The game was completely bonkers and it basically had everything you could possibly ever want from an NFL game, well, except for a winner. The problem with ties is that no one wins — and when I say no one, I mean no one. For example, take the people of Cleveland: If the Browns had somehow upset the Steelers, there would have been free beer flowing all over the city. Instead, everyone in Cleveland had to stay sober because Bud Light refused to open their victory refrigerators.
Little does Bud Light know that a tie in Cleveland is basically the same thing as a win. I mean, let’s not forget that this is the same city that threw a parade for a team that went 0-16 last season. Honestly, the Browns should think about throwing a parade this week and that’s because the team is off to its best start since 2004.
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Sure, 0-0-1 is nothing to brag about, but when you’ve started 0-1 for 13 straight seasons like the Browns had before 2018, earning a tie in your first game of the year is basically the equivalent of winning seven Super Bowls in a row, but without the trophies, or the rings. OK, it’s not like winning seven Super Bowls in a row at all, but I still think the Browns should hold a parade for playing in a tie game.
By the way, the most impressive part of the game for the Browns is that they weren’t even distracted by James Conner’s haircut.
The Steelers need to take that $14.5 million they were thinking about giving to Le’Veon Bell and spend it on a stylist for Conner. I think we can all agree that would definitely be a much better use of the money. Also, I would say that Conner’s hair-do was the biggest disaster of Week 1, but that’s not the case, because that honor belongs to EVERY FIRST-YEAR COACH IN THE NFL.
There were seven new NFL coaches hired in 2018 and THEY ALL managed to lose in Week 1, which means they all have a worse record than the Browns and having a worse record than the Browns is arguably a fireable offense.
Also, based on that picture, it appears that Jon Gruden skipped all of training camp and just spent his entire summer on a beach in Cabo.
Alright, enough talking about Gruden’s tan, let’s get to the Week 2 picks.
Actually, before we get to my picks, here’s a quick reminder that you can check out the weekly picks from every CBSSports.com NFL expert here. The reason you should click over and check out the other experts this week is because our resident fantasy guru, Dave Richard, is apparently good at things besides fantasy sports.
Dave went 10-5-1 in his picks against the spread in Week 1. Now, I’m not sure what that means, but I think it means you should follow him on Twitter. Dave loves to dispense fantasy advice, which is why I generally call him five times a day. Sure that might seem excessive … OK, that is excessive. I’m surprised he hasn’t blocked my number.
Now, let’s get to my picks, where I promise to get James Conner’s haircut if I go 0-16 against the spread this week.
NFL Week 2 Picks
Minnesota (1-0) at Green Bay (1-0)
1 p.m ET (Fox)
I have no idea if Aaron Rodgers is going to play in this game, and even if he does, I have no idea if he’s going to be healthy. Basically, I think what I’m trying to say here is that I have no idea who to pick. My general rule of thumb when trying to pick the winner in a Packers game is to always pick the Packers, especially when that game is being played at Lambeau Field in September.
Sure, we all love talking about the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field, but what we should all be talking about instead are the fall leaves at Lambeau, because the Packers are way more unbeatable in September and fall leaves are fun to look at. Since the beginning of the 2013 season, the Packers are undefeated (9-0) in September home games and they’ve scored an average of 30.1 points in those games. Now, I know what you’re thinking and I completely agree: This totally has something to do with the fact that September is also the month when Starbucks releases its Pumpkin Spice Latte. I’m not sure if the Packers are powered by Pumpkin Spice Lattes, but that’s the theory I’m working with right now. I bet Rodgers slammed three of those things during halftime of the Bears game, which would fully explain the 20-point come-from-behind win.
One interesting subplot to this game is that Rodgers will be facing the same Vikings team that ended his season last year when they broke his collarbone. I sliced my finger open four years ago with a knife and I still haven’t forgiven the knife, so I can’t imagine how Rodgers feels toward the Vikings. As a matter of fact, if Rodgers does play on Sunday, I’m 99 percent sure that his rivalry with the Vikings is going to reach a Nicki Minaj-Cardi B. level of craziness.
I’m not sure how I did it, but I think I’ve talked myself into taking the Packers, unless Rodgers doesn’t play, then I’m taking the Vikings by three touchdowns.
The pick: Packers 20-17 over Vikings if Rodgers plays (Vikings win 34-13 if Rodgers is out)
Kansas City (1-0) at Pittsburgh (0-0-1)
1 p.m. ET (CBS)
I’m not sure what’s going on with Le’Veon Bell and the Steelers right now, but I have to say, I haven’t seen this kind of constant drama since “One Tree Hill” went off the air in 2012. At first, I thought Bell and the Steelers would fix things, but now, I’m not so sure and that’s because Bell has taken the drama to social media.
