NFL Week 2 viewer's guide


We are now in the full swing of things as Week 2 ramps up. Kevin Patra is here every week to fill you in on the key storylines for each matchup. Consider this your handy guide as you settle into your couch for all the NFL action.

Against a mediocre Lions secondary, Eli Manning had an inept 12.8 passer rating on passes of 5+ air yards. This week he faces Patrick Peterson and a very good secondary. If Manning can't stretch the field it'll be another long day for Big Blue.

The Larry Fitzgerald hullabaloo has created an interesting dynamic for the multifaceted Cardinals offense. It will be intriguing to see if Carson Palmer tries to feed Fitzy early (we've seen veteran quarterbacks do this in the past after receiver controversies) or keeps spreading the wealth.

Pregame reading material
Will Fitzgerald get more looks after his dad raised a fuss after Week 1?
Bruce Arians thinks Eli could take half a season to learn new Giants' O
Schein: Pressure on Giants' secondary
Bucky's Best: Cards' D vs. Eli and Giants' offense

Who will win? Three of five Around The NFL writers pick the Cardinals.

We need to see more from Toby Gerhart (if healthy) against a Washington D that gave up 103 yards to Arian Foster last week. Yes, the offensive line is a big problem, but the offense can't function with Chad Henne throwing the ball 43 times like he did in Week 1. Henne has a 2-15 record in games where he has 40+ passes.

Robert Griffin III threw 29 of his 37 passes less than 10 yards last week. With multiple deep threats, we need to see more shots against a shallow Jags defensive group that could be without dynamic safety Johnathan Cyprien.

Pregame reading material
Your weekly RGIII panic alert
Washington will have to cope with the loss of Jordan Reed and Barry Cofield
Can Chad Henne build on good first half in loss to the Eagles?
Did you grab Allen Hurns off your fantasy waiver wire?

Who will win? All five Around The NFL writers pick the Redskins.

After allowing 191 rushing yards -- 5.03 yards a clip -- in Week 1, the Patriots get the gift of facing Adrian Peterson and Cordarrelle Patterson. That "Pats have never started 0-2 in the Tom Brady era" stat is in jeopardy if Bill Belichick doesn't find an elixir for curing missed tackles syndrome.

Can Mike Zimmer replicate the success he had against Brady last season as defensive coordinator for the Bengals? Zimmer's defense held Brady to 18-of-38 passing for 197 yards, no touchdowns, one pick and sacked him four times.

Pregame reading material
The Pats' LaFell looks to bounce back from a horrid Week 1
Wilfork thinks Patriots' D needs to go back to the drawing board
Belichick doesn't regret draft-day deal that helped Vikes nab Patterson
A mind-blowing stat regarding Week 1

Who will win? All five Around The NFL writers pick the Patriots.

The Titans' defensive line looked dominant last week. However, on Sunday they'll face a very good Cowboys front that can create running lanes. If Ray Horton's crew controls the line of scrimmage again, the people in Tennessee will be celebrating a 2-0 start.

Dez Bryant wasn't a full participant last week and had just six targets. Look for a bounce-back week against a secondary that didn't face a No. 1 receiver in Week 1.

Pregame reading material
Jeremy Mincey thinks good things are coming for Cowboys' D
Schein: Romo's gotta show us something
Fantasy: Locker a lock for Week 2 sleepers
Is the Whisenhunt-Locker start a sign of things to come?

Who will win? Three of five Around The NFL writers pick the Titans.

Knowshon Moreno was a revelation in Week 1 -- 24 rushes for 134 yards and a TD in his Dolphins debut. Miami will need a similar performance on the road where a frisky Bills D awaits.

EJ Manuel set a career high in completion percentage (72.7) in a solid game-managing performance in the opener. However, he'll have to do it with Cameron Wake screaming toward him like a teal Flash this week.

Pregame reading material
Bills fans beaming: team will remain in Buffalo
Dolphins' defensive depth is depth
Darlington: 'Fins O-line looking good
C.J. Spiller looks to earn a bigger contract

Who will win? All five Around The NFL writers pick the Dolphins.

We've sung Matthew Stafford's praise the entire week after his performance Monday night. If he does it against a dominating Panthers defensive front, the minstrels will be plucking their lutes and bellowing even louder.

Kelvin Benjamin's studly antics should continue in Week 2 against a patchwork Lions secondary. His connection with Cam Newton will allow the duo to pick up right where they left off before the quarterback's ribs saga.

Pregame reading material
Will Stafford carry over Week 1's efficiency?
Podcast: Where does Megatron rank amongst Move The Sticks' top wideouts?
Cam Newton will get his first regular-season action of 2014
Fantasy: Grab Kelvin Benjamin if he's available on the waiver wire

Who will win? Four of five Around The NFL writers pick the Lions.

The Julio Jones-effect should pay dividends for Matt Ryan against a defense that gave up 420 yards to the Ravens last week. The Falcons' best shot on the road is to make it a shootout.

Andy Dalton wasn't hit last week and he faces a defense that didn't record a QB hit either last week. That's a good recipe for a quarterback. However, he must turn those field goal drives into touchdowns.

Pregame reading material
A.J. Green's juggling catch help explained Week 1
The Bengals must move on without Tyler Eifert for the foreseeable future
Which team is Elliot Harrison tabbing to win this tough to pick matchup?
Fantasy: Mark Ingram is a Week 2 sleeper

Who will win? Four of five Around The NFL writers pick the Bengals.

After a plethora of missed tackles and poor play in the opener, Rob Ryan's D is under the microscope. This likely means we'll see all sorts of pressure packages. Look for the Browns to utilize no-huddle early to combat the pressure, as Brian Hoyer looked much better utilizing up-tempo.

