NFL Expert Picks - Week 2
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His banged-up offensive line got him sacked 41 times. His best pass-catcher missed most of the season with a hamstring injury.
The defense was 27th in scoring was the worst in the league against the run. And somehow Cousins led Washington to a record. Washington needs more than that. The Vikings are about as well-built as any team in the league. Their top-ranked defense from a year ago got even better in the offseason with the addition of Sheldon Richardson and rookie corner Mike Hughes. Following a career year from Case Keenum, the offense got a quarterback in Kirk Cousins who could get them over the hump, and Minnesota returns running back Dalvin Cook from an early-season ACL tear after he dazzled in his debut.
The interior of the offensive line may be the only question in Minnesota, which is looking for its third NFC North crown in four years. This is the sort of early game that eventually decides a division. As long as Aaron Rodgers is healthy, the Packers will reach the playoffs.
The Packers finally have a legitimate No. Adding Mo Wilkerson to the defensive line and strengthening the defensive backfield in the draft gets the Pack back in postseason play. Brady and Rodgers have met on the field just once before, and a week for the quarterbacks and their head coaches to scheme against one another could be a multipart docuseries on HBO.
This could be the best game of the regular season. Matt Stafford has played a high level the past two seasons, the receiving group has gotten better and the 27th-ranked defense from a year ago should improve immediately under the former Pats defensive coordinator. But the Lions are clearly the third-best team in this tough division.
The schedule makers pitted the Lions against the Vikings in Weeks 7 and 9, so Detroit has to show mental toughness against a Seahawks team that may be down this year. The outcome of this game will show how focused the Lions are.
The Bears got better at crucial positions they had to get better at this offseason. The offensive line took a big hit losing guard Josh Sitton and the defense, while improved with Roquan Smith at linebacker, still needs to find a pass rush. It may take one more year for this group to gel. After a difficult home game against the Pats, the Bears have a soft middle-season schedule during which they host the Jets, travel to Buffalo and host the Lions in consecutive weeks.
The rich got richer this offseason, and the Rams look to be completely unfair. Ndamukong Suh is now on a defensive line beside Aaron Donald. Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib are in the same secondary.
Brandin Cooks adds speed to the offense. The Rams are building a monster, and their youthful wild-card exit last year will only fuel this campaign. No game on paper is as exciting as this one. Both squads have surrounded their third-year quarterbacks with veterans acquired through various trades and deft free-agency moves.
No team that missed the playoffs last year should feel as good about its odds in as the 49ers. They went with Jimmy G, with three wins against playoff-bound teams. Talk about a statement game to open the season. The Seahawks as we knew them are no more, and we should all mourn that.
Once built with smart draft picks, the Seahawks had to go out in free agency this offseason to get parts such as Jaron Brown, Brandon Marshall and Maurice Alexander.
The Legion of Boom is gone, taking the identity of this team and its juice with it. Plenty of storylines in this one. Jon Gruden gets to go against a quarterback he gushed about for years on Monday Night Football. Marshawn Lynch faces his former squad. All this and more in a West Coast tilt between teams looking for their footing. The Cardinals are going to have to find themselves in the desert this year. I believe first-year head coach Steve Wilks will soon have success in Arizona, but not this season.
The quarterback situation with veteran Sam Bradford and future-of-the-franchise Josh Rosen will be a difficult one to navigate for the defensive-minded first-time head coach.
There was a great deal of roster turnover this offseason for a team looking for a new identity. Only once since has a team won both of the games in this series. When the Saints have a scoring defense in the top 20, the team will reach the postseason. Cam Jordan gets to rush the passer with rookie Marcus Davenport. New Orleans has depth at linebacker, and the secondary boasts reigning Defensive Rookie of the Year Marshon Lattimore.
No one should have any doubts about the offense doing its job. When the Falcons go into 11 personnel, there may be no more lethal offense in Not many teams can match up with that weaponry, and Steve Sarkisian should be coming into his own in Year 2 after an up-and-down first season as offensive coordinator. Atlanta is a believer in championship windows, and the Falcons are in the middle of theirs right now. The Falcons have figured out Aaron Rodgers lately. I have no clue how well the Norv Turner-Cam Newton arranged marriage is going to work.
Carolina upgraded its receiving group with D. Moore and Torrey Smith but never really took care of the guard position vacated by Andrew Norwell. Carolina went on the road to New Orleans and lost a tight wild-card round game.
Would that game have played out differently in Charlotte? This Week 15 Monday Night Football match starts a three-game stretch to end the season for Carolina against the Saints twice and Falcons. They would like to have control of the playoff scenarios early.
The Bucs were one of the most disappointing teams last season after a solid offseason and plenty of hype some of it by yours truly. Jeff Saturday reacts to Patrick Mahomes' 6-TD performance against the Steelers and finding the right player in each situation. Patrick Mahomes talks up all the options the Chiefs have on offense. James Conner hauls in a one-handed catch on the sideline, but is unable to keep his second foot inbounds.
Ben Roethlisberger tosses a yard touchdown just before halftime to James Washington to draw Pittsburgh even. Every team has a chance to win the title, but some of those chances are 0. Here's what each team needs to happen to win it all. The men who have thrown passes to the Cardinals' future Hall of Famer offer an insider's view of his exploits on the field and character off it. To help make this website better, to improve and personalize your experience and for advertising purposes, are you happy to accept cookies and other technologies?
Week 2 takeaways for every team: Concern for Eagles, Steelers? Bucs' Fitzpatrick tosses 4 TDs in win Matthews: No denying Saquon Barkley's skills, but Giants goofed in drafting him at No. With an aggressive new identity, Cowboys' defense stymies Giants Dallas sacked Eli Manning six times, including five times off blitzes, as the Cowboys now can depend on their defense to win games.
Eli Manning, offensive line make Giants' weapons obsolete. Andrew Luck finally gets some help in first win since season. We don't need Matt Ryan to be Superman, but he was Sunday. Supporting cast fails Kirk Cousins in intro to Packers-Vikings rivalry.
Sam Darnold's Broadway debut: Some promise, too many mistakes. Packers have to show they can win with a gimpy Aaron Rodgers.
Sunday a reminder of why the Eagles need Carson Wentz. Saints avoid disaster with first victory, keep Browns waiting. Broncos are , but high-powered opponents will be a big defensive challenge No buzz: Redskins' offense falls flat as year sellout streak ends. Forget rookie's rough home opener: Elliott's 6-yard TD run cushions Cowboys' lead.
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