NFL Week 2 Preview: Seattle vs. Green Bay Is Must-See TV
A strong slate of games dots the Week 2 NFL schedule. Here’s a preview of the most interesting contests this week:
Thursday, September 17
The Chiefs Need to Beat the Broncos. Now.
Denver at Kansas City | Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City; 8:25 p.m. (ET); CBS/NFL-TV
If Kansas City (1–0) is to be taken seriously as a threat to the Broncos dominance of the AFC West, the Chiefs need to snap their six-game losing streak to Denver (1–0) soon. Like, Thursday soon. The Broncos have won four consecutive games at Arrowhead — one of football’s toughest road dates.
K.C. tight end Travis Kelce, wideout Jeremy Maclin and running back Jamaal Charles give quarterback Alex Smith three significant weapons with which to attack the Broncos defense. Still, Smith won’t do much if his team’s defense can’t get the potent, run-heavy Denver offense off the field. Will Peyton Manning be a factor? If he is, that could be good news for the Chiefs, whose fierce pass rush figures to pressure the immobile future Hall of Famer.
Sunday, September 20
Rex Ryan Turns His Bully Loose on Tom Brady
New England at Buffalo | Ralph Wilson Stadium, Buffalo; 1 p.m. (ET); CBS-TV
Bills head coach Rex Ryan is confident enough in his defense to be happy to see Tom Brady under center for the Patriots (instead of serving a “Deflategate” suspension). And maybe Rex is right: Buffalo (1–0) rose to the challenge of beating Andrew Luck and the Colts in Week 1 in a game that wasn’t as close as the 27-14 final score indicated.
Bills Pro Bowl DT Marcell Dareus returns after serving a suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy to join Mario and Kyle Williams in pursuit of Brady. New England (1–0) must figure out how to take speedy receivers Percy Harvin and Sammy Watkins away from Bills QB Tyrod Taylor.
The DeMarco Murray Revenge Game
Dallas at Philadelphia | Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia; 4:25 p.m. (ET) FOX-TV
All DeMarco Murray did for the Cowboys in 2014 was win the NFL rushing title with 1,845 yards on 392 carries and help lead the team to the NFC East title. His thanks? Dallas dared him to find any team that would pay his battered body as much as they would.
When Murray signed with the Cowboy-hating Eagles this off-season, he figured to be a key part of head coach Chip Kelly’s offensive onslaught. However, the only thing offensive about Murray in Week 1 were his totals: eight carries for nine yards (and two TDs). Expect Murray to turn up the intensity when Philadelphia (0–1) hosts Dallas (1–0) on Sunday afternoon.
Of course, it’s quite possible the Cowboys will be the ones exacting revenge on the Eagles. Their experienced offensive line could create problems for a Philly defense that couldn’t cover Atlanta’s Julio Jones on Monday night. Fortunately for the Eagles, Dallas receiver Dez Bryant is out with a foot injury. Tony Romo and Jason Witten will play, though.
Seahawks-Packers Is the Most Unlikely Rivalry in the NFL
Seattle at Green Bay | Lambeau Field, Green Bay; 8:30 p.m. (ET); NBC-TV
Five years ago, Seattle (0–1) and Green Bay (1–0) would have seemed like a weird choice for a “rivalry.” Not anymore. All it took was two Russell Wilson miracles — one in 2012 and one in last season’s NFC title game — to fire up the hate between these football hotbeds. This Sunday night, the setting shifts to the (not-quite-frozen) Tundra. Get ready for Aaron Rodgers vs. the Legion of Boom; Marshawn Lynch vs. Clay Matthews; and Cheeseheads vs. the 12s — all in prime time.
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll is probably just happy to face another head coach who essentially cost his team a title. (Remember Mike McCarthy’s NFC Championship brain lock?)
Monday, September 21
It Doesn’t Get Easier for Andrew Luck
N.Y. Jets at Indianapolis | Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis; 8:30 p.m. (ET); ESPN-TV
Indianapolis (0–1) expected to launch its candidacy as a Super Bowl contender with easy early-season wins over the Bills and Jets in 2015. Buffalo derailed the Colts in Week 1, and New York (1–0) figures to try to do the same by pressuring Andrew Luck and shutting down the Indy offense.
Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie might miss the game after suffering a sprained knee last week, but CB Darrelle Revis should play — and make life hell for Luck in the secondary. If the Colts can’t get rolling this week, questions are going to start to mount over whether their preseason expectations were, um, overinflated.
Sunday, September 20
Houston at Carolina | Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, N.C.; 1 p.m. (ET); CBS-TV
San Francisco at Pittsburgh | Heinz Field, Pittsburgh; 1 p.m. (ET); FOX-TV
Tampa Bay at New Orleans | Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans; 1 p.m. (ET); FOX-TV
Detroit at Minnesota | TCF Bank Stadium, Minneapolis; 1 p.m. (ET); FOX-TV
Arizona at Chicago | Soldier Field, Chicago; 1 p.m. (ET); FOX-TV
San Diego at Cincinnati | Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati; 1 p.m. (ET); CBS-TV
Tennessee at Cleveland | FirstEnergy Stadium, Cleveland; 1 p.m. (ET); CBS-TV
Atlanta at N.Y. Giants | MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, N.J.; 1 p.m. (ET); FOX-TV
St. Louis at Washington | FedEx Field, Landover, Md.; 1 p.m. (ET); FOX-TV
Miami at Jacksonville | EverBank Field, Jacksonville, Fla.; 4:05 p.m. (ET); CBS-TV
Baltimore at Oakland | O.co Coliseum, Oakland, Calif.; 4:05 p.m. (ET); CBS-TV