NFL Week 2 preview
Week 2 of the NFL Season is here. The week is filled with intriguing divisional matchups and games that could prove to be important later in the year. You never know which games could be costly in the playoff hunt or which ones will have a different out come than expected. Take a look at this week's games.
Detroit Lions @ Green Bay Packers
The Lions will be missing several key players on both sides of the ball. On offense, they'll be without WR Kenny Golladay for a second straight week and guard Joe Dahl. While they were able to gain yardage against a good Chicago defense, their was a clear absence of deep shots down the field. There may be more opportunities in this one, but it's not quite the same offense without Golladay. On defense, they'll be missing multiple corners and DT Nick Williams. I know Green Bay will want to let Aaron Rodgers loose, but RB Aaron Jones could also have a big game. The Packers will be without WR Equinameous St Brown, who was placed on IR, and starting DT Kenny Clark. Neither defense is very good, so I'd expect to see a shootout.
Atlanta Falcons @ Dallas Cowboys
Atlanta put up a lot of offense in Week 1 against what is supposed to be a good Seattle defense. The Cowboys defense is definitely not as good and will be without several starters. The Falcons should be able to move the ball, especially through the passing game, but they need their defense to play better. The Cowboys have a great offense with a lot of weapons. Atlanta has the ability to hang around but will need a great effort to be able to pull out a win.
Minnesota Vikings @ Indianapolis Colts
The Vikings have been know for their stout defenses over the years, but that wasn't the case last week. The defense gave up 43 points in a loss to Aaron Rodgers and company. The Minnesota offense was able to keep up a bit behind Kirk Cousins, Adam Thielen, and Dalvin Cook, but was no match for Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams in the passing game. Philip Rivers put up similar numbers for the Colts last week, just with fewer touchdowns and more interceptions. They were playing a Jacksonville that isn't as good as the Vikings D is supposed to be. Parris Campbell emerged as a legitimate complement to TY Hilton. Unfortunately, Indy lost RB Marlon Mack for the season during the game and will be without TE Jack Doyle against Minnesota. The Indy defense gave up a lot of points but not much yardage against the Jags. While neither defense is great, I don't expect this to be very high scoring.
NY Giants @ Chicago Bears
Both teams gave up a ton of yards last week. The Giants held close with the Steelers despite allowing 113 yards to Benny Snell. The Bears rallied from a huge 4th quarter deficit to defeat the Lions, but Detroit still had over 400 yards of offense. This should be a big game for running backs, so expect a lot of Saquon Barkley, David Montgomery, newly-extended Tarik Cohen. Chicago's defense gives them the upper hand.
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Tennessee Titans
Jacksonville was picked by many to finish last in the NFL this year but shocked Indianapolis with a season opening win. They didn't put up much offense, but a good day from QB Gardner Minshew was apparently all they needed. The new look Jags' defense struggled in against the pass, allowing 363 to Philip Rivers. This week, the good news is that they're playing a team that isn't really known for its passing attack. Tennessee definitely still runs their offense through Derrick Henry and will be without top WR AJ Brown. The Titans are coming off a win in Denver but, once again, struggled to put up points. QB Ryan Tannehill had a good day, and Henry and WR Corey Davis both had over 100 yards. Davis will be on e to watch this week, and Jonnu Smith should be a factor as well. Tennessee has more talent, so they should come out on top.
San Francisco 49ers @ NY Jets
The Niners were upset by Arizona last week and will be without star tight end George Kittle this week. They found their most success through the air in Week 1 but gave up big chunks of yardage to an explosive attack and were no match for DeAndre Hopkins. The Jets lost to the Bills and struggled on offense. Yes, Buffalo has a great defense, but the Jets only managed 52 yards on the ground, even with stars Frank Gore and Le'Veon Bell in the game. Meanwhile, the defense gave up over 300 yards passing. The Jets are not considered a good team and will not have Bell for this one, but West Coast teams can struggle when traveling to the East Coast. Each team's weakest spot is its secondary, so passing will be a huge part of this game.
Buffalo Bills @ Miami Dolphins
The Bills had a good passing day against the Jets and let their defense do the rest. Josh Allen threw for over 300 yards, while new addition Stefon Diggs led the team in receiving, and John Brown added a touchdown. The defense held a dormant Jets offense to under 300 total yards. Miami had a bad opening week against New England, managing just one touchdown and throwing 3 interceptions. New England only managed 21 point but had over 200 yards on the ground. The Bills love to use a the running game and have plenty of good running backs to go along with Allen. Miami will need a much better performance to hang around in this one.
LA Rams @ Philadelphia Eagles
The Rams shut down an impressive Dallas offense for a close win last week. RB Malcolm Brown led the way, scoring both of the team's touchdowns. Jared Goff was able to have some success through the air against a struggling Cowboys' secondary. Philly was shocked in its opener against Washington, surrendering 27 unanswered points to blow a 17-0 lead. The Eagles could get nothing going on the ground and seemed to fully rley on Carson Wentz and Dallas Goedert. The defense didn't give up a ton of yardage but will need to tighten up in the redzone. Philly has a very good defensive line and run defense, so a big game for Goff and the receivers is more likely than a repeat performance for Brown. The Rams gave up 96 yards to Ezekiel Elliott, so Miles Sanders could have a big game in his return for the Eagles. LA has the travel to go through and a defense that can be susceptible to big plays. Philly needs to find those to make this a game.
