The NFL season is barely one week old and it’s already out of control. The first week of the season got so crazy that I think I spit coffee out of my mouth at three different points on Sunday and I wasn’t even drinking coffee.
I mean, the Texans are in first place despite having no wins, the Browns won an opener for the first time in 17 years and I’m pretty sure the Cowboys have already been eliminated from the playoffs. Also, kickers couldn’t make kicks, the Seahawks are somehow leading the NFC West and the Bears got flagged for illegally using a towel. I repeat, an NFL team got flagged for ILLEGALLY USING A TOWEL!
I think that I once saw someone get flagged for illegally using a towel while on a college spring break in Mexico, but that feels like a different situation.
Although Week 2 might not top the craziness of Week 1, my picks are definitely going to get a little crazy, so let’s get to them.
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 that I will forget what I was originally doing.
One thing you should click on though is this link to the Pick Six Podcast. Just in case I didn’t make it clear last week, I’ll be joining the podcast at least three days per week — Monday, Tuesday and Friday — for the rest of the NFL season. On our latest episode, we spent 45 minutes talking about every bonkers thing that happened during the Seahawks’ stunning win over the Broncos and you can listen to it below (You can also WATCH IT on YouTube by clicking here).
If you’re more of a picks person than a podcast person, I understand. Let’s get to the picks.
NFL Week 2 picks
L.A. Chargers (1-0) at Kansas City (1-0)
Thursday, 8:20 p.m. ET (Amazon Prime)
Kansas City Chiefs
For the past five years, the only thing I used my Amazon Prime subscription for was free two-day shipping, but starting this week, I’ll get to use it for something else: THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL.
If you haven’t heard, Thursday night games will be moving to Amazon this year, which means the only way you’ll be able to watch the game is if you have an Amazon Prime subscription. I have no idea if it’s worth the $139 per year I pay for it, but my wife tells me it’s worth the cost and I guess I’ll take her word for it since roughly 67% of everything in our house came from Amazon.
The only way you can watch the game without Amazon Prime is if you live in a city that has a team playing in the game (For instance, the game will air on television in both Kansas City and Los Angeles this week).
Anyway, another reason you should order Prime is so that you can send something to Patrick Mahomes for his birthday! Mahomes’ big day is on September 17, and now that I’m thinking about it, I guess that explains why he’s the best September quarterback in the history of football. The man does not lose in the month of September. I mean, if there’s one rule to making NFL picks, it’s “Never pick against Patrick Mahomes in the month of September.”
Since he took over the Chiefs starting QB job in 2018, Mahomes has gone 12-2 in the month of September and he’s thrown 49 touchdown passes in those 12 games (That’s an average of 4.1 per game for those of you who hate doing math). As if that’s not impressive enough, he’s also averaged 328.9 yards passing in those 14 games wins. I’m not saying we should rename the month “Mahtember,” but I’m also not saying we shouldn’t.
The Chiefs have won six straight home openers and they’re 11-2 in their past 13 prime-time games and I think what I’m trying to say is that there’s no way I’m picking against the Chiefs.
The pick: Chiefs 34-27 over Chargers.
Washington (1-0) at Detroit (0-1)
1 p.m. ET (Fox)
If you would have asked me last week to rank the best games of Week 2, this one wouldn’t have even been in my top 14, which is saying a lot when you consider the fact that there are only 16 games on the schedule. However, I am now oddly intrigued by this matchup after watching Carson Wentz time warp back to 2017 and play like he did during his best season as a pro.
If you didn’t get to watch Wentz in Week 1 — and there’s a 95 percent chance you didn’t because Commanders-Jaguars only got aired in like 1.3% of the country — Wentz threw four touchdown passes in a 28-22 win over Jacksonville. Sure, he also threw two interceptions, but instead of melting down after those picks, which is what we’ve come to expect from him, he bounced back to throw two touchdown passes in the fourth quarter.
The Commanders actually impressed me in Week 1, which is weird, because I never thought I’d use the words “Impressed” and ‘Washington” in the same sentence. The only thing about the Commanders that didn’t impress me over the weekend was their geographical knowledge.
If anyone has a geography test coming up at any point in the near future, please keep in mind that Washington state and Washington D.C. have about as much in common as a cell phone and a hamster.
