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Week 2 Cheat Sheet

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Everything you need to know as kickoff approaches...

Key game-time decisions

All players questionable unless noted

Alshon Jeffery (hamstring) WR; Brandon Marshall (ankle) WR, Chicago Bears

Harrison: Week 2 predictions
Elliot Harrison picks every game on the Week 2 docket -- and forecasts an 0-2 start for at least one ostensible contender. READ

Marshall didn't practice all week but has stated he plans to give it a go. Jeffery went through a walkthrough Friday and the team will be cautious with the young player's hamstring. The Bears promoted two receivers from the practice squad Saturday.

Carson Palmer (right shoulder) QB; Andre Ellington (foot) RB, Arizona Cardinals

Bruce Arians expressed confidence Palmer will be able to play even though he was limited all week. Ellington practiced on a limited basis Friday but said he should be fine Sunday. UPDATE: Ellington avoided the inactives list.

DeAngelo Williams (thigh) RB, Carolina Panthers

Williams was declared inactive by the Panthers after he sat out of practice Thursday and Friday. 

Maurice Jones-Drew (hand) RB, Oakland Raiders

MJD did not practice all week. He hasn't been ruled out, but he will reportedly miss the game. Latavius Murray should split time with Darren McFadden in the Raiders' backfield.

Jordan Cameron (shoulder) TE; Barkevious Mingo (shoulder) LB; Desmond Bryant (wrist) DE, Cleveland Browns

Cameron and Mingo didn't practice all week and were both deactivated Sunday. The team will be especially cautious with the tight end. Bryant was limited in practice all week but avioided the inactives list. 

Toby Gerhart (ankle) RB, Probable, Jacksonville Jaguars

The running back was a full participant Friday and will play. However, his prospects with the troublesome ankle behind a shaky offensive line are more worrisome.

Cecil Shorts (hamstring) WR, Doubtful, Jacksonville Jaguars

Shorts was declared inactive after reportedly making the trip to Washington to test out his hamstring.

Kenny Stills (quadricep) WR, Probable, New Orleans Saints

The wideout practiced fully Friday after missing last week's game and will play Sunday.

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Xavier Rhodes (groin) CB, Minnesota Vikings

Our "Making the Leap" candidate was limited Thursday and Friday but will play. The Vikes will need him against Tom Brady.

Bryan Bulaga (knee) OT, Green Bay Packers

What a tough, tough, man. After spraining his MCL last week, the right tackle will test it out and see if he's able to play Sunday vs. the New York Jets.

Shaun Hill (thigh) QB, St. Louis Rams

Shaun Hill made the trip to Tampa Bay, NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Saturday, but his availability is still in doubt. Austin Davis will start if Hill can't go. UPDATE: Rapoport added early Sunday morning that Hill is not expected to play. 

Da'Quan Bowers (abdomen) DE; William Gholston (shoulder) DE; Logan Mankins (knee) G, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Rapoport reported Friday that Bowers and Gholston are expected to play. Mankins returned fully Friday.

Steve Weatherford (left ankle) P, New York Giants

The punter is listed as questionable but avoided the inactives list. Weatherford tore four ligaments in his ankle Monday night.

Weather Tracking*

Mostly nice weather across the NFL landscape in Week 2.

Lions at Panthers -- 72 degrees / Chance of rain (24 percent)
Rams at Buccaneers -- 85 degrees / Chance of thunderstorms (54 percent)
Chiefs at Broncos -- 83 degrees / Chance of thunderstorms (10 percent)
*Forecasts courtesy of Weather Underground

Three matchups of 1-0 teams to watch

Dolphins' defensive line vs. Bills' offensive line

Watch Cameron Wake very, very closely. He was severely disruptive to Tom Brady last week and could wreck EJ Manuel's day. The Dolphins' defensive line will have to make up for injuries at the second level against the Bills' potent rushing attack. Manuel managed the game well in Week 1, but if his offensive line can't hold up against the Dolphins' fierce D-line, the quarterback is in for a world of hurt.

