After several major upheavals last week in N.F.L., the second week bar to compete is set terribly high. Were Jacksonville and Washington wonders of a week? Will Chicago be able to replicate its wild fourth quarter for an entire game? Exactly how concerned should San Francisco be about team injuries and home defeat to Arizona? If we’re lucky, chaos will reign and we’ll still be looking for answers for the third week.
Here’s a look at N.F.L. Week 2, with all the choices made against the point spread.
The best games on Sunday
Chiefs at Chargers, 4:25 pm, CBS
Line: Chiefs -9 | Total: 47.5
Patrick Mahomes got a lot of credit for many things – and he deserved it all – but one overlooked element was his success despite the team having a distinct lack of running back, where Damien Williams was enough in 2019, but he was nowhere. almost as good as Kareem Hunt had been for the Chiefs for the previous two seasons. This year, rookie Clyde Edwards-Helaire, who was the only running back caught in the first round of the draft, steps away. He justified that choice by leading all the N.F.L. players with 138 yards running in the first week against the Texans.
Kansas City brings its newly balanced offense on the road to face the Chargers (1-0), who kept the Bengals at bay last week, and now face a significantly tougher test. Los Angeles, however, is certainly not a walk in the park. The team has great defensive talent and is one of the few teams that can be expected to put significant pressure on Mahomes. And while the Chargers offense isn’t explosive, it should be quietly reliable as long as quarterback Tyrod Taylor handles things.
Kansas City is a favorite and the Chiefs have earned this distinction even in a street game, but a 9-point spread is a step too far.
Choose: Chargers +9
Ravens at Texans, 4:25 pm, CBS
Line: Ravens -7 | Total: 51.5
If anything notable was missing during Baltimore’s demolition of Cleveland last week, it was the high volume racing game that people expected from the Ravens (1-0) every week last season. To say the team ran for as soon as 107 yards seem unfair, but that’s less than they had in any game last season, including their shocking home defeat to Tennessee in the division round.
Should ravens be worried? Hardly. Lamar Jackson was playing the Cleveland side game, and when Baltimore needed the running game he was there, with rookie J.K. Dobbins punching in two touchdowns. Since the Ravens have three levels of running back quality (Mark Ingram, Gus Edwards, and Dobbins), points will come every week, regardless of which style the team chooses to use.
The Texans (0-1) have absolute force of nature in quarterback Deshaun Watson, but Houston’s defense was set ablaze last week by a rookie running back. Making Houston a 7-point underdog at home seems unfair, but the Ravens, at least in the regular season, are a little unfair. Choose: Ravens -7
Patriots at Seahawks, 8:20 pm, NBC
Line: Seahawks -3.5 | Total: 45
The Patriots (1-0) and Seahawks (1-0) had plenty of reason to be happy in the first week, but if you’re looking to nitpick: While New England’s multifaceted racing game looked great, the team showed very little ability to blow the ball against the solid Miami secondary. And Seattle seemed to be taking the donut from the bat in terms of leaving the quarterback Russell Wilson creates his offensive momentum, but coach Pete Carroll would probably have preferred running backs Chris Carson and Carlos Hyde to combine for more than 44 yards of running (and both averaging over 3.5 yards per carry. ).
Both teams could try to correct these deficiencies this week. Seattle is rightfully the home favorite, but Cam Newton bought his side some credibility last week and the New England secondary is a tough nut to crack for anyone. A close match, or even a turnaround, wouldn’t be entirely shocking. Choose: Patriots +3.5
Rams at Eagles, 1:00 pm, Fox
Line: Off | Total: deactivated
The Rams (1-0) may not have been spectacular in their first week against the Cowboys, but it was the kind of game they would find a way to lose last season. Now Los Angeles goes away against the Eagles (0-1) who are fresh from a game against Washington in which they amassed a 17 point lead only to lose somehow by 10. Philadelphia’s offensive line without injury would not have could have been worse against Washington, and expecting that unit to reverse course and find a way to block Aaron Donald this week seems almost ridiculous. Quarterback Carson Wentz may want to try wearing extra pads. Choose: Rams
Bengals to Browns, 8:20 pm, NFL Network
Line: Browns -5.5 | Total: 43.5
The Bengals (0-1) were surprisingly competitive against the Chargers in the first week and the Browns (0-1) were humiliated by the Ravens, but neither game gave us much guidance on how it will turn out. That Cleveland’s defense failed to handle Lamar Jackson is forgivable enough, but if he battles Joe Burrow – Cincinnati’s highly regarded rookie quarterback – it may already be time to panic.
