Week 2 NFL Picks: Preview and Predictions for Most Anticipated Games

Tim DanielsFeatured ColumnistSeptember 10, 2013

DENVER, CO - AUGUST 24: Quarterback Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos in action against the St. Louis Rams at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on August 24, 2013 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

Now that the initial excitement is over for teams around the NFL after a memorable Week 1, the next few months will be spent separating the contenders from the pretenders.

Right now, there are still plenty of teams hoping to push into that first category.

Week 2 is highlighted by a couple of marquee matchups that will likely dominate the headlines and airwaves leading up to kickoff on Sunday. Winning high-profile games is one way for a team to assert itself as a legitimate playoff and potentially Super Bowl contender.

With that in mind, let's take a closer look at three of the best clashes on tap for the second week and make predictions for which teams will triumph.

For a complete look at the upcoming slate of action, check out the league's official site.


Washington Redskins at Green Bay Packers

When the Redskins won the NFC East last season, it was in large part due to the dynamic playmaking ability of Robert Griffin III. After offseason knee surgery, he didn't look like the same player in Week 1.

Without him at his best, Washington faces an uphill battle to repeat last year's success.

While the Redskins almost stormed back to upend the division rival Philadelphia Eagles on Monday night, Griffin clearly lacked the explosiveness that was on display so often last season. That doesn't bode well for an offense that lacks other big-play assets heading into a matchup with the high-powered Packers.

Green Bay's secondary was torched to the tune of 412 yards by Colin Kaepernick, who connected 12 times with new target Anquan Boldin on Sunday.

The good news for the Packers is that the Redskins don't have a physical receiver in that same mold.

Expect a much better showing from the Packers defense and the usual strong play from Aaron Rodgers and Co. to take care of business at home.

Prediction: Packers 31, Redskins 21


Denver Broncos at New York Giants

As expected, the Broncos defense wasn't nearly as effective without Von Miller and Champ Bailey. But Peyton Manning, like he did so many times during his days with the Indianapolis Colts, put the team on his back and carried Denver to victory.

The legendary quarterback isn't going to throw seven touchdowns every week, of course. The pieces are in place, however, for him to have a monster season with the addition of Wes Welker to an already strong offense.

If he needed a little extra motivation, he faces his brother this week.

The Eli Manning-led Giants turned the ball over six times in their season opener. The silver lining was that they only lost by five despite those mistakes. If they can protect the ball better moving forward, they should be in good shape.

David Wilson is the key player. He's got too much talent to leave out of the mix despite his fumbling issues. If he bounces back strong, so will the Giants. It's hard to count on that after Week 1, though.

Prediction: Broncos 27, Giants 23


San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks

The 49ers and Seahawks have a tremendous budding rivalry that should continue to intensify as they battle for the NFC West crown this season.

Although both teams enter the first meeting at 1-0, they are coming off starkly different performances.

San Francisco was terrific in knocking off the aforementioned Packers. Kaepernick carved up the Green Bay secondary, the Boldin addition has already paid off, Vernon Davis is finally putting his physical tools to work and the defense stepped up when necessary.

On the flip side, Seattle simply survived against the Carolina Panthers. The offense struggled mightily to finish drives before finally scoring the winning touchdown in the fourth quarter.

Luckily for the Seahawks, the defense was able to keep Cam Newton in check.

The 49ers are riding high after their big win in Week 1, but the Seahawks didn't lose a game at home last season. Ultimately, it amounts to a toss-up matchup with the smallest of edges to Seattle.

Prediction: Seahawks 20, 49ers 17