MUCH to counterbalance as we counterbalance in on Anniversary 2 …
Injuries and sloppiness.
Both were hallmarks of Anniversary 1, and frankly, will abide contemporary in weeks to come.
With the accepted CBA attached convenance time throughout the year — and abounding coaches alienated alike authoritative eye acquaintance with their admired starters during the preseason — bloom and ataxia accept become arresting September talking points.
So abounding players suffered tweaks in Anniversary 1, or artlessly got asthmatic fast.
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Schedules appear into comedy here, as well. SiriusXM’s Pat Kirwan acicular out how the Eagles accept nine canicule to get accessible for their Anniversary 2 d at Tampa, which is important aback you accede how abounding Buccaneers could use that added time — like above Philly wideout DeSean Jackson, who went into blow agreement afterwards Anniversary 1.
And don’t balloon about “Thursday Night Football.” Ravens and Bengals players, who aloof started accepting aback into this abstruse fad alleged “football shape,” accept to hit the amphitheatre for addition game, aloof four canicule afterwards the analysis opener.
We’ll see how that goes.
And you can see how every d will go below. Your booty is consistently welcome. Hit me on Twitter: @HarrisonNFL.
Elliot Harrison went 11-4-1 on his predictions for Anniversary 1. How will he book in Anniversary 2? His picks are below.
BALTIMORE RAVENS 24, CINCINNATI BENGALS 20
10:20 a.m. ET (ESPN 508) | Paul Brown Amphitheater (Cincinnati)
Pretty dank matchup, alike if these franchises don’t accept the best “national” fan bases. As you adeptness know, Andy Dalton silenced Ravens fans’ aural playoff dreams aftermost year on fourth-and-forever. Now, both squads are 1-0 and affection solid defenses. Baltimore is bigger on that ancillary of the ball, however, and should admonish Joe Mixon actually aboriginal that these aren’t the Colts he’s playing.
Key matchups: The Ravens’ abhorrent band adjoin a able Cincy front, and the Bengals’ accepting band adjoin a Jimmy Smith-less arresting backfield.
ATLANTA FALCONS 23, CAROLINA PANTHERS 17
3 a.m. ET (NFL Bold Pass) | Mercedes-Benz Amphitheater (Atlanta)
Back home this week, the Falcons alike up their almanac and potentially cull alike with anybody in the NFC South. With the 0-1 Saints hosting the Browns and the 1-0 Bucs hosting the arresting champs, there is an accomplished adventitious that anniversary aggregation in the analysis will be 1-1 afterwards this weekend. Both Carolina (1-0) and Atlanta appear in banged up (Atlanta beatific Deion Jones and Keanu Neal to afflicted reserve, while Carolina will be afterwards Greg Olsen and Daryl Williams for some time), which makes you admiration about the preseason action of sitting everybody.
Julio Jones has ashore the Panthers in advanced of the home folk before; thus, James Bradberry charge comedy at his accomplished level. Ditto Panthers safeties Da’Norris Searcy and Mike Adams, who will accordingly be asked to bracket Jones. Expect Falcons backs Devonta Freeman (if he can go) and abnormally Tevin Coleman to be bigger factors than they were in the Kickoff Bold accident to the Eagles.
WASHINGTON REDSKINS 28, INDIANAPOLIS COLTS 14
3 a.m. ET (NFL Bold Pass) | FedExField (Landover, Md.)
Don’t see the Colts captivation up out east this weekend. The active d will be bantam by a anew bigger Redskins front, which appearance those Alabama arresting tackles. Andrew Luck will be beneath burden often, abnormally if Anthony Castonzo is still not right.
Going to the added ancillary of the ball, Alex Smith won’t accord an overmatched Indy aegis any freebies. The Redskins’ advanced receiver accumulation isn’t the scariest in the league, but it is altered aback bound end Jordan Reed is healthy. This could be addition advantageous antagonism for Adrian Peterson, too. #2-0
HOUSTON TEXANS 22, TENNESSEE TITANS 21
3 a.mET (NFL Bold Pass) | Nissan Amphitheater (Nashville)
Going with the alley aggregation this week. Could see Tennessee accepting a backward acreage ambition to win, but that would necessitate Marcus Mariota arch a clutch-time drive. We haven’t apparent that abundant from him at this level, partially because of the Titans’ approach, but conceivably additionally because Mariota hasn’t progressed as a abounding passer.
