The first career NFL start for Jacksonville Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence had its highs and lows as the Jaguars were blown out by the Houston Texans. Perhaps things will improve for the Jags in their home opener on Sunday vs. Denver. Here’s a look at that game and one other to parlay together on the NFL odds.
Week 2 NFL Parlay Picks for the 2021 Regular Season
Denver Broncos at Jacksonville Jaguars (+6)
Jacksonville rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence, the No. 1 overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft, New York Jets rookie quarterback Zach Wilson (No. 2), and New England rookie quarterback Mac Jones (No. 15) each made their first career starts on Kickoff Weekend. At least one rookie quarterback has started in Week 1 in 14 consecutive seasons, the longest streak in the NFL since at least 1950.
With three rookie quarterbacks starting in Week 1, 2021 joined the 2012 season (five rookie quarterbacks) as the only seasons since 1970 in which at least three rookie quarterbacks started in Week 1. Lawrence passed for 332 yards in his NFL debut, the third-most passing yards by a No. 1 overall pick in his first career start in the Super Bowl era. Only Cam Newton (422 passing yards) and Vinny Testaverde (369) had more. Lawrence had three TD throws but was picked off three times in the 37-21 loss in Houston. It was the first three-pick game of Lawrence’s career. It’s also the first time Lawrence has ever had a losing record as a starting quarterback.
Coach Urban Meyer said he and the locker room aren’t shell-shocked by what was the franchise’s 16th consecutive loss, dating back to a season-opening victory over Indianapolis in 2020.
“I don’t really know that word [shell-shocked] other than we’ve all got our ass kicked before,” Meyer said. “Let’s tighten up and go. I believe in that team. I believe in our staff. Come back to work. Going to earn your captain’s stripes and leadership stripes as a coach and leaders on the team. But I believe in those guys.”
Meyer said his team “better not be at 51 dropbacks a game” this season. Lawrence indeed threw the ball 51 times while James Robinson and Carlos Hyde combined for just 14 rush attempts. Hyde led the team with nine carries. After an embarrassing performance to open the year, Meyer clearly wants to establish a ground attack in Week 2 versus the Broncos.
Denver beat the Giants 27-13 in Week 1. Teddy Bridgewater completed 28-of-36 passes for 264 yards and two touchdowns in the victory. Bridgewater stayed sharp after winning the Broncos’ starting job in the preseason. He hit Tim Patrick and backup TE Albert Okwuegbunam for his touchdowns, with both coming on goal-line throws.
However, the news wasn’t all good as receiver Jerry Jeudy is going to miss 4-6 weeks with a high ankle sprain. After a training camp when his defensive teammates called him “uncoverable” at times, Jeudy has been poised for a prominent role in the Broncos’ offense. He led the team with 72 yards receiving Sunday despite playing 31 snaps.
Buffalo Bills at Miami Dolphins (+3.5)
Miami was a 17-16 upset winner at New England in Week 1. Tua Tagovailoa completed 16-of-27 passes for 202 yards, one touchdown and an interception. Tagovailoa took only two sacks, but he was running for his life behind the Dolphins‘ makeshift offensive line. Defensively, Miami forced two turnovers, extending their turnover streak to 23 games – the longest active streak in the NFL. Jerome Baker led all players with 12 total tackles (8 solo tackles).
The Fins will get back receiver Will Fuller for this game. He was suspended for six games during last season with Houston and served the first five at the end of the year. Fuller joined the Dolphins as an unrestricted free agent in March when he signed a one-year contract. Head coach Brian Flores said Monday it was too early to determine how Fuller would fit into the offense.
“We didn’t have Will last week,” Flores said. “He missed some time in training camp. We really only had him for, I would say, a handful of practices. We’ll work him in and see how to best utilize him in the offense and see how things go during practice this week. I think we got a lot of guys in that room. We will see how practice goes this week and take it from there.”
The Bills were upset at home by the Steelers 23-16. Of Pittsburgh’s 20 unanswered points, 17 were the result of two Bills turnovers on downs and a blocked punt/return touchdown — which was put into motion when Cameron Heyward had a third-down sack of Josh Allen one play earlier.
Accuracy downfield proved to be a problem for Allen despite facing the lowest blitz rate of his career. He completed 30 of 51 passes, a career high in pass attempts, for 270 yards against the Steelers and had trouble connecting with both Stefon Diggs and Cole Beasley. The issues the Bills displayed on the field — eight penalties, questionable fourth-down playcalling and the special teams breakdown — are correctable, with the biggest errors coming on the offensive side.
- Back both home underdogs