The (Under) Dogs Are Barking Week 2

Photo Credit: Chuck Cook (USA TODAY Sports)

The always unpredictable Week 1 is behind us and we somehow soared to a 3-0 start. If you’re new here, I pick three underdogs to cover each week. I almost had three outright winners, but the Texans and Falcons couldn’t close the deal like the Steelers did. Without further ado, here are this week’s picks:

Saints (+2 ½ ) vs. Buccaneers

Sure, I’d love to be getting three points at home, but the Saints won’t need the comforting extra half point. They’ve beaten the Bucs in all four regular season meetings against Tom Brady. Their defense knows how to give him fits and virtually every key player around Brady is questionable, including RT Tirstan Wirfs, WRs Mike Evans, Julio Jones and Russel Gage and RB Leonard Fournette. All missed a bunch of practice time. Did I mention Chris Godwin has already been ruled out? The Saints have some key guys banged up too, and will miss Cam Jordan. They needed about three quarters to wake up in Week 1, but Brady and the Bucs always get their attention. Saints win outright.

Jaguars (+3) vs. Colts

This number is dropping like a stone, opening at 4 ½. I still like it at three. The Colts continue to get too much credit. They should have lost last week, which would have put this number closer to one. Their top receiver Michael Pittman hasn’t practiced all week and the defense is still without Shaq Leonard and may not have DeForest Buckner. Meanwhile, Trevor Lawrence figures to feel more comfortable with one game in the new Doug Pederson system under his belt. Give me the divisional home dog that ended the Colts’ season on this field in the final week last season. The Colts will find their legs, but it will take a little time.

Falcons (+10) at Rams

The extra rest time and embarrassing Week 1 performance by the Rams gives me pause, but I think the Falcons can stay in this game. They dominated the Saints, leading 26-10 in the fourth quarter and then they remembered they’re the Falcons. They have a solid running attack and will look to shorten the game. Marcus Mariota has the legs to scamper away from Aaron Donald and I just don’t trust the Rams’ offensive line to look significantly better than it did in the opener. Atlanta’s defense isn’t great, but in Casey Hayward and AJ Terrell, they have two terrific corners who shouldn’t get torched by Cooper Kupp. It’s easy to believe the Rams will bounce back big against a bad team, and they’ll win. But it feels like a touchdown game at most to me.

Last Week: 3-0
Season: 3-0

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Photo Credit: Chuck Cook (USA TODAY Sports)

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