National Football League
NFL Week 2 preview: Schedule, analysis, matchups and picks for every game
National Football League

NFL Week 2 preview: Schedule, analysis, matchups and picks for every game

Updated Sep. 18, 2022 3:34 p.m. ET

Week 1 of the NFL season was … consequential.

We saw big upsets, significant injuries and breakout performances aplenty. Good news: We're just getting started.

FOX Sports' staff of NFL writers has assembled a guide to every game that will be played in Week 2. And make sure to check the site and app throughout the season for previews and predictions each week.

Thursday, Sept. 15, 2022

Los Angeles Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs (8:15 p.m. ET, Prime Video)


Overview: Patrick Mahomes and Justin Herbert lead two high-powered offenses in this one. The Chiefs hold a 65-58-1 advantage in the all-time series and have won 13 of the past 16 contests. However, the Chargers took the past two games at Arrowhead Stadium. Since 2017, the Chiefs are 25-5 against the AFC West. 

Matchup to watch: Chargers safety Derwin James vs. Chiefs TE Travis Kelce

Kelce is one of the best tight ends in the NFL and got off to a good start, totaling eight receptions for 121 yards and a touchdown in a Week 1 win against the Arizona Cardinals. James is solid matching up with tight ends but will have his hands full containing Kelce. In his past three games against the Chargers, Kelce has averaged nine receptions for 128 receiving yards and three total touchdowns. 

Key stat: Mahomes is 12-2 in 14 career September starts, with 46 touchdowns and three interceptions in those games.

Patrick Mahomes tosses five TDs in win over Cardinals

The Chiefs dominated in their first game without Tyreek Hill. Patrick Mahomes went 30-of-39 for 360 yards and five touchdowns in Kansas City's 44-21 win over the Arizona Cardinals.

Prediction: The Chargers will have to figure out how to get consistent pressure on Mahomes while rushing just four players. In his first game with L.A., edge rusher Khalil Mack was dominant, recording three sacks in a win over the Las Vegas Raiders. It was Mack's second career three-sack game and his most sacks in a contest since 2015. The Chargers need similar production from Mack against Kansas City.

Chargers 34, Chiefs 31Eric D. Williams

Sunday, Sept. 18, 2022 

Miami Dolphins at Baltimore Ravens (1 p.m. ET, CBS) 

Overview: Tua Tagovailoa continued his undefeated streak against Bill Belichick last week. The Dolphins' quarterback is now 4-0 against the greatest coach of all time after Mike McDaniel, in his NFL head-coaching debut, put on a display of aggressive playcalling. The Patriots didn't just beat themselves — the Dolphins forced a number of errors, including three takeaways. It was an impressive display by Miami to open the season and the McDaniel era.

As for the Ravens, they took care of business and embarrassed the Jets in exactly the fashion that everyone expected. And that should not be taken lightly. It's not easy to stage a blowout in the NFL, even against the lowly Jets. So Baltimore should be pleased with how its passing offense showed signs of life as Rashod Bateman transitions into the WR1 role. The Ravens also won the turnover battle, with interceptions from cornerback Marcus Peters and safety Chuck Clark.

Matchup to watch: Ravens CB Marcus Peters vs. Dolphins WR Tyreek Hill

It was interesting to see the Dolphins try to set up their run game through their passing game — and set up their passing game through Tyreek Hill. That's a roundabout way of saying that the Dolphins built their game plan around getting Hill the ball, which is not how McDaniel likely wants to game plan. He wants to work through the run game. But Miami struggled to run the ball and instead peppered Hill with short passes. This may be the way of the Dolphins' offense until they can generate confidence in their deep game. And so Peters will have to try to stop the Dolphins from getting the offense jumpstarted through Hill's electric playmaking.

Key stat: The Ravens were held to only 63 rushing yards in Week 1 against the Jets, the third-fewest in the NFL. Last season, Baltimore averaged 145.8 per game, which was third-best in the league.

