Week 2 in the NFL: What you need to know _lowres

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

This week’s storyline: Time for Week 1 losers to bounce back, but Patriots may face a rough road

For many of the powerhouse teams that lost in Week 1, those setbacks are being treated as a blip on the radar. But in some other places, there is quiet concern.

One of those locations happens to be New England. The Patriots are once again the favorites to run away with the AFC East and challenge for the right to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl, but they first need to get their house in order against the Vikings before thinking about making a trip to Arizona in February.

The Patriots dealt away Logan Mankins to the Buccaneers just before the season began, and taking the Pro Bowl guard off the offensive line appeared to knock the unit out of order. They could do little to stop the Miami Dolphins during a Week 1 loss, surrendering 16 pressures and four sacks.

Quarterback Tom Brady never got into a rhythm, completing just 51 percent of his passes. Perhaps the oddest thing about the game is that Brady attempted 10 passes that traveled 20 or more yards through the air. After connecting on 29 percent of such passes last season, one has to wonder why the Patriots suddenly believe the 37-year-old has new arm strength.

Either way, this team has some things to figure out this week if it wants to continue to be considered a contender.

Nick Underhill’s top five teams in the NFL (this week)

1. Seahawks (1-0): Their performance in the season opener only strengthened their standing as the best team in the NFL.

2. Broncos (1-0): Peyton Manning remains a joy to watch. He got rid of his passes in an astonishing 1.94 seconds last week.

3. Eagles (1-0): Nick Foles looked shaky early, but he turned it around and looked like the guy who got the Eagles on track last season.

4. 49ers (1-0): The final score might not have properly reflected how badly the 49ers beat on the Cowboys in Sunday’s 28-17 win.

5. Saints (0-1): One loss isn’t enough to knock them out of the top five. Now they have to show the performance was a fluke to remain here.

Week 2 capsules

DALLAS (0-1) at TENNESSEE (1-0)

WHEN: Noon Sunday

Line: Titans by 31/2

Briefly: Cowboys QB Tony Romo threw for 406 yards and three TDs in only start vs. Titans and has completed 71.4 percent of passes for 1,616 yards with 11 TDs and one interception in past five games against AFC teams. ... Titans trying to start 2-0 for first time since 2008. ... QB Jake Locker has thrown for 1,451 yards and eight TDs in six games vs. NFC.

NICK’S PICK: Cowboys 24, Titans 21


WHEN: Noon Sunday

Line: Patriots by 6

Briefly: Vikings RB Adrian Peterson will sit out, with a child abuse charge pending against him in Texas. ... Vikings QB Matt Cassel starts opposite friend and former mentor Tom Brady for first time. ... Brett Favre was QB last time Vikings played Patriots, getting knocked out of game in fourth quarter on hard hit to chin.

NICK’S PICK: Vikings 27, Patriots 24

MIAMI (1-0) At BUFFALO (1-0)

WHEN: Noon Sunday

Line: Bills by 1

Briefly: Bills swept season series last year for first time since 2007, winning both games with backup QB Thad Lewis starting in place of injured rookie EJ Manuel. ... Dolphins opened last season 3-0 and have chance to open with two wins in consecutive seasons for first time since 2001-02. ... DE Cameron Wake had career-best two forced fumbles and had two sacks against Patriots.

NICK’S PICK: Dolphins 28, Bills 17


WHEN: Noon Sunday

Line: Redskins by 6

Briefly: Both teams trying to avoid 0-2 start for second consecutive year. Jaguars lost first eight games in ’13; Redskins dropped first three. ... Jaguars playing NFC East opponent on road for second straight week. ... Jacksonville undrafted rookie WR Allen Hurns last week became first player in league history to catch two TD passes in first quarter of NFL debut.

NICK’S PICK: Redskins 24, Jaguars 17

ARIZONA (1-0) at N.Y. GIANTS (0-1)

WHEN: Noon Sunday

Line: Cardinals by 2

Briefly: Cardinals have won 8 of 10. ... Carson Palmer threw for 304 yards and two touchdowns against Chargers, including winning touchdown to rookie receiver John Brown late in fourth quarter. ... Giants have lost four consecutive season openers, with 21-point margin Monday their biggest since 35-0 against Dallas in 1995.