The tweet you see above is what Bell sent out after the Steelers game with the Browns ended in a tie, and I think we can all agree that you don’t send out the monocle emoji unless you mean business.
You know who else means business? The Jets. They added another twist to this drama by following Bell on Instagram this week, which is basically the equivalent of someone sneaking in and following your significant other while you two are on a break. I see you Jets.
I’m telling you, Bell vs. the Steelers might go down as the greatest NFL drama of the social media era. If the same type of drama was going on between Taylor Swift and one of her boyfriends, she would have written three albums about it by now.
The way I see it, one of two things is going to happen this week. Bell is going to report to Pittsburgh, but just like last year, he won’t be in football shape for the first few weeks of the football season OR Bell isn’t going to report and this ongoing drama is going to divide the Steelers locker room for another week. I have lost all faith in the Steelers, which is saying a lot, because they were my Super Bowl pick out of the AFC this year.
As for the Chiefs, this type of game is the exact reason why Andy Reid dumped Alex Smith and went with Patrick Mahomes. Since taking over as Chiefs coach in 2013, Reid has faced the Steelers five times and his team has averaged only 15.6 points in those games thanks to Alex Smith, who was almost always trying to play it safe. Mahomes is not going to play it safe. As a matter of fact, I don’t even think Mahomes has the word “safe” in his vocabulary. Reid is going to unleash him and after this game, I might have to change my Super Bowl pick to the Chiefs.
The pick: Chiefs 37-24 over Steelers
Detroit (0-1) at San Francisco (0-1)
4:05 p.m. ET (Fox)
I know we’re only one week into the season, but if there’s one thing I’m already pretty certain of, it’s that Bill Belichick’s former assistants aren’t very good coaches when they don’t have Belichick around. For reference, let’s check out the Belichick coaching tree following the Lions‘ Week 1 loss to the Jets.
That tree is more like a dying cactus.
Now I know why Josh McDaniels didn’t take the Colts job, he knew there was no way he would succeed without Belichick. I mean, of all the ugly losses in Week 1, the biggest disaster was definitely the Lions 31-point blowout loss to New York. On one hand, you have Patricia, who’s supposed to be a defensive genius, but I’m not sure we can call him that anymore because no defensive genius would give up 48 points to the Jets. And then we have the Lions offense, which was so predictable in Week 1 that the Jets knew exactly what they were going to run.
I’m not sure what rock bottom is in the NFL, but the Jets predicting your plays has to be close.
Not only did the Lions get beat up in Week 1, but now they have to fly across the country on a short week to play the 49ers on Jimmy Garoppolo bobblehead day and let me just say that there is a zero percent chance the 49ers are going lose on Jimmy Garoppolo bobblehead day.
Based on how the Lions played in Week 1, the 49ers could probably start the bobblehead at quarterback and still win this game. By the way, I have no idea if there’s a black market for bobbleheads, but there’s definitely going to be one after this game. It’s hard to say what a bobblehead like this would be worth, but I figure that the handsomeness of it adds at least 140 percent to the value.
That gives me an idea, this week on the Pick Six Podcast, I should debate Will Brinson about who would make a better bobblehead, me or him. (Note: I do podcasts sometimes. If you’ve ever wondered what I sound like, feel free to click here and listen).
The pick: 49ers 33-20 over Lions
New England (1-0) at Jacksonville (1-0)
4:25 p.m. ET (CBS)
If the Jaguars are planning on getting revenge in this game for their AFC title loss, I have some bad news for them: There are not very many people left to get revenge on.
For reference, let’s take a quick look at the Patriots leading players from last January’s 24-20 AFC Championship Game victory over the Jags.
- Leading Patriots rusher from that game (Dion Lewis): Doesn’t play for New England anymore
- Leading Patriots receiver from that game (Brandin Cooks): Doesn’t play for New England anymore
- Second leading receiver from that game (Danny Amendola): Doesn’t play for New England anymore
- Third leading receiver from that game (Lewis): Doesn’t play for New England anymore
One thing you’ll notice is that Rob Gronkowksi isn’t on the above list and that’s because the Jaguars absolutely shut him down. Gronk had just one catch for 21 yards before leaving the game before halftime with a concussion. I think what I’m trying to say is that the Patriots offense is arguably worse this year and the Jaguars defense is arguably better.