Prediction: I'm a strong believer in the Dolphins, but I think they might get a slice of humble pie against the Ravens. It'll be a tight one. But with Lamar Jackson and John Harbaugh, the Ravens will have the slight edge over the less experienced duo of Tagovailoa and McDaniel. 

Ravens 27, Dolphins 24 Henry McKenna

Related: AFC East notes, including the Dolphins' dominant Week 1 defense

New York Jets at Cleveland Browns (1 p.m. ET, CBS)

Overview: The Jets rightfully decided to stick with Joe Flacco after a Week 1 blowout to Baltimore that wasn't his fault. Did he make some mistakes? Yes. Was his ugly game a product of a disappointing supporting cast? Absolutely. So it's fair to give Flacco another shot, especially if the Jets want to assure their players that they plan to win this season. I don't think they will win many games, but they don't want to give up on the season in Week 2. That's the message starting Mike White would send — one of resignation. So the Jets hope to correct the copious mistakes from their Week 1 loss to the Ravens against a lesser opponent in the Browns.

Can Jacoby Brissett keep Browns afloat in AFC North?

Joe Thomas joins Colin Cowherd to discuss the season expectations for the Cleveland Browns without Deshaun Watson for the first 11 games.

Jacoby Brissett did just what he needed to do to get the Browns a victory over the Panthers in Week 1. He managed the game while his running backs, Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, and his defense took control. Edge rusher Myles Garrett logged two sacks and safety Grant Delpit snagged an interception. And the Browns held off Carolina’s 17-point fourth quarter for a win.

Matchup to watch: DE Myles Garrett vs. Jets tackle George Fant

Garrett embarrassed Panthers rookie left tackle Ikem Ekwonu on a few occasions. Garrett has that effect on even the best offensive tackles around the NFL. But Fant isn't fully healthy. He's dealing with a knee injury and may have to battle that — if he even plays. So this matchup could be a lopsided one that dictates the outcome of the game.

Key stat: Including their Week 1 loss, the Jets have now dropped 13 straight September games. Meanwhile, with a win on Sunday, the Browns would be 2-0 for the first time since 1993. 

Prediction: The Browns should take control of this game, even if they don't take a massive lead. With strong play on the offensive and defensive lines, Cleveland will churn out an ugly, slow victory.

Browns 17, Jets 13 Henry McKenna

Washington Commanders at Detroit Lions (1 p.m. ET, FOX)

Overview: The Carson Wentz roller coaster was going at full speed in Week 1 (4 touchdowns, 2 interceptions), but there was far more good than bad for the Commanders. They seem loaded with offensive weapons, with a healthy Curtis Samuel (8-55-1) and rookie Jahan Dotson (3-40-2) added to a group that includes WR Terry McLaurin, TE Logan Thomas and RB Antonio Gibson

The Lions' pass rush was erratic against the Eagles last week, but Philly has one of the best offensive lines in football. Washington doesn't. If Detroit can't get to Wentz, he could be set up for another big day. And that's a problem because other than RB D’Andre Swift (15 carries, 144 yards, 1 TD), the Lions' offense didn't click in Week 1, even though the Eagles' defense wasn't good at all.

Matchup to watch: Lions CB Jeff Okudah vs. Commanders WR Terry McLaurin

Last week the Lions primarily used Okudah on Eagles WR DeVonta Smith, who had zero catches. Of course, that allowed A.J. Brown to go off for 10 catches and 155 yards. Presumably, given how well Okudah played Smith, the Lions will put the former first-rounder on McLaurin in this game since he's still Washington’s best receiver. But Okudah had better get help, because Samuel and Dotson proved to be dangerous, too.

Key stat: Wentz threw four passing TDs last week for the first time since 2017. That helped him overcome his two interceptions, but the whole performance (27-for-41, 313 yards) was good for Wentz and Washington. The Commanders are banking everything on him this season, and he certainly has plenty of weapons around him. They needed him to get off to a hot start.

