NFL predictions and picks for Week 2 from the experts at ESPN are now here, and we could be in store for a fairly predictable weekend of football. Regardless, there are a few divisional matchups scheduled, and those could always go either way. In addition to the predictions by the experts at ESPN, the latest NFL odds from Vegas Insider were also used as reference points. Here are a few of the notable games.
Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots – WINNER: Patriots
Even without quarterback Tom Brady and tight end Rob Gronkowski last week, the Patriots defeated the Arizona Cardinals by a score of 23-21. The most impressive part is that the game was played in Arizona, a place where the Cardinals had a ton of success last season. While it seems like the Dolphins always play the Patriots tough, they did not look good last week against the Seattle Seahawks. Their defense was strong, but their offense struggled in a 12-10 loss. While it will not be a blowout, eight out of nine ESPN experts believe the Patriots will win.
Indianapolis Colts at Denver Broncos – WINNER: Broncos
With Andrew Luck finally healthy, the Colts scored 35 points last week against the Detroit Lions. The problem was their defense gave up 39 points in a heartbreaking loss. They will travel to Denver on Sunday and face one of the most ferocious defenses in the entire NFL. The reigning Super Bowl-winning Broncos held Panthers quarterback Cam Newton in check last week and won by a score of 21-20. While Luck appears to be poised for a huge year, he is going to struggle against the Broncos defense. All nine of the ESPN experts believe the Broncos will win.
New Orleans Saints at New York Giants – WINNER: Giants
Saints quarterback Drew Brees, now 37-years-old, was expected to slow down this year. While it is still early in the season, he had one of the biggest games of his career last week against the Oakland Raiders, where he threw for 423 yards and four touchdowns. Brees looks great, but the Saints defense is another story. They gave up 35 points in a one-point loss to the Raiders. Their defense is expected to struggle again this season, and things will not get any easier on the road against the Giants. Brees should keep the game close, but eight out of nine ESPN experts believe the Giants will win.
Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers – WINNER: Steelers
Quite possibly the most interesting game of the weekend, the Bengals will travel to Pittsburgh to face their hated division rival. As expected, the Steelers offense looked explosive last week in a 38-16 victory over the Washington Redskins. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and wide receiver Antonio Brown connected on two touchdowns. Veteran running back D’Angelo Williams added two rushing touchdowns of his own. The Bengals narrowly edged the New York Jets by a score of 23-22, but quarterback Andy Dalton has fewer weapons this season. Either way, this is a divisional matchup, and anything can happen. Regardless, eight out of nine ESPN experts believe the Steelers will win.
More ESPN NFL Picks for Week 2
- Detroit Lions Over Tennessee Titans
- Baltimore Ravens Over Cleveland Browns
- Washington Redskins Over Dallas Cowboys
- Carolina Panthers Over San Francisco 49ers
- Houston Texans Over Kansas City Chiefs
- Seattle Seahawks Over Los Angeles Rams
- Arizona Cardinals Over Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Jacksonville Jaguars Over San Diego Chargers
- Oakland Raiders Over Atlanta Falcons
- Green Bay Packers Over Minnesota Vikings
- Chicago Bears Over Philadelphia Eagles
While most of those picks are overwhelming towards one team, it is still very early in the season. Teams that are expected to be great are going to end up being disappointments. On the other hand, a few bad teams should surprise everyone, and that could happen on Sunday and Monday.
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