WEEK 2 MATCHUPS
PATRIOTS (0-1) AT SAINTS (0-1)
Yes, it really did happen in the 2017 kickoff game: New England got hammered in the fourth quarter at home by Kansas City. Usually, the Patriots respond after a loss, especially one in which Tom Brady struggled. Since 2003, the Patriots are 42-6 in the regular season after a loss. New Orleans had far too many deficiencies at Minnesota, and its loose coverage of receivers could be its demise against Brady.
BEARS (0-1) AT BUCS (0-0)
It’s impossible to know what the Bucs have after being forced by Hurricane Irma to move their bye up to opening week. They could be dynamic on offense and improved on defense, which would put them in the mix. Former Bucs QB Mike Glennon played well in his first outing for Chicago and was a dropped pass away from an upset of the Falcons.
“We all knew his time was coming,” Bucs receiver Mike Evans said.
DOLPHINS (0-0) AT CHARGERS (0-1)
It’s impossible to know what the Dolphins have after being forced by Hurricane Irma to move their bye up to opening week, too. They’ve spent the week in California and figure to be rusty. If the Dolphins can get the run game on track with Jay Ajayi, they could spoil the Chargers’ official debut in L.A. Well, their return there after playing all of one season as the LA Chargers in 1960, the debut year of the AFL.
VIKINGS (1-0) AT STEELERS (1-0)
The Vikings, particularly second-round running back Dalvin Cook (127 yards rushing) were impressive Monday night against New Orleans, but a short turnaround for a trip to the Steel City is never enviable. Their last win in Pittsburgh came Sept. 24, 1995. The Steelers appear to be building a defense to complement their all-world offense led by Le’Veon Bell, Antonio Brown and Ben Roethlisberger.
TITANS (0-1) AT JAGUARS (1-0)
OK, hold your breath for this one: The Jaguars lead the AFC South. Indeed, they smashed their way to first place by annihilating Houston (10 sacks). Now they are home, where damage from Hurricane Irma was significant and they wound up spending two extra nights in Texas. A win over the Titans certainly would legitimize their start. The Titans’ last visit to Jacksonville saw QB Marcus Mariota break his right leg.
REDSKINS (0-1) AT RAMS (1-0)
For the first time in his short NFL career, Jared Goff looked like a pro quarterback in the Rams’ rout of the Colts. Rookie coach Sean McVay, 31, earned his first victory as the youngest head coach in modern league history, and he gets back star DT Aaron Donald from a holdout. The Redskins’ third-down defense, worst in the NFL last season, allowed Philadelphia to convert eight of 14 opportunities.
EAGLES (1-0) AT CHIEFS (1-0)
1 p.m., Fox
Both come off impressive road wins. Eagles coach Doug Pederson is a disciple of Chiefs head man Andy Reid. Their forte is offense, and Kansas City was opportunistic and, at times, dominant in New England with the ball. RB Kareem Hunt set a rookie debut record with 246 yards from scrimmage, while WR Tyreek Hill has a 60-plus yard TD in five consecutive games. Philly’s Carson Wentz in 4-0 in September.
CARDINALS (0-1) AT COLTS (0-1)
Both teams come off rough openers. Arizona lost at Detroit and saw star running back David Johnson, one of the NFL’s most versatile players, break his wrist. Look for Larry Fitzgerald to be the focal point of the offense against a weak secondary. Indy is without Andrew Luck again — and for who knows how long. The Colts put out one of the worst performances of Week 1 in being routed by the Rams.
49ERS (0-1) AT SEAHAWKS (0-1)
Once a terrific NFC West rivalry, the Seahawks have won six straight overall, and the last six matchups in Seattle, including playoffs. The Niners did little right in their home loss to Carolina as Kyle Shanahan made his debut as a head coach. The Seahawks need to get the run game going after QB Russell Wilson was their top rusher with 40 yards. Getting RB Thomas Rawls back from a high-ankle sprain would help.
BROWNS (0-1) AT RAVENS (1-0)
If the Ravens can mash the Browns on the ground and rush the passer well — both things they mastered in shutting out Cincinnati last week — they will be tough every game. Baltimore QB Joe Flacco is 15-2 lifetime against Cleveland. Browns star left tackle Joe Thomas has been in for all 9,996 offensive snaps since joining them as a firstround pick in 2007. Here comes No. 10,000.
COWBOYS (1-0) AT BRONCOS (1-0)
4:25 p.m., Fox After
manhandling the Giants, Dallas can really prove it is an NFC power again by crossing over, heading to the Rockies and beating the Broncos. The Cowboys had the ball for so long against New York that the Giants’ formidable defense withered. Denver’s D is just as good, so it’s a matchup of Dak Prescott, Zeke Elliott, Jason Witten and that terrific offensive line against Von Miller, Aqib Talib & Co.
PACKERS (1-0) AT FALCONS (1-0)
8:20 p.m., NBC
The last time they faced off in Atlanta, the Falcons routed the Packers for the NFC title. Tonight, the site will be different as the Falcons play their first regular-season game in Mercedes Benz Stadium. Green Bay completely shut down Seattle at Lambeau Field. Atlanta struggled with lowly Chicago before a goal-line stand allowed it to survive. Now, the Falcons open their new digs officially.
BILLS (1-0) AT PANTHERS (1-0)
Although they haven’t made the playoffs since the last century, the Bills lead this series, 5-1. Their running game with LeSean McCoy was dynamic in the opener, but it was against the Jets. This should be a saltier test. Cam Newton appeared off in the win at San Francisco, but he still threw for a pair of scores. His backfield of Jonathan Stewart and first-rounder Christian McCaffrey could provide a spark.
JETS (0-1) AT RAIDERS (1-0)
4 p.m., CBS
You can bet Raiders fans are stoked over the team’s performance at Tennessee, especially the balance on offense. Marshawn Lynch was in Beast Mode and eight players caught passes from Derek Carr. The Jets probably don’t have eight players who would make Oakland’s roster. But at least they didn’t get blown out in Buffalo last Sunday. That certainly could change this weekend.
LIONS (1-0) AT GIANTS (0-1)
Monday, 8:30 p.m., ABC Wither Odell? If the Giants don’t have standout receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (ankle) again, and their offensive line is as abysmal as it was against Dallas, this might not be much of a prime-time showcase. Then again, New York’s defense always is worth watching. A problem for Giants fans is that they were watching too much of it vs. the Cowboys because it was on the field so often.