NFL Preseason 2013: Predictions for Saturday's Most Exciting Games
Six games of the NFL's Week 2 preseason action are slated for Saturday night, with several intriguing clashes standing out as the most exciting to watch.
The Green Bay Packers' explosive passing offense triggered by Aaron Rodgers will be tested by the tough defense of the St. Louis Rams on the road.
An aggressive offseason has reshaped the Miami Dolphins roster, which makes their progress interesting to monitor. A trip to Reliant Stadium to take on the Houston Texans will be a good way for head coach Joe Philbin to evaluate where his team is heading into the regular season.
To cap off the evening, though, is an epic matchup between the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos at CenturyLink Field. The raucous crowd should distract Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning as he faces a tough task against last year's No. 1 scoring defense.
Below are predictions for those three games. While they may not feature starters for long, the games will be worth catching.
Green Bay Packers vs. St. Louis Rams
Few players possess his agility and elusiveness in the open field, and his magnificent change of direction and breakaway speed make him the home run threat that St. Louis hasn't had in recent seasons.
All eyes will be on quarterback Sam Bradford, a former top overall pick who hasn't lit it up in his first three years as a pro but did show improvement in 2012.
Then there's Rodgers, Bradford's counterpart, who has put himself in the conversation as the best quarterback in the NFL. Recovery from knee surgery has standout receiver Jordy Nelson out for the preseason, which makes Rodgers' job a little more difficult.
The tenacious Rams defense is yet another impressive, rising unit in the NFC West, and that superiority should allow the team to notch a win over the reigning NFC North champions.
Prediction: Rams 24, Packers 14
Miami Dolphins vs. Houston Texans
Which preaseason game are you most excited for?
On the other hand, Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins had a magnificent debut, catching four passes for 52 yards and a stunning touchdown grab off a deep heave from quarterback T.J. Yates.
The combination of Ryan Tannehill and prized free-agent acquisition Mike Wallace will be intriguing to watch, too. Wallace recently said he wants to lead the NFL in receiving, and his speed combined with Tannehill's strong arm gives him a chance to make big plays.
Houston has one of the better, deeper rosters in the league. With Case Keenum overtaking Yates for this game as the No. 2 quarterback, the hosting Texans have three reliable signal-callers along with Matt Schaub. That should keep the offense moving and result in a victory.
Prediction: Texans 27, Dolphins 20
Denver Broncos vs. Seattle Seahawks
Seattle has arguably the best secondary in football, though. Safeties Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor are Pro Bowlers who are capable of laying the boom, and the same goes for cornerback Brandon Browner.
Then there's Richard Sherman, the outspoken corner who sports fantastic size for his position and should be able to match up with whichever receiver he faces on the outside.
The dual-threat capabilities of the speedy Wilson should keep the Broncos on their heels, but the injuries to pass-rushers in Chris Clemons, Bruce Irvin and Cliff Avril leave Seattle thin to get pressure on Manning and the other Denver passers.
As solid as the Seahawks are in the defensive backfield, it will be tough to cover without getting in the quarterback's face. Thus, Seattle will suffer a rare home loss, but thankfully it won't count on the regular-season record.
Prediction: Broncos 31, Seahawks 21
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