10 Things You Must See in the NFL: Week 2 Edition
Week 1 of the NFL season was full of upsets, offensive fireworks, defensive standoffs, season-ending injuries, and all-around great games.
Week 2 promises some great division rivalry games, teams out to prove their first week success was not a fluke, and teams trying to rebound from a loss.
Here are the 10 things you must see in the NFL this week.
Packers Offense Without Ryan Grant
The Packers have become a trendy Super Bowl pick, but their season has already encountered a snag with the season-ending injury to Ryan Grant.
Aaron Rodgers will be looking to bounce back from a disappointing opening weekend that saw him throw for only 188 yards, as well as tossing two picks in a win over the Eagles. With the injury to Grant, Rodgers will probably look to throw the ball even more than the pass-happy offense of the Packers usually requires.
Grant's replacement at running back will be second-round pick Brandon Jackson, who has not carried the ball much in his career so far, but who excels at pass protection.
Look for the Packers to throw the ball early and often this Sunday.
Are the Seahawks for Real?
Seattle crushed the 49ers on Sunday, and this game may help answer the question, are the Seahawks actually better than everyone expected or were the 49ers highly overrated?
The Seahawks have been disappointing the last two seasons, winning only nine games combined, but Coach Pete Carroll and new GM John Schneider have done a large overhaul of the roster.
Matt Hasselbeck looked like he was back to his Pro Bowl form, going 18-23 with two touchdowns. If Hasselbeck can stay healthy, the Seahawks could be one of the surprises of the NFL this year.
Jets Vs. Patriots
The Jets have arguably the best defense in the league and the Patriots have one of the most prolific offenses in the league, so when they meet on Sunday, this matchup could determine the answer to the question, who would win in the battle between the unstoppable force vs. the immovable object.
In a loss on Monday night, the Jets defense looked good, but their secondary was far from flawless. In the Patriots win against the Bengals, their offense looked sharp, but not quite up to their 2007 form.
The big story going into this game has been the matchup between disgruntled wide receiver Randy Moss versus offseason holdout Darrelle Revis, but the key to this matchup could very well be how well corners Kyle Wilson and Antonio Cromartie handle the Patriots' other receivers.
Michael Vick Starting for the Eagles
As of this writing, the Eagles have not determined who their starting quarterback will be on Sunday. Kevin Kolb will not practice until at least Friday due a concussion sustained in their loss to the Packers on Sunday, which may leave the door open for a start for Michael Vick.
Although Andy Reid has stated that Kolb is the team's starting quarterback in the future, the Eagles offense looked much more dynamic when Vick was in the lineup. In the second half, Vick gained over 100 yards on the ground and passed for 175 against a Packers defense that was able to shut down Kevin Kolb in the first half.
Love him or hate him, Sunday's game reminded NFL fans how much fun Vick can be to watch, and how much trouble he can be for opposing defenses.
Manning vs. Manning
Sunday night's matchup pits the two Super Bowl-winning brothers against each other in Indianapolis.
The Colts are coming off a disappointing loss to division rival Texans, while the Giants are coming off a win against the Carolina Panthers.
Peyton Manning put up impressive numbers in the loss, passing for over 400 yards and three touchdowns. Younger brother Eli, who also threw for three touchdowns in Sunday's win, will look to take advantage of a secondary that will be once again be without safety Bob Sanders.
Chris Johnson Vs. the Pittsburgh Run Defense
The Steelers were able to hold Atlanta's Michael Turner to 42 yards on 19 attempts for a 2.2 yard average.
This week, the Steelers have an even tougher challenge in the Titans' Chris Johnson, who ran for 142 vs. the Oakland Raiders. Johnson has been nearly unstoppable since last year, but the Steelers, when healthy, are one of the few teams that might be able to contain Johnson and put up a roadblock on his quest to 2,500 yards.
Houston's Offensive Assault on Washington
Both the Texans and the Redskins are coming off big wins versus division rivals, and both will want to keep the momentum going this week.
Houston was definitely the more impressive of the two teams, handily beating the Super Bowl runner-up Indianapolis Colts. The Redskins, on the other hand, eeked out an ugly win against the Cowboys, scoring their only touchdown on defense.
The Texans have a great quarterback-receiver combination with Matt Schaub and Andre Johnson, and add a newly improved running game to that. I would expect the Texans to leave Washington with another win.
The Bears vs. the Cowboys
Two of the ugliest games this past week involved the Bears and the Cowboys.
The Lions, who have not won a road game since 2007, nearly beat the Bears at Soldier Field, but had what would have been a game-winning touchdown negated due to a controversial rule.
The Cowboys lost to the Redskins, due in large part to a bad play call at the end of the first half, and a blatant hold that negated a touchdown at the end of the game.
It's only the second week of the season, but both teams have a lot on the line this weekend. The Bears are trying to prove that last week's victory was not a fluke against a bad opponent, and that they can run Mike Martz's offense. The Cowboys need to show that they have not only a competent offense, but one that can get them to the Super Bowl.
Vikings Home Opener
After a disappointing loss in the first game of the season to the Super Bowl Champion Saints, the Vikings will try to rebound against the Dolphins in the Metrodome.
Quarterback Brett Favre looked out of sync with his receivers, causing many Favre critics to question whether or not skipping training camp might have been the reason for the Vikings' poor showing. The Vikings may need to rely on running back Adrian Peterson a little more until Favre shakes the rust off.
The Dolphins, who held the Buffalo Bills' anemic offense to under 200 yards on Sunday, will have a much tougher challenge on their hands this week, facing the Vikings in the Metrodome where they went undefeated in 2009.
Will the Chargers Bounce Back in Week 2?
The Chargers were the victims of one of the biggest upsets of opening week, losing to division rival Kansas City Chiefs 21-14.
Quarterback Philip Rivers looked liked he missed wide receiver Vincent Jackson, who is serving a three-game suspension as well as holding out for a new contract. The absence of left tackle Marcus McNeil, who is also holding out due to a contract dispute, will be another obstacle for the Chargers offense to overcome as they try to even their record at 1-1.
The Jaguars are coming off a win at home against Denver, but are not considered a top-tier team in the league.
In a weak AFC West, a loss by the perpetually slow-starting Chargers would not be a season killer, but with the Chiefs playing against the lowly Browns, it could put them in a two-game hole.