2019 NFL Gameweek 2 Predictions
It’s easy to make a snap judgement following the first week of the season. This time last year, Seattle Seahawks, Chicago Bears and Dallas Cowboys all flopped in their week one game but each went on to make the postseason - whereas the teams that beat them, Denver Broncos, Green Bay Packers and Carolina Panthers did not.
A single week does not define an entire season of the NFL, however, it can set the tone. Blowout losses displayed by the Browns, Steelers and Falcons in week one does not mean to say that these teams will follow on to flop for the remainder of the season, but it does put them in a negative position. Similarly, strong wins secured by teams such as the Vikings and Ravens does not guarantee their success at the end of NFL 2019.
This bodes the question, who will climb their way up to the top of the league rankings and who will flop in week 2? As always, here are our early online betting predictions.
Game | Score at FT --- | --- | --- | --- | --- | --- Carolina Panthers v Tampa Bay Buccaneers | 21 - 10 Baltimore Ravens v Arizona Cardinals | 35 -24 Detroit Lions v Los Angeles Chargers| 14 - 17 Tennessee Titans v Indianapolis Colts | 21 - 27 Cincinnati Bengals v San Francisco 49ers | 16 - 21 Houston Texans v Jacksonville Jaguars | 24 - 21 Green Bay Packers v Minnesota Vikings | 31 - 28 Washington Redskins v Dallas Cowboys | 17 -27 Pittsburgh Steelers v Seattle Seahawks | 14 - 21 New York Giants v Buffalo Bills | 17 - 14 Miami Dolphins v New England Patriots | 14 - 35 Oakland Raiders v Kansas City Chiefs | 20 - 31 Los Angeles Rams v New Orleans Saints | 25 - 35 Denver Broncos v Chicago Bears | 13 -21 Atlanta Falcons v Philadelphia Eagles | 17 - 27 Cleveland Browns v New York Jets | 24 - 17
New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins
The Miami Dolphins are set to host the New England Patriots at the Hard Rock Stadium this Sunday (15th Sept), off the back of their drastic defeat of 59 - 10 at the hands of the Baltimore Ravens. This game features two AFC East divisional foes who currently stand at complete opposite ends of the spectrum, with the Patriots standing sweet after their easy handling of the Pittsburgh Steelers in week one, beating them with a staggering score of 33 - 3.
Not much went their way for the Dolphins in the opening week of the centenary season, managing a measly 200 total yards against Baltimore - with only 21 of them qualifying as rushing yards. From this, and the Patriots’ very solid week one win, it would be easy for us to say that this fixture is a sure win for New England - but looking back at the last 6 meetings between these two teams in Miami, the statistics say something different. Across the last six Miami-based meets, the Patriots average at 23 points/game vs a 25.3 points/game average held by the Dolphins so it’s understandable for fans to think the Dolphins could pull themselves back from their downfall last week.
However, Miami is a significantly weaker team since the last time these teams played and the Patriots are 2-3 straight up in their last 5 away games, plus it’s likely that after their 33 point drop against Pittsburgh, they’ll welcome Antonio Brown into the mix this week - making an already dangerous defence much stronger, providing Brown performs correctly and doesn’t become a distraction like he arguably had for his previous two teams.
It’s also arguable that this defensive line is one of the strongest we’ve seen from the Patriots in the last decade, giving them an even bigger advantage in this fixture regardless of their previous struggles playing in Miami.
New Orleans Saints vs Los Angeles Rams
This game bodes a high degree of contention for Saints fans following the close of the 2018 season.
It’s a common consensus among fans that the Saints certainly would have made it to the Super Bowl back in January if it hadn't been for glaringly obvious pass interference by the Rams being missed by officials in the NFC Championship Game and despite the NFL changing its reply rules, and a devastating defeat for the Rams against the Patriots in Super Bowl 53, Saints fans are still not ready for forgive and forget. In fact, many fans turned up to the Saints’ week one game against the Texans wearing referee uniforms as a sign of protest.
However, better revenge for New Orleans would be a win over the Rams in week two of the centenary NFL season, but it’s difficult to say whether or not they’ll be able to pull off a win in LA with the Saints yet to make their seasonal debut and the Rams squeezing out a tight 30 - 27 win against Carolina in week one. The deciding factor for the Saints in this game could very well be how Alvin Kamara fares against a Rams running defence which proved to be pretty poor last season, giving up 128 yards plus two touchdowns to Panthers Running Back Chris McCaffrey in his opening season.
So whilst the Rams hold a home-field advantage, New Orleans most definitely have something to prove - it wouldn’t be unsurprising to expect the Saints to win and cover in their opening game.
Cleveland Browns at New York Jets
The Cleveland Browns suffered a devastatingly painful loss to the Tennessee Titans on Sunday, swiftly ending any hype coming out of AFC North surrounding them since the draft. It’s easy to argue that Cleveland looked out of rhythm and overmatched by the Titans on Sunday, with many fans putting the drastic loss on the head of first-year head coach Freddie Kitchens.
However, the stark reality is that the Browns have undergone some major changes since the previous season, gaining some of the strongest players in the NFL but they haven’t had enough time to gel as a team. Strong but new players such as Odell Beckham Jr, Baker Mayfield and Jarvis Landry all saw little to no action during the pre-season run-up and the Browns are allowing too much talent to go to waste.
With players like this in their 2019 arsenal, Cleveland shouldn’t be struggling as much as they are and they should be able to show this in their Monday night game against the Jets.
Much like the Browns, the New York Jets are a team who are learning to use their players to their best advantage. They displayed impeccable defence against the Bills in week one, but quarterback Sam Darnold, finishing the game with 175 passing yards and a single touchdown, was nothing more than mediocre - the same applies to their offseason prize acquisition, running back Le’Von Bell, finishing with a total of just 92 yards and a single touchdown as well as averaging just 3.5 yards per carry.
Aside from Bell, the Jets are severely lacking in any top-tier offensive skill position players, whereas Cleveland have several. This is bound to make a major difference in this young-team battle in week two.
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All odds from the 21.co.uk online sportsbook are correct at time of writing.
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