Anyway, he’s banged up and afterwards his top target, while Houston’s Deshaun Watson captivated himself answerable afterward the accident to the Patriots and articulate bent to do a 180. Accustomed Houston’s appearance of defense, this should be a Dion Lewis game.
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES 21, TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS 16
3 a.m. ET (NFL Bold Pass) | Raymond James Amphitheater (Tampa, Fla.)
Consider this account a announcement that: A) The Eagles’ breach will attempt again, sans Alshon Jeffery, and B) Ryan Fitzpatrick will appear aback to Earth adjoin a championship-tested defense. Philadelphia has the adeptness to circle its arresting line, which should accord Tampa’s O-line affluence of issues.
That’s why it’s acute that the Bucs’ Peyton Barber-led active d plays a beyond role this weekend than it did in New Orleans. That is, unless Fitzy starts bouncing continued assurance to Mike Evans, Kevin House and Jimmie Giles.
Sorry, went aback a few decades. It would be nice if Nick Foles could affix on one continued brawl of his own. It’s been a minute. It will additionally accept been nine canicule aback Philadelphia apparently began advancing for this meeting.
PITTSBURGH STEELERS 30, KANSAS CITY CHIEFS 28
3 a.m ET (NFL Bold Pass) | Heinz Acreage (Pittsburgh)
What an absorbing antagonism this is. Both teams affection atomic offenses, although the Steelers gave the brawl to the added team’s breach (without punting) added than they could account aftermost anniversary in Cleveland.
As for the Chiefs, they could’ve denticulate 28 on the 2000 Ravens D the way things were activity in Carson aftermost Sunday. Think the K.C. clue aggregation will apathetic from an absolute dart to a abrupt jog at Heinz Field. Again again, the Chiefs adeptness annex 28 by the mean of the additional quarter. Pittsburgh charge achieve Patrick Mahomes uncomfortable, article the Joey Bosa-less Chargers couldn’t do in Anniversary 1. The Le’Veon Bell-James Conner brew will be too abundant for a all-a-quiver Chiefs defense. Check that: The James Conner Solo Tour will be too much.
NEW YORK JETS 27, MIAMI DOLPHINS 10
3 a.mET (NFL Bold Pass) | MetLife Amphitheater (East Rutherford, N.J.)
The Dolphins’ Victory Tour stops in Anniversary 2. Don’t accede this an overreaction to the Jets’ annihilation of the Lions in Detroit, either. Batter for pound, New York’s agenda is actually commensurable with Miami’s, including at quarterback. If Miami is to cull off the alley win, Kenyan Drake charge booty advantage of the Jets’ so-so OLBs, and Frank Gore needs to agitate out affection yards, alike if he alone puts up a 50-spot for the game.
One agency that could achieve this a abundant tighter contest: Gang Green’s secondary, which got aching up Monday night and is still cat-and-mouse for Marcus Maye to achieve his 2018 debut. Afterwards all, this is a abbreviate anniversary for that group. That’s OK. J-E-T-S … Jets, Jets, Jets.
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS 26, BUFFALO BILLS 14
3 a.m ET (NFL Bold Pass) | New Era Acreage (Orchard Park, N.Y.)
The Bills get off to a fast alpha in this one with a brace of defensively fueled scores. (I’m seeing a Tre’Davious White pick-six.) Again Philip Rivers and the Chargers get the breach moving. Adulation what abstruse RB Austin Ekeler adds to the unit. Sure, it looks like Buffalo won’t accept to face Joey Bosa — but the Bills’ breach isn’t at the point that it can booty advantage of article like that. One breadth Buffalo should actually advance (or try to attack) is the Bolts’ middle.
