What to know for NFL Week 2: Score picks, bold predictions, fantasy tips, key stats for all 15 games
7: 30 AM ET
The Week 2 NFL schedule for the 2022 season is stacked with great matchups, and we’ve got you covered with what you need to know heading into the weekend. Our NFL Nation reporters bring us the biggest keys to every game and a bold prediction for each matchup.
Additionally, ESPN Stats & Information provides a big stat to know and a betting nugget for each contest, and our Football Power Index (FPI) goes inside the numbers with a game projection. ESPN researcher Kyle Soppe hands out helpful fantasy football intel, as well. Finally, Seth Walder and Eric Moody give us final score picks for every game. Everything you want to know is here in one spot to help you get ready for a loaded weekend of NFL football.
Let’s get into the full Week 2 slate, including an AFC test for the Dolphins and Ravens, a Patriots visit to Pittsburgh, Kyler Murray vs. Derek Carr and an NFC North battle between the Bears and Packers. It all culminates with two Monday Night Football matchups on ESPN: Titans-Bills and Vikings-Eagles. (Game times are Sunday unless otherwise noted.)
Jump to a matchup:
MIA-BAL | NE-PIT | TB-NO
CAR-NYG | IND-JAX | NYJ-CLE
WSH-DET | ATL-LAR | SEA-SF
ARI-LV | CIN-DAL | HOU-DEN
CHI-GB | TEN-BUF | MIN-PHI
Thursday: KC 27, LAC 24
Dolphins (1-0) at Ravens (1-0)
1 p.m. ET | CBS | Spread: BAL -3.5 (44.5)
What to watch for: Will the Ravens have an answer for Miami’s aggressive defense? In last year’s meeting, Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson faced 24 defensive back blitzes from the Dolphins, the most faced by any quarterback since 2015. Miami sent at least two defensive backs on 18 of those. It held the Ravens to 10 points in that game, Baltimore’s fewest in Jackson’s 50 career starts. — Jamison Hensley
Bold prediction: Jackson will have under 200 passing yards against the Dolphins. The Ravens say they’re ready for the Dolphins’ pressure, but the aggressive approach will still contain the Baltimore passing game. Jackson averaged just 4.7 yards per completion in that meeting last year. However, Miami’s D won’t be enough to pull off the upset. — Marcel Louis-Jacques
Stat to know: On passes thrown 10-20 yards downfield last season, Miami quarterback Tua Tagovailoa had a 39.7 QBR (29th), 47.3% completion percentage (27th) and a 0-6 TD-INT ratio. But in Week 1 this season, he had a 99.0 QBR (fifth), 66.7% completion percentage (tied for sixth) and a 1-0 TD-INT ratio on those passes.
What to know for fantasy: Dolphins receiver Tyreek Hill has faced the Ravens three times in his career. He cleared 21 fantasy points in both victories but managed just 5.9 points in the loss last season (just 14 yards on his 31 routes). How lucky do you feel with his Dolphins labeled as an underdog in this spot? See Week 2 rankings.
Betting nugget: Baltimore is 9-1 against the spread (ATS) in its past 10 games against Miami, but the Dolphins are 8-2 ATS in their past 10 games overall dating back to last season. Read more.
Moody’s pick: Dolphins 27, Ravens 23
Walder’s pick: Ravens 27, Dolphins 20
FPI prediction: BAL, 72.8% (by an average of 7.0 points)
Matchup must-reads: Jackson shuts down all mention of contract: ‘Respectfully, I’m done talking about it’ … Ravens CB Fuller out for season with torn ACL
Patriots (0-1) at Steelers (1-0)
1 p.m. ET | CBS | Spread: NE -2 (40.5)
What to watch for: The Steelers are playing without star edge rusher T.J. Watt, who tore his left pectoral in Week 1. He’ll be out at least four weeks after going on injured reserve, and this will be the Steelers’ first test without him. Look for Pittsburgh to primarily lean on Alex Highsmith and Malik Reed to get pressure on New England quarterback Mac Jones, but don’t be surprised if defensive coordinator Teryl Austin gets creative and uses guys like cornerback Arthur Maulet to bring the blitz. — Brooke Pryor
Bold prediction: The Patriots will have a positive turnover differential. On paper, this looks like a mismatch, with the Steelers at plus-five after the opener and the Patriots at minus-3. But a closer look at the Steelers’ opening win showed that quarterback Mitch Trubisky played it conservatively with an early lead and wasn’t forced into many compromising situations. When he was, the results were uneven. That foreshadows the potential for a Patriots defense that was in position to create turnovers last week (but couldn’t close the deal) to experience better results in Week 2. — Mike Reiss
Stat to know: This will be the first Patriots-Steelers game without either Tom Brady or Ben Roethlisberger starting at quarterback since Week 14 of the 1998 season. Drew Bledsoe and Kordell Stewart were the starters. Sunday will, however, be the 11th regular-season meeting between Patriots coach Bill Belichick and Steelers coach Mike Tomlin.
