Last year, the Buffalo Bills crumbled after losing Fred Jackson, who was as important to his team as the quarterback is to many other clubs. So this looks like a "get well" game for a Kansas City Chiefs defense that was on the wrong end of Matt Ryan's coming-out party for the Atlanta Falcons last week.
Who had the New Orleans Saints co-starring in someone else's show last Sunday? What caught the coaches off guard wasn't that the Washington Redskins threw Baylor-style stuff at them with Robert Griffin III. It was the amount of it. In a way, that prepared them for Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers this week.
The Cincinnati Bengals sure didn't look like the team I thought it would be on Monday night. And the Cleveland Browns' defense figures to make things tough on Andy Dalton in a short week. But I like the Bengals' prideful defense to be equal to the challenge here, and keep Brandon Weeden on the skids.
Just a feeling on this one. Andrew Luck threw three picks for the Indianapolis Colts in Chicago, but kept fighting behind an overmatched offensive line. Playing at Lucas Oil Stadium for real for the first time, Luck will look like he did in his preseason home debut, which is to say he'll riddle the Minnesota Vikings defense.
One scout who followed Ryan Tannehill in the Big 12 said this week that it was asking a lot "for him to play well as a rookie, based on his experience. ... He's in for some trouble this year." The Oakland Raiders did show on Monday night that they can, indeed, create some trouble for the quarterback.
Even though the Pittsburgh Steelers didn't win in Week 1, both teams acquitted themselves well last Sunday. As I stated in my column on the New York Jets, I really like the vibe in the locker room right now. But this is one of those where it's much easier to think that each team will come out at 1-1. So I'll go with that flimsy logic.
My favorite game of the week, and not just because it's The Handshake Bowl. What the Niners proved at Lambeau, again, is that NFL games can still be won at the line of scrimmage. That's where they'll win this one, too, in what should be a blood-and-guts affair at the 'Stick.
Fantastic matchup, especially if you're like me and you think Ryan's Week 1 performance was a sign of things to come. Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos win here, though, because of something that the 36-year-old veteran showed against Pittsburgh: He's adjusting to what he is, rather than trying to be what he was.