After two weeks of NFL regular season play, there are not a lot of themes to take from just yet. A few questions have been answered, but more are yet to be asked. Let’s recap:
The Los Angeles Rams held their first home game in their new city, having relocated from St. Louis following last season. The first points came on a field goal off the boot of Greg Zuerlein, and that proved to be the only method of production for either team. They beat the Seattle Seahawks, 9-3.
Tom Brady of the Patriots threw a few passes on Saturday with former teammate Wes Welker. Brady is in the midst of a four-game suspension because his balls weren’t big (pressurized) enough. SEE: DEFLATEGATE
Running back Adrian Peterson got hurt (torn meniscus), but the Minnesota Vikings were surprising victors over the Green Bay Packers. For Minnesota, recent trade pickup Sam Bradford failed to make too many mistakes as the Vikings opened to a capacity crowd in a brand-new stadium.
Former UW Badger and current Houston Texan JJ Watt continued inflicting fear into opposing coordinators by adding to his sack total and recovering a fumble against the Kansas City Chiefs. The KC offense couldn’t seem to find a rhythm and fell to the Texans, 19-12.
The Detroit Lions took a 15-3 lead into the fourth quarter before Marcus Mariota led the Tennessee Titans to a game-winning touchdown with around 1:14 left to play. The final was 16-15, as Detroit’s Matt Stafford threw an interception on their final drive.
In the first game between the Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos to be played since 1993 without Peyton Manning, the reigning Super Bowl champions defended their home turf against the Colts, racking up two big defensive touchdowns in the second half.
The number two overall pick in the 2016 draft, Carson Wentz from North Dakota State, has been showing good transition to the professional game, leading the Philadelphia Eagles over the Chicago Bears on the Monday Night stage to the tune of 29-14. In the game, Jay Cutler, quarterback of the Bears, showed once again how little he cares, and left with an apparent injury to his hand.
Other scores include: New York Jets 37 – Buffalo Bills 31; Cincinnati Bengals 16 – Pittsburgh Steelers 24; Baltimore Ravens 25 – Cleveland Browns 20; Dallas Cowboys 27 – Washington Redskins 23; New Orleans Saints 13 – New York Giants 16; San Francisco 49ers 27 – Carolina Panthers 46; Tampa Bay Buccaneers 7 – Arizona Cardinals 40; Jacksonville Jaguars 14 – San Diego Chargers 38; Atlanta Falcons 35 – Oakland Raiders 28.
For next week, I predict the Vikings will neutralize Cam Newton and beat the Panthers, the Seahawks to prevail in an NFC West showdown with the 49ers, the Packers bounce back and trounce divisional rival Detroit, winless Miami will pull out a victory from winless Cleveland as time expires, and the OBJ-Norman rivalry will cause at least two diva scuffles between the receiver and defensive back as the Redskins beat the Giants.
If you’re into fantasy football, I recommend not taking my advice, but I’m expecting big games from QB Dak Prescott of the Cowboys against the Bears and Matt Forte of the Jets against a porous Kansas City defense.
I also think RB LeGarrette Blount and the New England Patriot offense will sputter against the Houston Texans on Thursday night, and QB Jameis Winston of Tampa Bay throws a pair of interceptions to the Los Angeles defense. Consider sitting these players until next week.
Seeing as it’s my first NFL column this year, my bold predictions for the rest of the season are for Jacksonville and Los Angeles to sneak into Wild Card Games for the playoffs, and Green Bay over Houston in the Super Bowl.