Prediction: The Lions are favored for the first time in nearly two years, fresh off their stronger-than-expected showing against the Eagles. But that game was close because of a terrible tackling performance by the Eagles' defense. If the Commanders follow suit, then sure, Swift could carry the Lions to victory. But this Washington team is a lot like the Eagles, in that it has a diverse offense and a strong (for now) quarterback. The Lions’ defense is too inconsistent, and their offense is too one-dimensional for them to do more than keep games close for now. 

Commanders 29, Lions 20 Ralph Vacchiano

Indianapolis Colts at Jacksonville Jaguars 1:00p (ET) CBS 

Overview: We can all thank the Colts (and Texans) for screwing us in the form of already having to do mental math after they tied in Week 1. Indianapolis can't be letting that sit well — not after the expectation coming into the season was that they'd contend in the AFC South. This is a game the Colts should win, no matter how close the Jaguars were to winning last week.

And Jacksonville did come close. A solid performance by quarterback Trevor Lawrence saw the Jags get within two points of the Washington Commanders in the fourth quarter. Jacksonville also seems to have a competent run game to lean on with a defense that looks good up front, at least. With that being said, while it may not be time to push the panic button on the Colts quite yet, there's no question winning this game is crucial for them.

Matchup to watch: RB Jonathan Taylor vs. LB Devin Lloyd

Taylor had more than 31 carries against the Texans (and somehow Matt Ryan still attempted 50 passes). It's no secret that Taylor makes up a giant chunk of this offense, and for the Jaguars to have a chance, they'll have to find a way to slow him down. Lloyd is part of a promising front seven for the Jaguars and could go a long way in helping them mitigate the Taylor damage.

Key stat: The Jaguars are 3-13 in their past 16 divisional games, with all three wins coming against the Colts.  

Prediction: The Colts are too talented a team and have too high-powered an offense to let their AFC South counterparts keep pace with them. They get back in the saddle over an opponent they know very well. 

Colts 24, Jaguars 10 — Carmen Vitali

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints (1 p.m. ET, FOX) 

Overview: The New Orleans Saints have been the egg the Tampa Bay Buccaneers can't seem to crack — even after adding the greatest quarterback of all time. Since 2018, the Saints have won seven consecutive regular-season matchups over their division opponents. And while the Bucs won the one that counted two years ago in the divisional round of the 2020 playoffs, that's distantly in the rearview mirror by now.

Both teams are coming off a Week 1 win, one more convincingly than the other. The Saints had to claw their way back from a 23-3 deficit to the Atlanta Falcons and score 17 points to overtake Atlanta in dramatic fashion. The Bucs, on the other hand, steamrolled the Cowboys and after a shaky first half offensively, quarterback Tom Brady seemed to get his groove back. It's not much of a debate that Tampa Bay has the better roster. The question now is whether Dennis Allen has their number the way Sean Payton did. 

Tom Brady, Bucs slight favorites to defeat Saints in Week 2

Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are 2.5-point favorites against the New Orleans Saints according to FOX Bet Sportsbook.

Matchup to watch: WR Mike Evans vs. CB Marshon Lattimore

While the level of rivalry between these two teams can be called into question, the individual rivalry between these two cannot. Every single time the Bucs and Saints play each other, these two players zero in on each other, and it's been a sight to see every time. Lattimore has the upper hand coming into this matchup after Evans was held to just one catch and also suffered an injury in the Saints' 9-0 win in Week 15 last season. Evans will want to flip the script.

Key stat: The Bucs have won five straight road games, dating back to last season. It's the longest active road winning streak in the NFL.

Prediction: The scores of these games have been all over the place in recent years, but I think the volatility of Saints quarterback Jameis Winston may lead to defensive scores by the Bucs' ball-hawking secondary. Ultimately, I think Brady & Co. continue their groove and outpace the Saints, provided Tampa Bay's offensive line can hold up to New Orleans' front. 

