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NFL Football Takeaways Week 2


Thomas Snodgrass

Updated: Sep 21, 2023

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After the first two weeks of the 2023 NFL season, the Los Angeles Chargers’ offense is averaging 387.5 total yards per game and 29 points per contest.

Currently, the Chargers are fourth in total offense and sixth in scoring.

Even more impressive, is the fact that Los Angeles has yet to turnover the football.

Despite the Chargers solid offensive play and their ability to protect the football, they will enter Week 3 with a record of 0-2.

On the other side of the ball, Los Angeles’ defense has failed to put a complete game together, getting bombed by Tua Tagovailoa in Week 1, then succumbing to the thousand paper cuts of QB Ryan Tannehill and the Titans in Week 2.

Tannehill completed 20 of 24 passes for 246 yards and a touchdown, and even hit one 70-yard fling to wide receiver Treylon Burks. It was a 180 degree turn from Tannehill’s Week 1 against the New Orleans Saints.

In Week 1, it appeared that Tennessee could move on from Tannehill as their signal caller, in Week 2, it’s likely Tannehill may have given himself some job security.

That says a lot about this Chargers defense.

With Joey Bosa on the defensive front, Khalil Mack roaming in the middle, and Derwin James stalking in the secondary, one would assume this defense could hold down a lead.

But, no.

For a Los Angeles team that looks very good on paper, they are staring an 0-3 start right in the face.

The Chargers square up with the Minnesota Vikings in Week 3, another team looking down the barrel of an 0-3 start.

Most sportsbooks have this game as a pick’em currently, but bettors expecting Los Angeles to collect their first win can find the best odds on the moneyline at -105 at BetMGM.

Let Baker Bake!

For many years, it was “Let Russ Cook”.

Apparently, Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson left his pots and pans back in Seattle.

Is it now time to “Let Baker Bake”?

Although Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Baker Mayfield torched a depleted Chicago Bears defense in Week 2, it was a nearly flawless performance that deserves respect.

Mayfield completed 26 of 34 passes for 317 yards and a touchdown.

Mayfield has yet to turnover the football as well this season, showing some maturity in the pocket.

With a cast of playmakers such as wide receivers Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, and running back Rachaad White, Mayfield may finally be in a position to succeed.

Last season was interestingly bad for Mayfield, suiting up for both the Carolina Panthers and Los Angeles Rams. Mayfield turned the ball over nine times (eight interceptions) in 10 games started and won just two of those 10 games.

The new Buccaneers offensive coordinator Dave Canales is a first-time OC at the NFL level. If Canales can turn around Mayfield’s career, he may very well make his own.

Mayfield and 2-0 Tampa Bay have the ultimate test in Week 3, taking on the defending-NFC Champion Philadelphia Eagles in primetime on Monday Night Football.

Bettors looking for Baker Mayfield to make a statement and walk out of Lincoln Financial Field in Philly with a 3-0 record can find the best odds for the Bucs at +200 on the moneyline at BetMGM.

The Steel Curtain

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ defense is back!

Well, at least they rebounded after being thumped by the San Francisco 49ers in Week 1.

The Steelers’ offense is a work in progress, with young quarterback Kenny Pickett attempting to settle into the game at the highest level and Najee Harris continuing to underwhelm, but this defense has potential to win games all on their own.

Monday Night was a primetime testimonial of that fact.

Steelers’ linebacker Alex Highsmith picked off Cleveland Browns’ quarterback Deshaun Watson and took it back for six on the Browns’ first drive, in fact the first play of the game altogether.

On Cleveland’s last drive of the game, Watson was sacked on third down by little-known defensive back Elijah Riley, leading to a fourth down attempt from the Pittsburgh 49-yard line.

Watson miss-fired the fourth-down pass attempt, and the Steelers would kneel down the clock.

From big names to no-names, Pittsburgh’s defense showed that they are going to be a problem in the AFC North.

Steelers’ linebacker T.J. Watt proved once again that he may be the best defensive player in the NFL, picking up another sack (his fourth in two games), swatting a pass down from the defensive line, and scoring a touchdown on a 16-yard scoop-and score.

It may be fair to say that T.J. Watt, not his brother J.J. or anyone else, is the best defensive player in the last 10 years.

Watt’s best odds to win the NFL Defensive Player of the Year are currently at FanDuel, sitting at +700.

The Steelers head out to Las Vegas to take on the Raiders in Week 3, and the books have this one pegged as a narrow 1-point spread favoring Pittsburgh.

Bettors backing the Steelers and their defense to pick up a second straight win can find the best odds at Caesars at -105; at the time of this writing, Caesars has this game as a pick’em.

Believers in the Boys from the ‘Burgh to win the AFC North can find Pittsburgh’s best odds to win the division at +500 on BetRivers.


About the author

A fan of both the Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers, which is rare! Thomas provides sports betting content with the intent to educate and enter...

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