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NFL

NFL Picks Week 2

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STANDINGS

Mike Asti: 11-4-1
Parker Hurley: 11-4-1
Ron Lippock: 8-7-1
Alan Saunders: 9-6-1

THURSDAY

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Carolina Panthers

Asti: Panthers
Hurley: Panthers
Lippock: Panthers
Saunders: Panthers. Weird things can happen on Thursday night, especially in the season, and this could be a very sloppy game, but Carolina is the vastly better team.

SUNDAY EARLY

Arizona Cardinals at Baltimore Ravens

Asti: Ravens
Hurley: Ravens
Lippock: Ravens
Saunders: Ravens. As tough as the Steelers’ early-season schedule is, the Ravens’ has been the opposite. Steelers can’t afford to spot them too many games, though.

Dallas Cowboys at Washington Redskins

Asti: Cowboys
Hurley: Cowboys
Lippock: Cowboys
Saunders: Cowboys, even though they’re forever finding ways to lose games like this that they should win. Skins back Derrius Guice being back on the shelf should help Big D.

Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans

Asti: Titans
Hurley: Colts
Lippock: Titans
Saunders: Titans. There was a lot of LOL, Cleveland after Tennessee’s Week 1 upset, but the Titans earned that win. The Colts are still finding themselves after Andrew Luck’s retirement.

Seattle Seahawks at Pittsburgh Steelers

Asti: Steelers. While the Seahawks will be a contender this year, the Steelers will win this one. Pittsburgh is usually a safe bet in its home opener and will be especially motivated after what happened in New England. With that said, Russell Wilson won’t be easy to deal with and losing to Seattle wouldn’t necessarily be shocking by any means.

Hurley: Steelers. The Seahawks have the better record but we can all agree it is easier to beat the Bengals at home than the Patriots on the road. The Seahawks have questions in their defense, and Andy Dalton having a strong day without A.J. Green does not ease those concerns. If the Steelers offense cannot get right against an average defense at best on the road, then the Antonio Brown loss is more devastating than believed. Look for the Steelers to get their offense back on track while holding the Seahawks ground attack in check.

Lippock: Steelers

Saunders: When I made my pre-season prediction for the Steelers, I put this game down as a loss, but I’ve since changed my tune. Seattle was unimpressive in their home opener against Cincinnati and the Steelers will be highly motivated after an embarrassing defeat in New England.

Steelers 24, Seahawks 13

Buffalo Bills at New York Giants

Asti: Bills
Hurley: Giants
Lippock: Bills
Saunders: Bills

San Francisco 49ers at Cincinnati Bengals

Asti: Bengals
Hurley: Bengals. The 49ers will spend their second week on the road after beating Tampa Bay in Florida last week. Now, they get Zac Taylor, a young coach who is familiar with San Fransisco due to his time with the Rams in the last two seasons. Taylor had a great gameplan for another NFC West team in Seattle last week, and despite the loss, optimism came, as the team took Seattle to the final whistle in his coaching debut. In his home debut look for him to keep Dalton in comfortable situations, while the 49ers defense may not be as great as the interceptions from Jameis Winston suggested last week. The Bengals should be able to walk away with a win.

Lippock: Bengals
Saunders: 49ers

Los Angeles Chargers at Detroit Lions

Asti: Chargers
Hurley: Lions
Lippock: Lions
Saunders: Lions. A matchup between two of the NFL’s most underrated quarterbacks. A similar matchup of dynamic tight ends in rookie T.J. Hockensen and Hunter Henry won’t happen, as the latter is out with left knee fracture.

Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers

Asti: Packers
Hurley: Vikings. The Packers survived a road division game but did not look impressive on offense with their new play-caller. Now, they get a defense as good as the Bears who knows them just as well in Minnesota. Minnesota established a dominant ground attack with a healthy Dalvin Cook and Gary Kubiak helping design plays. The Packers are very thin in their front and played dime almost exclusively against the Bears. Look for Minnesota to shake up an offense that is finding itself while having success on the ground for a second straight week. The Vikings make a statement and move into the driver’s seat of the NFC North with an impressive road win.

Lippock: Vikings
Saunders: Vikings

Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans

Asti: Texans
Hurley: Texans
Lippock: Texans
Saunders: Texans. After losing a heartbreaker, the Texans won’t let me down two weeks in a row, especially against someone named Gardner Minshew II. I actually like the Minshew, but not as a fill-in rookie quarterback playing his first game.

SUNDAY AFTERNOON

New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins

Asti: Patriots
Hurley: Patriots
Lippock: Patriots
Saunders: Patriots. By 50.

Kansas City Chiefs at Oakland Raiders

Asti: Chiefs
Hurley: Chiefs
Lippock: Chiefs
Saunders: Chiefs

New Orleans Saints at Los Angeles Rams

Asti: Rams
Hurley: Rams
Lippock: Rams
Saunders: Rams

Chicago Bears at Denver Broncos

Asti: Bears
Hurley: BroncosThis is a fascinating matchup as the Bears have to travel to take on their former defensive coordinator Vic Fangio. On paper, the Bears are the better team. However, Fangio was around when the team drafted Mitch Trubisky, and he knows what makes the quarterback tick. We know that Trubisky struggles to read defenses and while Matt Nagy may have talent on his side, Fangio is going to make it tough on their quarterback. On top of that, thee Broncos have a deadly home-field advantage in the early season due to the heat and altitude of Denver.  If the Bears win, it will be because their defense shut down Joe Flacco and the offense squeaked by. If the Broncos do not turn the ball over, they could benefit from a rattled Trubisky.

Lippock: Bears
Saunders: Bears

SUNDAY NIGHT

Philadelphia Eagles at Atlanta Falcons

Asti: Eagles
Hurley: Eagles
Lippock: Eagles
Saunders: Falcons. Atlanta always plays well at home, and after being stifled by Minnesota’s defense, which was No. 4 in the league with five yards per play against in 2018, they’ll find the sledding easier against Philadelphia’s 23-ranked unit.

MONDAY NIGHT

Cleveland Browns at New York Jets

Asti: Browns 
Hurley: Browns
Lippock: Browns
Saunders: Browns. I was leaning towards Cleveland before the Jets lost Sam Darnold to mono and Le’Veon Bell needed a shoulder MRI on Thursday.

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