NFL 2012 Season — Week Two Preview
The NFL enters Week 2 with several interesting games between potential playoff teams. Here’s a preview of all of this week’s contests:
Thursday, Sept. 13
Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers — 8:20 PM
Lambeau Field, Green Bay, WI
In their 20-point, Week 1 win over the Colts, Chicago (1-0) was led by its offense, namely quarterback Jay Cutler and receiver Brandon Marshall. The duo will look to continue its success against a Packers’ defense that didn’t stop the 49ers often enough last week. Green Bay (0-1) needs to show better balance on offense, as the Packers piled up most of their positive yardage last week after the game was all but decided.
Sunday, Sept. 16
Kansas City Chiefs at Buffalo Bills — 1:00 PM
Ralph Wilson Stadium, Buffalo, NY
Kansas City (0-1) yielded nearly 300 yards passing and 40 points in last week’s loss to the Falcons. Buffalo (0-1) doesn’t have as many offensive weapons as Atlanta did, but the Chiefs must slow the Bills’ pace to succeed. Chiefs’ quarterback Matt Cassel will attempt to take advantage of a defense that yielded 384 yards and more than 40 points to the Jets last Sunday.
Cleveland Browns at Cincinnati Bengals — 1:00 PM
Paul Brown Stadium, Cleveland, OH
Cleveland (0-1) almost upset the Eagles last week thanks to its opportunistic defense. The Browns will attempt to rattle Bengals’ quarterback Andy Dalton so that he and receiver A.J. Green can’t get in synch. Cincinnati (0-1) had no answer for the Ravens’ no-huddle offense on Monday. They may have an easier time against Browns’ rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden.
Minnesota Vikings at Indianapolis Colts — 1:00 PM
Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN
Minnesota (1-0) used running back Adrian Peterson and a strong defense to help secure a Week 1 win. The Vikings figure to use that formula often this season. Indianapolis (0-1) must show that its defense can contain the opponent better than it did while giving up 41 points to the Bears. Colts’ rookie quarterback Andrew Luck must get protection against the Minnesota pass rush. Getting the running game going behind running back Donald Brown would help.
Oakland Raiders at Miami Dolphins — 1:00 PM
Sun Life Stadium, Miami, FL
Two teams coming off dreadful Week 1 performances meet in Florida. Miami (0-1) rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill had four turnovers in the loss to the Texans. He needs to let running back Reggie Bush help him control the tempo against a mediocre Raider defense. Oakland (0-1) was victimized by three bad punt snaps and a weak running game. Running back Darren McFadden will need to improve on his 32-yard performance against the Chargers for the Raiders to compete.
Arizona Cardinals at New England Patriots — 1:00 PM
Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, MA
Arizona (1-0) makes the trip across the country to face the Patriots. The Cardinals may be without starting quarterback John Skelton, who was sidelined with an ankle injury last week, allowing backup QB Kevin Kolb to lead the team on a game-winning drive. It may not matter who starts against New England (1-0), whose defense looked very good against the Titans last week. The Arizona pass defense may challenge Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady, but New England running back Stevan Ridley could be in for a big day.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at NY Giants — 1:00 PM
MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ
Tampa Bay (1-0) found a way to neutralize Panthers quarterback Cam Newton last week, which resulted in a victory. The Buccaneers will hope to do the same against Eli Manning and the defending Super Bowl champion Giants. New York (0-1) will look to get a pass rush on quarterback Josh Freeman and disrupt his already fragile offense.
Baltimore Ravens at Philadelphia Eagles — 1:00 PM
Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, PA
Baltimore (1-0) looked impressive on both sides of the ball while routing Cincinnati on Monday night. If safety Ed Reed and the Ravens can force Eagles quarterback Michael Vick into another five-turnover game like he had against the Browns in Week 1, this contest could be another Baltimore win. Philadelphia (1-0) must find a way to slow Joe Flacco and the Ravens no-huddle offense. Baltimore running back Ray Rice could pile up yards against the Eagles wide-nine formation, as well.
New Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers — 1:00 PM
Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC
New Orleans (0-1) was outgunned against Washington in Week 1, and the Saints may find themselves playing high scoring games all year. If the Panthers do not adjust quickly enough, Drew Brees could do great damage against their young defense. Carolina (0-1) will look to quarterback Cam Newton to apply pressure on the Saints’ defense.
Houston Texans at Jacksonville Jaguars — 1:00 PM
EverBank Field, Jacksonville, FL
Houston (1-0) looked like one of the AFC’s best teams in last week’s rout of the Dolphins. The Texans’ vaunted running game, led by Arian Foster, could deliver another dominant performance this week. Jacksonville (0-1) will need quarterback Blaine Gabbert and running back Maurice Jones-Drew to produce points to beat the Texans.
Dallas Cowboys at Seattle Seahawks — 4:05 PM
CenturyLink Field, Seattle, WA
Dallas (1-0) had to be encouraged with a fairly easy victory over the Giants on Opening Night. Cowboys’ quarterback Tony Romo will face another defensive test against the Seahawks this week. Seattle (0-1) uses Marshawn Lynch as its prime offensive weapon. The Dallas defense will look to stop Lynch and dare Seattle rookie quarterback Russell Wilson to beat them.
Washington Redskins at St. Louis Rams — 4:05 PM
Edward Jones Dome, St. Louis, MO
Washington (1-0) surprised many fans by topping the Saints last week behind the outstanding play of rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III. Griffin will put a lot of pressure on a Rams’ defense that was able to stick with the Lions before falling last week. St. Louis (0-1) hopes quarterback Sam Bradford can peck away at the Redskins’ defense. He’ll be assisted by running back Steven Jackson, who had just 53 yards rushing in last week’s loss.
NY Jets at Pittsburgh Steelers — 4:25 PM
Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, PA
The Jets (1-0) surprised most prognosticators by rolling up nearly 400 yards of offense and close to 50 points against the Bills in Week 1. Jets’ quarterback Mark Sanchez faces a Steelers’ defense that did not contain Peyton Manning last week. Pittsburgh (0-1) may see the return of linebacker James Harrison, but its weak running game is likely to cause the most problems against the experienced New York defense.
Tennessee Titans at San Diego Chargers — 4:25 PM
Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, CA
Tennessee (0-1) had a difficult first week, getting pounded by the Patriots, seeing quarterback Jake Locker injured and watching running back Chris Johnson again struggle to amass yards. The Titans should get Locker back, but they’ll need more balance to chip away at an aggressive Chargers’ defense. San Diego (1-0) seized control of their season opener when the Raiders’ special teams self-destructed. They’ll be looking for their offense to put up more touchdowns than field goals against the Titans this week.
Detroit Lions at San Francisco 49ers — 8:20 PM
Candlestick Park, San Francisco, CA
Head coaches Jim Schwartz and Jim Harbaugh have a chance to revisit their game-ending spat that occurred after last season’s 49ers’ win over the Lions. Detroit (1-0) was fortunate to get past St . Louis last week and will need a supreme offensive effort, especially from quarterback Matthew Stafford, against the Niners defense. San Francisco (1-0) showed off new weapons in its Week 1 win over Green Bay, but quarterback Alex Smith is still the key to their success. Lions defensive end Ndamukong Suh will look to disrupt the flow.
Monday, Sept. 17
Denver Broncos at Atlanta Falcons — 8:30 PM
Georgia Dome, Atlanta, GA
Peyton Manning looked ready to resume his Hall of Fame career in the Broncos win over the Steelers last Sunday. Denver (1-0) has to like its chances to attack the Falcons’ defense from both the air and on the ground. Atlanta (1-0) needs quarterback Matt Ryan to find a way to move the offense past an opportunistic Broncos’ defense.