2020 NFL Expert Picks: Week 2

2020 NFL Expert Picks: Week 2

by September 17, 2020 0 comments

The 2020 NFL season is finally here. Three NFL experts from the Prime Time Sports Talk staff came together to share their picks for Week 2.

These three writers will continue to make their picks for the entire season, earning two points for any correct win-loss outcome and an additional three points for correctly predicting the exact score. (Failure to accurately predict a tie will be treated as a loss.) A cumulative points total and record will be listed at the bottom of every article. An archive of all 17 regular-season and four playoff editions can be found here.

Mike FanelliJoe Heller, and Andersen Pickard contributed to this article.

Cincinnati Bengals vs. Cleveland Browns

Mike Fanelli: Bengals 16, Browns 10

Joe Burrow looked like a franchise quarterback at the end of the game last week while Baker Mayfield looked like he spent too much time doing commercials in the offseason. While the Browns have a better team on paper, at this point, believing in Mayfield is foolish. The Bengals win a close, low-scoring game.

Joe Heller: Browns 27, Bengals 20

A rookie quarterback on a short week in Week 2 is a hard sell. Baker Mayfield and co. rebound at home.

Andersen Pickard: Browns 13, Bengals 10

If you’re looking for a high-scoring contest, go to sleep early on Thursday. Nevertheless, this game should provide entertainment with its back-and-forth manner and divisional implications. Baker Mayfield and co. will bounce back against an inexperienced albeit impressive Bengals offense.

New York Giants vs. Chicago Bears

Mike: Bears 20, Giants 13

Daniel Jones had some good moments on Monday night against a really good Steelers defense. If not for a bad red-zone interception, the Giants could have won the game. However, the Giants’ offensive line struggled with the pass rush and they should see similar results this week facing Khalil Mack.

Joe: Bears 27, Giants 10

Like the Bears’ coaching staff, in Mitch I trust. The Bears’ defense will shut down Saquon Barkley and wreak havoc on Daniel Jones.

Andersen: Giants 21, Bears 18

Outside of a red-zone interception, Daniel Jones looked very good on Monday night against the Steelers. He should see similar results against a Bears defense that allowed 23 points to a Lions team that didn’t have Kenny Golladay. Mitchell Trubisky will keep it close, but the Giants will win on the road.

Los Angeles Rams vs. Philadelphia Eagles

Mike: Rams 27, Eagles 20

Will the Eagles’ offensive line be healthy this week? If not, Carson Wentz will spend plenty of time on the ground. If the Eagles have Lane Johnson and Miles Sanders for this game, their offense should be able to take advantage of the Rams’ defense. On the other side, Jared Goff and the Rams were in sync on Sunday night. Expect a semi-high-scoring game with the victor depending on who can get more pressure on the opposing quarterback.

Joe: Rams 37, Eagles 20

The Eagles’ offense struggled against the Washington defense in Week 1 while the Rams’ defense is a different beast altogether.

Andersen: Rams 31, Eagles 23

Carson Wentz was ripped apart by Washington, but they have one of the league’s best pass-rushers in Chase Young. Philadelphia was also without talented lineman Lane Johnson and valuable running back Miles Sanders. Los Angeles has a good defense and should pick up the win, but the Eagles will keep it close if Johnson and Sanders are healthy.

Atlanta Falcons vs. Dallas Cowboys

Mike: Cowboys 27, Falcons 24

Neither offense looked all that great last week. However, one has Julio Jones, and the other doesn’t. Both secondaries can be attacked and both teams have good wide receivers. If the Cowboys can run the ball and control the clock, they come out victorious.

Joe: Falcons 37, Cowboys 30

Both teams are coming in off of a loss. Todd Gurley will have more total yards than Ezekiel Elliott.

Andersen: Falcons 28, Cowboys 24

This could end up being lopsided for either team. It could also be a nail-biter that forces overtime. These two teams have explosive offenses and should counter each other nicely. Look for Atlanta to utilize the passing game this week, much like they did in Week 1 against Seattle when three Falcons wideouts finished with over 100 yards receiving.

Carolina Panthers vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Mike: Buccaneers 38, Panthers 24

Last week, Tom Brady and the Buccaneers looked like a team without any chemistry. However, playing a Panthers defense that gave up 34 points to the Raiders last week is exactly what the doctor ordered. Expect a bounce-back and get-right game from Brady and the Buccaneers.

Joe: Panthers 31, Buccaneers 27

Tom Brady coming off of a loss is usually hard to pick against, but dating back to last season, he has lost three straight games. The Bucs’ defense had a tough time against the Saints’ ground game.

Andersen: Buccaneers 24, Panthers 13

The Buccaneers, led by Tom Brady, should bounce back, especially if they can penetrate the Carolina defense with the usage of running back Ronald Jones early and often. With that said, the Buccaneers struggled to contain the Saints’ ground game last week and could see similar results against Christian McCaffrey. Ultimately, though, the Buccaneers will get the better of the Panthers by at least two scores.

