The NFL season is underway, Week 1 was full of drama everywhere and Week 2 will look to live up to that with the Cowboys v Redskins rivalry renewed once again; the Giants playing the Saints in a repeat of 2015’s highest scoring game, and finally Wentz’s promising Eagles travel to Soldier Field.
Dallas Cowboys – Away @ Washington Redskins
It’s the biggest of the big NFC East rivalries as Dallas and Washington square off in another thrilling encounter. Dallas lost a heartbreaker to the Giants just a week ago with Victor Cruz winning it late, and then Terrance Williams controversial late decision to stay in bounds to fight for more yards than get out of bounds to stop the clock. This week I’d expect Ezekiel Elliot to run riot and gaining at least 150 all-purpose yards against a Redskins run defence that was absolutely gashed by 33 year old DeAngelo Williams last week. Zeke started with a fairly understated performance against Big Blue last week; but he will hold the key to the Cowboys success over their bitter rivals as if he can get going and fire on all cylinders, keeping their weak defence off the field for long periods of time then the Cowboys will have a great chance of victory.
Washington Redskins – Home v Dallas Cowboys
After a massive let-down of a performance on the first Monday Night Football of the new NFL season, Jay Gruden’s men will be hoping the big occasion of the Cowboys-Redskins rivalry will help to motivate his players into the win column. One of the main storylines from the game was the supposed underperformance of Quarterback Kirk Cousins who didn’t throw a single Touchdown pass during the game. An off-season of hype and debate as to whether he was worth the money Scot McCloughan is paying him this season; and against one of the weaker defence they will face this season, it’s sure to raise some question marks. Having watched the game myself, I don’t think his performance was as horrendous as some make out, sure he missed some throws and the first interception he threw was a poor decision; but on the whole he did what managed all of last season completing numerous passes to move the chains and I have no doubt he’ll have a bounceback showing this week against Dallas. If he does, then the Redskins will be right in the game with Dallas, expect a tight game and probably only one score deciding the outcome.
New York Giants – Home v New Orleans Saints
As mentioned at the top of the article, this matchup last season produced the shootout to put shame to all shootouts, and the Drew Brees’ Saints came out 52 to 49 winners. I think that the seemingly revitalised Giants flip the result this time around with a new look defence that managed to contain a good offence last week in Dallas with rookie sensation Ezekiel Elliot not having a huge say in the game. Despite it’s success last week, the Saints offensive line is relatively weak, and JPP, Damon Harrison and Olivier Vernon could have a torrid time back at home in New Jersey. Another positive from last week was the wide receivers NOT named Odell Beckham making an impression on the game; as Sterling Shepard and Victor Cruz both caught a TD from Eli Manning. If both continue to impress against a woeful New Orleans secondary then the Giants could quite easily put up another 40 burger in this fixture.
Philadelphia Eagles – Away @ Chicago Bears
Probably the most surprising team in the NFC East last week was the Eagles under 2nd Overall Pick in the 2016 Draft, Carson Wentz. Against an admittedly weak Browns team, Wentz looked like a seasoned veteran with his calmness in the pocket and on his first drive delivered a textbook drive for a Touchdown that ended in a beautiful pass to Jordan Matthews. The Bears at Soldier Field will be a completely different test to the Browns; with a roster that pushed a Houston Texans team that many are tipping to make a playoff run this season, all the way last week. Kevin White could be a key figure in this game, he showed flashes of potential last week, but mixed that with clear signs of rust and high profile errors. If White can develop into a genuine threat opposite Alshon Jefferey then it may be just too much for the Eagles defence to handle. Even if they do lose this game, there is a immense potential in the Eagles foreseeable future as Wentz, Matthews, Green-Beckham and the offence have another week working together.
Photo – (Louis DeLuca/The Dallas Morning News)