Terrance West became the first rookie since Matt Forte in 2008 to run for 100+ yards in a season opener. Can he double down on that performance or was it a product of a doughy Steelers run D?

Pregame reading material
Bucky's Best: Colston, Cooks against Joe Haden
Where does Earl Thomas rank amongst Chris Wesseling's list of top 10 safeties?
The Browns' no-huddle O rattled the Steelers in Week 1
Browns running back Tate out 2-4 weeks, who picks up the slack?

Who will win? All five Around The NFL writers pick the Saints.

For the second straight week, the Bucs face a backup quarterback. If Lovie Smith allows another backup to pick apart his defense all the media-love Tampa Bay has received will be wiped away.

Even without Chris Long, the Rams' defensive front has the talent to pester and fluster Josh McCown into boneheaded mistakes like the ones we saw last week. St. Louis must create turnovers since their offense isn't showing signs of waking up anytime soon.

Pregame reading material
Pressure on Tampa to beat wounded Rams
Jeff Tedford back calling plays for Bucs
The Rams are without DE Chris Long for months
Shaun Hill a longshot for Week 2, but the starter if healthy

Who will win? All five Around The NFL writers pick the Buccaneers.

Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell has had 10 days to concoct more ways to utilize Percy Harvin and the multidimensional Seahawks' attack. We can't wait to see what he pulls out of his hat against a Chargers defense that gave up 400+ yards on Monday.

Last week Philip Rivers had to face Patrick Peterson. This week he gets Richard Sherman. That's cruel, schedule-maker, just cruel. Rivers needs more from Ryan Mathews or the Seahawks' defense will be able to tee-off on the quarterback.

Pregame reading material
The Bolts' Eric Weddle is amongst Chris Wesseling's Top 10 safeties
Chargers must march on without Nick Hardwick
The Earl Thomas experiment at punt returner is over
Seahawks have league's lightest roster

Who will win? All five Around The NFL writers pick the Seahawks.

Arian Foster started another season well (he has a career 93.4 yards per game average in September). The running back faces a Raiders defense that was torn up on the ground last week. Expect a lot of Foster in the Black Hole.

Poor Derek Carr starts his career against Rex Ryan and now gets J.J. Watt and Co. The rookie showed promise last week (20 of 32, 151 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT), but needs help from a heretofore non-existent running game.

Pregame reading material
Bucky's Best: Arian Foster vs. Raiders' defense
The Texans will miss their No. 1 overall pick Jadeveon Clowney
Will J.J. Watt continue his domination?
The Raiders have to get more out of their run game than in Week 1

Who will win? All five Around The NFL writers pick the Texans.

Aaron Rodgers must be seething after last week's beatdown. Now he gets a questionable secondary to take it out on. If the Packers' offensive line can give Rodgers any time he should have fun torturing Gang Green's back end.

On the flip side, Geno Smith is coming off a solid performance and faces a discombobulated Packers defense. We need to see Smith stack good performances and shut down the Genocoaster for good.

Pregame reading material
Jets back Chris Johnson is someone to watch in Week 2
Rex Ryan says Geno Smith has come a million miles since rookie year
After a concussion Week 1, Eddie Lacy looking ready to go for Packers
Rex Ryan has faced a Super Bowl winning QB 39 times, how has he fared?

Who will win? All five Around The NFL writers pick the Packers.

The Broncos averaged 481 yards per game in their two games against the Chiefs last season. With injuries already decimating KC, Peyton Manning should have a field day once again.

"Duh!" statement of the day: Jamaal Charles needs more touches. He had just 11 in the opener, which is criminal considering how important he is to the offense. Getting Dwayne Bowe back from suspension should help alleviate some of the pressure.

Pregame reading material
Bucky's Best: Peyton vs. Chiefs' D should be thing of beauty
Fantasy: Michael Fabiano says to sit the Chiefs' D
Where does the Chiefs' Eric Berry rank amongst Chris Wesseling's Top 10 safeties?
Brandt: Broncos' pass D looked good

Who will win? All five Around The NFL writers pick the Broncos.

The Bears' run defense is still terrible. Against Buffalo, Chicago allowed 5.85 yards per rush and 193 rushing yards. Sunday night they face Frank Gore and Carlos Hyde. Chris Conte might get punished again this week.

The 49ers' D traded one interception machine for another. After picking off Tony Romo three times last week they face Jay Cutler, who threw two of his own interceptions last week -- one to a 300-pound lineman. If the 49ers can get pressure on Cutler they could be in for another pick party.

Pregame reading material
One Preview: Bears have designs on unleashing O on Niners
Harbaugh calls Kaepernick "Superman"
Niners' Carlos Hyde is here to stay
Who is Elliot Harrison picking to win this key matchup?

Who will win? Four of five Around The NFL writers pick the 49ers.

Nick Foles was no bueno last week -- stop holding the ball for-ev-er!!! He can flip the script Monday night against a Colts defense that has given up 39.3 points per game in its last three contests and doesn't have a pass rush.

Andrew Luck must also be licking his chops while watching the film of the Eagles' defense allowing Chad Henne to pick them apart early. This game has high-flying shootout written all over it.

Pregame reading material
Eagles' o-line springs leaks
The Eagles were only NFC East team to win Week 1
How will Colts recover from loss of Robert Mathis?
Fantasy: Colts tight end Dwayne Allen tabbed as a sleeper

Who will win? Three of five Around The NFL writers pick the Eagles.

The latest "Around The NFL Podcast" recaps the Steelers-Ravens game and previews the other 15 games in Week 2.