The (Under) Dogs Are Barking: Week 2

Photo credit: Andrew Nelles-The Tennessean via USA TODAY Sports

And just like that, we’re on to “Week 2 Overreaction.” After one week, we know absolutely everything we need to know about all 32 teams, right? The Vikings, Seahawks, and Giants are frauds, while the Browns, Raiders, and Rams are way better than advertised.

But of course, that’s not how it works. The first week or two is always a bit hinky and it’s way too early to make any grand pronouncements, such as the fact that at my current pace, I’ll finish the season with a 36-18 record picking the dogs.

Here’s my Week 2 litter:

Seahawks +4½ at Lions

Seattle is looking to erase a bizarre second half against LA, where they somehow mustered only three yards of offense until garbage time. They are dealing with injuries to their tackles, but should be able to move the ball just fine against Detroit. Remember last year’s matchup? A 48-45 Seattle win in the Motor City.

The Lions have had ten days to pat themselves on the back for edging the Chiefs, who were playing without two all-world players and who’d forgotten that Kadarius Toney plays without hands. Seattle comes in the more angry, humbled, embarrassed team, and they’ll keep this one close. Since 2012, teams off a double digit loss going on the road to play a team that’s not coming off a double digit loss are 24-1 ATS. Sign me up. (The Bears qualify this week, too.)

Titans +3 vs. Chargers

Tennessee was good to me last week (thank you Mike Vrabel, for kicking a field goal down four points late in the game — it’s much appreciated). They always have my attention when they’re underdogs and they’re in a good spot here against the Chargers, whose defense looked completely lost and disinterested against the Dolphins. Their pass rush should have the edge here, but they should have last week, too, when Miami was without stud tackle Terron Armstead.

LA may not have Austin Ekeler, who’s dealing with an ankle injury, which could make Justin Herbert a bit more one dimensional and prone to make a mistake or two against an aggressive Titans front seven. But this one is simple: The Titans are great as dogs (Vrabel is 24-9-1 ATS as a dog of three or more) and the Chargers are historically terrible as favorites. LA will start 0-2, but don’t bury them just yet — after all, they get to play the Vikings next week.

Rams + 7½ vs. 49ers

There may not have been a more impressive opening week performance than the hurt the Niners put on Mike Tomlin’s Steelers. They’re already being anointed as the team to beat in the NFC, since Brock Purdy appeared to be their only wild card leading into the season and he looked like the same guy who won all of his starts last season.

Everyone assumes the Rams are in full tank mode, with Cooper Kupp sidelined and the loss of some of their defensive leaders. But they still have Aaron Donald, and he should wreak havoc against San Francisco’s mediocre interior offensive line. And Matthew Stafford looked rejuvenated last week, hooking up with guys named Puka and Tutu. San Fran’s defense is fantastic, but their secondary is not and Sean McVay will find its weaknesses.

The Rams will lose their ninth straight regular season game in this series, but they’ll keep it competitive.

Last Week: 2-1

Season: 2-1

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Photo credit: Andrew Nelles-The Tennessean via USA TODAY Sports

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