Week 2 Players To Watch: Seahawks vs. Steelers
Nobody has been eliminated from the playoffs just yet but panic will be setting in by the time week two is over for a few teams. Historically, if you fall to 0-2 your chances of making the playoffs drastically go down to about 10 percent. Last season the Seahawks climbed out of an 0-2 hole to make the playoffs so it’s not the end of the line if you drop the first two games of the season.
The NFL’s second week has a ton of important divisional matchups, grudge matches and some games that could turn out to be early turning points for some teams in the season.
Seattle Seahawks at Pittsburgh Steelers
10 a.m on FOX
Pittsburgh has started 0-2 just five times in the last 30 seasons, Seattle is 2-7 on the road in Pittsburgh all-time so if you’re Seattle then history doesn’t seem to be on your side. Seattle’s up and down week one victory over the Cincinnati Bengals wasn’t exactly impressive but a win is a win. The Steelers, on the other hand the 33-3 loss to the Patriots wasn’t exactly the most encouraging sign. With the second most wins this decade with 94 (New England No. 1 with 114), you don’t expect the Steelers to struggle for too long.
One thing to keep an eye on is the Seattle defense. If Ziggy Ansah is healthy and apart of a furious pass rush that includes Jadeveon Clowney, Big Ben’s lack of mobility could stifle the Steeler offense.
Pick: Seattle 24-20
New Orleans Saints at Los Angeles Rams
1:25 p.m. on FOX
Remember the last time these two teams played? NFC Championship Game, controversial no-call...
The Rams and Saints are both still contenders for an NFC title and the Saints are still very bitter about the NFL and the officials. So much so that many Saints fans dressed up as referees for the Monday Night Football opener vs. Houston. Bitterness aside, this will be a fantastic game that puts the Rams defense up against the potent Saints offense.
I think the Rams offense will be able to keep pace but the Saints offense is just too good to not give them the advantage. Revenge will be sweet for the Saints.
Pick: New Orleans 37-34
Kansas City Chiefs at Oakland Raiders
1:05 p.m. on CBS
The Antonio Brown-less Raiders dispatched one team from the AFC West last Monday and now they face another this week.
The Kansas City Chiefs, next to New England and New Orleans has one of the most dynamic offenses in the league. I don’t think the Raiders will have as much fun on defense as they did last week against Denver, sacking Broncos QB Joe Flacco three times. Expect another 300-yard passing day from Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes, the only worry for Raiders fans is if their offense can keep up.
Pick: Kansas City 35-21
Dallas Cowboys at Washington Redskins
10 a.m on FOX
An important NFC divisional game in week two? Sign me up!
While the undefeated Packers and Vikings go head to head in the NFC North, there’s another team that could quietly be emerging among the potential contenders for an NFC crown and that is the Dallas Cowboys.
The Cowboys offense was impressive a week ago racking up almost 500 yards of total offense, including 405 in the air. No the Redskins are not near the likes of Chicago, Dallas, or even Minnesota but Sunday’s game is a test to see if the Cowboys can remain consistent. A Cowboys win would put Dallas at 2-0 for the first time since 2008.
Pick: Dallas 31-14
Cleveland Browns at New York Jets
5:15 p.m. on ESPN
Full disclosure, I was going to pick the New York Jets to win this game. That was until the news that came out dealing with Sam Darnold and his sudden case of mono.
Now, the Jets will start Trevor Siemian with former Washington State quarterback Luke Falk in the backup role. All of this comes in a pivotal battle between two teams who are currently 0-1 and a loss puts more damage on the loser going forward. Two teams with optimistic postseason hopes are now in a desperate situation to keep the angry fans off their collective backs.
This could either be a really good game or a three hour bore-fest. No other way to put it.
Pick: Cleveland 20-16