For teams losing in Week 1, this is a must-win game as a 16-game season does not afford teams to start slowly. Both the Carolina Panthers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers lost at home on Sunday and come back on the short week to play on Thursday Night. While both teams did not play poorly, there was a concern for quarterback play for both Jameis Winston and Cam Newton. The Panthers at home should have the edge, especially with Christian McCaffery as a dual-threat out of the backfield.
Lamar Jackson and Hollywood Brown shined in the opener last week in the Baltimore Ravens 59-10 slaughter of the helpless lolphins. Meanwhile, the Arizona Cardinals rallied from down 18 to earn a tie against the Lions. Murray, playing in his first road game, faces a tough task, as Baltimore still has a strong defense. The Ravens will not be shooting fish in the barrel again but should still get the win as Hollywood shines again.
The Cincinnati Bengals may have lost in Week 1 but impressed in their one-point loss on the road to the Seahawks. Andy Dalton appeared to shine under new coach Zac Taylor passing for over 400 yards in front of the hostile 12th man. The San Francisco 49ers won last week but face a daunting task of a second straight eastern road game. Winning back-to-back weeks when traveling cross-county is tough for any team. Look for the Bengals to get the win over the road-weary Niners.
Last week both of the teams saw the lead disappear in the fourth quarter. The Los Angeles Chargers were fortunate to bounce back as Austin Ekeler scored on the first possession of OT. The Detroit Lions meanwhile left Arizona to win a tie that felt like a loss. The Lions seemed to run out of steam in the fourth quarter. With limited play in the preseason that is an issue for every team. The Chargers overall have more weapons and will be able to get the win in Motown.
Rarely are games this good placed in the 1:00 window this early in the season. The Green Bay Packers beat the Bears opener with a stout defense. The Minnesota Vikings meanwhile ran up and down the field on the Falcons. This Packers defense could really open eyes if they can shut down two division rivals. Their excellent play was helped by poor play on the Bears, but there does appear to be something good going on in Green Bay, as they start 2-0 in the division.
Two teams in the AFC South licking their wounds after losses in Week 1. The Houston Texans battled but lost a Monday Night heartbreaker to the Saints on the road, while the Jaguars were carved up by Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs. The Texans had plenty of positives despite the loss, as Deshaun Watson was impressive and got them down the field late. The same cannot be said for Jacksonville, as they lost their cool at their quarterback. While Gardner Minshew may not be awful, it is hard to see him going on the road and beating the Texans in his first start.
The New England Patriots had the look of a team that is unstoppable in their 33-3 win over the Steelers, while the Miami Dolphins looked historically awful while losing 59-10 at home. Over the years, Tom Brady and the Patriots have struggled in Miami, as the Dolphins last win came in the Miami Miracle. The Dolphins do not exist anymore; they are the lolphins and expansion team that will be wrecked regularly. The only question is Will Bill Belichick show mercy on Brian Flores, a former assistant. Hide the children this one will be ugly.
The Buffalo Bills may feel like home in the Meadowlands as they face the New York Giants after opening the season with a comeback win over the Jets. The Bills at one-point last week trailed 16-0, before turning the game around. The Giants, meanwhile, were carved up on defense in Dallas. It is hard to imagine the Bills can afford to fall behind again, as the Giants with a lead, should be able to open things up for Saquon Barkley. The Giants defense meanwhile should bounce back as Josh Allen, and the Bills do not have as many weapons as Dallas.
Last week the Pittsburgh Steelers lost to the Patriots in Foxboro on Sunday Night Football. Overall not a bad loss, as the Patriots are a machine, but the way the Steelers played raised concerns all over Western PA. Ben Roethlisberger was lackluster as the Steelers managed just three points. The Seattle Seahawks had their struggles but won at home. This game is a test for the Steelers. The Seahawks offensive line against the Bengals had issues, and their defense allowed 400 yards to Andy Dalton. If Roethlisberger and the Steelers are unable to exploit that, it will be time to panic in Pittsburgh.
It is impossible not to be impressed by the Tennessee Titans as they slammed the Browns 43-13 and picked off Baker Mayfield three times. The Indianapolis Colts meanwhile lost in overtime but did better than expected as Jacoby Brissett led a two-minute drive to tie the game, while Marlon Mack rushed for 175 yards. Playing on the road, the Colts have their work cut out for them. Look for the Titans defense to have another big game, especially with the crowd on their side.
The Dallas Cowboys pranced up and down the field last week, beating the Giants 35-17. The Washington Redskins meanwhile jumped out to a 17-0 lead and lost to the Eagles 32-27. With each playing a second divisional game, this one is big for both teams. Dak Prescott, who showed that he too deserves a big contract, by passing for over 400 yards, led a bulk of Dallas’ offense. The Redskins are a team that if not in rebuild mode is in a retooling mode. The good start and poor finish shows that can hang with teams if they are at the top of their game, but the poor second half shows they are lacking what is needed to be a contender.
The Oakland Raiders were able to put aside the bullshit that is Antonio Brown and beat the Broncos on Monday Night as they played well on both sides of the ball. The Kanas Chiefs meanwhile saw Patrick Mahomes connect with Sammy Watkins three times for touchdowns as they reached 40 in Jacksonville. An old rivalry sees its final meeting in Oakland, this one will go to the Chiefs but expect the Raiders to at least make interesting until the fourth quarter.
A pair of primetime losers meet in the Mile-High City. The Chicago Bears lost the season opener while scoring just three points, while the Denver Broncos offense also scuffled on Monday Night. Broncos coach Vic Fangio served as Defensive Coordinator of the Bears last season and knows just what they can do. The only question is what Mitch Trubisky can do against Bradley Chubb and Vonn Miller. The Broncos pass rushers struggled in Oakland and will look to rebound in the home opener. In the end, it will be more awfulness from Trubisky who has Matt Nagy steamin’ mad again.
Its revenge time for the New Orleans Saints as they face the Los Angeles Rams in a rematch of the NFC Championship Game. Both teams won in Week 1, with the Saints getting a magical fourth-quarter drive in 37 seconds by their ageless quarterback. The Rams saw an underwhelming performance from Jared Goff but still managed to beat the Panthers on the road. This one should be close, with the Saints getting the win that they deserved in January by going into Los Angeles to upset the Rams.
Both the Philadelphia Eagles and Atlanta Falcons started slowly in Week 1. The difference was that the Eagles rallied in the second half to beat the Redskins at home, while the Falcons withered in Minnesota. Now coming home on Sunday Night, Atlanta faces a must-win against a team that beat them in the season opener last year and in the playoffs the year before. The Falcons have always tended to play better at home. The Eagles secondary showed vulnerabilities that Matt Ryan should be able to exploit to get the win.
Two teams with high expectations that suffered home losses in Week 1 meet on Monday Night Football as the New York Jets host the Cleveland Browns. The Browns were simply hit with a right cross as the Titans served up a nice helping of humble pie. The Jets loss was more troubling as they blew a 16-0 lead after CJ Mosely left with an injury. Mosely is doubtful to play Monday, and that makes the Jets doubtful to win. Look for Baker Mayfield and Odell Beckham Jr. to come out to impress, as the Jets continue to wander aimlessly with coach Adam Gase, who may be one and done in New York if the early returns continue.