Panthers @ Falcons
Falcons will look to bounce back from the loss to the Eagles with their home opener versus their division rivals. Freeman, their top running back, is out but in Tevin Coleman they’ve got an able replacement. Much has been made about the Falcon’s red zone deficiencies and a good Panther’s defence will look to take advantage of that. The Panthers have their own injury issues with top target Greg Olsen out for a ‘sizable chunk of the season’. Ian Thomas will step in but expect to see more action for McCaffrey and DJ Moore.
Verdict: A close one but Falcons to win
Colts @ Redskins
The Redskins had the perfect start to the year with a road trip win in Arizona. New quarterback Alex Smith looked confident in the new system and new running back Adrian Peterson continued his Hall of Fame career by scoring his 100th TD. The Colts offensive line will have their hands full with a stout defensive line, not great considering the trouble they had in week one. Luck has another game under his belt and expect to see his confidence increase further.
Verdict: Redskins to win
Texans @ Titans
The Texans started slowly in New England last week but their returning stars, Watson and Watt, got better as the game wore on. The Titans had a tough loss to the Dolphins which saw Mariota and Delanie Walker go off injured, the latter out for the season. The Titans need to get more out of the running game and I wouldn’t be surprised to see both Henry and Lewis on the field at the same time to give Mariota more options out of the backfield. DeAndre Hopkins will have a tough time against cornerback Malcom Butler.
Verdict: Texans will prove too strong for an understrength Titans
Eagles @ Buccaneers
The Eagles opened their defence of the title with a win over a much-fancied Falcon’s team. Fair to say that neither team played well though, the Eagles winning out with a good defensive display which the Bucs will find harder to dominate then they did the Saints. Sad to say, but Fitzpatrick has a habit of following up impressive display with the exact opposite the next week and I think that’s what will happen this week. The Eagles defensive front are so much better than the Saints and Fitzpatrick won’t have nearly as much time to get the ball away
Verdict: The Eagles roll on and record another win.
Chiefs @ Steelers
Still without Bell, the Steelers will look to improve this week after struggling to a tie against Cleveland. The Chiefs defence doesn’t have the same fire power as the Browns but it’s essential that Big Ben cuts down on the INTs. The Chiefs high powered offence however will roll in to Pittsburgh full of confidence and it’ll take a lot of scheming for Tomlin to figure out how to stop it. Stop it though I think they will, at least enough to secure a win.
Verdict: Pittsburgh, courtesy of a couple of Mahomes INTs
Dolphins @ Jets
The Dolphins weren’t terribly impressive against a Titans team that lost it’s starting QB and tight end. The Jets secured one of their biggest away victories in some time and Sam Darnold displayed the skills that made him a much-fancied prospect when coming in to the draft. At home, with the an increasingly improving wide receiver duo I expect him to carry on in his development but it’ll be a tougher match up than what Detroit gave him.
Verdict: J-E-T-S, Jets, Jets, Jets
Chargers @ Bills
I don’t care that they have to go to Buffalo to play this game, the Bills stink and the Chargers don’t. Against the Bills O-Line I expect Ingram and the Chargers D-Line to have a big day, even without Joey Bosa. The backfield of the Chargers also have the potential to have some fun with rookie QB Josh Allen not known for his accuracy and a Bills receiver corps that is less than talented.
Vikings @ Packers
Am really looking forward to this match-up. A lot of it of course depends on the fitness of Aaron Rodgers but even if he’s only at 30% fitness, he’s a better option than Kizer. Rodgers will face a similarly horrid pass rush as he did last week, but the Vikings have even more people to get to him than just Mack. Cousins and a solid offence shouldn’t have too much trouble from the Packers defence.
Verdict: A good match with the Vikings winning out
Browns @ Saints
The Saints have to bounce back after a woeful defensive display against the Bucs last week. Drew Brees and co will have a tough match up this week, should the Browns defence play as they did against the Steelers last week. The Browns offence however needs to improve and match up to their defensive team mates, but I can’t see them doing enough this week.
Lions @ 49ers
The Lions were simply dreadful against the Jets in week one and with rumours of discontent within the camp, this could be a long season for the fans from Michigan. I don’t think they can be much worse, but I do think the 49ers are better than the Jets. Jimmy G will have more time and space to throw the ball this week and he’ll revel in it in the 49ers home opener.
Cardinals @ Rams
The Cardinals faithful will be hoping for a big improvement in their teams play this weekend, and whilst that may happen, I don’t think they’ll have enough to beat the Rams in LA. If Bradford plays like he did last week then he could see himself hauled off for the rookie Josh Rosen. The Rams need to play like they did in the 4th quarter last week to beat their division foe. I expect the Rams defensive line to be even more dominant against an O-Line which is lacking in quality.
Verdict: The Rams, and it could get messy…
Patriots @ Jaguars
Another great match-up for week two and a repeat of the AFC Championship game from 2017. The Patriots benefited last week from a Texans pass rush that started the game slowly, they won’t have the same luxury this week. Jalen Ramsay has spent most of his time off the field slagging off various rivals, this week focussing on Gronkowski. For his sake, I hope he’s right! I do think the Jags defence will be too strong for a Pats team that usually takes a couple of weeks to get up to speed.
Verdict: Jags get revenge for last season’s playoff loss
Raiders @ Broncos
Case Keenum threw three TDs along with three INTs last week against the Seahawks. This week he’s up against a less talented defence which struggled against Goff last week. The Bronco’s pass rush has a tougher time against an O-Line which is probably the biggest strength of the Raiders. However, the Bronco’s have Von Miller in form.
Verdict: Straight forward win for the Broncos
Giants @ Cowboys
Both teams suffered a week one loss to good defensive plays. Both teams have young dynamic running backs playing behind suspect O-Lines. But only one team has Eli Manning… Ok so maybe not something to shout about too loudly. What the Giants also have though is a receiving corps! That alone will make Eli look better than Dak.
Verdict: Giants. Just.
Seahawks @ Bears
The Bears will be, rightfully, gutted after last weeks comeback from Aaron Rodgers but there was a lot in that performance (in the first half at least) to be positive about. What I’m looking forward to most about this game? Watching Mack go up against a woeful O-Line and chase down Russell Wilson! Wilson barely has any receivers to throw to so may have to do everything himself (what’s new) which will be tough against a good Bears team.