Spread picks and scores for every week 2 NFL game

Mike Renner makes score predictions for every game of Week 2 of the NFL season.

| 2 years ago
(AP Photo/James Kenney)

(AP Photo/James Kenney)

Spread picks and scores for every week 2 NFL game

As with every week, I’ll be giving a primer of all the week’s games and point out the key matchups. I’ll give you my picks and how confident I am in each from a betting perspective. The confidence grade is on our patented -2 through +2 scale. Basically, if I give my prediction a positive grade, I feel good about the bet. If it’s 0, I’m on the fence. And if it’s negative, I really don’t like the line either way. Last week, I went 6-1 on all positively graded picks against-the-spread, and 3-6 on all others.

49ers at Steelers (-6)

The 49ers new look defense obliterated a depleted Vikings front in Week 1, but this week will be much more of a test for them. While the 49ers did most of their damage with the blitz last week (holding Teddy Bridgewater to a 33.3 QB rating on the 14 blitzed dropbacks), it’s unlikely to faze Ben Roethlisberger. The veteran quarterback had a 111.7 QB rating when blitzed in 2014. The pressure is on the 49ers new starting cornerbacks, and it’s a matchup that I don’t yet trust them to win.

Prediction: Steelers 28, 49ers 24

Confidence Grade: 0

Patriots (-2) at Bills

Who wants a piece of the AFC East after one week? Defensive tackle Marcell Dareus, returns and I don’t anticipate the Patriots 23rd-ranked offensive line from a year ago to open up many holes for LeGarrette Blount and company. Tom Brady had the quickest time-to-throw last week, averaging 1.96 seconds, but that isn’t sustainable against the Bills secondary and Rex Ryan’s coverages. It should be a defensive struggle, and I’ll side with the more dominant defense.

Prediction: Bills 17, Patriots 16

Confidence Grade: -.5

Titans (-1) at Browns

This will be the real barometer for quarterback Marcus Mariota. Tampa Bay’s secondary was like a scout team compared to Cleveland’s offering. Every member of the Browns secondary had a positive coverage grade last season. That being said, the additions to the Titans defense (Brian Orakpo, Da’Norris Searcy, and Perrish Cox) are already paying dividends. Even if Josh McCown is a go, I don’t expect them to have much more offensive success than they did in Week 1.

Prediction: Titans 16, Browns 13

Confidence Grade: -1

Falcons at Giants (-2)

Two-minute defenses decided both teams’ week one matchups, and I think defense will once again decide matchup in Week 2. The Giants’ new starters, linebacker Uani’ Unga and safety Landon Collins, were both exposed in coverage last week with -3.7 and -2.8 grades, respectively. Unfortunately for them Matt Ryan loves to work the middle of the field, where he gained over half of his yards last season and completed 73.6 percent of his passes. If receiver Victor Cruz still can’t go, I feel better about the Falcons offense running at a higher level than the Giants.

Prediction: Falcons 31, Giants 30

Confidence Grade: +.5

Lions at Vikings (-3)

I can’t get on board with the Vikings as a legitimate playoff threat until they fix their offensive line woes. Teddy Bridgewater was pressured on 15 of his 34 dropbacks against a 49ers team that lost its three best defensive linemen from a year ago. They’ll be returning to one of the best home-field advantages in the NFL, but they’re still facing a front four that starts three players with positive pass-rushing grades in 2014 (Ziggy Ansah, Haloti Ngata, and Tyrunn Walker).

Prediction: Lions 24, Vikings 21

Confidence Grade: -.5

Cardinals (-2.5) at Bears

The Bears dink-and-dunk offense worked well in Week 1 versus Green Bay, but the Cardinals blitz-heavy scheme is set up specifically to combat that. The Cardinals have blitzed more than any other team the past two seasons, and that didn’t change with Todd Bowles leaving for the Jets. They blitzed on 21 of the Saints 50 dropbacks last week, and Drew Brees had a QB rating of 62.0 on those dropbacks. Jay Cutler had just a 40.9 completion percentage against the Packers last week when blitzed. I don’t see Chicago’s offensive success from Week 1 translating to Week 2.

