How This Is Done: Each week I break down each and every game from that NFL Week, discussing gameplay, betting lines, and individual performances. No holds barred commentary, if your team stunk, you’ll hear about it.
Cincinnati Bengals Vs. Cleveland Browns
Brown 35 – Bengals 30, CIN +6, O43.5
In a highly not anticipated Thursday Night Football matchup, the 0-1 Bengals traveled to the Dawg Pound to take on OBJ and the Cleveland Steamers. Scoring was not an issue for either team throughout the game, as both teams surpassed the 30 point mark while coming off troubling offensive performances. Perhaps both teams started to have their offenses click, but more likely of a case is that both these teams can’t play effective defense. The Bengals let Burrow try to win this game for them, with the first year quarterback throwing 61 passes throughout the course of the game. Despite another heroic effort by Burrow, the Browns run attack ran over the Bengals defense all night, carrying the Browns in this victory. Burrow throwing two touchdowns in the fourth allowed Cincinnati to cover the spread, while the offensive explosion that no one expected crushed the over of 43.5 points.
Minnesota Vikings Vs. Indianapolis Colts
Colts 28 – Vikings 11, IND -3, U49
In what many people say as the value bet of the week, the Vikings went to Indianapolis as 3 point dogs and with a ML of +152. With the Colts having a rough week against the Jaguars a week prior, and with the Vikings playing the Packers farely well in Week One, gamblers jumped on the ML and spread for the Vikings. Sadly, Philip Rivers is a Christian man and doesn’t condone gambling, so he and his new team Colts took down the now 0-2 Vikings. Leading the way for the Colts was rookie running back Jonathan Taylor who stepped into the lead rushing back role after Marlon Mack went down last week with an achilles injury. The Colts had no worries for the rookie, feeding him the rock 26 times as he totalled 101 yards and a touchdown. For the Vikings, the only thing seeming to work for them is Dalvin Cook. Kirk threw three interceptions this game and only completed on 42% of his passes, ending the day with an abysmal 15.9 passer rating. Vegas proved right with their odds, with Indianapolis both covering the spread and hitting the under by holding the Vikings to only 11 points.
San Francisco 49ers Vs. New York Jets
49ers 31 – Jets 13, SF -7, O41.5
The J-E-T-S absolutely S-U-C-K. Adam Gase had no answers for both the 49ers offense and their defense Sunday, even after the injury filled game San Fran endured just a week prior. The game just looked easy for Jimmy G against the Jets, completing 14/16 passes for two touchdowns, reaching a passer rating of 140.4 on the week. Just like last year the San Francisco run game proved to be dominant, having two RBs reach over 75+ yards on only 11 combined carries. Not much can be said other than that. 49ers cover easily, and their offense makes the over hit.
Jacksonville Jaguars Vs. Tennessee Titans
Titans 33 – Jaguars 30, JAX +7.5, O44
With both teams coming off hard fought victories in Week One, they decided to keep the fireworks by having another game with the difference in scoring being one possession. Ryan Tannehill in these first two weeks of the season has lived up to every dollar he was paid in the off season, as Vrabel is putting more and more faith in his arm instead of Derrick Henry’s legs. Tannehill completed 18/24 passes for a whopping four touchdowns, beating Jimmy G’s impressive passer rating with a 145.7. Jonnu Smith has emerged as a go-to for Tannehill, with two of his touchdown passes going in his direction. Minshew, despite having a bit of a rough day, still did his best to keep his team in this game. A 14 yard touchdown pass to Chris Thompson tied the game at 30 with 7:25 to go in the fourth, but after trading possession a few times Stephen Gostowski came in for what ended up being his second game winning kick of the season. The Jaguars performed well enough to keep this game within a score, and the back and forth battle between Minshew and Tannehill allowed for the over to hit.
New York Giants Vs. Chicago Bears
Bears 17 – Giants 13, NYG +5.5, U42.5
Are Da Bears back? Mitch Trubisky has been on his version of a revenge tour this season because of the extra motivation coming from the Bears trading for Nick Foles, but granted his revenge tour isn’t comparable to others seen around the league. His success seems to be due to the lack of skill coming from the opposing side of the ball, winning Week One versus the Lions and this week against the Giants. If Chicago was a stock, I’m not buying. The Giants had no shot in this game once Saquan got injured, but the Bears still managed to keep it a close game. These teams may have opposite records, but I have no faith in either moving forward. Giants +5.5 hits, and the lack of offensive production from both of these teams made for an easy under.
Detroit Lions Vs. Green Bay Packers
Packers 42 – Lions 21, GB -6.5, O50
Things need to turn around quickly for Matt Patricia if he hopes to keep his job past this season, but running into Aaron Rodgers twice a year does not help him at all. The Packers offense was rolling on Sunday, finding success on the ground and through the air. Aaron Jones did whatever he pleased against the Lions defense, finishing the game with 168 yards and two touchdowns alongside a 68 receiving yards and a receiving touchdown. The Lions defense looked like they had no answer all game, and the lack of production offensively made this a blowout. Packers cover easy and nearly hit the over themselves, while Detroit is left with yet another doom and gloom season.