San Francisco 49ers vs. New York Jets

Mike: 49ers 38, Jets 13

With Le’Veon Bell expected to miss this game, the Jets are even more doomed than they were last week against the Bills. Look for the 49ers to get their act together and blow the doors off the Jets.

Joe: 49ers 27, Jets 17

Even with an uncertain George Kittle, the 49ers’ ground game will run wild in MetLife Stadium.

Andersen: 49ers 34, Jets 10

Are the 49ers going to obliterate the Jets? Yes. Is it going to be close? No. End of story.

Denver Broncos vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

Mike: Steelers 24, Broncos 14

Benny Snell Jr. was the better back for the Steelers Monday night while the Broncos had their struggles with Derrick Henry. The trio of JuJu Smith-Schuster, Diontae Johnson, and James Washington give Ben Roethlisberger plenty of options in the passing game. Unless Denver can get pressure on Big Ben early and often, this one won’t be very close.

Joe: Steelers 24, Broncos 13

Big Ben, in his 17th home opener against a young Broncos secondary, is hard to pick against. Steelers by two scores.

Andersen: Steelers 24, Broncos 16

Drew Lock will struggle against a terrifying Steelers defense. On the other side, Ben Roethlisberger and his flashy offense should be able to overcome a strong Denver defensive unit. The Broncos have a chance at winning, but a lot would need to go right. The Steelers are the clear safe pick here.

Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Tennessee Titans

Mike: Titans 24, Jaguars 14

In the upset of Week 1, the Jaguars looked like a team pushing for a playoff spot instead of the top draft pick. However, Henry has averaged 89 yards and a touchdown per game in his career against the Jaguars. The Colts were able to get the running game going against the Jaguars last week, so expect the Titans to follow in Indianapolis’ foot steps.

Joe: Titans 31, Jaguars 20

While both teams were victorious in Week 1, the Titans seem to own this series in recent seasons. Derrick Henry will chalk up 175 yards on the ground.

Andersen: Jaguars 24, Titans 22

The Jaguars impressed last week in their upset of the Colts and should do similar against the Titans. Jacksonville can afford to let Derrick Henry go for 150 yards as long as they shut down Ryan Tannehill in the passing game. If C.J. Henderson can replicate his Week 1 performance and the Jags’ offense can play solid football, Jacksonville should have no issue winning this week, especially considering the recent kicking woes of the Titans and Stephen Gostkowski.

Detroit Lions vs. Green Bay Packers

Mike: Packers 34, Lions 20

Is Aaron Rodgers back to his bad old self? Maybe. Either way, after Mitchell Trubisky took advantage of the Lions’ secondary last week, Rodgers could go off for six touchdowns this week. The Packers are clearly the better team here and it will show on Sunday.

Joe: Packers 41, Lions 38

For the second week in a row, Aaron Rodgers and the Packers will win a divisional high-scoring affair.

Andersen: Packers 37, Lions 17

The Packers’ offense exploded against a revamped Vikings defense while the Lions struggled as a whole. Aaron Rodgers will toss three touchdowns while Aaron Jones adds two on the ground, leading to a huge Green Bay victory at home.

Buffalo Bills vs. Miami Dolphins

Mike: Bills 23, Dolphins 13

Josh Allen finally had a 300-yard passing game, and now he faces the Dolphins, who gave up 75 rushing yards and two touchdowns to Cam Newton last week. Allen led the Bills in Week 1 rushing attempts, so given what Newton did to the Dolphins, the Bills should build a similar game plan around Allen this week.

Joe: Bills 31, Dolphins 20

Josh Allen will flirt with his second straight 300-yard passing game in as many weeks. The Tua Tagovailoa talk in South Beach will get louder.

Andersen: Bills 24, Dolphins 13

A garbage-time field goal is the only factor that makes this look like a somewhat close game. The Bills will dominate while Josh Allen rips apart Miami’s defense. Meanwhile, Tua Tagovailoa stays on the bench for the whole game but inches closer to a Week 3 start.

Minnesota Vikings vs. Indianapolis Colts

Mike: Colts 23, Vikings 17

The Colts were a disappointment in Week 1 and lost Marlon Mack for the season. Meanwhile, the Vikings got off to a slow start against the Packers and filled the box score with fluff stats. Expect the Colts to get their act together this week and attack the Vikings’ cornerbacks in a similar way the Packers did.

Joe: Vikings 41, Colts 27

Philip Rivers will begin yet another season 0-2. The Vikings win handily.

