Week 2 NFL Preview
Bengals @ Browns
This was written before the game took place. Both these teams had very different week one out comes. For Cincinnati, I'd be excited. Joe Burrow showed signs of "what he can be" against the Chargers. He looked really good when he was using his legs. If it was his 40 yard QB draw or throwing the ball on the run, Burrow looked really good. I'm still worried about his protection especially with Myles Garrett coming off the edge. I want to see a receiver step up, they have five guys who can get separation, but who is going to be that difference maker? My prediction is AJ Green. The Browns are dealing with a ton of injuries in the secondary and the vet should be able to take advantage of that. I was very disappointed in Kevin Stefanski. He wasn't able to get the run game going against Baltimore and went for a fake punt WAAAAAAY to early. He got away from his game plan. I see this being a sloppy game with Joe Burrow picking up his first win in the NFL.
What to watch for: Can Joe Burrow establish a rhythm? When Burrow was at LSU, once he got going, no team was stopping him. I'm curious to see if he'll catch that fire and take over in this game.
Player of the Game: Joe Burrow QB Bengals
Final Score: Bengals 22 Browns 17
Rams @ Eagles
Week one was very deceitful for these two teams. The Rams looked a lot better than I thought they were going to. The Rams used a ton of pre-snap motion and were able to take control of the game flow. Goff looked really sharp and was making his reads flawlessly. The Rams couldn't stop the Cowboys when they were passing the ball on early downs. For some reason, Mike McCarthy wanted to play the game conservative even though the Rams had no answer for their passing attack on first down. Where the Eagles were deceitful was after they had the lead. The number one thing you should do when having a 17 point lead is run the ball. The Eagles couldn't do that against the WFT because Miles Sanders and Lane Johnson were out. They had to throw the ball against one of the best defensive lines in the NFL. Each of these teams are terrible at the linebacker position so keep an eye out for the tight ends and running backs in the receiving game. Doug Pederson is amazing against the Rams. He's 2-0 in his career and hasn't allowed a sack to Aaron Donald. I'm leaning towards Philly, but this could change right before game time. Even though the Rams were able to come up with the huge victory on Sunday Night Football I have them coming up short against Philadelphia. With the Rams making the cross-country trip and playing the early game, this is a hard matchup for Sean McVay and Jared Goff.
What to Watch For: The returning stars for the Eagles. How big of a difference does Lane Johnson and Miles Sanders make? I have huge expectations for Miles Sanders and he should be a huge factor in the receiving game. Last season he was the best running back in football weeks 13-17. Can he be the spark plug for Philly? Keep an eye out for the second year back.
Player of the Game: Miles Sanders RB Eagles
Final Score: Eagles 27 Rams 26
Giants @ Bears
This game should be a very ugly, turnover-heavy game. The Bears got very lucky when it comes to their matchup vs the Lions in week one. Between the injuries in Detroit's secondary, Kenny Golladay's injury, Jamie Collins' ejection, and Deandre Swift's dropped touchdown; the Bears should not have won that game. The Giants hit a brick wall against the Steelers. They had one of the worst games when it comes to their running game that I've ever seen. The lack of creativity is still there for Jason Garrett and his offense couldn't get over the hump on Monday Night Football. I thought Daniel Jones had moments where he looked awesome. He had the spark that he showed in his rookie season. He also had his issues versus the blitz. I thought the Bears defense looked solid and Robert Quinn might suiting up on Sunday. Andrew Thomas looked really good for the Giants in pass-pro and he has a big challenge with Khalil Mack rushing off the edge. The team with less turnovers will win this ball game.
What to watch for: Andrew Thomas vs Khalil Mack. The highest drafted tackle against one of the premiere pass rushers in the NFL. This is a huge matchup. If Andrew Thomas can get proper hand placement, he has a chance to win this matchup. This could either be Andrew Thomas' welcome to the NFL moment or the moment he proves why he was the number one tackle in the draft. This will be fun to watch on Sunday.
