The first weekend of the 2014 NFL preseason is complete, but the focus for many football fans has already shifted to Week 2 and the entertaining matchups on the schedule.
While the first week of action only featured games on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Week 2 has games scheduled each night from Thursday through Monday. Add in the fact that eight are nationally televised, and football fans are ready for the action.
Here are all the TV info, live stream details and picks for each Week 2 game.
|Thursday, Aug. 14||Time (ET)||TV||Live Stream||Predicted Winner|
|Jacksonville at Chicago||8 p.m.||ESPN||Preseason Live||Bears|
|Friday, Aug. 15||Time (ET)||TV||Live Stream||Predicted Winner|
|Philadelphia at New England||7:30 p.m.||NFL||Preseason Live||Eagles|
|Tennessee at New Orleans||8 p.m.||N/A||Preseason Live||Saints|
|San Diego at Seattle||10 p.m.||NFL||Preseason Live||Seahawks|
|Detroit at Oakland||10 p.m.||N/A||Preseason Live||Lions|
|Saturday, Aug. 16||Time (ET)||TV||Live Stream||Predicted Winner|
|Green Bay at St. Louis||4 p.m.||NFL||Preseason Live||Rams|
|NY Giants at Indianapolis||7 p.m.||N/A||Preseason Live||Colts|
|NY Jets at Cincinnati||7 p.m.||N/A||Preseason Live||Bengals|
|Baltimore at Dallas||7 p.m.||NFL||Preseason Live||Ravens|
|Buffalo at Pittsburgh||7:30 p.m.||N/A||Preseason Live||Steelers|
|Miami at Tampa Bay||7:30 p.m.||N/A||Preseason Live||Dolphins|
|Atlanta at Houston||8 p.m.||N/A||Preseason Live||Texans|
|Arizona at Minnesota||8:30 p.m.||N/A||Preseason Live||Cardinals|
|Sunday, Aug. 17||Time (ET)||TV||Live Stream||Predicted Winner|
|Denver at San Francisco||4 p.m.||NFL||Preseason Live||Broncos|
|Kansas City at Carolina||8 p.m.||Fox||Preseason Live||Chiefs|
|Monday, Aug. 18||Time (ET)||TV||Live Stream||Predicted Winner|
|Cleveland at Washington||8 p.m.||ESPN||Preseason Live||Browns|
Source: NFL.com. N/A indicates not available nationally.
Game of the Week: Denver Broncos vs. San Francisco 49ers
Sundays are for football. There are several marquee games in Week 2, but none compare to the potential Super Bowl preview between AFC juggernaut Denver Broncos and defensive powerhouse San Francisco 49ers.
The battle between Denver and San Francisco begins and ends with the quarterback position.
Colin Kaepernick proved to be a strong presence in the pocket for the 49ers last season, and the team has returned many of the same weapons it had, including wide receivers Michael Crabtree and Anquan Boldin. The organization also added an affordable third option in former Buffalo Bills receiver Stevie Johnson.
Running back Frank Gore returns once again this season, but he has the support of a viable backup in rookie Carlos Hyde. With the consistency of the rushing attack being reinforced, Kaepernick should have more time in the pocket to make smart decisions and avoid turnovers.
As well as Kaepernick has performed for San Francisco, Peyton Manning is in a league of his own.
Manning is the picture of consistency. After he threw 55 touchdowns and only 10 interceptions last year, any of the skeptics who believed Manning’s neck surgeries would be the end of his career have been proved wrong.
The Broncos are closer to a Super Bowl than any other team in the NFL.
Since Peyton Manning arrived in Denver two seasons ago, the @Broncos have the best regular-season record in the NFL (26-6).— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) August 6, 2014
With talented wide receivers like Demaryius Thomas, Wes Welker and Emmanuel Sanders (Sanders replaced Eric Decker after he left via free agency), as well as pass-catching tight end Julius Thomas, the potent Denver offense looks to return to that same form in 2014.
The offensive units will get most of the attention, but this battle is about defense as well. While San Francisco is better known for its defense, Denver has made major upgrades on that side of the ball and looks to test its mettle against a legitimate championship contender.
The Broncos went out and signed big-name free agents defensive end in DeMarcus Ware, safety T.J. Ward and cornerback Aqib Talib to secure the team’s biggest weaknesses. With Ware adding a pass-rush presence to complement Von Miller, Talib securing the secondary and Ward stopping the pass and the run, Denver’s defense is arguably the most improved in the NFL.
Who ya got?
San Francisco’s defense is just as talented. Led by elite middle linebackers Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman, the team finished 2013 fourth in the league against the run (allowing just 95.9 yards per game) and seventh against the pass.
As well as the 49ers played against the pass last season, Manning is just too good not to put up solid numbers. He won’t set the world on fire, but the veteran will do enough to give the Broncos a lead.
Once Denver has the lead, the new defenders will stifle San Francisco and give the road team the victory.
Predicted Final Score: Denver 27, San Francisco 17
*Stats via NFL.com.