There are plenty of new kids on the block this season, so week 2 of my NFL picks features a couple rookie quarterbacks.
The Buffalo Bills (+9.5) host Phillip Rivers and the Los Angeles Chargers. The name of the game in the NFL is quarterback play, but don’t be fooled by Josh Allen’s rookie status. While he has struggled at times during the preseason, he has showed enough flashes of talent to encourage me to take the points at home. I expect a conservative game plan to get the kid started, but don’t be surprised, later in the game, to see Buffalo utilize Allen’s monster arm to stretch the field. Nothing like the present to throw a rookie to the wolves, but this kid can play, so I am excited to see what he can do.
PICK: Buffalo plus 9.5.
Cleveland goes on the road having battled Pittsburgh last week to four quarters of football and an overtime period. New Orleans features a first-ballot Hall of Fame quarterback in Drew Brees while the Browns will counter with Tyrod Taylor, the former starter at Buffalo. Something just feels different about these Browns. While I know they were deeply disappointed to end up in a tie last week, they never flinched like Cleveland teams in the past. I don’t expect them to have a let down. In fact, I expect Cleveland to come out firing, proving once and for all that they have turned the corner.
PICK: Cleveland plus 9.
If you saw Sam Darnold play last week you know he is going to be something special. His first NFL pass resulted in a pick-6, but then he turned around and played beautifully in a dominating performance. Some guys have it and some don’t — this guy definitely has the “It” factor. Expect a big day out of Darnold at home against Miami’s Dolphins, cementing himself as a front runner early for Rookie of the Year.
PICK: New York Jets in a Pick Em game.