NFL Weekly Predictions: Week 2

Note: the quotes in this article are fictional.

Minnesota @ Philadelphia (-6½)

The Vikings fell 20-17 to the visiting Buccaneers, despite huge days from Kirk Cousins and Justin Jefferson. Cousins passed for 344 yards, 150 to Jefferson, and 2 TD passes, but committed 3 turnovers.

"If you've heard the criticism of Kirk throughout his career," Kevin O'Connell said, "then you know he can easily fill a stat page, but not a trophy case.

"But one game will not define our season. If you're counting us out because of a single loss, I'll tell you the same thing I told Jordan Addison: 'Pump the brakes, son.' As for my team, I told them something I would not tell Jordan: 'Keep your foot on the gas pedal.'"

The Eagles jumped out to an early 16-0 lead against the Patriots and held on for a 25-20 at Foxboro Stadium.

"We certainly didn't play our best," Nick Sirianni said. "But with a Thursday night game upcoming, we don't really have time to review the New England film. Much like the judge in Robert Kraft's massage parlor case, I've ordered that video to be destroyed.

"And speaking of happy endings, our ultimate goal this season is not only to reach the Super Bowl, but win it."

Eagles win, 31-21.

Green Bay @ Atlanta (+2)

The post-Aaron Rodgers era began for the Packers with a resounding 38-20 win over the Bears in Chicago. Jordan Love passed for 245 yards and 3 touchdowns.

"Jordan's been through his share of adversity here in Green Bay," Matt LaFleur said. "But guess what? He's still standing."

The Falcons beat the visiting Panthers, 24-14, as Atlanta controlled the game on the ground with 130 yards and 2 rushing TDs.

"It's important that we have a strong rushing game," Arthur Smith said. "One, it takes the pressure off of Desmond Ridder, and two, it allows me to continue to implement the low risk, low reward philosophy that is epitomized by the blandness of the name 'Arthur Smith,' as well as the blandness of the appearance of Arthur Smith. If an offense could be described as 'pasty and white,' it would be ours.

"I know fans may not appreciate my brand of football, but if you're in the state of Georgia and don't like it, there are three things you can do about it: nothing, like it, or go see the Savannah Bananas play baseball."

Falcons win, 23-20.

Las Vegas @ Buffalo (-9½)

The Raiders beat the Bronco 17-16 in Denver in Jimmy Garappolo's first game as a Raider. Garappolo passed for two scores, handing Sean Payton a loss in his first game as Denver's head coach.

"If Payton needs a crisis manager," Josh McDaniels said, "I have a few recommendations."

Josh Allen had four turnovers in the Bills 22-16 loss to the Jets at MetLife Stadium on Monday night.

"I've got to be smarter," Allen said. "And that means not throwing Hail Mary passes, in the second and third quarters, with a lead.

"I promise I will bounce back in a big way. Momma always told me, 'Never give up on yourself.' She also told me, 'Never accept a drink from Sebastian Janikowski, or a liver from Kenny Stabler, or hairstyling advice from Mark Davis.' Apparently, Momma knows what she's talking about."

Bills win, 34-19.

Baltimore @ Cincinnati (-3½)

Joe Burrow passed for only 82 yards, a career low, in the Bengals 24-3 loss to the Browns in Cleveland.

"I take full responsibility for my play," Burrow said. "As everybody in our front office knows, Joe Burrow doesn't make excuses, he makes $275 million.

"Now, these two teams really don't like each other. And I imagine you'll see a lot of trash talking before the game. Joe Mixon would call that 'aggravated menacing.'"

Bengals win, 23-21.

Seattle @ Detroit (-6)

The Lions stunned the Chiefs 21-20 at Arrowhead Stadium on Thursday night, led by a defense that contained Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City passing attack.

"Hey," Dan Campbell said, "the excitement for this team is real. Lions fever? It's catching. Chiefs wide receivers? It's not catching.

"We're looking forward to facing the Seahawks. We're confident. By beating the Chiefs, I think we've established ourselves as a team to be feared. Pete Carroll should be worried. And not necessarily about the polyps in his colon. He should be worried about us."