Buccaneers 31, Saints 26 Carmen Vitali

Carolina Panthers at New York Giants (1 p.m. ET, FOX)

Overview: The dramatic, feel-good, Week 1 win for the Giants should worry the Panthers for two very big reasons: 1. Saquon Barkley is back, and 2. The Giants’ defense might be back, too. Barkley, looking better than he has since he was a rookie, torched the Titans for 164 rushing yards. Meanwhile, the Panthers gave up 217 rushing yards to the Browns last week, including 141 to Nick Chubb. And the Giants' defense held Derrick Henry to 82 yards last week, which doesn't bode well for Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey, who had just 33 yards against the Browns. The Browns, by the way, are a mess, and their starting quarterback is suspended, but the Panthers still lost to them on the road. The Giants just went on the road and beat last year's No. 1 seed in the AFC.

Buying or selling after Week 1?

Emmanuel Acho, Joy Taylor, LeSean McCoy and David Helman decide whether they buy or sell the New York Giants, Chicago Bears, Minnesota Vikings and Miami Dolphins after Week 1.

Matchup to watch: Giants RB Saquon Barkley vs. Panthers’ defense

Yes, the whole defense, because Barkley is dangerous on the ground, in the air, up the middle, to the outside. He did it all last week against a much better defensive team, accounting for 194 total yards. Barkley had big runs, consistently moved the ball and ran like a man on a mission. If he gets going again in this game, the Panthers won't have a chance.

Key stat: The Giants had an NFL-best 236 rushing yards in Week 1, and Barkley's 164 were his most since Week 16 in 2019. You get the picture yet? The Giants and Barkley made a big statement last week, and with a game-manager at quarterback in Daniel Jones, the fifth-year running back is their offense. The Panthers have to stop him to have any shot, and based on last week, they sure don't look capable of doing that.

Prediction: The Giants still have a ton of holes. Their quarterback is prone to bad decisions, their pass protection isn't good, their secondary is shaky, they don't have much of a pass rush. But if Barkley can run like he did last week and the offensive line can run-block the way it did, this team can be in most games and win more than expected. The Giants also should be able to push around bad teams like the Panthers. Maybe Week 1 was a mirage on both sides. If not, this looks like a rare game where the Giants' offense should be able to bully an opposing defense and ride Barkley to an easy home win. 

Giants 23, Panthers 13 Ralph Vacchiano

Related: Grading rookie tackles: How did Evan Neal, Ikem Ekwonu do?

New England Patriots at Pittsburgh Steelers (1 p.m. ET, CBS)

Overview: New England took an embarrassing loss to Miami in its opener. Mac Jones and the Patriots’ offense struggled to move the ball. New England's defense, meanwhile, failed to make a number of crucial plays and generated zero takeaways against the Dolphins. That combination led to a 20-7 win for Mike McDaniel and Miami. Jones doesn't appear to have taken the second-year leap that some QBs do — and it's easy to wonder whether that's related to Matt Patricia and Joe Judge taking over for Josh McDaniels in leading the Patriots’ offense.

The Steelers came out swinging against the Bengals and forced quarterback Joe Burrow into a four-interception game. Burrow was also sacked seven times. All the while, the Steelers had just 257 total yards of offense under quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. That will be Pittsburgh's recipe for success in 2022. The Steelers will need their defense to take control of games. Jones and the Patriots looked controllable last week.

Dr. Matt: Steelers' T.J. Watt could miss three to four months with pectoral injury

Dr. Matt Provencher discusses the pectoral injury suffered by T.J. Watt of the Pittsburgh Steelers and how long he could be out.

Matchup to watch: Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick vs. Patriots quarterback Mac Jones

Jones is notorious for his proclivity to throw short passes. But he's also aware of that reputation and is working to upend that label. Last week, he chucked the ball downfield to receiver Kendrick Bourne for 41 yards in the fourth quarter. But it didn't work out too well when Jones targeted DeVante Parker downfield and wound up with an interception. So Fitzpatrick may have an opportunity to generate a takeaway (or two) if Jones tests the Steelers deep.

