NFL Week 2: Overcoming The Odds – 3 Games to Watch

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Richard Graves

Presenter, Writer and Broadcaster

Washington to Command Respect in Detroit.

Big Trouble in Big D & the Vikings to Clip Eagles Wings on Monday Night Football!


Washington Commanders (1-0) @ Detroit Lions (0-1) (Commanders +1.5)

The Commanders are coming off a thrilling come from behind win over the Jaguars and now head to Detroit as underdogs?  Maybe it’s the hype the Lions generated on Hard Knocks, maybe it’s the fighting spirit they showed in defeat to the Eagles. Either way, the point is until this team actually starts winning games, it all counts for nought.

QB Carson Wentz is much maligned, but he gave Washington belief last weekend.  Belief they now have a quarterback who can engineer a game winning drive. Belief that this team is better offensively than it was last season. Don’t get me wrong, we’ve only seen one game for both of these teams, and it would be wrong to jump to any conclusions, but the bottom line is, one team found a way to win last weekend. The other continues to lose.

From Detroit, we saw what we already knew, namely running back DeAndre Swift can move the ball on the ground while wide receiver, Amon-Ra St. Brown can make big plays in the air.

Washington though, have a new weapon to compliment a QB with a big arm, Rookie WR Jahan Dotson hauled in 2 TD catches and made plays when his team needed it most.

Commanders head coach, Ron Rivera is renowned for producing good defensive units and now the Commanders appear to have an offense which can at the very least compliment that.  On the other hand, Detroit have character, they have passion but as yet, that isn’t translating into wins. This will be a game their head coach, Dan Campbell will have highlighted as one he believes they can take but……seeing is believing and we’ve yet to see it.

Pick: Washington Commanders (+1.5)


Cincinnati Bengals (0-1) @ Dallas Cowboys (0-1) (Bengals -7.5)

The Bengals turned in one of the worst offensive displays in recent memory in defeat to the Steelers last week with QB Joe Burrow throwing 4 interceptions and losing a fumble.  Even so, he nearly overcame all that to pull off an unlikely win, throwing for 338 yards and 2 touchdowns.  On Sunday, he aims to throw for at least 325 yards and 2 TDs for the 4th straight game!

Running back, Joe Mixon led the team with 145 scrimmage yards. While star WR Ja’Marr Chase hauled in 10 catches for 129 yards and a touchdown.

What the Dallas Cowboys would give for those stats. As bad as the Bengals might feel they were, the Cowboys were worse! Dallas were the only team in week 1 not to score a touchdown.  They didn’t make a single trip to the red zone and were held to a meagre 3 points in the entire game against the Buccaneers.

All this from an offense which was ranked no. 1 in the NFL last season. An inept performance compounded by the loss of QB Dak Prescott for at least the next month with a broken thumb.  An already fragile offensive line which lost another starting player and injuries to the defensive side of the ball as well.

In truth, Micah Parsons is the one Cowboys player, Burrow and the Bengals offense need to be aware of at all times. If they account for him, last season’s AFC Champions should get their season up and running – and comfortably cover the spread .

Pick: Cincinnati Bengals (-7.5)


Minnesota Vikings (1-0) @ Philadelphia Eagles (1-0) (Vikings +2.5)

There’s a lot of excitement surrounding the Philadelphia Eagles right now.  They put up 38 points in a road win against Detroit. Big off-season acquisition, AJ Brown showed fans a glimpse of the talent that accompanied the excitement surrounding his arrival – totalling 155 receiving yards on 10 receptions – and now a raucous crowd awaits at the Linc on Monday Night Football!

For those of us who are a little cautious, it’s because that opening weekend win WAS over Detroit. It’s because they nearly allowed the Lions back into the game and it’s because the Minnesota Vikings looked very impressive in their opening weekend win over the Packers.

The Vikings, under new head coach, Kevin O’Connell were superior on both sides of the ball – stifling Aaron Rodgers with their defense while receiver Justin Jefferson lit up Green Bay’s secondary. Recording 9 catch for 182 yards and 2 TDs.  Admittedly, this was in the relative comfort of their indoor stadium, but it was a statement performance none the less.

Monday night’s atmosphere will be a little different but let’s not forget, the Eagles are in the NFC East – arguably the worst division in football last season. While home field is an advantage for Philly, a Vikings road win would certainly put the rest of the NFL on notice. Either way, giving Minnesota 2.5 points appears generous.

Pick: Minnesota Vikings (+2.5)

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