Player of the Game: Eddie Jackson Bears FS
Final Score: Giants 17 Bears 23
Falcons @ Cowboys
Raheem Morris had one of the wildest quotes I've ever heard. He said that last week, they chose to focus their game plan around Chris Carson instead of Russell Wilson. I could talk about Brian Schottenheimer's questionable play calling all day long, but this was just foolish. They need to be able to get pressure against Dak Prescott. Dante Fowler and Grady Jarrett looked really good against the Seahawks and they're going to have to do it again against Dallas. I thought in the first half, Todd Gurley looked like his 2018 self. Before Atlanta got away from their game plan, Gurley looked young and fresh. Their key to victory is by establishing the run and dominating at the line of scrimmage. I know it's old school, but they won't win the game by having Matt Ryan throw the ball fifty times. I thought the Cowboys should have won on Sunday Night last week, but I was really disappointed in Mike McCarthy. He reminds me of a fat Jason Garrett. He talked all season long about using analytics, but this offense just looked dull. The Cowboys should let Dak Prescott throw the ball down field more. This game should be very high scoring and very relevant in terms of fantasy football.
What to watch for: Kellen Moore (Cowboys offensive coordinator) vs Raheem Morris (Falcons defensive coordinator). I've been very critical of both of these coordinators. My big question is which coordinator will be able to adapt. The worst coordinators are the stubborn ones. You need to be able to adapt to what the opposing team is doing. Each side will have at least one curve ball thrown their way. It's okay to be surprised early in the game, but if you can't adapt to the game flow, that's how you put your team in jeopardy. I'm watching to see which side adjusts better to the flow of the game.
Player of the Game: Dak Prescott QB Cowboys
Final Score: Falcons 27 Cowboys 33
Panthers @ Buccaneers
Let's be honest. All eyes are on Tom Brady in his first home start with the Buccaneers. Can he rebound after taking a tough loss to New Orleans? I think he will. I didn't expect Tampa Bay to win that game and the Saints looked really good. For the Panthers, I'm curious to see what's going on with their defense. They made Josh Jacobs look like Walter Payton in week one. Fortunately for them, their offense looked really good. The Robby Anderson experiment looks like it's paying off and they're playing another bottom ten secondary. Antoine Winfield Jr., my highest rated safety coming of the draft, looked spectacular for the Buccaneers. He is already the best player on the back end of the Buccaneers defense and he's a guy who you can tell spends hours watching film. In Carolina, Jeremy Chinn looked AMAZING. He has a super bright future. I like Tom Brady in this matchup because he should be able to manipulate this super young defense. Down the road, the Panthers will have a good defense, but I see them struggling in week 2.
What to Watch For: Jeremy Chinn and Antoine Winfield Jr.. Like I said earlier, both these guys were awesome in their rookie debuts. I'm looking to see if one of these guys can make a game changing play. If it's an interception, sack, forced fumble, they're both very capable. This will be a fun defensive matchup to watch for the next decade.
Player of the Game: Ronald Jones RB Buccaneers
Final Score: Buccaneers 30 Panthers 20
49ers @ Jets
This is a matchup of two the two most banged up teams in the NFL. Even without George Kittle, Richard Sherman, Dee Ford, and Deebo Samuel, the 49ers are still a much better team. This is a matchup of in my opinion the best offensive coach in the league vs the worst offensive coach in the league. The 49ers should be able to use this experience to help them in the long run. They are throwing guys like Jordan Reed, Akhello Witherspoon, and Brandon Aiyuk into the game. While it isn't ideal, I expect this experience to be beneficial in the end. These three players need a full game under their belt and they can be pieces in the 49ers playoff run down the line. The good news I have for the Jets is that Mekhi Becton looked awesome against the Bills. He's going to have a huge matchup against Nick Bosa which is an early test for the young rookie. Another storyline to watch is Frank Gore vs his old team. Frank Gore is one of my favorite players of all time and I love seeing him start at 37 years old. I don't think he'll have more than 50 yards, but I'd love to see him rip off one big run against the 49ers. The number one thing I'm hoping for this game is that every player can stay healthy. Each of these teams have had some tough injuries and I'm hoping to see no bad injuries.
