The NFL season is barely one week old and it’s already totally out of control.
The Browns looked like the best team in the NFL, the Raiders are in first place and I think the Giants are already eliminated from the playoffs. Also, the Jets lost their starting QB four snaps into the season and still somehow won on Monday night.
Oh, and the five coaches who got hired this year combined to go 0-5 in Week 1, which is why you should never hire a new head coach. Just keep the old one forever.
So who’s going to win that Colts-Texans showdown? Let’s get to the Week 2 picks and find out.
Actually, before we get to the picks, here’s a quick reminder that you can check out the weekly picks from every CBSSports.com NFL expert by clicking here. However, if you don’t want to click over, that’s completely fine with me. As someone who is easily sidetracked, if I click on something, there is a 100% chance I will end up going down some sort of internet rabbit hole and if that happens, I’ll never make it back to the story I was originally reading. So I guess maybe you shouldn’t click over.
Let’s go down the rabbit hole of my picks.
NFL Week 2 picks
Minnesota Vikings (0-1) at Philadelphia Eagles (1-0)
Thursday, 8:15 p.m. ET (Amazon Prime)
If the Vikings were smart, they would have asked the NFL not to schedule them for any prime-time games this year and that’s because their quarterback can’t win in prime time. When it comes to late games, Cousins isn’t as bad as Daniel Jones, but he does always seem to melt down under the spotlight. Cousins has a 12-20 career prime-time record, and this week, he has to go up against an opponent who never loses: Jalen Hurts.
If the Vikings couldn’t stop Baker Mayfield in Week 1, I’m not sure how they’re going to stop Hurts, who is 18-1 in 19 regular-season starts. I picked against the Eagles last week and after watching that backfire in my face, I’m not sure I’ll be picking against them again all season. My pick was so bad that the random guy below said I should stop writing about football.
The bad news for him is that I’m still writing about football. The good news for him, though, is that I’m picking his Eagles this week. The Eagles have a better offense, they have a better defense and I think they even have better special teams. I have no choice but to pick Philly.
The pick: Eagles 27-17 over Vikings
If you hate my pick in this game, then you might like R.J. White’s better. He’s our gambling guru over at SportsLine.com and he’s been on roll with his Vikings predictions, going 56-31-4 on his last 91 picks, which means he has an absurd .626 hit rate with his Vikings picks. If you want to check out White’s pick, you can do that here.
Kansas City Chiefs (0-1) at Jacksonville Jaguars (1-0)
1 p.m. ET (CBS)
If there’s one quarterback you don’t ever want to pick against coming off a loss, it’s definitely Patrick Mahomes. As the old saying goes, “hell hath no fury like Patrick Mahomes coming off a loss.” At least, I think that’s how that old saying goes. I have no idea. I can’t keep up with these things.
Over the course of his career, Mahomes is 13-3 following a loss and in those 16 games, he’s thrown 42 total touchdown passes compared to just 15 interceptions. Normally, I’d say the Jaguars have no chance in this game, but I think this all comes down to whether Travis Kelce plays. If the Jags proved one thing last year, it’s that they can’t guard a good tight end. Last season, the Jags surrendered 1,066 yards to tight ends, which was the fourth most in the NFL. If you include the playoffs, they were even worse: Kelce burnt them for 98 yards and two touchdowns when these two teams met in the divisional round.
If Kelce plays, I think the Chiefs win comfortably. If Kelce doesn’t play, I don’t feel as comfortable picking the Chiefs, but I’m still taking them because this game is being played on Patrick Mahomes’ birthday and there’s no way I’m picking against Patrick Mahomes on his birthday.
The pick: Chiefs 27-24 over Jaguars
Indianapolis Colts (0-1) at Houston Texans (0-1)
1 p.m. ET (Fox)
If you want to feel ridiculously old this week, then make sure to watch this game, which will feature two quarterbacks who are barely old enough to drink, and to be honest, I need a drink just thinking about that.
It will be rookie vs. rookie with Houston’s C.J. Stroud (born Oct. 3, 2001) going up against Indy’s Anthony Richardson (born May 22, 2002). This is just the second time in NFL history that two quarterbacks who are both 21 or younger have faced off as starters (The only other time it happened came in 2015 with Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota).
The one thing about rookie quarterbacks is that they tend to make one or two bad mistakes per game, but since both teams have a rookie at QB, I guess those mistakes will cancel each other out. Since that will be the case, I think I have to go with the defense that I trust more and that’s Houston. Although the scoreboard says they got slaughtered by the Ravens in a 25-9 loss in Week 1, the fact of the matter is that their defense actually played surprisingly well, holding Baltimore to just 265 yards. If the Texans can hold the Ravens to that, they might be able to hold the Colts to zero yards. Just kidding. That’s not going to happen … or is it?
My general rule of thumb when trying to pick the winner in a game involving the Texans is to always pick against the Texans and that’s mostly because they always seem to lose, but I think they might actually be the better team in this game, so I’m taking the Texans.
