By Vince Ferrara / @VinceSports
Below is the game schedule with my Week 2 NFL game predictions. Winners straight-up are in bold. The line is my pick against the spread.
You’ll also see some tremendous notes on the games, teams and players provided by NFL Communications.
Listen to The NFL Report with John Wilkerson and two rotating Sports Animal hosts, including myself, every Sunday, 10am to 12:30pm ET on 99.1 The Sports Animal here in Knoxville and streaming here at 991TheSportsAnimal.com, the WNML app or on your smart speakers. We’ll break down all these games, review what’s happened, share injury news, fantasy advice and more. You can call or text the show at 865-656-9900.
2022 Week 1 Straight-Up: 8-8 (50%)
2022 Week 1 Against The Spread: 7-9 (44%)
2021 Season Straight-Up: 158-97 (62%)
2021 Season Against The Spread: 140-115 (55%)
WEEK 2 NFL SCHEDULE
(All times Eastern)
|Thursday, September 15||Los Angeles Chargers at Kansas City (-4)||Prime Video||8:15|
|Sunday, September 18||Miami at Baltimore (-3.5)||CBS||1:00|
|New York Jets at Cleveland (-6.5)||CBS||1:00|
|(-0.5) Washington at Detroit||FOX||1:00|
|(-3) Indianapolis at Jacksonville||CBS||1:00|
|Tampa Bay at New Orleans (+2.5)||FOX||1:00|
|Carolina at New York Giants (+1)||FOX||1:00|
|New England at Pittsburgh (+3)||CBS||1:00|
|Atlanta at Los Angeles Rams (-10)||FOX||4:05|
|Seattle at San Francisco (-9)||FOX||4:05|
|(-7) Cincinnati at Dallas||CBS||4:25|
|(+10) Houston at Denver||CBS||4:25|
|Arizona at Las Vegas (-5.5)||CBS||4:25|
|(+10) Chicago at Green Bay||NBC||8:20|
|Monday, September 19||Tennessee at Buffalo (-10)||ESPN||7:15|
|Minnesota at Philadelphia (-2.5)||ABC||8:30|
The National Football League sure knows how to write a season-opening statement with an exclamation point.
Seven games were decided by three points or fewer, more than any opening week in league history.
A sampling from morning headlines following Week 1 games: Furious fourth-quarter rally, crazy, stunning, gutsy, thrilling, jaw-dropping, wild, blistering, historic debut.
Week 2 brings even more historic debuts. This week the NFL unveils its first new broadcast partner since 1994. Amazon Prime Video is the new home of Thursday Night Football and the package’s initial game is an AFC West showdown between the LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (1-0) and KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (1-0) at 8:15 PM ET. Then, to bookend the week, the NFL presents its first staggered Monday Night Football doubleheader, with TENNESSEE (0-1) at BUFFALO (1-0) kicking off at 7:15 PM ET on ESPN and MINNESOTA (1-0) at PHILADELPHIA (1-0) at 8:30 PM ET on ABC.
The Starting 11 entering Week 2…1. PRIMETIME PROMINENCE: JUSTIN JEFFERSON (184 yards on nine receptions) and A.J. BROWN (155 yards on 10 receptions) enter Week 2 leading the NFL in receiving yards. They play Monday at Lincoln Financial Field (8:30 PM ET, ABC). Jefferson also leads the NFL with 3,200 receiving yards since entering the league in 2020.
- JALEN HURTS squares off with Jefferson in their first meeting since the 2019 Peach Bowl, when they combined for six touchdowns (LSU’s Jefferson caught four and Oklahoma’s Hurts ran for two).
2. NUMBER OF THE WEEK – .952: The Bills’ winning percentage (20-1) when quarterback JOSH ALLEN rushes and passes for at least one touchdown in the same game. Including last week’s win, Allen’s 21 games with at least one rushing TD and one-or-more passing TDs are the most in the NFL since he entered the league in 2018.
- TENNESSEE (0-1) and BUFFALO (1-0), who play Monday (7:15 PM ET, ESPN), are two of four teams with playoff berths in each of the past three years (also Green Bay and Kansas City).
- Buffalo has not punted in three of its last four regular-season games, the first team since 1939 (when the league began tracking punting statistics) with three zero-punt performances over a four-game stretch.
