Week 1 is often considered the hardest week to pick NFL games, with so many unknowns as teams employ new players, coaches, and schemes. I was a prime example of this difficulty, going 6-10 in my opening week of picks. But the bad news is, Week 2 can be just as hard if not harder. How much stock can be put in to Week 1 wins when we don’t know the true landscape of the league yet?

Big games in Week 2 include Patrick Mahomes vs. Lamar Jackson Round IV on Sunday Night Football, the Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins clashing in an important early AFC East matchup, and the Las Vegas Raiders and Pittsburgh Steelers putting their 1-0 records to the test against each other.

Which teams will improve to 2-0? Which playoff hopefuls will fall in an early 0-2 hole? Which teams will prove their Week 1 upsets weren’t just a fluke? Read on my full slate of Week 2 NFL Picks.

Picks Record

Week 1: 6-10

Overall: 6-10 (38%)

Week 1 was absolutely brutal for me. After not posting a losing record in any week last season, I open the 2021-22 NFL season with an abysmal 6-10 record. I thought I had a good upset pick in Cleveland over Kansas City, before Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs came roaring back. My incorrect picks included:

  • Browns over Chiefs
  • Falcons over Eagles
  • Bills over Steelers
  • Vikings over Bengals
  • Titans over Cardinals
  • Washington Football Team over Chargers
  • Jaguars over Texans
  • Broncos over Giants
  • Packers over Saints
  • Ravens over Raiders

See Also: 2021-22 NFL Season Predictions

Thursday Night Football

Photo: Old Dominion University

New York Giants (0-1) at Washington Football Team (0-1)

Line: Washington Football Team (-3.5)

With Ryan Fitzpatrick out and Taylor Heincke in at quarterback, I’m tempted to pick the Giants on Thursday Night Football. But after Sunday’s lackluster showing against the Broncos, I’m not sure I’m ready to pick Daniel Jones and the Giants in any situation. Washington gets it done with a solid defensive performance.

Washington Football Team wins 20-13, Washington Football Team win ATS

Sunday Games

Photo: New York Post

New England Patriots (0-1) at New York Jets (0-1)

Line: New England Patriots (-6.0)

Mac Jones might not be Tom Brady quite yet, but the Patriots looked decent in a 17-16 loss to the Miami Dolphins last week. Zach Wilson and the Jets actually played a close game too, falling 19-14 to the Carolina Panthers. With two of the lowest point totals in the league and two solid defenses, this could be a low-scoring affair. I fully expect the Patriots to win, but I don’t think we’ll see a blowout as we’ve seen many times over the years in this rivalry. This will be the first meeting between the two rookie AFC East quarterbacks.

Patriots win 23-16, Patriots win ATS

Cincinnati Bengals (1-0) at Chicago Bears (0-1)

Line: Chicago Bears (-2.5)

This is a pretty close one to pick, judging by last week’s performances. But the Bears played and lost to a stellar Los Angeles Rams squad. Joe Burrow and the Bengals pulled out a gritty overtime win against the Minnesota Vikings, but I still need to see ore from Cincinnati before I pick them in situations like this. Chicago should be able to secure victory at home.

Bears win 27-20, Bears win ATS

Houston Texans (1-0) at Cleveland Browns (0-1)

Line: Cleveland Browns (-12.5)

Houston posted an impressive win over the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 1, but the Browns performance against the Kansas City Chiefs, even in a losing effort, means a lot more. Cleveland is a 12.5-point favorite as of Thursday morning, tied for the strongest favorite of the week with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Browns win 41-22, Browns win ATS

Los Angeles Rams (1-0) at Indianapolis Colts (0-1)

Line: Los Angeles Rams (-3.5)

Matthew Stafford and the Rams looked as good as advertised against the Bears on Sunday Night Football last week. Also employing a new quarterback, Carson Wentz and the Colts staggered out of the gates with a 28-16 loss to the Seattle Seahawks. The outcome may appear clear-cut, and while I still am going with the favorite, I think this game could be closer than some people think.

Rams win 31-27, Rams win ATS

Buffalo Bills (0-1) at Miami Dolphins (1-0)

Line: Buffalo Bills (-3.5)

It’s only Week 2, but this is a pretty important matchup as far as the AFC East goes. If the Dolphins can win at home, they’ll have a 2-0 record, both against divisional foes, and they’ll sink the Bills, their greatest competition in the division, to 0-2.

I’m not picking the Dolphins, but if Miami does pull off the win, they’ll be in the early driver’s seat for the AFC East. I expect a close game, but as long as the Bills settle in and play their brand of football, they should be able to bounce back from last week’s loss to the Steelers.

Bills win 26-23, Dolphins win ATS

San Francisco 49ers (1-0) at Philadelphia Eagles (1-0)

Line: San Francisco 49ers (-3.0)

This one could be interesting. The 49ers are expected to be a dominant team again this year, and looked like it in the first half against the Detroit Lions last week. However, San Francisco’s defense fell apart in the second half and almost allowed Detroit to pull off an epic comeback.

I wasn’t too high on Jalen Hurts and the Eagles coming in to this season, and while their 32-6 Week 1 win over the Atlanta Falcons was impressive, I don’t think too much stock should be put in it.

On paper, this matchup should be all 49ers, but something tells me the Eagles will be peskier than I initially gave them credit for. I won’t go as far as predicting an Eagles win, but a Philadelphia upset wouldn’t be the biggest surprise either.

