I actually had a really great start to the season! That’s wild because typically, the first few weeks are a wreck and I end up behind the eight ball. The ONE season I’m not competing with anyone, I do well. Unreal.
Quick note, I don’t include ties in my pick record. I picked a team to win and a team to lose, therefore I got the pick wrong. So last week’s Arizona/Detroit debacle goes in the L column for me.
Last Week’s Record: 10-6
Overall Record: 10-6
LOCK Record: 1-0
Ryan’s NFL Picks (2019): Week Two
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Carolina Panthers: Carolina Panthers
I can’t wait for this game. Not because I think it’ll be good or even watchable, but because it means that god awful Thursday Night Football commercial will stop. It’s so cringy it makes me wish 1,000 years of darkness on both teams. Also, trying to pretend Ndamukong Suh is still a relevant pass rusher in 2019 is uh… something.
But the Panthers looked pretty solid last week, and just got outplayed and out-coached by a vastly superior team. Meanwhile the Buccaneers lost a game of exchanging pick sixes because they threw more interceptions. I look for Christian McCaffrey to eat YAC and for Jameis Winston to eat an L on this one.
Dallas Cowboys @ Washington Redskins: Dallas Cowboys
The Dallas Cowboys are going to feast on mediocre NFC East talent for the second straight week when they run up the score on the Washington Redskins. They tore the Giants apart last week and Ezekiel Elliott wasn’t even 100% yet. If I thought picking against the Redskins was going to be something I didn’t do often, this would be my lock for the week…
But it’s not.
Indianapolis Colts @ Tennessee Titans: Indianapolis Colts
I know the Colts lost last week, but I think Frank Reich made a statement. True, Andrew Luck is gone, and Jacoby Brissett isn’t quite as good, but the Colts were still going to compete. Weirdly, it was just legendary kicker Adam Vinatieri that prevented them from winning, missing two field goals and an extra point. Meanwhile, the Tennessee Titans destroyed the perhaps over-hyped Cleveland Browns with relative ease.
I still think the Colts are the better team. The veteran quarterback-turned-coach does a better job of putting together a game-plan and putting it on the field than the linebacker-turned coach, Mike Vrabel and the Colts put up more points in a close game.
Seattle Seahawks @ Pittsburgh Steelers: Pittsburgh Steelers
I know it’s all doom and gloom in Pittsburgh right now, and the typical boo-birds want Mike Tomlin gone and everyone traded, but all is not lost. The New England Patriots figure to be one of the best teams in the NFL this year, and historically speaking, the Steelers do not play as well on the road as they do at home.
The same is true for the Seattle Seahawks, who struggled with the Cincinnati Bengals of all teams, IN Seattle last week. Both the Steelers and Seahawks are talented, well-coached teams that will probably find themselves in the playoff picture when the weather gets cold, but I don’t quite have a finger on the pulse for them yet.
I’m picking the Steelers because in a way, getting blown out by the Patriots is better than barely beating the Bengals. Plus the Antonio Brown hype this week is negative and not their problem anymore.
Buffalo Bills @ New York Giants: Buffalo Bills
This is a bit of a spicy pick, but I’m all in (hey Tony Khan, how ya doin?) on the Bills defense. They managed to win a game where their quarterback, secretly-a-tight-end-the-whole-time Josh Allen turned the ball over like it was his job. If they can contain Saquon Barkley, not an easy task, I think the Bills actually start the season 2-0.
And hey, Coach McDermott, two words- Devin Singletary. Don’t forget ’em.
New England Patriots @ Miami Dolphins: New England Patriots
Last week, the Patriots won by 30. The Dolphins lost by 49. That’s a 79 point difference in result. Play this game in Miami, play it in New England, play it on Mars, I don’t care, don’t watch this game unless you love the Patriots or hate the Dolphins.
Arizona Cardinals @ Baltimore Ravens: Baltimore Ravens
I’m still not on the Lamar Jackson bandwagon, but I anticipate another big week from the Ravens offense. They’re back in Baltimore, hosting a team that only barely got it together against a bad Lions team and couldn’t finish. The Ravens defense is tough, fast, and smart. I can’t foresee them getting tricked by gimmicks. I don’t know if they put up as many points as last week, but I’d absolutely start Baltimore’s defense in fantasy.
San Francisco 49ers @ Cincinnati Bengals: Cincinnati Bengals
This is a gross game that I have no intention of watching, however, I will take the Cincinnati Bengals. I don’t buy the 49er defense as much as I’m selling the Tampa Bay offense. Meanwhile the Bengals almost looked like a decent team last week and they finally got production out of John Ross.
I’m pretty unsure about this pick, but at the very least, I’ll give the Bengals a chance to prove me right. Plus, I just can’t stand Jimmy Garoppolo and his uncontrollably unjustified hype.