3. NOTE THAT MATTERS: Ten teams that missed the 2021 playoffs won their Week 1 games, including MIAMI (1-0) and BALTIMORE (1-0), who meet Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium (1:00 PM ET, CBS).
- Last week, Ravens quarterback LAMAR JACKSON improved to 38-12 over his first 50 NFL starts, matching TOM BRADY (38 wins) and DANNY WHITE (38) for the third-most victories by a quarterback in his first 50 career starts since the 1970 merger. Only PATRICK MAHOMES (40 wins) and Pro Football Hall of Famer KEN STABLER (40) had more.
4. SPOTLIGHT – INDIVIDUAL MATCHUP: Linebacker FOYESADE OLUOKUN, who signed with Jacksonville as an unrestricted free agent this offseason, led the NFL with 192 tackles in 2021. On Sunday (1:00 PM ET, CBS), Oluokun and the Jaguars host Indianapolis and running back JONATHAN TAYLOR, who led the league last year in both scrimmage yards (2,171) and rushing yards (1,811).
5. SPOTLIGHT – TEAM MATCHUP: In 18 of the last 19 seasons (2003-21), at least two teams have won their divisions the year after missing the playoffs, including CINCINNATI (0-1) and DALLAS (0-1) in 2021. Those teams meet Sunday at AT&T Stadium (4:25 PM ET, CBS). Each team features a reigning Associated Press Rookie of the Year (the Bengals’ JA’MARR CHASE won the offensive award and the Cowboys’ MICAH PARSONS took the defensive honor), marking the third consecutive season that the league’s top offensive and defensive rookies from the previous season meet in Weeks 1 or 2.
6. STREAK SPEAK: NEW ORLEANS (1-0) hosts TAMPA BAY (1-0) on Sunday (1:00 PM ET, FOX) with seven consecutive regular-season wins over the Buccaneers, including four against TOM BRADY. It’s the longest regular-season winning streak by an NFL team against Brady as a starting quarterback. Prior to the Saints’ current streak, Brady had only lost three consecutive games to a single opponent on one occasion, to the Broncos from 2005-09 … JACKSONVILLE (0-1) hosts INDIANAPOLIS (0-0-1) on Sunday (1:00 PM ET, CBS), having won its last six against the Colts in Jacksonville. FRANK REICH was DOUG PEDERSON’s offensive coordinator when Philadelphia won the Super Bowl in 2017.
7. DID YOU KNOW?: This week, seven teams that have not been 2-0 since at least 2016 have that opportunity, including the CLEVELAND BROWNS (1-0). With a win Sunday (1:00 PM ET, CBS) against the Jets (0-1), the Browns would be 2-0 for the first time since 1993, when their head coach was BILL BELICHICK. WASHINGTON (last 2-0 record in 2011), the L.A. CHARGERS (2012), NEW ORLEANS (2013), MINNESOTA (2016), the N.Y. GIANTS (2016) and PHILADELPHIA (2016) also can get off to their best starts in at least six years this week.
- Tampa Bay’s TOM BRADY has an opportunity to begin a season 2-0 as a starting quarterback for a 10th time and break a tie with Pro Football Hall of Famers PEYTON MANNING (nine) and DAN MARINO (nine) for most 2-0 starts in NFL history.
8. UNDER-THE-RADAR STORYLINE: Former quarterback KERRY COLLINS holds a significant place in the histories of the CAROLINA PANTHERS (0-1) and NEW YORK GIANTS (1-0), who meet Sunday at MetLife Stadium (1:00 PM ET, FOX). The first-ever draft selection in Panthers history, Collins led the franchise to the NFC Championship Game in only his second season, 1996. Four years later, Collins led the Giants to a berth in Super Bowl XXXV, where the starting quarterback for his opponent was the Ravens’ TRENT DILFER. Both Collins and Dilfer are now high school football coaches in the Nashville area.
9. TREND TIME: The PITTSBURGH STEELERS (1-0) have led the league in sacks each of the past five seasons (2017-21), an NFL record. They enter Sunday’s game against NEW ENGLAND (0-1) at Acrisure Stadium (1:00 PM ET, CBS) tied for the 2022 lead (with Buffalo) after a seven-sack performance in a dramatic win last week.