Dianna Russini expounds on the report that T.J. Watt could return in “about six weeks” for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
What to know for fantasy: In Week 1, not a single Patriot had 10 rush attempts or more than six targets. But on the Steelers’ side, the fact that tight end Pat Freiermuth and receiver Diontae Johnson combined for a 59.5% target share in the opener should be enough to earn them a spot in fantasy lineups this week. See Week 2 rankings.
Betting nugget: Belichick is 59-33 ATS after a loss but just 8-7 ATS after a loss in the past two seasons since Brady left New England. The Steelers, meanwhile, are 8-2 ATS in their past 10 conference games. Read more.
Moody’s pick: Steelers 20, Patriots 17
Walder’s pick: Patriots 19, Steelers 16
FPI prediction: PIT, 50.3% (by an average of 0.1 points)
Matchup must-reads: WR Bourne could help Pats create more downfield separation in Week 2 … How will the Steelers regroup after the Watt injury? … Trubisky says Steelers offense needs to be aggressive, have ‘killer mindset’
Buccaneers (1-0) at Saints (1-0)
1 p.m. ET | FOX | Spread: TB -2.5 (44.5)
What to watch for: Saints quarterback Jameis Winston will get his second chance at starting against his former team after he tore his ACL against them last Halloween. Winston didn’t play in the last meeting between the two teams: a 9-0 win in Tampa Bay with Dennis Allen in charge because Sean Payton was out with COVID-19. Offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael took over the playcalling in that game, but the team was won via a defensive effort. It’ll not only be an important game for Allen and Carmichael, who have officially taken on new roles this year, but also for Winston, as he has never played in a full game against the Buccaneers. — Katherine Terrell
Bold prediction: The Buccaneers will finally defeat the Saints at home. This may not seem very bold, but consider that Tampa Bay hasn’t beaten the Saints during the regular season since 2018, and Bucs quarterback Tom Brady is 0-4 against them during the regular season since he signed with the team. They’ll still struggle with the pass game in the red zone, but running back Leonard Fournette will have another 100-yard game. And Tampa Bay will, as edge rusher Joe Tryon-Shoyinka put it, get “the big bear off our backs.” — Jenna Laine
Stat to know: Tampa Bay receiver Julio Jones has six games with 100-plus receiving yards against the Saints in his career. No other player has more than three. Jones caught three passes for 69 yards in Week 1.
Injuries: Buccaneers | Saints
What to know for fantasy: September 9, 2018. That’s the last time Buccaneers receiver Mike Evans scored at least 13 points against the divisional-rival Saints, nearly 1,500 days ago. He is averaging two receptions and 32.8 yards per game over his past six meetings with New Orleans. See Week 2 rankings.
Betting nugget: The Saints are 13-7 ATS in their past 20 games as a home underdog. Read more.
Moody’s pick: Buccaneers 20, Saints 17
Walder’s pick: Buccaneers 24, Saints 13
FPI prediction: TB, 70.1% (by an average of 6.2 points)
Matchup must-reads: Brady ‘feeling more’ emotions in 23rd season … What fueled Saints’ Thomas after 20-month absence … Bowles: LT Smith, WR Godwin avoided serious injuries … Thomas catches 2 TD passes in 1st game in nearly two years, says he has ‘more work to do’
Panthers (0-1) at Giants (1-0)
1 p.m. ET | FOX | Spread: NYG -2 (43.5)
What to watch for: This game will prominently feature the top two picks of the 2018 NFL draft, Panthers quarterback Baker Mayfield and Giants running back Saquon Barkley. The third overall pick, quarterback Sam Darnold, is on injured reserve for Carolina, too. Mayfield is on his second team and looking to bounce back from a mediocre debut for the Panthers, while Barkley is hoping to build on a turn-back-the-clock performance (194 total yards in the opener vs. Tennessee) in his redemption campaign following three injury-plagued seasons. — Jordan Raanan
Bold prediction: Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey will get involved early and rush 24 times for 130 yards and a touchdown against a Giants defense that gave up only 93 yards rushing in the opener. McCaffrey was limited to 14 touches and 57 yards in the opener, and this will be McCaffrey’s first 100-yard rushing performance since Week 10 of the 2019 season (108 yards on 20 carries at Green Bay). — David Newton
Stat to know: Mayfield was 2-6 in eight road games last season (4-2 at home). His 41 Total QBR on the road ranked 25th in NFL.