Los Angeles Rams Vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Rams 37 – Eagles 19, LAR +1.5, O46
I know hindsight is 20/20, but the Rams were underdogs in this game? Coming off a catastrophic loss in Week One to the Football Team, the Eagles put up another stinker against the LA Rams. Wentz ended the day with zero touchdowns and two interceptions through the air, causing the whole offense to sputter. The Rams were coming off a hard fought victory over the Cowboys in Week One, and carried that momentum right into Week Two. McVay has refigured out how to make Goff perform in his offense after their struggles last season, throwing for 267 yards and three touchdowns in this matchup. Darrel Henderson and Malcolm Brown nearly split the majority of the team’s carries, combining for 128 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries. This is a bad sign for Eagles fans, as the Rams proved to be on the same level as teams such as the Cowboys who the Eagles still have to play twice this year. This slow start may have screwed the Eagles postseason chances already, and it seems that Wentz’s struggles are the center of the problem. As this season progresses, expect these two teams to drift farther and farther apart in the standings. Rams win outright, and the over of 46 hits thanks to the high powered Rams offense regaining the rhythm they seemed to lose last season.
Carolina Panthers Vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Buccaneers 31 – Panthers 17, TB -8.5, O47.5
“Tom Brady fell off the cliff. The King is dead. The reign of TB12 is no more. Those are things you’ll hear this week, just don’t buy into them,” is what I said last week, and it rang true (kinda). Despite still not looking like the whole offense is on the same page, the Buccaneers were able to hang 31 on the Panthers defense. Most of these points came from the ground game, with Leonard Fournette having his first breakout game for the Bucs. Fournette had 103 yards and two touchdowns, while Ronald Jones added a touchdown himself. This is the second week in a row where the Panthers defense has allowed over 30 points, and in both games it has from their lack of run defense. With Christian McCaffrey getting hurt in this contest, it was up to Teddy Brdigewater to try and save the day for Carolina, but once you see Tom Brady get a lead, he doesn’t often give it up. Without McCaffrey the Panthers will turn to Mike Davis as their lead back, and more pressure will be on Bridgewater to keep this team’s playoff chances alive. Despite some offensive miscues the Bucs managed to cover the spread, and the over of 47.5 barely hits.
Denver Broncos Vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Steelers 26 – Broncos 21, DEN +6.5, O40.5
Going into this game I had little hope for the Broncos, and that slight hope became even thinner once starting quarterback Drew Lock went down early in the first with an injury, knocking him out for the rest of the game. But shockingly, back up Jeff Driskel came in and was able to fill the shoes left by Lock perfectly. Driskel was able to run the offense effectively, and the Broncos had no problem letting him sling it through the air. Driskel threw 34 pass attempts, connecting on 18 of them, for 256 yards and two touchdowns with only one interception. Not bad for a backup coming in on short notice. Driskel’s stat line was very similar to Big Ben’s, who also threw for two touchdowns and an interception in the contest. Just by a pure football perspective, the Steelers had many more weapons on offense than the Broncos, and the more established run game for the Steelers was the difference in this game. Still, you would expect the Steelers to be pulling away by more than five points in a contest against an unprepared backup quarterback, which is something to note moving forward in the season. Driskel’s surprise effort kept the Steelers within 6.5 points, and the total of 47 meant the over was achieved.
Atlanta Falcons Vs. Dallas Cowboys
Cowboys 40 – Falcons 39, ATL +3, O52
Offense was expected in this game, and offense delivered. With a disappointing loss in Week One to the Rams, the Cowboys came out swinging in this high powered matchup. Dak led the team’s offense with both his passing attack and his legs, combining for four total touchdowns and 468 yards. Although being held to 4.0 yards per carry, Zeke also made sure to get fed and racked up 89 yards rushing and one touchdown on the ground. On the other side of the ball, passing was the name of the game. The Cowboys limited the Falcons to 113 yards on the ground, but the passing attack is what kept them in this game. Matt Ryan threw for four touchdowns to three different receivers, with two going to second year wide out Calvin Ridley. The over of 52 was smashed, and the Falcons responded to their loss to Seattle in Week One by coming within one point to the ‘Boys.
Buffalo Bills Vs. Miami Dolphins
Bills 31 – Dolphins 28, MIA +5.5, O42
Divisional battles are always tough, and with the AFC East allegedly being open with Tom Brady leaving the Patriots this offseason each battle will be hard fought. That being said, this division is really a battle between the Bills and the Patriots. Despite keeping this game close, I would not see this as a poor sign for the Bills. Even a broken clock is right twice a day, and today was one of those games where Fitzpatrick turned into Fitzmagic. Fitzy ended the game with 328 yards and two touchdown passes, having no mistakes on the day. Still, Josh Allen was the better of the two quarterbacks on the day, tossing four touchdown passes on the day to four different receivers. Stephon Diggs has been a perfect fit for the Bills offense, quickly becoming Allen’s number one option. Although the Bills had some struggles on the ground, they were able to thwart the Dolphins last ditch effort to win this game. Miami kept it within three points, and the offense for Miami set the over to hit.
