All season long, the Power Couple will predict each week of the NFL season. Picks will be made against the spread, using the same lines posted over at ESPN’s Pigskin Pick’em game.
Thursday Night Football
New York Jets vs. Buffalo Bills (Bills -.5)
Max- Jets: I’ve looked at this line a half dozen times and it still confuses me. Why are the Bills favored? I understand they’re at home and that they beat the Jets last season, but they looked godawful in Week 1 and have several injuries and are on the short week. The Jets did more to lose their opening game than the Bengals did to win it. Rex Ryan starts his last season in Buffalo 0-2.
Kelly- J-E-T-S: I’m doubling down on this team. I hate to say it, considering it’s you know week two, but this is a bit of a “must-win” for the Jets since they have a rough schedule for the next few weeks. Beating the Bills and then have 10 days or so to rest up and then head to Kansas City with a 1-1 record – I’ll take it.
Sunday 1:00 p.m. ET Games
Cincinnati Bengals vs Pittsburgh Steelers (Steelers -3.5)
Max- Bengals: I will admit the Steelers were impressive on Monday night. But what really stood out to me in that game was how bad Washington was. I think the Bengals provide a greater challenge and will get enough stops to let Andy Dalton (who was great in Week 1) to put enough points on the board.
Kelly- Steelers: I still can’t get over that Steelers offense. The Bengals had issues stopping the Jets offense, which is decent don’t get me wrong, but the Steelers firepower should overtake the Bengals. Give me the Steelers.
Baltimore Ravens vs Cleveland Browns (Browns +7.5)
Max- Ravens: Grabbing the points here is tempting, but it’s hard to overstate how bad the Browns are.
Kelly- Browns: This is a ballsy pick on my part, but the Ravens didn’t exactly light the earth on fire against a pretty shitty Buffalo team. Don’t get me wrong, Cleveland is atrocious, but I could see this being a nice ugly 6-3, 10-3 game, so I’l take the points and the Browns.
Dallas Cowboys vs Washington Redskins (Redskins -2.5)
Max- Washington: It may be time to give up on the idea that the Cowboys, as currently constructed, can win a game without Tony Romo. I thought Dak Prescott played well last week, but he wasn’t particularly impressive. I think Washington can do enough of the things the Giants did in Week 1 to slow down the Cowboys’ offense and that Kirk Cousins will have a bounce-back game.
Kelly- Cowboys: Is it sad that I trust the Cowboys and Dak Prescott more than Kirk Cousins, because I may…I think that the Cowboys are the ones who have the bounce back game. Ezekiel Elliot had a rough debut, but the Redskins defense is way softer than the Giants and I think that Dez Bryant will get more than 5 balls thrown in his direction.
Tennessee Titans vs Detroit Lions (Lions -5.5)
Max- Lions: Matt Stafford was really impressive leading that game-winning drive against the Colts last week. I think he maintains that form and the Lions score with just as much ease against a significantly worse Titans defense.
Kelly- Lions: The Lions don’t really have a defense but the Titans don’t exactly have the best offense. Even if Marcus Mariota can put together a few drives, I think Matthew Stafford can put together a few more.
Kansas City Chiefs vs Houston Texans (Texans -2.5)
Max- Chiefs: I think Kansas City took its offense to a new level in coming back against San Diego last week and they get a Texans team they manhandled in last year’s playoffs this weekend. I don’t think this game will be a blowout like that last meeting, but Andy Reid will have his team better prepared and, while it may be close, I think the Chiefs start 2-0.
Kelly- Texans: I’m driving the Houston bandwagon bus this year in case anyone wants to hop on. This team is good. Their defense with the one-man wrecking ball J.J Watt is one of the best in the league and Brock Osweiler makes them competent on offense. Oh and the Chiefs almost lost to the San Diego Chargers, a team many projected to finish dead last in the West.
Miami Dolphins vs New England Patriots (Patriots -5.5)
Max- Patriots: After seeing the ruthlessness with which Bill Belichick and Co. dismantled the Cardinals last week (without Gronk, by the way) I have no reason to believe they’ll have trouble with the Dolphins.
Kelly- Patriots: The Dolphins defense showed me a little something last week; too bad it was against a QB that had a bum ankle. The Patriots beat the Cardinals last week much to the surprise of many and now they get to go home and host the weak Dolphins.