Anyway, no one cares about hamsters, so let’s get to my pick for the game. My general rule of thumb when trying to pick the winner in a Lions game is to always pick against the Lions and that’s mostly because every time they play, it seems like they fall behind by nine touchdowns before engineering a wild comeback that eventually comes up short. In the end, they lose the game, but cover the spread and no one goes home happy. Players hate the loss, bettors hate that they lost money and Lions fans hate themselves for their continual support of the Lions.
This formula is exactly what happened in Week 1 against the Eagles. The Lions were getting blown out 38-21 late in the game before miraculously scoring two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to cover the spread.
I think Iain speaks for everyone. The moral of the story is never bet on the Lions, but also never bet against them, because if you do, there’s a 100% chance they’ll get a backdoor cover and you’ll lose all your money.
Fortunately for bettors, the Lions are favored this week, which means the only way they can cover is if they win the game and I don’t think they’re going to win the game. I hate predicting a big game from Wentz, but I’m going to do it. I think the Lions secondary is going to struggle to cover all of the Commanders receiving weapons, which is going to pave the way for a Washington win.
The pick: Commanders 27-24 over Lions
Miami (1-0) at Baltimore (1-0)
1 p.m. ET (CBS)
As someone who has been on Twitter for more than a decade, I know for a fact that you should believe everything you see or read on Twitter, which is how I know that Lamar Jackson actually wishes he was playing for the Dolphins right now and not the Ravens. Two weeks ago, someone tweeted out a photo of Jackson in a Dolphins jersey and he “liked” it.
Lamar says he “liked” the tweet as a joke, but that doesn’t mean it won’t eventually become a reality. I mean, I once “liked” a picture of a piece of cake as a joke and then I had cake for dinner that night, so I’m just saying that anything is possible.
I also liked this picture of Martha Stewart wearing nothing but an apron last week. Does that mean I’m attracted to octogenarians? I have no idea. I should probably talk to someone about that.
By the way, I’m now thinking that it would probably be for the best if I never mention any of my “likes” ever again.
Anyway, I love this game because we have one quarterback who can’t get a new contract (Lamar) and one quarterback who can’t get any respect (Tua Tagovailoa) and both guys could help solve their problem by winning this game on Sunday. Every time the Ravens win, the price of Jackson’s extension goes up. On the other hand, every time the Dolphins win, the chances of Tua becoming the Dolphins’ long-term quarterback goes up.
In case you haven’t noticed, I’ve been stalling this entire time because I’m not sure who to pick. The problem is that I didn’t really learn much about either team in Week 1. These two teams were basically mirror images of each other: They both played great defense in Week 1, they both threw the ball well and neither team could run.
I’ve decided I’m giving a slight edge to the Ravens because it’s their home opener. Not only is Lamar Jackson undefeated in home openers (3-0), but the Ravens have won six straight dating back to 2016.
The pick: Ravens 26-23 over Dolphins
Tampa Bay (1-0) at New Orleans (1-0)
1 p.m. ET (Fox)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
I have no idea why Tom Brady took 11 days off in the middle of training camp this year, but to me, the most likely theory is that he did it so he could study the Saints defense for 264 straight hours without being interrupted. If there’s one team Brady has not been able to figure out since signing in Tampa Bay, it’s definitely the Saints.
Brady has played the Saints four times in the regular season over the past two years and not only has he gone 0-4 in those games, but the Buccaneers have lost all four games by multiple scores. In their second meeting of the 2021 season, the Buccaneers lost 9-0, which is mostly notable because it marks the only time over the past 15 years that Brady has been shut out.
When Brady announced that he was returning to the NFL after just 40 days of retirement, I’m 99% sure his only reason for coming back was so he could beat the Saints. The good news for Brady is that this might finally be the year where he can do it. If the Buccaneers want to win this game, their best bet actually might be to take it out of Brady’s hands. One reason the Buccaneers struggle against the Saints is because Brady is always under pressure. I mean, the man is 45 years old; if he’s running for his life on every play, that’s not a good thing for the Bucs.
If Tampa can run the ball, they might be able to win and based on what happened in Week 1, they might be able to do that. For one, the Saints surrendered more than 200 YARDS on the ground in Week 1 and that was against the FALCONS (It was only the third time over the past five years that the Saints have allowed a team to crack the 200-yard mark on the ground). On the Buccaneers’ end, they actually ran the ball pretty well in Week 1 with Leonard Fournette rushing for 127 yards.
