2016 NFL Picks Week 2: Los Angeles Rams Take On Seattle Seahawks
The Los Angeles Rams will square off against the Seattle Seahawks in what should be a very tough Week 2 matchup.
With the first weekend officially in the books, Sunday’s game between the Los Angeles Rams and the Seattle Seahawks is just one of many games to keep an eye on when it comes to NFL Picks for Week 2 of the 2016 season.
The Rams were looking to make a statement in their first game against the San Francisco 49ers by proving they were a completely different offense from a year ago. Instead, Los Angeles failed to provide fans with any sort of hope after falling to San Francisco 28-0 during Monday Night Football.
If the Rams played this poorly against a team like the 49ers, the thought of them facing the Seahawks during the home opener is just scary to think about. Seattle has established a reputation for having one of the league’s top defenses over the last couple of seasons, and there’s a good chance this squad is going to cause all sorts of problems for Los Angeles on offense.
Still, let’s not forget about the Rams surprising the Seahawks in 2015 by winning both games–including a thrilling overtime victory in Week 1. Here’s a closer look at predictions for Los Angeles against Seattle along with the rest of the NFL picks for Week 2.
New York Jets Over Buffalo Bills
Who doesn’t love a good rivalry game involving a head coach going against his former team?
Rex Ryan will be extra motivated to make sure the Buffalo Bills do everything they can to come up on the winning end against the New York Jets on Thursday night. Ryan and the Bills won both meetings during the 2015 season, but the head coach finds himself in a more difficult situation this time around.
In their first game of the 2016 season against the Baltimore Ravens, Buffalo came up on the losing end in what turned out to be quite the defensive battle, and scored just seven points in the process. Unfortunately, the Bills’ offense will be heavily tested once again when they square off against a very tough Jets’ defense.
Plus, New York is coming off a frustrating loss themselves to the Cincinnati Bengals in which they lost the lead in the final minute. Offensive performance could be the deciding factor in this one, and when looking at all of the weapons on the Jets, expect Ryan to lose for the first time against his former team.
Detroit Lions Over Tennessee Titans
If there’s anything to take away from the Detroit Lions from their regular-season opener against the Indianapolis Colts, it would be this team is going to be just fine without Calvin Johnson on offense.
Even if it was only one game, Matthew Stafford made a major statement against the Colts after completing 31 of 39 passes for 340 yards with three touchdowns. With a home matchup in Week 2 against the Tennessee Titans, don’t be surprised if Stafford has a field day once again on offense.
Nobody was giving the Lions much of a chance in the NFC North when considering the amount of talent on the Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings, but Stafford alone can make this team contenders. Just look at the fire and passion shown by Stafford during some of his final drives against the Colts, and it’s easy to see why he deserves to be in the discussion for one of the league’s top quarterbacks.
New Orleans Saints Over New York Giants
How frustrated were the New Orleans Saints after Week 1? As if losing to the Oakland Raiders on a gutsy two-point conversion in the final minute wasn’t already frustrating enough, Wil Lutz missed a 61-yard field goal that would have given the Saints a win.
Instead, New Orleans heads into a Week 2 matchup against the New York Giants, who are coming off an impressive win against the Dallas Cowboys. Not only did the defense do a phenomenal job with shutting down Dez Bryant and containing the rest of the Cowboys’ offense, but Eli Manning was happy to see Victor Cruz being effective in the passing game.
New York already had one of the league’s top wide receivers in Odell Beckham Jr., but having Cruz return to his old form after spending the last two years dealing with injuries would be a major boost for this offense.
With that being said, this matchup could turn out to be one of the highest-scoring games from Week 2, and New Orleans will be playing with an extra chip on their shoulder after letting their first win slip away last weekend.
Carolina Panthers Over San Francisco 49ers
The San Francisco 49ers are going to be the unfortunate victims of playing a Carolina Panthers team that will be extra motivated to come out firing after missing out on the perfect opportunity to defeat the Denver Broncos on opening night.
If it wasn’t for a few non-calls along with a bad snap on the final field goal attempt of the game, the Panthers could easily have been sitting at 1-0 heading into their first home game of the year against the 49ers. San Francisco may have been successful against the defense of the Los Angeles Rams, but they face a completely different challenge this time around against Carolina.
Cam Newton has always been the type of player who constantly feels he has to play with a chip on his shoulders to prove his doubters wrong. Expect last year’s MVP to shine in this one to help the Panthers chalk up their first win of 2016.
