Are you ready for some football?!
The second week of the 2016 NFL season kicks off with a battle between two New York squads — the Buffalo Bills taking on the New York Jets on Thursday Night Football.
Sunday’s games also feature some anticipated match-ups including Green Bay vs. Minnesota, Dallas vs. Washington, New Orleans vs. NY Giants, as well as a Monday Night Football match-up as the Philadelphia Eagles take on the Chicago Bears.
Here are our picks for week two of the 2016 NFL season:
THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: NY JETS VS. BILLS
ALYSSA: NY Jets 17, Buffalo 10 – Not a particularly thrilling Thursday Night Football matchup. But the Jets will play the least bad of these two New York teams.
LIZZIE: NY Jets 17, Buffalo 10 – The Jets defense should dominate this what I expect to be a low-scoring affair.
CHARLES: NY Jets 13, Buffalo 3 – Whoo boy. The AFC East is a mess (except for the Patriots..again). I like the Jets in this one though as the Bills seem ready for another new era there already.
NADIA: NY Jets 27, Buffalo 10 – The Jets will be seeking redemption for last weeks bitter loss and Buffalo will seek to improve to scoring double digits.
SAN FRANCISCO VS. CAROLINA
ALYSSA: Carolina 31, San Francisco 17 – You know the Panthers are still fuming about that opening week loss to the Broncos. Unfortunately for the 49ers, they’ll be on the receiving side of their rage.
LIZZIE: Carolina 21 San Francisco 17 – The Panthers almost beat Denver, a better team than San Francisco. Their only weakness is the secondary. Not sure the 49ers can really exploit that. Plus, Cam looked like he’s ready to have another big year – even if I expect the 49ers to hit him. Hard.
CHARLES: Carolina 31, San Francisco 20 – Cam and the Panthers get back to their winning ways as Cam and Kelvin Benjamin keeps on getting back in a groove with one another.
DALLAS VS. WASHINGTON
ALYSSA: Washington 24, Dallas 20 – Division games are always tricky. Dallas isn’t as bad as some thought, but Washington remains one of the underrated threats of the NFL. The Cowboys will keep it close, but the Redskins should claim this divisional contest.
LIZZIE: Dallas 24 Washington 21 – I expect this to be a hard fought, physical game. I also expect the Cowboys to come out on top, because after the silly mistake that was responsible for their week 1 loss they better be on top of their game.
CHARLES: Dallas 24, Washington 22 – Cowboys always seem to be a better road team and Dak’s showing improvement and will lead a game-winning drive….Provided the wide receivers remember to go out of bounds!!
NADIA: Dallas 21, Washington 20 – Dak Prescott proved he was ready for the big stage. I’m not ready to sleep on Cousins and the Redskins, but I think the Cowboys take Round 1 of the NFC East showdown.
CINCINNATI VS. PITTSBURGH
ALYSSA: Pittsburgh 31, Cincinnati 24 – This rematch of last year’s divisional playoff should prove to be an entertaining one. But with the dynamic duo of Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown – coupled with DeAngelo Williams – the Steelers will snatch victory again.
LIZZIE: Cincinnati 27 Pittsburgh 24 – Could go either way, I think, but that’s always the norm with these two teams. This time Andy Dalton wins.
CHARLES: Pittsburgh 21, Cincinnati 14 – In what looks to be a battle of MVP caliber Wide Outs AJ Green and Antonio Brown, I see the Steelers running game taking control late to seal the W.
NADIA: Pittsburgh 34, Cincinnatti 31 – How do you stop Antonio Brown? Until a team finds a way to neutralize him, Pittsburgh will continue to score big. Same can be said for AJ Green. This AFC shootout will be close.
NEW ORLEANS VS. NY GIANTS
ALYSSA: New Orleans 27, NY Giants 24 – The Saints are probably still stunned by Jack Del Rio’s blow to their opening week victory hopes. But with Drew Brees and the week’s top receiver Brandin Cooks itching for that first “W,” I expect the Saints to take this one.
LIZZIE: NY Giants 31 New Orleans 30 – Both these teams can score. They basically did that just that last time they played. But the Giants have improved on defense so they get the edge.
CHARLES: NY Giants 44, New Orleans 39 – Ready for another Saints high-scoring game? Last week, Saints lost on a gutsy two-point conversion call. This week, the Giants will score just one more touchdown to win.
NADIA: New Orleans 42, NY Giants 21 – Drew Brees will continue to sling the ball all over the place and Eli Manning is due for multiple INT. Easy win for New Orleans.