Los Angeles Chargers @ Detroit Lions: Los Angeles Chargers
This one is an easy call for me. The Detroit Lions blew a big lead against Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals last week, how are they supposed to contain Philip Rivers and the Chargers? Melvin Gordon will watch from home as his team continues to put up big numbers without him.
Minnesota Vikings @ Green Bay Packers: Minnesota Vikings
This is an iffy pick, but I’m riding with my preseason prediction that the Minnesota Vikings win this division. Sure, the game isn’t in Minnesota, and they don’t play as well outdoors, but I’m just gonna stick with my gut here and say they can pull it off. We’ll see.
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Houston Texans: Houston Texans
With Nick Foles, maybe this game is more competitive, but without him, it’s not looking great. The Texans were late-game heroics away from beating Drew Brees and company, so I can’t imagine them losing to Gardner Minshew. Though, DeAndre Hopkins vs. Jalen Ramsey should be a fun match-up to watch.
Kansas City Chiefs @ Oakland Raiders: Kansas City Chiefs
It took 150% of my will to pick Kansas City in this game. I really, really wanted to pick Oakland. I thought about how Gardner Minshew min-chewed up their defense and he’s not in Derek Carr‘s universe. Sure, Mahomes will score 28 points, but could the Raiders score 30? They didn’t seem to struggle with a much better defense coached by Vic Fangio, after all.
But the Raiders still almost lost that game. If DaeSean Hamilton catches that touchdown, the Raiders are in a big fight after being up 14-0 at the half. Even if the Raiders contain Sammy Watkins and Travis Kelce, the Chiefs will find other ways to score, and unless they CHEW clock with Josh Jacobs, I don’t know that they can keep up. Hopefully I’m wrong.
New Orleans Saints @ Los Angeles Rams: Los Angeles Rams
Maybe if this game were in New Orleans, I’d pick the other way, but outdoors, even in a half-empty arena, I’m still taking the Rams. Over/under on how many times the non-pass interference is shown?? I’m guessing 15.
Chicago Bears @ Denver Broncos: Chicago Bears
Have you ever seen the Spider-Man meme where Spider-Man points at Spider-Man? Because that’s what we have here. Two teams with scary pass rushes and questionable offenses. The only difference being that Chicago’s pass rush actually showed up last week, killing Aaron Rodgers in a losing effort, while Denver’s didn’t get a single hit on Derek Carr.
Though honestly I’m picking Chicago because they got too cute in a losing effort last week. If they get back to basics on offense, they should be able to score enough points to win. Meanwhile, Joe Flacco is so immobile, we’re almost definitely going to see Khalil Mack‘s first sack… and maybe even his second, this weekend.
Philadelphia Eagles @ Atlanta Falcons: Philadelphia Eagles (LOCK OF THE WEEK)
I’m still a big believer in the Atlanta Falcons, but last week, they looked really, really bad. Meanwhile the Philadelphia Eagles started slow and exploded towards the end of the game. I think this game could actually turn into a pretty fun shootout, just given how deep Atlanta’s receiving corps is and how questionable Philadelphia’s secondary is.
But I’m all aboard two teams from the NFC East making the playoffs and the Eagles are one of them. They looked nearly unbeatable in the second half of that Redskins game, and I think they destroy the Falcons on Sunday Night Football.
Oh! And why is this my lock? Because the people in the Ryan Smith Debacle Chat for Elite Boys and Girls said I couldn’t pick the same team to lose in my lock pick every week. So we decided I could only pick the same team (to lose) as a lock twice this year. That means I can only pick the Dolphins one more time! Embarrassing. So I’m gonna save my bad team locks for the end of the year and bank on the Eagles being dominant.
Just for those following at home, if I’m wrong and the Falcons win, I have to do whatever the guys in the Ryan Smith Debacle Chat for Elite Boys and Girls tell me to do. Here’s hoping they show mercy.
Cleveland Browns @ New York Jets: Cleveland Browns
Last week, the Browns lost, but they weren’t beaten. Sure, the Tennessee Titans scored way, way more points and the game was over long before it was over, but they weren’t responsible for Cleveland’s loss. The team that came in on Sunday and beat the Cleveland Browns was the Cleveland Browns.
Stupid penalties absolutely derailed this team, and having a starting lineman get ejected is never ever a good thing. This is why we worried about Freddie Kitchens coming into this season, maybe coaching a team with this much fire and this many personalities is too big of a challenge for him.
However, at least he didn’t go on a conference call and trash his own players like Adam Gase did. I still think the Browns are a talented, talented team, and Odell Beckham Jr’s return to New York should be a spectacle. Should the Browns lose this game, however, we may have to revisit their place as an up-and-coming team for now.