The most popular sport in the US is back for another exciting season for sure.
The first week of the NFL was no exception, with seven season-opening games decided by three points or less.
Week 2 features another slate of great matches, as Tom Brady Buccaneers (1-0) meets Achilles’ heel New Orleans Saints (1-0), Cincinnati Bengals of Joe Boroughs (0-1) Dak Prescott meets Don Dallas Cowboys (0-1) ), and another boost from the NFC North rivalry between the Chicago Bears (1-0) and the Green Bay Packers (0-1).
Brady made headlines this week off and on the field, as he discussed his retirement and eventual marriage to Gisele Bundchen, and led the Boss to a comfortable 19-3 season opener win over the Cowboys.
His second encounter of the season presents an even bigger challenge as the Bucs travel to New Orleans to meet the team they can’t get rid of. The Saints have won their last seven regular season games against the Bucs, four of them in the Brady era.
Recently, the Saints handed Brady the first home defeat of his NFL career. The 45-year-old quarterback, who returns for the 23rd season, has not lost more than three consecutive games against a single opponent since the Patriots’ 0-3 streak against the Broncos from 2005-09.
The biggest challenge this Sunday for the Bucs? Eliminate coups and bags. In Brady’s last four defeats to New Orleans, the Saints have an 11-2 spin advantage and defense has 13 sacks to four at Tampa Bay.
On the flip side, the Saints will need to do much better than they did in their season opener against the Atlanta Falcons to keep the streak alive.
New Orleans failed on both sides of the ball early in the game, leading to them trailing 16-3 in the first half. However, led by quarterback James Winston, the team moved up, resulting in a 16-point return in the fourth quarter behind Winston’s 213 yards and touchdown passes.
The Saints left Atlanta with a slim one-point victory, but barely. Bucs have to be much stronger opponents and will require the Saints to deliver all four seasons, not just the last minutes if they want to emerge victorious.
It’s also worth noting that Saints’ current head coach, Denis Allen, is the former defensive coordinator who coordinated a defense that was able to shut down Brady in the past. He has a proven history of finding and exploiting weaknesses in the seven-time Super Bowl Champion.
Even though it’s only the second week, both teams have an early chance to fight for the top spot in the division. They face off for the first two regular encounters of the season on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.
Joe Burrow’s Bengals had an imperfect start to the season, to say the least.
A disappointing performance from Burrow (he threw five interceptions), and a string of missed opportunities, resulted in a significant overtime loss to the Steelers.
The Cowboys also narrowly opened the season as the only first-week team not to score a touchdown, a testament to the lackluster performance due to attack.
To make matters worse, quarterback Dak Prescott picked up a hand injury in the fourth quarter, which would see him lose for several weeks.
Despite the disappointment that followed a 0-1 start to the season, starting the season with a losing streak isn’t something to worry too much about for either of these teams.
Since 2002, 59.4 percent of playoff teams have started the season either 1-1 or 0-2. Just last season, the Los Angeles Rams Champions Super Bowl emerged after the start of the season 0-2. All that to say, a win in Week Two would be a huge confidence booster.
The Cowboys will have to adapt to the attack without Prescott. Reserve quarterback Cooper Rush has only one career start, which came during Week 8 last year when Prescott was sidelined due to a calf strain.
Rush put in an impressive display, throwing a game-winning fist in front of wide receiver Amari Cooper in the last minute of play. However, his inexperience could show against the Bengals’ brave defense.
The kickoff is set for Sunday at 4:25 p.m. ET.
The Bears meet the Packers at historic Lambeau Field on Sunday night.
The Hazmons are looking to bounce back from a 23-7 defeat by the Vikings and continue their reign over this lopsided NFC North rivalry.
The Packers have won 20 of their last 23 regular season games, and the Bears’ last win occurred in 2018. But the way things looked about Green Bay, it might be the Bears’ chance to join the winning column.
Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers struggled against the Vikings, clearly missing wide receiver Davante Adams. Throughout the match he looked visibly frustrated as Green Bay failed to break the double-digit scoring, and Rogers finished 22nd at 34 for 195 yards without a touchdown with an interception.
Heading into Sunday night, the Bears are rising to a high in their first week win over the 49ers, scoring 19 unanswered points in the second half at rain-soaked Soldier Field. Bears have momentum, but packs have a history. We’ll find out Sunday night, 8:25 PM ET.
The Buffalo Bills defeated the reigning Super Bowl Rams in the season opener, throwing quarterback Josh Allen for 297 yards and four touchdowns in a 31-10 win.
What is the key to winning Bills? The numbers indicate Allen’s versatility. The team win ratio is 20-1 when QB lunges and passes at least once in the same game.
Including the season opener, Allen’s 21 games with at least one touchdown touchdown and at least one passing touchdown are the most in the NFL since entering the league in 2018.
The Allen and the Bills will attempt to set their season’s record 2-0 against the Tennessee Titans Monday night at 7:15 p.m. ET.
Here’s how to catch up with these and other teams across the league in action, wherever you are.
Australia: NFL Game Pass, ESPN, and 7Plus
Brazil: NFL Game Pass, ESPN
Canada: CTV, TSN, RDS, NFL Game Pass on DAZN
Germany: NFL Game Pass, ProSieben MAXX, DAZN
Mexico: NFL Game Pass, TUDN, ESPN, Fox Sports, Sky Sports
UK: NFL Game Pass, Sky Sports, ITV, Channel 5
US: NFL Game Pass, CBS Sports, Fox Sports, ESPN, Amazon Prime