NFL TV Schedule Week 2: Breaking Down Primetime Matchups

Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer ISeptember 11, 2012

September 9, 2012; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) directs his team during the fourth quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.  The Broncos won 31-19.  Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-US PRESSWIRE
Chris Humphreys-US PRESSWIRE

After a fantastic opening week of football, we look ahead to the primetime matchups of Week 2, complete with two divisional rivals, two head coaches with bad blood and an up-and-coming team led by a future Hall of Famer.

The NFL didn't disappoint us in Week 1, and there is so much more action left to watch. The potential shifting of the NFL landscape could make for some riveting football down the road.

Here's a look at the primetime matchups of Week 2.

Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers

Where: Lambeau Field, Green Bay, WI

When: Thursday, Sept. 13 at 8:20 p.m. ET

Watch: NFL Network

The Bears have a scary defense and they can certainly put points up on the board with Jay Cutler and Matt Forte leading the charge (especially when Brandon Marshall doesn't drop footballs).

The defense overall was impressive against Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts. The rookie quarterback went 23-of-45 for 309 yards (6.9 yards per attempt) while tossing one touchdown to three interceptions. The Bears collected three sacks, five QB hits, 10 pass deflections and four tackles for loss.

As for Cutler, he went 21-of-35 for 333 yards and two touchdowns to one interception, while Forte rushed for 80 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries. Rookie Alshon Jeffery looked like a game-changer and Marshall produced enough to make up for dropping the ball on a couple occasions.

The Packers, on the other hand, predictably exhibited a pass-heavy offense against the San Francisco 49ers, but the 49ers' defense limited Aaron Rodgers and Co. and quarterback Alex Smith was superb.

The Packers' overall defense still leaves much to be desired, although the pass rush is there. Green Bay had four sacks and six QB hits in Week 1.

I ultimately see the Packers winning this game. I like the Bears a lot when they're healthy, but, given the pressure the Packers put on Smith in Week 1, I could see them causing problems for Chicago's shaky offensive line.

This will still be a high-scoring game, but I give Green Bay the edge at home.

Detroit Lions at San Francisco 49ers

Where: Candlestick Park, San Francisco, CA

When: Sunday, Sept. 16 at 8:20 p.m. ET

Watch: NBC

The 49ers looked like the best team in the league after the 30-22 victory over the Packers. The defense was excellent as always (minus Perrish Cox) and Alex Smith has looked like a new man under Jim Harbaugh.

When your No. 4 cornerback is your glaring weakness, you can't exactly be upset over that.

As for the Lions, they escaped the St. Louis Rams in Week 1, 27-23.

The running game was decent behind Kevin Smith, but this team still relies on Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson, and Stafford threw three interceptions against the Rams.

The big problem area for the Lions, as was the case last season, is the secondary. Rams quarterback Sam Bradford had an efficient game, going 17-of-25 for 198 yards and one touchdown (7.9 yards per attempt), despite the Lions registering three sacks and seven QB hits.

Things don't figure to get any easier for the Lions' secondary against the 49ers, who have new weapons in Randy Moss and former New York Giants wideout Mario Manningham. Smith was 20-of-26 for 211 yards and two touchdowns (8.1 yards per attempt) against the Packers and receiver Michael Crabtree has looked better.

I give this one to the 49ers at home.

Denver Broncos at Atlanta Falcons

Where: Georgia Dome, Atlanta, GA

When: Monday, Sept. 17 at 8:30 p.m. ET

Watch: ESPN

The Broncos and the Falcons are sky-high after Week 1.

The Broncos, complete with Peyton Manning, shocked the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 1, 31-19.

Apparently, losing almost two years of football didn't disrupt Manning's rhythm, as he went 19-of-26 for 253 yards and two touchdowns in Denver.

The defense also created a lot of pressure, notching five sacks, nine QB hits and 10 pass deflections. Even Tracy Porter, who replaced Andre' Goodman at the No. 2 cornerback spot this season, had a good game.

The Falcons, on the other hand, exploded for 40 points against the Kansas City Chiefs, with Matt Ryan going 23-of-31 for 299 yards and three touchdowns. Julio Jones and Roddy White both starred.

Atlanta suffered a big loss in the game, though. Cornerback Brent Grimes is lost for the season with a torn Achilles tendon. Asante Samuel slides into Grimes' spot moving forward. Given his well-documented troubles against the run, that's certainly concerning for the Falcons.

This is a tough game to predict, but I think Ryan, behind a much better offensive line than Pittsburgh's, outscores Manning and Co. Ryan was sacked just once against the Chiefs and hit three times.

But make no mistake about it, this will be a high-scoring game at the Georgia Dome.

What do you think? Tweet me.

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