Metro predicts how the local NFL teams will fare in Week 2.
Philadelphia Eagles (-3) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Bad weather couldn’t put a damper on the Eagles’ season opener last week, as the defending Super Bowl champs stymied the Falcons at every turn and emerged with an 18-12 victory. The Buccaneers’ Week 1 win was vastly different, as they outgunned Drew Brees and the Saints in the Superdome, 48-40.
It seemed like the Saints’ defense regressed to it’s mid-decade form, as Ryan Fitzpatrick carved them up for 417 yards and four TDs (plus one rushing TD). New Orleans failed to register a sack and only hit Fitzpatrick twice. The Harvard product is unlikely to enjoy a repeat of that protection, as the vaunted Philly pass rush comes to town. Fletcher Cox and company tallied four sacks and 13 quarterback hits against Matt Ryan last Thursday.
The Eagles’ defense also limited Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman to 55 yards rushing in Week 1. Expect this unit to hoist Philly to a win and cover in Tampa while Nick Foles manages things on offense.
Sam Darnold and the Jets could not have been more impressive in their Monday night shellacking of the Lions. Meanwhile, the Dolphins scraped by the Titans on Sunday after enduring two separate two-hour weather delays. Miami might be forgiven for looking a little rusty given the circumstances, but they simply haven’t been a good bet lately, going 3-7-2 ATS in their last 12 games, per oddsshark.com. They’ve also dropped their last five ATS on the road. That plays right into New York’s hands, as “Sam’s Club” is 4-1 ATS in their last five at MetLife Stadium.
If Matt Stafford struggled at home against the Jets’ defense, then Ryan Tannehill has his work cut out for him on the road.
The pick: Jets -3
New England Patriots (-2) at Jacksonville Jaguars
This AFC Championship game rematch should be a barnburner. The Patriots have won 16 of their last 17 on the road, but EverBank Field has been a nightmarish venue for opposing teams of late, as the Jaguars have won five straight on their home turf.
Jacksonville’s defense wilted late in that January game, but the receivers that broke their backs, Danny Amendola and Brandin Cooks, are no longer in New England. Rob Gronkowski is Tom Brady’s most dangerous target that’s still around, but he caught just one pass against Jacksonville that day. And the Jaguars defense held the Patriots’ ground game to just 46 yards on 19 carries.
Leonard Fournette is questionable with a bad hamstring, but even if he can’t play, T.J. Yeldon should do enough to make New England respect the run. They were gashed for 167 yards against the Texans in Week 1.
The pick: Jaguars +2
New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys (-3)
Both the Giants and the Cowboys were left searching for answers on offense against elite defensive units in Jacksonville and Carolina in Week 1 losses. New York offered at least some flashes of talent, as Saquon Barkley broke off a 68-yard run and Odell Beckham Jr. caught 11 passes for 111 yards.
However, Dallas has had Big Blue’s number of late, as they’ve surrendered just 7.67 PPG to the Giants in their last three meetings. Ezekiel Elliott has averaged over 87 YPG against the Giants in three games, so perhaps if he can get something started that will reinvigorate Dak Prescott and the Cowboys’ passing game. Dallas is the selection, but the Under (42) might be the better bet.