It's only Week 2, and we're going to see a showdown between divisional rivals that could have playoff implications, a rookie quarterback debut under center and a potential statement matchup for a team that fell short in the last AFC Championship Game.
Every contest counts in a 16-game season, so it's not an exaggeration to say these matchups hold major significance in terms of playoff seeding. One loss could cost a team home-field advantage or a postseason berth. Furthermore, a club can measure its offseason improvements in a matchup against a perennial playoff contender.
We'll dig into the drama surrounding a star quarterback in a marquee matchup and revisit a cautionary tale for a rookie signal-caller who is making his first start in another contest.
First, here's a Week 2 broadcast map showing which games will air in certain regions with the broadcasters calling the action:
Week 2 Schedule
Sunday, Sept. 16
Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals: Bengals 34-23
Miami Dolphins at New York Jets: 1 p.m. ET, CBS, CBS All Access
Carolina Panthers at Atlanta Falcons: 1 p.m. ET, Fox, Fox Sports Go
Indianapolis Colts at Washington Redskins: 1 p.m. ET, CBS, CBS All Access
Houston Texans at Tennessee Titans: 1 p.m. ET, CBS, CBS All Access
Philadelphia Eagles at Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 1 p.m. ET, Fox, Fox Sports Go
Kansas City Chiefs at Pittsburgh Steelers: 1 p.m. ET, CBS, CBS All Access
Los Angeles Chargers at Buffalo Bills: 1 p.m. ET, CBS, CBS All Access
Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers: 1 p.m. ET, Fox, Fox Sports Go
Cleveland Browns at New Orleans Saints: 1 p.m. ET, Fox, Fox Sports Go
Detroit Lions at San Francisco 49ers: 4:05 p.m. ET, Fox, Fox Sports Go
Arizona Cardinals at Los Angeles Rams: 4:05 p.m. ET, Fox, Fox Sports Go
New England Patriots at Jacksonville Jaguars: 4:25 p.m. ET, CBS, CBS All Access
Oakland Raiders at Denver Broncos: 4:25 p.m. ET, CBS, CBS All Access
New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys: 8:20 p.m. ET, NBC, NBC Sports
Monday, Sept. 17
Seattle Seahawks at Chicago Bears: 8:15 p.m. ET, ESPN, WatchESPN
Week 2 Storylines
Aaron Rodgers Set to Start in NFC North Showdown vs. Minnesota Vikings
The Minnesota Vikings swept the Green Bay Packers in last year's season series, with quarterback Aaron Rodgers playing just eight snaps between the two contests because of a collarbone injury.
In Week 1 against the Chicago Bears, Rodgers suffered a knee injury in the second quarter but helped his team put together a comeback victory. According to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero and Ian Rapoport, he will suit up for Sunday's game against the Vikings:
Even at less than 100 percent, Rodgers gives the Packers a fighting chance to win, but the Vikings' suffocating defense won't budge in an NFC North showdown that could help decide the division leader later in the season.
Green Bay will have the home crowd roaring at Lambeau Field, but Minnesota's roster looks far better on paper than it did in years past. A Vikings win would put them in early command of the NFC North with a renewed confidence.
Josh Allen Makes 1st Regular-Season Start vs. Los Angeles Chargers
Last year, the Buffalo Bills named rookie quarterback Nathan Peterman the starter before their Week 11 contest with the Los Angeles Chargers. His debut went sour pretty quickly. He threw five interceptions in the first half, and Tyrod Taylor took over in the third quarter.
The Bills can only hope rookie first-rounder Josh Allen avoids disaster against the Chargers at home Sunday. The Wyoming product took the field against the Baltimore Ravens with the game well out of hand 40-0 in the third quarter in Week 1.
Behind a leaky offensive line, Allen's mobility can compensate for poor pass protection. Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes exercised his big arm against Los Angeles' secondary in Week 1, throwing four touchdown passes. The Bills don't have the perimeter weapons to threaten Los Angeles over the top, but the rookie can play loose and take some risks, knowing he's the future for the franchise.
The Chargers should be heavy favorites, but don't rule out the Bills playing competitively at home Sunday.
New England Patriots at Jacksonville Jaguars in Playoff Rematch
The Jacksonville Jaguars led the New England Patriots 20-10 going into the fourth quarter of the 2017-18 AFC Championship Game but failed to leave Gillette Stadium with a victory.
It's only Week 2, but it's a statement game for the Jaguars. Do they have enough to knock off a perennial Super Bowl contender?
Jacksonville may take the field without running back Leonard Fournette, who's nursing a hamstring injury, per Rapoport:
The Patriots won't have wideout Julian Edelman, who's serving a four-game suspension for violating the league's performance-enhancing drug policy. Quarterback Tom Brady also won't have wideout Danny Amendola, who caught two fourth-quarter touchdown passes in the last AFC Championship Game; he's now under contract with the Miami Dolphins.
Both teams have missing parts from last year, so expect to see a different game with new emerging factors and contributors. New England running backs Rex Burkhead (concussion) and Sony Michel (knee) list as questionable for this contest, which puts added pressure on Brady to deliver through the air against a top-notch pass defense.