What to watch for: Brandon Aiyuk's rookie debut. Aiyuk was Kyle Shanahan's favorite receiver in the draft and I'm hoping we see a big play or two from him in his first game. He looked great in training camp (when he was healthy). I don't see him having too many targets, but I just want to see him on the field.
Player of the Game: Raheem Mostert RB 49ers
Final Score: 49ers 30 Jets 16
Broncos @ Steelers
I was super high on both of these teams coming into the season. In week one the Steelers looked really good while the Broncos struggled. For Pittsburgh, there defense was dominant and JuJu Smith looked like he was back to his old self. Ben Roethlisberger has had some funny quotes this week, but in all seriousness he played well in his first game back. The Broncos were really missing Von Miller in the first game. While they only lost by two points on Monday Night, it really should have been a 10+ point game if it wasn't for Steven Gostkowski. Pittsburgh's defense is really mean. We saw immediate improvement from Devin Bush and TJ Watt is back out there making plays. I'm still not really sure what to make of Drew Lock. I want to see him take over a game. I want to see him live up to his potential, he's very capable. This is a game that you need to keep an eye on the injury report. Courtland Sutton would be a huge addition for this offense and I'd love to see him, KJ Hamler, and Jerry Jeudy all in the same offense. The game will be decided based on how the Broncos handle the constant pressure from Pittsburgh's defense. Overall, this should be a fun game to watch Sunday morning.
What to watch for: The Broncos receiving core. Jerry Jeudy showed flashes in his first game he just has to be able to catch the ball. From a separation stand point, Jeudy looks like he's been in the league for years and he's everything I expected him to be. He was my number two receiver coming out of the draft and he has the potential to be a top 10 receiver in the NFL in a few years. KJ Hamler was a super interesting guy for me to scout. I think he will be very impactful on special teams for Denver and he has rare upside. He could be the next Tyreek Hill or he could just fall completely out of the rotation. He has high ceiling and a low floor, I'm guessing he lives up to his potential. Courtland Sutton is a top tier receiver in the league when healthy, but I don't want him to rush back from an AC sprain and re-injure himself. Keep an eye out for these Broncos receivers.
Player of the Game: TJ Watt OLB Steelers
Final Score: Broncos 23 Steelers 31
Jaguars @ Titans
I have to admit when I'm wrong. I thought Gardner Minshew was going to get absolutely crushed by the Colts last week, but I was wrong. He killed it. I thought he was arguably the most impressive player from week one. He was dead accurate and played one of the best games I've ever seen him play. CJ Henderson impressed me. I was super high on him coming out of the draft and he looked like the best player on the field against Indy. With all this being said, they're playing Derrick Henry this week. I've never seen a player so dominant against one franchise like Derrick Henry is against the Jaguars. I don't know what it is, but Derrick Henry just always dominates Jacksonville. He looks like he's a god damn truck the way he runs over defenders. If the Titans feed Derrick Henry they will win this game by double digits. All I have to say is feed 22.
What to watch for: What receiver steps up in Tennessee with AJ Brown out? Will Jonnu Smith be impactful as a receiver threat or will Corey Davis finally come to fruition? Keep an eye out for what receiver steps up for Tennessee.
Player of the Game: Derrick Henry RB Titans
Final Score: Titans 31 Jaguars 17
Lions @ Packers
Similar to Derrick Henry vs the Jaguars, Aaron Rodgers takes over against the Lions. Rodgers looked his vintage self against Minnesota and the secondary players have been stepping up. Outside of Davante Adams, we saw guys like Allen Lazard and Marquez Valdes-Scantling step up. I am curious to see how Matthew Stafford responds after that last second loss to Chicago. Kenny Golladay is still out, so TJ Hockenson and Marvin Jones will have to step up. I want to see Deandre Swift rebound. He had a terrible drop to lose the game against Chicago. Heartbreak happens, it's all about how you respond to it. I would love to see Deandre Swift carry the ball 10+ in this game and have a big role in this offense. Aaron Rodgers looks like he's on a mission and I'm not picking against him here. The Lions keys to victory would be stop Rodgers from getting out to an early lead and build the run game. It's easier said than done, but it is possible.
