By Ashleigh Tobin
Week one of NFL action ended with surprising results, expected wins, and room to grow for every team. Teams and bettors will use last weekend to learn and hopefully perform better for week two.
Los Angeles Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs
This game is a tremendous primetime matchup. Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs offense did not skip a beat after losing Tyreek Hill in the offseason, scoring six touchdowns against the Cardinals last week. Justin Herbert looked phenomenal for the Chargers in their win against the Raiders and will look to continue his success this game. The Chiefs have an edge on defense this matchup, and I doubt the Chargers will be able to stop the steamrolling offense led by Mahomes. The Chiefs win in a shootout.
New England Patriots at Pittsburgh Steelers
I’m not sure why the Patriots are favored in this matchup. They are on the road again and showed how bad the offense is in Miami last weekend. The Steelers have a better defense than the Dolphins, and even though the offense is a little worse, they should have no problem going against New England. The Steelers will win this game in a low-scoring matchup and are my upset of the week.
Carolina Panthers at New York Giants
The Giants played surprisingly well against the Titans last week. Saquon Barkley is healthy and looked amazing in his return. Meanwhile, the Panthers gave up 217 rushing yards to the Browns. Barkley will look to continue his success in this matchup to keep the Giants rolling. Baker Mayfield had an okay start to his season, but the Panthers’ use of Christian McCaffrey was weird; he only had ten carries for 33 yards. If Carolina wants a chance at winning this game, they need to get the ball to their best playmaker more often. The Giants start the season 2-0.
New York Jets at Cleveland Browns
This game is my lock of the week. The Browns won against the Panthers with a game-winning field goal from their rookie kicker and proved they could win without Deshaun Watson. Meanwhile, the Ravens crushed the Jets, and New York still doesn’t have Zach Wilson back from injury. The Jets’ defense doesn’t stand a chance against Cleveland’s run attack that totaled 217 yards last week. The Browns win this game in a dominant performance.
Indianapolis Colts at Jacksonville Jaguars
Both of these teams struggled in their season openers. The Colts’ offense struggled to put drives together against the Texans and came away with a tie. Not an ideal way to start the season for a team that hopes to win the AFC South. Jacksonville also struggled in their debut, getting off to a slow start against the Commanders. But, their offense did end up putting together a solid game, with Trevor Lawrence passing for 275 yards and a touchdown. Indianapolis has the edge on defense and will look to recover from their embarrassing performance last week.
Miami Dolphins at Baltimore Ravens
The Dolphins began their season by beating the Patriots in Miami. Miami’s defense was excellent, limiting New England to only 7 points. On the other side of the ball, their offense started to build chemistry between Tua Tagovailoa at quarterback and Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle at wide receiver. The trio will look to continue their success against the Ravens, but it will be challenging against Baltimore’s defense that locked down the Jets last week. Lamar Jackson may not have gotten a deal finished with the Ravens before the season started, but he did score three touchdowns in week one. Led by Jackson, Baltimore should win this game easily.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints
After all the drama surrounding Tom Brady during the off-season, one thing has remained the same. He knows how to win. Leonard Fournette was stellar against the Cowboys, totaling 127 yards. Fournette was the bright spot for Tampa’s offense, which had trouble scoring touchdowns. But give Brady a week to figure it out; this offense should be rolling soon. The Saints’ defense gave up plenty of rushing yards to the Falcons and will do the same this week against Tampa. Jameis Winston will have trouble moving the ball down the field against the Buccaneers’ defense that only allowed three points and under 75 rushing yards. Brady and the Bucs get the win on the road.
Washington Commanders at Detriot Lions
The Lions looked solid last week against the Eagles, while the Commanders won a tight game over the Jaguars. Detroit’s offense put up 35 points, led by running back D’Andre Swift, who totaled 144 yards rushing. Even though Washington won, their offense will not be able to keep up with the Lions this week. The Lions get the win at home.
Seattle Seahawks at San Fransisco 49ers
Yes, Geno Smith looked good last week when the Seahawks beat the Broncos. But I don’t think he will be able to continue that trend against the 49ers’ defense. The 49ers’ offense should look better this week since they won’t be playing in a rain-filled field. San Fransisco’s offense is too dynamic for Seattle’s defense to contain, and they will get their first win of the season.
Atlanta Falcons at Los Angeles Rams
The Rams look to bounce back this week after the horrific loss to the Bills last Thursday. And, perhaps unsurprisingly, the Falcons blew another double-digit lead in the fourth quarter against the Saints. I’m taking the Rams in this one; their offense is too good to struggle against Atlanta’s defense, and their defense will have an easier time containing the Falcons’ offense than they did with the Bills.
Arizona Cardinals at Las Vegas Raiders
The Cardinals’ offense was abysmal last week without star receiver DeAndre Hopkins. Kyler Murray led the team in rushing with just 29 yards, while their top receiver totaled 63 yards. On the other side of the field, the Raiders had a solid start to their season against the Chargers. Even though they lost, their offense showed promise with the addition of DeVante Adams, who recorded 141 receiving yards. Arizona’s defense will struggle again this week, as the Raiders get the win at home.
Houston Texans at Denver Broncos
The Seahawks spoiled Russell Wilson’s revenge game last week, but this week he’ll look to get his first win as a Bronco. The Denver offense lost two fumbles in the red zone but did look better than last year with Drew Lock under center. They will benefit from playing the Texans this week after dusting off the preseason rust on Monday. Though Houston went up early against the Colts, their defense gave up 17 points in the fourth quarter, resulting in a tie. I don’t have hope for the Texans’ offense that scored zero points trying to close out the game. The Broncos are a well-rounded team and will get Wilson’s first win with his new team at home.
Cincinnati Bengals at Dallas Cowboys
Joe Burrow turned the ball over five times in his first game since Superbowl 56. But, he still managed to throw for 338 yards and two touchdowns to keep the Bengals in the game. Meanwhile, the Cowboys’ offense struggled against the Buccaneers, and they will be without starting quarterback Dak Prescott this week. The Bengals will look to get back on track and win on the road.
Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers
Green Bay got off to a slow start on offense last week against the Vikings and is clearly hurting without DeVante Adams. But I think Green Bay will have more answers this week when they play the Bears. Chicago played well against the 49ers, but they also played in awful conditions that would make it difficult for any team to score. Aaron Rodgers has a bounce-back performance in this game to get the win.
Tennesse Titans at Buffalo Bills
Josh Allen had the Bills rolling last Thursday, and now they get a home game in front of their passionate fan base on Monday night. There is no way they lose this game to the Titans, who just got beat by the New York Giants. The Titans haven’t found their stride on offense without AJ Brown yet, and their defense struggled to stop the run on Sunday. Allen will have no trouble moving the ball down the field, rushing or passing. The Bills get their first win at home.
Minnesota Vikings at Philadelphia Eagles
Both offenses got off to a hot start on Sunday and will look to continue their success on Monday Night Football. AJ Brown had a monster performance in his first game as an Eagle, while Justin Jefferson dominated the Packers for the Vikings. Both teams have star wide receivers, but Philadelphia has a more dynamic quarterback who will give them an edge in this matchup. The Eagles get a win and climb to 2-0.