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September 17, 2020

Week 2 NFL picks

Eagles NFL
091820BigDom Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA TODAY Sports

Big Dom is unimpressed that Sean McVay can name players on the Eagles' defense.

For the gambling enthusiasts, here are my Week 2 NFL picks. To note, the team logos indicate who I think will win the game, not cover the spread. At the end of the picks, I'll note a few teams that I like based on the spread. All the below spreads are courtesy of the consensus Week 2 odds at


Bengals at Browns (-6): The NFL season is underway! Woohoo! Let's keep that momentum going Thursday night with, um... oh no. Bengals-Browns. I'll watch this game because the Eagles play both of these teams this season (and the Bengals next week), so I'll take the Bengals and the points just so I don't fall asleep. I'll take the Browns to win, but this is good Bengals money line game, in my opinion.


Rams (-1.5) at Eagles: Carson Wentz had a terrible game Week 1, and his play has rightfully been criticized all week. In my opinion, that was his worst game as a pro. Does that mean he's now a bad quarterback? Of course not. If those bad performances continue, then we'll re-evaluate, but for now, he probably deserves the benefit of the doubt playing behind a predictably bad offensive line that the team mismanaged leading up to Week 1, especially after he dragged a group of practice squad players to the playoffs last season.

On Wednesday, Lane Johnson, Miles Sanders, and Derek Barnett practiced in full. If Johnson and Sanders both play this week (it's likely they will, since they were full participants so early in the week) they will be huge upgrades.

Yes, Aaron Donald is a phenomenal player, and yes, the Eagles' offensive line was over-matched by the Football Team last week, and as such, it's easy to envision Donald lifting Eagles linemen over his head and throwing them at Wentz. 

However, I believe that the matchups in this game generally favor the Eagles. Perhaps contrary to perception, the Rams want to be a running team. When they can run it, their offense has been effective. When you get them into long downs and distances, that's when Jared Goff becomes a less effective quarterback. The Eagles have been a great run team in recent years, especially against the types of power attacks that the Rams want to employ. That's the first key in slowing down the Rams' offense.

As far as the Eagles' chances of rebounding, I tried to think of their worst losses since they became a contender in 2017, not including Week 1. I came up with the following:

  1. 21-17 loss to the Panthers in 2018, in which they blew a 17-0 lead
  2. 48-7 loss to the Saints in 2018
  3. 27-24 home loss to the Lions in 2019
  4. 37-10 loss to the Cowboys in 2019
  5. 37-31 loss to the Dolphins in 2019

They won the next game all five times. The Titans overtime loss in 2018 was really bad, too, and the Eagles did lose the following game as well, but you get my point.


Jaguars at Titans (-8.5): The biggest surprise outcome in Week 1 was the Jaguars' win over the Colts, as Gardner Minshew went 19 of 20 with 3 TDs in a weird game in which the Colts out-gained the Jags 445-241. Congrats to the Jags for not going 0-16 this season.


Giants at Bears (-5.5): The Giants have the losingest record in the NFL since 2017, and as such, they are losers. I will continue to pick those losers to lose until they become less loser'y.


Falcons at Cowboys (-4.5): The Choke Bowl. Give me the Cowboys to be less chokey in this one.


Broncos at Steelers (-7.5): The Broncos have a young offensive line, a second-year quarterback, a couple of highly-picked rookies at receiver, and an intriguing young tight end. That's an offense that can grow together over time, but it is also the exact type of inexperienced offense that a play-making defense like the Steelers can have their way with. 

I don't like betting heavy favorites, and the 7.5-point spread is juuuust enough to scare me off, but if you can get it at 7, it has my approval.


Vikings at Colts (-3): The Colts appeared in the top 10 in a lot of preseason power rankings, to my surprise. I like their offensive line, but otherwise, is there really a lot to get excited about? I mean, this is a team that went 7-9 in a shaky division a year ago, and their big offseason move was to add an almost 39-year-old Philip Rivers. They feel a little fraud'y to me. I'm not sure exactly why they would be three-point favorites over the Vikings. Give me Minny, outright.


Panthers at Buccaneers (-9.5): The over-hyped Bucs were unimpressive Week 1 in their loss to the Saints, and they look like just another run-of-the-mill Bucs team to me, only with some big names on the roster. Still, they feel like a pretty safe survivor pick against what is perhaps the worst team in the NFC.


Bills (-5.5) at Dolphins: Josh Allen had a nice 2020 debut, throwing for 312 yards and 2 TDs (no picks), and rushing for 57 yards and a TD, as the Bills cruised to an easy win over the Jets. Both of Miami's starting corners -- Byron Jones and Xavien Howard -- were limited practice participants on Wednesday. 


49ers (-7) at Jets: I'm beginning to worry that I might have been wrong in thinking Sam Darnold has a chance to become a good NFL quarterback.


Lions at Packers (-6): In case you missed our hierarchy this week, I think it's re-posting Matt Patricia's comments, after he was asked if his coaching has contributed to a long list of blown fourth quarter leads:

Lol. That quote reminds me of this:


Football Team at Cardinals (-6.5): The Cards have sort of a "2017 Eagles" vibe going. Meanwhile, yes, the Football Team's defensive line dominated Week 1, but let's not kid ourselves. That's still a really bad team overall.


Ravens (-7) at Texans: Man, the Texans had to play in KC on opening night, and then Baltimore Week 2? That's not cool.


Chiefs (-8.5) at Chargers: This is the kind of respect you get from defenses in the NFL when you have an overabundance of speed and the best quarterback on the planet:

Just pencil me in for the Chiefs every week.  


Patri*ts at Seahawks (-4): If Seattle has figured out (like, three years after the rest of us) that they should be a pass-heavy team, seeing as they have a top 3 quarterback, then the rest of the NFC is in trouble. I'm very mad at myself for picking Drew Brees as my MVP in our predictions post over Russell Wilson.

On a side note, while we're subjected to Bengals-Browns on Thursday night, this is an interesting matchup on Sunday Night Football. 


Saints (-5.5) at Raiders: "Welcome to the Death Star, where our opponents come to die."

The Death Star was destroyed not once..

But twice...

Saints by two touchdowns.

Survivor pick

  1. Week 1: Ravens
  2. Week 2: Buccaneers

• Picks against the spread: Bengals (+6), Eagles (+1.5), Vikings (+3), Cardinals (-6.5), Saints (-5.5).

• Eagles picks: 0-1

• 2020 season, straight up: 11-5-0 (0.688)
• 2020 season, ATS: 5-1-0 (0.833)
• 2019 season, straight up: 160-107-1 (0.601)
• 2019 season, ATS: 42-35-3 (0.544)
• 2018 season, straight up: 173-94-2 (0.647)
• 2018 season, ATS: 41-36-2 (0.532)
• 2017 season, straight up: 181-86 (0.678)
• 2017 season, ATS: 36-32-2 (0.529)
• 2016 season, straight up: 171-94-2 (0.644)
• 2016 season, ATS:  41-34 (0.547)
• 2015 season, straight up: 163-93 (0.637)
• 2015 season, ATS: 46-30-2 (0.605)

• Last 6 years, ATS: 211-168-9 (0.555)

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