New Orleans Saints vs New York Giants (-5.5)
Max- Giants: I’m hoping for a repeat of last year’s game in which these two teams put up a combined 101 points. I think we get another shootout, but that Eli finds one late touchdown to win and cover.
Kelly- Giants: I’m buying the Giants this year. I think that it will be a high scoring game, but Eli has three talented weapons that I think will be enough to send the Giants over the top.
San Francisco 49ers vs Carolina Panthers (Panthers -13.5)
Max- Panthers: I’m not ready to make anything out of the 49ers’ win last week. The Panthers opened their season in disappointing fashion and this is the perfect opportunity to get back on track by beating up on a lesser team. I think they take advantage of it.
Kelly- Panthers: Holy is this a large line. But I think Carolina is ready to erase the memory of Thursday night’s loss to the Broncos and what better way to do that than beating up on a weak, 49ers team. The only thing I ask is Cam, please let Jonathan Stewart get a touchdown or two. Thanks in advance.
4:00 p.m. ET Games
Seattle Seahawks vs Los Angeles Rams (Rams +5.5)
Max- Seahawks: The Seahawks need a bounce-back game after their Week 1 malaise. The Rams looked fairly impotent in Week 1 and I think the Seahawks get ahead early and never give the Rams a chance.
Kelly- Seahawks: I don’t know who looked worse – the Browns or the Rams. Todd Gurley is too good of a talent to be shut down for long, but the Seahawks are still the Seahawks and I think they take this one.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Arizona Cardinals (Cardinals (-6.5)
Max- Buccaneers: This line is too high. The Cardinals have a few defensive questions to answer and Jameis Winston showed he knows how to use his offensive weapons last week, throwing four touchdown passes. The Bucs will be in this game the whole 60 minutes.
Kelly- Cardinals: I could be biased here because I owe half the Arizona Cardinals offense in fantasy, but Carson Palmer needs a bounce back game as does his team. The Cardinals can put Patrick Peterson on Mike Evans and effectively limit Jameis’ weapons. I think the Cardinals bounce back here.
Atlanta Falcons vs Oakland Raiders (Raiders -4.5)
Max- Raiders: The Raiders have got to be full of confidence after winning last week on a two-point conversion. Derek Carr will take full advantage of a bad Falcons defense in Week 2 and keep that momentum going.
Kelly- Raiders: I trusted in the Falcons last week – I was dead wrong. The Raiders, despite the fact that their defense couldn’t stop a nose bleed, looked impressive in New Orleans and I think that Derek Carr will have his way with the Falcons.
Indianapolis Colts vs Denver Broncos (Broncos -5.5)
Max- Broncos: I don’t trust the Colts offensive line to take the points. I think Andrew Luck sees a little too much of Von Miller and the Broncos’ ride their much improved rushing attack to a 2-0 start.
Kelly- Broncos: I’m scared for Andy Luck in this game. The Broncos defense ate Cam Newton for lunch last week and his offensive line is at least semi-competent. Run Andy run.
Jacksonville Jaguars vs San Diego Chargers (Chargers -2.5)
Max- Jaguars: The Chargers, for whatever reason, are not good at home and losing their best receiver will it only make things harder. The Jaguars played the Packers very well in Week 1 and I think they have enough offense to win this game.
Kelly- Chargers: I’m sorry Blake, but I’m just not buying it yet. The Chargers played tough against the Chiefs, who are a much better team than Jacksonville. Plus, the Jaguars have to travel all the way West and that doesn’t always work out.
Sunday Night Football
Green Bay Packers vs Minnesota Vikings (Vikings +2.5)
Max- Packers: The Vikings defense looked excellent last week. They could become last year’s Broncos, but I don’t think their offense is there yet. I’m not sure how they put up points when Aaron Rodgers inevitably makes a ridiculous throw for a score.
Kelly- Packers: I blame the hot conditions or something else for the Packers’ not stellar performance against Jacksonville last weekend. Aaron Rodgers is too good to lose to the Vikings.
Monday Night Football
Philadelphia Eagles vs Chicago Bears (-2.5)
Max- Eagles: I don’t think the Bears are very good. I know it was against the Browns, but Carson Wentz threw two very pretty touchdown passes last week. I think he gets a couple more and starts his pro career 2-0.
Kelly- Eagles: The Bears aren’t good. Carson Wentz might actually be – I think he can beat a weak Chicago team and he has the weapons to do so. It’ll be close but I think a little 21-17 win is just what the doctor ordered for the Eagles.