Best NFL Straight Up Picks Week2 2021
NFL Schedule Sep 16
Giants vs. Football Team
We get to see a battle of divisional rivals square off in the first game of Week 2. The Giants have some uncertainty on offense, with their offensive line struggling to keep up to the talent that they are including across their roster. This is going to be bad news for them as the Washington Football Team has one of the best defensive lines in the league right now, led by Chase Young. Both of these teams are going to be relying on their defense in this one if they want to pick up a win. However, I feel like the Football Team just has the better roster and should beat them here.
Patriots vs. Jets
Any other season this would be a clear choice and yet here we are. Zach Wilson has had some ups and downs throughout his rookie season already but seems to be the future at quarterback for New York. Mac Jones looked good in the preseason as well, but Cam Newton is likely to get the start unless something drastic changes in the coming weeks. These two teams had a couple of close games last season with Newton at quarterback and I feel like Wilson could outbattle him in a shootout. Although, New England is getting back a ton of defensive players that skipped out on the 2020 season due to concerns regarding COVID, so their defense could stifle the young rookie. The Jets are going to keep this one close, but the Patriots have long been the better team and I don’t see that changing this season.
Broncos vs. Jaguars
Two teams that are up and coming in the NFL right now. The Broncos are pretty much a quarterback away from competing for the Super Bowl, they just can’t seem to find a consistent one. Drew Lock and Teddy Bridgewater are both solid quarterbacks, but they aren’t Super Bowl type players right now. Their defense is phenomenal though and their skill positions on offense are outstanding. They match up well against the Jaguars, though they have the rookie sensation Trevor Lawrence coordinating the offense. Lawrence has always been a winner throughout his football career and should keep them close. However, their defense is just not what it should be right now as they are still in the midst of a rebuild. Roll with the Broncos here.
Bills vs. Dolphins
This is a matchup that I am very excited to watch this week. The Bills are led by one of the best quarterbacks in the league right now in Josh Allen and his sidekick Stefon Diggs. The two ripped up the league last season and did so without a rushing attack. They will need to find one here or else the Dolphins could control the football this game. Miami made a lot of positive moves in the offseason and has shown bigger commitment to TuaTagovailoa as their future franchise quarterback. If Tua has a fantastic day then they could keep up with Allen and Buffalo, although I just don’t see that happening. Miami has a great, young defense but the Bills offense is just a better unit.
49ers vs. Eagles
Who knows what quarterback is starting for each team here? For the 49ers, they have Jimmy Garoppolo and Trey Lance, two drastically different quarterbacks that lead this team in different directions. As for the Eagles, they have Jalen Hurts and Joe Flacco. If Garoppolo starts in this matchup then I could see them going with a run heavy scheme that won’t work well against the Eagles front seven. However, if Lance gets the start their offense will push down the field more and have extra deep shot opportunities against a weak secondary. Flipping to the Eagles, Hurts has to start this ball game. If he doesn’t, there is no way they find a way to pull out a win. Flacco is a great quarterback but just doesn’t fit in with this patched up offensive line and inconsistent receiving corps. San Francisco is such a better team overall and it is hard to see them choking this game away.
Rams vs. Colts
This game heavily depends on the health of Carson Wentz. The Colts are a Super Bowl contending team with so much talent both offensively and defensively, they just always seem to have quarterback issues. Wentz has MVP potential he just injured his foot in the offseason and his timetable has been all over the place. If he doesn’t play, it will leave the quarterbacking duties to either Jacob Eason or Sam Ehlinger, both of whom wouldn’t be enough to beat the Rams. This Los Angeles squad has two legit Defensive Player of the Year candidates in Jalen Ramsey and Aaron Donald, while simultaneously picking up Mathew Stafford during the offseason in a trade. It’ll be a defensive minded showing without a doubt, but with no Wentz I think the Rams take it on the road.
Raiders vs. Steelers
It is so difficult to gauge where these two teams are at right now. The Raiders are wildly inconsistent, probably the most unpredictable team in the league. Josh Jacobs is a star at the running back position as well as Darren Waller at the tight end spot, but the rest of their offense is mediocre at best. Their defense is just below average entirely to add onto that. Meanwhile, the Steelers have the talent to compete for a Super Bowl but fail to put together randomly. Najee Harris is going to be a star in this league and should finally give Pittsburgh a valuable rushing attack, something that will open the door for Ben Roethlisberger and company in the passing game. I am on the fence about who I want to choose here in this one, but ultimately, I think that the Steelers are more talented which should get them the win in the end.
Bengals vs. Bears
This game could be the most watched of the week if both teams understand their circumstances going into it. The Bengals can hopefully keep Joe Burrow alive in the pocket for once so he can show the world his chemistry with Ja’Marr Chase in the passing game. Burrow has already proven to be one of the NFL’s best young quarterbacks in the league and happens to be playing against another one that could be in that conversation. Chicago is a very good team overall; they just can’t find a quarterback. Andy Dalton is an average game manager at best and the fans are seriously pushing for Justin Fields to step onto the field as early as possible. Fields was just drafted in the first round this past offseason and flashed All-Pro potential during the preseason. Fields and Burrow would make an electric match for everybody to watch. I would ultimately have to roll with Fields if this were to happen though, as the Bears are simply the better football team.
