Week 2 predictions: Scores for every NFL game

NFL Nation reporters predict the outcomes and scores for Sunday’s and Monday’s Week 2 games.


PickCenter

DeShone Kizer gets a difficult test for his first NFL road start, but there’s no reason to believe he won’t respond. Kizer won’t throw four interceptions the way Andy Dalton did, but he might match the five sacks. The Browns’ defense keeps this close, but it’s too tough to ask them to win on the road. Ravens 16, Browns 10Pat McManamon

The Ravens’ defense faces a rookie quarterback making his first NFL road start and plays a Browns team that has been held to 17 points or fewer in eight of its past nine trips to Baltimore. Quarterback Joe Flacco acknowledged he’s not at full strength because of a lower back injury, but Baltimore will do enough offensively to win its sixth consecutive home game. Ravens 20, Browns 13Jamison Hensley


PickCenter

The Bills have just one player (DL Jerel Worthy) not practicing this week and only two players on injured reserve. Their health is why they will keep the game closer than the 7.5-point advantage most sportsbooks are giving Carolina. However, I am not convinced that Tyrod Taylor will be able to keep pace with Cam Newton if the Bills fall behind and cannot rely on their running game. When the Bills were trailing in road games last season, Taylor’s passer rating was 67.2, or 30th among qualifying NFL quarterbacks, and he threw only one touchdown. Panthers 21, Bills 17Mike Rodak

How Bills coach Sean McDermott handles Panthers rookie running back Christian McCaffrey will be key in this one. McCaffrey is a major piece of the puzzle that wasn’t at Carolina when McDermott was the defensive coordinator last season. So as well as McDermott knows Newton in this chess match, he can’t predict how Newton and offensive coordinator Mike Shula will use McCaffrey, who was targeted seven times in the passing game in the opener at San Francisco. The more Newton got comfortable with McCaffrey, the better Newton got in the opener, completing his final nine passes. Bottom line: The Panthers have too much talent to make this homecoming an upset. Panthers 28, Bills 9David Newton


PickCenter

We’ll see Sunday how well a team rebounds from losing 1,239 rushing yards, 879 receiving yards and 20 touchdowns from 2016. Arizona will be playing its first game since David Johnson went out for most of the season with a dislocated wrist in the Week 1 defeat at Detroit. Cardinals coach Bruce Arians claims the offense won’t change, and he’s right. But quarterback Carson Palmer claims the offense will change “drastically” and he’s right, too. After a bad loss to the Lions, it’s tough to tell what the Cardinals will look like, but at least they’ll be facing a Colts quarterback not named Andrew Luck. Cardinals 20, Colts 10Josh Weinfuss

Starting 0-2 is nothing new for the Colts. They’ve done it each of the past three seasons under coach Chuck Pagano. They’re staring at that possibility again this season. The last thing the Colts, and particularly Pagano, can afford is a pitiful performance for a second consecutive week after they had only 225 yards of total offense against the Rams in Week 1. The starting quarterback situation is still up in the air between Scott Tolzien and Jacoby Brissett. It doesn’t matter who starts because they’ll be 0-2 for the fourth season in a row by the end of the game. Cardinals 23, Colts 13 Mike Wells


PickCenter

The Titans have talked all week about redeeming themselves from a poor Christmas Eve performance in Jacksonville that ended their 2016 playoff hopes. Leonard Fournette presents a similar challenge to Marshawn Lynch, with whom the Titans struggled at times in Week 1. But Blake Bortles won’t scare their secondary like Derek Carr did. An 0-2 start would cause some serious panic in Nashville, but the Titans get back to their identity of running the football and win a gritty one. Titans 24, Jaguars 16Cameron Wolfe

The Jaguars manhandled the Texans at the line of scrimmage in Week 1 and Fournette looks like the real deal, but this game might be all about Bortles. Why? He plays his best football against the Titans. He has thrown 12 TD passes (more than against any other team) and completed 64.8 percent of his passes against them and he is 3-3 in the six meetings. Expect the Titans to stack the box and try to contain Fournette, particularly with receiver Allen Robinson gone for the season with a torn left ACL. Bortles will have to make a few big plays for the Jaguars to win, and he has proved he can do that against the Titans. Jaguars 17, Titans 14Mike DiRocco


PickCenter

Andy Reid is 8-3 all time against his former assistant coaches. It will be an uphill fight for protege Doug Pederson, who will be without top cornerback Ronald Darby for the next four to six weeks (ankle dislocation). Receiver Tyreek Hill could be in store for a big game. Chiefs 30, Eagles 20Tim McManus

The Chiefs have plenty to be encouraged about after their New England win in addition to the victory itself. They won without tapping into their strengths: forcing turnovers, making big plays on special teams and getting big plays from tight end Travis Kelce. They’ll have to find a way without their unquestioned leader, Eric Berry. But they went 6-4 in games without Berry in 2014, with an inferior team. Chiefs 20, Eagles 19Adam Teicher


