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NFL picks, predictions for Week 2: Steelers stun Patriots; Cowboys, Cardinals crash into 0-2 starts; Dolphins upset Ravens

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Nine NFL playoff teams from last season lost in Week 2. That left the door for some playoff upstarts for 2022 to make their case for this season. 

Baltimore and Miami just missed the postseason in 2021. Now, they meet in Week 2 in what needs to be among the best games of the week. Lamar Jackson could get JK Dobbins back, and Tua Tagovailoa has improved with the assistance of Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle. That game won’t have the hype of the Thursday Night Football showdown between the Chiefs and Chargers, but it would be just as entertaining from a scoring standpoint. 

The Vikings also made a press release in Week 1 with a 23-7 victory against Green Bay. While the Packers will look to avoid a 0-2 start against rival Chicago on Sunday Night Football; Minnesota can assert early control of the NFC North at Philadelphia. 

Which teams will go 2-0? 0-2? Each week, SN will pick the NFL games straight up and against the spread. Last week, we finished 7-7-1 (before Monday’s game). Hey, it’s Week 1, right? 

Listed below are our straight-up picks for Week 2 (lines courtesy of Caesars): 

POWER RANKINGS: Eagles, Vikings climb NFC hierarchy; 49ers, Packers, Cowboys slide

NFL picks, predictions for Week 2

  • Los Angeles Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs (-3.5) 

Thursday, 8:15 p.m., Prime Video 

It is a rematch of last 12 months’s TNF thriller the Chiefs won 34-28 in extra time. The road team has won the last 4 meetings, too. Six different Kansas City players scored TDs in Week 1. The Chargers have to get a running game going behind Justin Herbert, who may be without Keenan Allen (hamstring). The house team breaks through here. 

Pick: Chiefs 32, Chargers 27 

  • Latest York Jets at Cleveland Browns (-4.5) 

Sunday, 1 p.m, CBS

Joe Flacco is 17-3 against the Browns as a starter, but that was with the Ravens. The Jets were 2 of 14 on third down against Baltimore, and which means Cleveland will turn Myles Garrett loose. It’s one other dose of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, and the Browns are off to a 2-0 start. 

Pick: Browns 24, Jets 16 

  • Washington Commanders at Detroit Lions (-1.5)  

Sunday, 1 p.m, FOX

The Commanders are underdogs on the road despite a promising debut from Carson Wentz, who threw 4 TDs against the Jaguars. The Lions showed fight after digging an enormous hole against the Eagles, and it is a must-win game of sorts for Dan Campbell within the early season. A final-second field goal either way. 

Pick: Commanders 24, Lions 21 

  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-2.5) at Latest Orleans Saints

Sunday, 1 p.m, FOX

The Saints are 4-0 against Brady within the regular season since he joined Tampa Bay, though the Buccaneers did win the playoff matchup. The Bucs (152 rushing yards) and Saints (151 rushing yards) ran the ball effectively within the opener, and whoever supports Tom Brady or Jameis Winston higher in that regard wins this game. Tampa Bay has to complete within the red zone. This can come all the way down to the last possession, and Brady delivers the win. 

Pick: Buccaneers 26, Saints 23 

  • Carolina Panthers  at Latest York Giants (-2.5)  

Sunday, 1 p.m, FOX

The Giants have the chance to be the surprise 2-0 team of the early season under Brian Daboll. This will likely be one other probability to reheat that 2018 NFL Draft debate between Baker Mayfield and Saquon Barkley, who had 194 total yards against the Titans in Week 1. Mayfield leads one other comeback, but this one falls short. 

Pick: Giants 24, Panthers 22 

  • Latest England Patriots (-1.5) at Pittsburgh Steelers 

Sunday, 1 p.m, CBS

There are some key injuries to sort out here, including Mac Jones (back) and Najee Harris (foot). The Steelers will likely be without T.J. Watt (pectoral muscle), so it’s about generating a consistent pass rush without their star player. The Patriots are the road favorite, but Pittsburgh pulls off one other upset on the newly-minted Acrisure Stadium. 

Pick: Steelers 21, Patriots 20 

  • Indianapolis Colts (-4.5) at Jacksonville Jaguars 

Sunday, 1 p.m, CBS

The Colts were a Week 1 dud in a tie against Tennessee given the talent Matt Ryan has to work with. They can not afford a road slip-up against an improved Jacksonville team that can get well with each week. Doug Pederson and Frank Reich know one another well from the Super Bowl run in Philadelphia. 

