Winning a road game in the NFL is no easy feat, but there are three teams who will defy the odds on Sunday and win their respective games away from home.
The San Francisco 49ers will meet the Seattle Seahawks and the 12th Man with revenge on their minds on Sunday Night Football after getting waxed at CenturyLink Field late last season.
Sean Payton and the New Orleans Saints started off the season on the right foot after a Week 1 win and now look to improve their record to 2-0 as they take on the wounded Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Despite no semblance of a rushing attack against the Cleveland Browns in their season-opener, the Miami Dolphins still put 23 points on the board and look to do more this week against a porous Indianapolis Colts defense.
Let's break down each of these matchups and find out why the road teams will win.
San Francisco 49ers (at Seattle Seahawks)
Going into Seattle to play at CenturyLink Field is one of the most difficult tasks for any NFL team to do, but the 49ers will be successful in doing so on Sunday night.
It wasn't so pretty for San Fran last season. In Week 16 of the 2012-13 campaign, the Niners got smoked by the Seahawks in Seattle, 42-13. In all, the Seahawks finished with a dominant 8-0 record at home.
But the Niners are a better team coming into this season thanks to the evolution of quarterback Colin Kaepernick. The 25-year-old will have a lot more experience under his belt coming into this contest off a Super Bowl appearance and the shredding of the Green Bay Packers defense in Week 1.
The Seahawks didn't look so great in Week 1 themselves. Seattle just barely escaped with a win over the Carolina Panthers, 12-7. Quarterback Russell Wilson and the Seahawks offense didn't get into the end zone until the fourth quarter against a Panthers defense that isn't exactly elite.
The Niners will be sporting a much better defense than what the Seahawks had to face last week, so things will be even more difficult for Wilson and company. On defense, the Seahawks will be missing linebacker Bruce Irvin (suspension) and cornerback Brandon Browner is listed as doubtful with a hamstring injury, per ESPN.com.
Even if Browner is able to play, he may not be at 100 percent, and that will still be a huge blow to Seattle's defense. Such a loss will make it far easier for Kaepernick to pick apart Seattle's secondary en route to a solid game and a divisional win.
Final Score: 49ers 24, Seahawks 14
New Orleans Saints (at Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
Somehow, some way the Bucs found a way to lose to the New York Jets in Week 1 and it's only going to get more difficult from here on out with the Saints coming to town.
New Orleans shocked quite a few people last week with a 23-17 win over the Atlanta Falcons in a game that made the Saints normally inept defense look respectable. Atlanta gained 367 yards of total offense, and after it grabbed an early 10-0 lead, the Saints held the Falcons to just seven more points the rest of the way.
The Bucs offense was dreadful last week. Not only did they score just 17 points against the Jets, Tampa Bay simply couldn't get out of its own way. Quarterback Josh Freeman was outplayed by a rookie quarterback making his debut in the NFL and failed to complete 50 percent of his passes.
That's quite a step down from facing Matt Ryan, but the Saints defense might have a bit more trouble in this game with safety Roman Harper and cornerbacks Jabari Greer and Patrick Robinson all being listed as questionable, per ESPN.com.
With their secondary at less than 100 percent, the Saints will likely allow more points than they did against the Falcons. Still, the Bucs won't be able to do enough offensively to match what the Saints will produce.
Tampa Bay may be boasting a much-improved secondary this season, but quarterback Drew Brees is one of the best in the game at spreading the ball around to his many targets, so that should help alleviate the threat from cornerback Darrelle Revis and the rest of the Bucs pass defense.
Final Score: Saints 31, Bucs 27
Miami Dolphins (at Indianapolis Colts)
The Colts were one of the most talked about teams in the NFL during Week 1 but for all the wrong reasons. Indy came oh-so-close to dropping a game at home to one of the worst teams in the NFL, the Oakland Raiders.
Terrelle Pryor was able to rip off almost 330 yards of total offense and exposed the Colts defense for the weak unit they are.
The Dolphins didn't have much success running the ball in Week 1, but that was more a result of the Cleveland Browns stacking the box in anticipation of the run than anything else. Things should be much more open this week against the Colts, and Ryan Tannehill and the Dolphins passing attack will be a big difference-maker in keeping the Indianapolis defense honest.
After allowing nearly 300 yards through the air against the Browns last week, the biggest concern for Miami is keeping quarterback Andrew Luck in check. Luckily for the Dolphins, they can focus on stopping the pass as the Colts don't have any game-changing backs to account for in their pass-heavy offense.
Even with just 20 yards on the ground, the Dolphins still emerged victorious in their season-opener. In Week 2, running backs Lamar Miller and Daniel Thomas will have a lot more room to operate, and that kind of balance will torture the Colts all game long.
Final Score: Dolphins 27, Colts 24
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