Peyton Manning did not alleviate any of the concerns that his best years were behind him as he failed to throw a touchdown pass in Week 1, despite the Broncos getting a hard fought home win. The Chiefs are coming off a solid road win and expect a fired up crowd for their Thursday Night home opener. This game sets up well for the Chiefs who have not beaten Denver since the end of the 2011 season. Their defense looks strong and Jamaal Charles is healthy. In addition the return of Eric Berry for the home fans will be an emotional boost and make it a near impossible game for the Broncos.
Its put up or shut up time in Buffalo. The Bills made a big statement with their dominant win over the Indianapolis in Week1. If we are to take them seriously they must beat the Patriots at home. Since 2001 the Patriots have beat the Bills almost as much as they have the NFL rule book, winning 25 of their last 28 meetings. One of those losses was the last game of last season with the Patriots resting half their team for the playoffs. The Bills defense looks strong and like they put pressure on Andrew Luck they can harass Tom Brady enough to get another statement win for Rex Ryan.
The Panthers are coming off an impressive road win in Jacksonville, while the Texans late comeback at home fell short in Week 1. With the Panthers coming home, the Texans are looking 0-2 right in the face, as they await for RB Arian Foster to return from a groin injury. The Texans right now don’t know who will be their starting quarterback in Week 2, as Brian Hoyer benched in the opener could already losing the starting job to Ryan Mallet who nearly led the comeback. With so much quarterback confusion its clear Houston has a problem.
The Bears played well last week despite suffering a home loss to the arch rival Packers. The Cardinals meanwhile boosted by the return of Carson Palmer had a solid win over the Saints. Going on the road is often tough for teams in the West, but the Bears are not such a great team and with Jay Cutler’s propensity for throwing interceptions it could turn ugly fast at Soldier Field as the most beloved figure in the Windy City since Miss O’Leary’s cow hears the boos as the Bears drop to 0-2 at home.
It’s another battle of Heisman quarterbacks for Marcus Mariota in Week 2, as the Titans rookie quarterback who had four touchdowns in his win over Jameis Winston now takes on 2012 Heisman Johnny Manziel who is likely to play as Josh McCown recovers from being spun right round like a record by the Jets in Week 1. Manziel despite an early bomb looked awful against the Jets and appears to be a big bust. Mariota could not have played better has more poise, and should get a second road win before his home debut next week.
Both teams are coming off solid wins in Week 1, with the Bengals crushing the Raiders in Oakland, while the Chargers rallied to beat the Lions after trailing 21-3 early in the San Diego heat. The Chargers secondary should be a concern in this one as they did not play well against the Lions. The Bengals can do some of the same vertical play led by Wide Receiver A.J. Green. The Bengals usually get off to strong starts and this year won’t be any different as they win their home opener to start 2-0.
Two teams coming off losses in Week 1 meet in a divisional game seeking to avoid being put behind the eight ball early. The Lions loss was extra painful as they held a 21-3 lead early against the Chargers on the road. While the Vikings were flat on Monday Night in San Francisco. Coming home should give the men in purple a boost, as Adrian Peterson plays his first home game in a year. Peterson usually struggles against the Niners and should have a better game this week. Teddy Bridgewater however, must be better at handing him the ball. This rivalry usually comes down to who is home and the Vikings win at home again.
Last week the Buccaneers defense was ripped to shreds by Marcus Mariota at home. Things don’t look promising in Week 2 as they head to the Superdome for a meeting with Drew Brees. The Saints also coming off a loss are always a much stronger team at home and I expect to see them at their best for their home opener. While Jameis Winston experiences his first NFL road game. I expect Winston to be sharper as he should have gotten past the nerves that led him to have a pick six on his first pass. However, unless he can out gun Brees he has little chance for a win.
No team face a must win more than the Giants in Week 2. Things have a potential to implode if they can’t win the home opener, after their last minute collapse in Dallas in the opener. Confusion reigned all week for the Giants as RB Rashad Jennings was told not to score on first down, while the coaching staff decided to pass on third down and stopped the clock as Eli Manning avoiding the sack threw the ball away giving the Cowboys the time they needed. In addition they got news JPP’s hand is worse than expected and his career is likely over. If they can’t outscore the Falcons it is going to get ugly, fortunately for the Giants they have Odell Beckham Jr. who has a big day for the win.
The Steelers coming off a loss in the Thursday Night opener head home and know their headsets won’t be picking up Mexican Radio or Boston Sports talk. The Niners meanwhile are coming off an impressive win thanks to Carlos Hyde in Week 1. The Steelers will likely turn their focus to Hyde, meaning there is an opportunity for Colin Kaepernick to have a big game against the Steelers soft secondary. This means it will take a big effort from Ben Roethlisberger and that is exactly what the Steelers will get for the win at Heinz Field.
Last year when these two met, the Rams came into Washington and shut the Redskins out for their second straight shutout win. The Rams defense is primed for a big season, while the Redskins offense is not very good, as last week’s early 10-0 lead over Miami was just a memory when it was all said and done. Needing a win after their overtime victory over Seattle, the Rams show they are not going away by holding the Redskins under ten and getting a strong game by Nick Foles at quarterback for the win
Last week the Dolphins overcame a shaky start and rallied to beat the Redskins on the road, thanks to a strong defensive effort. The Jaguars meanwhile continue to drift as their offense could manage nothing in a 20-9 loss to the Panthers at home. Expect more of the same in Jacksonville as the Dolphins pass rush makes life hell for Blake Bortles and the rest of the lackluster Jacksonville offense. Don’t be surprised if the Dolphins are able to get at least one score on defense.
The Ravens stayed out west during the week to avoid back to back cross country flights. Coming off a hard luck loss in Denver, they need to bounce back and do so without Terrell Suggs who is out for the year after an Achilles injury. The Raiders well the less said the better, blown out at home in Week 2, the silver and black who once had the slogan Just Win Baby now simply say please don’t lose too badly. It’s hard to see where the Raiders are heading when they keep spinning in the corner like a helpless football player on an electric football board game.
The Cowboys are coming off an absolutely lucky win in Week 1. Three turnovers led directly to Giants points and they were down and out with under two minutes and the Giants at the door step of icing it. However, Big Blue blew it and gave Tony Romo just enough time to drive down the field with no timeouts and win. The Eagles are coming off a primetime road loss and looking for a statement in their home opener. The Cowboys offensive line is great, but the down field threat of Dez Bryant is missing and in this game that will be the difference as the Eagles get a big early division win.
Kam Chancelor where are you, Seattle needs your help now. After losing in overtime in Week 1 the Seahawks are in danger of heading home 0-2. The Packers meanwhile are licking their chops. The last three times these teams met it has been eventful from the Fail Mary, to the season opener to the miracle of the Northwest in the NFC Championship the Seahawks have won all three at home. This game is in Lambeau Field the Packers home opener on Sunday Night and Green Bay wants revenge. The Seahawks are sorely missing Chancelor in the secondary and Aaron Rodgers will have a field day as the Pack lay the smack down, expect the Seahawks to cave to Kam Chancellor’s demands on Monday.
It’s the 45th anniversary of the first ever Monday Night game and the Jets are on the road again. This time they face the Colts coming off a bad loss in Buffalo to open the season. The Jets got a big win at home to beat the Browns, the win as Antonio Cromartie was injured with a sprained knee. The Jets may breathe a sigh of relief that it was not an ACL and he will return, but it’s hard to imagine him playing on Monday Night against the Colts. This should open passing lanes for Andrew Luck who gets his team on track with a big passing night.