As the NFL embraces ‘gaming’ here are 3 match ups to look out for in week 2
Expect a shootout!
Justin Herbert looked great against a much vaunted Washington defensive line last week, making some big time throws in an impressive road win. Aligned with one of the more under the radar running backs in Austin Ekeler and wide receiving duo, Keenan Allen and Mike Williams, this is an offense I expect to have a big day against a depleted Dallas defense.
The Cowboys have problems. Their best defensive player, DeMarcus Lawrence is out 6-8 weeks with a broken foot. Their second best pass rusher, Randy Gregory is likely out, on the COVID list. Their best two defensive tackles, Neville Gallimore and Trysten Hill are out and it won’t have escaped the Chargers attention that Buccaneers picked on cornerback Anthony Brown last week.
All this means Dallas will have to score points – and they will. This is an explosive unit! They did it in the narrow defeat to the Buccaneers and they did it through the first 5 weeks last year, when Dak Prescott was healthy. Do not be surprised if he passes for over 350 yards again! The spread is set at 55 points – take the over.
Saints @ Panthers – Panthers +3
Jameis Winston has spent this week basking in the glow of a 5 touchdown game as the Saints destroyed the Green Bay Packers in one of the upsets of week 1.
Naturally, they are the favourites heading into Carolina but in my opinion, this is a trap game. New Orleans are likely without their top cornerback, Marshon Lattimore after he had thumb surgery this week – he’ll be a game-time decision. On the offensive side, everything clicked against Green Bay but that masks their lack of depth at wide receiver. This is an offense which will rely heavily on Alvin Kamara and will we see the same, efficient, effective Jameis show up?
I believe Carolina are one of the more underrated teams this season. Like the Saints, their offense goes through their running back, Christian McCaffrey but Sam Darnold is a definite upgrade at quarterback and the strength of this team, without doubt lies in its defense. Head Coach, Matt Rhule is in his second season and I think we’re seeing this team improve. The Panthers start this game as 3 point underdogs at home. I expect them to cover. Carolina +3
Titans @ Seahawks – Titans +6
Tennessee got humiliated at home 7 days ago. They went into that game with everyone hyping up their offense but it was the Cardinals who seemingly scored at will. Running back, Derrick Henry was bottled up. Head Coach Mike Vrabel openly called out star wide receiver Julio Jones in the aftermath. You better believe that result game stung everyone!
Meanwhile the Seahawks went into Indianapolis and new offensive coordinator, Shane Waldron was immediately hailed a success as they dominated the Colts en route to a 28-16 win.
This Titans offense is better than what we saw out of the Colts 7 days ago though and Seattle’s defense is far removed from the days when the ‘legion of boom’ spread fear throughout the NFL. There’s no way Henry, Jones, Brown and co lay another egg – even taking into account Seattle’s famed 12th man and home field advantage. I expect the Titans to cover what seems a misleading spread. Titans +6