The final games for Week 2 for the 2023 NFL season have arrived. Tonight we have a double-header on Monday Night Football. First up is the Saints visiting the Panthers in an NFC South matchup. Our friends at DraftKings Sportsbook have the Saints as 3-point favorites in the first game.
In the second game, the Browns travel to Pittsburgh to take on the Browns. DraftKings Sportsbook has the Browns as 2-point favorites in the nightcap game.
This is an open thread for game chat.
Let’s see how the BTB staff picked the game.
Here are their thoughts on why they made their pick.
Dave Halprin: The Saints are the pick here because the Panthers are starting a rookie QB on a team that doesn’t have a ton of weapons. Take the Browns over the Steelers because the Browns have the better QB and the Steelers did not look good in Week 1. Both winning teams should cover.
Matt Holleran: Both the Saints and Panthers are coming off pretty disappointing performances in Week 1. While the Saints did end up beating the Titans, their offense did not inspire much confidence in their team as a whole. The Panthers struggled to take care of the football and protect their quarterback Bryce Young, and I think we see that trend continue tonight. The Saints’ defense forces some turnovers and the offense does just enough. Give me the Saints, 23-17.
The Browns are looking to build over their Week 1 win against the division-rival Bengals as they travel to Pittsburgh to take on the Steelers. Pittsburgh looked abysmal in Week 1 on both sides of the ball, and I think we see more struggles from their offense tonight. Kenny Pickett and the Steelers struggle to move the ball and the Browns pull away late. Give me the Browns, 26-17.
David Howman: The score may not have reflected it, but the Saints played well against the Titans last week. They struggled to put the ball in the endzone, as can be expected with a new QB, but Derek Carr should have a better time against a banged up Panthers secondary. And the Saints defense remains very good, so I’ll take New Orleans 28-10.
The Browns present the same problem to the Steelers as the 49ers did last week, which is a great pass rush against a below-average OL. Kenny Pickett will be running for his life while the Steelers defense will have a hard time without perennial All-Pro Cameron Heyward. Browns win 24-13.
Tom Ryle: I think the Saints look to be on a rising trajectory, while the Panthers are still trying to figure a whole lot out. It feels weird to talk about Derek Carr as a significant advantage, but it’s true. I think Nawlins wins by 10 or so.
I’d say it is easy to take the Browns over a Steelers team that looked so bad, but consider what the New York Football Giants did yesterday after being mauled by the Cowboys. This should be closer than many expect - but I think the Browns manage to win by a field goal.
RJ Ochoa: The NFC South is a very strange place and I do not trust anything about it. That being said, the Saints do seem to have their stuff together a bit more than anybody else. Give me New Orleans in the game that nobody will watch given the other choice. Final score something along the lines of 19-13.
You can count me among those who believed in the Pittsburgh Steelers and among those who were spooked by their Week 1 performance. Cleveland’s defense just seems like it will be too much for the Steelers to handle. I’ll take the Browns, 20-10.
Brian Martin: Division rivalry games are always a tossup, but the New Orleans Saints are clearly the better team right now. The Carolina Panthers might be able to keep the score close, but in the end New Orleans will be the one walking away with the “W”.
This Week 2 matchup between the division rival Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers could be a flip of the coin. Neither team seems to be really much better than the other, so I’m basing my pick this week on the team at the more established/proven QB and the best RB. Give me the Browns in a close one.
OCC: NO @ CAR: Big difference in EPA/play for each QB tonight. Derek Carr (+0.14) had a better start than Bryce Young (-0.25), so I’m taking the Saints.
CLE @ PIT: Going with my gut on this one. In 2023, there is no shame in losing against the 49ers or Cowboys, so I think Pittsburgh will bounce back from the Week 1 loss against the 49ers, especially at home. The Browns had a Week 1 win against a slumping Bengals squad, Pittsburgh will be a different challenge.