Texans vs. Browns
It is hard to imagine the Browns not dominating in this matchup. With all due respect to the Houston Texans, they are just not in a position to compete this season. The whole situation regarding Deshaun Watson is going on in the background and they didn’t really take any dramatic leaps in the offseason, though I do feel like the additions of Mark Ingram and Philip Lindsay were underrated. Houston has a pretty bad defense with nobody to throw the football on offense while the Browns are Super Bowl Contenders when healthy. Odell Beckham Jr is back onto the field and Baker Mayfield is an absolute star. Not to mention the fact that they have the dynamic backfield of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. Without a doubt take the Browns in this one.
Saints vs. Panthers
This is a divisional matchup that I am excited about. The Saints could end up flipping their quarterback if things don’t go the way they are hoping in Week 1, meaning either Jameis Winston or Taysom Hill will start here. Winston gives this offense tons of upside in the passing game while Hill turns them into a conservative run based team. They face off against one of the best young defenses in the league who just happen to have a new franchise quarterback on their roster in Sam Darnold. The Panthers are also getting Christian McCaffrey back after he missed almost the entirety of last season with various injuries. The Saints have been able to get the best of Carolina the past couple of seasons, but Darnold may be able to flip the script on them. If Hill starts for New Orleans, I will roll with the Panthers. However, Winston would make me change my mind and select the Saints. I feel like Winston deserves to start here which is why I am picking New Orleans.
Vikings vs. Cardinals
If you are looking for an offensive showcase, then look no further. The Vikings boast Dalvin Cook, Kirk Cousins, Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson along with an improved offensive line. Meanwhile, the Cardinals have Kyler Murray, DeAndre Hopkins, A.J. Green and James Connor. This is likely to be one of those games where the defense to make the first stop normally wins the ball game. Minnesota had an awful defensive year last season due to injuries and terrible fits, and the Cardinals were mediocre at best. Although, the Cardinals did grab JJ Watt from the Texans and are getting Chandler Jones back from his injury to make their pass rush dominant. I am a huge fan of the what the Vikings have done with their offense, but I just can’t see their defense helping them out enough to keep them in the ball game.
Falcons vs. Buccaneers
I wouldn’t put too much thought into this matchup. It is going to be very fun watching Kyle Pitts out there for the Falcons alongside Calvin Ridley, but other than that Atlanta doesn’t have much upside. They lost Julio Jones in the offseason and don’t have much of a running back room. Their defense was also one of the worst in the league, something that didn’t really improve from last season. As for the Buccaneers, they are the reigning Super Bowl champions who are coming back with all 22 starters from a year ago and are led by Tom Brady. They should be the easy choice.
Titans vs. Seahawks
Here we have another offensive showcase. The Titans could be a powerhouse in the AFC, with Julio Jones, Derrick Henry and AJ Brown surrounding a strong offensive line and Ryan Tannehill. Their only serious problem would be their defense, but they still have some Pro Bowl talent back there to at least make them respectable. Seattle is in the same category on both ends of the ball, with Russell Wilson, DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett making them a threat to explode on any given Sunday. Their defense is just inconsistent but that is mostly due to them lacking some chemistry with one another. Wilson always seems to drag Seattle to wins when the world thinks they can’t, but I don’t know if they can stop Henry and this offense.
Cowboys vs. Chargers
In my opinion this is a pretty easy choice to make. Nobody knows exactly how Dak Prescott will be from week to week following his serious injury from last season, which makes this offense uncertain. They do have a multitude of weapons scattered across this unit though and could have some success against the Chargers average at best defense. However, Dallas had arguably the worst defense in the league last year and didn’t improve much. The Chargers have Justin Herbert, one of the best young quarterbacks in the game alongside Austin Ekeler, Keenan Allen and Jared Cook. They are definitely going to be putting up a ton of points and Prescott and company simply won’t be able to keep up.
Chiefs vs. Ravens
It seems like this game comes around once a year now and it is always exhilarating. Patrick Mahomes has beaten Lamar Jackson in every single game they have played since they both became full time starters, and I just don’t see that changing here. The Chiefs are such a loaded team with Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce and have a defense that is competent enough to slow down the strong Baltimore rushing attack. Jackson is a fantastic quarterback, and he will be keeping this game close, he just hasn’t been able to get past Mahomes in his career.
Lions vs. Packers
This is probably the easiest choice of the week. The Packers have dominated the Lions for years now and still have the dynamic duo of Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams on offense. Their defense has a number of playmakers as well which is why there were in the NFC Championship for consecutive seasons. The Lions got rid of their longtime quarterback Mathew Stafford for Jared Goff, which in my opinion is a bit of a downgrade for the time being. They are building a nice future over in Detroit, but they aren’t competing this season. Expect the Packers to dominate their divisional rivals in this one.
Final Pick: Lions