DOLPHINS at JETS 1 p.m., Jets by 3, 45½
HANK’S HONEYS: The Jets look legit. Sam Darnold’s arm is activating a potent downfield passing game and it’s as well balanced a team as the Jets have had since the Rex Ryan years – without the circus. It’s a good idea to ride them until the oddsmakers lose their skepticism. Ryan Tannehill’s return under center makes them better but they’re still non-descript in most areas. Jets were a league-best 7-1 ATS at home last season while the Fish were 2-6 ATS on road. Look for that to continue this week.
The Dolphins‘ Victory Tour stops in Week 2. Don’t consider this an overreaction to the Jets‘ demolition of the Lions in Detroit, either. Pound for pound, New York’s roster is certainly comparable with Miami’s, including at quarterback. If Miami is to pull off the road win, Kenyan Drake must take advantage of the Jets‘ so-so OLBs, and Frank Gore needs to churn out quality yards, even if he only puts up a 50-spot for the game. One factor that could make this a much tighter contest: Gang Green’s secondary, which got nicked up Monday night and is still waiting for Marcus Maye to make his 2018 debut. After all, this is a short week for that group. That’s OK. J-E-T-S … Jets, Jets, Jets.
Cameron Wolfe’s pick: The Jets are riding the high of a primetime blowout road win over Detroit, but this is still the same team we had a lot of question marks about to start the season. Miami’s pass rush duo of Cameron Wake and Robert Quinnshould have more success against the Jets offensive line, and the Dolphins secondary might be able to fool Sam Darnold into a few turnovers on Sunday. Kenyan Drake and Frank Gore should lead the Dolphins to a road upset. Dolphins 20, Jets 19
Rich Cimini’s pick: Darnold, blitzed only four times and contacted just twice by the Lions in the opener, will have a tougher time against a Miami defense that will take some chances. Wake is an absolute Jets killer — 10.5 career sacks and four forced fumbles. The Jets have lost seven of their last 10 at home to Miami. The Jets are on a short week and haven’t proved they can handle prosperity. Dolphins 23, Jets 20
FPI win projection: NYJ, 62 percent. No team received a stronger FPI rating upgrade after Week 1 than the Jets, who blew out the Lions. Darnold posted a Total QBR of 84.2 in his debut, which ranked third among all quarterbacks.
CHARGERS at BILLS 1 p.m., Chargers by 7, 44½
HANK’S HONEYS: Normally, you wouldn’t jump on a team that has to fly coast-to-coast, giving more than a TD, and facing a team in its home opener. But after the Bills’ putrid Week 1 performance, it’s shocking they’re not 10-point dogs. Josh Allen is getting the start, but he will be facing a Chargers pass rush that is currently ranked ninth in the league even without star DE Joey Bosa. During his collegiate career, Allen averaged a QB rating of 73.4 against the blitz (NCAA average is 90.8) and that number most certainly will not get better this quickly in the NFL. Philip Rivers has feasted on the Buffalo defense in his career with 10 TD passes against one INT and a 110.1 passer rating. And after the Chargers rolled up 545 yards of offense in a loss to the Chiefs, this is the perfect spot to turn that production into a huge win.
IF I WERE A BETTING MAN: Chargers and the over
The Bills get off to a fast start in this one with a couple of defensively fueled scores. (I’m seeing a Tre’Davious White pick-six.) Then Philip Rivers and the Chargers get the offense moving. Love what little-known RB Austin Ekeler adds to the unit. Sure, Buffalo won’t have to face Joey Bosa — but the Bills‘ offense isn’t at the point that it can take advantage of something like that. One area Buffalo should definitely attack (or try to attack) is the Bolts’ middle. Give the chicken-wired offensive line a chance to hit people and get into the flow of the game. Give LeSean McCoy, who didn’t accomplish much in Baltimore, the rock (like 30 times?). Of course, it’s kind of hard for a running back to make hay when down by 44 points. Josh Allen gets a chance to improve on that performance in his starting debut. Let’s hope this deal goes better than the last time a Buffalo QB got his first career start against the Chargers.
