Friday, September 16, 2011

NFL Week 2 Games to Watch

It’s Week 2 of the NFL season, and we’ve selected three must-see games out of the 16 that take place this week. Although there are several good games this week, a few stood out because of their storylines: missing players possibly turning strengths to weaknesses; a stifling run defense versus a running back who needs to prove his worth; a likely AFC Championship preview; and a highly anticipated homecoming. We think we did pretty well in our selections last week, by the way…

Chicago Bears (1-0) @ New Orleans Saints (0-1) (Sunday, 1:00 PM on FOX):

Both teams are coming off great games, although New Orleans fought a losing effort against the Green Bay Packers last week. Both teams are also coming into this week with issues facing some of its key players. Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher, the heart and soul of their defense, and possibly the entire team, will be playing after losing his mother early this week. Her funeral is Saturday; will he be less of weapon or will he be playing with an extra spark? Meanwhile, the Packers will be missing Marques Colston, their most productive wide receiver last season, with a broken collar bone; his position-mate, receiver Lance Moore, might also miss the game because of a sore groin. Will the Packers be able to adapt without its key receivers?

Baltimore Ravens (1-0) @ Tennessee Titans (0-1) (Sunday, 1:00 PM on CBS):

The Ravens defense put on a clinic last week, crushing the Steelers 35 to 7. They need to avoid a letdown this week against running back Chris Johnson and the Titans. Johnson, who has played for the Titans for three years, didn’t return to the team until a couple of weeks ago because he was holding out for a better contract. After scoring a new 4-year, $53 million deal, he failed to prove his worth last week, only rushing for 24 yards in the Titans loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars. He’s got something to prove this week, though he may not get many chances against a stout Ravens defense and with receiver Kenny Britt stealing his spotlight; in Week 1 Britt had five receptions for 136 yards and two touchdowns. After Sunday, will Britt be saying “Show Me The Money”?

San Diego Chargers (1-0) @ New England Patriots (1-0) (Sunday, 4:15 PM ET on CBS):

With both teams living up to expectations in Week 1, this matchup could be a preview of the AFC Championship game. Quarterback Philip Rivers and the Chargers have not done well against the Patriot in recent years, only winning once in the last five games against them. However, Rivers is considered one of the best QBs in the league right now and had over 300 yards passing and two touchdowns in the Chargers’ win over the Minnesota Vikings last week. As nice as those numbers are, however, they are overshadowed by Tom Brady’s stunning 517 passing yards and four touchdowns in the Patriots’ win over the Miami Dolphins. Which QB will come out on top? Will this be an offensive shoot-out, or will either team’s defense make its presence known?

Philadelphia Eagles (1-0) @ Atlanta Falcons (0-1) (Sunday, 8:20 PM on NBC):

All eyes will be on the quarterbacks in this nationally-televised game. Michael Vick returns to Atlanta, where he was the star before being sent to federal prison for his role in a dogfighting operation. This is his second homecoming; he returned last year as the Eagles’ backup. He still had a significant role in the Eagles victory last year, running and throwing for two touchdowns; his effort drew cheers from the Atlanta crowd, still feeling sentimental about Vick’s time in their city. Though they may still have affection for Vick, they have also moved on, through their acceptance and adoration of Vick’s replacement, Matt Ryan (nicknamed “Matty Ice”). After just three years as the starting quarterback Ryan has already led the Falcons to the playoffs twice and is a big reason why the team should make the playoffs again this year. Not only is he looking for a win, but Ryan will also be happy to help out a certain teammate this week. Atlanta tight end Tony Gonzalez needs only four yards to pass Terrell Owens as fifth on the NFL all-time receiving yards list.

By the way, in addition to "Naptime Huddle," you can find more family-favorite recipes at the "Chef Mommy" blog. Here is a link to a recipe for a fun game-day treat:

Enjoy Week 2!

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