Previewing NFL Week 2

The big question for the second week of the season is how many teams will come out of the week 2-0 and how many will be 0-2.

The games featuring 1-0 teams in which the winner will come out 2-0 are Steelers-Raiders, Panthers-Saints and San Francisco-Philadelphia.

The New York Giants became the first team to start off 0-2 after their mistakes cost them the game against Washington Thursday night.

A Daniel Jones touchdown was wiped out by a holding call and the Giants gave Dustin Hopkins a second shot at a game-winning field goal when Dexter Lawrence was offsides as Hopkins missed a 48-yarder. Given a second chance from the 43, he nailed it.

The other two games featuring two 0-1 teams with the losers dropping to 0-2 are New England-Jets and Green Bay-Detroit. All the other 1-0 teams are playing 0-1 teams and have a shot at 2-0.

A look at this weekend:

—There are three interesting attractions this weekend – Steelers-Raiders and Dolphins-Bills at 1 p.m. Sunday and the Chiefs-Ravens as the Sunday night prime time game. The MNF game pitting Green Bay against Detroit isn’t much of an attraction.

—Steelers-Raiders was once one of the best rivalries in the NFL when they played in the playoffs five years in a row in the 1970s and the winner won the Super Bowl three consecutive years. But the rivalry has waned in recent years although both teams won their openers. But it will be the featured 1 p.m. game shown in much of the country.

—The Bills, touted as a Super Bowl contender, can’t afford a second loss to drop to 0-2. But the game won’t get much coverage since it is being shown only in southern Florida and the northeast.

—The Chiefs are going for a 2-0 start against the Ravens, who are desperate to rebound after losing the MNF game to the Raiders in a game that had a wild finish. The game features Patrick Mahomes vs. Lamar Jackson, but Chiefs have beaten the Ravens the last three years so they appear to have the edge. Andy Reid is 4-0 vs. Ravens with Chiefs and 6-1 overall.

—Fifteen quarterbacks started the season with new teams and one of them, Ryan Fitzpatrick, was sidelined with an injury so Taylor Heinicke became the 32nd quarterback to start this season. The other 31 return for a second game.

—Three rookie quarterbacks will start their second game and two of them — Mac Jones and Zach Wilson — will meet as the Patriots play at the Jets. Considering Bill Belichick’s record against rookie quarterbacks as he tries to confuse Wilson, Jones figures to get his first win. The third starting quarterback rookie, Trevor Lawrence, faces a tough task against Denver after throwing three picks in the loss to Houston last week although the heat in Jacksonville may be a problem for the Broncos.

—The homefield advantage isn’t what it used to be. Road teams won half the 16 games. Last year road teams have had a 128-127-1 edge. No obvious explanation for road teams doing well although it could be the officials aren’t letting home crowd affect them.

—Defending champion Tampa Bay figures to get off to a 2-0 start against Atlanta. With Brady facing the Falcons, it will bring back memories of 28-3.

Leave a Reply