Eric Moody sees Robbie Anderson continue his Week-1 fantasy success this weekend against the Giants.
What to know for fantasy: He’s baaaaack. Barkley went off for 194 yards and a touchdown on his 24 Week 1 touches. In Weeks 3-4 last season, before getting dinged up and battling injuries, he had consecutive games with 50-plus rushing yards, a rushing score and five catches for the first time in his career. He did that and much more last Sunday … look out. See Week 2 rankings.
Betting nugget: The Panthers are 5-13 ATS in the past two seasons, tied with the Jaguars for the worst mark in the NFL, including 2-13 ATS in their past 15 games. Read more.
Moody’s pick: Giants 24, Panthers 22
Walder’s pick: Panthers 23, Giants 10
FPI prediction: CAR, 58.0% (by an average of 2.4 points)
Matchup must-reads: What we learned about Mayfield after his Panthers debut … Barkley is back! What is different, and can the rest of the Giants’ offense support him? … Is Mayfield’s height to blame for his passes getting batted down? … Toney not sweating snaps … CB Robinson has appendix removed, won’t play Sunday
Colts (0-0-1) at Jaguars (0-1)
1 p.m. ET | CBS | Spread: IND -4 (45.5)
What to watch for: We have a couple of interesting streaks potentially at stake. The Colts have lost seven consecutive road games to the Jaguars (one was in London in 2016) and have lost those seven games by an average of 14.9 points per game. But on the flip side, Indianapolis quarterback Matt Ryan is undefeated against Jacksonville (4-0). The Jaguars are one of only two teams that have never beaten Ryan (Raiders). — Mike DiRocco
Bold prediction: Colts defensive end Yannick Ngakoue will notch a multi-sack game against his former team after a quiet debut with Indianapolis in Week 1. Ngakoue had two sacks in his only other game against Jacksonville, in 2019 with the Ravens. — Stephen Holder
Stat to know: Indianapolis running back Jonathan Taylor has 468 rushing yards and three touchdowns in four career games versus the Jaguars (117.0 rush yards per game).
What to know for fantasy: Volume doesn’t figure to be an issue for Colts receiver Michael Pittman Jr. this season, and given his historic efficiency against the Jaguars, he’s nothing short of an elite option here. In four career games against Jacksonville, Pittman has pulled in 15 of 16 targets (173 yards, 1 TD). See Week 2 rankings.
Betting nugget: Jacksonville is 12-1-1 ATS in its past 14 meetings with the Colts, but it’s also 6-14 ATS in its past 20 contests as an underdog. Read more.
Moody’s pick: Colts 26, Jaguars 20
Walder’s pick: Colts 24, Jaguars 14
FPI prediction: IND, 55.2% (by an average of 1.7 points)
Matchup must-reads: Why Ryan’s singular focus led him to the Colts … September woes: Jaguars have to start finding success in season’s first month
Jets (0-1) at Browns (1-0)
1 p.m. ET | CBS | Spread: CLE -6.5 (39.5)
What to watch for: The Browns are seeking their first 2-0 start since 1993. Cleveland owns the longest drought without a 2-0 start — 25 years — in NFL history. But it is 2-6 in its past eight games against the Jets, who are trying to avoid their fourth straight 0-2 start. — Jake Trotter
Bold prediction: Browns defensive end Myles Garrett will record two sacks against the Jets’ leaky offensive line and the immobile Joe Flacco. That will give him 62.5 for his career, surpassing Clay Matthews (62.0) to become the all-time franchise leader since sacks became an official statistic in 1982. Garrett has great success against the Jets (eight sacks in four games), and he’s coming off a two-sack performance. As Jets coach Robert Saleh said, “It looks like Myles is on a mission.” — Rich Cimini
Stat to know: Chubb has rushed for at least 100 yards in 23 games since 2018, tied with Derrick Henry for the most in the NFL. And he needs 109 rushing yards on Sunday to become the third Browns player with 250 rushing yards in the first two games of a season (Jim Brown twice, Jamal Lewis).
