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Week 2 NFL Preview

AP Photo |Mark LoMoglio

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Carolina Panthers (Thurs. 8:20 pm)

The deflated Panthers look to get back in the swing of things, after their 30-27 home loss against the Los Angeles Rams. Look for the Panthers to feed the offense through their All-Purpose Back Christain McCaffery. Despite the tough loss to the Rams in Week 1, McCaffery had 209 total yards ( 128 rushing, 81 receiving). The Bucs are very hungry to win their first division game under head coach Bruce Arians. If they want to win this game it’s going to have to be an offensive duel and Jameis Winston has to be electric and has to find Mike Evans and Chris Goodwin in space.

Indianapolis Colts vs. Tennessee Titans (Sun. 1:00 pm)

After the surprising retirement of Andrew Luck, the Indianapolis Colts limped into the regular season with a low morale in the locker room and an inexperienced quarterback at the reigns of a preseason AFC Championship favorite squad. The Colts quickly showed that they are still a contender in the AFC South. They are looking to replicate the efforts of T.Y Hilton and Marlon Mack as they both carried their offense in the overtime loss against the Chargers a week ago. As for the Titans they’re looking to ride the adrenaline after their surprising week one victory against the favored Cleveland Browns. Marcus Mariota and Derrick Henry could be a problem for the Colts defense as they allowed 333 yards passing and 125 yards rushing against the Chargers. Indianapolis needs to reduce the big plays down field and punish the Chargers front seven if they even want to have a chance against Tennessee this Sunday.

San Francisco 49ers vs. Cincinnati Bengals (Sun. 1:00 pm)

In this game look for the connection between Jimmy Garoppollo and George Kittle to be the main focus on offense. With injuries to two speed demons in Tevin Coleman and Jerick McKinnon, Matt Brieda is taking the workload at Running Back. When Kittle is your best skill position player the defensive schemes to stop him should be easy, emphasis on should be. Andy Dalton and the Bengals are coming off a disappointing loss, despite Andy Dalton posing career high numbers in Completions (35) and Passing Yards (418). Speaking of speed demons, John Ross had what looked to be a breakout performance with 7 Receptions, 158 yards, 2 Touchdowns. Another focal point of the Bengals offense is the returning question, how healthy are Joe Mixon and Tyler Eifert? If those two can carry their weight the Bengals then they should walk out with a win.

Los Angeles Chargers vs. Detroit Lions (Sun. 1:00 pm)

The Los Angeles Chargers are looking to keep it rolling after their exciting overtime finish against the Colts this past week. Despite star wideout Mike Williams apparent ankle injury in the first half, they managed to still run circles around the Colts secondary with the help of Keenan Allen’s 123 yards receiving. Look for Philip Rivers to make deep throws down field to his wide outs and short dump passes to the electrifying and elusive running back Austin Ekeler. Meanwhile the Lions are trying to overcome a not so satisfying finish as they tied with the cardinals last week 27-27 after leading most of the game, look for the Lions defense to remain deflated after giving up seventeen points in the fourth quarter. Even though Matthew Stafford had a monster game with 385 yards and three touchdowns the Chargers defense is not as stagnant as Arizona’s.

Minnesota Vikings vs. Green Bay Packers (Sun. 1:00 pm)

Minnesota is looking for another great week this week after beating the Falcons by 16 points in their home opener. Kirk Cousins was almost a non factor last week as he threw a measly ten passes for 98 yards. The main point of attack for this Vikings offense was on the ground as Dalvin Cook rushed for 2 touchdowns and 111 yards, cutting right through the Falcons defense. The Vikings should look to their big name receivers in Thielen and Diggs to give another dimension to this offense. After surviving in the belly of the beast in Chicago, the Packers looked relieved, even overjoyed at the fact that they just overcame one of the league’s most dangerous defenses while only allowing the young Bears’ offense to score three points. With the acquisitions the Packers made on the defensive side of the ball in Free Agency the sky’s the limit for this young team, Aaron Rodgers and the offense need to be more electrifying and potent with especially through the big name stars such as Davante Adams and Jimmy Graham.

New England Patriots vs. Miami Dolphins (Sun. 1:00 pm)

New England has way too much firepower in this game to not be considered a favorite, but we all know that division games in AFC East are either one of two things a snoozefest or an unexpected overtime game that keeps you on the edge of your seat. With the newly acquired All-NFL star in Antonio Brown, look for Tom Brady to get him integrated in the offense. Which brings their offensive core over the top. With all that being said the Patriots are 1-5 in their last six trips to Miami. The weapons the Fins bring to the table are kind of dismal when you put them against Belichick and the Pats defense. Kenyon Drake was disappointing to say the least against the Ravens last week, now he must try and make magic happen against a defense that held Steelers running back James Connor to 21 yards. 

