NFL Predictions Week 2: Teams on Upset Alert Heading into 2nd Week

Shawn BrubakerContributor IISeptember 15, 2012

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 05: Quarterback Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants looks on after getting knocked down against the Dallas Cowboys during the 2012 NFL season opener at MetLife Stadium on September 5, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

Last week saw the resurgence of Mark Sanchez, the Washington Redskins beat the New Orleans Saints and an abysmal performance from Chris Johnson. With these surprises in mind, what kind of hi-jinx await NFL fans in Week 2?

This week's slate of games features a few that could turn into shocking upsets. Here are a few teams that need to be on upset alert this week.


Baltimore Ravens

Last season, the Baltimore Ravens clobbered the Pittsburgh Steelers 35-7 in the season's first game, only to lose in embarrassing fashion to the Tennessee Titans the following week.

As soon as the Ravens wrapped up their dominating 44-13 win over the Cincinnati Bengals, fears of a repeat must have crossed a few fans' minds.

The Ravens might be taking the Philadelphia Eagles for granted after they just scraped by the Cleveland Browns. The popular conception is that NFL teams have figured out quarterback Michael Vick, the Eagles' receivers are hobbled and the defense still has yet to gel.

Even if these things are true, the Eagles are still a major threat that the Ravens. The Eagles have two of the best defensive ends in the NFL in Jason Babin and Trent Cole, who should disrupt the Ravens' passing game.

On offense, LeSean McCoy has the kind of quickness and explosion that could give the Ravens' defense fits. After giving up 91 yards to Benjarvus Green-Ellis, one has to wonder what an elite back like McCoy can do against this defense.

Baltimore is rightly favored to win this game, but they will need to be focused to do so. Last year, that was an issue for this team. A win in Philadelphia would prove that this year's Ravens are improved and ready to contend for a championship.


Dallas Cowboys

The Dallas Cowboys are certainly riding high after a convincing win over the champion New York Giants, which boosted their stock significantly in the eyes of many analysts.

I remain unconvinced, however. The ability to win a single early-season game has never been at issue for the Cowboys. The ability to be consistent and focused has been their problem, and if it persists, the Seattle Seahawks have a good chance at scoring the upset at home.

The Seahawks are a vastly underrated team in terms of talent. Their defense is very solid, with a top-tier secondary and some exciting pass-rushing talent. On offense, Marshawn Lynch is still a beast when healthy, and Russell Wilson could still surprise.

The Cowboys could very well be looking past the Seahawks. That would be a very big mistake, as these Seahawks are talented enough to upset anyone. 

A dominant win against the Seahawks would go a long way in proving that this Cowboys team has the focus and grit that they've lacked in recent years.


New York Giants

That the New York Giants are on upset alert has less to do with them and more to do with the talented team they will be facing. 

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat a talented Carolina Panthers team last week with a vanilla offensive-scheme. This week, Tampa Bay will probably pull out all the stops to beat the NFL champions and prove that the Buccaneers are for real.

The Buccaneers look to be able to pass the ball effectively down the field against this Giants team. Michael Coe struggled against the Cowboys, and the Buccaneers should be able to exploit him against Mike Williams or Vincent Jackson.

On the other side of the ball, the Buccaneers have to hope that the Giants remain one-dimensional. Despite a solid game from Ahmad Bradshaw last week, when they can't run the ball, the Giants and Eli Manning struggle to get the ball to their dynamic receivers, resulting in a low-scoring game.

The Buccaneers seem to once again be an exciting young team. A win against the Giants on the road would prove that they are the real deal.