Field Yates explains how he is ranking Michael Carter and Breece Hall in Week 2 against the Browns.
What to know for fantasy: Flacco spread the ball around plenty in the Week 1 loss against the Ravens, and that seems to be a theme. In Mike White‘s three high-usage games filling in for Zach Wilson last season, 39% of his targets went to the backfield. It may not be pretty, but in PPR leagues, you could do worse than either Jets running back (Michael Carter and Breece Hall). See Week 2 rankings.
Betting nugget: The Jets are 1-9 ATS in their past 10 September games and failed to cover each of the past seven. And Browns quarterback Jacoby Brissett is 8-5 ATS as a starting QB when his team is favored. Read more.
Moody’s pick: Browns 24, Jets 16
Walder’s pick: Browns 21, Jets 13
FPI prediction: CLE, 76.6% (by an average of 8.4 points)
Matchup must-reads: Reed plays with heavy heart, dedicates season to his father … Browns’ rookie kicker York living up to draft slot … Urgency from Jets’ Saleh: ‘We have to grow up quick’ … Browns update midfield logo ahead of home opener … Jets sticking with Flacco as starting QB in Week 2
Commanders (1-0) at Lions (0-1)
1 p.m. ET | FOX | Spread: DET -1.5 (48.5)
What to watch for: With eight or more catches, second-year Lions receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown has a chance to join Antonio Brown and Michael Thomas as the third player in NFL history with at least eight receptions in eight straight games. A big game from him would go a long way toward helping Detroit avoid a third-straight 0-2 start. The Commanders stand in the way after their Week 1 win against Jacksonville, setting up a battle between the 2016 NFL draft class’ top two picks, quarterbacks Jared Goff (No. 1, then with the Rams) and Carson Wentz (No. 2, then with the Eagles). — Eric Woodyard
Bold prediction: Commanders rookie receiver Jahan Dotson will top 100 yards and score a touchdown — his third on the season. With the Lions playing a lot of press-man, the Commanders’ receivers will have the potential for a big day. Lions corners Jeff Okudah and Amani Oruwariye are both adept at playing press, but the Commanders have receivers who can win at the line. In the past 18 games, Detroit has allowed the fourth-most yards to receivers when playing man coverage and tied for the most allowed in Week 1. — John Keim
Stat to know: Lions running back D’Andre Swift had 144 rushing yards in Week 1. He would become the first Detroit running back with 200-plus rushing yards through the team’s first two games of a season since Barry Sanders (255) in 1998 and the third to do so in team history (Billy Sims, 1980).
Injuries: Commanders | Lions
What to know for fantasy: Four of Washington receiver Terry McLaurin‘s 25-point games during his career have come on the road and in the first half of the season. This game checks both boxes and comes against the defense that allowed the fifth-most yards per WR reception last season. See Week 2 rankings.
Betting nugget: Commanders quarterback Carson Wentz is 5-0 ATS (4-1 outright) in his past five games as a road underdog. Read more.
Moody’s pick: Commanders 27, Lions 24
Walder’s pick: Lions 30, Commanders 24
FPI prediction: WSH, 55.8% (by an average of 1.8 points)
Matchup must-reads: Rookie Commanders’ DT Mathis out for season with knee injury … Lions favored for first time since 2020 … Diversity of weapons fuels optimism for Commanders’ offense … One-score losses continuing to haunt the Lions … Lions OG Vaitai has back surgery; 2022 season in doubt
Falcons (0-1) at Rams (0-1)
4: 05 p.m. ET | FOX | Spread: LAR -10 (46.5)
What to watch for: Both the Falcons and Rams are coming off Week 1 losses. The Rams are attempting to avoid becoming the fifth defending Super Bowl champion to start the season 0-2, and the first since the Broncos did so in 1999. According to ESPN Stats & Information research, just one of the four teams who started 0-2 made it to the playoffs that season (1993 Cowboys). Atlanta, meanwhile, is looking to avoid starting 0-2 for a third straight season, which would tie the longest streak in franchise history (1974-76, 1966-68). — Sarah Barshop
Bold prediction: The Falcons will pick up four sacks, including two from defensive tackle Grady Jarrett. Los Angeles is expected to have three new starters on the offensive line after allowing seven sacks and 16 quarterback hits to Buffalo. While the Falcons aren’t the Bills, their defense has shown a larger proclivity to reaching the passer, sacking Jameis Winston four times last week, just a season after having an NFL-worst 18 sacks. — Michael Rothstein
Stat to know: Atlanta quarterback Marcus Mariota had 72 rushing yards in Week 1, the most by a Falcons QB since Mike Vick in 2006. And the Rams allowed 56 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown to Josh Allen in Week 1.