10. THIS WEEK IN NFL HISTORY: Sept. 15, 2002 (20 years ago) – Future Pro Football Hall of Famer BRIAN URLACHER sacks 22-year-old MICHAEL VICK twice in the fourth quarter to preserve a 14-13 Chicago win at Atlanta, dropping the Falcons to 0-2. Vick, who had taken over as Atlanta’s starter prior to the season, would then lead the Falcons to wins in eight of their next 10 games to springboard the team into the playoffs.
11. AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST: Defensive coordinators VANCE JOSEPH and PATRICK GRAHAM face off at Allegiant Stadium Sunday (4:25 PM ET, CBS) when Arizona travels to Las Vegas. Each coach is a former Dolphins defensive coordinator. And, each has tutored four-time Pro Bowler CHANDLER JONES, now with the Raiders. Jones had 30.5 sacks in three Cardinals seasons under Joseph (2019-21). Earlier, Graham was Jones’ first NFL position coach with New England from 2012-13, when Jones recorded 17.5 sacks over his first two seasons in the league. Since 2014, only AARON DONALD (99) has more sacks than Jones (90).
Since 1990, 63 percent of teams (165 of 262) that started 2-0 advanced to the postseason, while 42 percent of teams that began 1-1 (193 of 460) made the playoffs. Out of the 265 teams that began a season 0-2, 30 advanced to the postseason (11.3 percent).
Last year, the LOS ANGELES RAMS became the second eventual Super Bowl winner in the past five years to begin the season 2-0. Of the 56 total Super Bowl champions, 35 (62.5 percent) won their first two games of the season.
After Week 2, the records of teams that made the playoffs, won divisions and won Super Bowls since 1990:
|RECORD||MADE PLAYOFFS||WON DIVISION||WON SUPER BOWL|
|2-0||63.0% (165/262)||40.5% (106/262)||7.6% (20/262)|
|1-1||42.0% (193/460)||24.1% (111/460)||2.0% (9/460)|
|0-2||11.3% (30/265)||5.7% (15/265)||1.1% (3/265)|
A look at how playoff clubs in 2020 and 2021 began their seasons (teams to begin 1-1 or 0-2 in bold):
|Team||After 2 games||Playoff Result||Team||After 2 games||Playoff Result|
|Baltimore||2-0||Advanced to Divisional||Arizona||2-0||Advanced to Wild Card|
|Buffalo||2-0||Advanced to AFC Champ.||Buffalo||1-1||Advanced to Divisional|
|Chicago||2-0||Advanced to Wild Card||Cincinnati||1-1||Advanced to Super Bowl LVI|
|Cleveland||1-1||Advanced to Divisional||Dallas||1-1||Advanced to Wild Card|
|Green Bay||2-0||Advanced to NFC Champ.||Green Bay||1-1||Advanced to Divisional|
|Indianapolis||1-1||Advanced to Wild Card||Kansas City||1-1||Advanced to AFC Champ.|
|Kansas City||2-0||Advanced to Super Bowl LV||Las Vegas||2-0||Advanced to Wild Card|
|L.A. Rams||2-0||Advanced to Divisional||L.A. Rams||2-0||Won Super Bowl LVI|
|New Orleans||1-1||Advanced to Divisional||New England||1-1||Advanced to Wild Card|
|Pittsburgh||2-0||Advanced to Wild Card||Philadelphia||1-1||Advanced to Wild Card|
|Seattle||2-0||Advanced to Wild Card||Pittsburgh||1-1||Advanced to Wild Card|
|Tampa Bay||1-1||Won Super Bowl LV||San Francisco||2-0||Advanced to NFC Champ.|
|Tennessee||2-0||Advanced to Wild Card||Tampa Bay||2-0||Advanced to Divisional|
|Washington||1-1||Advanced to Wild Card||Tennessee||1-1||Advanced to Divisional|
— NFL —
TOP PASSERS ON THURSDAY NIGHT: The Kansas City Chiefs (1-0) are set to host the Los Angeles Chargers (1-0) on Thursday Night Football in the first-ever NFL regular-season game to air exclusively on Amazon Prime Video (8:15 PM ET). It will be a pivotal early season AFC West clash and will feature two of the league’s top passers.
