NFL – Week 2 Preview
With Week 1 of the NFL season serving up a great deal of high drama and a few shocks along the way, several high-profile teams have left themselves facing big games already, even though we are only just entering Week 2 of the new campaign.
Here are three games that I think will serve up intriguing storylines in the coming days.
Buffalo Bills at Miami Dolphins… A bounce-back for the Bills?
As I have mentioned on various platforms and in various publications this summer, I’m a big believer in the Buffalo Bills and have picked them to win the Super Bowl at the end of this season. But they’ve got a tricky test coming up against the 1-0 Dolphins.
The Bills allowed a 10-0 lead to turn into a 23-16 home loss to Pittsburgh in Week 1 but more worrying than that slide was the offense’s inability to get going. Josh Allen missed on one sure-fire deep touchdown pass to Emmanuel Sanders and had several other downfield attempts broken up. He and the Bills have the talent to bounce back right away, but this is a dangerous opponent.
Miami mix things up on defense so much, they confound opposing passers without boasting very many superstars on that side of the ball and finding ways to win close games is becoming a very nice habit for Brian Flores’ men.
Quick Stats on Bills at Dolphins
- In two games against the Dolphins in 2020, Buffalo averaged 43.5 points per game in two wins (31-28 in Miami and 56-26 in Buffalo). In all other contests, the Dolphins allowed just 17.9 points per game.
- Look out, Josh… they’re coming! Miami’s defense blitzed 40.8 percent of the time in 2020 and picked up where they left off, blitzing on 47.5 percent of snaps against New England in Week 1. Both blitz rates ranked top three in the NFL.
- Josh Allen is 5-1 in his career against the Dolphins and 4-0 since Brian Flores took charge in Miami. In those six games, Allen has posted a quarterback rating of 114.3.
Dallas Cowboys at Los Angeles Chargers… Filling the air with footballs
The aerial power of the modern NFL will be on full display on Sunday night when the Dallas Cowboys – led by quarterback Dak Prescott – will take on a Los Angeles Chargers squad marshalled by exciting second-year passer Justin Herbert.
Dak looked fantastic in an opening night loss at Tampa Bay, throwing for more than 400 yards and there is no doubt this is his team now. Ezekiel Elliott will still have a role to play and the under-fire defense looks like it will have its moments with turnovers, but the Cowboys are going as far as Dak can take them.
As for the Chargers, they have their man in Herbert. I think he is going to be really special. He is only just getting started in his second year, but his play makes me look for Chargers games way more than in previous years. He can get this team into the playoffs this year.
Quick Stats on Cowboys at Chargers
- Dating back to the start of last season, Dak Prescott (46.7) and Justin Herbert (40.1) have attempted more passes per game than any other NFL quarterbacks.
- Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott has carried the football fewer than 20 times in 13 of his last 14 games.
- The Chargers allowed just one receiver (Terry McLaurin) to gain more than 30 yards against them in Week 1.
Kansas City Chiefs at Baltimore Ravens… Lamar faces his Kryptonite
Losing a close one in Las Vegas on Monday night means the Baltimore Ravens face an early must-win at home to Kansas City. They will not want to fall two games behind the Chiefs in the overall AFC rankings this early in the campaign.
But I have my concerns with the Ravens. Their pass protection was shoddy at times, Lamar Jackson lost two costly fumbles late in the game and the defense does not look anything like those we are used to seeing in Baltimore. This current group must have Ray Lewis spitting feathers.
As for the Chiefs, Cleveland showed there will be chinks in their armour but Andy Reid’s men showed they can score quickly and in devastating fashion. I think they will have too much firepower for an under-manned Baltimore D.
Quick Stats on Chiefs at Ravens
- Patrick Mahomes has won all three of his head-to-head starts against Lamar Jackson. In those games, Mahomes has a rating of 116.2 while Lamar’s is 78.9.
- Including the playoffs, the Kansas City Chiefs are the only NFL team that Lamar Jackson has started against but never beaten.
- Patrick Mahomes is a perfect 11-0 as a starter in the month of September and has thrown 35 touchdown passes and zero interceptions in those games.