Key stats: This will be the first meeting between the Patriots and Steelers that does not feature either Tom Brady or Ben Roethlisberger since 1998. The Steelers are 6-0-1 in their past seven home games. 

Prediction: Bill Belichick is not one to lose twice in a row, especially at the beginning of the season — with a loss, the Patriots would be 0-2 for the first time since 2001. And even in a game when the Steelers generated four interceptions, they still almost lost. So I'll take New England by a narrow margin. But it's definitely a tough one to pick, given how poorly the Patriots played in Week 1.

Patriots 13, Steelers 10 Henry McKenna

Related: These 8 Patriots need to perform better after Week 1 loss

Atlanta Falcons at Los Angeles Rams (4:05 p.m. ET, FOX)

Overview: Both teams are looking for their first win of the young season, with the Rams holding a 48-30-2 edge in the all-time series. The last time these two teams met was Oct. 20, 2019, a 37-10 victory for the Rams over the Falcons in Atlanta. Also keep in mind that Los Angeles defensive tackle Aaron Donald needs one more sack to reach the century mark. Donald has 99 career sacks in 127 games played.

Matchup to watch:  Falcons WR Drake London vs. Rams CB Jalen Ramsey

After struggling in the season opener against the Buffalo Bills, Ramsey gets a shot to redeem himself on Sunday. He'll find a tough matchup on the perimeter against a big, physical receiver in Drake London. The USC product led all rookies with 74 receiving yards in a loss to the New Orleans Saints last week.

Key stat: With a loss, the Rams would become the first defending Super Bowl champion to start 0-2 since the 1999 Denver Broncos.

"Rams looked utterly incompetent in every phase" in Week 1 loss

Nick Wright predicted the Rams would defbeateat Josh Allen's Bills in the NFL kickoff game. Nick reacts to the Bills' 31-10 win and explains what this means for Matthew Stafford and the Super Bowl champs.

Prediction: The Rams were held to only 52 rushing yards in Week 1, the fewest of any team. But maybe they can get things going on the ground against an Atlanta defense that gave up 151 rushing yards to New Orleans last week. Along with that, the Rams must do a better job protecting Matthew Stafford after allowing seven sacks in a loss to the Buffalo Bills in Week 1. 

Rams 28, Falcons 23 Eric D. Williams

Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers (4:05 p.m. ET, FOX) 

Overview: The Seahawks look to keep their momentum going after their big win at home against Russell Wilson and the Denver Broncos. And while Seattle is a long shot on the road, the Seahawks and Pete Carroll have recent success against the 49ers, winning the past four matchups. The Seahawks also lead the all-time series, 29-17. 

Why 49ers should not bench Trey Lance despite struggles

The 49ers' season is off to a rough start, especially for Trey Lance. This brings up the question on whether to bench the second-year QB. Hall of Famer Jerry Rice says to "not even go there."

Matchup to watch: Seahawks QB Geno Smith vs. Niners defensive line

Seattle had a good game plan for Smith against Denver last week: Get the ball out quickly and let him use his legs if he doesn’t have anything downfield. Smith completed 82% of his passes and threw two touchdowns passes in the win. But with two rookie offensive tackles on the road for the first time this season, the Seahawks will be hard-pressed to do the same thing against Nick Bosa and San Francisco's relentless defensive front. 

Key stat: Since Kyle Shanahan took over as head coach in 2017, San Francisco is 2-8 against Seattle.

Prediction: This game could be the Deebo Samuel show for San Francisco. Samuel had 754 scrimmage yards and nine total touchdowns in eight home games last season. And in his last three games against the Seahawks, Samuel has 247 scrimmage yards and three total touchdowns. 