Adam Schefter explains why he sees Cam Akers’ role expanding in the Rams’ offense.
What to know for fantasy: Worried about Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford after the season-opening dud? He was QB11 or better in four of five games last season when having more than normal rest between games (QB7 or better three times). See Week 2 rankings.
Betting nugget: Since 2000, teams that are favored by at least 7.5 points in Week 2 following a Week 1 loss are 20-2 outright — but they are just 7-15 ATS. Read more.
Moody’s pick: Rams 29, Falcons 21
Walder’s pick: Rams 23, Falcons 10
FPI prediction: LAR, 81.6% (by an average of 10.6 points)
Matchup must-reads: Falcons coach Smith pleased with offense’s growth … Akers: Didn’t anticipate limited role Week 1 … Rams LB Wagner paid tribute to Kobe Bryant in season opener
Seahawks (1-0) at 49ers (0-1)
4: 05 p.m. ET | FOX | Spread: SF -8.5 (41)
What to watch for: There’s no such thing as a must-win game in Week 2, but this is about as close to it as possible for the 49ers after last week’s loss to the Bears. In five years under coach Kyle Shanahan, the Niners have made the playoffs twice, and they started both of those seasons 2-0. They’ve never made it when losing one of their first two games, meaning they are already looking to break a trend. The Seahawks, meanwhile, have reached the postseason all three times they’ve started 2-0 under coach Pete Carroll, leaving plenty of motivation for both teams in a game that still carries a ton of weight in the NFC West. — Nick Wagoner
Bold prediction: Seahawks running backs Rashaad Penny and Ken Walker III will combine for at least 125 yards rushing and a pair of touchdowns. As good as quarterback Geno Smith was on Monday night, the Seahawks want to rely on their run game to win. Penny was close to breaking off a few long runs in Seattle’s opener, and it appears he’ll be joined in the backfield rotation Sunday by Walker, the Seahawks’ second-round pick who missed the opener. The 49ers gave up 99 rushing yards to the Bears in Week 1, and they haven’t held teams to fewer than 100 in both of their first two games of a season since 2015. — Brady Henderson
Stat to know: Niners quarterback Trey Lance didn’t throw a passing TD in Week 1. The last 49ers QB to not throw a touchdown in the team’s first two games of a season was Brian Hoyer in 2017.
What to know for fantasy: Despite limited health and a viable passer in Russell Wilson, a Seattle running back surpassed 15 fantasy points in both meetings with San Francisco last season (Travis Homer and Alex Collins). See Week 2 rankings.
Betting nugget: The 49ers are 6-16-1 ATS as a home favorite under Shanahan, but they are 4-1 ATS in their past five games coming off an outright loss. Read more.
Moody’s pick: 49ers 23, Seahawks 13
Walder’s pick: 49ers 21, Seahawks 12
FPI prediction: SF, 73.1% (by an average of 7.1 points)
Matchup must-reads: Seahawks, Carroll relish victory over Wilson and Broncos … Mitchell’s knee injury has 49ers facing all-too-familiar running back issue … ‘Serious’ knee injury suffered by Adams to require ‘some work’
Cardinals (0-1) at Raiders (0-1)
4: 25 p.m. ET | CBS | Spread: LV -5.5 (51.5)
What to watch for: Try as he might to downplay the significance, Raiders defensive end Chandler Jones should be amped to face his former team in his Las Vegas home debut. Jones, who signed a three-year, $52.5 million free agent contract with the Raiders after six seasons in Arizona, was shut out in Las Vegas’ opener with just three pressures and one hit. The last time Jones faced a former team for the first time — the 2016 opener for the Cardinals against the Patriots — he went off for a sack, two QB hits, a fumble recovery and five tackles. — Paul Gutierrez
Bold prediction: After getting targeted just six times and catching four of them for 43 yards and a touchdown, Cardinals wide receiver Marquise Brown will break loose for eight or more catches for at least 100 yards and two touchdowns. Arizona has talked all week about learning from its mistakes from Week 1. One of those was not getting its playmakers involved as much. That will change in Vegas. Brown will want to show there’s more than one star receiver on the field. — Josh Weinfuss
Stat to know: Raiders receiver Davante Adams was targeted 17 times in Week 1, the most by any player and 11 more times than any other Raiders player. Fellow Las Vegas receiver Hunter Renfrow has just three catches for 21 receiving yards, the second-lowest yardage in a start in his career (12 yards in Week 5 of the 2019 season).
