Heading into Week 2, there is one game that stands out from the rest and earns its place as the lock of Week 2. At 1:00 ET on Sunday, the New England Patriots host the Arizona Cardinals. Both teams are 1-0. However, the Cardinals do not stand much of a chance against a much stronger New England team.
The quarterback is not always as decisive of a factor in winning games as he is given credit for in the modern NFL. In this case, however, the difference will be quite noticeable between New England quarterback Tom Brady and Arizona quarterback Kevin Kolb.
Kolb will be filling in for the injured John Skelton. A second-round draft pick in 2007, Kolb has thrown more interceptions than touchdowns in his career. He was able to throw for a touchdown on six of eight passing toward the end of the Week 1 game. However, this is too small of a sample set and against too weak of a Seattle Seahawks pass defense to mean much.
Brady may be getting old, but he has not shown it yet. He is operating currently at as high of a level as he ever has. He has broken a 100 passer rating three seasons in his career. Two of those seasons were 2010 and 2011. His passer rating in Week 1 was 117, the same as it was during his 2007 undefeated campaign.
The Patriots defense was very weak in 2011, arguably the worst in the league. The offense carried the team more than it has needed to at any other point in recent history. The defense was bad enough to give opposing teams a fighting chance on any given Sunday.
This year the Patriots defense looks like it will not be all that terrible. The Patriots have a young and reasonably talented defense, featuring first-round rookie defensive end Chandler Jones. Last weekend, Jones recorded five tackles and a sack in his first NFL game.
The spread on this game is high this weekend, currently 14 points. That is nevertheless a reasonable spread. The Patriots will score at will against a weak Arizona defense. Meanwhile, the Patriots defense will do an adequate job against the Arizona passing attack.
An early lead could give Jones an opportunity to attack Kolb at will. The imbalance between these two teams on both sides of the ball ensures a Patriots victory and makes this game Week 2's lock of the week.