Proving Ground: NFL Week 2 Match-Ups To Watch

by Michael Drahota | Posted on Saturday, September 13th, 2014 | 0

Tomorrow (Sun., September 14, 2014), Week 2 of the 2014 NFL regular season will be in full swing. But with a bevy of controversial and violent scandals rocking the NFL to its core, the actual on field play has taken a major backseat to the cases of Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson.

However, there are still several telling match-ups that will be pivotal to success for the teams involved. Here are five match-ups to look out for in Week 2:


1.) Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills:

The Dolphins surprised the New England Patriots in a big way last week, defeating them by the relentless running of free agent signee Knowshon Moreno. The Bills also pulled off a surprised victory in Week 1, besting the favored Chicago Bears in overtime at Soldier Field.

The Bills still have major question marks to answer on both sides of the ball, but their defense looked excellent in holding the high-octane Bears attack in check. Miami should continue to pound the ball with Moreno and backup Lamar Miller, and their defense is an underrated force to be reckoned with.

The winner of this contest will have an early lead in the AFC East, making it a crucial showdown for the confidence of both teams.


2.) Dallas Cowboys at Tennessee Titans:

The Cowboys looked absolutely atrocious in a Week 1 loss to the San Francisco 49ers. Quarterback Tony Romo needs to prove he can put that game behind him against a team that shocked the Kanas City Chiefs in Week 1.

With Titans quarterback Jake Locker finally fulfilling his massive potential; he should be in for a big game against arguably the worst defense in the NFL. But Romo has a bevy of offensive weapons at his disposal and should be forced to throw a ton. If Tennessee can score another win over a big name team in @Week 2, they’ll be well on their way to becoming 2014’s dark horse.

Tom Brady, Bill Belichick

3.) New England Patriots at Minnesota Vikings:

The Patriots have a lot of ground to make up after their Week 1 loss to Miami. They now occupy last place in the AFC East for the first time under Tom Brady, but there’s still a lot of football to be played.

And they’ll head into Minnesota to take on a reeling Vikings team that is dealing the sad Adrian Peterson child abuse scandal. Minnesota looked great trouncing the St. Louis Rams 34-6 in Week 1, but it’ll be interesting to see how they respond without their best player.

This is an important game for both teams, albeit for completely different reasons. A loss by either could spell the beginning of a down year, but a win will have the victors on the path to momentum.


4.) Seattle Seahawks at San Diego Chargers:

The Seahawks are far and away the NFL’s best team right now; this game is not a question of whether or not they can beat the Chargers in San Diego. It’s more an issue of how San Diego will respond after losing a close game to the Arizona Cardinals in Week 1.

Veteran quarterback Philip Rivers made some mistakes in that game, and a similar showing just won’t do against the suffocating Seahawks defense. Rivers can silence his critics with a strong performance, but he’ll have to get a leg up on the NFL’s best team to do it.

If not, he’ll fall into a dangerous hole at 0-2 and doubters will be mounting in Southern California.


5.) Chicago Bears at San Francisco 49ers:

This Sunday Night Football feature game is crucial for the Bears to rebound from their Week 1 loss to Buffalo, and it’s probably even more important for the 49ers given that it’s the first regular season game to be played in their brand new Levi’s Stadium.

The ‘Niners destroyed the Cowboys in Week 1, and they’ll be looking to pick off errant Chicago quarterback Jay Cutler the same way they did Romo. They may have a ton of missing pieces on defense right now, but the Bears could also be without top wideouts Brandon Marshall ad Alshon Jeffery.

The Bears came into 2014 with a ton of hype, and the 49ers were supposed to be on the downswing. While Week 1 would suggest that the opposites of each are true, this contest will give us a better idea of where both teams are at.

About the Author

Both an avid NFL fan and analyst, I’ve been following professional football since the late 1980s. I’m also an avid fantasy football player with several league victories under my belt. Check out my NFL articles on TSM for the latest NFL news, highlights, predictions, and more.

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