Who Will be the NFL Headline Makers in Week Two?8 min read
The return of the NFL brought up many a surprise in week one last weekend. Who would have thought that entering week two we would already have a few Cinderella stories.
This week brings us some very intriguing games and a cluster on divisional match ups. As the old rivalries are reignited we take a look a a handful of the games
Giants @ Cowboys
Disappointing starts for both in the season openers. However, Giants fans must have been happy with what they saw from their draft pick Saquon Barkley who got the crowd on their feet with his 68 yard touchdown run. It was one of the only fleeting moments of brilliance in their defeat against Jacksonville, who were without their own star running back Leonard Fournette for much of the game. What Giants fans will want to see however is better production from Odell Beckham Jr, who looked good in his return from injury but was lacking any real threat when they neared the red zone.
But it can’t be overlooked just how poor the Cowboys looked against Carolina. Star running back Ezekiel Elliott just could not get going and as their main outlet now that Dez Bryant and Jason Witten have departed. This was apparent that quarterback Dak Prescott may just be missing his old targets who were always a faithful outlet in his two seasons in the NFL. He looked bereft of ideas at times
Beckham Jr to score a touchdown
Cowboys HT/Giants FT
Browns @ Saints
Draws are incredibly rare in the NFL but some the Cleveland Browns this would have felt as sweet as a win, having lost every game last year. They will be hurting that they had a chance to win the match though and fluffed their lines with a last second field goal attempt in overtime. What a difference that could have made. They would have started the season with a surprise win against Pittsburgh, one of the favourites for the title, and headed into this game full of confidence. Instead they head into this knowing that they blew a shot at winning their fist game since Christmas 2016.
Their opponents must be wondering what happened last week. Tampa Bay didn’t have their starting quarterback available and yet tore the Saints defense apart at times. What was meant to have been a nice easy win to start the season turned into a surprisingly loss and raised doubts about their ability to challenge for the title. I see this as a blip and the sort of result that week one supplies so I expect business as usual for both of these teams this week. I can only see a Saints win as the offense shown in that defeat last week was still a joy to watch and it is not often you put up 40 points yet still walk away with a defeat.
Saints over 3.5 touchdowns
Over 5.5 total touchdowns
Patriots @ Jaguars
This is all about revenge. Jacksonville will still be smarting from the loss in the AFC title game last season but will be relishing an early shot to show that they are ready to go one step better this year. People still are unsure as to how far the Jaguars can go and wth Blake Bortles at the helm it is a fair assumption. He does not have the abilities as other in his conference however with a defense as strong and loaded as ‘Sacksonville’ he does not need to be. He relies on them to give him the ability to find a talented selection in his arsenal.
The Patriots showed that they are as advertised, one of it not the best team in the AFC last week. However, I see this being a much sterner test for them as Jaksonville will feel that they had a few duff calls in the AFC championship game last season. The match was spiced up a little buit as Jalen Ramsey began to maske his opinions on Patriots star tight end Rob Gronkowski’s ability known to the world. However he may want to watch what he says as Gronk is one of the most dominating players to have ever played in that position.
The loss of Leonard Fournette last week hampered the Jaguars but they still found a way to get the win. This is why I see TJ Yeldon seeing more of the ball this time around as they would not want to risk making the injury Fournette sustained worse.
TJ Yeldon top score a touchdown
Jaguars to score in every quarter
Vikings @ Packers
This is the game that made the Vikings pay Kirk Cousins the big bucks. The big question in this game though is whether or not he will be facing off against Aaron Rodgers, who is a doubt after suffering a knee injury which saw him sit out much of their opening win against Chicago last week. He did return though to inspire a big comeback win and Packers fans will be hoping that the see him on the field in this key clash against their old rivals.
Cousins made a very impressive start to life in Minnesota and showed just why people think he is the missing link to them making it back to the Superbowl having been so close last season. They inflicted the first defeat of Jimmy G’s career and looked mightily impressive in doing so. This is why I see them leaving green Bay with the victory. They have the best defense in all of the NFL and by the looks of it Cousins has got one of, if not the, best offense too. He loved a tight end reception in his Washington days and I can see him using Rudolph a lot more in this key game but he has already established a strong relationship with Diggs who will his main outlet. This should be an absolute cracker of a game no matter what happens.
Stefon Diggs to score a touchdown
Kyle Rudolph to score the first touchdown