NFL Week 2 schedule: Brady vs. Brees, Dak in Denver and more intriguing things

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NFL Game Preview: Patriots at Saints

NFL Game Preview: Patriots at Saints

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Here’s the schedule for Sunday and Monday in Week 2, along with 10 things that intrigue me:

Sunday
Patriots at Saints, 1 p.m. ET on CBS (GameTracker)
Titans at Jaguars, 1 p.m. ET on CBS (GameTracker)
Browns at Ravens, 1 p.m. ET on CBS (GameTracker)
Bills at Panthers, 1 p.m. ET on CBS (GameTracker)
Vikings at Steelers, 1 p.m. ET on Fox (GameTracker)
Eagles at Chiefs, 1 p.m. ET on Fox (GameTracker)
Bears at Buccaneers, 1 p.m. ET on Fox (GameTracker)
Cardinals at Colts, 1 p.m. ET on Fox (GameTracker)
Dolphins at Chargers, 4:05 p.m. ET on CBS (GameTracker)
Jets at Raiders, 4:05 p.m. ET on CBS (GameTracker)
Cowboys at Broncos, 4:25 p.m. ET on Fox (GameTracker)
Redskins at Rams, 4:25 p.m. ET on Fox (GameTracker)
49ers at Seahawks, 4:25 p.m. ET on Fox (GameTracker)
Packers at Falcons, 8:30 p.m. ET on NBC (GameTracker)

1. Brady vs. Brees

These two have faced each other four times in their careers, once when Drew Brees was with San Diego, and Brees has a 3-1 record against Tom Brady. They’ve played just once in the Superdome, that coming in 2009, and the Saints won 38-17 as Brees threw five touchdown passes. The Patriots won the last meeting in 2013, 30-27 in Foxboro. In their four meetings, Brees has 10 touchdown passes and one interception, while Brady has six touchdown passes and five picks.

2. Can Belichick fix his defense?

The Patriots were uncharacteristically bad on defense in the opening loss to the Chiefs and now must face Brees, who is much better than Alex Smith. The Chiefs had over 500 yards of offense and they scored 42 points. Bill Belichick has had extra time to get his defense ready, but does he have the talent up front to change it? He better hope some young players emerge quickly.

3. Reid facing former team, pupil

Eagles coach Doug Pederson played and coached under Chiefs coach Andy Reid, which means there’s a real familiarity between the two men. Reid will have had extra time to get ready for the Eagles, which will help. Reid is a historically underrated coach, and it will be interesting to see how he does against one of his former coaches and players.

4. Can breakout rookie RBs keep it up?

For the first time since 1979, we had three rookie runners go over 100 yards in Week 1: the Jaguars’ Leonard Fournette, the Vikings’ Dalvin Cook and the Chiefs’ Kareem Hunt. Now comes the tough part: doing it again.

5. McVay vs. his old team

Rams coach Sean McVay is in his first year as head coach of the Rams after coming over from the Redskins, where he was the offensive coordinator. He was given a lot of credit for developing Kirk Cousins. Now he faces his mentor on the other side and has to match wits with coach Jay Gruden, who is now the play-caller in Washington. Jared Goff had a big first game last week under McVay, and now he will try and carry that over.

6. Jaguars vs. Titans in the trenches

The Jaguars shocked the NFL with 10 sacks in their opening-week domination of the Houston Texans. Now they face a much better offensive line, with two really good tackles, which should make for a bigger challenge. Not only that, but Marcus Mariota can move. The Jaguars won’t get 10 sacks again, but they need to get 4-5 to win this game.

7. Dak contends with the No-Fly Zone in Denver

We keep hearing how every week is a proving ground for Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott, but the reality is the second-year player has passed every test. This one won’t be easy. The Broncos have the best corner trio in the league and they have Von Miller to attack off the edge. Prescott needs to be able to drive the ball down the field against that secondary to loosen it up or he could be in for a long day.

8. How will Bucs welcome back Glennon?

The Buccaneers didn’t play in Week 1 after Hurricane Irma forced their game at Miami to be postponed. That makes this their opener, and it’s against Bears quarterback Mike Glennon, their former backup quarterback who spent his first four seasons in Tampa. He was solid last week against Atlanta, but now he’s on the road as a starter — which is a lot tougher.

9. How do the Cardinals compensate without Johnson?

It sure won’t be easy. David Johnson might be the best running-receiving back in the league, which means replacing him is almost impossible. His ability to create mismatches in the passing game was a big part of the Arizona offense. His broken wrist will force Kerwynn Williams in as the starter with Andre Ellington as the backup. That’s a big drop down in talent. It will be interesting to see what coach Bruce Arians does to compensate for the loss of Johnson.

10. Can Beckham bring life to the Giants offense?

Without Odell Beckham Jr. last Sunday against the Cowboys, the Giants looked horrible on offense. They couldn’t move the ball. The line had major issues. If Beckham is back against the Lions on Monday night, and it looks like he will be, he will help jump-start the offense with his ability to turn short passes into big plays. The line has to play better as well, or it might not matter.

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