WRITTEN BY: TIM HOEHN

Week 2 Preview, Predictions and Interests

It’s the best time of the year. Football is back and it will be back until February.

With Week 1 showcasing the many different outcomes of an NFL game including a tie, a 7-hour weather delay, a comeback for the ages in Green Bay, and of course the Jets looking like they have a team of football players, Week 2 is promising to be great.

There are obviously many unanswered questions, particularly surrounding the league’s quarterbacks. Jimmy Garropolo performed below expectations and to me is someone who was totally overpaid for four games of work. I am not saying it’s easy to win a game in the NFL but RGIII won 7 games in a row in 2012 and look where he is now. Why the assumed ‘smart’ GM John Lynch made him the highest paid player at the time will continue to baffle me until he proves otherwise.

Other questions surround the younger quarterbacks in Sam Darnold, Patrick Mahomes, and Josh Allen. Are Darnold and Mahomes for real? Is Allen the right move for the Bills? It seems as though Darnold and Mahomes are very much for real as they played great games and looked very confident in the process. Josh Allen is getting the start this week against the Chargers; while the Chargers have a solid defense, as long as he doesn’t change his name to Nathan Peterman he should be fine. In such a quarterback-driven league, it feels like there are so many young talented quarterbacks in the league, it’s going to be interesting to see how they play out.

THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL

Week 2 of the 2018 NFL Seasons starts tonight with the Baltimore Ravens @ the Cincinnati Bengals: two teams that had quite the impressive opening game. Joe Flacco seems to have had a fire lit under him after the Ravens selected his presumed replacement in first-round pick Lamar Jackson.

Andy Dalton and Marvin Lewis, the force that has done nothing for the last 7 years, looked good in their opening game vs the Colts as well. This Thursday night division rivalry will certainly be fun to watch, because its football, but don’t expect too much fireworks from the Ravens and Bengals.

One player I want to keep my eye on for the Bengals is the fastest man in the NFL, John Ross. You may know him as the man who almost received an Island, yes, an Island, from Addidas for being super fast. While his rookie year was shortened due to injury, I think this year he will prove his worth as a first-round selection, complimenting the pro-bowler in AJ Green. Look out for Ross to have a good game against this poor Ravens secondary and a good season overall.

SUNDAY GAMES

The Eagles @ Buccaneers will be an interesting matchup. I know the both teams are starting their back-up quarterbacks, but I think there is a very real possibility that both end up taking over the starting spot. I think the situation in Philly is a tricky because Wentz was performing at an MVP-caliber level before his ACL injury ended his season. So, if you’re Doug Pederson, do you go with the man won you the Super Bowl, or go to the younger, more talented quarterback who is coming off an injury AND is a change from what has been working the last 4 games, in which you haven’t lost? Tough call.

The more interesting of the quarterback situations is in Tampa Bay. I said this at halftime of their Week 1 game: Ryan Fitzpatrick will take over as QB. I think Jameis Winston is obviously talented and will certainly come back for his career, but for whatever reason I have this gut feeling that it’s Fitzpatrick’s team until he loses it. He’s not a great quarterback, no, but he seems to be more consistent than the suspended Winston. Jameis’ ceiling is higher, but I think his floor is also lower. If Fitz can pull off this victory against the defending champs, it’s going to be very hard to start Crab Legs after his 3-game suspension.

Chiefs at Steelers is also a game I want to keep an eye on. I am not one to jump on quarterbacks after a few or even one good game, but I do think Mahomes can be very good. He has a very stoic look and doesn’t seem to let much faze him. I think that mindset along with the arm he has, and his athleticism, can play very well in this league. If he can learn to be a quarterback (reading defenses, checking, etc.) I would not be afraid to call him a poor mans’ Aaron Rodgers in a few years. Of course, having the weapons Kansas City has is a big help.

On the Steelers side of things, I don’t really know what to think of them without LeVeon Bell. I mean obviously he’s one of the best backs in the game, but he’s not playing. Conner did well, but he also had a fumble returned for a touchdown that potentially cost them the win. I think Big Ben is still a top-7 quarterback and is much better than what he showed in his opening day. I would expect much better play against a very middle-of-the-pack defense. In my opinion this game will be a shootout and we can expect a silent twitter account from Bell.

Another game I’m looking forward to is the Browns @ Saints. I want to see how serious Cleveland is. I think if they come in and get blown out, it could be another long season. But if they hold their own against a very good Saints team (although they didn’t prove it week 1), then I think a lot of the ‘Hard Knocks Hype’ is real.

I’m also interested in the Patriots @ Jags game. I watched all of the Jags game week 1 as they barely squeaked by my beloved Giants, but they looked pretty good. Blake Bortles actually really impressed me. He didn’t do anything spectacular, but he certainly looked a lot more confident and ‘poised.’ However, I do think the Jags got away with one. While their defense looked good, they did play against the revolving door in Ereck Flowers and Eli Manning who threw every pass two yards short or behind his target. It will be interesting to see how they fare against an older but more accurate quarterback in Tom Brady. Keep an eye out for Fournette playing as well. Yeldon wasn’t bad but eliminating the threat of Fournette early in the Giants game definitely hurt them.

Week 2 Predictions:

Ravens @ Bengals: Pick em

            Pick: Bengals ML

Panthers @ Falcons(-6)

            Pick: Falcons -6

Colts @ Redskins(-6)

            Pick: Colts +6

Texans(-2.5) @ Titans

            Pick: Texans -2.5

Eagles (-3) @ Buccaneers

            Pick: Eagles -3

Chiefs @ Steelers(-4)

            Pick: Chiefs ML or +4

Dolphins @ Jets(-3)

            Pick: Jets -3

Chargers (-7) @ Bills

            Pick: Chargers -7

Vikings @ Packers(-2.5)

            Pick: Vikings ML or +2.5

Browns @ Saints(-8.5)

            Pick: Browns +8.5

Lions @ 49ers(-6.5)

            Pick: Lions +6.5

Cardinals @ Rams(-13)

            Pick: Rams -13

Patriots @ Jaguars

            Pick: Patriots ML

Raiders @ Broncos(-6)

            Pick: Raiders +6

Giants @ Cowboys (-3)

            Pick: Giants ML or +3

Seahawks @ Bears (-3.5)

            Pick: Bears -3.5

 

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