Mike Clay explains how he expects Marquise Brown and A.J. Green will fare in fantasy against the Raiders.
What to know for fantasy: By all accounts, Arizona running back James Conner struggled in the Week 1 blowout loss to the Chiefs — but guess what? He still had 16.5 fantasy points. He averaged just 3.7 yards per touch, but with a consistent pass-game role and elite career conversion numbers in close, he’s a lineup staple. See Week 2 rankings.
Betting nugget: The Cardinals have won each of their past six road games outright when they were an underdog — just one shy of matching the 1980-81 Seahawks for the longest such win streak in the Super Bowl era. Read more.
Moody’s pick: Raiders 41, Cardinals 27
Walder’s pick: Cardinals 27, Raiders 24
FPI prediction: LV, 63.4% (by an average of 3.9 points)
Matchup must-reads: How dollar tacos helped Cardinals’ Hernandez get through his family’s toughest times … Jones’ ability to ‘affect’ goes beyond Raiders locker room, opposing QBs … ‘Intensity has to pick up’: Cardinals’ practice habits fall under scrutiny … Adams delivers in Raiders debut, but the All-Pro needs help
Bengals (0-1) at Cowboys (0-1)
4: 25 p.m. ET | CBS | Spread: CIN -7 (41.5)
What to watch for: Since 2007, 125 NFL teams have started 0-2, and only 12 have made the playoffs. The Cowboys have the third-longest active streak without starting 0-2 at 11 seasons, with only the Patriots (20) and Packers (15) avoiding it longer. In his 15 years as a head coach, Dallas coach Mike McCarthy is 5-1 following a season-opening loss, but to avoid dropping two in a row, he must rely on backup quarterback Cooper Rush in place of injured Dak Prescott (thumb). Likewise, the Bengals don’t want to become the first team to start 0-2 following a Super Bowl trip since the 2015 Seahawks, after quarterback Joe Burrow had five turnovers in Week 1 (four interceptions, one fumble). Burrow is facing a defense that led the NFL in takeaways last season (34). — Todd Archer
Bold prediction: Cincinnati will have a plus-125 rushing yard differential. The Cowboys struggled to run the ball in the opener against Tampa Bay, and Cincinnati boasts one of the best run defenses in the NFL. Meanwhile, Cincinnati’s ground game is a mismatch for a Dallas defense that allowed 4.6 yards per carry in the opener. If the Bengals open up a big lead, expect running back Joe Mixon to get plenty of touches. He is seeking his first 100-yard rushing game since Week 12 of last season. — Ben Baby
Stat to know: Dallas linebacker/edge rusher Micah Parsons had two sacks in Week 1, but he has never had two-plus sacks in consecutive games. The Bengals have allowed the most sacks in the NFL since the start of last season. Parsons has 15.0 career sacks, and he needs two more to have the most by a player through 18 career games since individual sacks became official in 1982.
What to know for fantasy: Burrow recovered from a slow start to give you 18.2 fantasy points last week against the Steelers. That’s nothing new. But his career-high 47 rushing yards was interesting, as was his willingness to take what was given following the Tee Higgins injury (Joe Mixon, Hayden Hurst and Tyler Boyd combined for 24 targets). See Week 2 rankings.
Betting nugget: The Cowboys are 6-6 ATS under McCarthy in games started by quarterbacks other than Prescott. But they are 4-1 ATS in their past five such games. Read more.
