After the 2nd week of the 2020 NFL Season resulted in so many injuries, with most of them affecting star players for the rest of the season. So, how will teams who star players are out for the rest of the season continue on? Let’s see what I think:
San Francisco 49ers @ New York Giants (1pm): One of the games this week with serious injury implications is this, with Saquon Barkley, Nick Bosa, and Soloman Thomas out for the season with significant knee injuries and Jimmy Garappolo, Raheem Mostert, and Tevin Coleman ruled out. The Giants have had problems offensively before the injury bug, but in the second half at Chicago last week, the Giants outscored the Bears 13-0 despite the loss. With Devonta Freeman added to the roster, the Giants must take advantage of a team that is more banged up than they are to capture their first win of the season.
PREDICTION: Giants win 24-17
Chicago Bears @ Atlanta Falcons (1pm): While disaster strikes the Falcons defensively, the Bears have found success of their own. Chicago barely got past the Giants and Lions, but are 2-0 for the first time since 2013. Playing at Atlanta is tricky, as the Falcons’ offense is still difficult to hold down, but with a Khalil Mack-led defense, the Bears may do enough for their offense to play their game against a banged-up Falcons defense.
PREDICTION: Bears win 28-21
Los Angeles Rams @ Buffalo Bills (1pm): The only problem with this game is that it’s not late afternoon, with much respect to GB-NO and KC-BAL for their primetime games. The Rams and Bills are off to 2-0 starts with big reasons for a playoff push. The Rams’ offense can play dirty along with their Aaron Donald-led defense, while Josh Allen has gained much praise for his performance along with a tough defense. Game will go down to the wire, but the Bills can once again get down to business against LA.
PREDICTION: Bills win 31-28
Washington Football Team @ Cleveland Browns (1pm): Mixed feelings in every way about this game. The run game gave the Browns their first win of the season against Cincy, while Dwayne Haskins faltered for the first time this season against an upstart Arizona team. Anyone’s guess with this game, but praise for Washington for what they did the first two weeks makes their 1-1 start look better than Cleveland’s.
PREDICTION: Washington wins 27-20
Tennessee Titans @ Minnesota Vikings (1pm): Titans surge while Vikings fall. Tennnessee’s start to the season is as well as can be expected with a couple of close calls. Minnesota, on the other hand, couldn’t get worse as Kirk Cousins is struggling offensively. Facing a tough Titans’ defense, Cousins may be in trouble once again while Derrick Henry may break out against a declining Vikings’ defense.
PREDICTION: Titans win 31-21
Las Vegas Raiders @ New England Patriots (1pm): A new era for both teams have begun, and they have both made an impressive start. Cam Newton is looking to keep the spirit of New England alive while Derek Carr and the Raiders get acclimated to their new environment. What they’re capable of depends on what they can do against each other at Foxborough. Raiders can be tough on offense, but it may be a slippery slope without rookie WR Henry Ruggs III even with TE Darren Waller bringing the power. If Cam Newton continues to play the game effectively on the ground and the air, he can work towards a victory as opposed to being short last week at Seattle.
PREDICTION: New England wins 34-27
Cincinnati Bengals @ Philadelphia Eagles (1pm): It hasn’t gotten any easier for Carson Went and the Eagles with their rough 0-2 start falling at Washington and against the Rams. Wentz may no longer be MVP caliber, but that’s not to say he can still come through when he has a fully stocked offense. No official word on Alshon Jeffrey’s status, but if anything, Joe Burrow is looking for his first NFL win as well after coming very close the first two weeks of the season. Even with a good Bengals offense, the Eagles desperation for win #1 may finally help them.
PREDICTION: Eagles win 28-24
Houston Texans @ Pittsburgh Steelers (1pm): A game like this can be one nail-biter with teams that can be playoff-caliber. Houston has dropped their first two games of the season, but they were against teams that may be going far for a Super Bowl this season, while Pittsburgh looks like the top-notch team that Ben Roethlisberger has made them look like his entire career. The RB situation in Pittsburgh is iffy, but Smith-Schuster, Johnson, and Washington are lethal weapons Big Ben can throw to, as Deshaun Watson continues to scramble everywhere. With a tough Steelers’ defense, Pittsburgh may barely pass by, but don’t think any less of Houston even with a loss as they hope for easier games in the next few weeks.
