NFL Week 2 Preview: Will the Contenders Show Up?
After a wild week one of the regular season in the books, it’s never too early to look ahead to the full slate of games taking place in week two:
Houston Texans at Cincinnati Bengals:
Both of these squads will look to rebound after embarrassing week one losses, and each franchise has their own set of issues to address. The Texans, who made a quarterback change from Tom Savage to DeShaun Watson after only one half of play, have question marks across the offensive side of the ball. Additionally, if their defense doesn’t improve, they could be in for a long day guarding star Bengals receiver AJ Green. I would expect for the Houston Texans defense to be a little bit better than the Bengals and grab this one.
Cleveland Browns at Baltimore Ravens:
Cleveland surprised a lot of casual fans during their week one contest against the Pittsburgh Steelers by contending until the final whistle, while the Ravens decimated the Bengals in a 20-0 shutout. Look for the Ravens to get their passing game going in this one and improve to 2-0 in the early season.
Chicago Bears at Tampa Bay Buccaneers:
Chicago was able to hang with the reigning NFC Champions Atlanta Falcons last week, and have improved their defense mightily from a year ago. The Bucs, who were awarded a week one bye due to Hurricane Irma, look to start the season on the right foot. Assuming this game is played in Tampa Bay, and not a neutral site, the Bucs should show off their new and improved aerial attack featuring Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson, and handle the Bears in a one-sided contest.
Minnesota Vikings at Pittsburgh Steelers:
Pittsburgh was able to fend off a pesky Cleveland Browns squad during week one, and will lean on their defense again in this week two contest against the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings looked much improved in their home win against the Saints, and will look to get their running game going again. Playing at home will give the Steelers the needed edge to win this close game and improve to 2-0.
New England Patriots at New Orleans Saints:
The Patriots couldn’t possibly start their season 0-2, could they? Nope, and Bill Belichick will make all of the necessary adjustments to pick apart the Saints in front of the New Orleans crowd in their home opener. The Patriots should be able to disrupt Drew Brees early and often and grab this win easily, while the Saints fall to 0-2.
Philadelphia Eagles at Kansas City Chiefs:
The Eagles improved defense disrupted the Washington Redskins all Sunday afternoon to force four turnovers and win 30-17. The Chiefs, coming off an impressive blowout win over the Patriots, should continue to roll over the Eagles at home with Kareem Hunt emerging as an early front runner for the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year award.
Tennessee Titans at Jacksonville Jaguars:
The Jaguars somehow were able to reel in all the emotions the Houston Texans had during their home opener, and stomp them into an early season quarterback change. The Titans will prove to be a formidable foe and may test the Jaguars defense early and often. Be on the lookout for a closer contest than many expect, with the Titans pulling away in the fourth quarter for a win to bring them back to .500.
Arizona Cardinals at Indianapolis Colts:
These two squads may have looked the worst out of their week one performances, and both squads have serious injury bugs to deal with, as the Colts will be without Andrew Luck, and the Cardinals will not have their stud running back David Johnson due to a dislocated wrist. In an ugly match-up, I predict for the Cardinals to do just enough to squeak by the hapless Colts.
Buffalo Bills at Carolina Panthers:
The Bills looked great during their week one match-up, however, they were playing the Jets. The Carolina Panthers will bring them back down to reality with a blowout victory at home. I would expect Cam Newton’s shoulder injury to be a thing of the past, as he may finish with a great Sunday afternoon performance.
NY Jets at Oakland Raiders:
The Oakland Raiders looked every bit of the part of a true contender in their impressive week one victory on the road against the Titans. On the other hand, the Jets, who have question marks across their entire squad, will look to not getting thoroughly outplayed in every phase of this game.
Miami Dolphins at LA Chargers:
Miami will look to knock off the early season rust that plagued many week one teams by playing their first game of the season at the Chargers new stadium. Quarterback Philip Rivers should be able to outplay Jay Cutler, as the Chargers will squeeze by the Dolphins in an entertaining game.
San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks:
New 49ers coach, Kyle Shannahan, is going to have to wait at least one more week for his first victory as a head coach, as I expect the Seattle Seahawks to bounce back in a big way against an inferior opponent.
Washington Redskins at LA Rams:
As bad as the Redskins looked during week one, they might actually have a chance of beating their former offensive coordinator, now coach of the LA Rams, Sean McVay. The Rams, who destroyed the Colts during week one, will look to their defense again to disrupt the Redskins offensive attack. I am expecting the Redskins to barely win this game, and it may leave many questions left unanswered heading into week three.
Dallas Cowboys at Denver Broncos:
“America’s Team” didn’t look stellar on Sunday night, but they did more than enough to stall the Giants offense in a 19-3 week one victory. The Broncos defense has the ability to disrupt the play-making ability of Dak Prescott, but their offense won’t make enough plays as they drop this game in Denver.
Green Bay Packers at Atlanta Falcons:
In a rematch of the 2016 NFC Championship game, the Packers will be seeking revenge against a Falcons team that is looking to avoid any potential Super Bowl hangover. In one of the more entertaining week two match-ups, Aaron Rodgers should slightly outplay Matt Ryan and grab the win in a thriller.
Detroit Lions at NY Giants:
The Giants couldn’t get anything going offensively against the Cowboys last week, and if Odell Beckham Jr. can’t play for a second straight week, the Giants will likely be looking at a massive 0-2 slump to start their season. The Lions should and will win this Monday night football game.
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