Not every NFL matchup is must-see-TV, and in Week 2 we’ve identified the three games that only diehard fans or bettors will have any interest in:
- Panthers vs. Giants
- Commanders vs. Lions
- Texans vs. Broncos
Below we discuss these games and give our NFL picks on each and every one.
Carolina Panthers vs. New York Giants
Sunday, September 18, 2022 – 01:00 PM EDT at MetLife Stadium
Nobody is expecting much out of either of these teams this season, but to be fair, the Panthers gave the Browns all they could handle in their 26-24 loss, while the Giants delivered a seismic victory over the Titans in hostile territory.
But because of years of futility, most are taking a wait-and-see approach before jumping on the bandwagon, which means this will be one of the least compelling games on the Week 2 slate. However, a financial investment always makes any game much more interesting and gives us a reason to watch it.
We see the Panthers being led by former Cleveland signal caller, Baker Mayfield, who engineered a pair of late scoring drives, including a 75-yard bomb to a streaking Robbie Anderson as well as a seven-play, 64-yard drive that set up what was supposed to be the winning field goal.
But the Browns had one last gasp and made it count with a Cade York field goal that split the uprights and sent the Cats packing with a two-point loss.
Panthers vs. Giants: Pick and Prediction
The key to this game is the rushing attack on both sides of the ball and although Christian McCaffrey is arguably the best dual threat in the league, Saquon Barkley was immense in thrashing the Titans' run-stop unit for 164 yards and a touchdown.
I believe the Giants own a substantial advantage in the trenches and will be rewarded for that on Sunday.
Predicted Score: Giants 24 – Panthers 20
Washington Commanders vs. Detroit Lions
Sunday, September 18, 2022 - 01:00 PM EDT at Ford Field
The Commanders made their season debut a successful one as they defeated the Jaguars, 28-22, and Carson Wentz overcame two picks to toss four touchdown passes and 313 yards. Meanwhile, the Hard Knocks gang from Detroit put themselves in a 17-point hole early in the third quarter and gamely tried to crawl out from under, but ultimately came up short in a 38-35 loss to the Eagles.
When analyzing this game, just ask yourself if there is anyone on the Commanders' roster who can run and catch like Philadelphia’s A.J. Brown. And although you might make a case for Terry McLaurin, he’s good no doubt, but he does not occupy the same rarified air as Brown, who had 10 receptions for 155 yards against the Lions last week.
This week Detroit will not have to worry about Brown nor Jalen Hurts scrambling for 90 yards because no one on the Washington roster catches like the former, and we know Wentz can’t move like the latter.
Jared Goff looked decent last week and the Lions appear like a team ready to make a move out of the basement. Detroit’s D'Andre Swift has the look of a star-in-the-making after piling up 144 rushing yards and a touchdown in the season opener.
Commanders vs. Lions: Pick and Prediction
This game might not be pretty, but if you’re going to bet it, you might as well watch it and take the Lions here.
Predicted Score: Lions 30 – Commanders 24
Houston Texans vs. Denver Broncos
Sunday, September 18, 2022 - 04:25 PM EDT at Empower Field at Mile High
In the NFL a tie is as good as a loss, but if you are a fan of the Houston Texans, anything but a loss has to be considered a win. And so it was last Sunday when the Texans showed the grit they have so woefully lacked over the last several years suddenly emerge when they took a 20-3 lead into the final frame against a quality team like the Indianapolis Colts.
But reality came crashing down as Matt Ryan finally awoke from his slumber and engineered three successive scoring drives that culminated in a 15-yard touchdown game-tying strike to Michael Pittman Jr. with under two minutes to play. Neither team was able to score in overtime and the game ended with both teams knotted at 20 apiece.
Houston had no answer for Jonathan Taylor who stampeded his way to 161 rushing yards, while Matt Ryan ended with 352 passing yards. The stats indicated that the Colts should have scored much more than the 20 points they rang up on the scoreboard, but the Texans were fully ensconced in a bend-but-don’t-break defense that appeared to be more luck than design.
Broncos vs. Texans: Pick and Prediction
I’m not sure the Texans are ready for primetime, having started three rookies and looking a bit overwhelmed as the entire team melted like butter in a blast furnace in the fourth quarter.
The defense showed some flash but I suspect Russell Wilson and company will exploit their defensive weaknesses much more than Matty Ice did in Week 1.
Last week was more of a mirage than an oasis for the Texans, and they will still be thirsting for a victory after the dust settles in Mile High.
Predicted Score: Broncos 29 – Texans 13
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.