Washington Football Team Vs. Arizona Cardinals
Cardinals 30 – Football Team 15, ARI -7, U46.5
The Cardinals followed up their impressive Week One win over the 49ers with another good showing against the Washington Football Players. Kyler Murray is becoming yet another reliable dual threat quarterback in the league, following the steps of Russell wilson and Lamar Jackson. Murray had three total touchdowns on the day, one through the air and two with his feet. The trio of Murray, Kenyan Drake, and Deandre Hopkins all work perfectly together, constantly keeping opposing defenses on their toes. The Cardinals defense also is nothing to overlook as they held Washington to only 117 rushing yards and 199 passing. If the Cardinals don’t run into any hiccups throughout the rest of this season, expect them to be contending for the top spot in the NFC. Arizona covered with ease, and the Cardinals defense stopped the Football Team enough to keep the over from hitting.
Baltimore Ravens Vs. Houston Texans
Ravens 33 – Texans 16, BAL -7, U49.5
Houston had the toughest first two games of the season in the whole league, playing the defending Super Bowl Champs in Week One and following that up with a matchup against the reigning MVP Lamar Jackson. That being said, the Texans should be competing a lot better in these games. It’s hard not to blame the loss of Deandre Hopkins to the offenses struggles these past two weeks, with Watson still not having a certified number one guy in his receiving corp. The Ravens did what they have done for the past two seasons, perfectly balancing the run attack with Jackson and their running back by committee approach with their highly talented passing attack. The seat is getting hotter for Billy O’Brien, and high needs to start winning against these well respected teams in order to take some pressure off himself. Ravens cover easily, and the no fun under barely hits.
Kansas City Chiefs Vs. Los Angeles Chargers
Chiefs 23 – Chargers 20, LAC +8.5, U47.5
To many gamblers, the Chiefs -8.5 here was an easy bet with 84% of people siding with that opinion. But no one was expecting Justin Herbert to start this game, including Justin himself, and that proved to be the killer for this spread. Starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor accidentally punctured his lung while being administered an injection minutes before the game, throwing the rookie into the starting role. Herbert handled this unexpected event a lot better than anyone could have guessed, and had the Chargers in position late to almost pull off this upset. The Chiefs passing attack was on point as always, but the fierce Chargers defense didn’t allow the Chiefs to get anything going on the ground. Because of this, the door was open for the Chargers late in the fourth, which they capitalized on with a field goal to give them a three point lead just before the two minute warning. Despite the late game heroics by Herbert, Mahomes was Mahomes and led his team down the field to tie the score and force the game into overtime. In OT the Chargers got the ball, but couldn’t get any momentum in their favor. Forced to punt the ball to the Chiefs, they had to essentially give the win to the defending champions as Mahomes methodically drove his team down the field, putting them in position to kick the game winning field goal. Herbert showed that his first round value in this past year’s draft was worth it by keeping the Chargers within a score of this game, and the formidable defenses on both sides of the ball secured the under in this matchup.
New England Patriots Vs. Seattle Seahawks
Seahawks 35 – Patriots 30, SEA -4, O45
With many questions still unanswered surrounding the Patriots offense with Cam Newton at the helm, the Patriots went out and proved that they don’t need Tom Brady in order to be effective offensively. Cam Newton was given the opportunity to show Belichick and McDaniels he can be effective through the passing game, throwing 44 passes in total and completing on 30 of them for 397 yards and a touchdown. Newton did throw his first interception as a Patriot in this matchup, badly telegraphing an out right to his receiver which Seattle cornerback Dunbar easily jumped and picked. On the other side of the ball, Seattle once again exploded offensively. Wilson was the MVP of Week One, and made his case for being the league MVP in this matchup. Wilson threw for five touchdown passes to five different options, showing how deadly and versatile this Seattle offense can be. That air attack plus a heavy dose of Chris Carson was too much for the Patriots to handle, but Patriots fans are coming away from this loss with high hopes for the rest of the season. Seattle just managed to cover the spread, and the over of 45 was absolutely demolished.
New Orleans Saints Vs. Las Vegas Raiders
Raiders 34 – Saints 24, LV +4, O48
In this Monday night matchup, no one expected this outcome. In the first game played in the Raiders new stadium, Chucky Gruden and his team upset the New Orleans Saints. For the Saints, things were a little worrisome heading into the game because of the absence of Michael Thomas. This is the first game Thomas has missed in his career, and Brees struggled to get the ball down field without Thomas to rely on. With the lack of a dependable person to throw to for Brees, plus it being the first game in their new home stadium, the Raiders had plenty of motivation in this matchup. Derek Carr looked like the 2017/2018 version of himself in this matchup, throwing for three touchdowns on the night with 282 yards in the air. Thanks to big performances from guys like Darren Waller and Josh Jacobs, the Raiders were able to take a lead in the third quarter and never look back. More analysts are now questioning how much more Brees has in the tank, and the Raiders got to celebrate their first home victory in Las Vegas. Vegas upset the Saints in convincing fashion, and thanks to outstanding individual performances from guys like Derek Carr and Alvin Kamara, the over was achieved.