PREDICTION: Pittsburgh wins 30-20
New York Jets @ Indianapolis Colts (4:05pm): Mid-level vs. low-level. Anything can happen, but what people may expect in this game may actually happen. Rivers has finally found his first win as a Colt, while the Jets are imploding while we’re still in Week 3. Sam Darnold is thin on weapons, and Frank Gore is the best RB option for now while Le’Veon Bell remains on IR. Rookie RB Jonathan Taylor has improved the ground game with Marlon Mack out for the season, and T.Y. Hilton can help the Colts’ offense with other receivers out for a while.
PREDICTION: Colts win 31-17
Carolina Panthers @ Los Angeles Chargers (4:05pm): The future is bright in the NFL, and Christian McCaffrey and Justin Herbert have shown it. But, McCaffrey is out for a while. Herbert scared the Chiefs as SoFi Stadium last week and has made the Chargers look like a team to watch, especially in the AFC West. Ekeler and Jackson respect what Herbert has done as the rookie QB will get another start with Tyrod Taylor out for the second straight week. With the Panthers looking down, the Chargers may be starting to look up.
PREDICTION: Chargers win 23-16
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Denver Broncos (4:25pm): Injuries have plagued Denver with Drew Lock out for a few weeks and Phillip Lindsay’s return still nowhere in sight. Tom Brady may have finally got accustomed to his new environment with Bruce Arians and the Bucs. Although his weapons are questionable, Scottie Miller is emerging for him and Gronk may be inching closer towards re-establishing the connection they had in New England. With the Broncos shorthanded, the Bucs will look to try and stay tied at least with New Orleans depending on the SNF battle.
PREDICTION: Buccaneers win 34-20
Detroit Lions @ Arizona Cardinals (4:25pm): A few weeks ago, people thought this would’ve been a little more closer, but after what has happened to both teams to start the season, it has become clear Murray and the Cards have become a darkhouse in the NFC. The Cardinals have started to become threatening to the NFC, and playing against a less-than-impressive team in Detroit, the offense may be overwhelming for the Lions to contend with.
PREDICTION: Cardinals win 37-17
Dallas Cowboys @ Seattle Seahawks (4:25pm): People can start to see this as a rivalry because of how these teams have sized each other over the last few matchups. Last time, Prescott etched out Wilson in the 2018 NFC Wild Card game. Dallas was near the bottom against Atlanta until they pulled a miracle with 2 minutes left, and Russell Wilson is on pace early in the season to achieve his first MVP award. In CenturyLink Field, the Seahawks’ offense may explode once more as the Cowboys’ defense is becoming weak despite the onside kick helping them in Week 2.
PREDICTION: Seattle wins 38-28
Green Bay Packers @ New Orleans Saints (SNF @ 8:20pm): We can finally say it: Both teams are at equal level for a primetime matchup that can get ugly. The Packers are without Davante Adams, but Aaron Rodgers finds a way with his star RB Aaron Jones, while Drew Brees can depend on Emmanuel Sanders and Alvin Kamara in Michael Thomas’ absence. Even without fans, the atmosphere can be very tense, and the Saints are looking to rebound following a loss at Allegiant Stadium. Brees and Rodgers have great experience, and people still wish for them to playoff against each other in the playoffs. To sum up, Brees and the Saints looking to rebound will be great motivation.
PREDICTION: Saints win 35-31
Kansas City Chiefs @ Baltimore Ravens (MNF @ 8:15pm): The third straight year in a row that these AFC juggernauts meet face-to-face. They almost played each other in the AFC Championship Game last season if not for the Titans’ upset at Baltimore. Both teams have worked up a perfect 2-0 start to the season, and one will go 3-0 while the other will go 2-1. Mahomes has won the last 2 games against Lamar Jackson, and this rivalry will be fun for years to come between these two young QB’s who won the MVP in their 2nd year in the NFL. This may prove to be one of the most satisfying games of the regular season, and in the end, Jackson’s mobility and accuracy may help the Ravens finally beat the Chiefs.
PREDICTION: Ravens win 37-34