Sunday Morning Under the Helmet: What To Watch for in NFL Week Two

Alex JohnsonCorrespondent ISeptember 20, 2009

A goal-line marker at Pro Player Stadium, site of Super Bowl XLI, as the Miami Dolphins host the St. Louis Rams at Pro Player Stadium in Miami, Florida on August 31, 2006. The Dolphins won the week four pre-season game 29-9.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

Before you crack open a can of beer, light the grill, or flip on the big screen, take a couple minutes to gather around your computer and get a sneak peak at what's gonna go down in the NFL week two.

We'll go around the league and tackle the day's biggest matchup, preview three "no-names" who will have big games, and wrap up with which team will pull off the week's biggest upset.

So put on the pads, buckle your chinstrap, and get ready for this Sunday Morning wild ride around the National Football League!



Matchup of the week:  Patriots @ Jets

There's no question the most buzz in the NFL this week has been focused on this clashing of two AFC East rivals.  Rex Ryan and the Jets have taken the trash talking, intimidating approach while the Patriots have taken the "we'll do the talking on the field" approach. Who will prevail???

According to Jets safety Kerry Rhodes, the Jets are planning on not just beating the Pats, but "embarrassing" them.

"You go out from the first quarter on, from the first play on, and try to embarrass them," Rhodes said, according to the New York Daily News.

"Not just go out there and try to win, try to embarrass them. Try to make them feel bad when they leave here. We don't want to just beat them. We want to send a message to them, 'We're not backing down from you and we expect to win this game, and it's not going to be luck, it's not going to be a mistake.' "

In order to ensure New England doesn't pick up it's ninth-consecutive win against the Jets in the Meadowlands Sunday, coach Ryan sent a voicemail message to every Jets season ticket holder encouraging them to come out and make the Pats feel the pressure.

The Jets are clearly going to try to pressure Patriots quarterback Tom Brady from the first snap, to the last.

Rhodes even promised to the Daily News that they'd hit Brady more than six times.

As the Jets trash-talk, the Patriots remain pretty quiet like usual.

The Patriots will need to find a way to protect Brady and keep him on his feet.  In order to do that they'll need to keep the Jets defense off balance. Therefore, we could see New England focus on getting things going on the ground early.

On the defensive side of the ball, Bill Belichick's defense will likely try to put lots of pressure on rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez as he makes just his second NFL start, and home debut.

This will likely be a close game, maybe a field goal will be the difference.


Small names, big games

Today we'll take a look at three non-superstars who will post big numbers in week two.

-Austin Collie (WR, Indianapolis)

Ever heard of him?  I didn't think so. 

Austin Collie is a rookie fourth round wide receiver for the Indianapolis Colts.  With Anthony Gonzalez now out for several weeks, Collie could see a significant increase in his playing time.

Last week against Jacksonville, Collie had two catches for 15 yards and in three preseason games he caught eight balls for 69 yards.

In his final season at Brigham Young, Collie snagged 106 passes for 1,538 yards and 15 touchdowns.

So clearly, this guy knows how to play football. Oh, plus he's got some guy named Peyton Manning throwing to him.

-Trent Edwards (QB, Buffalo)

Trent Edwards was pretty impressive in week one against New England.  He threw for a very respectable 212 yards and two touchdowns in the 25-24 loss to the Pats.

In week two he goes head-to-head with a Buccaneers defense that gave up 344 passing yards, including three long touchdowns, to Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys last week.

Expect Edwards to hit T.O. and Lee Evans for multiple big plays against the weak Bucs secondary.

-Louis Murphy (WR, Oakland)

Rookie Louis Murphy has quickly become the Raiders No. 1 wideout.  He showed off his talents in week one against San Diego by collecting four catches for 87 yards, not including the touchdown that was overturned at the end of the half.

In preseason he caught seven passes for 158 yards and one touchdown.

Watch for quarterback JaMarcus Russell to look for Murphy quite a bit against the weak Chiefs defense.

-Others to watch: Kevin Kolb, Jason Campbell, Fred Jackson


Upset Alert!: Chicago over Pittsburgh???

When the defending champs head into Chicago for this week two battle, Steelers fans could be in for a disappointment.

Jay Cutler played pretty awful in week one at Green Bay, but he will bounce back in week two at home, especially with Polamalu out.  He'll also get help from Matt Forte and the rushing department.

Until late last week against the Titans, the Steelers' offense struggled to score points mostly because of their lack of a solid rushing attack. The run game could be a little better this week with Brian Urlacher out for the Bears, but don't expect any 100-yard rushers for Pittsburgh. 

Overall, expect this to be a dogfight throughout. It won't be easy, but a couple freak plays could be the difference in this one for Chicago.

Prediction: Bears win 26-24.