New England Patriots Over Miami Dolphins
When looking at the four games the New England Patriots would play without Tom Brady during the quarterback’s suspension, the first one against the Arizona Cardinals was expected to be the toughest one.
If the Patriots can win against the Cardinals on the road without Brady or Rob Gronkowski, they shouldn’t have any trouble against the Miami Dolphins in Week 2. It only took Jimmy Garoppolo one game to prove he’s capable of leading this team until Brady returns in Week 5, and as bold as it sounds, the quarterback could even lead this team to a 4-0 start.
Of course, these division games in the AFC East always tend to be tougher for the Patriots, and the Dolphins will be looking to recover after blowing the perfect opportunity to defeat the Seattle Seahawks on the road. If Miami’s defense can play as well as they did against Seattle, this AFC East matchup will be entertaining to watch.
Baltimore Ravens Over Cleveland Browns
This may not be considered a top matchup between two of the top contenders in the league, but the history between the Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland Browns always makes these games exciting to watch.
These two teams split both meetings in 2015, but the Ravens appear to have the upper hand in this one with the way things turned out last weekend. All of a sudden, the Browns find themselves in a tough situation with the latest injury to Robert Griffin III as the team will be forced to go with veteran Josh McCown at quarterback.
Even with upgraded weapons in the passing game, this still won’t be enough for McCown against a Ravens’ defense coming off a stellar performance against the Bills. Now that key players are healthy again, Baltimore appears ready to return to the level of being strong contenders in the AFC after winning just five games last season.
Kansas City Chiefs Over Houston Texans
After overcoming a 17-point deficit in the fourth quarter against the San Diego Chargers, the Kansas City Chiefs pulled off one of the most exciting wins in Week 1, but will face an even tougher matchup this weekend against the Houston Texans.
The Texans will be looking for revenge after being shutout at home by the Chiefs during the playoffs in January, and even though it’s still way too early in the season, this could easily be another early playoff preview. Both teams are expected to finish near the top of the AFC in 2016 thanks to their amazing defenses, and this is easily one of the top-five games to follow in Week 2.
Houston found themselves in a similar situation to Kansas City last weekend after struggling early on against the Chicago Bears. The Texans may be playing at home, but experience will be key for the Chiefs in this one.
Pittsburgh Steelers Over Cincinnati Bengals
With the way things ended up between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Cincinnati Bengals during last year’s playoffs, there’s no question this is going to be one of the most intense games in Week 2.
Hate doesn’t even begin to describe how these two teams feel about one another on the football field as both sides will be out for blood once the first whistle blows on Sunday. Last year’s playoff game was filled with plenty of cheap shots on both ends, and as bad as it sounds, it wouldn’t be a surprise if the penalty flags came out flying in this one.
Expectations are high for the Steelers’ offense this year, and plenty of analysts see this team setting numerous records in 2016. The fact that Pittsburgh’s offense looked as dangerous as they did against the Washington Redskins despite missing a few key players shows Cincinnati could be in trouble Sunday.
Washington Redskins Over Dallas Cowboys
For whatever reason, the Washington Redskins just can’t find a way to be successful at home on Monday Night Football, and the struggles continued in their game against the Steelers. Luckily for the Redskins, the team finds themselves in a better situation heading into Week 2 agains one of their division rivals in the Dallas Cowboys.
Dak Prescott and company are coming off a frustrating loss of their own opening weekend after falling at home to the Giants. The rookie quarterback seemed to do everything right for the Cowboys’ offense, but a few mistakes in the second half–like Terrance Williams failing to run out of bounds–cost Dallas in this one.
Unfortunately, one of these teams is going to end up starting the season 0-2. And nothing against the Cowboys, but the Redskins seem to be the popular choice in this matchup with a bounce-back game from Kirk Cousins.
Seattle Seahawks Over Los Angeles Rams
The Los Angeles Rams ranked near the bottom of the league in offense last season, and after their disappointing performance against the 49ers, early signs point to that happening once again in 2016.
Between struggling on third down to failing to score a single point, awful doesn’t even begin to describe how this team looked while playing in the national spotlight. Case Keenum appeared to be the answer for the Rams with his play in the preseason, but now the team may want to strongly consider using Jared Goof sooner than originally planned.
As for the Seahawks, this team didn’t look that impressive either against the Dolphins, but they still managed to come through with the win. Even if Russell Wilson is hobbled by his ankle injury, Seattle shouldn’t have much trouble competing against Los Angeles.
If the Rams couldn’t even score against the 49ers, just imagine how quickly this game could go downhill for Jeff Fisher‘s squad.
