By Lucas Kochevar
It's overreaction Monday and I think the Falcons are going to the Super Bowl while Desmond Ridder ends the season with 900 passing yards. I can't wait! Week one is in the books and the NFL delivered some bad, but interesting games. There was some chaos, some silly plays and standout performances. Rookie quarterbacks looked like rookie quarterbacks. Joe Burrow and the Bengals looked atrocious. Jordan Love might be the next Packers quarterback to torture Bears fans for another couple decades. This performance stood out to me the most, but it wasn't just Love that impressed me. The entire Packers team played with some excitement and energy that they never had last season. Their defense did a rather strong job containing Justin Fields and Matt LaFleur called up perfect plays for Love and this offense. Last night, the Eagles re-established the run game behind a huge day from D'Andre Swift. Devonta Smith also had a great day for the Eagles as they start 2-0. Now, let's look ahead to week two for some intriguing match-ups.
Kansas City Chiefs (-3) @ Jacksonville Jaguars
This is the marquee game of the week for me. I'm super excited to see how this game turns out if Travis Kelce plays. The Chiefs lost last week to the Lions in disappointing fashion, but they're going to get DT Chris Jones back and potentially Kelce. They look to bounce back this week against one of the up-and-coming teams in the league with the Jaguars. The Jaguars squeaked out of Indianapolis with the win, but it definitely wasn't as sharp as they would've liked. Trevor Lawrence threw several jaw-dropping passes with perfect placement on Sunday. New acquisition Calvin Ridley also scored a touchdown in his first game with the Jaguars. This game is also a rematch of last years divisional round matchup where the Chiefs won.
This game will come down to whether or not Lawrence can answer the call against a tough Chiefs defense. The Chiefs defense shut down a high octane offense in the Lions with stellar secondary play. Cornerback Trent McDuffie was terrific week one and he'll have his hands full with this Jaguars receiver group. I mentioned Ridley, but Christian Kirk, Zay Jones and Evan Engram are all threats to space out the defense. Lawrence will also have the challenge, as I mentioned, of seeing Chris Jones with his new contract. The Chiefs will need their young weapons to step up, because they can't be any worse than they were in week one. There's a lot of key factors in this game and the hype train will be zooming if the Jaguars can earn this win over the favorited Chiefs.
Indianapolis Colts (-1) @ Houston Texans
This is a sicko game to pick as one of my favorites, however, there's many layers to why I think this matchup will be fun and a game to look out for. Admittedly, these are two of the worst teams in the league, but they're both led by rookie quarterbacks that were picked in the top four. The Colts and Texans are coming off losses in both of their games. The Texans lost in an ugly matchup versus the Ravens, where C.J. Stroud threw for 242 yards, but no touchdowns or interceptions. The Colts lost to the Jaguars with Anthony Richardson threw for 223 yards, a touchdown and an interception. He also rushed for 40 yards and a touchdown. While Richardson had the best debut out of the rookie quarterbacks, Stroud had a solid performance.
If I haven't made it clear yet, the rookie quarterbacks are the storyline in this game. The rookie head coaches are also an important storyline in this. If these two guys happen to be the coaches of the future for their respective teams, this could be a rivalry we see for years. It's not often we see two divisional opponents traveling alongside each other in their rebuild, but here we get to see the development of two young teams that need to rise from the ashes. The key to this game will be the pass protection. The Texans allowed five sacks on Sunday against the Ravens, while Richardson got sacked four times. Keeping those two guys standing could be the deciding factor between a winner and a loser. Also look to see how Richardson protects himself running the ball as he suffered an injury late in the game versus Jacksonville.
New York Jets (+9) @ Dallas Cowboys
This game could be an absolute thrashing from the Cowboys, however, I'm super curious to watch the dynamic between both teams. The Jets won their game on a crazy punt return, but they lost their quarterback to an Achilles injury. It's really sad that it might've been the last time that we'll see Aaron Rodgers on the field. The Cowboys, on the other hand, demolished the New York Giants 40-0. It was never really in doubt so we didn't really see what this team is fully capable of. The defense was the star of that performance and they helped my fantasy team win this week. The best part of this matchup is the Dallas offense versus the Jets defense.
Dak Prescott has been ridiculed for turning the ball over a lot this season and this Jets defense could force him into some interceptions. On the other hand, the Jets have Zach Wilson and a bad offensive line. The Cowboys defense could wreak havoc on this Jets offense. It's not often we get a star defense versus a star defense, but Sunday should provide that between these two teams. Although I do think the Cowboys will win this matchup, I'm curious what this Jets team will look like when a player like Josh Allen isn't throwing the ball around like a mad man. I also want to see more out of the Cowboys offense since they didn't have to work too hard in week one. This game could set the tone for each team as they move forward in the season.
LK's Best Bet of the Week: San Francisco 49ers @ Los Angeles Rams Over 44.5
Well, we lost last weeks bet very badly. Thanks for nothing, Steelers. We are back in on the 49ers as they play the Rams this week. The Rams were a pleasant surprise when they blew out the Seahawks on Sunday. Matthew Stafford looked sharp throwing to Puka Nacua and Tutu Atwell. The run game showed life with the likes of Cam Akers and Kyren Williams. They had this offensive explosion without their main weapon in Cooper Kupp. The 49ers absolutely obliterated the Steelers and showed that Brock Purdy and the offense are as sharp as ever. Brandon Aiyuk was the star of the show this week with two touchdowns.
I love this over. This is slightly scary because the Rams could turn into a pumpkin against one of the best defenses in the league. I feel okay, however, given the fact that Sean McVay has Kyle Shannahan's number. I love both of these coaches and they're two of the best offensive minds in the league. I expect big points in this one with the potential for a 30-17 finish. Let's win this bet!
Sources: Image via The Kansas City Star