The Buccaneers had high hopes this season, but after losing their first two games at home the ship is already sinking. Josh McCown has been terrible and the Buccaneers offense has been invisible. The Falcons suffered a setback last week in Cincinnati, but with their win over the Saints in Week 1, they are right where they want to be. The Bucs could keep Matt Ryan from having a huge night, but even a mediocre game by the Falcons quarterback should be able to beat the punch less Buccaneers.
No team has been a bigger surprise so far, than the 2-0 Buffalo Bills. The Bills have gotten strong defense, great special teams and solid run game by Fred Jackson. The Chargers are also coming off a statement win, beating the Seahawks and shutting up Richard Sherman. The winner of this one will have a leg up in their efforts to make the playoffs. This game looks like it will be close, but I think the reenergized Bills fan base helps procure another win, as the Chargers typically struggle when going East for an early start.
After a solid win in Kansas City to open the season, the Titans delivered a big fat dud in their home opener. The Bengals meanwhile looked solid in both games and could be ready to take the next step forward to Super Bowl contender. The Titans offense was shut down completely by the mediocre Cowboys defense against a stronger defense like the Bengals the news could be much worse. Add the fact the Titans could not stop DeMarco Murry and you have the recipe for an easy win for the Bengals.
The Cleveland Browns acted like they won the Super Bowl after their win over the Saints last week. It can be expected they are not used to winning their home opener. It was a solid win for the Browns but they must build off t or it means nuttin. The Ravens too won last week and defied the odds as they overcame the distraction of Ray Rice to beat the Steelers on Thursday Night. Following that up as they play their first road game will be difficult, the Browns defense is solid and will keep Joe Flacco in check as they get another late Field Goal to improve to 2-1
The Lions are continuing their Helter Skelter ways, following up a home win by a listless performance in Carolina. The Panthers defense could make almost anyone look bad, while the Packers defense has looked vulnerable. This could be a big step forward for the Lions if they win. The bad news for Detroit is Aaron Rodgers is healthy and looking good after a strong second half against the Jets last week. Rodgers is a Lion tamer beating Detroit in eight of nine career starts. The one loss was a game in which he was knocked out.
The Colts have lost their first two games as they have had the toughest early schedule in the NFL. This week they get a must win as they face the Jaguars on the road. The Jaguars other than a strong first half have looked terrible. Look for the Colts offense to get revved up as they take out their frustrations one of the worst secondaries in the NFL. The Colts must realize they will only win by passing the ball and avoid taking Luck out of the game by handing off too much early in the game. The only way the Colts lose this one is if they take Luck out of the game by trying to force feed the run.
In the great tradition of college football, many of the biggest schools schedule a weakling from FCS or even Division 2 for their home opener. That is what it is like this week with the Patriots facing the pathetic Raiders. The Raiders hate playing on the East Coast and have not won in the Easter Time Zone in five years. They have not be even competitive in their first two games and with a mixture of over the hill players and mediocre rookies they look more like an expansion team than a AFL bedrock franchise. This one is going to be ugly.
The Saints have lost two heartbreakers on the road to start the season, and finally come home to the Superdome where last year they dominated winning all eight games. The Saints need a win and get a team that has been forced to bench their MVP Adrian Peterson due to child abuse charges. This one is going to be ugly too, as the Saints are a bully team putting on extra points whenever they get a chance, and with the Vikings missing AP and not having the defensive personnel to stop Drew Brees it has blowout written all over it.
Things are looking bleak for the Giants once again, as they have dropped their first two games with Eli Manning and the entire offense having difficulty picking up the new offense. They desperately need a win to get some confidence and though they are at home they are facing an aggressive attacking defense. J.J. Wattt is off to a monster start and should be able to take advantage of the Giants terrible offensive line to force Eli Manning into more turnovers and that means another loss for Big Blue at the Meadowlands.
The Eagles have shaken off two poor starts to start 2-0 thanks to Nick Foles leading comebacks against the Jaguars and Colts. The Eagles need a complete game to really get things going and with their first divisional matchup they have a chance to get an early advantage in the NFC East. Kirk Cousins played well after replacing RGIII last week, but going into Philadelphia will be much tougher. I see the Eagles soaring from the start and winning again with Foles along with Darren Sproles and LeSean McCoy leading the way.
The Cowboys defense has not been as bad as people think, as they have been helped by DeMarco Murray’s strong start as at Running Back. He has helped the Cowboys defense stay off the field, and made life easier for QB Tony Romo. Murray has had his two biggest career games against the Rams, including a 253 yard game in 2011. Murray continues to run amok as the Cowboys roll the Rams in St. Louis.
The 49ers had their first game at Levi’s Stadium spoiled by a the Bears, but in reality the loss was self-inflicted as Colin Kaepernick turned the ball over four times while the team committed 16 penalties. The Cardinals have started strongly winning their first two games. The 49ers have dominated the Cardinals in the last five years, taking nine of the last ten meetings. I see that trend continuing, as they need to get back on track and will get do so as Frank Gore has a big day in the desert.
The Dolphins have continued their pattern of one step forward and two steps back with a lackluster loss in Buffalo. If this team is to be taken seriously they must win the next two games. The Chiefs gave the Broncos a strong run last week, but they have sustained too many losses in the first two weeks. On the road in the unforgiving heat of South Florida in September it is hard to imagine a team with that many key losses on both sides of the ball can win this game.
The rematch of Super Bowl XLVIII sees the Broncos seeking revenge by going into the Seahawks nest. Both teams appeared to be looking ahead to this game last week as the Broncos struggled to beat the Chiefs, while the Seahawks wilted in the heat in San Diego. Back home the Seahawks will once again use the 12th man, as Peyton Manning continues to have trouble finding an open receiver against the Seahawks secondary. This will not get as ugly as the Super Bowl, but the result will be the same a Seattle win.
The Panthers defense has been dominant smothering both the Buccaneers and Lions to win their first two games even without Greg Hardy in Week 2. The Steelers offense with the exception of the first half of Week 1 has been shaky. Last week they managed just two field goals against the Ravens, with the way Luke Kuchehly has been playing they will be lucky to match that this week.
The Jets despite a bizarre time out call and blowing an 18 point lead in Lambeau Field have looked sharp so far. The Bears meanwhile have looked shaky and should consider themselves fortunate to be 1-1 after falling behind 17-0 against the 49ers last week. The Niners kept them in the game and let them win with turnovers and penalties. The Bears can’t expect to do that again. The loss of Charles Tillman will also be a handicap to an already mediocre defense. The Bears may be able to score on the Jets secondary, but it won’t be enough as the Jets ground and pound them at the Meadowlands.