Bet the NFL Week 2: Jared Hackmyer previews and picks Sunday's games and the players you need to watch
BUCCANEERS (-7.5) Over Panthers (50.5)
Jared’s Pick: Buccaneers
Breakout Player: WR Mike Evans
After a week one struggle by the Buccaneers in their loss to New Orleans, playing Carolina is definitely an upside for Tampa Bay. The Buccaneers’ offense will be one weapon short after WR Chris Godwin was ruled out, but WR Mike Evans was a full participant in practice this week. In week 1, Evans was more of a decoy while struggling with a hamstring injury. One player to watch is RB Leonard Fournette. His role could increase this week after a low snap count in week 1 due to only being signed the week before. Tampa’s front seven is loaded with stars like NT Vita Vea, DT Ndamukong Suh, LB Shaquil Barrett, LB Lavonte David, LB Jason Pierre-Paul, and LB Devin White. This could be a game to see star RB Christian McCaffrey struggle in the rushing game, but likely not the passing game when playing a weak Tampa Bay secondary.
TITANS (-7.5) over Jaguars (41.5)
Jared’s Pick: Titans
Breakout Player: WR Corey Davis
Week 1 wasn’t exactly an easy win for Tennessee, but the upside was that QB Ryan Tannehill looked promising after getting a big offseason extension. Tannehill finished with 249 passing yards, and 2 passing touchdowns. After their 2019-20 fire sale, Jacksonville’s defense doesn’t look like a group who could stop this offense. The only upside for Jacksonville is Tennessee’s loss of WR AJ Brown. The strongest part of Tennessee is their defense. Gardner Minshew II looked great against the Colts in week 1, but he will be challenged this week against a great 2019 defense who gained star DE Jadeveon Clowney. I see Tennessee as a top 10 team in the NFL and I think they can go as far as the AFC Championship like they did in 2019.
Giants (+3.5) over BEARS (44)
Jared’s Pick: Giants
Breakout Player: WR Darius Slayton
Even though the Giants suffered a 10 point loss to Pittsburgh, this new team definitely showed they won’t go down without a battle with new head coach Joe Judge. The Giants showed a ton of upside last week. Yes, Daniel Jones threw two awful interceptions, but Jones was on target for 22 of 25 passes thrown between 1-10 yards and 5 for 7 on passes thrown over 10 yards; Pittsburgh is an extremely hard defense to do that against. The Giants’ defense also looked like they were tackling much better than in previous years. After being second in total tackles in 2019, LB Blake Martinez recorded 13 total tackles in week 1. Expect to see more of hybrid DB Logan Ryan against Chicago after having a small role against Pittsburgh. Knowing the Giants still have a struggling secondary, look for Bear WR Allen Robinson to have a big game on Sunday. Neither team will likely contend in 2020 unless they somehow shock the league, but I can see both teams winning anywhere between 6-8 games.
COWBOYS (-5.5) over Falcons (51.5)
Jared’s Pick: Cowboys
Breakout Player: WR CeeDee Lamb
As I said last week, Dallas has a great roster on paper but ended up losing to a very good L.A. Rams team on an arguable pass interference call. Atlanta is a team I think Dallas will 100% beat. The Falcons have a strong offense with WR Julio Jones, WR Calvin Ridley, RB Todd Gurley, QB Matt Ryan, and TE Hayden Hurst. Atlanta mostly struggles on defense, even with rookie CB AJ Terrell. Dallas is struggling with injuries right now which would be the only reason Atlanta could pull off a win, but overall Dallas is more talented on both sides of the ball.
PACKERS (-8) over Lions (48)
Jared’s Pick: Packers
Breakout Player: RB Aaron Jones
QB Aaron Rodgers exploded last week against the Vikings. Rodgers threw for 364 Passing Yards and 4 Touchdowns against an upgraded defense that was already top 10. Star WR Davante Adams seemed to be his favorite target, as usual, with 2 TDs and 156 receiving yards. The Lions will be short handed on defense without CB Justin Coleman and Desmond Trufant, which means Rodgers could top last week’s numbers. Even though Green Bay’s defense let up 34 points, they did hold Vikings QB Kirk Cousins to 259 passing yards, 2 passing touchdowns, and an interception. They also held star RB Dalvin Cook to 50 rushing yards, and two goal line touchdowns. It’s still early, but Green Bay is looking like the front runner to win the division.
COLTS (-6.5) vs. Vikings (48.5)
Jared’s Pick: Vikings
Breakout Player: QB Kirk Cousins
Personally, I think the Vikings are more talented than the Indianapolis Colts at every position on the football field, except the offensive line. The Colts don’t have a bad roster, but Minnesota’s roster blows them away. Even though Minnesota took a tough loss to Green Bay last week, they still lost to a very good football team and can bounce back easily in week 2. Also, the Vikings have been without star DL Danielle Hunter. Hunter is a complete game changer for this Vikings’ defense, and when he gets back it will be even more explosive. The Colts should not have lost to a rebuilding Jaguars team last and I don’t see them keeping it close this week.
Bills (-5.5) over DOLPHINS (42.5)
Jared’s Pick: Bills
Breakout Player: WR John Brown
The Buffalo Bills have proved to the league they are the real deal. QB Josh Allen had the first 300 yard passing game of his career last week, and their defense absolutely dominated. We already knew what their defense was capable of, but now this offense can be much more explosive with Zack Moss and Stefon Diggs. Miami’s defense made some big upgrades this offseason in free agency and the draft, but aside from 2020 first-round QB Tua Tagovailoa they didn’t upgrade much on the offensive side of the ball. Knowing how tough this Bills defense is to score on, I don’t see Miami running up the scored board this week.