Buffalo Bills vs. New York Giants (Sun. 1:00 pm)

The Giants pretty much run their offense through one human that is almost impossible to contain, Saquon Barkely. So there will be no surprise as to who the Bills will be looking to stop right from the kick off, with eleven carries for 120 yards Saquon has started this season off smoldering in the backfield. A pleasant surprise last week for the Giants was the excellent play from their young tight end Evan Engram, with 11 catches for 116 yards and a touchdown, he helped draw some of the attention away from Saquon. Although Eli and the Giants moved the ball about as well as you’d expect them to in week one, the defense was eaten alive by the duo of Dak Prescott and Zeke Elliot. In order for them to bounce back this week they need to contain the plethora of dynamic running backs including David Singletary, Frank Gore and TJ Yeldon. Also a scrambler at the QB position Josh Allen is looking to get the rushing yards and passing yards that are almost expected when playing this weak Giants defense. Look for Josh Allen to also flirt with the long ball as his favorite target John Brown showed the Cowboys secondary he could play last week, as he had 7 receptions for 123 yards in a touchdown.

Seattle Seahawks vs Pittsburgh Steelers (Sun. 1:00 pm)

Coming off of the brutal pounding the Steelers suffered to the Patriots, you know Tomlin and crew are looking for revenge on a cross conference foe. Big Ben looked everything upsetting Week 1, look for JuJu and Ben to connect against the mediocre Seahawks secondary. Last year’s undisputed breakout star (James Connor) is listed as questionable for this game. Even if Connor does get a lot of touches, Seattle’s Front Seven unlike their secondary is stout. The Seahawks barely squeaked out a win vs the Bengals, their offense wasn’t awful it just wasn’t anything to call home about. Russell put up a sharp performance but it wasn’t anything exciting. Chris Carson wasn’t very good Week 1, but he did muster a touchdown, look for him to get more involved in their offense.

Dallas Cowboys vs. Washington Redskins (Sun. 1:00 pm)

Dak Prescott, that’s the only name that the Redskins should be focused on after his unbelievable performance in week one against the Giants. 25-32, 405 yards, and 4 touuchdowns to all different receivers. The cowboys receiving core has more depth than the Redskins secondary but with names like Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, Jason Witten, Randall Cobb and Tavon Austin, the cowboys are not to be played with. The cowboys defense was resilient and played well throughout the game including big games from Leighton Vander Esch, Xavier Woods, and Dexter Lawrence. The cowboys are looking to do some damage against the veteran Adrian Peterson and Case Keenum. The Redskins young running back Darrius Guice is out this week after suffering an injury last week against the eagles, Adrian Peterson is more than capable of picking up the slack in the run game, but can Terry Mclaurin reciprocate his performance with 5 receptions, 125 yards and a touchdown. The Redskins receiving core is not well known and need to play more games to see how well they can play against solid defenses. Josh Norman and Landon Collins need to be an anchor for the defense if they want to compete with the Cowboys electric receiving core.

Arizona Cardinals vs. Baltimore Ravens (Sun. 1:00 pm)

Week one was a huge coming out party for Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens. Although he is a “running back” in the media’s eyes, he proved that he can do just as much with his arm as he can with his feet. With a total of 6 touchdowns (5 throwing and 1 rushing), he embarrassed the already troubled Dolphins defense. Marquise “Hollywood” Brown matched Lamar’s intensity with two 50 yard touchdowns, not to mention Mark Ingram’s 107 yards and two touchdowns rushing. If the Cardinals want any chance of scoring on the blistering hot Raven’s defense, Kyler Murray needs to make a more immediate impact right from the kick off. David Johnson did his part busting through the Detroit front seven with regularity and taking the attention away from the rookie quarterback and their elite aging wide out (Larry Fitzgerald). Chandler Jones and the other three linemen up front need constant pressure against Baltimore’s speedy offense just to give themselves a chance going down the stretch.

Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Houston Texans (Sun. 1:00 pm)

When it rains it pours, and that’s exactly what happened for the Jaguars in Week 1. Nobody thought they were gonna win against the Super Bowl hopeful Chiefs, but nobody expected Nick Foles to go down with a broken clavicle. All that being said there is an upside for the Jags. Gardner Minshew came in and threw very well against the stacked chiefs secondary. Look for Fournette to get more touches against a Texans defensive line that didn’t have anything to say against the Saints Week 1. If the Texans come out and balance their offense between the multiple threats they have at their disposal they should have a great chance to exploit the Jags defense.    