Moody’s pick: Bengals 28, Cowboys 10
Walder’s pick: Bengals 26, Cowboys 6
FPI prediction: CIN, 82.6% (by an average of 11.2 points)
Matchup must-reads: Cover 2 defenses forcing Burrow, Bengals into more patient approach … ‘Our theme this year is resilience’: Prescott’s injury already testing Cowboys’ plan … Prescott won’t go on IR, has ‘real chance’ for quick return to Cowboys, Jones says … Big questions for Cowboys after Prescott’s injury
Texans (0-0-1) at Broncos (0-1)
4: 25 p.m. ET | CBS | Spread: DEN -10 (46)
What to watch for: After an improbable opening-week loss in Seattle, the Broncos need to show they can “respond,” in the words of quarterback Russell Wilson. What was once one of the best home-field advantages in the league has evaporated in recent years; the Broncos have had losing records at home in three of the past four seasons after going 6-2 or better at home in three of Peyton Manning’s four seasons at Mile High. The good news is Wilson is 9-1 in home-openers in his career with 18 passing TDs and just three interceptions. And the Texans — coming off their first tie ever — have lost 12 of their past 13 non-divisional games. — Jeff Legwold
Bold prediction: Texans rookie running back Dameon Pierce will break out by rushing for more than 100 yards. He didn’t produce much in the Week 1 opener against the Colts (11 carries for 33 yards) after generating a lot of buzz during the preseason, but coach Lovie Smith admitted Houston wants to get the ball to Pierce more. — DJ Bien-Aime
Stat to know: The Broncos didn’t score a TD and had two turnovers in four red-zone trips in Week 1. Since the start of last season, they rank 29th in red-zone TD percentage (51%) and last in red-zone scoring percentage (77%).
Field Yates discusses why Rex Burkhead is a better play than Dameon Pierce in Week 2.
What to know for fantasy: It’s unlikely that the Texans’ run game sees as favorable a game script as they did in Week 1 again this season, and yet their backfield combined for under 17 fantasy points. Both Pierce and Rex Burkhead deserve to be rostered, but neither can be started at the moment. See Week 2 rankings.
Betting nugget: The under is 11-4 in the Texans’ past 15 road games. Read more.
Moody’s pick: Broncos 31, Texans 14
Walder’s pick: Broncos 24, Texans 16
FPI prediction: DEN, 75.9% (by an average of 8.1 points)
Matchup must-reads: Playing for a tie? Texans, Colts coaches reveal thinking behind Week 1 result … Broncos need Gregory, defense to build on positive moments from loss to Seahawks … Texans honor Uvalde shooting victims, host high school team at Week 1 game
Bears (1-0) at Packers (0-1)
8: 20 p.m. ET | NBC | Spread: GB -10 (41.5)
What to watch for: Packers QB Aaron Rodgers has won six straight starts against the Bears, including last year’s “I still own you” game at Soldier Field. In those six games, he has thrown 16 touchdowns without an interception, tied for the fourth-most consecutive passing TDs without an interception against a single opponent in the past 45 seasons. He even had another streak of 16 TDs/0 INTs against the Bears from 2013-15. The new-look Chicago defense under coach Matt Eberflus did not allow a touchdown pass in the Bears’ opener against the 49ers, although the game was played in a downpour that significantly limited the passing game. — Rob Demovsky
Bold prediction: Green Bay receiver Christian Watson will post his first 100-yard receiving game. The rookie dropped what would have been a 75-yard touchdown pass against Minnesota, but Rodgers has confidence he can get on the “same frequency” with his young pass-catcher. Watson will lead the Packers in catches, top 100 yards receiving and make up for last week by scoring his first touchdown. — Courtney Cronin
Stat to know: Chicago quarterback Justin Fields is seeking consecutive games with multiple passing touchdowns for the first time in his career. And Bears running back Khalil Herbert is looking for consecutive games with a rushing touchdown for the first time in his career.
What to know for fantasy: In both meetings with the Bears last season, Packers running back Aaron Jones scored over 20 fantasy points while AJ Dillon scored fewer than eight. See Week 2 rankings.
Betting nugget: Green Bay is 9-0 outright and ATS after a loss under coach Matt LaFleur. And the Bears are 3-12 ATS in their past 15 games against NFC North opponents. Read more.