Prediction: Cardinals 27 Bears 17

Confidence Grade: +.5

Buccaneers at Saints (-10)

The Buccaneers defense was an absolute nightmare of blown assignments in Week 1. The problem is that, even without the blown assignments, there just isn’t a whole lot of talent in that secondary outside of Alterraun Verner, who has yet to replicate in Tampa Bay the success he had in Tennessee. The Saints couldn’t get their running game on track against the Cardinals, but I like their chances against a Buccaneers defense that had the second worst run-defense grade of any team in Week 1.

Prediction: Saints 37, Buccaneers 17

Confidence Grade: +.5

Chargers at Bengals (-3.5)

These are two very evenly matched teams, but one matchup in particular really stands out to me. The Bengals fifth-ranked offensive line should have their way with the Chargers’ front seven that doesn’t return a single starter with a positive run-defense grade from a year ago. I expect Cincinnati RBs Jeremy Hill and Giovanni Bernard to put up big numbers and be the difference in this one.

Prediction: Bengals 24, Chargers 20

Confidence Grade: 0

Texans at Panthers (-3)

The long leash promised to Brian Hoyer on Hard Knocks came reeling in this week. I’m not sure it really matters, though. The Texans are without left tackle Duane Brown and running back Arian Foster. That means the running game is unlikely to ever get going, and it’s all on Ryan Mallett. Even if the Panthers’ offense has its own turbulence, I trust Cam Newton and his +1.0 grade from week one more than Mallett.

Prediction: Panthers 17, Texans 13

Confidence Grade: +.5

Rams (-3.5) at Redskins

I fully expect this line to move higher by the time this article gets posted, as it seems far too low based off of just about everything I can think of. The Rams defensive line absolutely dominated Seattle and earned the second highest grade of any D-Line last week, while Washington earned the third lowest grade of any offensive line (albeit against a formidable Miami front). I just can’t see how this will end well for Kirk Cousins and company.

Prediction: Rams 24 Redskins 7

Confidence Grade: +1.5

Dolphins (-3.5) at Jaguars

Even after a superb preseason, I’m not trusting Blake Bortles against any decent defense just yet. Bortles’ -2.3 passing grade against the Panthers was more of the same that we saw from him as a rookie. He’ll now face a front four this week from the Dolphins that graded out even better than the Panthers last year. After a clunker -3.1 grade from Ryan Tannehill last week, I would expect him to return to the form that saw him finish with the 11th-highest grade of any quarterback a year ago.

Prediction: Dolphins 27, Jaguars 17

Confidence Grade: +1.5

Ravens (-6) at Raiders

The Ravens had one of the all-time bad performances against the Broncos, giving up pressure on 65 percent of their 34 dropbacks. If Eugene Monroe (concussion) returns, though, I wouldn’t be worried about a line that brought all five starters back from our third-ranked line a year ago. Derek Carr still looks extremely ineffective pushing the ball down the field. He had no deep targets in Week 1 after completing the lowest percentage of any starter last year (23.9 percent). I expect the Raven talented linebackers C.J. Mosley and Daryl Smith to have a big impact in this one.

Prediction: Ravens 21, Raiders 10

Confidence Grade: +.5

Cowboys at Eagles (-5.5)

This line seems high, but with the tempo the Eagles play at, they can put teams in the dirt quickly if they find mismatches to exploit. I don’t see that happening in this one, though as the Cowboys can control the tempo with their offensive line and a heavy dose of TE Jason Witten. The difference for me, in this one, is the absence of Dez Bryant. He was our third-highest graded receiver a year ago, and Dallas’ next best receiver graded just 47th (Cole Beasley). Without Bryant, I don’t think they have the talent to expose Byron Maxwell (-3.5) like the Falcons did.

