NFL picks against the spread: Week 2
Written by Brandon Lewis on September 15, 2018
Both of these teams are going to be motivated on Sunday, but for completely different reasons. The Los Angeles Chargers were favored at home against the division rival Kansas City Chiefs, and they gave up 38 points to first year starter, and second year quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Meanwhile, the Bills in a downpour in Baltimore got destroyed by the Ravens 48-3. Nathan Peterman started that game for the Bills and lost his job to rookie Josh Allen out of Wyoming in the second half after Peterman went 5-18 for 24 yards and two interceptions in the first half of that game. Now Allen makes his first career start in front of the hometown fans, and I think the Bills will feed off the hometown energy, and the Chargers may not have a full tank of gas in the tank because of the time difference between Los Angeles and Buffalo. Therefore, I think the Bills behind Allen upset the Chargers at home and earn their first win of the 2018 campaign.
In a rematch of last year’s AFC Championship game, the Patriots will fly down to Jacksonville to match up with the Jaguars. This game will all depend on the health of Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette who suffered a mild hamstring injury in last week’s win against the Giants. All signs point to Fournette playing, and if he does so, the Jaguars will get revenge on the Patriots from last season. In my opinion, the Jaguars have the formula to beat the Patriots. They have a good defense, a great running game, can win in both trenches, and they have a lock down secondary. Last year, the Jaguars were leading the Patriots 20-10 in the fourth quarter until Tom Brady and Danny Amendola happened. Well, Amendola is not there, and neither is Nate Solder, Dion Lewis, Julian Edelman, or Malcolm Butler. However, the one guy they do have is Rob Gronkowski. If Gronk can use his big frame and get open for Brady, then the Patriots can win this game, but I believe Jalen Ramsey backs up his trash talking, and the Jaguars win their home opener in a closely contested game.
Jon Gruden’s re-debut in Oakland did not go well, his team getting outscored 23-0 in the second half against the Los Angeles Rams, falling 33-13. With that being said, I still believe Jon Gruden has a trick up his sleeve. Gruden knows he can not go to 0-2, or the questions will really start to be popping up of how good of a coach he really is. Arguably, Derek Carr is the best quarterback Gruden has ever had the privilege to coach, so he has to win with him, and I do not see how the Raiders bounce out of an 0-2 hole. There never is a “must win” in the early part of the season, but this is pretty close. The Broncos are better than they were last year, but I still do not think they have a better overall team than the Raiders. In division rivalry games, they often come down to coaching, and I think Gruden outcoaches Vance Joseph and gets his first win in the NFL since 2008.
Sunday Night Football this week heads to Dallas where two NFC East rivals will square off, both looking to avoid an 0-2 start. Both teams also did not look good last week, but this is a divisional game, and as mentioned above, divisional games often come down to coaching, and I believe Pat Shurmur is a better coach than Jason Garrett, not to mention the fact the Giants should be able to throw the ball down the field against a weak Cowboys secondary, and the Cowboys should not be able to move the ball on the ground against a stout Giants front seven. That means quarterback Dak Prescott and his wide outs are going to have to get seperation against a Giants secondary that has Janoris Jenkins and Landon Collins. I doubt that happens, and I doubt the Cowboys win this one. Since it is a divisional game, I will say it will be close, but “America’s Team” will lose 24-17.