While the first week of the NFL season is in the books & we have seen our share of upsets, fans are already eagerly looking forward to the upcoming week. Here are five games can’t miss during week 2 of the 2009 NFL season.
New Orleans Saints at Philadelphia Eagles
September 20th at 1 p.m.
The New Orleans Saints and Philadelphia Eagles dominated during week 1 and earned convincing wins over their opposition. These two teams will face off in what some predict may be a preview of the NFC championship game.
All eyes will be on the Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb who limped off the field with was later determined to be cracked ribs. Before he left, McNabb completed 10 of 18 passes for 79 yards with two touchdowns and 1 interception. McNabb also picked up 27 yards on four carries and scored one rushing touchdowns. Though McNabb is not ruled out, there is no certainty that he will be somewhat productive if he does play.
The big match up in this game will be between the Saints offensive line and the Eagles pass rush. We know if Saints quarterback Drew Brees has time, he will find someone to throw the ball too. The Eagles will need to bring the pressure and keep it up for success. The Eagles defense was able to produce five sacks before the Panthers quarterback Jake Delhomme was pulled from the game with five interceptions.
Keep an eye on Reggie Bush’s performance during this game against the Eagles. He will need to do a better job of holding onto the ball if the Saints are going to win. Remember, the Eagles have already scored one defensive touchdown when they returned a fumble against the Panthers.
In the end the Saints offense is going to be too much for the Eagles to handle, especially if they are without their leader, McNabb. The Saints will continue to march on go into week 3 of the NFL with a 2 – 0 record.
Prediction – New Orleans 31, Philadelphia 10
New England at New York Jets
September 20th at 1 p.m.
The second week of the 2009 NFL season will feature a key AFC battle between the New England Patriots and the New York Jets. The winner will have a leg up in the division race and could prove to be pivotal in the playoff stretch.
The Jets defense was solid when they played the Houston Texans during the opening weekend. The unit held the Texans to 183 total yards and only allowed the Texans score 7 points, thanks to their defense. The question is will this unit be able to do the same against the Patriots impressive offensive unit.
The key for the Jets to win this game will be squarely on the shoulders of Sanchez. The Patriots will know just what to do to make sure Jets rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez feels pressure during the game. If he is able to limit his mistakes while completing more than 57% of his passes, the Jets will have an outside shot.
In the end, the experience of the Patriots will be too much for the upstart Jets to over come. The Patriots will earn the victory and will be ready to move on to week 3 of the NFL season.
Prediction – New England 24, New York 7
Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers
September 20th at 4:05 p.m.
The Seattle Seahawks and the San Francisco 49ers will meet up in week 2 of the NFL season and attempt to gain a 2 – 0 record in the NFC West by the time the day is done.
The 49ers showed they are ready to rebound in 2009 when they upset the Arizona Cardinals during the NFL’s opening weekend. The manage to pull off the win despite the fact their star running back, Frank Gore, was held to 30 yards on the ground. If the 49ers are going to start the season 2 – 0, they will need to receive more production out of him against the Seahawks.
The Seahawks offense was clicking on all cylinders and was impressive even though they played against a hapless St. Louis Rams team. Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck was impressive, completing 25 of 36 passes for 279 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions.
The key to this game could be the success of Seahawks running back Julius Jones who scampered for 117 yards and 1 touchdowns last week. The 49ers did keep the Cardinals running game in check but they will be tested this week by the experienced Jones.
The reemergence of Hasselbeck will prove to be too much for a 49ers defense that is susceptible to the pass. Look for the Seahawks to come away with a single digit victory.
Prediction – Seattle 24, San Francisco 17
Pittsburgh Steelers at Chicago Bears
September 20th at 4:15 p.m.
The Pittsburgh Steelers rested from their overtime win will travel to the windy city to face the Chicago Bears still recovering from their grudge match with the Green Bay Packers.
The Steelers have started the 2009 NFL season where they left off, on a winning note thanks to late game heroics of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. While Big Ben was masterful, completing 76.7% of his passes for 363 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions, the Steelers faithful have to be concerned about the inept running game. If the Steelers want to win in Chicago, they will need the ground game to earn more than 36 yards.
The Bears have found their quarterback in Jay Cutler, but they will need to find a way to protect him from the ferocious Steelers blitz. The Packers were able to harass Cutler, sacking him twice and forcing three interceptions. Keep an eye on the budding relationship between Cutler and wide receiver Earl Bennett.
In the tale of two defenses, the Steelers will come out on top by another narrow margin. Expect to see this game won by the Steelers on the foot of kicker Jeff Reed.
Prediction – Pittsburgh 17, Bears 13
New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys
September 20th at 8:20 p.m.
Some NFL fans say when it comes to NFL rivalries; there are none better than the New York Giants and the Dallas Cowboys. Fireworks are expected when these two meet up during the week 2 of the 2009 NFL season.
The time had come for Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo to step up and he did so when the Cowboys defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Romo completed 59.3% of his passes for 353 yards with three touchdowns. Romo did a solid job of spreading the ball around to six different receivers and will need to do more of the same against the Giants defense.
The Giants earned the victory the old fashioned way, with their defense. Pro Bowl defensive end, Osi Umenyiora, made sure NFL teams knew he was back by recording his first sack of 2009 along with recovering a fumble for a touchdown.
Both teams had less than stellar production from their running backs during the opening weekend and will be looking to establish the ground game early. The Cowboys Marion Barber was impressive, averaging 5.6 yards every time he touched the ball while the Giants were led by Ahmad Bradshaw who racked up 60 yards on 12 carries. The edge in this match up goes to the team with the running back who breaks the century mark.
The game will be close through three quarters and will not be decided until the last fifteen minutes of the game. The Cowboys will earn the victory in this grudge match thanks to the home-field advantage.
Prediction – Cowboys 24, Giants 17
Year to Date Record 4 – 0