NFL Week 2: 15 games, 15 bold predictions

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By SAM SPIEGELMAN
XN Sports

Week 2 officially got under way Thursday night when the Baltimore Ravens put the Ray Rice drama in the background to defeat their NFC North rival Pittsburgh, 26-6.

That was the start of Week 2, but there are 15 more NFL games on the slate this Sunday and again on Monday night.

XN Sports will take a look at each one of the other 15 matchups, providing you with one bold prediction. Check them out below:


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NFL Week 2: 15 games, 15 bold predictions

New York Jets vs. Green Bay

The Jets (1-0) and Packers (0-1) got off to different starts this season, but then again the Jets got the Raiders and Green Bay kicked off against the defending Super Bowl champions. The Jets’ No. 1-ranked defense should get top corner Dee Milliner back, but we’ll see how well he can do against Aaron Rodgers and Co.

Prediction: The Green Bay defense was supposed to be much-improved, but it showed no signs of that against Seattle. Geno Smith wants to prove he’s legit, and he’ll go to Green Bay and beat these NFC North contenders.

(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Arizona vs. New York Giants

Despite all of the injuries and offseason losses, the Cardinals rallied late to top San Diego. The Giants, on the other hand, looked dazed and confused against the Lions on Monday night. The Giants’ defense still looks like a work in progress, and the offense looks to be in a funk. Arizona might be able to run away with this one.

Prediction: Eli Manning will be lead the NFL in interceptions after this one. Three picks to the likes ofPatrick Peterson and Antonio Cromartie wouldn’t be shocking.

(Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)

Miami vs. Buffalo

The Dolphins pulled off arguably the biggest upset of Week 1 by stomping down on the Patriots in the second half to take the win. Buffalo also made a case for that honor by shocking the Bears at Soldier Field. Which one of these AFC East teams is for real? We’ll find out soon enough.

Prediction: The Dolphins are without three key linebackers, and the Bills backs had a field day against Chicago. But I can’t succumb to the Buffalo hype, at least with EJ Manuel at the helm. The ‘Fins shut down Tom Brady in the second half; expect them to hold Manuel to one of the lowest quarterback ratings for Week 2.

(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)

Jacksonville vs. Washington

Both Jacksonville and Washington are trying to get off the snide. The Jags coughed up a first-half lead against Philly, while Washington was ran over by the Texans. It’s Robert Griffin III trying to regain his 2012 form, still, against an up-and-coming Jacksonville squad.

Prediction: I’m having trouble trying to put my faith in whether Jacksonville was the team we saw in the first half or the second, or whether Griffin can bounce back. I side with the latter, as RGIII will suddenly make his case for relevancy again in the NFL.

(Photo by John McDonnell/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Dallas vs. Tennessee

Oh man, the Cowboys were even worse than we could have ever predicted they were. Tennessee, on the other hand, looked sharp in coach Ken Whisenhunt‘s debut. Neither of these teams have reputable defenses, so this one has the makings of a shootout.

Prediction: In what should be the highest-scoring affair of the week, I lean toward Jake Locker outplaying Tony Romo. Last week Locker bested Alex Smith, and this one should show how old Romo is playing.

(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

New England vs. Minnesota

The Patriots looked lost in the second half against Miami, while the Vikings took to the road to hand St. Louis a convincing beat-down. It’s hard to imagine Tom Brady and Co. starting 0-2, but the Vikings looked sharp on both sides of the ball.

Prediction: Well, anyone can look dominant against the hapless Rams. Need some fantasy advice? Brady is going to be in the headlines, again, but this time for a big-time performance. He puts his team on his back for a four-touchdown effort.

(Photo by Ron Elkman/Sports Imagery/ Getty Images)

New Orleans vs. Cleveland

A disappointing start to a promising 2014 for New Orleans, which was edged in overtime by AFC South rival Atlanta. Cleveland fell to the Steelers, but we wonder if a strong second half translates into Week 2.

