With multiple overtime games, missed PAT’s, upsets and shootouts, Week One had a little bit of everything. Let’s take a look and see what the NFL has in store for us in Week Two.
Game of the Week
Philadelphia Eagles @ Indianapolis Colts
Over the past decade the NFL has introduced a number of quarterback friendly rules which have changed the way the game is played. The NFL has evolved from a physical, defence-first league to a league which encourages high scoring, pass based offence. Both Philadelphia and Indianapolis subscribe to this method of football. With Nick Foles (PHI) and Andrew Luck (IND) at QB for these teams this match should be a good old-fashioned shootout.
Philadelphia overcame a sluggish start in Week One to easily dispatch Jacksonville, while Indianapolis lost a very close encounter with AFC rivals Denver. Even so early in the season this is a vital match for both teams. The Eagles want to show the league that they are genuine contenders, and not just the best of a terrible bunch in the NFC East. For Indianapolis losing the first two games will put them in a hole which they could find it difficult to emerge from.
With both teams needing a win for different reasons Monday nights showdown promises to be a high scoring affair. It would surprise nobody if these teams combined for 70+ points.
1) Atlanta Falcons @ Cincinnati Bengals
Atlanta were involved in the best of some great Week One matches in their overtime victory against NFC South rivals New Orleans. Cincinnati were also involved in a divisional matchup where they triumphed over AFC North rivals Baltimore.
Both of these teams have been knocking on the door for some years now and both feel that this is the year they taste glory. It is not too much of a stretch to say that this match could be a preview of superbowl XLIX, and one thing for certain is that neither of these teams is ready to give up their 100% start to the season.
2) Chicago Bears @ San Francisco 49ers
This NFC battle contains two teams who are realistically hopeful of replacing Seattle as the NFC representative in superbowl XLIX.
Chicago’s season could not have started in a worse fashion than with a surprise defeat at the hands of the Buffalo Bills in week one. Chicago was supposed to have a top 5 powered offence this season, but the Bills managed to slow down the passing threat of Jay Cutler, Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffrey as well as the ground game of Matt Forte enough to sneak a 23-20 win after overtime.
San Fran on the other hand had the perfect start to the season with a routine victory over the awful Dallas Cowboys. The 49ers looked excellent on defence (as always) and Colin Kaepernick showed the chemistry he has built up with TE end Vernon Davis by throwing two TD passes his way. The 49ers need to win to keep pressure on divisional rivals Seattle while the Bears need to win to keep pace with rivals Detroit.
Week Two Predictions
1) Off field issues tend to have a way of resurfacing on the field in matches. The Baltimore Ravens’ turbulent summer ran into autumn this week with the release of video evidence of (now former Raven) Ray Rice assaulting his wife. The Ravens swiftly cut ties with the troubled star who has been banned indefinitely by the league. Expect all these issues to affect the Ravens on the field when they host the Pittsburgh Steelers this Thursday.
2) Peyton Manning and Julius Thomas will continue to destroy any defence that is put in their way. Following a three touchdown debut to the 2014 season expect Thomas to continue to thrive with multiple TD’s against Kansas City this Sunday.
3) St. Louis are without starting QB Sam Bradford for the season. News this week that DE Chris Long is set to miss the next two months is the final set back. Expect St. Louis to struggle on both sides of the ball in an ugly loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this weekend.
4) The NFC East will lose 3 of their 4 matches this weekend. The reason for this is that three of the teams in the NFC East are very poor, and the fourth team are playing a very strong Indianapolis Colts team. Washington have the easiest match of the lot hosting Jacksonville, but even this could prove a tough task for the misfiring Redskins.
5) Tom Brady and Drew Brees will both pass for over 400 yards in narrow victories for their teams. Both Brady’s Patriots and Brees Saints are coming off tough losses in week one and both will be anxious to put those losses behind them.
We can only hope that Week Two picks up where Week One left off with plenty of drama and entertainment.
Eoin Purcell, Pundit Arena.
Featured Image By Mr.schultz (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.
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