Previewing NFL Week 2

It is surprising the feature game this week is on Thursday night when the Chiefs host the Chargers as Patrick Mahomes duels Justin Herbert.

The NFL doesn’t usually put feature games like this on Thursday nights, but they are doing because it will be the first regular-season game on the new Amazon Prime Video contract.

The game won’t get the same ratings as it would on basic cable because many fans either don’t have Prime Video or don’t even know what it is. But the NFL decided to take the money and run and accept lower ratings. The question is how much lower. The rating will be watched closely.

The game figures to be must-watch TV for those who can watch it. Last year, Mahomes and Herbert split two high scoring games with the home team losing both games. The Chargers won at Kansas City 30-24 and the Chiefs won in Los Angeles 34-28 in overtime. The second game this year will be played on Nov. 20 in Los Angeles in a Sunday doubleheader game. The NFL couldn’t take both games away from CBS so this will not be in prime time.

Now some other observations on Week 2:

-This a big week for the 14 teams that lost their openers (Colts and Texans played to a tie) because an 0-2 start is difficult to overcome and puts a lot of pressure on the third game to avoid an 0-3 start. Only two games pit teams that lost their openers with Rams hosting Falcons in what should be an easy Rams victory and the Bengals going to Dallas as a seven-point favorite.

–The strangest spread of the week is New England a one-point pick at Pittsburgh. Granted, the Patriots have a history of playing well against the Steelers, who will be playing without T.J. Watt and have Mitch Trubisky at quarterback, but the Patriots dynasty appears to be over.

–The oddsmakers weren’t impressed that Chicago beat San Francisco in their opener and the Packers lost to Minnesota. The Packers are a 10-point favorite over the Bears in the Sundy night game. In other lopsided spreads for the survivor pool members to look at, the Bills are favored by 10 over the Titans, Denver is favored by 10 over the Texans, the 49ers are favored by 9.5 over the Seahawks and the Rams by 10.5 over the Falcons. The Rams and 49ers look like the best bets.

–There are two Monday night games and one  looks better than the Sunday night game with the Eagles a 1.5-point choice over the Vikings on ABC. In the other Monday night game on ESPN, Buffalo is favored by 10 over the Titans.

–Tom Brady figures to keep winning even though the Bucs are only favored by only 3 over the Saints.

–Cleveland is likely to get off to a 2-0 start even though Deshaun Watson is suspended. They are favored by six over the Jets.

–The Colts haven’t won in Jacksonville since 1994 and lost there in the season finale to cost them a playoff spot, but they are still a four-point choice over the Jaguars.

–The Commanders have a shot at a 2-0 start since they are a 2.5-point choice at Detroit. After going 3-13-1 last year, the Lions need a victory to avoid an 0-2 start.   

–Lamar Jackson, who is bet on himself this year when he turned down the Ravens’ long-term offer, is favored by 3.5 points over the Dolphins, who beat New England in their opener. 

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