Buffalo’s Week 1 loss to the Steelers may be eye-catching and everyone has their eyes on the Bills’ offense to see how they will respond in an AFC East tilt. Fortunately for Josh Allen, Miami is a team that he has a fair share of success against with a record of 5-1 averaging 315.3 pass + rush YPG, 2.8 pass TD/game, and a 114.3 passer rating through six games. Besides, Allen has been known to struggle against playoff teams in recent history.
In fact, Allen has a passer rating of 77.5 against 2020 playoff teams through four games compared to a 111.9 passer rating through nine games against all other AFC squads. As for his opponent Tua Tagovailoa, the Dolphins have struggled to put points up under the former first-round pick scoring fewer than 20 points in 3 of Tagovailoa’s 10 career starts. He’ll face an uphill battle against a Bills team that has won five straight in this rivalry but will seek their first of 2021 on Sunday.
The Saints are winning this football game. You simply don’t hold Aaron Rodgers and the Packers’ offense to a mere 3 points by accident. The New Orleans defense allowed a 49.8 passer rating against Green Bay last week. Sam Darnold is certainly going to be an easier task and the Saints have won 8 of their last 9 games against Carolina. Interestingly enough, the one loss came in a game that didn’t have Drew Brees under center for Sean Payton’s offense. But it’s a new era in NOLA and Jameis Winston seems to have things figured out to be able to win games for this NFC powerhouse
It’s feeling like an upset is due this week and that could be happening in Philly. The Eagles play host to the 49ers following a dominant week 1 win against the Falcons. Philadelphia has their QB1 in Jalen Hurts, who became the first player with 1,000+ pass yards and 300+ rush yards through their first 5 career starts since at least 1950. This week he looks to build upon those numbers against what looks like a faulty 49er defense. It simply was a tale of two halves last week for Kyle Shanahan’s unit.
If San Francisco plays defense as they did in the second half, it’s going to be a long day for them and a field day for Hurts. Perhaps the key to the 49ers’ success could be to stop the screen pass. Hurts depending on that play several times. According to Next Gen Stats, Jalen Hurts threw 7 screen routes in Week 1 (most in NFL), completing all 7 for 85 yards, 1 TD, and a 156.8 passer rating. Meanwhile, Jimmy Garoppolo may stay winning but this Philly team has a little bit of teeth yet to show with Hurts under center.
The Bengals look great. The Bears… not so much. Chicago looks like they are working another project out with Andy Dalton under center whereas Cincinnati is taking advantage of a healthy Joe Burrow with several weapons in the passing game. The former no. 1 pick has 200+ pass yards and 0 INT in 4 straight games played dating back to 2020. On top of that, the addition of Ja’Marr Chase fits like a glove under head coach Zac Taylor. Burrow and Chase combined for 14 deep TD in 2019 at LSU and picked up right where they left off with their first NFL connection going for a 50-yd TD.
That gives Matt Nagy and the Bears defense enough to worry about after giving up two pass TD of 40+ air yards in Week 1 against Matthew Stafford and the Rams. Interestingly enough though, Nagy is 9-3 in September games as Bears head coach. His only 3 losses are the season-openers in 2018, 2019, and 2021. Meanwhile, this matchup is certainly personal for quarterback Andy Dalton, who spent his first 9 seasons with the Bengals from 2011-19. The only thing that can sway a toss-up matchup in the wrong way is a player that is personally invested in the game. Dalton is not the long-term answer in Chicago and until we begin to see more of Justin Fields, I’ll ride with the opposing team.
After an absurd Monday night football thriller that saw the Raiders take down the Ravens, reality begins to set in on the road this week against another AFC North squad. The Steelers play host to a franchise that has seen 6 of their last 8 matchups between the two teams decided by 3 points or fewer. Here’s a closer look at how Derek Carr and Ben Rothlisberger have been head to head.
Yes, the Texans literally came out of nowhere but I’m not convinced by Houston as a TEAM just yet. On the contrary, Tyrod Taylor certainly wowed us with a week 1 game that saw him pass for 291 yds, 2 TD, 0 INT, and a 112.1 passer rating. This week he takes on his former Browns squad that seems to bounce back well as they did not lose back-to-back games last season. As for Taylor, he has not won 2 straight games in a season since the 2017 season. I’d like to be convinced the Texans are really this good, but there’s a difference between going up against a rookie quarterback in Week 1 and a veteran in Week 2. Baker Mayfield should see himself win another Week 2 game under center.
Matthew Stafford looked nothing short of perfect in his Rams’ debut that saw him notch a career-high 156.1 passer rating. Not the nicest matchup for a Colts defense that just allowed a 152.3 passer rating last week (2nd-highest in Week 1) to Seahawks QB Russell Wilson.
Although the Rams are as hard as it gets in the NFL right now, history seems to be on the Colts side heading into this matchup. Although Indy started 0-1 for the 8th straight season, they have won each of their last three Week 2 games under head coach Frank Reich. On top of that, quarterback Carson Wentz has lost each of his last 5 starts dating back to 2020 and has never lost 6 consecutive starts in his career.
However, we must remind ourselves that Wentz and Reich are still trying to find their footing together in Indianapolis and it’s simply unlucky that their opening two matchups are against two NFC West powerhouses. The Rams have allowed fewer than 20 points in 9 games since 2020 and after last week’s outing, the Colts look primed to make that a double-digit number for the Los Angeles defense. I like Stafford and the Rams to take care of business on the road.
Bill Belichick coaching a rookie quarterback is a work in progress. However, Belichick going up against a rookie quarterback is a force to reckon with. Rookie QBs are 6-20 against New England since Belichick took over in 2000. On top of that, the future Hall of Famer has a record of 47-24 in the month of September since 2000. As for the Jets, their 10 straight losses in September speak for themselves. Apart from Belichick’s influence shadowing over this game, it’s going to be a battle between two rookie quarterbacks in this AFC East tilt. Here’s how the two of them did in their debut.
The sad reality of this matchup is one rookie gets to go up against the Jets defense while the other takes on Belichick’s Pats squad. New York has allowed a 103.1 passer rating since 2020 which ranks 4th-highest in the league. Jones should see a nice outing in Week 2 whereas Wilson could add to his interceptions thrown on the season after tossing one last week. Patriots should see themselves get to .500 as the Jets drop to 0-2.
I simply don’t like this matchup for Trevor Lawrence and the Jaguars offense… especially after last week’s ugly outing. Although the no. 1 pick became the 3rd rookie QB since 1950 with 3+ pass TD in their team’s first game, he also tossed 3 interceptions. This week he takes on a Broncos defense that not only has Von Miller and Bradley Chubb on the edge rush but their first-round pick CB Patrick Surtain II in the secondary. Surtain will make his NFL debut hoping Lawrence will throw his way to possibly cash in on a takeaway of his own. I’ll take Denver to win their second straight road matchup.