The spotlight is squarely on the NFC in Week 2 of NFL action as the National plays host to the League’s three marquee match-ups.
The early-game to watch pits Green Bay against Carolina. The Packers take their formidable show on the road and give flash Cam Newton and his promising Panthers an early test of skill against a League juggernaut (FOX).
The green & gold are coming off a nail-bitter win against a plucky Saints team in the season opener (42-34), one they almost let get away. Only a final-play, goal-line stand secured the victory and avoided major embarrassment.
Carolina’s rookie QB made a big splash in his record-setting debut in the Panthers’ Week 1 loss to the Cardinals (21-28). But cool Cam faces a whole different beast with Green Bay. Packers’ Coach Mike McCarthy has gotta’ like the match-ups.
Key to this game is the pass rush. Expect lots of pressure to try to flush both QBs out of the pocket and encourage turnovers. Watch closely how Cam handles the pressure from a top-flight defensive line (Matthews). If he hangs tight in the pocket and takes his licks, it’s a good sign for the future. If he rabbits under pressure, the handwriting’s on the wall.
The other early clash of contenders has the Bears traveling to Louisiana to face the 0-1 Saints (FOX). All eyes will be on Chicago linebacker Brian Urlacher who plays with heavy heart after the death of his mother earlier this week. By Q2 focus shifts to the QBs.
Jay Cutler playing well at home against an unproven Atlanta (30-12) is nothing new. His test: Can he win on the road versus a top QB (Brees) and team eager to right their ship after last season’s fizzle (Seattle) and stumble to start the new one? Complicating matters for Jay is the fact his money-back is also his top receiver (Forte).
The late marquee match-up has Michael Vick visiting his old stomping grounds as he leads his Eagles against the shell-shocked pre-season hopeful Atlanta Falcons (NBC).
Like their division rival, Matt Ryan and his Falcons are out to show they belong in the Super Bowl discussion. What better team to prove it against than the high-flying Eagles who’re feeling their oats after an impressive Week 1 road win over the Rams (31-13).
Expect the familiar surroundings to bring out the old Mike Vick as he runs free & often from the pocket to avoid the Falcon rush and pays the price. “Matty Ice” put up decent stats in last weeks losing effort (31/47, 319, 0/0) while Mike Turner hit the 100 mark.
About the Author
Written by Steven Keys
A native of the old Northwest Territory (IL), my wife and I have lived in four Midwestern states and Arizona. Today we live in Duluth, Georgia. I have a history / legal background.