Denver Broncos @ Pittsburgh Steelers
Denver lost a close one at home to Tennessee last week. The offense had a decent performance with Drew Lock and Noah Fant leading the way. Going forward, the unit needs put the ball in the endzone more. The defense gave up 249 passing yards to a Titans team that doesn't have a great passing game. The Steelers are coming off a win against the Giants, in which RB Benny Snell had 113 yards rushing. The second year RB looked good and should be good again this week. The Steelers have more weapons right now than Tennessee does and will be more of a challenge to defend. Ben Roethlisberger and JuJu Smith-Schuster are definitely better than Ryan Tannehill and Corey Davis, so I don't think Denver's defense will be able to keep them in this one. The Steelers roll if the Broncos don't find more points than last week.
Carolina Panthers @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tom Brady's debut for Tampa didn't turn out as they had hoped. The Bucs lost to the Saints 34-23 as their offense took a while to get anything going. Brady was picked off twice by the Saints, and the running game was nonexistent. Surprisingly, Tampa's young defense held Drew Brees to just 160 passing yards with 2 touchdowns, and the Saints as a team had under 300 yards of total offense. I thought their secondary would struggle this year, but their development appears to be ahead of schedule. That's good news considering they're playing a Carolina team that had a good performance in the air against the Raiders. Tampa has a better defense than Vegas, so this will be a test for Teddy Bridgewater. Carolina has the advantage on the ground with Christian McCaffrey going up against a porous run defense. I think this will be closer than usual, but Tampa gets the win as the more complete team.
Washington Football Team @Arizona Cardinals
Washington surprised everyone with an upset win over the Eagles last week. They scored 27 unanswered points after falling behind 17-0. The defense was able to shut down Philly's (limited) running game but did give up some plays in the air, particularly to TE Dallas Goedert. Washington didn't wow anybody on offense but found the scores when they needed them. Defending the Arizona offense is a completely different animal. They have a quarterback who can hurt you in multiple ways, a good running back, and one of the best receiving corps in the league. DeAndre Hopkins balled out in his team debut, amassing 151 yards on 14 catches. It's a lethal attack that moves quickly and can score in bunches. The Washington pass rush will be a key in this game, not only getting pressure on Kyler Murray but keeping him from escaping the pocket as well. Arizona's defense is prone to giving up some big players, but Washington might not have the offense to take full advantage as of yet. I think Washington RB Antonio Gibson has a break out game, but the Arizona previals because they have the better offense right now.
Kansas City Chiefs @ LA Chargers
Quite a change for the Chargers. Last week, they took on the improved yet struggling Bengals and rookie Joe Burrow. They struggled to score and escaped with a win thanks to a missed field goal. Now, they have to take on one of the best offenses in football. The Chiefs rolled over Houston last week and look like contenders once again. The LA defense isn't terrible, but Kansas City can put up points on anybody. The Chargers will have to put up points in this one after only putting up 16 last week. I guess the bright side would be that the offense clicked more as last week's game went on.
Baltimore Ravens @ Houston Texans
Two presumed contenders: One coming off a blowout win against a divisional opponent, the other coming off a forgettable performance against the defending champs. MVP Lamar Jackson threw 3 TD passes, and rookie RB JK Dobbins added 2 on the ground in his debut. The ever-dominant Ravens defense held a solid Cleveland offense to just one score and kept their stars in check. The new look Texans offense took 3 quarters to get going against the Chiefs. They did get a good performance out of RB David Johnson and found a groove late, but the defense was no match for Kansas City. Houston struggled against Chiefs' running game, and Baltimore has one of the best and deepest backfields in the league. Baltimore can hurt you in many ways, and this game could turn quickly. Houston needs a better start to keep pace.
New England Patriots @ Seattle Seahawks
This week's Sunday night matchup features the new look Patriots against another good Seattle team. New England squeaked out a win in Cam Newton's team debut against Miami. The Pats did most of their damage on the ground behind Newton and RB Son Michel, while the defense shut down a still developing Miami offense. The Seahawks got an outstanding performance from QB Russell Wilson, who threw 4 TD passes against the Falcons. WRs Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf had big days, and RB Chris Carson was the recipient of 2 of Wilson's TD passes. The defense uncharacteristically gave up 450 passing yards to Matt Ryan and allowed the Falcons to have three 100-yard receivers on the day. Some of that may be because of Atlanta's mostly dormant running game, and New England doesn't have the same kind of passing attack, but Seattle needs better out of their defense. New England has a far better defense than Atlanta, so I wouldn't expect huge numbers offensively, but this should be a close game that's fun to watch.
New Orleans Saints @ Las Vegas Raiders
I didn't expect New Orleans's passing game to struggle as much as they did last week. They were still able to put up points but didn't looked as polished and dominant as usual. This week, they're up against an easier defense, so I expect a bounce back week, even without star WR Michael Thomas. Vegas gave up 269 passing yards to Teddy Bridgewater last week, and Robby Anderson had 114 receiving yards in his first game with the Panthers. The Raiders also gave up over 100 rushing yards. The New Orleans offense has more firepower and should score at will. The Raiders may struggle to score against a defense that held a highly-touted Buccaneers offense in check for most of the day in Week 1.