Kelvin Benjamin vs. Lions' secondary

Benjamin got off to a fantastic start in his rookie campaign. He'll have a big advantage against a banged-up Lions secondary that is susceptible to being picked apart. Benjamin has shown his ability to make catches in traffic, and his rapport with Cam Newton should offer him opportunities for a big day.

A.J. Green vs. Falcons' secondary; Julio Jones vs. Bengals' secondary

This isn't Green vs. Jones because, obviously, they aren't on the field against one another. The secondary that does the better job slowing the opposing big-play wideout will give its team a huge leg up. The Bengals' secondary has the edge in this one, but the unit also must be wary of Roddy White. Green doesn't have the same luxury of a big-time sidekick. This game should be a shootout and could come down to whichever dominant receiver makes the most big plays.

Did You Know?

In 2013, one of the 12 teams that reached the playoffs started the season 0-2: the Carolina Panthers.

Since the playoffs expanded to 12 teams in 1990, only four teams have made the Super Bowl after an 0-2 start:
- 1993 Cowboys (W)
- 1996 Patriots (L)
- 2001 Patriots (W)
- 2007 Giants (W)

Miami Dolphins (1-0) at Buffalo Bills (1-0)

The winner could be in sole possession of first place in the AFC East. The last time the Bills were in sole possession of first place in the division was heading into Week 4 in the 2011 season. The last time the Dolphins were in sole possession of first place was heading into Week 3 in 2010.

Detroit Lions (1-0) at Carolina Panthers (1-0)

Matthew Stafford did not throw an interception in Week 1. The quarterback has not gone back-to-back weeks within the same season without throwing an interception since Weeks 3 and 4 in 2012.

The Panthers' defense allowed 20 points or fewer in 14 of last 17 games -- and its record is 13-1 when allowing 20 or fewer points, 0-3 when allowing 21-plus points. Carolina had the NFL's best scoring defense at home in 2013 (12.0 PPG) and did not allow more than 20 points in any home contest.

Atlanta Falcons (1-0) at Cincinnati Bengals (1-0)

Some interesting similarities:
Matt Ryan: Seven seasons, 61-34 record (64.2 percent), four playoff games, 1-4 playoff record
Andy Dalton: Three seasons, 31-18 record (63.2 percent), three playoff games, 0-3 playoff record 
Julio Jones: Three seasons, 35 games, 5.2 receptions per game, 81.5 yards per game, 20 touchdowns
A.J Green: Three seasons, 48 games, 5.5 receptions per game, 82.6 yards per game, 30 touchdowns

New Orleans Saints (0-1) at Cleveland Browns (0-1)

Drew Brees has had 300-plus passing yards in four of the last five games and gone nine straight games with a completion percentage above 60 percent. However, including Week 1, he has had one touchdown or fewer in three of his last four contests.

While in the no-huddle offense in Week 1, Brian Hoyer completed 80 percent of his passes, compared to completing just 52.4 percent of passes after huddling.

New England Patriots (0-1) at Minnesota Vikings (1-0)

The Patriots are alone in last place in the AFC East for the first time since Tom Brady took over as the starter in 2001. The last time New England was in sole possession of last place was at the end of the 2000 season, which was Bill Belichick's first season as head coach.

Cordarrelle Patterson became the first wide receiver to score rushing touchdowns of 50-plus yards in two consecutive games since Buffalo's Elbert (Golden Wheels) Dubenion did it in the first two games of the 1961 season.

Arizona Cardinals (1-0) at New York Giants (0-1)

Eli Manning and Carson Palmer are Nos. 1 and 2 with the most multi-interception games since 2004: Manning (47); Palmer (43); Drew Brees (42); Brett Favre (41).

Manning and Palmer met head-to-head one time: Week 3 in 2008. Neither quarterback threw an interception.

Dallas Cowboys (0-1) at Tennessee Titans (1-0)

Since Tony Romo became the Cowboys starter in 2006, only Eli Manning has more games with 3-plus interceptions. Romo did not throw more than 2 picks in any game last season. The last time he faced the Titans (Week 5, 2010), Romo threw 3 interceptions.