49ers (-8.5) over Jets (43.5)
Jared’s Pick: 49ers
Breakout Player: QB Jimmy Garoppolo
Everyone likely sees the 49ers as the clear winner of this game, and they are probably right. One thing that could make it interesting is the number of players both teams are missing. The 49ers will be without CB Richard Sherman, WR Deebo Samuel, DE Dee Ford, TE George Kittle, and CB Jason Verrett. Even without these players, the 49ers still have a ton of talent. The Jets will be without WR Jamison Crowder, RB Le'Veon Bell, WR Denzel Mims, and possibly LB Avery Williamson. The Jets are a struggling team as is, but without these players they will struggle . . . a lot. The 49ers will finally get to see 2020 first round WR Brandon Aiyuk take the field on Sunday. Aiyuk’s role in his debut could be big in this offense on Sunday with Kittle and Samuel’s absence.
Rams (-6.5) over EAGLES (46.5)
Jared’s Pick: Rams
Breakout Player: WR Cooper Kupp
One takeaway from the last week is that Rams RB Malcom Brown can play. Brown rushed for 79 yards and 2 touchdowns against Dallas. Not only did Brown stand out, but WR Robert Woods and QB Jared Goff connected for 105 yards after a rough 2019 season for Goff. L.A.’s defense looked amazing against Dallas’ offense, which is known as one of the league’s best. Yes, there was a very arguable pass interference call on Cowboy WR Michael Gallup, but Dallas was still badly outplayed. The Eagles surprisingly blew a 17-0 lead to The Football Team last week. I don’t see that as a game that characterizes Philly just because of all of the absences the Eagles had. When Philly is 100% healthy they can easily compete in the NFC East, but they could finish last if players continue to go down.
STEELERS (-6.5) over Broncos (42)
Jared’s Pick: Steelers
Breakout Player: RB Benny Snell Jr.
Last week the Steelers showed they are the same defense as last year, maybe better. Yes, the Giants’ offensive line isn’t great, but the Steelers led the league in pressures generated within 2.5 seconds with 22 (According to ProFootballFocus.com). Not many teams can do that, no matter the offensive line. The Broncos had a hard time getting to Titans’ QB Ryan Tannehill last week aside from their one sack. If Courtland Sutton is active Sunday, he will likely be a decoy because he won’t be 100%, so I don’t see the Steeler’s defense having a hard time stopping the Broncos offense. Last week, Steeler RB Benny Snell rushed for 113 yards. Now that the Steelers know Snell can play, I can see them giving him a bigger role in this offense starting this week. The Broncos are a very improved team, but the Steelers are a top 8 football team this season.
CARDINALS (-8) over Football Team (46)
Jared’s Pick: Cardinals
Breakout Player: RB Kenyan Drake
Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals shocked the league last week by topping the 2019 NFC Champion 49ers 24-20. After two strong off-seasons for the Cardinals, they showed they are finally ready to contend. Now that they can beat a top 5 team, I don’t see this team losing to The Football Team. The Football Team barely beat an Eagles twam missing almost half of their starters last week. With RBs Chase Edmonds and Kenyan Drake becoming more reliable to this Arizona offense, the Cardinals can be a real threat to defenses all around the league.
Ravens (-8.5) over TEXANS (50.5)
Jared’s Pick: Ravens
Breakout Player: WR Marquise Brown
Once again, the Baltimore Ravens showed they are still a threat to the NFL. The Ravens annihilated the Browns last week 38-6 and the Browns are not a below average team. Someone to monitor on Baltimore’s offense is RB JK Dobbins after watching the Raven’s load him with snaps in week 1. The Texans definitely have some good pieces on their offense, but after the loss of star WR DeAndre Hopkins I see the Ravens dominating this game on both sides of the ball.
Chiefs (-9.5) over CHARGERS (49.5)
Jared’s Pick: Chiefs
Breakout Player: RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire
The Chiefs had the best offense in the NFL in 2019. Now, they have an elite running back without losing any starters. I don’t see many, if any defenses stopping this team. After the Chargers barely beat struggling Cincinnati last week it is hard to see how this game will be close. I would look for an increase in WR Mecole Hardman’s role on Kansas City’s offense. Hardman didn’t do much last week, but he definitely proved himself in 2019 which could mean the Chiefs have big plans for him in 2020.
SEAHAWKS (-5.5) over Patriots (45.5)
Jared’s Pick: Seahawks
Breakout Player: QB Russell Wilson
Both the Seahawks and Patriots proved they are the real deal last week. The one issue with the Patriots is their offense. Cam Newton can certainly run the ball himself, but he doesn’t have close to as many weapons as Russell Wilson has. I think Newton will struggle this week because of this upgraded Seahawks defense. The Patriots played a below average team last week and no one truly knows if they can beat teams as good as Seattle. We know Seattle can beat above average teams. The Patriots certainly have an elite defense and might be able to contain Wilson and his offense, but I don’t think their offense will get the done against Bobby Wagner and Jamal Adams.
Jared Hackmyer is the founder of GOATNYG on Instagram.