Niners 27, Seahawks 20 Eric D. Williams

Cincinnati Bengals at Dallas Cowboys (4:25 p.m. ET, CBS) 

Overview: There might not be a team that got off to a worse start than the Cowboys. They suffered the indignity of being the only NFL squad not to score a touchdown, and they lost Dak Prescott to a broken thumb for at least the next few weeks. Micah Parsons and the Dallas defense showed signs of life in that 19-3 loss to Tampa Bay, but they now must slow down an explosive Cincinnati offense without Prescott helping to get them on the scoreboard. Backup quarterback Cooper Rush faces a tall task in his second career start.

Related: Can Cooper Rush keep Cowboys afloat until Dak Prescott returns?

The Bengals didn't get out to the start they'd prefer, either, as some of 2021's biggest problems resurfaced in their overtime loss to Pittsburgh. Joe Burrow must take better care of the football, and his offensive line must have a better day at the office if Cincinnati is going to get into the win column.

Who deserves more blame for Cowboys' predicament: Dak Prescott or Jerry Jones?

Emmanuel Acho, Joy Taylor, LeSean McCoy and David Helman debate who is more at fault for the Cowboys' abysmal loss to Tampa Bay and for going into Week 2 with Cooper Rush at QB.

Matchup to watch: DeMarcus Lawrence & Micah Parsons vs. La'el Collins

What was once a spirited practice battle will now play out on game day. Collins spent six years protecting Prescott's right side, but he signed on as Burrow's new right tackle within days of being cut by the Cowboys this spring.

Collins struggled with T.J. Watt in the opener, playing a role in those seven Pittsburgh sacks. The Cowboys know his game better than anyone, and it's a good bet they'll use their best two pass rushers to affect the Bengals’ game plan.

Key stat: With a loss, the Cowboys would be 0-2 for the first time since 2010 — a year that saw head coach Wade Phillips fired at the midpoint of the season. That feels significant, given that current head coach Mike McCarthy is now tasked with guiding the Cowboys to the playoffs despite Prescott missing a solid chunk of the season.

Prediction: This isn’t college football, so it’d be silly to expect the Cowboys to completely fold because they’re without Prescott. Remember, they stole a road win against Minnesota in Cooper Rush's first career start last year. The problem is that Rush leaned heavily on Amari Cooper and Cedrick Wilson that night, and those receivers are long gone. Parsons and the Dallas defense have enough juice to fluster Burrow, but the guess here is that it’s not enough over the course of 60 minutes. I just don’t think the Cowboys’ offense can keep pace with Burrow, Ja'Marr Chase, Joe Mixon and everyone else. Eventually, Cincinnati does enough. 

Bengals 27, Cowboys 13 David Helman

Houston Texans at Denver Broncos (4:25 p.m. ET, CBS) 

Overview: The Broncos look to rebound from a disappointing road loss at Seattle last week. Denver leads the all-time series against Houston 5-3 and has won three of the past four games against the Texans. New Denver quarterback Russell Wilson has thrown for 712 passing yards (356 per game), with six touchdowns and an interception for a 120 passer rating in his past two starts against Houston. 

Matchup to watch: Texans CB Derek Stingley Jr. vs. Broncos WRs Courtland Sutton and Jerry Jeudy

The highly regarded rookie out of LSU could struggle to bottle up Denver's dynamic duo of Sutton and Jeudy. The two receivers combined for eight receptions for 174 receiving yards and a score in Denver's loss to Seattle.

Key stat: After leading the Colts 20-3, the Texans were outscored 17-0 in the fourth quarter of their Week 1 tie — the first tie in franchise history.

Prediction: Denver somehow could not score a touchdown on four trips inside the red zone against Seattle, including two fumbles at the goal line. It was the first time in Wilson's career that his team finished 0-4 or worse in the red zone. New Denver head coach Nathaniel Hackett will get things cleaned up, and the Texans should be a soothing balm for the Broncos. 

Broncos 30, Texans 24 Eric D. Williams

Related: Warren Sharp breaks down Nathaniel Hackett's coaching blunder

Arizona Cardinals at Las Vegas Raiders (4:25 p.m. ET, CBS)

Overview: The Cardinals are banged up and scuffling. After a humbling loss in the home opener against the Kansas City Chiefs, Arizona must hit the road to face the Raiders. Las Vegas leads the all-time series 6-4. The Cardinals are 0-5 in their past five games against AFC West opponents, including their Week 1 loss to the Chiefs. However, Arizona went 8-1 in road games in 2021, the best road record in the NFL. 