MIAMI VS. NEW ENGLAND
ALYSSA: New England 27, Miami 13 – The Patriots keep proving that all they do is win – whether it’s with or without Tom Brady. Jimmy Garoppolo shouldn’t have a problem facing the shaky Dolphins.
LIZZIE: Miami 21 New England 17 – This defense always gives Tom Brady problems, which means it gives the entire NE team problems. I don’t expect that to get better with a rookie QB who, yes, pulled off a great win in Week 1, but doesn’t have the experience Brady does.
CHARLES: New England 24, Miami 12 – A confident Patriots team awaits a Dolphins team who almost upset Seattle. I think the Pats offense struggles a little more this week but Miami will not be able to take advantage of it.
NADIA: New England 35, Miami 14 – Doesn’t matter who the QB for New England is, they are the dominant beasts of the AFC East. My blowout of the week.
KANSAS CITY VS. HOUSTON
ALYSSA: Kansas City 24, Houston 17 – The Chiefs have proven since last season that you should never count them out. Expect a quicker start than last week against the Chargers as they deliver the Texans their first loss of the season.
LIZZIE: Kansas City 17, Houston 14 – Hard game to call. Could go either way. But, with the game KC rebounded last week, I’m going to give it to them.
CHARLES: Kansas City 29, Houston 21 – Alex Smith and the Chiefs are like the bad penny you just can’t get rid of. Sunday Houston will keep closer than it was in last season’s wild-card game but it just won’t be enough
NADIA: Kansas City 21, Houston 17 – I can’t bet against the heart of the Chiefs. To stage a 21 point comeback is impressive and cannot be overlooked.
TENNESSEE VS. DETROIT
ALYSSA: Detroit 27, Tennessee 17 – Even without Calvin Johnson the Lions offense showed no signs of regressing following a stunning victory over the Colts in week one. They should have no problem against a struggling Titans team.
LIZZIE: Detroit 30, Tennessee 24 – Even if Tennessee can stop the run, they have to contend with Stafford too. I think Detroit takes this. Might not even be as close as I predicted.
CHARLES: Detroit 28, Tennessee 13 – Lions scraped a win over the Colts Sunday but I think they will have a much easier time dominating the Titans then they did the Colts last week.
NADIA: Detroit 28, Tennessee 13 – I don’t want a division rival to win, but realistically Tennessee is a work in progress and Detroit will take this.
BALTIMORE VS. CLEVELAND
ALYSSA: Baltimore 21, Cleveland 10 – The Ravens are coming off a huge season-opening victory. The Browns are coming off a crushing blow where they lost RGIII to injury. The Ravens have this in the bag.
LIZZIE: Baltimore 27, Cleveland 17 – The resurgent Ravens look like the easy pick here. Especially with the Browns going with a new QB.
CHARLES: Baltimore 17, Cleveland 10 – Oh Browns. Someday you’ll have a franchise QB that won’t get hurt or be a embarrassment. It’ll be a ugly win for the Ravens but a win nonetheless.
NADIA: Baltimore 23, Cleveland 13 – I was completely wrong about Baltimore. They were able to move it down the field and with the Browns without a QB(again), the Ravens fly away with an easy win.
SEATTLE VS. LOS ANGELES
ALYSSA: Seattle 27, Los Angeles 14 – The Seahawks barely escaped defeat against the Dolphins as their offense struggled to find its footing. But the Rams were shutout in their debut as the LA Rams. Seattle should find a rhythm against a struggling Rams team.
LIZZIE: Seattle 24, Los Angeles 14 – Obviously I can’t pick the Rams. No one can.
CHARLES: Seattle 24, Los Angeles 3 – Seahawks D is still pretty darn good as they will show again Sunday. Meanwhile, the Rams are well on their way to a 5-11 season and everyone asking why Jeff Fisher still is employed.
NADIA: Seattle 21, Los Angeles 7 – LA will end their scoreless drought and score 1 TD. Russell Wilson has some ankle issues and that slows Seattle down from sending the Rams back to St. Louis.
TAMPA BAY VS. ARIZONA
ALYSSA: Arizona 31, Tampa Bay 27 – The Buccaneers offense got off to a hot start against the Falcons in week one while the Cardinals fell in a tight contest with the Patriots. This should be quite the offensive showing that the Cardinals should take.
LIZZIE: Arizona 21, Tampa Bay 17 – I like Tampa Bay, but Arizona is just too good a team, and they’ll come motivated.
CHARLES: Arizona 23, Tampa Bay 18 – Jameis Winston started the season with a big win but the Cardinals are upset and desperate. Those two factors gives me the gut feeling Arizona scratches out a close win thanks to the ageless Larry Fitzgerald.
