NFL PRE­VIEWS

The Fresno Bee (Sunday) - - Sports -

Bal­ti­more (2-0) and Kansas City (2-0): Bal­ti­more has been among the most-bal­anced teams in the league, rank­ing sec­ond in over­all de­fense and first in yards gained. Boost­ing the Ravens to the top in yards gained is an av­er­age of 541.5 yards, led by La­mar Jack­son’s su­perb pass­ing and run­ning. KC is first in pass­ing of­fense, but this is a ma­jor test.

Pitts­burgh (0-2) at San Fran­cisco (2-0): The Steel­ers are look­ing to avoid only their sec­ond 0-3 start since 2000 with Ma­son Ru­dolph mak­ing his first ca­reer start in place of in­jured quar­ter­back Ben Roeth­lis­berger. Mean­while, the 49ers seek their first 3-0 start since 1998 and sev­enth since the 1970 merger.

New Or­leans (1-1) at Seat­tle (2-0): New Or­leans coach Sean Pay­ton will play both Teddy Bridge­wa­ter and ver­sa­tile Taysom Hill at QB. The Sea­hawks are 15-0 in Septem­ber home games un­der Pete Car­roll. Rus­sell Wil­son is 6-0 with 12 touch­downs and two picks in his past six home con­tests.

Hous­ton (1-1) at Los An­ge­les Charg­ers (1-1): The Tex­ans have forced a turnover in 15 straight games, the long­est ac­tive streak in the NFL. Charg­ers RB Austin Ekeler leads the NFL with four TDs and his 287 yards from scrim­mage are the most by a Charg­ers run­ning back through the first two games in fran­chise his­tory.

Los An­ge­les Rams (2-0) at Cleve­land (1-1): Rams coach Sean McKay’s 26-8 record is the best through 34 games for any coach hired in the 21st cen­tury. Cleve­land’s Myles Gar­rett leads the league with five sacks in two games.

Oak­land (1-1) at Min­nesota (1-1): Derek Carr broke Ken Stabler’s Raiders record for ca­reer pass­ing yards last week. He has 19,196. But Min­nesota’s de­fense will be a chal­lenge. The Vik­ings seek the fran­chise’s 500th vic­tory.

Cincin­nati (0-2) at Buf­falo (2-0): The Ben­gals have won four of the past five meet­ings, in­clud­ing past two on the road, dating to 2011 since snap­ping a 10-game skid span­ning 1989-2010. The Bills have scored nine touch­downs in their past nine drives inside op­po­nents’ 20-yard line dating to last sea­son.

At­lanta (1-1) at In­di­anapo­lis (1-1): The Colts’ de­fense is sec­ond in the league with eight sacks and hasn’t al­lowed a 100yard rusher in 20 con­sec­u­tive reg­u­lar-sea­son games, sec­ond-long­est streak be­hind New Or­leans (24). Fal­cons star Julio Jones has three TDs this sea­son and at least one in a league-high six con­sec­u­tive games.

Detroit (1-0-1) at Philadel­phia (1-1): Lions QB Matthew Stafford feasts on the Ea­gles’ de­fense. Stafford has thrown eight TDs with­out an in­ter­cep­tion in two meet­ings. Philly is very banged up on both sides of the ball.

Den­ver (0-2) at Green Bay (2-0): Green Bay is 5-0-1 against the Bron­cos at home. The Bron­cos would be­come the 14th team to reach 500 over­all wins with a vic­tory.

New York Jets (0-2) at New Eng­land (2-0): Third-string QB Luke Falk vs. six-time Su­per Bowl win­ner Tom Brady, both the 199th pick in their drafts and both get­ting their op­por­tu­nity through in­jury.

Mi­ami (0-2) at Dal­las (2-0): There is more spec­u­la­tion on the Dol­phins go­ing 0-16 than there is on who will be left on the ros­ter by the end of the sched­ule. Dal­las, on the other hand, is look­ing like a true cham­pi­onship con­tender.

New York Gi­ants (0-2) at Tampa Bay (2-0): All that pos­i­tive talk about Daniel Jones’ pre­sea­son per­for­mances had Gi­ants fans sali­vat­ing. Now they get to see the sixth over­all draft pick be­hind cen­ter in games that count. Bucs RB Pey­ton Bar­ber is com­ing off rush­ing for 82 yards and a touch­down in last week’s win at Carolina.

Carolina (0-2) at Ari­zona (0-1-1): Stand­out LB Luke Kuechly leads the Pan­thers’ de­fense with 25 tack­les. Car­di­nals WR Larry Fitzger­ald needs 10 catches to pass Hall of Fame TE Tony Gon­za­lez for sec­ond on the NFL’s all-time re­cep­tions list.

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