PFT’s Week Two picks

Mike Florio
ProFootball Talk on NBC Sports

It was a good-not-great start for both of us last week, with the MDS record matching mine at 10-6. This week, we disagree on seven games.

So someone will be leading next week, possibly in commanding fashion.

Check out all Week Two picks below.

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Buccaneers at Panthers

MDS’s take: Bruce Arians said Jameis Winston‘s interceptions were mostly not his fault, but I saw a quarterback who still looks like he’s making rookie mistakes in Year Five. I think the Panthers are going to give him a rough night.

MDS’s pick: Panthers 20, Buccaneers 10.

Florio’s take: Jameis Winston has lost 12 road starts in a row. The Bucs quarterback is about to eat a baker’s dozen of Ls.

Florio’s pick: Panthers 30, Buccaneers 17.

49ers at Bengals

MDS’s take: The Bengals were more competitive than expected in Week One against the Seahawks, and I think they’re going to turn in a good performance in new coach Zac Taylor’s home debut and beat the 49ers.

MDS’s pick: Bengals 23, 49ers 20.

Florio’s take: Both teams looked better than expected in Week One, and the Bengals should be able to fare better at home against a team that isn’t on Seattle’s level.

Florio’s pick: Bengals 24, 49ers 20.

Chargers at Lions

MDS’s take: Both teams are coming off hard-fought overtime games, but I think the Lions are going to have a tougher time regrouping after blowing a big early lead and ending up in a tie. The Chargers should improve to 2-0.

MDS’s pick: Chargers 23, Lions 17.

Florio’s take: The Chargers, as usual, are falling apart. The Lions need to build a lead and hold a lead this week. They can do it by running the ball right at the L.A. defense.

Florio’s pick: Lions 20, Chargers 17.

Vikings at Packers

MDS’s take: Aaron Rodgers did not play well in the Packers’ Thursday night win, and the Vikings’ defense on Sunday looked like it’s going to be ready to take advantage of quarterbacks who struggle. I think the Vikings make a big statement that they’re the favorites in the NFC North with a road win.

MDS’s pick: Vikings 17, Packers 10.

Florio’s take: It’s Hair Gel vs. Chewing Tobacco in Green Bay as a new coach takes on a guy who has been doing it forever. The similarities between Matt LaFleur’s offense and the Vikings new attack gives both defenses an edge, and it should keep the scoring lower than it was last year in Week Two at Lambeau Field.

Florio’s pick: Vikings 23, Packers 20.

Colts at Titans

MDS’s take: The Titans are the only 1-0 team in the AFC South, and they’ll move to 2-0 and put the Colts in an early hole.

MDS’s pick: Titans 28, Colts 20.

Florio’s take: The Titans revisit last year’s playoff play-in game, but with a healthy starting quarterback and, if Marcus Mariota gets injured, a much better backup. The defense is also pretty good, which should be enough to win a game that won’t be quite as easy as it was in Week One. 

Florio’s pick: Titans 27, Colts 24.

Patriots at Dolphins

MDS’s take: This is one of those games where the Patriots could name their own score. If they want to win by 50 they can, but I suspect Bill Belichick will call off the dogs early against his protege Brian Flores.

MDS’s pick: Patriots 27, Dolphins 10.

Florio’s take: Jarrett Stidham could get more than 20 minutes of work in this one.

Florio’s pick: Patriots 45, Dolphins 17.

Bills at Giants

MDS’s take: Everyone is talking about Eli Manning and Daniel Jones, but the Giants’ defense is the reason they’re going to have an ugly season. The Bills should be able to move the ball effectively against them.

MDS’s pick: Bills 30, Giants 17.

Florio’s take: The Bills can start the season with a MetLife Stadium sweep. It helps that both teams who play there currently aren’t very good.

Florio’s pick: Bills 20, Giants 17.

Seahawks at Steelers

MDS’s take: The schedule makers didn’t do the Steelers any favors, giving them a tough road game against the Patriots and then the Seahawks in their home opener. An 0-2 start would be an awfully rough hole to dig out of, and I think the Steelers, with their backs against the wall, will do just enough to win.

MDS’s pick: Steelers 20, Seahawks 17.