Prediction: Spoiler alert — the Browns’ momentum won’t carry over. The Saints will play and play angry. The New Orleans defense forces four turnovers as Browns fans begin the beckoning forJohnny Manziel to play.

(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Atlanta vs. Cincinnati

The Falcons made a statement: they are back and ready to contend. Matt Ryan had a career day against the Saints, but he faces a tougher test in Cincy. Andy Dalton and Co. didn’t look too impressive, but they came through with the game on the line to top Baltimore.

Prediction: This is a real test for the Falcons, one I could see go either way. Ryan won’t be as dominant as he was a week ago, and it’ll be the red-headed rocket who makes another game-winning to play to give the Bengals the win.

(Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)

Detroit vs. Carolina

Detroit won in Jim Caldwell’s debut, while a Cam Newton-less Panthers team won with Derek Anderson tossing the rock. This week, Newton’s back to take over a team perhaps we underrated this offseason.

Prediction: The Lions defense looked much better against the Giants than it will against the Panthers, but the same can be said about the Panthers who just faced Josh McCown. Which defense can step up to make a play? It’ll be Luke Kuechly, who picks off Stafford to seal the win.

(Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images)

St. Louis vs. Tampa Bay

This game is easily the least-exciting of the weekend. The Rams are without Sam Bradford andChris Long, and just got romped at home. Tampa is already regretting their McCown investment, and the defense didn’t look like Lovie Smith was coaching it.

Prediction: It’ll be the first win of the Lovie Smith era, but it’ll be a tough one to watch. Austin Davis— meet Alterraun Verner and Dashon Goldson — as the Tampa 2 outscores its offense for the win.

(Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

Seattle vs. San Diego

The defending champs looked even more dominant in their Week 1 triumph, and now face another playoff-caliber squad in San Diego. The Bolts are coming off a heart-breaking loss to ‘Zona, and they’ll do so without their offensive line anchor, center Nick Hardwick.

Prediction: Seattle has the potential to make any opponent look bad. See last year’s Super Bowl for reference. Philip Rivers will be playing in January, but in this one the game should be over in the third quarter.

(Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)

Houston vs. Oakland

The Texans kicked off the Bill O’Brien era with an easy victory over Washington, and the road remains easy with Oakland in Week 2. No Jadeveon Clowney, but J.J. Watt should continue to give opposing quarterback’s fits.

Prediction: Watt only mustered one sack despite constantly pressuring RGIII last week. This time, Watt notches more sacks than the Raiders have touchdowns.

(Photo by Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images)

Kansas City vs. Denver

Kansas City was pegged as an obvious team primed for regression this year, and last week proved our theory justice. Last week Tennessee beat them, now they travel to Mile High to take on the Broncos, who are already rolling.

Prediction: Julius Thomas hauled in three touchdown catches Week 1 against Indy, but this weekend Peyton Manning spreads the wealth. Five different Broncos score touchdowns for Denver against a plummeting Chiefs team.

(Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Chicago vs. San Francisco

What a disastrous outing for Chicago in Week 1, dropping a home game to Buffalo. San Fran, on the other hand, made Cowboys Stadium their own, rolling the ‘Boys and solidifying the win in the first quarter.

Prediction: All offseason I’ve preached that the Niners’ losses on defense will come back to bite them. This is where that finally happens. Jay Cutler exploits the new-look secondary to the tune of three touchdowns, and suddenly questions surface about San Fran.

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Philadelphia vs. Indianapolis 

A primetime Monday night matchup between two division winners from a year ago. Andrew Luck‘s Colts may have a tougher time winning the AFC South than we thought, while Philly needed a big-time comeback to top Jacksonville.

Prediction: If I’m picking between Luck and Nick Foles, I won’t hesitate to side with the former No. 1 overall pick. This game pushes Tennessee and Dallas for the highest-scoring game of the week, before T.Y. Hilton breaks free for a game-winning score in the fourth quarter.

(Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
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