WEEK 2 NFL CAPSULES
Ravens by 7½ 1 p.m.
The Browns’ defense looks much improved under new coordinator Gregg Williams, holding the Steelers under 300 yards of offense. The Ravens’ defense looks even better, shutting out the Bengals at home and picking off Andy Dalton four times.
Browns fans used to despise the Ravens. Now they’d gladly take them back as their new chant, “Anything would be better than this,” indicates. Panthers by 7 1 p.m.
Bills coach Sean McDermott was Carolina’s defensive coordinator for six seasons before shuffling off to Buffalo, so he might have some understanding of what the Panthers are trying to do to his offense. Whatever it is, it will be more effective than what the Jets tried to do to them in Week 1.
Asked to describe the outlook for the Panthers this season, QB Cam Newton says, “We’re back, baby.” Cardinals by 6½ 1 p.m.
Arizona coach Bruce Arians was the Colts’ interim coach in 2012 when he was named coach of the year, but, unlike these Colts, he had Andrew Luck at quarterback. Luck remains out with a shoulder injury, so the Colts are considering newly acquired Jacoby Brissett instead of Scott Tolzien at quarterback.
While he’s sidelined, Luck has told his teammates he’s available to answer any questions. Several have asked him which low-interest credit card they should get. Titans by 1 1 p.m.
Some people think the Titans can be the surprise team of 2017. Well, they tried to surprise the Raiders last week by attempting an onside kick to start the season. It didn’t work, and neither did beating Oakland. They’re calling them Sacksonville after the Jaguars had 10 sacks in Houston.
“You’re 1-0. We’re 0-1,” Tennessee coach Mike Mularkey says to Jacksonville coach Doug Marrone. “Something is wrong with this picture.” Marrone says to himself, “The picture will look a lot worse for you in three hours.” Chiefs by 5½ 1 p.m.
Nobody had a more impressive start to the season than the Chiefs, who put up 42 points and 537 yards offense — their most in 11 years — in New England. The Eagles, though, looked impressive in D.C., beating the Redskins by 13. This will be a little different.
Chiefs coach Andy Reid warns his players not to take this game lightly because, “If the Eagles’ starting quarterback and Miss America both can come from Century High School in Bismarck, N.D., anything can happen.” Patriots by 6 1 p.m.
It will be a race to see which aging quarterback — Tom Brady (40) or Drew Brees (38) — starts to act his age before the other. Based on last week, it could be Brady. If he and the Patriots rebound the way they always have in the past, OK, fine. If not, well then…
Brady says to Brees before the game, “Didn’t you just know it was only a matter of time before the John Legend-Chrissy Teigen break-up rumors started #intouch #gossipcop?” Steelers by 6 1 p.m.
The Vikings’ offense looked impressive in Week 1 with Sam Bradford getting the ball to receivers Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen and rookie RB Dalvin Cook going for 127. The same cannot be said for the Steelers, who struggled offensively against the Browns. Everyone, that is, except Antonio Brown.
Several Vikings defensive players are surprised to learn Ben Roethlisberger still starts for the Steelers. “We’d heard Big Ben was out until 2021,” they tell Vikings coach Mike Zimmer. Zimmer sighs and says, “That’s the clock, fellows, the clock.” Buccaneers by 6½ 1 p.m.
This will be the season opener for the Bucs after last week’s game in Miami was rescheduled because of Hurricane Irma. Their former backup QB, Mike Glennon, is now the starter for the Bears, and he will need a lot of help. He got some help from rookie RB Tarik Cohen, who combined for 113 yards vs. the Falcons.
When he’s surfing the ‘net, it sometimes seems to Bears coach John Fox that one week the food he’s advised never to eat is the same food the next week he’s advised always to eat. Chargers by 3½ 4:05 p.m.
Like Tampa Bay, this is Miami’s season opener, too, because of the aforementioned reason. Unlike the Bucs, their task won’t be so easy, especially with Jay Cutler at quarterback. This will be the Chargers’ first game back in L.A. since 1960. It should be a retro performance.
Cutler is making only $10 million as the Dolphins’ starter this year. It appears there will be a lot of coupon clipping at the Cutler house! Raiders by 13 4:05 p.m.
The Raiders picked up right where they left off in 2016 when Derek Carr was healthy, going into Tennessee and beating the Titans with a couple of new weapons — former retired RB Marshawn Lynch and K Giorgio Tavecchio, the first player in league history to debut with two field goals of 50-plus yards.
Little known facts about Lynch: His hero is Marcel Marceau; his favorite song is “Sound of Silence;” he spends a lot of time at silent auctions. Cowboys by 2½ 4:25 p.m.
Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott is making the most of his appeal, putting up 100-plus scrimmage yards against the Giants — the 12th time in 16 career games he has done that. And QB Dak Prescott has yet to lose to an AFC team (4-0). If the Broncos struggled against the Chargers at home, it might be real struggle against Dallas.
“Our personnel staff is so thorough,” says Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, “we even scout the Electoral College.” Seahawks by 14 4:25 p.m.
The 49ers, who managed just one field goal at home against Carolina in Week 1, might be lucky to get that from their offense in Seattle. The Seahawks, though, will have to play better than they did in Green Bay, where they couldn’t run, couldn’t throw and basically couldn’t score.
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll is so laid-back he lets players take selfie sticks into the huddle. Falcons by 3 8:30 p.m.
The Packers’ defense was every bit as impressive as their offense in their Week 1 victory against the Seahawks. They will need more of the same in Atlanta, where they got ambushed last season in the NFC championship game. It won’t be that bad this time.
Packers QB Aaron Rodgers one day hopes to start a singing group called “Herbs and Spices.” Giants by 3 8:30 p.m.
The Giants managed just a field goal against the Cowboys and will have to get more from Eli Manning — and get Odell Beckham Jr. back on the field
— if they want to keep up with Matthew Stafford. The Lions put up 35 at home against a stout Arizona defense.
Giants coach Ben McAdoo is finding life as a head coach is not always lovelier the second time around.
Overall — 10-5; Against the line — 5-8-2.