The fun quirks of the NFL schedule pit three-fourths of the NFC East against the AFC West this weekend, which knocks out three of this year's 12 cross conference matchups in one fell swoop.
The Cowboys-Chiefs game has been and will be dissected all over this site, so I'm going to leave it out of this post for brevity's sake.
The Giants host the Broncos on Sunday afternoon in the ever-anticipated Manning Bowl, while the tough-luck Chargers travel to Philadelphia for the Eagles' home opener. The Redskins don't face an AFC West opponent, but their trip to play Green Bay should provide some fireworks. [embedded_ad]
Here are some quick impressions on what I'll be watching for this weekend:
Big opportunity for Dallas:I'm not sure it's fair to call Sunday's game against Kansas City a "must-win," since it's only Week 2 – not to mention the Cowboys won their opener. But two of their division rivals – New York and Washington – are playing Super Bowl favorites in Denver and Green Bay. A win against the Chiefs could potentially mean a two-game lead on two division opponents.
Second Chance Secondary:A lot has been made of the passing games on display in the Giants-Cowboys game from Sunday night. New York bombed away on the Cowboys for 450 passing yards, and they limited Tony Romo and Co. to just 257 yards – including a mere 22 yards for Dez Bryant. Those stats have generated plenty of topic points among Cowboys fans. With that in mind, the Manning Bowl should offer a larger sample size of those Week 1 performances. If the Giants can limit Peyton Manning – the guy who tossed seven touchdowns last week – to a more pedestrian performance, perhaps they're onto something. The Broncos also surrendered 362 passing yards to Joe Flacco in Week 1, so it'll be interesting to see how Eli Manning fares against their secondary.
RGIII Redemtpion:Robert Griffin III looked like he took it pretty hard that he threw multiple interceptions in the heartbreaking loss to Philadelphia. Here's guessing he seeks to clean that up in his Week 2 trip to play the Packers. Griffin is an incredibly fast quarterback, but his abilities as a passer might be his most impressive skillset. The Packers gave up 400 passing yards to Colin Kaepernick – another mobile yet underrated passer – last week, so they've seen the blueprint for this offense already. It seems like the Redskins need to get their read-option rushing game going with Alfred Morris in order to truly hum as an offense, but the Packers shut down the San Francisco ground game pretty effectively. Can the Redskins be successful if they have to throw for all their production?
Sure bet:The NFL is a fickle mistress, as we see with surprising results on a weekly basis. If I feel confident about one thing, though, it's the Eagles getting out of Week 2 with a victory. The Chargers are on a short week after a heartbreaking loss to Houston on Monday Night Football. To be fair, San Diego looked pretty impressive against an AFC favorite up until a fourth quarter collapse. But now they've got to fly cross-country to play the ultra-hyped Blur Offense that Chip Kelly finally unveiled against the Redskins. The Eagles can be blindingly fast when they want to be, as we saw when they ran 53 plays in the first 30 minutes last week. If they can keep that up, they'll be a lot for San Diego to handle.