After quarterback Andy Dalton injured his knee on a scramble last week, Coach Matt Nagy said the rookie Justin Fields will start Sunday against the Browns (1-1). Excitement over Fields dominated training camp and the preseason, and he could slide in as starter for the Bears (1-1).
He’ll need to play well to match the Browns, who have scored at least 28 points in their first two games. Wide receiver Jarvis Landry must miss at least three games on injured reserve with a knee injury, and Odell Beckham’s status is still unclear as he continues to recover from knee surgery. Still, the Browns’ defense could fluster a rookie quarterback into a mistake or two. Pick: Browns -7.5
Atlanta Falcons at Giants, 1 p.m., FOX
Line: Giants -3 | Total: 48.5
If Saquon Barkley’s limited production through the first two weeks (83 rushing yards on 23 carries) continues, then Daniel Jones may find success against the Falcons (0-2), whose defense has allowed eight passing touchdowns. Jones must continue to protect the ball, as he did last week, and his receivers cannot drop touchdowns, as Darius Slayton did last week against Washington.
Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan has already thrown three interceptions and it’s clear that the Falcons are in rebuilding mode. The Giants (0-2), while still winless, are hoping to compete in the N.F.C. East so it’s reasonable to think they’ll be fired up to get a win at home. But considering the Giants’ unpredictability with mistakes and penalties, the Falcons could at least make this one competitive. Pick: Falcons +3
Arizona Cardinals at Jacksonville Jaguars, 1 p.m., Fox
Line: Cardinals -7.5 | Total: 52
Winning in the N.F.L. is hard. It is unlikely that the first-time N.F.L. coach Urban Meyer and the rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence — two men who rarely lost in college — will find it any easier to get their first N.F.L. win against the Cardinals (2-0).
Arizona quarterback Kyler Murray has made an early case for the Most Valuable Player Award, ranking second in total passing yards (689) and touchdowns (7). His aerial onslaught should continue against the Jaguars (0-2) whose defense has allowed nearly 300 passing yards in each of their first two games. The Jaguars’ team Twitter account this week posted a message from Meyer that promised, “we’re going to get better.” He didn’t say it’d be this week. Pick: Cardinals -7.5
Washington Footballers at Buffalo Bills, 1 p.m., Fox
Line: Bills -10 | Total: 45.5
This isn’t the Giants’ defense that Washington quarterback Taylor Heinicke torched for 336 yards. Heinicke and the Football Team (1-1) will collide with a Buffalo defense that has not allowed an opposing team to throw for 200 yards. Against the Bills (1-1) and Josh Allen, Washington will struggle to keep pace on the scoreboard. Pick: Bills -10