Kansas City’s PATRICK MAHOMES (302.4 passing yards per game in 64 career games) and Los Angeles’ JUSTIN HERBERT (291.8 in 33 career games) rank first and second, respectively, all-time in passing yards per game (minimum 1,000 pass attempts).
The players with the most passing yards per game in NFL history (minimum 1,000 pass attempts):
|Patrick Mahomes||Kansas City||302.4|
|Justin Herbert||L.A. Chargers||291.8|
|Drew Brees||San Diego Chargers, New Orleans||280.0|
On Kickoff Weekend, Mahomes earned AFC Offensive Player of the Week honors after recording five touchdown passes and 360 passing yards, his sixth-career game with at least five touchdown passes, tied for the fourth-most ever. It also marked his 32nd-career game with at least 300 passing yards.
With at least 300 passing yards on Thursday night, Mahomes will surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer DAN MARINO (32 games) for the most games with at least 300 passing yards by a player in his first six seasons in NFL history.
The players with the most games with at least 300 passing yards in their first six seasons in NFL history:
|Patrick Mahomes||Kansas City||32*|
|Kurt WarnerHOF||St. Louis Rams||30|
|*In sixth season|
Herbert passed for 279 yards and three touchdowns in last week’s Chargers victory, his 14th-career game with at least three touchdown passes, surpassing Pro Football Hall of Famers PEYTON MANNING (13 games) and KURT WARNER (13) for the third-most such games by a player in his first three career seasons in NFL history.
With at least three touchdown passes against Kansas City, Herbert will tie Mahomes (15 games) for the second-most such games by a player in his first three seasons ever. Only Pro Football Hall of Famer DAN MARINO (18) has more.
The players with the most games with at least three touchdown passes in their first three seasons in NFL history:
|Patrick Mahomes||Kansas City||15|
|Justin Herbert||L.A. Chargers||14*|
|*In third season|
Herbert also enters Thursday with at least 300 passing yards in 17 career games and can surpass Mahomes and Warner for the second-most games with at least 300 passing yards by a player in his first three seasons ever. Only ANDREW LUCK (19 games) has more.
The players with the most games with at least 300 passing yards in their first three seasons in NFL history:
|Justin Herbert||L.A. Chargers||17*|
|Patrick Mahomes||Kansas City||17|
|*In third season|
— NFL —
CATCHING RECORDS: Los Angeles Rams wide receiver COOPER KUPP followed up his record-breaking 2021 season with 13 catches for 128 yards and a touchdown on Kickoff Weekend. Going back to Week 13 of the 2020 season, Kupp has now recorded at least five receptions in 22 consecutive regular-season games.
With five catches against Atlanta on Sunday (4:05 PM ET, FOX), Kupp will tie DEANDRE HOPKINS (23 consecutive games from 2018-20) for the second-most consecutive games with at least five receptions in NFL history. Only ANTONIO BROWN (36 games from 2013-15) has a longer such streak.
The players with the most consecutive games with at least five receptions in NFL history:
|DeAndre Hopkins||Houston, Arizona||2018-20||23|
|Cooper Kupp||L.A. Rams||2020-22||22*|
Detroit wide receiver AMON-RA ST. BROWN ranked second among rookies with 90 receptions last season and, from Weeks 13-18, became the first rookie all-time with at least eight receptions in six consecutive games. On Kickoff Weekend, he picked up where he left off and had eight catches for 64 yards and a touchdown against Philadelphia.
With at least eight catches against Washington on Sunday (1:00 PM ET, FOX), St. Brown will become the third player in league history to record at least eight receptions in eight consecutive games, joining ANTONIO BROWN (eight consecutive games in 2014) and MICHAEL THOMAS (eight consecutive games in 2019).
The players with the most consecutive games with at least eight receptions in NFL history:
|Michael Thomas||New Orleans||2019||8|
|Travis Kelce||Kansas City||2020||7|
|Amon-Ra St. Brown||Detroit||2021-22||7*|
— NFL —
DOMINANT DEBUTS: Philadelphia wide receiver A.J. BROWN tied a career high with 155 receiving yards last week in his Eagles debut, the second-most among all players in Week 1, while Las Vegas wide receiver DAVANTE ADAMS totaled 141 receiving yards in his Raiders debut, the third-most in the NFL on Kickoff Weekend.
