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Week 2 NFL Picks: Challenge Athlon Sports Experts!

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The NFL is back, and the competition off the field is nearly as heated as the competition on game day.

The Athlon Sports Pro Football Experts Club presented by New Era gives you the chance to compete with your friends and our experts each week.

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Here are this week’s picks from Athlon Sports senior editor John Gworek:

Thursday’s Game

Denver at Kansas City

The Broncos offense looked very ordinary at home against Baltimore. Can we expect it to get much better facing the Chiefs pass rush in a fired-up Arrowhead Stadium?

Gworek's Pick: Kansas City, 23-17

Sunday’s Games

Houston at Carolina

The Texans dug themselves an early hole against Kansas City by turning the ball over. They should bounce back at Carolina, which may be without star MLB Luke Kuechly (concussion).

Gworek's Pick: Houston, 20-16.

San Francisco at Pittsburgh

The Steelers hung with the Patriots despite generating little pass rush and struggling to finish drives in the red zone. Tall task for the 49ers: Cross-country trip, early start, short week, Heinz Field home opener.

Gworek's Pick: Pittsburgh, 30-20.

Tampa Bay at New Orleans

Drew Brees didn’t seem to miss Jimmy Graham, but the Saints need to fix their defense in a hurry. Jameis Winston making his first road start in the Superdome should help them get well.

Gworek's Pick: New Orleans, 28-17.

Detroit at Minnesota

The Lions blew a big lead at San Diego and gave up nearly 500 yards in the process. The Vikings aren’t as explosive at the Chargers, but Matthew Stafford needs to take care of the ball like he did last season.

Gworek's Pick: Detroit, 26-23.

Arizona at Chicago

Carson Palmer showed in Week 1 what he can do when he is healthy. The Cards pass defense struggled against Drew Brees, but can Jay Cutler take advantage? Bears staring an 0-2 start at home in the face.

Gworek's Pick: Arizona, 27-24.

New England at Buffalo

The Bills defense was dominating against the Colts, and Tyrod Taylor looked comfortable and capable. But what if he needs to come from behind to deliver a win against Bill Belichick’s defense and Tom Brady?

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Gworek's Pick: New England, 20-17.

San Diego at Cincinnati

The Bengals cruised past the Raiders after knocking Derek Carr out of the game early. Philip Rivers and the Chargers will be a much tougher test. Andy Dalton must take care of the ball.

Gworek's Pick: Cincinnati, 27-23.

Tennessee at Cleveland     

Marcus Mariota made it look easy in his NFL debut. Unless the Titans can run the ball better, it will be much tougher in Cleveland. Johnny Manziel may get the start for concussed Josh McCown for the Browns.

Gworek's Pick: Cleveland, 16-10.

Atlanta at N.Y. Giants

The Giants gave the opener away at the end, but perhaps they were lucky to be in it at all. Their only touchdown drive was all of 1-yard long, and Dez Bryant wasn’t healthy for Dallas. Julio Jones will be a tougher test.

Gworek's Pick: Atlanta, 28-24.

St. Louis at Washington     

The Rams seemed to be in control against Seattle, then fell behind before rallying to win in overtime. Washington’s defense held up against Miami, but Alfred Morris will find tougher sledding against St. Louis.

Gworek's Pick: St. Louis, 21-10.

Miami at Jacksonville

Both of these offenses struggled in Week 1. The Dolphins’ defense and a punt return for a touchdown bailed them out. Until Blake Bortles and the Jacksonville offense take better care of the ball, nothing will change in Jacksonville.

Gworek's Pick: Miami, 24-6.

Baltimore at Oakland

The Ravens managed to keep Peyton Manning out of the end zone, but Joe Flacco and Co. never got there either. Another trip out West awaits, but things should be easier against the Raiders, especially of Derek Carr is out.

Gworek's Pick: Baltimore, 27-14.

Dallas at Philadelphia

Were the Cowboys lucky against the Giants? (Yes.) Or did they just win a game they dominated if not for a couple turnovers? (Also, yes.) Dez Bryant is injured, and DeMarco Murray is on Chip Kelly’s side now.

Gworek's Pick: Philadelphia, 33-24.

Seattle at Green Bay

The schedule makers did Seattle no favors with trips to St. Louis and Green Bay to start. The Packers want revenge for the NFC title game, but they will need to do a better job against the run than they did in Chicago.

Gworek's Pick: Green Bay, 26-21.

N.Y. Jets at Indianapolis

The Colts get an extra day to shake off a pounding at the hands of the Bills defense. Andrew Luck has to be better, because Frank Gore is unlikely to get untracked against the Jets run defense.

Gworek's Pick: Indianapolis, 27-17.