Your First Look at the NFL Week Two

 

Both teams were 8-8 last year and now the rivals meet for the first of two matchups in 2014. The last five meetings between Pittsburgh and Baltimore have each been decided by three points or less. Only twice in their last 15 clashes has the margin been over a touchdown (teaser?). Baltimore struggled to run the ball last season. The Ravens recovered four fumbles all of last year. In 2013 Pittsburgh averaged 17.9 points a game during the first seven weeks. Over the final nine weeks they scored 28.2 points a contest.

 

Thursday

Pittsburgh at Baltimore

Both teams were 8-8 last year and now the rivals meet for the first of two matchups in 2014. The last five meetings between Pittsburgh and Baltimore have each been decided by three points or less. Only twice in their last 15 clashes has the margin been over a touchdown (teaser?). Baltimore struggled to run the ball last season. The Ravens recovered four fumbles all of last year. In 2013 Pittsburgh averaged 17.9 points a game during the first seven weeks. Over the final nine weeks they scored 28.2 points a contest.

 

Sunday

Miami at Buffalo

The Dolphins traveled to Western New York during week 16 last season with a chance to all but clinch a playoff birth. The Bills beat them 19-0 in a game Miami managed 103 total yards of offense including 14 rushing yards on 12 attempts. During a 6-10 campaign last year the Bills beat the Dolphins twice. All four of Buffalo’s home wins in 2013 came against teams that finished .500 or better.

Jacksonville at Washington

The Jaguars lost their first eight games last season but finished with four victories during the season’s second half. Washington earned three wins in 2013 but none of them came during the year’s final eight weeks. The Jags were 8-8 in 2010 and their last winning campaign took place in 2007. The Redskins have missed the playoffs in five of the last six, and 11 of their past 14 seasons.

Dallas at Tennessee

Which franchise has had more recent success, the Cowboys or Titans? While Dallas has gone 8-8 each of the last three years, they have not won a playoff game since 2009. In fact, the Cowboys have one playoff victory since 1996. Tennessee has one winning campaign in the last four years but won 13 contests in 2008 and 10 in 2007. The Titans last won a playoff game in 2003. New Tennessee coach Ken Whisenhunt has a 4-2 playoff record and had eight wins or more in four of six seasons in Arizona. Dallas quarterback Tony Romo is 1-3 in the playoffs and 0-3 in games with a playoff birth on the line. Titans quarterback Jake Locker has been the starter on one team with a winning record since high school.

Arizona at New York Giants

The Cardinals were 5-2-1 against the spread on the road last season while New York was 3-5 against the number at home. It’s a short week for Arizona who played the late Monday night game against San Diego and now contend with an early Sunday game on the east coast. The Giants have lost back-to-back home openers. The Cardinals have not had a winning road record since 2009.

New England at Minnesota

Minnesota’s home opener is their first regularly scheduled outdoor game in the Twin Cities since 1981. Last year all five of the Vikings wins came at home. The Patriots were 4-4 on the road last season and 2-6 against the spread. The two teams combined for 20 overs last season. In 2013 the Vikings gave up an NFL high 30 points a game. The Patriots were the second highest scoring team in the league last season.

New Orleans at Cleveland

The Saints were 1-7 on the road against the spread last year while Cleveland managed just a 6-10 overall record against the number including a 3-5 mark at home. The Browns have lost 10 or more games in six straight and 10 of the last 11 years. The two teams have played just once since 2006, a Browns 30-17 victory in 2010. New Orleans has won 11 games or more four times in the last five years.

Atlanta at Cincinnati

The Falcons have won just one road opener in the last seven seasons and meet a Bengals team that went 8-0 last year at home both straight up and against the spread. Cincinnati won their home games by an average margin of 17.6 points last year. The Falcons went 1-7 away from home in 2013 with their lone victory in overtime against the Bills in Toronto.

Detroit at Carolina

Carolina was 7-1 at home last year and 6-1-1 against the spread. Panther games went over four times, under on 11 occasions, and pushed once. Six of eight Panther games in Charlotte fell under the total. The Lions went 7-9 in 2013 and were a game worse against the spread. Detroit has dropped five of their last six road openers.

St. Louis at Tampa Bay

The Rams were 2-6 last season straight up and against the spread on the road. The six loses came by an average of 15.7 points. St. Louis won road games in 2013 at Houston and Indianapolis. They beat Tampa Bay at home 23-13 in week 16. The Rams out-gained the Bucs 277-170 with both teams struggling to run the ball and convert in the red zone. Tampa Bay went 4-4 at home against the spread last year. They’ve dropped their home opener in three of the last five years.

Seattle at San Diego

The Seahawks have extra days to prepare for the Chargers after starting their season on the opening Thursday night. Meanwhile, San Diego played the late Monday Night game on the road during week one. While Seattle went 6-2 on the road last year they were 8-16 away from home over the prior three years. The Chargers were 5-3 at home last year straight up and versus the number. San Diego dropped their home opener last year but had won three straight before falling to Houston in 2013.

Houston at Oakland

The Texans play the first of two straight road games, 3,000 miles apart, this afternoon in Oakland. Despite going 2-14 last season including 4-12 against the spread, Houston was a respectable 3-5 against the number on the road. The Texans lone road victory in 2013 was their season opener at San Diego. Four of their final five road games last season were one possession contests. The Raiders were 5-3 against the spread at home last year but were uncompetitive in three or their last four games in the East Bay. Oakland has won three of their last four home openers.

New York Jets at Green Bay

Green Bay has an extra few days to prepare for their home debut after falling in Seattle on the opening Thursday night of the season. The Packers have won six of their last seven home openers. Green Bay was just 6-10 against the spread last year. New York went 9-6-1 against the number last season but just 3-4-1 on the road. The Jets six road loses last year came by an average of 19.5 points.

Kansas City at Denver

The Chiefs 9-0 start came crashing down in Denver last season. The Broncos beat Kansas City 27-17 in week 11 and then knocked off the Chiefs again, 35-28, in week 13. Kansas City went 7-1 against the the spread on the road in 2013. Eleven of the Broncos 16 regular season games last year went over with Denver covering the spread 10 times. The Broncos are 14-2 at home the last two years prior to playoff time.

Chicago at San Francisco

The Niners open Levi’s Stadium after going 19-4-1 during the last three seasons at Candlestick Park. San Francisco went 4-4 against the spread at home last year. San Francisco last played Chicago two years ago and beat them at home 32-7. Twelve of 16 Bears games went over last season. Chicago was 8-8 in 2013 but just 4-10-2 against the spread. The Niners are 32-29-1 all time against the Bears and have won 10 straight at home.

 

Monday

Philadelphia at Indianapolis

The Eagles were 6-2 on the road last season including 5-3 against the spread. Philadelphia has had a winning record away from home in four of the last five seasons. Of six road victories last season the Packers were the only playoff team Philadelphia knocked off, and Aaron Rodgers did not play in that contest. The Colts are 13-3 at home during the last two seasons including 12-4 against the spread. Indianapolis beat both Super Bowl teams, Seattle and Denver, at home in 2013.