Florio’s take: The Steelers need to get back to Steelers football, and that means running the ball and playing tough defense. They did neither against the Patriots, and it gets no easier with the Seahawks coming to town. Especially since the Seahawks run the ball and play tough defense.

Florio’s pick: Seahawks 19, Steelers 16.

Cowboys at Washington

MDS’s take: Case Keenum played very well for Washington in Week One, but he doesn’t have much around him. The Cowboys looked like a well-rounded team and should move to 2-0 in the NFC East.

MDS’s pick: Cowboys 28, Washington 20.

Florio’s take: It’s too early in the year to call this a trap game, but it very well could be just that for Dallas. With Derrius Guice injured, Adrian Peterson will be the guy, and he’ll have all the anger of being left out of uniform in Week One to motivate him. Upset special of the week? Upset special of the week!  

Florio’s pick: Washington 23, Cowboys 20.

Cardinals at Ravens

MDS’s take: People were excited to see the new-look offense from Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury in Week One, but it was the Ravens’ new-look offense that stole the show. Lamar Jackson should have another big game against a suspect Arizona secondary.

MDS’s pick: Ravens 30, Cardinals 20.

Florio’s take: It’s the Running Back vs. the Runt, and it’s got the potential to be a great game — if Arizona’s offense shows up before the fourth quarter.

Florio’s pick: Ravens 33, Cardinals 24.

Jaguars at Texans

MDS’s take: The Texans mortgaged the future to win this year, and an 0-2 start would be devastating. I think they’ll manage to get by the Jaguars on a short work week.

MDS’s pick: Texans 21, Jaguars 20.

Florio’s take: The Gardner Minshew era begins with a bang, thanks in large part to the inability of the Houston offensive line to deal with Jacksonville’s front seven.

Florio’s pick: Jaguars 24, Texans 20.

Chiefs at Raiders

MDS’s take: The Raiders looked better than most were expecting in Week One, but the Chiefs just have too many ways to beat them.

MDS’s pick: Chiefs 30, Raiders 17.

Florio’s take: The Chiefs say farewell to a baseball infield with a pinball offense that is unstoppable, even without Tyreek Hill. 

Florio’s pick: Chiefs 35, Raiders 21.

Bears at Broncos

MDS’s take: Broncos head coach Vic Fangio should have a good game plan in store for Matt Nagy’s offense, and Mitchell Trubisky is going to struggle again as the Bears fall to 0-2.

MDS’s pick: Broncos 17, Bears 14.

Florio’s take: Vic Fangio knows the Chicago personnel very well. The problem is the Denver personnel, not to mention Denver on a short week and the Bears with extra time to prepare — and extra motivation to prove that Week One was an aberration.  

Florio’s pick: Bears 27, Broncos 17.

Saints at Rams

MDS’s take: The NFC Championship Game rematch may be the best game of the week, and I think the Rams will come out on top again.

MDS’s pick: Rams 27, Saints 24.

Florio’s take: The NFC Championship game gets a do-over with far less at stake. Still, this game could determine where this year’s potential playoff rematch will happen.  

Florio’s pick: Saints 30, Rams 27.

Eagles at Falcons

MDS’s take: It’s hard not to be down on the Falcons after seeing the way they laid an egg in Week One. I’m expecting the Eagles’ defense to stifle the Falcons’ offense again, and Atlanta will suddenly find itself with very little margin for error in the NFC playoff race.

MDS’s pick: Eagles 20, Falcons 13.

Florio’s take: The season could quickly go off the rails for the Falcons, which could get owner Arthur Blank to move his finger toward the reset button.

Florio’s pick: Eagles 27, Falcons 21.

Browns at Jets

MDS’s take: After suffering two of the more disappointing losses of Week One, both of these teams are desperate. I think the Browns have better top-to-bottom talent and should turn things around in Week Two.

MDS’s pick: Browns 24, Jets 14.

Florio’s take: Gregg Williams gets a chance to show the Browns that they hired the wrong coach, even if they didn’t. Adam Gase gets a chance to show how he can handle adversity, like he did in Miami. And if Cleveland falters again, there’s a real chance they’ll be winless at the bye. All the pressure is on the Browns; can they handle it?

Florio’s pick: Jets 24, Browns 23.

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