The Browns may want to find a way to make the ball run more, almost regardless of the score. Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt found a constant distance against the Baltimore seven and last week the Bengals gave no indication that their defense of the race is something to be feared.
For now, the talent advantage on paper points the scales towards a likely Browns win and their desire to shake off last week’s failure could very well lead to a lopsided score. Choose: Brown -5.5
Other Sunday games
Vikings in Colts, 1:00 pm, Fox
Line: Colts -3 | Total: 48.5
What did Taylor Swift say about shaking things off? The Vikings (0-1) looked downright inept defending against the Packers in the first week, while the Colts (0-1) shot themselves in the foot causing the biggest upheaval of the week. A win in week 2 for both teams will make last week a blip, and a defeat will mean a 0-2 start and lots of tough questions about not living up to expectations. A huge problem for Minnesota is the absence of Danielle Hunter, the team’s best player on their defensive line, which could create off-pitch opportunities for Indianapolis running backs Jonathan Taylor and Nyheim Hines. It might even give Philip Rivers enough time not to repeat last week’s brutal mistakes, which nearly delivered the match to Jacksonville. Choose: Colts -3
Falcons at Cowboys, 1:00 pm, Fox
Line: Cowboys -4 | Total: 52.5
Oddsmakers expect this to be the highest scoring game of the week, and it’s no wonder why the Falcons (0-1) and Cowboys (0-1) combined for 886 yards of attack last week. , as they combine to allow 805 yards. This should be an aerial slugfest, with quarterbacks Matt Ryan and Dak Prescott using their wealth of receiving options to cut the field. But the game could be decided by which team can achieve something with the run game, a competition that greatly favors Ezekiel Elliott of Dallas. Choose: Cowboys -4
Invoices to Dolphins, 1:00 pm, CBS
Line: Bills -5.5 | Total: 41
It seems that the creators of the N.F.L. program have been busy getting the rookie Tua Tagovailoa the starting quarterback job for the Dolphins (0-1) as quickly as possible. Last week, the No. 1 Ryan Fitzpatrick faced the stellar New England sideline, and this week he must rise to the Bills (1-0), who beat around the Jets like a cat toy last week. Fitzpatrick could easily have another match of three interceptions, and if that happens, Tagovailoa’s chatter should reach a climax. It doesn’t help that Miami will likely play from behind, as the Bills’ Josh Allen seemed extremely comfortable throwing the ball at his group of receivers, led by new addition Stefon Diggs. Choose: Invoices -5.5
Broncos at Steelers, 1:00 pm, CBS
Line: Steelers -7.5 | Total: 41.5
This game is likely to be a pick in many survivor pools, as the thought of a young quarterback trying to win on the road against Pittsburgh’s top-tier defense primarily inspires a wrinkled nose of sympathy. If there is a glimmer of hope for the Broncos (0-1) it is that the Steelers (1-0) have given up an unusually high number of passing yards. at the Giants last week. Before they follow that thread too far, they should take into account that that game was on the road and that Pittsburgh balanced the big yardage by intercepting two passes.