I think the Saints can win, but I hate betting against Brady, which means I have to go with the Buccaneers.
The pick: Buccaneers 20-17 over Saints
Minnesota (1-0) at Philadelphia (1-0)
Monday, 8:20 p.m. ET (ABC)
Normally when I’m making a pick in a Monday night game that involves Kirk Cousins, my first instinct is to automatically pick against him. Cousins is 2-9 all-time in Monday games, but both of those wins came against the Bears, so I’m not sure they even count.
At some point over the past five years, Cousins became the new Andy Dalton AKA the one quarterback you absolutely can not trust to win a prime-time game. Even though I have no faith in Cousins, I do have faith in everyone else around him, which I think cancels out the fact that I don’t trust Cousins in Monday night games.
For one, you can’t cover Justin Jefferson. The Packers tried to cover him in Week 1, but they failed miserably as he went off for 184 yards and two touchdowns. Even if you do somehow manage to slow down Jefferson, then you also have to deal with Dalvin Cook, who averaged 4.5 yards per carry in Week 1. The biggest advantage for the Vikings this year is that they have a coach in Kevin O’Connell who actually knows how to utilize every weapon that the team has. If Mike Zimmer had still been the coach in Week 1, the Vikings would have lost 7-6 because he only believes in running the ball and playing defense.
Let’s check in with a Vikings fan to see if they feel the same way.
O’Connell is well aware that the the Vikings best offensive weapon is Jefferson and he’s not afraid to use him.
I was so impressed with the Vikings in Week 1 that I’ve already decided that I won’t be picking against them for the rest of the month, so obviously, that means I have to take them here. Also, I can’t pick the Eagles because this is Week 2 and they burn me every year in Week 2. I’m not even kidding. The Eagles are somehow 0-5 both straight up and against the spread in Week 2 over the past five years. Maybe they should start asking to get their bye in Week 2.
The pick: Vikings 23-20 over Eagles
NFL Week 2 picks: All the rest
Browns 20-13 over Jets
Giants 27-23 over Panthers
Patriots 19-16 over Steelers
Colts 27-20 over Jaguars
Rams 31-20 over Falcons
49ers 23-16 over Seahawks
Bengals 31-17 over Cowboys
Broncos 24-16 over Texans
Raiders 30-23 over Cardinals
Packers 24-17 over Bears
Bills 34-24 over Titans
Best pick: Last week, I predicted that the Vikings offense would come alive in an upset of the Packers and guess what happened? The Vikings offense came alive in an upset of the Packers. Now, did I know that the Packers offense was going to completely implode and only score seven points? Of course I did. Last week, I literally wrote that “I think it’s going to take a week or two for the Packers offense to adjust to life without Davante Adams.” Adams definitely adjusted to life without the Packers, but they DID NOT adjust to life without him.
After looking at the numbers above, I now officially feel like we’re just two bad offensive performances away from Rodgers taking the entire team on a South American ayahuasca bender in an effort to save the season.
Worst pick: My worst pick last week was taking the Patriots over the Dolphins. When I made the pick, I actually felt good about it, but when I started watching the game on Sunday, I immediately knew I was doomed after I saw Joe Judge. I mean, the man was wearing a hoodie on a day where it felt like it was more than ONE HUNDRED DEGREES outside.
There are only two types of people in life I don’t trust: I don’t trust people who wear Crocs and I don’t trust people who wear hoodies in 100 degree weather. Even Bill Belichick wasn’t wearing a hoodie and that’s a guy who wears a hoodie 319 days per year. Going forward, I’m going to need to find out what Joe Judge is wearing on the sideline before I make my Patriots pick each week.
Straight up in Week 1: 9-6-1
SU overall: 9-6-1
Against the spread in Week 1: 9-7
ATS overall: 9-7
Note: I’ve had some people ask if I prefer some of my picks better than others and the answer is YES. I list my favorite picks every Tuesday morning on CBS Sports HQ and you can check out my Week 2 version by clicking here.
You can find John Breech on Facebook or Twitter and if he’s not doing one of those things, he’s probably trying to find his Amazon Prime password so he can order a Martha Stewart calendar…. and also so he can watch the Chargers-Chiefs game. That too.