Pick: Colts 28, Jaguars 21 

  • Miami Dolphins at Baltimore Ravens (-3.5)  

Sunday, 1 p.m, CBS

This might transform the very best game of the day. Lamar Jackson and Tua Tagovailoa were efficient within the opener, they usually did that without the support of a trusty running game. The Mike McDaniel hype will likely be off the charts with a victory here, and there’s enough support on the Dolphins roster to do it. 

Pick: Dolphins 26, Ravens 24 

  • Atlanta Falcons at Los Angeles Rams (-10.5)  

Sunday, 4:05 p.m., FOX 

The Rams had an extended layoff after the TNF loss to Buffalo, and that ought to help sort out the choices around Matthew Stafford. It may’t just be Cooper Kupp, even against the Falcons, who showed improvement with Marcus Mariota and a young roster. 

Pick: Rams 29, Falcons 21 

  • Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers (-8.5) 

Sunday, 4:05 p.m., FOX 

The 49ers were a dud in Trey Lance’s opener, and Eli Mitchell’s knee injury hurts the running game. Does that mean more Deebo Samuel within the backfield? The Seahawks have won the last 4 on this NFC West series, including the last three at San Francisco. This is not a layup for San Francisco by any means. 

Pick: 49ers 27, Seahawks 24 

  • Cincinnati Bengals (-7) at Dallas Cowboys

Sunday, 4:25 p.m., CBS 

This was a virtual pick ‘em before Dak Prescott’s injury, and Cooper Rush is back within the fold as Dallas’ answer at quarterback. The Bengals should bounce back after a disaster Week 1 by which Joe Burrow threw 4 interceptions. The matchup between Ja’Marr Chase and Trevon Diggs is an interesting subplot, but Cincinnati rolls here. 

Pick: Bengals 31, Cowboys 20 

  • Houston Texans at Denver Broncos (-10)  

Sunday, 4:25 p.m., CBS 

The brand new-look Broncos will make their home debut with Russell Wilson against Houston, which played Indianapolis to a tie. Davis Mills impressed for the Texans, but he will likely be pressed on the road. Houston averaged just 2.7 yards per rushing attempt in Week 1. That will not cut it against Denver. 

Pick: Broncos 28, Texans 19 

  • Arizona Cardinals at Las Vegas Raiders (-3.5)  

Sunday, 4:25 p.m., CBS 

The Cardinals and Raiders are  amongst those playoff teams from last 12 months hoping to avoid the 0-2 start. Each pass defenses were shredded last week, albeit by elite quarterback play. Derek Carr and Kyler Murray should placed on a high-scoring show within the afternoon window, but we’ll keep on with the house team. Josh McDaniels gets his first victory as Las Vegas coach. 

Pick: Raiders 31, Cardinals 24 

  • Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers (-9.5)

Sunday, 8:20 p.m., NBC 

The Packers’ Week 1 loss to the Vikings was harking back to last 12 months’s loss to the Saints. There is no such thing as a reason for panic – unless Justin Fields and latest coach Matt Eberflus come to Lambeau Field and force the difficulty. Packers coach Matt LaFleur is 6-0 against Chicago, and the common margin of victory is 12.5 points per game. It can be lower than that, but Aaron Rodgers and a latest crew of receivers look higher at home. 

Pick: Packers 28, Bears 16 

  • Tennessee Titans at Buffalo Bills (-9.5)  

Monday, 7:15 p.m., ESPN 

We picked against Buffalo last week, and judging by how they looked we won’t try this the remainder of the season. The Titans have won the last two meetings, but those were home games. The Bills did lose three home games last season, but this may not be one in all them. Tennessee will likely be off to a shocking 0-2 start. 

Pick: Bills 31, Titans 23 

  • Minnesota Vikings at Philadelphia Eagles (-2)  

Monday, 8:30 p.m., ABC 

It is a legit Monday Night Football matchup between two teams attempting to shake up the NFC playoff picture. Justin Jefferson (184 yards) and A.J. Brown (155 yards) had the very best receiving outputs in Week 1. Ultimately, the Vikings pass rush will irritate Jalen Hurts enough to force a couple of turnovers, and Kirk Cousins continues to thrive in first-year coach Kevin O’Connell’s offense. 

Pick: Vikings 27, Eagles 22

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