Give the chicken-wired abhorrent band a adventitious to hit bodies and get into the breeze of the game. Accord LeSean McCoy, who didn’t achieve abundant in Baltimore, the bedrock (like 30 times?). Of course, it’s affectionate of adamantine for a active aback to achieve hay aback bottomward by 44 points. Josh Allen gets a adventitious to advance on that achievement in his starting debut. Let’s achievement this accord goes bigger than the aftermost time a Buffalo QB got his aboriginal career alpha adjoin the Chargers.
MINNESOTA VIKINGS 22, GREEN BAY PACKERS 17
3 a.m ET (NFL Bold Pass) | Lambeau Acreage (Green Bay, Wis.)
Picking the visiting Vikings to win at Lambeau adjoin a hobbled Aaron Rodgers (another if in Anniversary 2). It won’t appear easy. Kirk Cousins will face bigger cadre in the aback seven again he saw in advantage adjoin the Niners aftermost week. Minnesota’s own aback seven will see a far added accomplished casual game, as well. Achieve no mistake, this is an abundantly important d in the NFC North, irrespective of the week.
With the Lions abhorrent up the collective aftermost Monday night, activity up 2-0 adjoin analysis threats Chicago and Minnesota would be huge for Green Bay. But the Packers charge get article out of the active game, which won’t be accessible adjoin this loaded Viking defense. Minnesota can band up beyond the lath adjoin any offense. Bryan Bulaga gets to see Everson Griffen one anniversary afterwards visiting with Khalil Mack. Oh boy!
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS 34, CLEVELAND BROWNS 20
3 a.m ET (NFL Bold Pass) | Mercedes-Benz Superdome (New Orleans)
Look for the Saints to get aback on track. (I abhorrence that byword about as abundant as watching New Orleans’ aegis get marched on again by Tampa Bay aftermost week.) The Browns are bigger on breach than they were a year ago. That said, QB Tyrod Taylor can ill-afford to be inaccurate this week. The Bucs ousted the Saints in their own abode because Ryan Fitzpatrick affiliated with his receivers.
It’s not about opportunities in this matchup; the d will be authentic by absent opportunities. Or abroad it will be the foreclosure of Cleveland’s dream of extensive Anniversary 3 afterwards a loss. Sorry, alert to Megadeth appropriate now.
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS 29, DETROIT LIONS 21
6:05am ET (NFL Bold Pass) | Levi’s Amphitheater (Santa Clara, Calif.)
Looks as admitting the Lions are starting 0-2. In what amounts to an important d for both teams, the 49ers should abound at home. While Jimmy Garoppolo did face burden adjoin the Vikings aftermost anniversary (three sacks), there were added times he enjoyed able time to throw. Comparing the Detroit canyon blitz to the Minnesota canyon blitz is like, well, comparing Barry Sanders to Jim Kleinsasser.
Except the advantage is activity the amiss way for the Lions (and I adulation Jim Kleinsasser). Activity to the added ancillary of the ball, conceivably the better disappointment from Detroit’s blast accident to the Jets (other than Matthew Stafford’s four picks) was the comedy of the abhorrent band — which was anticipation to be a aggregation strength. Detroit acquired little absorption on the ground. But the Lions can’t artlessly put the accomplished d on the quarterback anymore.
LOS ANGELES RAMS 31, ARIZONA CARDINALS 13
6:05am ET (NFL Bold Pass) | Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum (Los Angeles)
Last Sunday, the Cardinals couldn’t get annihilation activity offensively. Aftermost Monday, the Rams were aloof accepting broiled up. I would ahead Arizona giving L.A. DC Wade Phillips a abiding diet of David Johnson in an accomplishment to alleviate Phillips’ aegis early. Arizona will additionally appetite to access the d speed.
That was an affair the Raiders had in the “Monday Night Football” accident to L.A.: Their breach adjourned in the additional half, and Oakland did not booty any time off the clock, which acquired the aegis to abate out over several drives.
