What Can We Learn From The NFL Pre Season Games This Week?

By Ian John
February 11, 2022

Last week, the Dallas Cowboys and Pittsburgh Steelers contested the Hall of Fame game in Canton, Ohio, with the Steelers coming out on top as the 16-3 winners of that celebratory game ahead of the new class of Hall of Famers inducted into the NFL’s elite group.

However, this week sees the first full week of pre-season action and there are some fascinating stories ahead of each of the games. We have highlighted these key storylines as well as giving you our top tip for each of the 16 games taking place this week.

All odds used are courtesy of bet365 Sport and were correct at the time of writing. However, if you live in the United States, then you will find great odds available at BetRivers Sportsbook too.

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Let’s now take a look at the main storylines and tips for each of the games taking place this week.

NFL Pre Season – Week Two Storylines & Tips

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Philadelphia Eagles

Steelers – The Steelers lost four of their last five games at the end of last season and although they have made a few adjustments, I still feel they are nowhere near as strong a team as they have been in previous years. This could be Ben Roethlisbergers last year under center.

Eagles – The Eagles are very much in a position of rebuilding their franchise and after being in salary cap hell, they haven’t been able to make the major changes they needed to bring them back up to the standard they were a few years ago.

Tip – Under 33.5 Points (20/21)

Washington Football Team @ New England Patriots

Washington – Defense is going to be key for Washington t his season with one of the best units in the NFL, they should do a good job of shutting down a freshly rebuild Patriots offense in this game.

Patriots – There’s plenty of new faces on the Patriots roster, but they still look well off the pace compared to other teams in the AFC. This will be a tough opener for them.

Tip – Under 35.5 Points (20/11)

Buffalo Bills @ Detroit Lions

Bills – Having snapped up Josh Allen on a new long-term deal making him the highest paid player in Bills history, the Bills should be a major force in the AFC this season.

Lions – With Matt Stafford now in Rams colours, this is a season of rebuilding, yet again, for the Lions and in truth, I can’t see that starting with a win against a very talented Bills team.

Tip – Buffalo Bills to cover the spread (-2.0) – 10/11

Tennessee Titans @ Atlanta Falcons

Titans – Julio Jones returns home for his first game as a Titan as the hugeky talented Titans offense gets a chance for a run out, although their former Offensive Coordinator is now the head coach of the opposition.

Falcons – Arthur Smith has Matt Ryan as a quarterback as he seeks to get one over his former employers in his first game as Falcons head coach. The Falcons though are some way off a playoff team just yet.

Tip – Titans to cover the spread (-1.0) – 10/11

Dallas Cowboys @ Arizona Cardinals

Cowboys – Dak Prescott has re-signed with the Cowboys, but he may miss this game with injury. Having lost to the Steelers without scoring a TD, the Cowboys will want to put that right here.

Cardinals – The Cardinals narrowly missed out on the playoffs last season but they are in a very competitive looking NFC West this year and they’ll need to come out of the blocks firing to be in contention.

Tip – Cardinals to cover the spread (-2.0) – 10/11

Miami Dolphins @ Chicago Bears

Dolphins – The Dolphins have made real strides over the last couple of years to be the major challengers to the Bills in the AFC East. However, this could be a tough trip for them for the opening game of pre-season.

Bears – With Justin Fields now an option at quarterback, I expect him to play a fair few snaps here supporting Andy Dalton and as such, I think he will get Bears fans excited by leading them to a win.

Tip – Bears to cover the spread (-3.5) – 10/11

Denver Broncos @ Minnesota Vikings

Broncos – A team with a very talented defense and some quality on offense too, however with question marks in key areas, notably at quarterback, could this be the Bronco’s Achilles Heel once again this season?

Vikings – A solid defense and some talented offensive players mean the Vikings should be relevant next season in the NFC North, but with Green Bay in your division, and Chicago, that may not be enough.

