Green Bay Packers vs Chicago Bears
Green Bay lost last week to the San Francisco 49ers at their own home, Lambeau Field. It was the first time since October 2010 they had lost a regular season game at home. The Green Bay defence, their Achilles heel last season, has not improved and last week’s score line did not reflect how dominant the 49’ers were. The Bears are next and this could be tougher. The men from Chicago are menacing in defence and have a Quarterback in Jay Cutler who looked on form last week linking up with his new receiver, Brandon Marshall, who easily accounted for Indianapolis. Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rogers gloated he’d wear a 49ers jersey all week if they lost last week. He will not have the same confidence to make that mistake versus Chicago. This is always a classic divisional clashes and is one of the oldest rivalries in the NFL. This could be the game of the week.
New England Patriots v Arizona Cardinals
The Patriots are one of the more consistent teams in the NFL. Last week it seemed they cruised to victory over Tennessee. Quarterback Tom Brady is the model pro and they have a new star in last season’s breakout tight end Rob Gronskowsi (a la’ The Gronk). At home this week playing an Arizona team who squeaked past Seattle last week this looks like a formality. The Cardinals lost their starting quarterback last week and had Kevin Kolb come on and win the game for them. Arizona wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald is a beast, only if he can get someone to accurately t throw the ball to him.
St Louis Rams v Washington Redskins
Differing results in week one for both teams in this clash. The Rams were unlucky to be just pipped away at the Detroit Lions they certainly look a different team under new head coach, Jeff Fisher. The Washington Redskins went down to New Orleans and easily beat the heavily favoured Saints. Redskin’s Quarterback Robert Griffin III had an amazing debut and set a record for most yards and touchdowns in his rookie game . Confidence will be high in DC and this will be the Redskins second game in a row in an inside arena. The Rams will want something to show in their home opener. This could be a close one.
Pittsburgh Steelers v New York Jets
The Steelers were at the wrong end of Peyton Manning’s debut for Denver and were well beaten. At home they are a different act. Uncompromising defensively they just need t get their offense going. The New York Jets were dubbed a circus by their own media before last week’s opener however Quarterback Mark Sanchez annihilated a poor Buffalo Bills team who were predicted to be competitive. The Tim Tebow factor never eventuated for the Jets. He never made a real play. This week may be different however, and the Jets may have their work cut out here.
San Francisco 49ers v Detroit Lions
This game last year is remembered for the non handshake by both opposing coaches and the fracas on the field afterwards. The 49’ers were the team of the week last round in beating Green Bay away and are already touted as a Superbowl favourite. The acquisition of wide receiver Randy Moss looks like it may be a coup and Quarterback Alex Smith looks to be carrying in the form from the end of last season. The Lions have potent offense however their defence still needs work. They only just won at home against a rebuilding St Louis team. Holding the 49ers at their ground will be a challenge this week.
Atlanta Falcons v Denver Broncos
The return of Peyton Manning was one of the stories of week one. He was phenomenal against a Pittsburgh team renowned for tough defence. After a year out he still looks like he has it and will put Denver in a favourite position to take the AFC West title. The Flacons flew into Kansas City and put 40 points on the Chiefs. Matt Ryan ran the show from Quarterback and they look like they have improved on the offensive side from last season. His favourite target, wide receiver Julio Jones scored two touchdowns making it look easy. A prime time audience for this game means Manning could lift his game to higher levels and he will want to prove the doubters wrong that his career was on the wane. Expect a doozer here.