Lions win, 31-27.

L.A. Chargers @ Tennessee (+3)

Ryan Tannehill threw 3 interceptions in the Titans' 16-15 loss to the Saints in the Superdome.

"I think Ryan should look at this as a learning experience," Mike Vrabel said. "The lesson is this: it's better to throw the ball away than to throw the game away. On the bright side, Ryan just created the game plan for the Chargers game — 30 or more carries for Derrick Henry.

"But I'm not without fault in the loss. I decided to kick a field goal from the Saints' 11-yard line with 2:20 left in the game when we were down by 4 points. Sure, it was a gamble, but I decided to take the points, as they say in the business."

The Chargers lost a shootout at SoFi Stadium 36-34 to the Dolphins, who scored the winning touchdown on Tua Tagovailoa's 4-yard strike to Tyreek Hill with 1:45 left in the game.

"Our defense struggled," Brandon Staley said, "but I liked what I saw from our offense. I think it's clear that we're gonna score points this year. It's also clear that we're gonna have to."

Titans win, 26-23.

Chicago @ Tampa Bay (-3)

The Bears struggled in all phases in a 38-20 home loss to the Packers, Green Bay's ninth straight win over Chicago. The Bears turned the ball over twice and surrendered 4 sacks of Justin Fields.

"We've got to be better at protecting Justin," Matt Eberflus said. "I think it's incredibly important for Justin to stay healthy this season, because Nathan Peterman is our backup quarterback. You may ask, 'How is Nathan Peterman on my team?' Many others will ask, 'How is Nathan Peterman in the league?' Still others will ask, 'Who is Nathan Peterman?'"

The Buccaneers upset the Vikings 20-17 in Minnesota, led by a defense that forced three Kirk Cousins turnovers, and Baker Mayfield, who tossed two touchdown passes.

"Baker played a smart game," Todd Bowles said. "I hate to call him a 'game manager,' but that's what it says on his name tag."

Bears win, 25-21.

Kansas City @ Jacksonville (+3)

The Chiefs lost 21-20 to the upstart Lions on Thursday night at Arrowhead Stadium. Without Travis Kelce, the Kansas City downfield passing game never took off.

"As defending Super Bowl champions," Andy Reid said, "and the home team on opening night, we were supposed to win. But we dropped the ball.

"How about that State Farm commercial with me stuffing my face with a burger and fries? If Deion Sanders is 'Coach Prime,' then I have to be 'Coach Prime Rib.'"

The Jaguars overcame a 21-17 fourth quarter deficit to beat the Colts 31-21, and now face the Chiefs in a rematch of last season's divisional round playoff game, won by the Chiefs 27-20.

"We can't worry about which team is favored," Doug Pederson said, "by how much, or how many points will be scored, because our compliance training made that abundantly clear."

Chiefs win 31-26.

Indianapolis @ Houston (+1)

The Colts and rookie quarterback Anthony Richardson nearly upset the visiting Jaguars, but eventually lost 31-21. Richardson ran for one score and passed for another, but was shaken up late.

"We want Anthony to protect himself," Shane Steichen said. "Concussions are a serious issue throughout the league. And it's a serious issue for us, and especially for our owner, Jim Irsay, 'cause that guy's always taking 'bumps.'"

The Texans lost 25-9 to the Ravens in Demeco Ryans' debut as Houston head coach.

"Rome wasn't built in a day," Ryans said. "And when they chose the nickname of this franchise back in 1999, it was decided in much less time than a day. More like a minute. Houston Texans? Come on. I've seen better creativity in Bill Belichick's wardrobe."

Texans win, 23-14.

San Francisco @ L.A. Rams (+8)

The 49ers walloped the Steelers 30-7 in Pittsburgh as San Fran overwhelmed Pittsburgh from the start. Brock Purdy had 2 TD passes to Brandon Aiyuk and Christian McCaffrey rushed for 152 yards and a score.

"I guess Brock's right arm is fully healed," Kyle Shanahan said. "I think he's capable of making any throw I'll let him make."

The Rams defense overwhelmed the Seahawks in a 30-13 Los Angeles win in Seattle.

