. It’s important to not get swept up in the hype, but every year there will be teams who break expectations, and teams that fall apart. Week 2 offers deeper insight into how teams will fare. With that said, let’s be sure to take every Week 1 result with a grain of salt.

Texans @ Bengals, 8:25 Thursday

Boy did both these teams look awful last week. I don’t recall a worse performance by Andy Dalton: 4 interceptions and a fumble. Now he’s up against a tougher defense in Houston, but the Texans were no better. They could not move the ball until they switched to rookie QB Deshaun Watson, who will start. That to me is the deciding factor. Dalton may have struggled, but he’s proven his value. Bengals win in an ugly one.

Bengals 17, Texans 13

Browns @ Ravens, 1:00 Sunday

The Ravens genuinely surprised me last week. They didn’t make excuses and pitched a shutout on the road. Flacco played well too which is huge for Ravens fans. Despite a number of mistakes, the Browns only lost by 3. I’m calling that a fluke, the Browns can’t do much good of anything, and they really struggled to run the ball which was supposed to be their strong point. Ravens defense will smother rookie Kizer, and Flacco will cook.

Ravens 28, Browns 6

Bills @ Panthers, 1:00 Sunday

It would take a monumental effort from Lesean McCoy to force a Bills win. Carolina’s defense is stingy up front, and Tyrod Taylor just isn’t sharp enough to exploit this weak secondary. Also, with Marcell Dareus playing like a non factor, I like the Panthers to overpower the Bills defense.

Panthers 30, Bills 13

Cardinals @ Colts, 1:00 Sunday

The Colts are nothing without Andrew Luck, and as of now, they are unsure who will start at quarterback. The Cardinals are a flawed team as well though: Carson Palmer is not looking good, the o-line isn’t great, and David Johnson is out.  I have confidence, though,  in a lack of confidence in Indy. Cardinals will find a way supported by a good defense and some talented skill position players.

Cardinals 20, Colts 13

Titans @ Jaguars, 1:00 Sunday

Tough game here. I picked the Titans here, but am changing my mind after seeing I didn’t choose any upsets. Look, the Jaguars played nearly perfect last week, their defense is a top 5 unit in the league this year, and they’re at home. Despite my beef with Blake Bortles, I guess he does enough here to win. Also, the Titans did a lot of things that worried me: disappointing production from Demarco Murray and redzone struggles, and those are supposed to be their strong points.

Jaguars 20, Titans 17

Eagles @ Chiefs

The Chiefs shocked the NFL last week. The line was getting a great push and Alex Smith played reborn. Wentz is progressing fast, but I don’t foresee him having the same success against this defense. Lots of weapons on KC and Arrowhead is not friendly to road teams.

Chiefs 27, Eagles 17

Patriots @ Saints

Hard to see the Patriots starting 0-2. The Saints D got scorched by Sam Bradford, so think what an angry Brady will do.  Pat’s defense was not impressive, they got pushed around, had busted coverages, and Hightower isn’t likely to play or won’t be at full strength. But they have talent and the Saints offense really underwhelmed. They have no clear running game and less than talented receivers. All that considered, New England bounces back strong.

Patriots 35, Saints 24

Vikings @ Steelers.

Le’Veon Bell was used carefully due to his late holdout, but his workload should be back to normal this week. Vikings defense is real tough, but Pittsburgh has the best skills players in the league with a hall of fame quarterback, so they’ll put up points. Bradford looked good, but he was hitting easy reads with open receivers. Pittsburgh’s defense presents a tougher test, and I don’t see the Vikings keeping up with Big Ben.

Steelers 24, Vikings 20

Bears @ Buccaneers

The Bucs didn’t play last week, but it’s easy to say they are the better team here. Winston should handle the Bears defense. On defense, Gerald McCoy will hound Jordan Howard and the new star Tarik Cohen. Mike Glennon will for sure struggle against his former team and Tampa starts off with a good win.

Buccaneers 31, Bears 9

Dolphins @ Chargers

The Chargers played well last week. 21 points against a stout defense is encouraging and now they’re at home. The Jay Cutler Show is getting a rerun, but that isn’t exactly a good thing. The Chargers are a very complete football team and have the excitement of their first game in LA on their side.

Chargers 28, Dolphins 20

Jets @ Raiders

Not much to say about a game with -14 spread. Tyrod Taylor cooked against the Jets, so this Raiders offense will steamroll them. Also the Jets offense still is terrible. No risk here saying I like Oakland.#Beastmode.

Raiders 42, Jets 7

Cowboys @ Broncos

The Cowboys offense was as advertised last week, and if they can move the ball against the Giants defense then they can score on the Broncos stingy defense too. Defensively, the Cowboys front 7 got after it and Broncos o-line will struggle, but they do have pieces yet a questionable quarterback. Dallas controls the clock in a tough win.

Cowboys 20, Broncos 17

Redskins @ Rams

Goff finally looked like a first overall pick last week. The Rams had one of the best performances, but like I said, don’t let a Week 1 win get to your head. Still, the Redskins are gonna wish Sean McVay was back on their sideline. Kirk Cousins is good but this offense isn’t what they used to be, and the Rams have the force that is Aaron Donald.  The ‘Skins are decent all around, but road wins in the NFL are tough to come by.

Rams 23, Redskins 20

49ers @ Seahawks

Yikes, no analysis needed here. The 49ers offense put up a measly three points last week and are now facing a defense that’s three times better than the Panthers. Kyle Shanahan loves to pass but they couldn’t throw against a weak secondary  and are now facing the Legion of Boom. I don’t love this matchup for the Seahawks offense as their line scares me, but Russell Wilson will get his points and help from turnovers and field position.

Seahawks 20, 49ers (sadness)

Packers @ Falcons

NFC Championship rematch here and it’s gonna be a fun one. A weak performance last week worries me about this Falcons offense, so this game will tell how much Kyle Shanahan truly meant to them. But the Pack was 0-2 in this building last year, and this Falcons defense has improved. I like their matchups with the Packer’s offense enough to cause problems. Green Bay benefited from facing a weak o-line last week and some favorable calls so there’s still some uncertainties. There’s so much to be learned about these teams after this game so it’s a tough one to pick. I think Julio Jones will be the difference though, and Atlanta outscores Aaron Rodgers.

Falcons 33, Packers 30

Lions @ Giants

This game is largely dependent on if Odell Beckham plays. Can the Giants offense bounce back? I say yes. Stafford looked good last week but New York’s defense is a different animal and I think that’s the difference. Also Stafford has a history of struggling against playoff teams and exploiting mediocre teams. The Giants are no mediocre team, and hopefully their o-line cleans up their act.

Giants 23, Lions 17