Eric D. Williams’ pick: The Chargers face the Bills for the second consecutive year, with Buffalo’s quarterback — rookie first-round pick Josh Allen — making his first NFL start. The Bills hope Allen’s debut does not go as badly as last season, when Nathan Peterman threw five interceptions in the first half. The Chargers are the better team and hungry for their first win after a humbling defeat to the Chiefs at home in their season opener last week. The Chargers have defeated the Bills in their last three meetings. Chargers 27, Bills 20
Mike Rodak’s pick: Joey Bosa, who pressured or hit Peterman on all five of his interceptions last season, will not play Sunday. Neither will Eric Wood and Richie Incognito, the Bills’ two best offensive linemen from last season’s game who both retired. With Allen making his first career start, the Chargers still have the advantage. Chargers 27, Bills 17
FPI win projection: LAC, 70 percent. It didn’t take long for the Bills to hand the reins to Allen. FPI sees Allen as a substantial improvement over Peterman. Had Buffalo stuck with Peterman, FPI would have given the Bills a less than 20 percent chance to win.
PATRIOTS at JAGUARS 4:25 p.m., 1, 45½
HANK’S HONEYS: All the betting trends favor the Pats, who have won 21 straight games against the AFC South. But the difference between this one and last year’s AFC title game is that the Jags have the home-field advantage. The stadium will be as electric as it ever with a huge revenge factor that usually shows up on the defensive side of the ball. That defense has the ability to get after Tom Brady and limit Rob Gronkowski and, even if Leonard Fournette doesn’t play, Blake Bortles should do just enough to win an intense, low-scoring game.
IF I WERE A BETTING MAN: Jaguars and the under
This sucker made my “Top 18 games of the 2018 season” back in April. It’s an enticing matchup that should come down to the wire — unless the Jaguars‘ defense absolutely controls the engagement. Put another way: If the Patriots are to win, it will be in a close contest where Tom Brady engineers a couple of clutch fourth-quarter drives. However, if Jacksonville plays its best football in front of the raucous DUUUUUVAL residents — and if Leonard Fournette is healthy — this game could get ugly for Bill Belichick’s group. None of the Pats’ wide receivers are superior one-on-one players when compared to the Jags’ DBs. Put Jalen Ramsey on Rob Gronkowski to counter that strategic advantage. So, what’s the issue with this prediction, and the score? The uncertainty of Fournette’s hamstring.
Mike Reiss’ pick: Leonard Fournette’s tweaked hamstring is a huge development in favor of the Patriots. Couple that with encouraging signs from the Pats’ pass protection against a tough Texans defense in the opener — which they’ll need against an equally impressive Jaguars defense in an electric environment — and it’s enough for me to take the plunge. Patriots 23, Jaguars 17
Michael DiRocco’s pick: Even if Fournette is able to play, he’s unlikely to be at full strength, which has a huge impact on the Jaguars’ offense. Coach Doug Marrone said this is the best T.J. Yeldon has looked in his four seasons with the team, but he’s not Fournette. The defense’s No. 1 priority is limiting Rob Gronkowski, and they are the one team in the league that has the personnel to do that. Jaguars 17, Patriots 14
FPI win projection: JAX, 50.2 percent. Jacksonville’s high-profile defense got off to a solid start, ranking fifth in efficiency in Week 1 against the Giants. Obviously, Week 2 is a tougher test.
What to watch for in fantasy: Phillip Dorsett ran a route on 37 of the Patriots’ 41 pass plays in Week 1. The massive playing time in an offense led by Tom Brady means Dorsett has vaulted onto the fantasy radar
Last week 2-1, Season total 2-1
Dolphins @ Jets: 30-13
Jets will continue their balanced play on offense against a team that cannot stop the run. Crowell and Powell will be huge factors in this one. Jets D is too fast for very weak OL. RT will have a rough day trying to buy time to find lone real target in Stills.
Chargers @ Bills: 33-10
Bills start Josh Allen, home crowd may help a little, but the O will remain horrific. Chargers are clearly the better team all around
Patriots @ Jaguars: 20-13
The time to surprise the Patriots was last week, except the Texans reverted back to sucking. Jags have a tough D, but a poor O. This game will be low scoring, but the Pats are still the better team and win.