Long story short, here are my Week 2 picks. As for my opening week, it’s a reminder that picking against the spread (7-9-1) is harder than straight-up calls (12-3-1):
49ers 24, Bengals 20: Back-to-back road wins make the 49ers 2-0 for the first time since 2012. … Last time they had a week-long layover in Youngstown, Ohio: 2012. … Last time they went to the Super Bowl: 2012. … Last time I hype up that, until next week.
Chiefs 35, Raiders 17: From beating the Broncos on opening night to containing the Chiefs juggernaut? Nice try. Knock on wood if you’re with me.
Panthers 31, Bucs 10: Marking it down that Carolina’s Christian McCaffrey will challenge Chris Johnson’s NFL record for scrimmage yards (2,509; 2009 Titans).
Ravens 23, Cardinals 13: Wait, Lamar Jackson led the Ravens to almost 60 points in their opener? Gosh, he was only 2 when defense keyed the 2000 Ravens to a title.
Packers 23, Vikings 20: Aaron Rodgers is heading for his sixth NFC North title in the past nine years. He hasn’t finished on a last-place team since his rookie year in ’05.
Texans 23, Jaguars 13: Even in defeat The Gardner Minshew Project is a fun watch. Too bad his college coach, Mike Leach, didn’t come with him to the NFL. Yet? Please?
Patriots 23, Dolphins 10: A Patriots win is a given. He Antonio Brown News Cycle is a never-ending, what-in-the-heck mystery.
Bills 23, Giants 20: What do the Bills get for now beating both “New York” teams on the road? MetLife Stadium?
Steelers 28, Seahawks 16: Remember when Ben Roethlisberger beat the Seahawks in the Super Bowl with a 22.6 passer rating? It takes more than that this time, but not much.
Lions 21, Chargers 20: After settling for a tie in Arizona, the Lions barely avoid one in their home opener.
Titans 26, Colts 24: The Andrew Luck Hangover continues for the Colts, even if Jacoby Brissett is a worthy successor.
Cowboys 33, Washington 21: Jason Witten had to call two Washington games on “Monday Night Football” last year. No wonder he left the booth.
Bears 26, Broncos 24: Chicaco coach Matt Nagy beats his former defensive coordinator, Vic Fangio. Actually, John Elway’s roster loses to a better one.
Rams 35, Saints 31: If multiple challenge flags aren’t thrown for pass-interference penalties, kill that new rule right now.
Falcons 28, Eagles 27: This makes Matt Ryan 11-1 in home openers. He’d probably make a great Realtor at open houses.
Browns 13, Jets 10: Just how you always wanted to spend your Monday night: watching two of the league’s perennially futile franchises. Only the Browns are supposed to be great this year, right? Right, Titans fans?