We went below .500 in Week 1, but the results weren’t terrible: A 6-8-1 record, with one of the losses owing at least in part to Ryan Mallett making a surprise start under center for the Patriots as Tom Brady sat.
Week 2 gets started with the Bears and Jaguars Thursday night on ESPN, and there’s football every day until Monday, with eight games on national TV.
Here are Heavy’s Week 2 preseason picks. (All lines are via Bovada.)
THURSDAY, AUGUST 14
Jacksonville Jaguars (+4) at Chicago Bears, 8 p.m., ESPN
Both teams won their preseason openers both outright and against the spread. Jacksonville beat Tampa Bay 16-10 and the Bears beat the Eagles 34-28.
Rookie Blake Bortles was impressive his NFL debut for the Jags and figures to get plenty of action Thursday in relief of Chad Henne, who remains atop the depth chart despite a push from Bortles.
We like Bortles and were impressed with Jacksonville’s defense last week, but we like Chicago at home enough to take the Bears and give the points.
Heavy’s Pick: Bears 24, Jaguars 16
FRIDAY, AUGUST 15
Philadelphia Eagles (+1 1/2) at New England Patriots, 7:30 p.m., NFL Network
Both teams lost outright and against the spread in week 1 — the Eagles 34-28 at Chicago as 1 1/2-point underdogs, and the Pats 23-6 at Washington as 2 1/2-point dogs. Neither starting QB figures to play a lot, but with Brady under center for at least a series or 2, we’ll take the Pats as only modest home favorites.
Heavy’s Pick: Patriots 23, Eagles 20
Tennesse Titans (+3) at New Orleans Saints, 8 p.m.
The Saints covered and won outright in St. Louis last week despite starting Luke McCown over an injured Drew Brees under center. (They got help in winning outright 28-26 from a bizarre botched spiking that led to a missed 59-yard field goal attempt.)
Tennessee, meanwhile, edged Green Bay 20-16 and covered on a rainy night in Nashville in which Matt Flynn started for the visitors.
We liked Tennessee’s defensive effort last week, but with Brees back under center, we’ll take the home team in their dome opener.
Heavy’s Pick: Saints 34, Titans 27
Detroit Lions (+3) at Oakland Raiders, 10 p.m.
The Lions slogged their way through a 13-12 win last week at Ford Field in a game dominated by talk about Johnny Manziel. The offense was anything but impressive: Detroit scored only one touchdown — a 21-yard strike from Kellen Moore to Corey Fuller with 1:05 left in the game that put the Lions on top. But that was with Calvin Johnson on the bench and Matthew Stafford playing only one series.
Things were even uglier last week for the Raiders, who came in as 3 1/2-point underdogs and lost 10-6 — barely missing the cover — at Minnesota.
It’s unclear whether Johnson, who’s recovering from offseason finger surgery, will play. Either way, though, we like the Lions. This won’t be a bloodbath, but Detroit will have enough to cover.
Heavy’s Pick: Lions 22, Raiders 17
San Diego Chargers (+6) at Seattle Seahawks, 10 p.m.
It’s unlikely San Diego will be as impressive this week as it was last week, when the Bolts covered with ample room to spare in a 27-7 thrashing of the Cowboys that featured a breakout performance by undrafted rookie Branden Oliver.
Winning in Seattle won’t be easy, but this is a big line — 2 points bigger than any other game. With that in mind, we’ll take the champs to win but the Bolts to cover.