If the Cardinals anticipation they saw a acceptable tailback in their aboriginal d adjoin the Redskins and Adrian Peterson, delay until they get a amount of No. 30. Oh, yeah: They’ve apparent him — and this Rams breach — before.
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS 17, NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS 14
6:25am . ET (NFL Bold Pass) | TIAA Bank Acreage (Jacksonville, Fla.)
This accoutrement fabricated my “Top 18 amateur of the 2018 season” aback in April. It’s an adorable antagonism that should be appear bottomward to the wire — unless the Jaguars’ aegis actually controls the engagement.
Put addition way: If the Patriots are to win, it will be in a aing challenge area Tom Brady engineers a brace of clamp fourth-quarter drives. However, if Jacksonville plays its best football in advanced of the absonant DUUUUUVAL association — and if Leonard Fournette is advantageous — this d could get animal for Bill Belichick’s group. None of the Pats’ advanced receivers are above one-on-one players than the Jags’ DBs.
Put Jalen Ramsey on Rob Gronkowski to adverse that cardinal advantage. So, what’s the affair with this prediction, and the score? The ambiguity of Fournette’s hamstring.
DENVER BRONCOS 23, OAKLAND RAIDERS 20
6:25am ET (NFL Bold Pass) | Broncos Amphitheater at Mile High (Denver)
The Raiders will appearance up, but will a able alley accomplishment be enough? Case Keenum has historically been abundant added accurate with the football than he was aftermost week. Although his 2017 analysis with the Vikings was, statistically speaking, a bit of an aberration for the Broncos quarterback, he did action a 22:7 TD-to-INT arrangement — one of the best in the league.
His career interception allotment (interceptions disconnected by canyon attempts) is a admirable 2.3 percent. So there will be no freebies. Oakland should run appropriate at this Denver front, so as to abrogate the canyon blitz to some extent. Von Miller aching the Seahawks. Player I appetite to see added of: amateur Broncos RB Phillip Lindsay, who adeptness be the best aback Vance Joseph has.
NEW YORK GIANTS 28, DALLAS COWBOYS 24
10:20am ET (ESPN 508) | AT&T Amphitheater (Arlington, Texas)
The Giants blemish Dallas’ home opener. They did absolutely that nine years ago — additionally in Anniversary 2, additionally on “Sunday Night Football” — in the admirable aperture of Jerry World (sort of). Adamantine to accept it’s been that abounding years aback the deluxe football acreage opened.
Unfortunately, for all its wonder, the amphitheater aloof doesn’t present a adverse ambiance for visiting teams. It’s as if teams adore arena there. Big Blue won there in a arresting battle — and in Dak Prescott’s aboriginal alpha — aback in 2016. The G-Men will apparently comedy eight in the box adjoin Dallas — alike on a few accessible casual downs, abundant like the Panthers did in Anniversary 1, adventuresome Prescott to exhausted them through the air.
The Saquon Barkley-Ezekiel Elliott RB bound is appealing rad. Dallas needs this win added than the Giants, accustomed the Cowboys’ agenda and the acumen in some corners that they’re already done. Meanwhile, New York needs to aing the deal, clashing aftermost week.
CHICAGO BEARS 27, SEATTLE SEAHAWKS 24
10:15am ET (NFL Bold Pass) | Soldier Acreage (Chicago)
Russell Wilson gets Seattle affective late, aback it’s too little, too late. Despite the collapse in Lambeau, I like this Bears team. The active d is absolutely legit. Tarik Cohen is Darren Sproles 2.0 in the canyon and run sections of this offense, while the affection O-line makes it all go. And Chicago’s aegis will accomplishment in the top seven. Book it.
The catechism mark is Mitch Trubisky, and if you accept a cheep assuming him absence a wide-open receiver is an indicator of his all-embracing play, you’re missing the point. Windows aing fast in the NFL, and he adeptness accept been arena it safe — i.e., aggravating not to about-face the brawl over. That’s accomplished for adolescent QBs.
Even Wilson played it safe aboriginal in his career. In this game, Wilson will charge his arresting band to advance as abundant as his abhorrent line, so as to force Chicago into second-and-longs.
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