NADIA: Tampa Bay 28, Arizona 27 – My predictions sucked last week, but I think I am right about Jameis Winston. He has matured as a QB. This will be close because Larry Fitzgerald is playing at a high level.
JACKSONVILLE VS. SAN DIEGO
ALYSSA: Jacksonville 24, San Diego 21 – The Jaguars offense showed life in its week one loss against the Packers, and the Chargers flat out choked. This contest should be close, but the Jags should sneak out the victory.
LIZZIE: Jacksonville 31, San Diego 21 – San Diego looked like a team without fight last week. Jacksonville looked like the exact opposite.
CHARLES: Jacksonville 35, San Diego 31 – Chargers had a crushing loss last week and the Jaguars have the feel of a team that thinks they can hang with the big dogs. Blake Bortles makes one more play than Philip Rivers in what might not be considered a upset anymore.
NADIA: Jacksonville 31, San Diego 28 – I’m not giving up on the Jags because they had an impressive debut, they were just playing Aaron Rodgers. San Diego can’t sustain themselves for 4 quarters.
ATLANTA VS. OAKLAND
ALYSSA: Oakland 27, Atlanta 14 – The Raiders put everything on the table with their daring victory in week one, but they shouldn’t have a problem with the Falcons. Don’t expect a last-second victory stance this time around.
LIZZIE: Atlanta 35, Oakland 31 – These two teams will put up points. Not sure any defense can make the stops, which is weird, considering Jack Del Rio is in Oakland. I don’t trust the Raiders, though. Atlanta is the safer pick.
CHARLES: Oakland 21, Atlanta 20 – David Carr and the Raiders are good. This game will be another test for the Raiders as the defense will show up this time to hold off a late Falcons charge.
NADIA: Oakland 35, Atlanta 28 – When you have a coach like Jack Del Rio that trusts their team and willing to take risks, it builds the confidence of the team. I believe Oakland takes the momentum and wins over a middling Atlanta team.
INDIANAPOLIS VS. DENVER
ALYSSA: Denver 24, Indianapolis 17 – This game doesn’t hold the same weight as when Peyton Manning was with the Broncos, and following the Broncos’ impressive Thursday Night victory they should have their way with the Colts.
LIZZIE: Denver 27, Indianapolis 17 – The Denver Defense will bounce back from a so-so outing. Luck is good, but is he enough? Conventional wisdom says no.
CHARLES: Denver 31, Indianapolis 24 – Trevor Siemian showed he is ready for the spotlight last week and with a second-half return to dominance by the Broncos D, I expect Mr. Luck will need to be Lucky to hold off the charge of Von Miller and Demarcus Ware.
NADIA: Indianapolis 31, Denver 21 – This is my upset of the week. Denver doesn’t win last week if Cam doesn’t get injured. What I love about Luck is that he doesn’t give up. He will come back recharged and the Colts outplay the Broncos.
SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: GREEN BAY VS. MINNESOTA
ALYSSA: Green Bay 31, Minnesota 24 – This is one Sunday Night Football matchup that has proven to be quite thrilling over these past couple of seasons. Division rivals. Aaron Rodgers. Adrian Peterson. But the Packers should have this one.
LIZZIE: Green Bay 31 Minnesota 24 – I wish I could pick the Vikings. I just can’t wrap my brain about that.
CHARLES: Green Bay 26, Minnesota 17 – I expect Aaron Rodgers to let loose more now that Jordy Nelson has a game under his belt. Too much of him and Randall Cobb for the Vikings underated defense to handle late in the 4th quarter.
NADIA: Green Bay 27, Minnesota 24 – This is like choosing the greater of 2 evils. However, I have to go with Green Bay because they still have Aaron Rodgers and Minnesota has some QB.
MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: PHILADELPHIA VS. CHICAGO
ALYSSA: Chicago 24, Philadelphia 17 – The Bears have struggled at home over the past few seasons, but with an improved defense facing rookie Carson Wentz the Bears should come out victorious.
LIZZIE: Philadelphia 24, Chicago 17 – I don’t want to pick the Eagles. But the Bears don’t make it easy for me. Still, I’d love a Bears win.
CHARLES: Chicago 17, Philadelphia 13 – Going with my gut on this one as I feel Carson Wentz will get to show us that he is still a rookie and will make one too many against a Bears team that needs to play mad to win this game.
NADIA: Chicago 21, Philadelphia 17 – Once again the wild card will be the Bears O-Line, but they have another week to gel and correct their mistakes. I’m not sold on Carson Wentz and the Bears need to win this to keep up with their division rivals.