Tip – Under 34.5 Points (10/11)

Cleveland Browns @ Jacksonville Jaguars

Browns – Can the Browns keep their star men healthy? I expect several to make a return, if only for a few snaps, after season-ending injuries last season. If they can stay fit, then the Browns could be a huge threat in the AFC.

Jaguars – Urban Meyer got the Jags quarterback of the future in Trevor Lawrence with the first pick of the 2021 NFL Draft. He should get plenty of chances to show his value in this opening pre-season game, but it still may not be enough.

Tip – Browns to cover the spread (-1.5) 10/11

New Orleans Saints @ Baltimore Ravens

Saints – What will life be like after the retirement of Drew Brees? Saints fans may get a glimpse of that here and in truth, I don’t think they are going to particularly like what they see.

Ravens – One of the strongest rushing teams in the NFL have added some passing options for Lamar Jackson. The Ravens have great strength in depth and they should be a major force next season in the AFC.

Tip – Ravens to cover the spread (-3.0) – 20/21

Cincinnati Bengals @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bengals – The Bengals are still in rebuilding mode, as they seem to have been for many years now. In a tough division, they are going to struggle and that is unlikely to get any better in this pre-season opener against the Super Bowl holders.

Buccaneers – With the Bucs welcoming back all the key players from their Super Bowl winning season, I expect a big statement of intention to repeat that success here.

Tip – Over 35.5 points (20/23)

New York Jets @ New York Giants

Jets – With a new head coach and some exciting moves in the pre-season and draft, I am intrigued to see what this new-look Jets team has to offer and they could be one of the surprise teams this season. Although that has been said many times before too.

Giants – Saquon Barkley’s return gives the Giants a viable running game once again and his fitness will likely go a long way to determining how they do over the course of the season.

Tip – Jets to win (+1.5) at 10/11

Houston Texans @ Green Bay Packers

Texans – DeShaun Watson wants out, the Texans have had barely any cap space to sign new players. This could be another long and hard season for Texans fans.

Packers – Aaron Rodgers will stay for one more season in Green Bay. He took them to the Conference Championship game last season and they look well set for another good year this time around too.

Tip – Packers to cover the spread (-3.0) – 10/11

Kansas City Chiefs @ San Francisco 49ers

Chiefs – Patrick Mahomes and co are favourites to win the Super Bowl this season. Andy Reid may well not give his starters too much time here, so don’t read too much into this result. The Chiefs will be major contenders next season.

49ers – The 49ers are many teams favourites to do well in the NFC next season but I am not convinced. I feel they will win this game against mostly second and third string Chiefs, but they may struggle when the main season starts.

Tip – Over 36.5 points (20/23)

Seattle Seahawks @ Las Vegas Raiders

Seahawks – I think this Seahawks team has seen better days and I don’t see the strength in depth that the team once had. This could be a tough season for Seahawks fans, especially given the strength of their divisional opponents.

Raiders – I think John Gruden’s Raiders may be one of the surprise teams in the NFL this season. Gruden is a wily operator and having had time to build the team, they could be a real threat.

Tip – Raiders to cover the spread (-1.5) – 10/11

Los Angeles Chargers @ Los Angeles Rams

Chargers – I think the Chargers have had one of the best pre-season periods and drafts of any NFL team and they look well set to make a real fight of it here against their city rivals.

Rams – Having signed Matt Stafford, the Rams addressed their main issue from last season and this looks like being a team that are going to be a very genuine threat in the NFC this coming season.

Tip – Over 34 points (10/11)

Carolina Panthers @ Indianapolis Colts

Panthers – With Sam Darnold now at quarterback and some clever investments to support him in the new role, the Panthers look like they could be realistic challengers in their division next season if they can pick up some early wins.

Colts – The Colts are one of the stronger teams in the AFC and will challenge the Titans for the AFC South title as they did last year. Without Carson Wentz though, this looks a tough opener.

Tip – Panthers to win (+1.5) – 10/11

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