Prediction: Eagles 31, Cowboys 28

Confidence Grade: -1

Seahawks at Packers (-3.5)

The Packers finally get a shot at the Seahawks in Lambeau after three straight losses at CenturyLink Field. The results from their defense in week one though don’t encouraging much confidence that things will change though. They missed seven tackles in the running game and allowed 189 yards on 33 carries. The Seahawks won’t hesitate to pound the ball down their throats if they are getting movement up front. The only thing that gives me pause is the loss of Kam Chancellor. The missing safety is so good at squeezing underneath throwing lanes, and has been one of their keys to slowing down Aaron Rodgers these past few matchups.

Prediction: Seahawks 31, Packers 28

Confidence Grade: -1.5

Jets at Colts (-7)

The Jets aren’t built too differently than the Bills, a team that put it on Indianapolis last week. They have a strong defensive line and secondary and will vary their schemes greatly with Todd Bowles at the helm. The only difference is that the Colts now might be without their No. 1 receiver, T.Y. Hilton. I don’t see Andrew Luck struggling quite as much as he did in Week 1, but I do see the Colts run defense still being an issue after receiving our third-lowest run defense grade week one. If Chris Ivory, our 10th-highest graded back a year ago, consistently gets space to run, I see this one going to the Jets.

Prediction: Jets 21, Colts 17

Confidence Grade: 0
Season Record: 10-6 (9-7 ATS)

| Senior Analyst

Mike is a Senior Analyst at Pro Football Focus. His work has also been featured on The Washington Post, ESPN Insider, and 120 Sports.

  • Chi-town Cheesehead

    Would you still give the Dolphins -6.5 a +1.5 grade?

  • Different Cat

    Not sure how you rated the Redskins Oline third lowest week 1. Morris gained nearly 130 yds. and about 160 total rushing yards. Morris by himself would have gained close to 150 yds. but for a couple gains called back on penalty. Gave up only one sack (two, really, since one was negated by penalty). This against a top five Dline?

    • Josh Knepshield

      Their center, the one with the really long last name, had a <-7.0 grade all by himself.

  • Rudy

    Sticking a fork in Colts already?

    • Douglass Pinkard

      Maybe they’re recognizing the Jets, who, I’m told, may well play some small role in determining the outcome of Monday night’s contest. Possibly, anyway.

  • bebe rebozo

    Agree with your Packers-Hawks prediction. But why so low on the confidence grade? GB is missing their RT/best WR and their second best WR is banged up. Hugh Packers fan but i just don’t see it.

  • jjthetraveler

    I don’t see the Seahawks scoring 31. Not at GB or against any contender. Not a snowballs chance. And with the addition of JJ I think we blow’em out. 42-21 final GB Pack wins

    • David Stinnett

      Why can’t Seattle score 31? They just got 31 against a much tougher defense. They got 36-16 against GB last year. Now they got Tyler Lockett, Jimmy Graham. I’ll be surprised if they DON’T score 31. Don’t tell me about the DEF/ST scores–It’s not like they can’t score again.

      • jjthetraveler

        Seems they were lucky to score 17. You won’t make the playoff with that O-line.

        • David Stinnett

          You are mistaken. O-line has always sucked. They have the same guys who played thru the late season win streak and playoffs. They switched them around to try and improve. Whether they have or not, they have the people. They are capable. You conclude too much from too little info.

    • NY PIGEON #FlockGang

      wtf? they just scored 31 against the RAMS

      • jjthetraveler

        Seems I was right. Burns don’t it. The Hawks will not make the playoffs. AZ will win the division and MN will be the wildcard.

  • Erik Griffiths

    Did you just call the Patriots defense more dominate than the Bills?

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  • Duke

    Don’t spit in the wind, and don’t bet against Aaron Rodgers in Lambeau.

  • JT

    Funny they got the majority of these wrong. PFF should just stick with grades…their predictions for a season and draft picks are pretty horrid.