NFL Week 2 Preview

By Lucas Didier
Sep. 13, 2017

The NFL's opening week was anything but boring. You normally expect plenty of surprise from Week 1, and last week was no exception. The Week opened with Kansas City's stunning win in New England where the Patriots had their worst defensive performance in the Bill Belichick era. In this game, Kareem Hunt had a record-breaking debut and Alex smith completely outplayed Tom Brady. Alex Smith recorded the top passing performance of the week, followed by Sam Bradford on Monday night. Also on Monday night, a potential game-tying field goal was blocked in the final seconds to secure a Broncos win over the Chargers. Maybe more surprising than all of that was that the Browns and Bears nearly won their openers, and the Jaguars and Rams both won their games in blowout fashion.

It's hard to say if Week 2 can continue the tone set by the opener. Even if it can't, I think there are at least a few games that need to be seen. Let's take a closer look at those games, starting with Sunday Night.

The Must See Games of the Week

#1: Packers vs Falcons

Nearly 8 months ago, the Falcons romped the Packers in the Georgia Dome in the NFC Championship game. Now, we find ourselves watching the same game in the same city but in a different stadium. However, that won't be the only thing different this time. If you have read my recent work, you will know that I expect a lot from the Packers this season. I expect the same type of offensive performance that the Falcons gave us last season. They certainly didn't give us that in Week 1, but they were playing the Seahawks, and the Falcons' defense doesn't pose the same threat to the Packers as Seattle's does. In that Seattle game, I also saw an improving Packers' defense. The Packers held the Seahawks to just 9 points. The Packers did not allow less than 10 points in any game last season. The Seahawks aren't known for scoring a lot of points, but it's still something to be proud of.

From the Falcons, I expect a slight decline. I believe losing Kyle Shanahan is a hard hit. I just don't think the offense is quite the same without him. The defense also has a long way to go. If Mike Glennon and his lack of receivers could have a decent game against this defense, just imagine what Rodgers could do. I'm hesitant to predict a blowout win from Green Bay as I remember the NFC Championship, but I do expect a Packers' win this time around.

Outcome: Packers win 38-31

#2: Cowboys vs Broncos

The clash between a great offense and a great defense is among the best things to watch in football. In this case we have the young, potential offensive juggernaut Cowboys vs the nearly unbreakable Bronco defense. It doesn't get a whole lot better than that. The Cowboys will get the best of this matchup, but only if they rely heavily on the run in the early stages, which shouldn't be too hard if Elliott is clear to play. The reason being that the Broncos have a top notch secondary, coupled with a great pass rush. Now, the Cowboys have some tools in the passing game, but even the very best passing attacks struggle to conquer this defense by themselves. The Broncos are a little weak against the run, so Dallas needs to take advantage of that early. If they can force them to stack the box, then they can switch gears and try to get Dak going.

The rest of this game is a bit of a mystery to me. Both the Cowboys' offense and Broncos defense are unproven in my eyes. The Cowboys looked stout last Sunday, but keep in mind that they played a weak Giants' offense that was missing it's best player. The Broncos offense seems to get the job done, but they lack the stars that you expect a good offense to have. In the end, I'm going with the team that I believe to have the advantage in the premier matchup, and that's the Cowboys.

Outcome: Cowboys win 24-16

#3: Lions vs Giants

Amazingly, in just Week 2, people are already calling this a must win game for the Giants, and they might be right. Going down 0-2 is hard to overcome in a tight division. To add more pressure, Odell Beckham, Jr. may not be ready in time for this game. This could be trouble for the Giants. We saw how bad they were without him last week. They obviously need to play better if they expect to win this game.

The Giants defense should keep them in this game. The Giants held the Cowboys under 20 points on Sunday Night, and the Lions are more one-dimensional. Matthew Stafford is a very talented QB, but he can't do it all himself against a defense like this. I really think this game will be dependent on whether or not OBJ plays. So, for the first time ever, I'm making a conditional prediction

Outcome with OBJ: Giants win 17-24.....Outcome without OBJ: Lions win 17-13

#4 Patriots vs Saints

This game is on here for one reason and one reason only, Brady vs Brees. Any time 2 all-time great QBs play each other, it is worth watching, even if it could easily be a blowout. If you do watch this game, watch these QBs closely. We likely won't see them play each other again, so we better soak it all up. Last week, both had outings that were very average. It will be interesting to see how both of them bounce back, or if they will bounce back at all. However, one thing is for sure. Even if Brady doesn't play well, the Patriots are still a much better team than the Saints. It will take a huge miracle from "Breesus" himself to get a win here.

Outcome: Patriots win 35-24

The Lesser Games of the Week

Texans over Bengals

Ravens over Browns

Panthers over Bills

Cardinals over Colts

Titans over Jaguars

Chiefs over Eagles

Steelers over Vikings

Bears over Buccaneers

Dolphins over Chargers

Raiders over Jets

Rams over Redskins

Seahawks over 49ers

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