Two surprise Week 1 winners meet for the chance to start 2-0. The Raiders have two strikes against them, one they have the short week after Monday Night and two they are playing the early game after traveling cross country. The Raiders were sloppy in their win, while the Bills looked solid. I expect coming home the Bills will continue to play well and win again, as QB Ryan Fitzpatrick has another solid game.
Last week, Panthers QB Cam Newton showed why he was the first player chosen in the draft, by passing for a rookie record 422 yards against the Cardinals. In his home debut things will be much tougher as the Panthers face the Champs. The Packers defense won’t give up as many yards as the Cardinals, while the loss of Jon Beason will make things harder for the Panthers who need to stop QB Aaron Rodgers to have a chance.
Last week the Chiefs came out flat at home and were buffaloed by the Bills, while the Lions had a solid road win in Tampa. The Lions including the final four games of last year have now won five straight, and fans in Detroit are starting to believe. In the home opener expect the Lions to come out fired up as the crowd and defense will win the day, as Matthew Stafford looks for a chance to show he can stay healthy and lead his team to the playoffs.
Perhaps no team needs a win more than the Colts, who in Week 1 without QB Peyton Manning were humiliated by the Texans. Manning won’t be back anytime soon, and Kerry Collins needs to play better or the Colts season could be over before October. The Browns also need a win after a lackluster home loss to the Bengals. The Colts body language tells you all you need to know right now they don’t even think they can win without Peyton Manning.
Both teams lost last week and both teams played well. Though there has to be some alarm in Minnesota as QB Donovan McNabb looked awful. The Buccaneers have a solid defense and could provide some more issues for McNabb is making his Metrodome debut. If he plays as poorly again this week the roof can begin to cave in early.
Last week the Saints lost a tough opener in Lambeau Field, while the Bears dined on the Falcons. The Saints played well despite their loss and coming home I expect another big game. I expect to see Drew Brees put up some big numbers as the availability of Brian Urlacher could hamper the Bears. Though I fully expect him to play and give his best effort despite the loss of his mother. In the end the dome helps lift the Saints to a win.
Last week the Jets found a way to win a game they had no right winning, as the Cowboys held a 14 point lead in the 4th Quarter. This week expect things to go a wee bit easier for Gang Green, as the Jaguars defense does not have the talent the Cowboys have. While the Jaguars defense helped earn a win last week, their secondary was torched by Kenny Britt, look for a strong game from Santonio Holmes as the Jets get to 2-0.
Last week the Steelers were embarrassed by the rival Ravens in their season opener 35-7 as they committed seven turnovers as the Ravens ran circles around them. Since that loss the gurus of football have declared the Steelers too old, and finished for the 2010 season. The Seahawks meanwhile did not look much better in their loss by the Bay. The prediction here for the Seahawks pain. Nobody will be calling the Steelers old after this one is over.
Last week the Ravens came out hungry and angry as they shredded the Steelers 35-7. They were scary good on both sides of the football. The Titans meanwhile looked like a team that is rebuilding as Chris Johnson looked like a player who missed the pre-season. Expect more of the same this week as the Ravens post another solid win on the road, as Johnson has trouble getting traction against the Ravens defense.
This is another meeting of Week 1 winners, who can suddenly get a leg up on the playoffs with a win. Typically the Cardinals have trouble coming east, as they struggle when playing at 1PM. The Redskins also are a strong home team, and with QB Rex Grossman looking good against the Giants, I expect another strong game against a questionable Cardinals secondary, in the end that will be the difference.
Last week the Cowboys did every thing except win as they faced the Jets on the road. The 49ers won thanks to two returns from Ted Ginn Jr. as they faced a lackluster Seahawks offense, in the ugliest game of the opening weekend. This week the Cowboys avoid the big mistakes by QB Tony Romo and earn a solid win on the road.
No team needs a win more than the Broncos, who played sloppy in a Monday Night loss to the Raiders. The Broncos are at home again and every miss play QB Kyle Orton has will lead to louder and louder chants for Tim Tebow. Orton needs to get the Tebow crew to pipe down if the Broncos are to have a chance at contending. Another home loss to a lousy Bengals team and it could be curtains already.
Last week the Dolphins secondary was ripped to shreds by Tom Brady for 517 passing yards. This week with Matt Schaub throwing to Andre Johnson it could be just as bad. The Dolphins have yet to beat the Texans, and I don’t see it happening this Sunday either, as the Texans look to take the reigns of the AFC South and not look back.
This one could be exciting as Tom Brady coming off a 517 yard performance looks for another big game as the Patriots make their Foxboro debut. While Brady looked better than ever, the Pats defense left a lot to be desired Monday in Miami. Against Phillip Rivers the Pats defense could be exposed again, so it will be up to Brady if the Patriots are to start 2-0. This one has shootout written all over it, as special teams will be the difference maker as the Pats win a close one.
After an ugly loss to the Bears, the Falcons need a bounce back as their host the Eagles in their home opener. Adding to the drama is the return of Michael Vick, who is starting against his old team for the first time. Despite his win in St. Louis last week Vick was beat up, he can’t take a season worth of this abuse, and the Falcons needing a win will love to lay a hurtin’ on him. Expect a big game from Michael Turner on offense as the Falcons get back on track in Primetime.
For several years MASH ran on Mondays on CBS. This week on ESPN there are two teams that resemble a MASH unit. The Giants have been ravaged since the pre-season; while the Rams were beat up in their Week 1 loss to the Eagles. It looks good for the Rams that QB Sam Bradford will play, but without RB Stephen Jackson it is hard to imagine they can win on the road against the Giants, who simply can not afford a loss with their up coming schedule.