What to watch for: How does Deandre Swift rebound? I'm rooting for Swift. He needs a good game to keep his confidence up. He has star potential, he just needs to stay confident. I'd love to see him catch the ball in this game and have opportunities to make plays as a receiver. Hopefully Detroit finds ways for him to get the ball in game two.
Player of the Game: Allen Lazard WR Packers
Final Score: Packers 31 Lions 24
Bills @ Dolphins
I'm not really sure on what to think about Josh Allen's performance last week. Statistically, Allen dominated. In reality, he fumbled twice and missed a couple of wide open touchdown throws. What's good is that he had a full week to reflect and learn from his mistakes. Zack Moss looked really good in his rookie debut and it looked like he was in the game even more than Devin Singletary. I'd love to see both of those guys in the backfield more. Stefon Diggs looked really good catching 8 balls off of 9 targets. I just need Josh Allen to be accurate more consistently. In Miami, they didn't look great. This team is so young and their franchise quarterback is playing backup. I don't think the offensive line is ready to protect Tua, but I know he will start at least one game this season. I like Buffalo in this game and I think they have two 100 yard rushers.
What to watch for: How many snaps does Zack Moss get compared to Devin Singletary. I like both of these players and Zack Moss flashed in week one. I'd like to see each player get the ball 12-15 times.
Player of the Game: Zack Moss RB Bills
Final Score: Bills 27 Dolphins 13
Vikings @ Colts
Both of these teams had terrible let downs in week one. I picked both of them last week and they really disappointed me. For the Colts, Philip Rivers looked like good old Philip Rivers. He was still slanging that thang, but he still put up 2 interceptions. In Minnesota, they just had no answer for Aaron Rodgers. They should have given Dalvin Cook a bigger workload, he only had 12 carries. Kyle Rudolph, Irv Smith, and Justin Jefferson had a combined 5 catches for 55 yards on Sunday. The Vikings have to be better in all aspects on offense. They need to get all of their players involved more. For the Colts I'm looking to see the carry share between Nyheim Hines and Jonathan Taylor. Minnesota's secondary was horrendous week one. I see the Colts taking advantage of the Vikings' weak secondary and Jonathan Taylor catching a hot streak in the running game.
What to watch for: Jonathan Taylor vs Dalvin Cook. I'm so excited to see what Jonathan Taylor does in his second game. Taylor had an amazing college career, but he's a guy who gets better with more carries. Coming out of Wisconsin, my big problem for him was the amount of runs that gained -1 to 1 yards. If Jonathan Taylor can consistently gain 4+ yards, that should be huge. Dalvin Cook on the other hand looked great last week. The one thing is he only had 12 carries. Cook needs to have more than 15 carries in this game for the Vikings to come down with a win.
Player of the Game: Jonathan Taylor RB Colts
Final Score: Vikings 24 Colts 27
Washington FT @ Cardinals
Both of these teams had huge upset wins in week one and overall looked really good. Chase Young looked phenomenal and that defensive line is still giving Carson Wentz nightmares. With all that being said, I think the Cardinals will dominate the Washington FT. Kyler Murray is looking like an MVP candidate and Dwayne Haskins is being overhyped. Last week, the Washington FT didn't score a single time when they started a possession in their own territory. Their defense was able to force a ton of turnovers which I don't see Kyler making. Deandre Hopkins was unguardable last week and I don't see anyone on the Washington FT keeping up with him this week. I have the Cardinals winning big on Sunday
What to watch for: Chase Young vs Kyler Murray. Last week Nick Bosa was winning his rushes, Kyler Murray was just able to get the ball out fast. If Chase Young and the Football Team's defensive line can bring Kyler Murray down they'll have a chance in this game.
Player of the Game: Kyler Murray QB Cardinals
Final Score: Football Team 16 Cardinals 27
Ravens @ Texans
I absolutely love this quarterback matchup. These are two top-5 quarterbacks in very different situations. With all that being said, the Ravens are going to lay the smack down on the Houston Texans. Lamar Jackson looked like an even better passer in year three and I saw strides in the right direction. Jackson was throwing balls with touch and accuracy. My not-so bold prediction is that Lamar Jackson will have 5 total touchdowns in Houston this weekend. Lamar Jackson is an absolute baller and will take over the game in Houston.
