A few games in particular will capture all the attention during Week 2 of the NFL season.
Unless you live in Jacksonville or Oakland, you're not too enthused about the Raiders squaring off against the Jaguars. Then again, that game might be worse for anyone unfortunate enough to root for either of those squads.
Not every game can be a winner, but these should have fans glued to their TV screens. These marquee matchups pit top teams, division rivals and family against each other for our entertainment, and we shall be entertained.
Let's decipher how these big battles, of which the outcomes could bear major ramifications throughout the league, will play out.
Denver Broncos vs. New York Giants
The Manning brothers posted a combined 912 passing yards and 11 touchdowns during the opening weekend, but only Peyton walked away with a victory. The Broncos unleashed a juggernaut offense that seamlessly weaved in newcomer Wes Welker, who caught nine passes and two of Peyton's seven touchdowns.
As he's prone to do, Eli started the game donning a Mark Sanchez mask, gifting the ball to DeMarcus Ware on a broken screen pass during the opening drive. He tallied 285 yards and three touchdowns during the second half, which was not enough to atone for New York's six turnovers.
The Giants had one of the league's worst secondaries last season and put little pressure on Tony Romo last week, so the Broncos should be chomping at the bit to unleash their high-flying passing attack in New Jersey.
But their offensive prowess hid the defense's struggles without the suspended Von Miller. Joe Flacco accrued 362 passing yards, so the Giants should have another commendable day through the air, only it will not help them avoid an 0-2 start.
Prediction: Broncos 37, Giants 29
Dallas Cowboys at Kansas City Chiefs
One of these teams is starting the season 2-0 and feeling pretty darn good about their playoff aspirations.
Dallas obtained a big victory over its division nemesis on Sunday night, while Kansas City ushered in the Andy Reid era with a curb-stomping of the Jaguars. Larry David would agree that their Week 1 efforts were pretty, pretty good.
With that said, Kansas City will face a non-Blaine Gabbert led offense, while Dallas will have a much harder time generating multiple turnovers against sure-handed Alex Smith.
The Cowboys received some injury scares when Tony Romo suffered a shot to the ribs and Dez Bryant injured his foot, but ESPN's Ed Werder is reporting that both are good to go this Sunday.
Both offensive playmakers will face a stiffer challenge with Brandon Flowers and Eric Berry manning the secondary. On the other side, Smith will maintain possession of the ball while Dwayne Bowe dominates Dallas' corners in similar fashion to Hakeem Nicks, Victor Cruz and Rueben Randle.
Prediction: Chiefs 23, Cowboys 16
San Francisco 49ers vs. Seattle Seahawks
It's just Week 2, but this game could mean a lot come December.
Even though both teams are missing a top wide receiver, the 49ers and Seahawks are fighting for consideration as the NFL's premier squad. The winner certainly gains the early edge.
Most power rankings situate these squads No. 1 and 2, with the Broncos fighting to steal their thunder. Sunday night's thriller will determine which NFC West powerhouse fastens a tight grip on the top spot.
San Francisco has uneasy memories of its last visit to CenturyLink Field, as Seattle laid the smackdown on its division foes in a 42-13 Week 16 win. But the Seahawks would have much rather outlasted the 49ers in the postseason and taken their Super Bowl bid.
Both defenses are superb and both quarterbacks are stars in the making, so this one is tough to call. The Seahawks' home-field advantage gives them a boost, but the 49ers are virtually unstoppable if Colin Kaepernick can maintain last week's ruthlessness in the pocket.
Prediction: 49ers 20, Seahawks 17
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