In the first game of the post-Chris Johnson era, the Titans had 162 yards rushing:
Shonn Greene: 15 rushes, 71 yards
Dexter McCluster: nine rushes, 29 yards
Bishop Sankey: six rushes, 25 yards
Leon Washington: two rushes, 23 yards
Jake Locker: six rushes, 14 yards

Jacksonville Jaguars (0-1) at Washington Redskins (0-1)

Allen Hurns is the sixth player with 100 receiving yards and two touchdowns in his rookie debut. The last rookie with these numbers in his debut? Anquan Boldin of the Cardinals in 2003.

Alfred Morris has 2,979 career rush yards (in 33 games). The running back needs 21 yards to tie Clinton Portis for fewest games to reach 3,000 as a Redskins player. Morris has gained fewer than 100 rushing yards in eight straight games dating back to last season.

Seattle Seahawks (1-0) at San Diego Chargers (0-1)

Teams with more than seven days off between games have gone 5-9 in their last 14 contests when facing a team coming off short rest. The Seahawks last played on Thursday, Sept. 4 (will have 10 days rest). The Chargers last played on Monday, Sept. 8 (will have six days' rest).

St. Louis Rams (0-1) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-1)

The Rams' offense scored 10 or fewer points in back-to-back games dating back to last season. St. Louis had five such games over last two seasons (T-2nd most in NFL).

Despite a poor performance in Week 1, Josh McCown has two-plus passing touchdowns in four straight starts. The quarterback has thrown at least one touchdown in eight straight games.

Kansas City Chiefs (0-1) at Denver Broncos (1-0)

The Chiefs' defense allowed 405 yards last week. It marked the seventh game in the last nine that Kansas City's defense allowed 400 yards or more. The Chiefs have also allowed 23-plus point in seven of eight games.

Peyton Manning is 9-1 in his career vs. Kansas City and won six straight.

New York Jets (1-0) at Green Bay Packers (0-1)

Good news for Aaron Rodgers: Rex Ryan has faced a Super Bowl-winning quarterback 39 times as a head coach or defensive coordinator. He is 14-25 in those matchups, losing 11 of his last 13 games against signal callers with a Lombardi Trophy.

The Jets have not won consecutive games in September since Weeks 1-2 2009 (Rex Ryan's first two games as head coach). New York is 6-5 in their last 11 September games, alternating wins and losses.

Houston Texans (1-0) at Oakland Raiders (0-1)

Last week Ryan Fitzpatrick earned a 109.3 passer rating. The quarterback had just two games with 100-plus passer rating last season. Fitzpatrick has lost 16 of his last 20 road starts.

Derek Carr's two touchdown passes in Week 1 put him at a 32-touchdown pace. The Raiders have not had a quarterback throw for 30-plus touchdowns since Daryle Lamonica (34) in 1969.

Chicago Bears (0-1) at San Francisco 49ers (1-0)

Not including the Week 1 loss to the Bills, against teams with a .500-plus winning percentage Jay Cutler has a 12-20 record, 58.7 completion percentage, 218.5 passing yards per game, 45-46 touchdown-to-interception ratio and a 75.4 passer rating.

In Week 1, Colin Kaepernick excelled in throwing to the middle and right sides of the field. However, there was a major drop-off when throwing to the left -- the same area he struggled with in 2013. Week 1: Right: 85.7 percent; Middle: 85.7 percent; Left: 50 percent.

Philadelphia Eagles (1-0) at Indianapolis Colts (0-1) Mon. Night

Andrew Luck (Stanford) faced Chip Kelly (Oregon) three times at the college level from 2009-2011. Kelly's Oregon teams won two of the three games, while Stanford and Luck won in 2009. Luck's numbers were solid, with a completion percentage of 63.6, 282.7 passing yards per game, seven touchdowns and four interceptions.

In 2013, the Eagles were 6-2 on the road, while the Colts were 6-2 at home.

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

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