What to watch for: JK Dobbins and David Johnson. Both of these running backs looked really good in their new homes in week one. For Dobbins I want to see an increased workload. He is another added piece for that loaded Baltimore offense. For David Johnson, I'm looking for him to be the focal point of the Texans' offense. Can he make plays even if the Texans fall behind early? If the Texans want to win this game, the offense needs to be on the field. They need to establish the run and keep Lamar Jackson off of the field.
Player of the Game: JK Dobbins RB Ravens
Final Score: Ravens 41 Texans 20
Chiefs @ Chargers
I'm looking forward to watching the Chargers look fast in their new uniforms with their new stadium. This is a new era for LA and in the past they've been able to do well against Patrick Mahomes. They were able to come out with a griddy win in week one and Mike Williams looked great. The Chargers need to be more effective on offense to keep up with Patrick Mahomes. Joshua Kelly, running back for the Chargers, is a sleeper to watch in this game. I expect Patrick Mahomes to welcome the Chargers into their new stadium. Patrick Mahomes is a killer, but he's even better in indoor stadiums. He's going to air it out against the Chargers and I expect him to be phenomenal. I think Kansas City jumps out to an early lead and the Chargers won't have enough flashes in the passing game to keep up with them.
What to watch for: Can the Chargers force turnovers? We know Patrick Mahomes is going to launch the ball down the field. The Chargers have a great secondary and if they could prevent Mahomes from getting that deep touchdown to Tyreek Hill. They need to get the ball in their hands and give the offense favorable field position to come up with the upset.
Player of the Game: Patrick Mahomes QB Chiefs (Using his legs)
Final Score: Chiefs 37 Chargers 23
Patriots @ Seahawks
This is the game of the week. Both of these teams were awesome in week one and we saw everything we wanted from both offensive coordinators. For New England, they let Cam be Cam. Josh McDaniels let him get "jiggy" outside of the pocket and run the ball. In Seattle, Schottenheimer let Russ cook. Russell Wilson is a top 3 passer in the NFL and when you just let him throw the ball instead of trying to "establish the run" the Seahawks win games. It's going to be different to see Century Link Field on Sunday Night Football without fans. That benefits New England, but they do have to come across the country and play in a late night game. Chase Winovich stepped up in week one and should be able to feast against a poor Seahawks offensive line. Russell Wilson is an animal on Sunday Night Football and if he throws the ball 30+ times, Seattle should win this game.
What to watch for: How many times does Cam Newton run the ball? What he did in week one was awesome, but not attainable. I'd like to see Cam Newton slide and run the ball a little bit less. The Patriots should still let Cam be Cam, but in an attainable way.
Player of the game: Jamal Adams SS Seahawks
Final Score: Seahawks 27 Patriots 23
Saints @ Raiders
I'm super excited to see Jon Gruden and the Las Vegas Raiders play in their brand new stadium. We know how much Gruden loves playing on Monday Night Football and I expect him to have some surprises for the Saints this week. The Saints will be playing without their star wide receiver Michael Thomas so I'm looking for Emmanuel Sanders to step up. Even though the Saints got the big win against the Buccaneers, I didn't think Drew Brees looked great. I'm looking for the Saints to lean on Alvin Kamara and the run game. Kamara looks healthy and fresh and it will be fun to see him square off against Josh Jacobs. Jacobs looked like the best running back in the NFL last week and he should have a huge role in the offense this week. I'm also looking for Henry Ruggs to have his big play moment. Ruggs looks like a big play waiting to happen and if he stayed healthy last Sunday I think he gets into the end zone. I like the Saints in this game with Alvin Kamara and Emmanuel Sanders stepping up big time.
What to watch for: Will Henry Ruggs be unleashed? This is the time to do it. The Raiders are playing against a super bowl contender in the first game in their new stadium. I want to see Henry Ruggs get a deep touchdown in the Raiders first ever home game in Las Vegas.
Player of the Game: Alvin Kamara RB Saints
Final Score: Saints 31 Raiders 26