Kansas City Chiefs vs. Oakland Raiders (Sun. 4:05 pm)

Jon Gruden might have walked off the field last week like he won the Super Bowl last week, but they still have a lot of work to do and that includes this week against Kansas City. David Carr, Josh Jacobs, Tyrell Williams and company looked fluent in their game against the Broncos. Josh Jacobs became the first running back since Ladanian Tomlinson to have 100 yards from scrimmage and two rushing touchdowns in their first game, a great opening comparison for the former Alabama running back. Kansas City…what can’t you say, they have unlimited weapons, great coaching, a young quarterback willing to learn and elevate his team to new heights. This team is straight up dangerous, with Lesean McCoy, Carlos Hyde, and Damien Williams in the backfield, Travis Kelce, Sammy Watkins and Tyreke Hill as your receivers you can’t go wrong giving any of these guys the ball. This Oakland defense is going to struggle mightily against this Kansas offense and will leave Jon Gruden watching tape for next week’s game. 

Chicago Bears vs. Denver Broncos (Sun. 4:25 pm)

            The Bears lost a game Week 1 that they shouldn’t have, the pass rush for their star studded defense didn’t stand out with only 5 sacks against the Packers. This week is the coming out game for the Bears as they travel a mile high to face the Broncos. This is a game for Trubisky and the Bears to prove they belong not only at the top of their division, but serious playoff contenders as well. The Broncos need to focus on stopping the Bears offense that’s going to be vengeful after only putting up 3 points against the Packers. On the offensive side of things Joe Flacco didn’t look terrible Week 1 but he’s going to have to expand his options outside of Sutton and Sanders, that is if his offensive line can stop the Bears pass rush.

New Orleans Saints vs. Los Angeles Rams (Sun. 4:25 pm)

STAR POWER, what more do I need to say? The undisputed game of the week. Brees, Kamara, Thomas, Cook, Jordan, Apple and Lattimore for the Saints. Donald, Goff, Gurley, Cooks, Matthews, Peters, and Talib for the Rams. This game will be hard fought on both sides of the ball with potential gamebreakers on offense and unarguable turnover threats on defense. The great offensive minds of Sean Payton and Sean Mcvey will be on full display and football fans around the country are ready and waiting. Who will out score who? It’s a difficult question to answer but with both of these high powered offenses shooting shots you can expect a lot of fireworks and drama down the stretch. Kamara and Gurley need to be efficient in order to offer space for their superstar quarterbacks to create for their wide outs. Michael Thomas, Robert Woods, Brandin Cooks, and Ted Ginn Jr. are in for big days if the defense falters in this kind of environment.

Philadelphia Eagles vs. Atlanta Falcons (Sun. 8:20 pm)

Battle of the Birds! With the re-emergence of Desean Jackson and Carson Wentz the eagles offense was flying all over Redskins Week 1. Carson Wentz was back to pre-injury form in Week 1 with a stunning stat line of 28/39, 313 yards, 3 TDs. Desean Jackson had one of the best homecoming games you could have asked for as well. The Falcons need to emerge on offense after a disappointing show of skill last week. Matt Ryan was shaky, admittedly against a great defense, but no excuse to flop as hard as he did. If the Falcons want to edge out the Eagles, Matt Ryan and his plethora of receivers need to connect, despite the Eagles strong defense. As for the Eagles look for Carson to deliver the ball deep, and for the ground game to get on its feet. 

Cleveland Browns vs. New York Jets (Mon. 8:15)

Welp, the Browns are actually favored in a game and what happens? They get blown out of course, Baker Mayfield threw three INT’s and their defense gave up a bunch of points to a team in the Tennessee Titans that have struggled offensively in recent years. The Brown’s offense has to improve they have to feed Nick Chubb, Odell Beckham Jr., Jarvis Landry and David Njoku. These offensive weapons were not utilized last week in order to beat a Jet’s team that is hungry for a home win. The Jets defense has players that are reaching stardom in Jamal Adams and Quinnen Williams, but in order for the Browns to win this game they need to make these players nonexistent.On the offensive side of things Sam Darnold needs to make this a statement game for his career. The story of it plays out quite nicely, Darnold establishes himself against Baker. Look out for Le’veon Bell to get a lot of touches and expose the supposed good run defense that the Browns possess.

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