"I think it's safe to say I out-coached Pete Carroll," Sean McVay said. "I'm young enough to be Pete's grandson, and old enough to remember when he was last relevant."

49ers win, 29-23.

NY Giants @ Arizona (+5½)

The Cardinals lost 20-16 to the Commanders at FedEx Field in Jonathan Gannon's debut as head coach.

"Joshua Dobbs is by no means a franchise quarterback," Jonathan Gannon said, "but he could very well be a franchise owner, like of a Wendy's, or Jack in the Box, or In-N-Out.

"Even though he's on the PUP list, I still named Kyler Murray a team captain. 'PUP' stands for 'physically unable to perform.' Kyler's also on the 'MUP' list, which stands for 'mentally unstable and a pansy.'"

Giants win, 28-16.

NY Jets @ Dallas (-8½)

The Dallas defense dominated in a 40-0 dismantling of the Giants on Sunday night at MetLife Stadium.

"When you have a defense like that," Mike McCarthy said, "it makes my job so much easier. And this team is at its best when I don't have to make any relevant decisions.

"Jerry Jones is good friends with Jets owner Woody Johnson. Even though he's got a great thing going in Dallas, I think Jerry has always dreamed of being the owner in the NFL's biggest market. So, he wishes he could be Woody Johnson. Jerry also wishes he could have a Woody Johnson."

The Jets season began in disastrous fashion when Aaron Rodgers went down with a torn Achilles tendon on New York's fourth play from scrimmage. The Jets went on to win on Xavier Gipson's 65-yard punt return TD in overtime.

"You know it's bad when MetLife Stadium goes silent," Robert Saleh said. "I'm pretty sure the Patriots played some part in this, because the air was totally taken out of the stadium.

"This is a chance for Zack Wilson to elevate his game and be the hero this team needs now. It would be a fairy tale ending if Zack was carried off the field on the shoulders of his teammates after winning the Super Bowl in February. A more likely tale, however, is Zack being carried off the field by his teammates in mid-September and deposited in a swamp in the Meadowlands."

Cowboys win, 19-16.

Washington @ Denver (-3½)

The Raiders beat the Broncos 17-16 in Denver, as the Broncos' offensive struggles of last year carried over to 2023.

"I'm not a miracle worker," Sean Payton said. "If you think I am, then you're the bold faced liar."

Denver wins, 20-18.

Miami @ New England (+2½)

The Patriots defense limited Jalen Hurts and the Eagles offense, but eventually fell short in a 25-20 loss at Gillette Stadium.

"It was Tom Brady Appreciation Day in Foxboro," Bill Belichick said. "And since I haven't won a Super Bowl since Tom left the Patriots, the magnitude of the moment really hit me.

"I like how our offense looked as well. Bill O'Brien is calling plays and not Matt Patricia. Matt should stick to what he knows: defense, pencils behind the ear, and making the Detroit Lions worse."

Tua Tagovailoa passed for 466 yards and 3 touchdowns, two to Tyreek Hill, in Miami's 36-34 comeback win over the Chargers at SoFi Stadium.

"It's easy to silence the home crowd at SoFi," Mike McDaniel said. "All you have to do is show up as the visiting team."

Coupled with Buffalo's win over Las Vegas and the Jets loss in Dallas, the Patriots force a four-way tie in the AFC East with a 26-24 win.

New Orleans @ Carolina (+3)

Rookie Bryce Young struggled in the Panthers 24-10 loss to the Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Young completed 20 of 38 passes for 146 yards, with a touchdown and 2 interceptions.

"I've seen worse performances," Frank Reich said. "All from that wooden, uncharismatic stiff Nick Saban in those Aflac commercials."

Saints win, 24-19.

Cleveland @ Pittsburgh (+2½)

The Browns beat the visiting Bengals, 24-3, in Cleveland as the Browns defense held Cincinnati to 142 total yards. Cleveland controlled the clock on the ground, rushing for 206 yards.

"We've got the perfect formula for success," Kevin Stefanski said. "An awesome defense, a powerful running game, and Deshaun Watson to put the 'finishing touches' on it all."

Steelers win, 19-17.

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