I don’t like picking away favorites but I think the Patriots will bounce back and take care of business in Minnesota.
The Patriots lost in Miami 33-23 in their first game. The Patriots became a one-dimensional team in the opener. Tom Brady threw 56 times and the Patriots only rushed 20 times. I expect the Patriots to be more balanced in their offensive attack on Sunday.
Minnesota trounced the Rams 34-6 in Week 1. It’s an impressive victory but they did play against he combination of Shaun Hill and Austin Davis. I think the Vikings defense will struggle against Brady and having to defend a tight end like Rob Gronkowski.
The Patriots know they need this game after losing in Week 1. Bill Belichick will have his team ready and I think the Patriots win by a touchdown.
Pick: Patriots (-3) over Vikings
The Dolphins are giving one point in this game. I think the wrong team is the favorite. Luckily for Miami they don’t have to play in Buffalo when it’s cold in November or December.
Both teams are coming off big wins in Week 1. The Dolphins got a huge game from Knowshon Moreno in their 33-23 win over New England. Lamar Miller also contributed to the Miami’s 191 rushing yards on the afternoon. The Bills shocked the Bears 23-20 in overtime. E.J. Manuel looked a lot better than he did last season and Buffalo recorded 193 rushing yards of their own.
I see both teams trying to run the football in this game. I think the Bills defensive line that includes Mario Williams, Kyle Williams and Marcell Dareus will slow down Moreno and Miller. Manuel will manage the game and the Bills will win a lower scoring game.
Pick: Bills (+1) over Dolphins
The Steelers renew their rivalry with the Ravens on Thursday night in Week 2. There will be plenty of negative story lines before this game after the release of Ray Rice. The running back would’ve been suspended for this game but his release is an extra distraction that might be tough for the Ravens to overcome.
Baltimore lost in Week 1 to the Cincinnati 23-16. The Ravens were fortunate that the Bengals offense settled for five first half field goals. The Ravens ended up running 85 plays and average 4.9 yards per play. The Bengals averaged 5.9 yards per play.
The Steelers played a dominant first half against the Browns and led 27-3 going into halftime. Then they fell apart and the game was tied early in the fourth quarter. They ended up kicking a field goal at the buzzer to win but it wasn’t encouraging that they lost the lead. Maybe they were thinking ahead to the Ravens game but it’s still inexcusable from Mike Tomlin’s team.
The last five meetings in this series has been decided by three points or less. Last season the Ravens won by two points at home against the Steelers. I think this game will be decided by a field goal or less again and the Steelers will win straight up.
Pick: Steelers (+3) over Ravens