So the Browns took the Saints to the final minute when a Wil Lutz 44-yard field goal prolonged Cleveland’s winless streak. The Browns actually had a shot to tie again but their kicker Zane Gonzalez missed another field goal. The Jets got a rookie performance out of quarterback Sam Darnold in last week’s 20-12 loss to Miami, but New York has something the Browns long for – a win… NY Jets 20, Cleveland 17.
The battle for the NFC South begins. Atlanta beat Carolina last week as Matt Ryan passed for two touchdowns and ran for a third. The Falcons defense will have to deal with Drew Brees and company again. Atlanta has actually won three of the last four against New Orleans including the last two played in Atlanta. Advantage, home team… Atlanta 23, New Orleans 20.
So, it appears that Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes was well worth the draft pick last year. Mahomes threw six touchdown passes in KC’s win over Pittsburgh last week to become the first player in league history to throw 10 TD passes in his first three NFL games. The Chiefs and 49ers haven’t played since 2014. The Niners won 22-17 in San Francisco. In fact, the 49ers have won every game in the series with KC played in San Francisco except the very first back in 1971… San Francisco 31, Kansas City 30.
Jon Gruden’s second tenure as the Raiders head coach is off to an 0-2 start. Oakland lost by one to rival Denver last week. The Raiders face a surprising 2-0 Miami team that has wins over the Titans and Jets. The Dolphins are playing at home where they lost to Oakland last year, 27-24. The difference this year? QB Ryan Tannehill who missed the 2017 season with a knee injury. Tannehill is completing 72.5 percent of his passes and has four touchdowns in two games… Miami 27, Oakland 23.
The Vikings scored 22 points in the fourth quarter to force overtime where kicker Daniel Carlson missed two field goals and Minnesota had to settle for a tie against Green Bay. This week, the Vikings get Buffalo at home. The Bills are headed straight for a dumpster fire after a 31-20 loss to the Chargers. Bills QB Josh Allen got his first start and weathered the storm completing 18-of-33 passes, throwing two interceptions, and getting sacked five times. Same thing will happen against Minnesota’s defense… Minnesota 34, Buffalo 17.
Colts QB Andrew Luck was efficient in the Colts 21-9 win over Washington a week ago. The Colts defense did not allow a touchdown. They will face a tougher task in defending Philadelphia, which lost to Tampa Bay last week. The Eagles defense gave up 400 passing yards and four touchdowns to Bucs QB Ryan Fitzpatrick. Don’t think they will do the same for Luck…Philadelphia 27, Indianapolis 20.
Fresh off a tie with Minnesota, Green Bay heads to Washington. The Redskins didn’t even score a touchdown last week. The Washington defense will have to deal with Packers QB Aaron Rodgers who went 30-of-42 for 281 yards last week after an injury in Week 1. Washington needs its running game back. Sixty-two yards rushing isn’t going to cut it… Green Bay 31, Washington 21.
The Bengals are off to a surprising 2-0 start and now travel to Carolina where a win over the Panthers would really create some buzz. Cincinnati has won both games by identical scores – 34-23 – and heads to Charlotte for just the third time ever. The last time these two teams played was in 2014. The result? A 37-37 tie. Carolina is coming off a tough loss to NFC South Division rival Atlanta. Hurricane Florence is over. Give the advantage to the home team… Carolina 33, Cincinnati 27.
AFC South rivals Tennessee and Jacksonville look to take control of the division when they face each other on Sunday. While the Jags won the division last year, the Titans owned the series beating Jacksonville twice last season. The Jags are coming off a huge win over New England while Tennessee beat Houston last week. Blake Bortles threw four touchdown passes last week. Edge, Jags… Jacksonville 33, Tennessee 28.
Baltimore’s defense gave up 28 first-half points last Thursday to Cincinnati en route to a 34-23 defeat. The Ravens may have trouble with Denver QB Case Keenum. While Keenum was not his normal self (19-of-35, 222 yards, 1 INT) against Oakland last week, he did lead two fourth-quarter drives that produced the game-winning points. The Broncos have beaten the Ravens each of the last two times the teams played. But, both of those games were in Denver… Baltimore 27, Denver 20.
Something has to give on Sunday when the Giants travel to Houston. Both teams enter the game 0-2 and the loser is likely out of the playoff race. Houston is struggling while QB Deshaun Watson gets re-accustomed to the NFL. He missed much of last season with a knee injury. The Giants are simply bad. They rushed for 35 yards in a loss to Dallas last week. Going on the road is not in their favor… Houston 20, NY Giants 17.
The battle for Los Angeles is on. Both offenses have the ability to put up big numbers. Both defenses are stout and can rush the passer. The Rams allowed only 137 yards last week in a win over Arizona. Chargers RB Melvin Gordon scored three touchdowns in a win over the Bills. Last year’s NFL Offensive Player of the Year Todd Gurley did the same for the Rams… LA Rams 38, LA Chargers 37.
The Cardinals are just bad. They managed a whopping 137 yards against the Rams last week. The Cards have scored a grand total of six points this season. Now, they face a Chicago defense led by Khalil Mack. The last time Chicago faced the Cardinals at Soldier Field it didn’t go so well – a 48-23 Arizona win. Don’t expect anything close to that this time… Chicago 23, Arizona 17.
The Cowboys got their first win of the season last week with a win over the Giants. Quarterback Dak Prescott was efficient and RB Ezekiel Elliott ran for 78 yards and a touchdown. The Seahawks need to find a running game to help quarterback Russell Wilson. Wilson was sacked six times in Week 1 as Seattle ran for just 64 yards. Seattle has beaten Dallas the last two times they’ve played. Make it three… Seattle 27, Dallas 21.
It’s Sunday night in Detroit where the Lions and new head coach Matt Patricia welcome his former team, New England, to Ford Field. The Lions are off to another awful start. They were pounded in Week 1 by the Jets and then never led in a 30-27 loss to the 49ers. The Patriots are the NFL’s best after a loss. Since 2003, the Patriots are 38-13 (74.5%) after losing a regular season game… New England 33, Detroit 17.
Could the Pittsburgh Steelers start the season 0-3? Absolutely. They will face arguably the hottest team in the NFL after two weeks in the Buccaneers. QB Ryan Fitzpatrick is on fire. Starting in place of the suspended Jameis Winston, Fitzpatrick has back-to-back 400-yards-plus and four-touchdown games. Plus, they play Pittsburgh at home on Monday night… Tampa Bay 30, Pittsburgh 28.
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2018 NFL Football Season