PickCenter

Since the beginning of 2003, the Patriots are 42-6 in regular-season games following a loss. As a starter in his career, Tom Brady is 42-10 in games following a loss. This game is about heart for the Patriots after they were outscored 21-0 in the fourth quarter of the season-opening loss to the Chiefs, and they’ll show that they have it. Patriots 34, Saints 27Mike Reiss

Brady and Drew Brees should both be licking their chops in this one. The Patriots’ defense allowed 537 yards in their Week 1 loss, while the Saints gave up 470 yards, the two worst statistical performances in the NFL. New England’s defense will be hurting if linebacker Dont’a Hightower can’t play, but the Saints’ offense also will be undermanned without injured right tackle Zach Strief. So I’ll stick with the more proven team in this one. The Patriots haven’t been two games under .500 since Brady first took over in 2001. Patriots 31, Saints 26Mike Triplett


PickCenter

Minnesota faces a much different test with Pittsburgh’s defense than it did in Week 1. Yes, Sam Bradford looked good throwing for 346 yards and three touchdowns in the opener, but whether the Vikings are able to repeat what they did on Monday night depends on the play of the offensive line. The Vikings’ defense was stellar in the red zone, limiting New Orleans to just one touchdown in four trips inside the 20, and has equally as difficult a task in trying to contain Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown. Pittsburgh has won 11 of its past 13 games at Heinz Field. Steelers 27, Vikings 24Courtney Cronin

The Steelers are 14-2 in home openers since 2001. Roethlisberger is 69-22 at Heinz Field, where he has averaged three touchdown passes per game since 2015. Pittsburgh can’t play much worse on offense after a 14-point outing in Cleveland, and the Vikings’ vaunted defense has its full attention and respect. Expect a bounce-back day from Le’Veon Bell after a career-low 47 yards. Steelers 27, Vikings 21Jeremy Fowler


PickCenter

The Bears already have three starters on injured reserve. Tampa Bay quarterback Jameis Winston passed for 312 yards, two touchdowns and one interception against the Bears last season. Winston will turn the ball over, but can the Bears’ defense take it away? For as well as Chicago’s defense played in Week 1 against Atlanta, the unit still didn’t force a single turnover; the Bears had 11 takeaways on defense last season. Unless Chicago finds a way to capitalize on Winston’s mistakes, the (fresher) Bucs have enough weapons to pull away in the second half. Buccaneers 24, Bears 18Jeff Dickerson

The Bucs were forced to reschedule their season opener and take a first-week bye because of Hurricane Irma. This also will be the first of three games Doug Martin will have to sit out because of suspension. It also will have been a full month since DeSean Jackson, Mike Evans, Gerald McCoy and Kwon Alexander have played because of injuries. Even with some unfavorable circumstances, even against a team that played the Falcons tough in Week 1, the Bucs gut this one out with a strong performance on defense. Mike Glennon will throw at least one interception against his former team. Buccaneers 19, Bears 17Jenna Laine


PickCenter

The Dolphins are one of two teams yet to play a regular-season game because of Hurricane Irma. First-game jitters could be an issue, but it also means they are healthy and well-rested. The team went out west nine days early to prepare for this game. Look for the Dolphins to take advantage of these factors against the Chargers, who are coming off a short week. Dolphins 20, Chargers 17James Walker

With an extra week of rest and preparation, Miami should be a tough opponent in the Chargers’ home opener. However, Philip Rivers and the rest of his teammates had a chance to shake off the rust in a close loss on the road against the Broncos on Monday. The Chargers play in the 30,000-seat StubHub Center in their first game back in Los Angeles since 1960, and have not started the season 0-2 since 2008. Chargers 27, Dolphins 20Eric Williams


PickCenter

This is a bad matchup for the Jets, who allowed eight plays of 20-plus yards in the opener — and that was against the Bills. Imagine what Derek Carr & Co. will do to them. The Jets don’t have enough offense to exploit the Raiders’ deficiencies, which will make for a long day. They will be 0-2 for the first time since 2007. Raiders 31, Jets 13Rich Cimini

In the Raiders’ recent past, this would have had “trap game” written all over it, with Oakland having looked good in a season-opening win at Tennessee and the Jets a fashionable pick to go 0-16. But this is a different Raiders team, one that respects all but fears none, as Oakland coach Jack Del Rio said. “Their defensive front is as talented as any that we’ll face,” Del Rio said of the Jets. “They’re very aggressive in their scheme. The two safeties they drafted, we think, are really good football players.” Thing is, the Raiders are loaded on offense, and after what Carr said was an unsatisfactory performance against the Titans, expect a sustained effort after a quick start this time around, with RB Marshawn Lynch running wild in his home regular-season debut. Raiders 31, Jets 13Paul Gutierrez


