By Hamish Girvan
New York Jets at New England Patriots
The NFL machine that is the New England Patriots have their home opener against division rivals the New York Jets as a first game for the week (Friday afternoon NZ time). The Patriots although a different team from last season, are still coached in the Bill Belichick system, that still stays the same regardless of players. That is all about high standards and winning. A squeaky win against the Bills will give Tom Brady and crew some things to ponder on. The Jets snatched victory from the jaws of defeat literally in their last game and rookie quarterback Geno Smith showed some class to get the win. The quarterback controversy will not end there, however it gives Smith a chance at being a starter. A short week for both teams however the Patriots should not give Rex Ryan’s Jets any room to win this.
Washington Redskins at Green Bay Packers
Two quarterbacks of different ilk go head to head in this one. The Packers Aaron Rogers is one the NFLs elite and has an arm like a rocket. The Packers came away second best last week in San Francisco and will be looking to have a home opener with a victory. The Redskins were in one of the shocks of the first week getting comprehensively beaten by the new look Philadelphia Eagles at their own house. Quarterback RG3 looks rusty having played no preseason however he did find his rhythm towards the end of the game. The Packers at home are tough so expect the Redskins to be winless come the end of this one.
Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears
An NFC North match up brings the Vikings to Chicago in an early divisional test for both. Adrian “All Day” Peterson ran for 211 yards against the Lions last week however lost convincingly. If there is one thing Peterson has a great chance of winning this season, that is the rushing yards record. The Bears under new coach Marc Trestman had a win last week that will give him and his new offensive system a confidence boost for this match up. This could be a high scoring game, something historically the Bears are not used to. Tough to call however home advantage at Soldier Field should help the Bears.
Dallas Cowboys at Kansas City Chiefs
The Cowboys won their first home game against New York Giants in four attempts, whom they had never beaten in their new stadium. They did conceded 31 points in doing so which is a worry. Quarterback Tony Romo always looks like one throw away from an intercept and the Cowboys never seem to look at ease in the big games. The Kansas City Chiefs had the biggest winning margin in week one with a 28-2 win versus a hapless Jacksonville Jaguars team. Coach Andy Reid will be confident though that his new offensive system is working, and Quarterback Alex Smith looked like he has a career type of second wind. The Chiefs historically have been formidable at home however the last few seasons brought nothing short of embarrassment at times. The good days could be back here. Take the Chiefs to out muscle the Cowboys
San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks
This match up not only brings the NFC West favourites together but two Superbowl favourites as well. Seen as two of the strongest in the NFL, this could be a classic. 49ers Quarterback Colin Kaepernick played like a machine in beating he Packers last week and seems to have all the goods – provided he has the time. The Seahawks have a menacing defence especially in the backfield. They do struggle on the road traditionally however ground out a win against Carolina. In what is deemed the loudest stadium in the NFL things will be rocking in Seattle, however the 49ers look like they too many weapons for Kaepernick to aim at. The 49ers should put their rivals in their own place in this one.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals
The Steelers were plain awful last week losing at home to the Tennessee Titans. Perhaps this is the start of a potential decline for an ageing team that may need a massive rebuild sooner rather than later. Their offence was average and nothing got going. The Bengals lost somewhat surprisingly however they will be wanting to get this one in the books. The AFC North division is one of the toughest in all of the NFL and passion runs high. Bengals Quarterback Andy Dalton looked sharp last week and will probably have too many options in this one. The Bengals at home in front of their rapid fans in the “jungle” will be too strong in this one for one of their bitter rivals.
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