What to Watch For  


What to watch for: Tips for Week 2 games

  • By Marc Sessler and Gregg Rosenthal
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One week is in the books. Sixteen glorious regular-season Sundays await. After grinding tape all week, here's one tip from all 15 upcoming games to keep an eye on.

St. Louis Rams at Atlanta Falcons

Rams pass rusher Robert Quinn became just the third player in two years to post three sacks and two forced fumbles in a game, which he accomplished in Week 1's dominating show against the Arizona Cardinals. Atlanta's struggling offensive line is on alert.

Further reading:
Meet Rams' pass-rush duo 'Thunder Storm'
Fantasy Start 'Em, Sit 'Em
Further viewing:
Falcons must avoid 0-2 start
Jared Cook joins 'NFL Fantasy Live'

Cleveland Browns at Baltimore Ravens

The right side of Cleveland's O-line was brutalized by the Miami Dolphins. If guard Oniel Cousins and offensive tackle Mitchell Schwartz can't shut down Elvis Dumervil and Co., the Browns will start 0-2 for the fifth time in six seasons.

Further reading:
Turner wants to ride Richardson
How far did Ravens fall in Power Rankings?
Further viewing:
Neither team can afford 0-2 start
NFL Films Presents: The Unlikely Champions

Carolina Panthers at Buffalo Bills

The Bills rolled out a stripped-down game plan for QB EJ Manuel and protected him well against the New England Patriots in Week 1, but Buffalo's interior line had its struggles. Carolina's nasty front seven will give the rookie passer all he can handle.

Further reading:
Kuechly tops LB rankings
Picks for all Week 2 games
Further viewing:
Both teams need a bounce-back win
Newton: Black QBs no big deal

Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears

After his 78-yard touchdown against the Lions, Adrian Peterson ran for just 15 yards on his next 17 carries. Look for Chicago's ball-hawking defense to key the run and force QB Christian Ponder to make plays with his arm.

Further reading:
Ponder under fire again
Picks for all Week 2 games
Further viewing:
'NFL Fan Pass': Peterson's legacy
NFL Films sets the scene in the Windy City

Washington Redskins at Green Bay Packers

The Packers spent all offseason unpacking the read option -- for nothing. They saw none of it from the San Francisco 49ers, and they won't see a rusty Robert Griffin III running around Sunday. Why should he? The Packers' defense allowed 404 yards through the air in Week 1.

Further reading:
Packers get key players back at practice
Matthews: I'm 'awesome,' not dirty
Further viewing:
Can Packers rebound from intense Week 1 loss?
RGIII shakes off rust vs. Eagles

Tennessee Titans at Houston Texans

No starting quarterback attempted fewer passes than the Titans' Jake Locker in Week 1. His 20 attempts have us wondering if the run-heavy offense hopes to mask Locker's faults. Houston's J.J. Watt will get to the bottom of this mystery.

Further reading:
Foster: We've got better defense
RB explains sideline behavior
Further viewing:
Physical AFC South battle expected
Schaub ebullient after leading comeback

Miami Dolphins at Indianapolis Colts

Watching the All-22 of Indy's tight win over the Oakland Raiders, it's easy to see why Colts owner Jim Irsay DEMANDS better protection of Andrew Luck. Left tackle Anthony Castonzo was overpowered by Oakland's pass rush, and Luck paid the price. Cameron Wake and the Dolphins will bring the house.

Further reading:
Dion Jordan: I never lose to Andrew Luck
Irsay demands better protection for Colts' QB
Further viewing:
Luck talks about pressure on 'NFL GameDay Morning'
Is Wallace a problem for Dolphins?

Dallas Cowboys at Kansas City Chiefs

Don't underestimate the Chiefs' Week 1 performance just because they faced the Jacksonville Jaguars. Defensive tackle Dontari Poe could be the next star on a very talented group. We'll find out if Dallas' offensive line truly has improved this week.

Further reading:
Brandt: Kiffin's emphasis on turnovers pays off
Injury roundup: Charles expected to play
Further viewing:
Chiefs celebrate Reid's debut victory
Brandon Carr on revamped Dallas D

San Diego Chargers at Philadelphia Eagles

The Chargers, trying to avoid their first 0-2 start since 2008, are 3-5 on the East Coast since the same year. West Coast teams have a .333 winning percentage at 1 p.m. ET start times since 2008.

Further reading:
Judy Battista: Not all-in on Eagles just yet
Fantasy Start 'Em, Sit 'Em
Further viewing:
Who'll burn out first: Eagles or opponents?
Chargers face tough road trip after shocking loss

Detroit Lions at Arizona Cardinals

Carson Palmer quietly played fantastic in the season opener. But his protection broke down in the second half, and now the Cardinals' offensive line has to deal with the best defensive tackle duo in football.

Further reading:
Bush in full flower with Lions
Picks for all Week 2 games
Further viewing:
Lions seeking 2-0 start in the desert
Catch Fitzgerald on 'NFL Fantasy Live'

New Orleans Saints at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Watch Tampa running back Doug Martin closely in this one. His lackluster performance in the opener got lost in the shuffle amidst an avalanche of penalties and sloppy plays from his teammates. Martin surprisingly struggled to make defenders miss when he had an open field in front of him.

Further reading:
Freeman apologizes for missing team photo
Picks for all Week 2 games
Further viewing:
Saints look to reclaim NFC South
'NFL Fantasy Live': Should you start Brees?

Denver Broncos at New York Giants

The Broncos have won 12 straight regular-season games by at least seven points each. Their defense looked surprisingly good in Week 1, largely because of free-agent pickup Shaun Phillips and new starting safety Duke Ihenacho.

Further reading:
Giants hit back over fake-injury claims
ATL writers pick apart another Manning Bowl
Further viewing:
Orange Crush vs. Big Blue: NFL Films preview
Inside the Manning sibling rivalry

Jacksonville Jaguars at Oakland Raiders

Terrelle Pryor made more "conventional" completions than we expected in Week 1, and he's excellent at scrambling and improvising. He also completed a number of tight third-down completions on traditional drop-back passes. That bodes well for Oakland.

Further reading:
Bradley wants Henne to 'capture' QB job
Raiders lose starting left tackle
Further viewing:
NFL Films sets the scene in Oakland
Terrelle Pryor highlights

San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks

Cliff Avril could make his Seahawks debut and they need him. Despite a sound defensive performance against the Panthers in Week 1, Pete Carroll's crew didn't have much of a pass rush.

Further reading:
S.F.-Seattle NFL's best rivalry
Niners' Dixon goads 'She-Hawks'
Further viewing:
Which NFC West power has better defense?
Wilson, Kaepernick bet an eyebrow

Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals

This feels like a very big game for Week 2, with the losers doing some soul searching. The Steelers haven't started a season 0-2 since 2002. Their offensive line got absolutely zero push in the running game in the season opener, and the Bengals are a difficult team to run against.

Further reading:
Tomlin wants to move on from Harrison
Picks for all Week 2 games
Further viewing:
NFL Films sets the stage in Cincy
Aditi Kinkhabwala: Bengals growing confident

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