Matchup to watch: Raiders WR Davante Adams vs. the Cardinals' secondary

The top free-agent acquisition for Las Vegas during the offseason, Adams did not disappoint in Week 1, leading the Raiders with 10 catches for 141 receiving yards and a score in a loss to the Los Angeles Chargers. Arizona must prepare at a higher level after struggling to slow down Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs last week. 

Key stat: Since their 7-0 start in 2021, the Cardinals are 4-8 in their past 12 games (including their playoff loss to the Rams). 

Prediction: Derek Carr failed to avoid turnovers last week, tying a career high with three interceptions. He figures to take better care of the football at home. The Cardinals are playing without DeAndre Hopkins (suspension) and likely without slot receiver Rondale Moore (hamstring injury). It's hard to see how Kyler Murray and Arizona can muster enough points to win this one on the road.  

Raiders 24, Cardinals 20 Eric D. Williams

Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers (8:20 p.m. ET, NBC) 

Overview: The Bears were conducting celebratory slip-and-slides at Soldier Field after beating the 49ers in Week 1. It was a good debut for head coach Matt Eberflus and his defense, though his offense was another story. Quarterback Justin Fields struggled in the first half but got things going in the second, giving hope for what this Bears team could become.

But they're not there yet. And while the Packers took what now seems to be their traditional Week 1 loss, the Vikings are a great team and Green Bay didn't have all its ducks in a row. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers was without both of his offensive tackles and veteran receiver Allen Lazard. All of those players have the chance to be back for the Pack, and if they are, this seems like Green Bay's game on home turf.

Aaron Rodgers' inability to deal with frustration is a concern for Packers

Aaron Rodgers' first game without Davante Adams ended in a 23-7 loss to the Vikings. Is the NFC North now Minnesota's division? Nick Wright evaluates both the Vikings and Packers, then explains what concern lies ahead for Green Bay.

Matchup to watch: Bears DL Justin Jones vs. Packers OL Zach Tom (or the next man up)

Packers guard Jon Runyan suffered a concussion in Sunday's game and Zach Tom will presumably fill in as Runyan clears protocol. Whoever is slotted in there, the Bears would be wise to go after him — as the interior is the quickest way to the quarterback. The Vikings sacked Rodgers four times and that certainly helped their cause. Chicago should aim to do the same.

Key stat: The Packers have won six straight games against the Bears and are 11-1 in their past 12 matchups, while quarterback Aaron Rodgers has 16 touchdown passes and zero interceptions in his past six starts against Chicago. 

Prediction: The Packers haven't started 0-2 since 2006, and though I think the Bears are better than they're getting credit for, there's just too much history to suggest that Green Bay won't prevail on home turf. Chicago still needs to answer its offensive-line questions, and the Bears' middling receivers will likely be handled by one of the best secondaries in the league, led by cornerback Jaire Alexander. Don't sleep on what this Bears secondary can do against developing Packers receivers though, either. 

Packers 24, Bears 17Carmen Vitali

Monday, Sept. 19, 2022 

Tennessee Titans at Buffalo Bills (7:15 p.m. ET, ESPN)

Overview: The Bills looked out-of-control good in their season opener against the Rams. Josh Allen threw two interceptions and Buffalo still blew out L.A. And that's thanks, in large part, to the defense generating seven sacks without sending a single blitz the entire game. That's right: seven sacks, zero blitzing. Insane, right? And what's more insane is that the Bills have a defense of that caliber to go with an offense that's basically unstoppable with Allen and Stefon Diggs.