49ers win 30-24, 49ers win ATS

Las Vegas Raiders (1-0) at Pittsburgh Steelers (1-0)

Line: Pittsburgh Steelers (-5.5)

The Raiders finished an even 8-8 last season, but seemed to always show up against good teams, beating both the Chiefs and Saints in the early going last year. Could Las Vegas shock the NFL with back-to-back upsets to begin this season? Perhaps, but the Steelers were firing on all cylinders in a quality Week 1 win over Josh Allen and the Bills.

Steelers win 28-20, Steelers win ATS

New Orleans Saints (1-0) at Carolina Panthers (1-0)

Line: New Orleans Saints (-3.0)

Jameis Winston and the Saints shocked the NFL with a 38-3 win over Aaron Rodgers and the Packers in Week 1. Sam Darnold and the Panthers squeaked by the New York Jets with a 19-14 win. New Orleans should win this one easily. I’m surprised the Saints are only favored by three points here as of Thursday morning.

Saints win 33-17, Saints win ATS

Denver Broncos (1-0) at Jacksonville Jaguars (0-1)

Line: Denver Broncos (-6.0)

Teddy Bridgewater did everything he had to do last week to guide the Broncos to a 27-13 victory over the Giants in MetLife Stadium. Trevor Lawrence was decent in his NFL debut last week, but as a team, the Jaguars have a long way to go. Jacksonville was blown out by Tyrod Taylor and the Houston Texans, and the Denver Broncos represent an even bigger challenge.

Broncos win 31-16, Broncos win ATS

Minnesota Vikings (0-1) at Arizona Cardinals (1-0)

Line: Arizona Cardinals (-3.5)

Kirk Cousins is among the highest-paid quarterbacks in the league, and every now and then, he can live up to the price tag. Last week in an overtime loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, he didn’t. Kyler Murray, on the other hand, deserves every penny he’ll eventually get in a massive contract extension, as the third-year quarterback continues to improve. After posting a five-touchdown game against the Tennessee Titans last week, I’m very high on Murray and the Cardinals this season.

Cardinals win 34-20, Cardinals win ATS

Atlanta Falcons (0-1) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-0)

Line: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-12.5)

Let’s refer to my Post-Week 1 Power Rankings: the Buccaneers are #2 and the Falcons are #32. Tampa Bay isn’t exactly the kind of team to take their foot off the gas pedal for an inferior opponent either. Expect a huge day from Tom Brady and the Buccaneers offense.

Buccaneers win 42-13, Buccaneers win ATS

Dallas Cowboys (0-1) at Los Angeles Chargers (1-0)

Line: Los Angeles Chargers (-3.5)

This is probably my runner-up for Game of the Week, simply due to how close it could be and how up-in-the-air the outcome seems to me. Justin Herbert and the Chargers are gearing up for a potential playoff run this year, and started the season with a solid win over Washington Football Team (albeit, with Ryan Fitzpatrick knocked out of the game.) Dak Prescott and the Cowboys nearly pulled off an upset over the defending Super Bowl champions last Thursday, with Prescott re-cementing himself as one of the league’s best passers. This should be a fun one, and I think Dallas’ offense will seal a victory.

Cowboys win 38-30, Cowboys win ATS

Tennessee Titans (0-1) at Seattle Seahawks (1-0)

Line: Seattle Seahawks (-5.5)

In what Titans fans can only hope was a fluke, Tennessee looked dazed and confused against Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals last week. Julio Jones still needs to find his footing in Tennessee’s offense, and Derrick Henry also never hit his stride against the Cardinals. Unfortunately, Seattle is not the place for a bounce-back game. In one of the toughest environments in the league, Russell Wilson and the Seahawks should roll to 2-0 with relative ease.

Seahawks win 34-23, Seahawks win ATS

Sunday Night Football

Photo: NFL Spin Zone

Sak Sports Blog Game of the Week: Kansas City Chiefs (1-0) at Baltimore Ravens (0-1)

Line: Kansas City Chiefs (-3.5)

It’s always exciting and competitive when Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson, two of the best young quarterbacks in the NFL who are sure to be faces of the league for years to come, get together. However close the matchups may be, however, there’s been one constant: Mahomes and the Chiefs have come out on top in three of three meetings between the two quarterbacks.

Ideally, this is a thrilling back-and-forth Sunday Night Football matchup where the team that holds the ball last earns a last-second victory. The Chiefs fell behind to the Browns last week by 12 points before storming back, as they seem to always do with relative ease.

The Ravens were outdueled by the Las Vegas Raiders in overtime last Monday night, and Kansas City is obviously a superior opponent. Jackson and the Ravens won’t lose to the Chiefs forever, but between Baltimore’s loss last week and injuries on both sides of the ball, it’s fair to assume Mahomes and company come out of this matchup 2-0.

Chiefs win 33-24 win, Chiefs win ATS

Monday Night Football

Photo: MLive.com

Detroit Lions (0-1) at Green Bay Packers (0-1)

Line: Green Bay Packers (-11.0)

The oddsmakers are completely ruling out a close game from Jared Goff and the Lions, favoring the Packers by 11.0 points. But for a Green Bay squad that put up just three points last week against the New Orleans Saints, a loss the Lions is certainly possible. As mentioned earlier, Goff and the Lions put on an incredible second-half performance against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 1.

I’ll still take Aaron Rodgers and the Packers on Monday Night Football, but if I were a betting man, I would love the Lions to cover the huge spread.

Packers win 27-20, Lions win ATS

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