Each player has a chance to rank among the most receiving yards ever by a non-rookie in his first two games with a new team.
The non-rookies with the most receiving yards in their first two games with a new team in NFL history:
|Randy MossHOF||New England||2007||288|
|Art Powell||Oakland Raiders||1963||272|
|Randy MossHOF||Oakland Raiders||2005||257|
|Davante Adams||Las Vegas||2022||141*|
|*Through first game|
— NFL —
GEAUX-ING FOR YARDS: Last year, former LSU wide receivers JUSTIN JEFFERSON (1,616 receiving yards) and JA’MARR CHASE (1,455) ranked second and fourth, respectively, in receiving yards across the league. Chase recorded the most receiving yards by a rookie in the Super Bowl era, while Jefferson’s 3,016 career receiving yards were the most-ever by a player in his first two seasons.
Last week, Jefferson led the NFL with a career-high 184 receiving yards in Minnesota’s victory over Green Bay. It marked his 15th-career game with at least 100 receiving yards and his fifth-career game with at least 150 receiving yards, both among the most such games by a player in his first three seasons in the Super Bowl era.
The players with the most games with at least 100 receiving yards in their first three seasons in the Super Bowl era:
|Odell Beckham Jr.||N.Y. Giants||19|
|John Jefferson||San Diego Chargers||16|
|*In third season|
The players with the most games with at least 150 receiving yards in their first three seasons in the Super Bowl era:
|*In third season|
Chase totaled 10 catches for 129 yards and a touchdown on Kickoff Weekend. In 18 career games, he now has 1,584 receiving yards and 14 touchdown receptions.
With a receiving touchdown at Dallas on Sunday (4:25 PM ET, CBS), Chase will become the second-fastest player ever (19 games) to record 1,500 receiving yards and 15 touchdown receptions in his career, surpassing Pro Football Hall of Famer RANDY MOSS (20 games). Only ODELL BECKHAM JR., another former LSU Tiger, reached the milestone quicker (17 games).
The players to reach 1,500 career receiving yards and 15 career touchdown receptions in the fewest games in the Super Bowl era:
|Odell Beckham Jr.||N.Y. Giants||17|
|*Has 1,584 receiving yards and 14 touchdown receptions|
— NFL —
SACK ATTACK: Last week, a total of 11 players across the league recorded at least two sacks, tied for the most such players to do so in Week 1 since 2000 (11 players in 2011 and 2006).
Among those players with multiple sacks on Kickoff Weekend was Cleveland’s MYLES GARRETT, who now has 60.5 sacks in 69 career games. With a sack against the New York Jets on Sunday (1:00 PM ET, CBS), Garrett will surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer DERRICK THOMAS (61 sacks) and J.J. WATT (61) for the third-most sacks by a player in his first 70 NFL games since 1982, when the individual sack became an official statistic.
With two sacks, Garrett will surpass T.J. WATT (62) for the second-most sacks in his first 70 NFL games. Only Pro Football Hall of Famer REGGIE WHITE (79) has more.
The players with the most sacks in their first 70 NFL games since 1982:
|Derrick ThomasHOF||Kansas City||61|
|*In 69 career games|
Dallas’ MICAH PARSONS, who led all rookies with three multi-sack games last season, also recorded two sacks in Week 1. With another two-sack performance against Cincinnati on Sunday (4:25 PM ET, CBS), Parsons will become the sixth player since 1982 with at least two sacks in five of his first 20 career games, joining MARK ANDERSON, JOEY BOSA, ELVIS DUMERVIL, CLAY MATTHEWS and ALDON SMITH.
Jacksonville’s TRAVON WALKER was selected No. 1 overall in the 2022 NFL Draft and recorded both a sack and interception in his NFL debut last week. He joined AUNDRAY BRUCE, TOM COUSINEAU, STEVE EMTMAN and MYLES GARRETT as players selected first overall in the NFL Draft to record a sack in their first career games since 1982, when the individual sack became an official statistic. He was also the first top-pick to record both a sack and interception in his first-career game since 1982.
With a sack against Indianapolis on Sunday (1:00 PM ET, CBS), Walker will join Garrett as the only No. 1 overall picks to record a sack in each of their first two career games.
— NFL —