The Titans were upset about being slept on, but they made skeptics look wise by losing to the Giants in Week 1. Yikes. Tennessee's offense looked a little tired behind Ryan Tannehill and Derrick Henry. It was a whole lot of thunder without much lightning. The Titans' longest play was an 18-yard rush from Henry. Their longest passing play was a 31-yarder to running back Dontrell Hilliard.

Chiefs, Bills sit on top of Nick's NFL Tiers heading into Week 2

Nick Wright tiers all 32 NFL teams ahead of Week 2.

Matchup to watch: Bills linebacker Tremaine Edmunds vs. Titans running back Derrick Henry

Now here's an old-school matchup of freakish blunt force. Edmunds is one of the rare humans who can actually match Henry in terms of height, weight and speed. They're both titans, even if only one is a Titan! Their powerful battles inside and their footraces to the sideline should be a delight to watch. And given that Henry is the key to getting the Titans’ offense going, Edmunds has a big responsibility on his shoulders.

Key stat: The Bills are now 20-1 (.952) in the regular season when Josh Allen scores both a passing and rushing touchdown in the same game. 

Prediction: This won't end well for the Titans. The Bills are a freight train, and I'm not picking against them until someone finally stops them for the first time. 

Bills 31, Titans 20 Henry McKenna

Minnesota Vikings at Philadelphia Eagles (8:30 p.m ET, ABC) 

Overview: The Eagles’ offense looked so strong last week, especially on the ground. But ugh, that defense. Philly nearly handed the game to the Lions with an inexcusably ugly tackling performance. There aren't many teams the Eagles will beat if that continues. They certainly won't beat the Vikings that way, not with the 1-2 punch of RB Dalvin Cook and WR Justin Jefferson, who torched the Packers for 9-184-2 last Sunday. The Vikings’ defense probably won't shut down the Eagles the way it did Aaron Rodgers and the Packers last week. But Minnesota sure looks capable of winning a shootout if it comes down to that.

Matchup to watch: Vikings WR Justin Jefferson vs. Eagles CB Darius Slay

The Eagles have really tried to beef up their secondary and this is the real test: covering a guy who is staking his claim to becoming the best WR in the league. The Eagles got Slay to slow down receivers like Jefferson. Maybe no one can, considering the way Jefferson played last week, but Slay has to at least contain him for Philly to have a shot.

Justin Jefferson on career game vs. Packers

Vikings receiver Justin Jefferson talks with FOX Sports' Tom Rinaldi about his career game against the Green Bay Packers.

Key stat: Jefferson (184) and Eagles WR A.J. Brown (155) rank first and second in the NFL in receiving yards. Any question who the go-to guys are for these teams? Neither of them will be easy to stop. The key to this matchup might be which one gets the most help from either a second receiver (Minnesota's Adam Thielen or Philadelphia's DeVonta Smith) or his team's rushing attack. Whichever team adds a second dimension first could see its No. 1 receiver go off.

Prediction: The Eagles had better hope their Week 1 performance on defense was an anomaly, because the NFC East is wide open and they have dreams of being a contender. But it won't happen if they can't fix all those defensive holes. The Vikings, on the other hand, looked like the complete package last week. Yes, the Packers don't have great receivers, but they still have Aaron Rodgers, and he did not look like his usual dominant self in Week 1. Plus, the Vikings won with a pedestrian performance from Dalvin Cook (20 carries, 90 yards). Until the Eagles' defense proves otherwise, Philly probably can't stop teams with offenses that are this strong and diverse. The Eagles’ only hope is a shootout, and the Vikings’ defense might be too good to allow that. 

Vikings 30, Eagles 20 Ralph Vacchiano

FOX Sports’ Week 2 NFL preview was compiled by:

AFC East reporter Henry McKenna (@McKennAnalysis)
NFC West reporter Eric D. Williams (@eric_d_williams)
NFC East reporter Ralph Vacchiano (@RalphVacchiano)
NFC North reporter Carmen Vitali (@CarmieV)
Dallas Cowboys reporter David Helman (@davidhelman_)
Researcher Daniel Gerber (@danielg90049)


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