The pick: Texans 20-16 over Colts
Los Angeles Chargers (0-1) at Tennessee Titans (0-1)
1 p.m. ET (CBS)
As someone who lives in Nashville, I was forced to watch all four quarters of the Titans game on Sunday and let me just say that my head still hurts from watching them play. The offense was so bad that I’m halfway convinced that they didn’t actually have a training camp this year, and if they did have one, Ryan Tannehill definitely wasn’t there. I mean, that’s the only conclusion that makes any sense to me after watching him play in Week 1.
If you missed Tennessee’s opener, Tannehill threw three interceptions and completed fewer than 50% of his passes. He looked absolutely lost and I’m not sure he can be fixed in one week. The good news for the Titans is that they’re playing the Chargers, the one team in the NFL that seems to invent new ways to lose every week, well, except for this week, because I don’t think they’re going to lose.
I think the Titans defense can keep this close and I also think that Tennesee could pull off the upset if Derrick Henry gets rolling, but in the end, I think this game will turn out like last week’s game for Tennessee where everyone but Tannehill plays well enough to win.
The pick: Chargers 19-16 over Titans
New York Giants (0-1) at Arizona Cardinals (0-1)
4:05 p.m ET (Fox)
The award for most embarrassing loss from Week 1 definitely goes to the Giants. Before the season started, I thought for sure that the Cardinals would be the worst team in the NFL, and that will likely still be true, but the Giants made a strong case for stealing that title from them for at least a week in their 40-0 loss to the Cowboys on Sunday night.
The Giants were so bad that I thought maybe they switched uniforms with the Cardinals, because the Cardinals didn’t actually look that bad in Week 1. Sure, their offense was just as bad as everyone thought it would be, but their defense had an impressive performance in Washington with six sacks on the Commanders. I think the Cardinals defense will keep this game from turning into a blowout, but the Giants’ season is on the line, so I can’t pick against them here. If the Giants lose this game, they will be the laughingstock of the NFL and I don’t think they want to be the laughingstock of the NFL.
The pick: Giants 20-13 over Cardinals
Cleveland Browns (1-0) at Pittsburgh Steelers (0-1)
Monday, 8:15 p.m. ET (ABC)
With the Browns coming off one of the most impressive wins of Week 1 and the Steelers coming off one of the worst losses, the obvious pick here seems to be Cleveland, but I hate doing the obvious thing. That’s why I never order waffles from the Waffle House. Too obvious.
Before the season started, I had no idea if Watson would be bad or good this year and after watching him play in one game, I still have no idea. Watson actually had a pretty ugly game against the Bengals, but no one is talking about it because he got completely overshadowed by the total meltdown of Joe Burrow, who played the worst game of his career. As bad as Burrow was, one thing he did not do was throw an interception straight to the other team.
I won’t be surprised at all if Watson struggles in Pittsburgh. Watson wasn’t great against the Bengals, and now he has to face the Steelers without his All-Pro right tackle Jack Conklin, who’s out for the season after suffering a brutal knee injury against Cincinnati.
The Steelers have won 20 straight Monday night games at home, which is an NFL record. They’ve beaten the Browns 19 straight times at home in the regular season and let me just say that there’s no way I’m picking against either of those streaks.
The pick: Steelers 23-20 over Browns
NFL Week 2 picks: All the rest
- Falcons 20-17 over Packers
- Bills 23-16 over Raiders
- Bengals 24-21 over Ravens
- Lions 31-23 over Seahawks
- Chargers 19-16 over Titans
- Buccaneers 23-20 over Bears
- Cowboys 31-13 over Jets
- 49ers 27-20 over Rams
- Broncos 19-16 over Commanders
- Dolphins 30-23 over Patriots
- Saints 24-17 over Panthers
Best pick: Last week, I predicted that the Bengals would lose in Cleveland because their offense would look rusty and guess what happened? The Bengals lost in Cleveland because their offense looked rusty. Now, did I know that Joe Burrow was going to totally implode? Of course I did. Most of the time, Burrow looks like a future Hall of Fame when he’s on the field, but not against the Browns. For some reason, the Browns are Burrow’s Krytponite. If every Bengals opponent wore a Browns uniform this season, Cincinnati would go 0-17, but fortunately for the Bengals, I’m pretty sure that’s not legal so they don’t have to worry about that happening.
Worst pick: My worst pick of Week 1 was definitely taking the Steelers over the 49ers. The problem with my pick is that I broke the first rule of betting, which is “never pick against the 49ers when Christian McCaffrey is playing.” McCaffrey has started 11 regular-season games for the 49ers and they are 11-0 IN THOSE GAMES. If I had just followed the McCaffrey rule, I’d be a millionaire right now eating caviar for dinner tonight, but instead, I’m eating Funyons. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
Straight up in Week 1: 8-8
SU overall: 8-8
Against the spread in Week 1: 9-7
ATS overall: 9-7