Will the Steelers running back James Conner be healthy enough to play? Is Pittsburgh significantly weakened in attack by injuries from right tackle Zach Banner and right guard Stefen Wisniewski? These are big questions, but the ones that will be most relevant when the Steelers play a better team. Choose: Broncos +7.5
49ers to Jets, 1:00 pm, Fox
Line: 49ers -7 | Total: 42
The 49ers (0-1) must have been pretty devastated in a defeat in the first week in a game they led in the fourth quarter, but Arizona usually gave them crunch and the result was only a slight surprise. Losing to the Jets (0-1), however, would be astounding, even with wide catcher Deebo Samuel and cornerback Richard Sherman on this season’s injured backup mini and tight end George Kittle recovering from a knee sprain. The margin of error in the N.F.C. The West is thin as a razor and San Francisco needs a win when there is a solid chance that the other three teams in the division will all start 2-0. Kittle’s uncertainty, and San Francisco having more secondary injuries, makes a full touchdown point seem too generous, but San Francisco should be expected to win. Choose: Jets +7
Panthers at Buccaneers, 1:00 pm, Fox
Line: Buccaneers -9 | Total: 47.5
In the aftermath of Following Tampa Bay’s defeat to New Orleans in week one, Brady’s decline was rumored to have been exposed with the Buccaneers (0-1) because he no longer had the New England system to hide his shortcomings. It’s not entirely clear which games those pundits were watching last season, as Brady’s physical decline was immediately evident with the Patriots, and last week it seemed to be an extension of that rather than a departure from it. The Panthers (0-1) made a reckless decision to give the ball to a full-back, rather than Christian McCaffrey, with the match on line last week, but nothing on either team indicated that a 9-point spread for this game it is justified. That number becomes especially extreme with Buccaneers wide receiver Chris Godwin expecting to come out. Choose: Panthers +9
Washington Football Team at Cardinals, 4:05 pm, Fox
Line: Cardinals -6.5 | Total: 47
The footballers (1-0) pulled off a fairly shocking overturn of the Eagles in the first week thanks to a well-rounded effort. Going out on the street to face the Cardinals (1-0), who must be incredibly amplified after they knock San Francisco on the road, is the kind of thing that should splash a great deal of cold water on Washington’s collective face. Choose: Cardinals -6.5
Lions at Packers, 1:00 pm, Fox
Line: Packers -6 | Total: 49
For three-quarters of last week, it looked like a new era could be dawning for Lions (0-1). So Detroit spent 15 minutes making Mitchell Trubisky look like Aaron Rodgers, restoring balance to the universe. So the big question coming up on Sunday: If Trubisky looked like Rodgers against the Lions, what will Rodgers look like? Choose: Packers -6
Jaguars in Titans, 1:00 pm, CBS
Line: Titans -9 | Total: 43
Only three quarterbacks completed 95% of their passing attempts in a game (minimum 20 attempts) in the past week. If you expected Jacksonville’s Gardner Minshew to join that list, you should pick stocks rather than reading a football match column. But to pull off a shocking reversal, the Jaguars (1-0) needed Minshew perfection is a huge gift in the form of two Philip Rivers interceptions, which resulted in 14 of the Jaguars’ 27 points. The Titans (1-0) do not do the teams such favors. Their bout last week had reverted to last season’s style of having running back Derrick Henry working his way to the big yardage as quarterback Ryan Tannehill efficiently picked points to put points on the scoreboard. Tennessee isn’t ready for bangs, not even at home, so the line is probably too aggressive. But make no mistake, the Titans should win. Choose: Jaguars +9
Giants at Bears, 1:00 pm, CBS
Line: Bears -5.5 | Total: 42
To say that Saquon Barkley of the Giants (0-1) rushed 15 times for 6 yards last week is a bit misleading, as he had a shuffled 7-yard run. So to put it another way: other than a retrieve where he barely passed mediocrity, Barkley ran 14 times for minus 1 yard. In all honesty, the The giants were facing a stellar defense of Pittsburgh and chose to use Barkley more as a catcher, where he collected 60 yards out of six catches. But after much chatter about the team’s attack being rebuilt to focus on its best player, the warning bells should ring everywhere.
The Bears (1-0) were terrible for three quarters last week and formidable for one. If they could improve it to two decent quarters against the Giants, they would have to score a home win. Choose: Bears -5.5
Saints at Raiders, 8:15 pm, ESPN and ABC
Line: Saints -6 | Total: 50
The Saints (1-0) looked a little rusty in attack in the first week, regardless of the 34 points they had scored. But they managed to win easily thanks to three turnovers recovered from the team’s defense. Continuing a trend that dates back to a few years ago, New Orleans is slowly but surely becoming a team that can rely a little less on its attack and a lot more on its defense from week to week.
Traveling to Las Vegas, New Orleans should be a little worried. The Raiders (1-0) looked extremely capable on offense in an opening week win, and while their defense is nothing to write home about, they managed to keep Carolina on the game’s decisive drive. The Saints should be expected to win this match, but the oddsmakers assuming they will win by six or more points seem to ignore the current reality of how the team plays, and that wide receiver Michael Thomas should be eliminated with an ankle injury. Choose: Marauders +6
How betting lines work
A quick introduction for those unfamiliar with bet lines: Favorites are listed next to a negative number representing how many points they need to win to cover the spread. Bills -5.5, for example, means that Buffalo must beat Miami by at least six points for its backers to win their bet. Gamblers can also bet on the total score or whether the combined score of the teams in the game is above or below a preselected number of points.
All times are oriental.