With the majority of the NFL's Week 2 games coming up on the Sunday tab, let's take a look at the three best games to watch. Note that these games are only for Sunday, and that Eagles @ Colts should also make for a great Monday Night Football contest.
First up on the list, Falcons @ Bengals:
Both of these teams came through win huge, breakthrough Week 1 wins, with each winning a tough division matchup in which many would have considered them an underdog. Matt Ryan threw for almost 500 yards as he tries to erase the memory of 2013 for Falcons fans.
And although the defense gave up a lot of points, the offense proved they can hang with Drew Brees and Co., given the circumstances of a shootout. For the Bengals, they provided a wonderful balance of paced offense and a stout defense to take a 15-0 lead into the halftime locker room. Although the game was closer in the end, Cincinnati showed the ability to take control in Baltimore, where they haven't done well in the past.
Both of these teams will be looking to go 2-0 this week, as we see how the Bengals do in their home opener against a team that boasts a bit more of a prolific offense than that of Flacco and the Ravens. Shootout or not, it should be a very good game.
Next on the list, Patriots @ Vikings:
First off, no, I don't think New England will go 0-2 to start the season. However, that's just one opinion of many. The Vikings demolished the Rams in every facet of the game last week, and Cordarrelle Patterson is only going to get better. What better chance to improve than against a Patriots defense that looked less than lackluster in their performance against the Dolphins?
Speaking of that performance, the NE offensive line was practically eaten alive by the Miami front. We'll see if Minnesota can generate pressure and force a turnover or two to make things interesting. My bet is that the game might be a lot closer than some of us give it credit for.
And lastly, but not least: Bears @ 49ers
The Bears had a major letdown performance against the Buffalo Bills last Week, and what better chance to rebound some morale than a victory against a tough opponent like the 49ers? Well, the problem is just that. The 49ers are a very tough opponent, made apparent by their 28-17 win over the Cowboys last week.
They had certainly put the poor preseason out of San Francisco's thoughts by the time half time arrived. Jay Cutler stands at a crossroads in his career; it's a very important year for him. Despite the fact that money's going to be there for a long time in Chicago, it's not to say the fans' confidence will.
And with the teams' OT against the Bills, that confidence undoubtedly took a hit. Cutler, Marshall, Jeffery, and Forte need to step up in a big way this Week. But the 49ers aren't going to make it easy in their home opener.