Arizona Cardinals Over Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Jameis Winston set the bar high for himself in the offseason after nearly losing 20 pounds and spending some time working out with Michael Jordan‘s trainer. In his first game of the regular season against the Atlanta Falcons, Winston led the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a very impressive road win while throwing four touchdowns in the process.
However, the second-year quarterback will be heavily tested in his second game against a Cardinals’ squad looking to bounce back after letting Sunday’s game against the Patriots slip away in the final minutes.
Despite all of their struggles in the preseason, Arizona is still considered one of the favorites to represent the NFC in this year’s Super Bowl. Not only is the defense one of the best in the league, but the Cardinals are loaded with all sorts of weapons on the offensive side of the ball, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see a big game from Carson Palmer at quarterback.
Oakland Raiders Over Atlanta Falcons
Jack Del Rio made one of the boldest decisions football fans will see all season after deciding to have the Oakland Raiders go for the win with a two-point conversion against the Saints instead of risking overtime. Most coaches would never consider this kind of decision in a million years, but Del Rio made the Raiders believers when it comes to being contenders this season.
Oakland fans have been waiting a long time for a winning season, and this is the first time in what seems like forever there’s excitement surrounding this team at the beginning of the season. If the Raiders can win a tough game on the road like they did against the Saints, they should be able to do the same against the Atlanta Falcons.
Raiders fans have always been one of the most passionate bases in the NFL, and expect them to be fired up in the home opener as this team looks to get off to a 2-0 start.
San Diego Chargers Over Jacksonville Jaguars
How on earth did the Chargers let Sunday’s game against the Chiefs slip away from them? Even Melvin Gordon managed to find the end zone twice after failing to score a touchdown all of last season, but it still wasn’t enough for the Chargers to come up on the winning end.
San Diego may only have won four games in 2015, but there’s no question this team was much better than their record indicated when considering all of the key injuries on both sides of the football. After jumping out to an early lead to the Chiefs, it appeared the Chargers were going to be a completely different team in 2016.
Instead, this team looked like the same exact squad from a year ago, and San Diego faces another tough matchup with the Jacksonville Jaguars coming to town. But as long as the defense can find a way to limit Blake Bortles in the passing game, Philip Rivers and company should be able to come away with a win.
Denver Broncos Over Indianapolis Colts
Trevor Siemian went through some of the expected struggles in his first career regular-season start, but he still did enough to get the Denver Broncos their first win of the season against the Panthers. Up next, Siemian will lead the Broncos against Andrew Luck and the Colts–who are coming off a tough loss to the Lions in Week 1.
Denver’s defense is certainly going to have their hands full when it comes to shutting down Luck, but if they can find a way to keep Newton in line, there’s no reason why they can’t do the same for the Indianapolis quarterback.
Plus, one can only imagine the type of numbers the Broncos’ offense is going to display when seeing how bad the Colts’ defense looked in the opener against the Lions. There’s a reason why Denver is the defending champions, and here’s to hoping the defense comes up big against one of the league’s top quarterbacks for the second-straight week.
Green Bay Packers Over Minnesota Vikings
Isn’t it amazing to see the Minnesota Vikings come up with a win on the road over the Titans in Week 1 despite failing to score an offensive touchdown?
As much as they don’t want to hear it, the Vikings’ offense will have to find the end zone at some point if they’re going to have any shot at defeating the Green Bay Packers in their home opener. While Minnesota is the defending champions in the NFC North, these are two completely different teams from a year ago.
With the uncertainty at quarterback for the Vikings, it’s safe to say the Packers have the upper hand early on in the season thanks to having a healthy Jordy Nelson in the lineup once again. Even if Sam Bradford ends up starting at quarterback for Minnesota, Aaron Rodgers will make sure Green Bay finds a way to win this tough road matchup.
Philadelphia Eagles Over Chicago Bears
Who would have thought after all of the talk in the preseason surrounding Carson Wentz redshirting as a rookie, the No. 2 pick in this year’s draft would look like a veteran opening weekend against the Browns.
It may have only been one game, but the hype surrounding Wentz has officially hit a whole new level in Philadelphia as the quarterback prepares for his first career road game against the Chicago Bears. The Windy City has never been an easy place for opposing teams, and Wentz better be prepared for plenty of pressure from the Bears’ defense while playing in the national spotlight.
As long as Wentz can stay comfortable and run the offense like he did against Cleveland, there’s no reason why Philadelphia shouldn’t be able to come through with a road win here. Not to mention Jay Cutler could be in for a long night with Jim Schwartz applying all sorts of blitzes at the quarterback.
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