Reserve QB Lifts Surprising Bucs
There were a few upsets on the opening weekend of the NFL, but none bigger than the rout of the Bucs over the Saints in New Orleans.
The NFC South champs (-10) were the biggest favorites of all 16 games in Week 1. Tampa Bay, without their starting quarterback, stunned New Orleans 48-40.
Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for 417 yards and four touchdowns in a game which broke the 71-year record for most points scored by both teams in a regular-season opener. The 88 points narrowly eclipsed the former mark of 87 when Philadelphia edged Washington 45-42 in September 1947.
“I’m happy to announce: FitzMagic is alive and well,” Tampa Bay coach Dirk Koetter said of his 35-year-old reserve quarterback, who was starting for suspended 2015 first-overall draft choice Jameis Winston. “Quite a start, huh?”
No, that was an amazing start as many listed the Saints among their Top 10 Super Bowl contenders. The Bucs face another huge test this weekend when they face the Super Bowl champions on Sunday in their home opener.
Let’s take a look at a few top picks against the spread (odds provided by TopBet) and straight-up selections for all 16 games in Week 2.
Baltimore (Pick) over Cincinnati
The Bengals (1-0) won on the road on the opening weekend, while the Ravens (1-0) scored easily and often in their matchup.
This is a big game for both teams as these AFC North rivals meet for the first of two games this season. The Ravens will still have a bad taste in their mouth after the Bengals scored in the dying seconds in the last game of the 2017 regular season to oust Baltimore from the playoffs.
Ravens’ quarterback Joe Flacco has thrown 130 career interceptions and 23 have come against the Bengals. He must be better in this game in prime time on Thursday night.
Los Angeles Chargers (-7.5) over Buffalo
If Nathan Peterman starts this game for the Bills (0-1), it’s guaranteed to be a disaster. Last season at this time, the Buffalo QB threw for five interceptions in the first half against the Chargers.
How could it get worse? Peterman put up a 0.0 QB rating against the Ravens on Sunday in Baltimore as the Bills suffered the worst defeat in Week 1 47-3. The Bills are in big trouble and looking to be one of the worst teams in the league with this quarterback dilemma (terrible QB vs. rookie QB).
The Chargers (0-1) just have to show up and make few mistakes and they should cover the spread easily. Their receivers had issues with catching the ball in their home opener, but a game like this is where players rise to the occasion and pad their stats.
Straight-up Picks For Week 2
(Home team in caps. Go to TopBet for up-to-date moneyline odds).
Baltimore over CINCINNATI (Thursday night)
WASHINGTON over Indianapolis
ATLANTA over Carolina
Minnesota over GREEN BAY
Los Angeles Chargers over BUFFALO
Houston over TENNESSEE
Kansas City over PITTSBURGH
NEW YORK JETS over Miami
Philadelphia over TAMPA BAY
NEW ORLEANS over Cleveland
LOS ANGELES RAMS over Arizona
SAN FRANCISCO over Detroit
JACKSONVILLE over New England
DENVER at Oakland
New York Giants over DALLAS (Sunday night)
CHICAGO over Seattle (Monday night)