So, Week 1 of the NFL Season went just like we thought, right? That’s why we love the NFL, you never know what’s going to happen. The big revenge narrative for Week 1? That didn’t pan out. The Broncos, Panthers and Jets all lost with their starting quarterbacks facing their former teams. Not all of those were surprises, but it certainly was a rude awakening for 49ers fans seeing their team lose in Chicago and Bengals fans seeing their team turn it over five times and lose to the Steelers at home. And that was just Week 1! Below are my picks for the five most interesting games of the second Sunday of the NFL Season.
Sunday Early Games:
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-0) at New Orleans Saints (1-0)
About: The Buccaneers looked like one of the best teams in the NFC in Week 1, dismantling Dallas in a 19-3 win. The Saints, meanwhile, had to sweat it out against the Falcons. The Saints prevailed, but it was far from easy. Now, these division foes clash in a key early season game. The Buccaneers with Tom Brady haven’t had an easy time of the Saints, going 1-4. The lone win was in the playoffs as the Buccaneers won the Super Bowl, but that’s still cause for concern. Can Brady get an elusive regular season win, or will the Saints start off 2-0 in their quest to get to the playoffs with new coach Dennis Allen?
Indianapolis Colts (0-0-1) at Jacksonville Jaguars (0-1)
About: Another intriguing divisional matchup here as both teams are looking for their first win. The Colts traveled to Houston in Week 1 and were greeted with a tie. It wasn’t the start the team was looking for and it doesn’t get any easier with another divisional game on the road. To make matters worse, the Colts are back in the same stadium where their 2021 season came to a screeching halt. The Jaguars, meanwhile, didn’t get a win but looked plenty frisky in their first game with new coach Doug Pederson. Can they pick up where they left off in 2021 and get a huge win over the Colts? Can the Colts finally get a win and start making strides toward a post-season return? This game offers plenty of intrigue in the AFC South.
Sunday Late Games:
Cincinnati Bengals (0-1) at Dallas Cowboys (0-1)
About: Desperation hangs in the air for this one in Dallas. The Bengals looked sloppy in their opener, turning it over five times and allowing seven sacks in a loss to the Steelers. The Cowboys also looked sloppy, and worse yet scored just three points while losing their starting quarterback for a good chunk of the season. Neither team can afford to start 0-2 and yet one of them will. This is a very early make-or-break game for two playoff teams from 2021 that have aspirations to get back in 2022.
Arizona Cardinals (0-1) at Las Vegas Raiders (0-1)
About: Another game featuring two teams that got punched in the mouth in Week 1. The Cardinals are struggling with injuries and quickly found themselves down 30 points (37-7) at home in Week 1. The Raiders, meanwhile, saw Derek Carr toss three interceptions as they lost on the road in Los Angeles against the Chargers. Both teams are hoping for better, and both need wins to stay in what look like very tough divisions. So, who is going to get it? The Raiders will be looking for some magic in the desert in Vegas while the Cardinals will be hoping Kyler Murray can carry the team once again.
Sunday Night Football:
Chicago Bears (1-0) at Green Bay Packers (0-1)
About: It’s not a surprise one of these teams comes in 1-0, the surprise is that it’s Chicago. The Bears couldn’t muster much offense in the first half of a game plagued by torrential rain on Sunday. And yet, the team held on and Justin Fields eventually made the most of his opportunities, leading the Bears to a 19-10 win over the 49ers. The Packers, meanwhile, struggled to summon offense. Even Aaron Rodgers wasn’t enough as they were never really in it against the Minnesota Vikings. The Packers have won 13 games each of the last three seasons, and if they want to get there again, they need to get back on a winning path. Rodgers has seemingly owned the Bears of late but can Fields conjure some more magic to get the Bears to 2-0? One of the NFL’s oldest rivalries figures to be a blast on Sunday Night Football.
Matthew Fox is a graduate of the Radio, Television and Film program at Biola University, and a giant nerd. He spends his free time watching movies, TV, and obsessing about football. He is a member of the FSWA. You can find him @knighthawk7734 on Twitter and as co-host of the Fantasy Football Roundtable Podcast.