For three quarters of the AFC title game, the Jags’ defense absolutely suffocated the Patriots offense and that’s fully what I’m expecting to happen on Sunday. Apparently, Tom Brady’s son is also expecting the same thing to happen because he didn’t even pick his dad for fantasy football this year.
Of course, let’s not let this AFC Championship Game rematch overshadow the biggest news in this game: The Jags are playing their first home game of the year, which means their pool is officially open!
Over the years, the Jags pool has been home to some of my favorite memories in NFL history. I mean, who can forget the time in 2014 when a woman in Jacksonville threw all bathing suit etiquette out the window and wore her clothes into the pool.
Also, let’s not forget the time that Marlins Man, thinking he was an actual marlin, decided to go swimming in the Jaguars pool with some friends.
The Jaguars pool is undefeated at life and the Jags will be too, after this game.
The pick: Jaguars 20-16 over Patriots
Nathan Peterman special: L.A. Chargers (0-1) at Buffalo (0-1)
1 p.m. ET (CBS)
I’m only picking this game because it’s Nathan Peterman against the Chargers, which is a rematch that no one thought they wanted to see, but trust me, you do. The last time we saw Peterman on the field against the Chargers, he threw five interceptions in the first half, which I thought was the worst game I had ever seen by a quarterback until Peterman topped himself on Sunday when he registered a 0.0 QB rating.
That’s almost as improbable as registering a 0.0 blood-alcohol level after a four-night bachelor party in Vegas. It’s basically unheard of. To put Peterman’s Week 1 game in perspective, his QB rating was 17.9 the time he threw those five interceptions, so he WAS EVEN WORSE ON SUNDAY AGAINST BALTIMORE.
I really want to pick a blowout in this game, except my one issue with the Chargers is that their receivers are almost as bad at catching footballs as Peterman is at throwing them. Here are some actual clips of Chargers receivers trying to catch a football in Week 1.
If you were drinking every time the Chargers dropped a pass on Sunday, you would have blacked out by halftime. Of course, even if they drop three touchdown passes against Buffalo, the Chargers should still win by two touchdowns.
Before I make the pick here, I should note that there’s a chance that Peterman will get benched this week in favor of Josh Allen, so I’m making two picks, except this isn’t a crazy as the two picks I made in the Vikings-Packers game.
The pick: Chargers 31-17 over Bills if Peterman starts (Chargers 31-20 if Josh Allen starts)
NFL Week 2 picks: All the rest
Saints 34-24 over Browns
Jets 19-16 over Dolphins
Redskins 31-23 over Colts
Bears 24-20 over Seahawks
Best pick: Last week, I picked the Broncos to beat the Seahawks by three and then the Broncos went out and beat the Seahawks by three. Now, did I know that Russell Wilson was going to get sacked six times and spend the entire game running for his life? Of course I did, that’s basically Seattle’s entire offense. Although I can’t say for sure, I’m pretty convinced the Seahawks don’t actually have a playbook and every call in the huddle is something along the lines of Wilson telling the team, “Hey guys, I’m just going to run around. Can someone please get open?”
The unfortunate news for Wilson is that it doesn’t appear that things are going to get any easier in Week 2.
The Seahawks play the Bears on Monday and there’s a good chance #PrayForRussellWilson could be trending on Twitter before the game is over.
Worst pick: Last week, I picked the Titans to beat the Dolphins and not only did I get the pick wrong, but I had to sit around for seven straight hours watching myself get the pick wrong, because I live in Nashville and Titans-Dolphins was the only game on. Have you ever watched an NFL game for seven straight hours? No. You haven’t. Because no one has. Not only was this the longest game in NFL history, but I think it also set the record for most bathroom breaks I’ve ever taken while watching a game.
Thanks to two weather delays, the game ended up lasting seven hours and eight minutes, which actually felt more like 27 hours and eight minutes due mostly to the fact that I had to watch Blaine Gabbert play quarterback for nearly an entire half. I mean, if that’s not torture, I don’t know what is.
Just to give you an idea of how long this game was, I could have watched Titanic twice while Titans-Dolphins was on. I also could have watched Season 1 of Gossip Girl or I could have even probably watched every movie in the Saw series, which is probably what I should’ve done because the victims in those movies went through less torture than the people watching the Titans-Dolphins game.
On the other hand, maybe the NFL should think about making every game last for seven hours, because apparently, fans seem to like it.
I am now rooting for Chargers-Bills to last seven hours just to see if it’s possible for Nathan Peterman to throw 11 interceptions in one game.
Straight up in Week 1: 9-6-1
SU overall: 9-6-1
Against the spread in Week 1: 7-8-1
ATS overall: 7-8-1
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