PickCenter

The Cowboys were the only team not to have a three-and-out drive in Week 1. That will be equally important Sunday in Denver, which has forced an NFL-best three-and-out on 39 percent of drives since the start of last season. In seven road games in 2016, Ezekiel Elliott ran for 777 yards and seven touchdowns on 155 carries. A good running game travels. Cowboys 27, Broncos 22Todd Archer

This will be Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott‘s first look at the Broncos’ pass defense, and quarterbacks of all experience levels haven’t fared well in their first look. However, it’s a moot point if the Broncos don’t contain Elliott and the Dallas running game. Since the start of the 2016 season, the Broncos are 5-5 when an opposing offense rushes for more than 100 yards. However, they’re 5-1, including Monday night’s opener, when they hold an opponent to fewer than 100 yards. Broncos 27, Cowboys 23Jeff Legwold


PickCenter

The Redskins are now 0-4 in season openers under coach Jay Gruden. In those losses, the offense has scored a combined 42 points. In Week 2? They’re 2-1 and have scored a combined 88 points. Last Sunday, they had big plays available against the Eagles and failed to connect. I also think their defense will handle the Rams. Redskins 21, Rams 17John Keim

The Rams’ offense is much improved, but it isn’t as good as it showed against a bad, short-handed Colts team in Week 1. And the Redskins’ offense is better than it showed against the Eagles in their opener. It’ll be a fun matchup, with two head coaches who are familiar with one another. And, ultimately, it will be close, with the Redskins holding on. Redskins 24, Rams 21Alden Gonzalez


PickCenter

CenturyLink Field has been a house of horrors for the Niners, with the Seahawks winning the past five regular-season meetings there by a combined score of 154-54. Given the Niners’ issues on the interior of the offensive line (they gave up four sacks and eight quarterback hits to Carolina in Week 1) and Seattle’s dominant defensive front, it’s hard to see how the 49ers turn it around here. Kyle Shanahan’s wait for his first victory as a head coach continues. Seahawks 24, 49ers 10Nick Wagoner

This is what you’d call a get-right game for the Seahawks. They’ve had the 49ers’ number of late, sweeping the season series the past three years and winning the past five meetings at CenturyLink Field by an average of 20 points. During the Seahawks’ six-game winning streak against San Francisco, the 49ers’ Total QBR against Seattle has been 26.8 to 51.3 versus all other teams, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Seattle’s offense is coming off a poor performance against Green Bay, but it should get easier Sunday while playing at home against one of only two defenses that didn’t record a sack in Week 1. There’s no such thing as a gimme in the NFL, but this might be the closest thing. Seahawks 23, 49ers 10Brady Henderson


PickCenter

Matt Ryan might want to take a cue from Aaron Rodgers and tell Falcons fans to just R-E-L-A-X. No, the Falcons didn’t look sharp offensively in Week 1 at Chicago. No, they didn’t establish the running game, and All-Pro wide receiver Julio Jones wasn’t utilized maybe as much as he should have been. But that’s no reason to give up on Atlanta just yet. All everyone seems to be talking about the past few days is the Packers’ nitro defensive package, but the Falcons have plenty of turbo on offense with Jones, Devonta Freeman, Tevin Coleman, Taylor Gabriel, Mohamed Sanu, Justin Hardy and Austin Hooper. Maybe the Falcons won’t light up the scoreboard, but they should have a little added juice playing inside the new $ 1.5 billion Mercedes-Benz Stadium for the first time in a game that counts. And the roof could be open, too. Falcons 24, Packers 21Vaughn McClure

Ryan combined for 680 yards and seven touchdowns in two wins over the Packers last season, including the NFC Championship Game. The Packers believe their defense is better, but better still might not be good enough. And, offensively, both of their starting tackles are banged up. Bryan Bulaga (ankle) didn’t play in Week 1 and David Bakhtiari is battling a hamstring injury. Falcons 33, Packers 24Rob Demovsky


PickCenter

Odell Beckham Jr. is still a question mark for this game and that makes it a bit difficult to pick. As both Lions coach Jim Caldwell and safety Glover Quin said this week, OBJ is dynamic player and a difference-maker. The Lions have said they expect Beckham to play — and if he does, that does enough to sway this, because otherwise, it should be a close, competitive game. So the Giants have Beckham. Giants 21, Lions 20Mike Rothstein

The Giants have been hearing all about their problems — particularly on the offensive line — after their Week 1 loss in Dallas. Guard Justin Pugh admitted the criticism is “in our face.” This isn’t a team that should crumble. The Giants were 3-2 last season coming off a loss. They play significantly better, at home, on a Monday night, and beat the Lions thanks in large part to their defense. Giants 24, Lions 19Jordan Raanan

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