Moody’s pick: Packers 24, Bears 17
Walder’s pick: Packers 35, Bears 7
FPI prediction: GB, 87.3% (by an average of 13.7 points)
Matchup must-reads: Bears’ defense a difference-maker in Week 1 upset of 49ers … Why wasn’t Packers star Alexander on Jefferson during his 184-yard game? … Rodgers: ‘I’ve got to play the same way’ while Packers’ young WRs learn NFL ropes
Titans (0-1) at Bills (1-0)
Monday, 7: 15 p.m. ET | ESPN | Spread: BUF -10 (48)
What to watch for: Can the Bills stop Titans running back Derrick Henry? Buffalo’s run defense got off to a solid start against the Rams last week, limiting them to 52 yards — but the Bills held a lead for much of that. When the Titans and Bills met on Monday Night Football last year, Henry ran for 143 yards on 20 carries, including a 76-yard touchdown run. An added element to this is that two of the Bills’ top defensive tackles — Ed Oliver and Tim Settle — are dealing with injuries and may not be available for the game. Henry has six rushing TDs in four career games against the Bills and has averaged 3.2 yards per rush after contact against them, his highest versus any opponent he has faced multiple times. — Alaina Getzenberg
Bold prediction: The Titans will sack Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen six times on Monday. Although the Rams only sacked Allen twice last week, Tennessee registered five sacks against the Giants in Week 1, and outside linebacker Rashad Weaver and defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons had two sacks each. Simmons said it’s critical to keep Allen in the pocket and constrict it, which is something the Titans can accomplish with twists and stunts up front. — Turron Davenport
Stat to know: Tennessee quarterback Ryan Tannehill has averaged 6.0 yards per attempt in his career against the Bills, his third-worst versus any opponent. And his seven career losses to the Bills are his second-most against an opponent (eight to the Patriots).
Field Yates and Daniel Dopp dive into Derrick Henry’s pedestrian performance in Week 1.
What to know for fantasy: Allen has led the QB position in 30-point games in consecutive seasons. He had another in Week 1 and is looking for consecutive 30-point efforts, something he didn’t do last season. See Week 2 rankings.
Betting nugget: Over the past 10 seasons (since 2013), teams that play the season-opening Thursday night game (Bills) are 15-3 outright and 12-6 ATS in Week 2. Read more.
Moody’s pick: Bills 34, Titans 21
Walder’s pick: Bills 30, Titans 16
FPI prediction: BUF, 79.2% (by an average of 9.5 points)
Matchup must-reads: Things could get ugly for Titans if they can’t replace Brown’s WR production … Schools near the Bills’ stadium will have a half day because of Monday Night Football … Bills’ rookie CBs pass first test without White, but can they keep it up?
Vikings (1-0) at Eagles (1-0)
Monday, 8: 30 p.m. ET | ABC/ESPN | Spread: PHI -2 (50.5)
What to watch for: The Eagles’ defense was gashed for 181 rushing yards on 28 carries (6.5 per carry) in Week 1 against the Lions. The tackling was shoddy coming off a light training camp, and gap assignments were an issue. That could spell big things for Minnesota running back Dalvin Cook, who ran for 90 yards on 20 carries against the Packers. Part of the solution could be more of Philadelphia defensive tackle Jordan Davis. When the first-round pick was on the field Sunday, Detroit averaged 2.9 yards per carry on the ground compared to 10 yards per carry when he was on the sideline. — Tim McManus
Bold prediction: A Vikings skill position player other than receiver Justin Jefferson will have a 100-yard day. This isn’t to rule out Jefferson also hitting triple digits, but after watching him tear up the Packers’ defense in Week 1, the Eagles will pay more attention to him and invite quarterback Kirk Cousins to throw more often in the direction of receivers Adam Thielen and K.J. Osborn and even Cook. — Kevin Seifert
Stat to know: Receiver A.J. Brown had 155 receiving yards in his Eagles debut, the fifth-most by any player in his first game with a new team all-time. No Eagles receiver has had consecutive 100-yard receiving games since Jordan Matthews in 2015. Brown also had 10 receptions in Week 1, and the most catches by an Eagles player in the first two games of a season is 16 (done six times).
What to know for fantasy: For just the second time in his career, Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts had at least six designed runs and scored on one of them. That role supports a fantasy floor that is rare, and if the dialed-back passing approach is here to stay — his Week 1 average depth of throw was nearly 47% lower than what it was last season — we could still be looking at one of the most consistent fantasy QBs in the game. See Week 2 rankings.
Betting nugget: Cousins is 2-9 outright and ATS on Monday Night Football, though he has won and covered his past two such games. And since 2010, the Vikings are 0-7 ATS as an underdog on Monday Night Football. Read more.
Moody’s pick: Vikings 23, Eagles 20
Walder’s pick: Eagles 24, Vikings 21
FPI prediction: PHI, 66.3% (by an average of 4.8 points)
Matchup must-reads: Jefferson has career-best 184 receiving yards, surprised at open looks … When Hurts has ‘complete control,’ Eagles have shot at special season … Brown sets Eagles receiving record in debut with team
The author of 5 books, 3 of which are New York Times bestsellers. I’ve been published in more than 100 newspapers and magazines and am a frequent commentator on NPR.