Thursday Night Football, where teams come lay an egg. Each of the first two games has seen the home team struggle, with both the Bears in Week 1 and the Panthers in Week 2 failing to get into the end zone. The Tennessee Titans have won the last four games against the Jaguars, last year not allowing a touchdown in either game. The Jaguars have had a week of turmoil. Logic says, take the Titans but my gut and it is a significant gut says Jaguars win thanks to the magical mustache of Gardner Minshew.
The Buffalo Bills are coming home after winning their first two games in the Meadowlands. The Cincinnati Bengals meanwhile were run over by the 49ers in their home debut last week. Josh Allen has been just good enough leading a fourth-quarter comeback against the Jets and tearing apart the Giants. The Bills defense meanwhile has been stellar, shutting down both Sam Darnold and Eli Manning. With Bills Mafia smelling blood and feeling a lift, look for the Bills to get to 3-0 for the first time since 2008.
Through the first two weeks, the Miami Dolphins have been outscored 102-10 at home the worst start in the Super Bowl era. The Dallas Cowboys meanwhile have scored 66 in their first two games, with Dak Prescott making a statement that he too deserves to get a big contract. Miami’s exodus of talent continued with the trade of Mikah Fitzpatrick, leaving Xavien Howard to post a Fresh Prince Meme. That is called gallows’ humor, and he will need plenty, as the Dolphins historic march to 0-16 continues.
The biggest revelation in Title Town has been the Green Bay Packers rejuvenated defense. After shutting down the Bears in the opener, the Packers beat the Vikings with a solid team effort at Lambeau Field last week. The Denver Broncos meanwhile have struggled, starting 0-2 with Joe Flacco looking lost at quarterback. Hard to see either of these trends reversing, as the Packers with the help of the home crowd keep the pressure on Flacco, while Aaron Rodgers shines again for Green Bay.
You have to give the Indianapolis Colts credit. After the retirement of Andrew Luck, they had been written off, but they come home 1-1 after playing decent football in each of their first two games. The Colts have been led by the strong running game of Marlon Mack, while Jacoby Brissett has been decent at quarterback. The Atlanta Falcons continue their up and down ways, stinking it up on the road in week 1, and winning at home last week. The Colts have also looked good on defense; look for that trend to continue as they get a win in their first home game of the year.
Last season, the Baltimore Ravens were able to contain Patrick Mahomes for much of their Week 14 meeting. That was until the Kansas City Chiefs MVP quarterback began to make magic happen. Mahomes led a late score to force overtime, where the Chiefs won the game. The Ravens come into this game 2-0, as Lamar Jackson has been strong at quarterback. This one could be one of the better games of the weekend, look for Patrick Mahomes to make the big play for a Chiefs home win.
For five quarters, the Oakland Raiders looked like they had something going as they jumped out to a 10-0 lead over the Chiefs, coming off a Monday Night win. The Minnesota Vikings meanwhile struggled in Green Bay after an impressive win in Week 1. This game begins a six-week stretch in which the Raiders only “home game” is in London. Kirk Cousins is a bully at quarterback, hiding against the good teams and lighting up the bad teams. The Raiders would qualify as a bad team.
Has any team ever had an easier start to the season than the reigning Super Bowl Champions? In Week 1, the New England Patriots allowed just three points against a flat Steelers team, while they shutout a Dolphins team that looks like it could not compete in the AAF, let alone the NFL. Now landing in Foxboro is the New York Jets who come into the game 0-2 with a third-string quarterback. The Jets are not only short at quarterback; the defense has suffered some key injuries, opening the door for another easy Patriots win.
The Detroit Lions rebounded from their fourth-quarter collapse in the opener, to beat the Chargers in their home opener last week. The Philadelphia Eagles meanwhile suffered a Sunday Night loss in Atlanta. The Eagles loss to the Falcons was more or less one of those games that could have gone either way, as the game went back and forth in the fourth quarter. Back home, look for the Eagles to soar, as Carson Wentz looks like he is starting to find a groove at quarterback for Philadelphia.
Through two weeks, one thing is clear for the Carolina Panthers, and that is Cam Newton is lost. The former MVP who is coming off shoulder surgery has lacked zip and accuracy on his passes, while he has not been able to run with any force. The Panthers could very well go to Kyle Allen in the desert as Newton has been missing at practice. Kyler Murray meanwhile has impressed in his first two games, a comeback tie and a competitive loss in Baltimore. Now he will get his first win, as the Riverboat Ron appears to be sinking with the Panthers ship.
The New York Giants have turned the page, officially naming Daniel Jones as the team’s starting quarterback for Week 3. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers meanwhile appear to have a vastly improved defense coming off their road win over the Panthers. The Buccaneers pass defense has been especially stingy. The Giants defense meanwhile has been soft, as they gave up big numbers to both Dak Prescott and Josh Allen. Eli Manning was not playing well, but he was not the Giants problem. Look for the struggles to continue as the Bucs make Jones walk the plank.
The Houston Texans may be one of the most confounding teams in the league. They have a strong defense led by J.J. Watt, and Deshaun Watson is a reliable quarterback, but they often are their own worst enemy making critical mistakes at the wrong time. The Los Angeles Chargers see that statement and request that I hold their beverage. Phillip Rivers for all the great numbers he has put up, just cannot get over the game killing interception. Last week it happened again in the loss to Detroit. This one can go either way, but I see the Chargers have the edge at home.
After wins in Tampa and Cincinnati, the San Francisco 49ers come home 2-0 looking for their first 3-0 start since 1998. The Pittsburgh Steelers meanwhile face a crisis point at 0-2, as Ben Roethlisberger has been lost to Tommy John surgery. Mason Rudolph played well in relief last week, but it is hard to see him winning his first start on the road. The Steelers have made an attempt to sure up the defense trading a first-round pick for Mikah Fitzpatrick. Look for Jimmy Garoppolo to shine, as Fitzpatrick will not be enough to get Pittsburgh back on track.
For the second week in a row, the New Orleans Saints are on the West Coast. This is a daunting task under the best circumstances, but with Drew Brees out with a thumb injury, this one looks impossible. The Seattle Seahawks are off to a 2-0 start doing just enough to win their first two games. With Teddy Bridgewater, making his first real start in four years, it is hard to imagine this going well as he has to face a stout Seattle pass rush as well as the 12th man.
This is the first Sunday Night Game in Northern Ohio in 11 years, and Pepsi is pulling out all the stops, releasing a special orange soda called Believeland. The Cleveland Browns with similar hype laid an egg in Week 1 but came out and smoked the Jets on Monday Night. The Los Angeles Rams have not shown any Super Bowl hangover, as they have started 2-0. This one should be as good as advertised with the Browns taking the lift from the home crowd to victory.
Cue up the Boom Town Rats, because the Washington Redskins don’t like Mondays. Since 200, the Redskins at 5-23 on Monday Night Football, that includes seven straight losses and a 3-17 mark in their last 20 games on MNF. The Redskins have shown signs of life early but are 0-2 as they have to divisional losses. The Chicago Bears meanwhile are coming off a dramatic win in Denver, as Eddy Piniero won the game with a 53-yard kick. Mitch Trubisky has struggled so far, but the Bears defense has been monstrous, allowing just 24 points in the first two games combined. With that in mind and Khalil Mack on the attack, it looks like another bad case of the Mondays for the Redskins.