Andersen: Vikings 24, Colts 17

This will be a fun, hard-fought football game. After a Week 1 dismantlement, Minnesota will bounce back as Kirk Cousins tosses two touchdowns and the defense picks off Phillip Rivers twice. The game will be close, but it’s the Vikings’ game to lose.

Washington Football Team vs. Arizona Cardinals

Mike: Cardinals 31, Washington 20

Both teams pulled off upsets in Week 1. However, the Cardinals are the better team. Washington caught a break with all the injuries to the Eagles’ offensive line and skill position players. DeAndre Hopkins is coming off a 14-catch game last week while Washington has no one in their secondary to slow him down. Expect a blowout as Washington’s offense won’t be able to keep up with the Cardinals.

Joe: Cardinals 27, Washington 20

This is a game that could easily go either way. The Cardinals have more proven weapons to account for than the Eagles team Washington faced last week.

Andersen: Cardinals 27, Washington 17

Week 1 could have been a fluke, or it could have been a legitimate sign of what’s to come in Washington. For now, though, we must assume it was a fluke based on Philadelphia’s porous offensive line play and the absence of Miles Sanders. Arizona also had an upset win, though their victory was more legitimate. DeAndre Hopkins went crazy in his Cardinals debut as Arizona shut down San Francisco.

Baltimore Ravens vs. Houston Texans

Mike: Ravens 37, Texans 17

Lamar Jackson came out firing last week and reminded anyone who forgot why he was the MVP last season. Meanwhile, the Texans struggled to get going offensively without Hopkins. Don’t expect that to change this week against an impressive Ravens defense.

Joe: Ravens 38, Texans 24

The Texans met Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs in Week 1 and now square off against Lamar Jackson and the Ravens. The result will be the same.

Andersen: Ravens 31, Texans 21

I was tempted to pick the upset this week, but then I remembered Bill O’Brien was the Texans’ head coach. Even if Houston starts off strong, they will fizzle out by late in the second quarter, giving way to the Ravens.

Kansas City Chiefs vs. Los Angeles Chargers

Mike: Chiefs 41, Chargers 20

The Chargers were barely able to defeat the Bengals despite Joe Mixon having a quiet game. They have no shot at slowing down Clyde Edwards-Helaire and the Chiefs’ dominant passing attack. Expect a bloodbath in Los Angeles.

Joe: Chiefs 31, Chargers 17

Patrick Mahomes and his receivers will exploit the hole left by Derwin James in the Chargers defense.

Andersen: Chiefs 31, Chargers 20

A garbage-time touchdown should make this game appear much closer than it actually will be. Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs will dismantle a questionable Chargers secondary. On the other side, the Chargers will continue to refuse to pass to Austin Ekeler, leaving them unable to get going early.

New England Patriots vs. Seattle Seahawks

Mike: Seahawks 24, Patriots 16

The Cam Newton era got off to a good start last week, but that was against the Dolphins. There’s no way the Seahawks let Newton run all over them. While Russell Wilson and the offense won’t score 38 on the Patriots’ defense like they did against Atlanta last week, expect them to score enough to pull out the victory.

Joe: Seahawks 41, Patriots 20

It’s hard to pick against Russell Wilson in any given week. This week is no different.

Andersen: Seahawks 28, Patriots 24

Expect a close, one-score game on Sunday night. Cam Newton will pick up right where he left off last week. On the other side, Chris Carson will regress but the Seattle offense will remain exciting. The Seahawks should win, but don’t rule out a close, nail-biting finish.

New Orleans Saints vs. Las Vegas Raiders

Mike: Saints 35, Raiders 17

Whether Michael Thomas plays or not, the Saints should have no problem handling the Raiders. Despite playing a very unimpressive Panthers defense last week, the Raiders were barely able to pull out the victory. If their defense gave up 30 to Teddy Bridgewater last week, imagine what Drew Brees could do, even without Thomas.

Joe: Raiders 34, Saints 31

Josh Jacobs will lead the Raiders in their Las Vegas home opener. Drew Brees and the Saints put so much into beating Tom Brady in Week 1 that they will come out slow and be playing catch up all game.

Andersen: Raiders 31, Saints 28

The Raiders and Saints face off on Monday Night Football as the latter will be without Michael Thomas. Josh Jacobs will run wild in the Raiders’ first game in Las Vegas while Henry Ruggs will boast even more big plays. If the Raiders can take the lead early, they’ll improve to 2-0.

Point Totals

Mike: 18
Joe: 14
Andersen: 18

Records

Mike: 9-7
Joe: 7-9
Andersen: 9-7


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Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images

Andersen is a teenage sports writer and reporter whose articles have appeared across the Sports Illustrated Kids, Prime Time Sports Talk, and SB Nation platforms. He has also received credit from RotoWorld, CBS Sports, ESPN, Bleacher Report, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, The Athletic, SB Nation, NBC Sports, NY Post, and dozens of other sports sites for his reporting work.

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