The NFL rang in Week 2 in dramatic style on Thursday night as the Denver Broncos stunned the Kansas City Chiefs in a comeback victory. Well, the rest of the league has a lot to live up to on Sunday and Monday.
With a number of attractive matchups, including a big game in the AFC East, let's take a look at the latest spreads for the remaining Week 2 games and who I think will come out on top.
All spreads are courtesy of OddsShark.com.
|NFL Week 2 Schedule, Spreads, Predictions|
|New England at Buffalo||1 p.m.||NE -2||Buffalo|
|Arizona at Chicago||1 p.m.||ARI -2.5||Arizona|
|San Francisco at Pittsburgh||1 p.m.||PIT -6.5||Pittsburgh|
|Atlanta at New York Giants||1 p.m.||NYG -2.5||Atlanta|
|Tennessee at Cleveland||1 p.m.||CLE -3.5||Tennessee|
|Houston at Carolina||1 p.m.||CAR -4.5||Carolina|
|Tampa Bay at New Orleans||1 p.m.||NO -9.5||New Orleans|
|Detroit at Minnesota||1 p.m.||MIN -3||Detroit|
|St. Louis at Washington||1 p.m.||STL -2.5||St. Louis|
|San Diego at Cincinnati||1 p.m.||CIN -3||San Diego|
|Miami at Jacksonville||4:05 p.m.||MIA -4.5||Miami|
|Baltimore at Oakland||4:05 p.m.||BAL -6||Baltimore|
|Dallas at Philadelphia||4:25 p.m.||PHI -4||Philadelphia|
|Seattle at Green Bay||8:30 p.m.||GB -3||Green Bay|
|Monday, Sept. 21|
|New York Jets at Indianapolis||8:30 p.m.||IND -5.5||Indianapolis|
Game of the Week
New England at Buffalo
New England will be welcomed back from its extended layoff after opening the season on Thursday night with a difficult AFC East opponent.
While Tom Brady was able to pick apart a weak Pittsburgh Steelers defense in the Patriots' opening win, he probably won't have the same luxury against a Rex Ryan-led Bills defense. Last week Buffalo held one of the league's best passers in Andrew Luck to just 243 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
The Buffalo defense has been stellar against elite quarterbacks, as ESPN Field Yates points out:
If the Bills can shut down those names, there's no reason why they won't do it against the Patriots, especially with their pass rush.
After getting one of the team's best pass-rushers back in Marcell Dareus, who was suspended for the first game of the season, Buffalo looks poised to go after Brady plenty of times on Sunday. Dareus also grabbed some headlines during the week in expressing his disdain for the Patriots, according to ESPN.com's Mike Rodak.
As shown most notably in two prior Super Bowls against the New York Giants, Brady has showed frustration when he is taken down to the turf. If the Bills can get to him, good things are going to happen.
Buffalo, though, will have to put some points on the board regardless of how the defense performs. The Bills seem to have the right man under center in Tyrod Taylor. While it was just one start, the new starter found a way to outduel Luck last week by showing great efficiency.
After going 14-of-19 through the air and adding 41 yards on the ground in Week 1, Taylor looks to be a dangerous dual-threat quarterback. He can even deliver the deep ball:
Taylor has to make sure he doesn't try to be the hero and force things against the Patriots. If he plays within the limits of his game and takes what the New England defense gives him, Buffalo should be able to score points.
If the game plan calls for an even distribution between passing and running, that should also help Taylor settle into the game. That would mean a healthy LeSean McCoy, who is listed as questionable, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.
The Bills would look to Karlos Williams and Anthony Dixon to carry the backfield if McCoy is unable to go. But the team's chances to win rest more on the arm (and legs) of Taylor and the defense than the backfield.
If the Bills hold New England to less than 21 points, they will start 2-0 and make a huge statement to the rest of the AFC that they are a force to be reckoned with. It could even put them as early favorites to win the AFC East. With wins over the Colts and possibly the Patriots, it would be difficult to argue they couldn't take the division.
Prediction: Buffalo wins 23-20
Stats courtesy of NFL.com.