Week 1 matchups dealt several blowout outcomes. As teams continue to jell, we'll likely see more close finishes in the upcoming slate of games.
Attrition will affect several teams going into Week 2, which also eases the difficulty of certain picks. For other clubs, uncertainty will cloud availability for star players.
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport speculates New York Giants wideout Odell Beckham Jr. will likely return to action Week 2 because of the typical recovery span of a high ankle sprain:
Ian Rapoport @RapSheet
#Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr (high-ankle sprain) is officially inactive. He should be good to go for Week 2, though.2017-9-10 23:05:02
Ian Rapoport @RapSheet
High-ankle sprains like Odell Beckham suffered can take 4 weeks to heal. Today marks fewer than 3. But there's more optimism today than Fri.2017-9-10 08:05:00
Nonetheless, spectators probably won't know his official status until days or hours before kickoff. For fantasy football players, he may come down to the dreaded game-time decision.
Without knowing the full injury report or the outcome of either Monday Night Football contest, we'll go through predictions for all Week 2 games.
Week 2 Picks
Houston Texans at Cincinnati Bengals: Bengals 17-14
Cleveland Browns at Baltimore Ravens: Ravens 24-6
Buffalo Bills at Carolina Panthers: Panthers 28-17
Arizona Cardinals at Indianapolis Colts: Cardinals 38-10
Tennessee Titans at Jacksonville Jaguars: Titans 20-17
Philadelphia Eagles at Kansas City Chiefs: Chiefs 27-21
New England Patriots at New Orleans Saints: Patriots 38-31
Minnesota Vikings at Pittsburgh Steelers: Steelers 27-23
Chicago Bears at Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Buccaneers 28-13
Miami Dolphins at Los Angeles Chargers: Dolphins 31-28
New York Jets at Oakland Raiders: Raiders 42-13
Dallas Cowboys at Denver Broncos: Cowboys 27-23
Washington Redskins at Los Angeles Rams: Rams 27-24
San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks: Seahawks 41-10
Green Bay Packers at Atlanta Falcons: Packers 38-35
Detroit Lions at New York Giants: Giants 21-16
Andy Dalton Shakes Off Poor Week 1 Performance
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton struggled mightily against the Baltimore Ravens at home. Is it possible he'll experience back-to-back nightmare performances at Paul Brown Stadium?
Dalton may struggle against the Houston Texans defense, but Cincinnati has the firepower in the backfield to neutralize the pass-rushers. The Bengals have three ball-carriers to feed, which allows the offense to keep fresh legs on the field for the ground attack.
The Texans' subpar offensive line will lead to rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson's first NFL start as opposed to taking over for Tom Savage midway through the game:
Sports Illustrated @SInow
OUT ➡️ Tom Savage IN ➡️ Deshaun Watson https://t.co/o1JhFoWyKJ2017-9-10 18:50:57
Watson poses a threat with his legs on any given down without a clean pocket. However, he's not equipped to lead the Texans to the AFC South crown solely on raw talent. The 2017 No. 12 overall pick isn't exempt from the growing pains that will cost his team games during his rookie campaign.
New England Patriots Bounce Back
After a shocking loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots will look to redeem themselves on the road against the New Orleans Saints. Unless the Patriots address their defensive issues with another trade, expect a shootout between two clubs that can adopt an aggressive offensive approach.
Back in 2014, the Kansas City Chiefs embarrassed the Patriots 41-14 in Week 4 at Arrowhead Stadium. Belichick answered questions with "we're on to Cincinnati" at the postgame press conference. New England crushed a 3-0 Bengals team 43-17:
The Patriots proceeded to win Super Bowl XLIX the following postseason. If you discounted the defending champions after one loss, it's a huge mistake. The Saints defense doesn't compare to the Chiefs unit, which contained safety Eric Berry's ability to minimize tight end Rob Gronkowski in the passing attack.
Green Bay Packers Avenge NFC Championship Loss
For those who grew increasingly disappointed in the Dallas Cowboys' low-scoring matchup with the New York Giants in the first Sunday Night Football showdown, the Green Bay Packers and Atlanta Falcons will put on an offensive clinic in the prime-time slot in Week 2.
The Falcons punched their ticket to Super Bowl LI with a 44-21 victory over a red-hot Packers team in the 2016 postseason. In a new year, with added pieces on the defensive end, Green Bay will look to knock off the NFC champions in a statement game.
Former Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan serves as a head coach for the San Francisco 49ers. Atlanta needs time embrace to Steve Sarkisian's offensive system. It's the perfect time for the Packers to steal a road victory in the Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Quarterbacks Aaron Rodgers and Matt Ryan will spread the ball and find unheralded contributors within the offense, but the Packers will either score on the final possession or come up with a key stop to end a late Falcons drive for a game-tying or winning score.