NFL Week 2 Picks: Contenders That Will Start with 0-2 Record

Mike Moraitis@@michaelmoraitisAnalyst ISeptember 11, 2013

NEW ORLEANS, LA - SEPTEMBER 08: Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons calls a play at the line of scrimmage against the New Orleans Saints during a game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on September 8, 2013 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Saints defeated the Atlanta Falcons 23-17. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Stacy Revere/Getty Images

After starting off the season 0-1, there are some contenders in the NFL that are certain to begin their respective seasons 0-2.

The Atlanta Falcons were stunned by the New Orleans Saints in Week 1 after their offense didn't show up as expected against their opponent's porous defense. Week 2 will present a challenge against a quietly dangerous St. Louis Rams team.

The Washington Redskins were run off the field in their season-opener against the Philadelphia Eagles, and while they won't see that kind of offensive pace until they meet their division rivals again, the Green Bay Packers will give the Redskins all they can handle this Sunday.   

Things couldn't get any worse for the New York Giants after a disastrous and sloppy loss to the Dallas Cowboys in Week 1. Now, the Giants will welcome the scorching-hot Denver Broncos to town for a brother-versus-brother battle that will steal all the headlines.

Let's take a look at each of these matchups and why these 0-1 contenders will start the season 0-2.


Complete Week 2 Picks

New York Jets at New EnglandNew England
St. Louis at AtlantaSt. Louis
Denver at New York GiantsDenver
Carolina at BuffaloCarolina
Minnesota at ChicagoChicago
Washington at Green BayGreen Bay
Miami at IndianapolisMiami
Dallas at Kansas CityDallas
Cleveland at BaltimoreBaltimore
Tennessee at HoustonHouston
San Diego at PhiladelphiaPhiladelphia
Detroit at ArizonaDetroit
New Orleans at Tampa BayNew Orleans
Jacksonville at OaklandOakland
San Francisco at SeattleSan Francisco
Pittsburgh at CincinnatiCincinnati


Washington Redskins (at Green Bay Packers)

After a Week 1 loss to the Eagles and their frantically paced offense, the Redskins may still be trying to catch their breath heading into a Week 2 matchup with the Packers.

It wasn't pretty for Washington. Not only did quarterback Robert Griffin III get off to a slow start, but the Redskins defense allowed 443 yards of total offense, with 263 of those yards being compiled on the ground.

That's music to the Packers' ears as they were only able to gain 63 yards on the ground against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 1. Considering Washington's defense is nowhere near as talented as San Fran's, Green Bay should have more success moving the ball through the rushing attack, courtesy of Eddie Lacy.

Combine that with the Packers' incredible ability to move the ball through the air with star quarterback Aaron Rodgers, and you have a nightmare scenario for the Redskins' defense.

Green Bay did a great job slowing down the rushing attack of San Francisco. The Pack only allowed 90 yards on the ground, but it was to the tune of 2.6 yards per carry. More importantly, the Packers made quarterback Colin Kaepernick throw the ballwhich he did with great successbut he wasn't allowed to make many plays with his legs.

This will be the second week in a row that the Packers have to face a versatile quarterback, and they will be ready to deal with whatever RG3 will throw at them. Redskins running back Alfred Morris had a disappointing opening game with just 45 yards on 12 carries with a touchdown.

Expect this one to be a shootout, with the Packers doing just enough on defense to overcome the Redskins at Lambeau Field.

Packers 37, Redskins 31


Atlanta Falcons (vs. St. Louis Rams)

To say the Falcons were a disappointment on offense in Week 1 on would be a huge understatement. Against a suspect defense in the Saints, the Falcons were only able to muster up 17 points and failed to gain 100 yards on the ground.

The Rams didn't have a spectacular defensive effort in Week 1 against the Arizona Cardinals, but St. Louis did shut out Arizona in the first and fourth quarters of the game. Furthermore, the Cardinals only gained 88 yards on the ground, with an average of 3.3 yards per carry.

St. Louis has a far better secondary than the Saints despite its opening-game performance. Moving the ball through the air to receivers such as Julio Jones and Roddy White will be far more difficult for quarterback Matt Ryan against St. Louis' corners Cortland Finnegan and Janoris Jenkins. It should also be noted that both Jones and White are nursing injuries, according to Falcons beat writer D. Orlando Ledbetter.

Running back Steven Jackson will be making his return to St. Louis for the first time since being let go during the offseason. While he will receive a warm welcome from the fans, the Rams' rush defense will not be so generous, and the former Rams back will have a tough day when the rock is in his hands.

The Rams' offense looked far better last Sunday than it did all season in 2012-13, and it's clear quarterback Sam Bradford has more weapons than he's had in his entire career, with tight end Jared Cook being the biggest difference-maker thus far.

St. Louis' defense will build off what was a solid finish to its game against Arizona last week, and with an offense that can actually move the ball and put points on the board, the Rams will be able to score enough points to top the Falcons with defense being the biggest key.

Rams 23, Falcons 21


New York Giants (vs. Denver Broncos)

The Giants played one of the most sloppy games in recent memory during a Week 1 loss to the Dallas Cowboys. Granted, the G-Men still had a chance to win that game late despite their six turnovers, but this team won't even have a prayer against the Broncos and their potent offense if turnovers continue to become a trend.

Peyton Manning threw for an astounding seven touchdowns and 462 yards against the Baltimore Ravens in the Thursday night opener. While Manning likely won't put up monster numbers like that again, he will still dominate a Giants secondary that is far from elite.

It remains to be seen if star cornerback Champ Bailey will be able to go for this game, and the absence of linebacker Von Miller will continue to be a huge problem for Denver's defense. Thankfully, the team from the Mile High City has more than enough on offense to cover its tracks.

The Broncos did a great job stopping Ray Rice last week after he compiled just 36 yards, and the Giants won't be anymore successful in Week 2. Running back David Wilson had a nightmare game, fumbling twice, and now the Giants have run to free agency in total desperation in order to bring back their former running back Brandon Jacobs, per the staff at USA Today Sports.

Both teams will have to air it out in order to win this game. If that's the case, Peyton and the Broncos have the edge over Eli and the Giants as the older brother tends to make fewer mistakes when the game is on his shoulders.

Broncos 34, Giants 24


Week 1 Picks

Baltimore at DenverDenver
Tampa Bay at New York JetsTampa Bay
Arizona at St. LouisSt. Louis
New York Giants at DallasDallas
New England at BuffaloNew England
Cincinnati at ChicagoChicago
Miami at ClevelandMiami
Atlanta at New OrleansAtlanta
Tennessee at PittsburghPittsburgh
Minnesota at DetroitDetroit
Oakland at IndianapolisIndianapolis
Seattle at CarolinaSeattle
Kansas City at JacksonvilleKansas City
Green Bay at San FranciscoSan Francisco
Philadelphia at WashingtonWashington
Houston at San DiegoHouston


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