NICK’S PICK: Cardinals 24, Giants 21


WHEN: Noon Sunday

Line: Bengals by 51/2

Briefly: Falcons won past three meetings in 2002, 2006 and 2010. ... Bengals WR A.J. Green was taken fourth overall in 2011 draft, Julio Jones sixth. Green had six catches for 131 yards vs. Ravens, while Jones had seven for 116 yards vs. Saints. Green had go-ahead 77-yard TD catch in fourth quarter. Jones had three catches that went for at least 20 yards.

NICK’S PICK: Bengals 24, Falcons 20

DETROIT (1-0) at CAROLINA (1-0)

WHEN: Noon Sunday

Line: Panthers by 21/2

Briefly: Matthew Stafford threw for 335 yards and five TDs in previous meeting. ... WR Calvin Johnson has at least 100 yards receiving in 22 of past 34 games. Since 2011, Johnson averaging NFL-high 112.8 yards receiving. ... Panthers have won 12 of past 13 regular-season games. ... QB Cam Newton (rib)expected to start after missing Week 1. He has NFL-best 28 rushing TDs past three years.

NICK’S PICK: Lions 30, Panthers 27

SEATTLE (1-0) at SAN DIEGO (0-1)

WHEN: 3:05 p.m. Sunday

Line: Seahawks by 6

Briefly: Seahawks have won five straight, including playoffs, outscoring opponents 152-65 for average margin of victory of 17.4 points. ... Russell Wilson is 7-2 vs. AFC, including Super Bowl win vs. Denver, with 16 TDs, three INTs, 108.3 rating. ... With 81 yards Monday, Chargers TE Antonio Gates passed Charlie Joiner for second on team’s all-time receiving yardage list with 9,274.

NICK’S PICK: Seahawks 27, Chargers 20

ST. LOUIS (0-1) at TAMPA BAY (0-1)

WHEN: 3:05 p.m. Sunday

Line: Buccaneers by 6

Briefly: St. Louis won meetings past two seasons by 15 and 10 points. ... Rams QB Shaun Hill left last week’s season opener with quadriceps injury and is day-to-day. If Hill can’t play, Austin Davis will make first NFL start. ... Bucs coach Lovie Smith was defensive coordinator for St. Louis from 2001-03 before getting first head coaching job in Chicago.

NICK’S PICK: Bucs 24, Rams 17

HOUSTON (1-0) at OAKLAND (0-1)

WHEN: 3:25 p.m. Sunday

Line: Texans by 3

Briefly: Despite playing in different divisions, teams meeting for eighth time in nine seasons. ... Texans won three of four meetings in Oakland, tied with New Orleans and Indianapolis for best winning percentage at Coliseum. ... Texans looking to start season 2-0 for fifth straight year. ... Raiders rookie QB Derek Carr threw 2 TD passes in debut last week. Carr is younger brother of former Houston No. 1 pick David Carr.

NICK’S PICK: Texans 20, Raiders 17

KANSAS CITY (0-1) at DENVER (1-0)

WHEN: 3:25 p.m. Sunday

Line: Broncos by 12

Briefly: Broncos have won four in row against Chiefs. Previous K.C. win was 7-3 in 2011 season finale when Kyle Orton beat Tim Tebow. ... QB Alex Smith 9-3 in past 12 September starts. ... RB Jamaal Charles has 944 yards from scrimmage in 8 starts vs. Denver. ... KR Knile Davis had club-record 108-yard KR for a TD in previous game vs. Broncos.

NICK’S PICK: Broncos 34, Chiefs 23

N.Y. JETS (1-0) at GREEN BAY (0-1)

WHEN: 3:25 p.m. Sunday

Line: Packers by 8

Briefly: Jets won previous meeting at Lambeau Field 38-10 on Dec. 3, 2006, when RB Cedric Houston ran for 105 yards and two TDs. ... QB Geno Smith completed 82.3 percent of passes (23 of 28) last week against Raiders, third-highest completion rate in Jets history. ... Packers two wins away from joining Bears as only teams in NFL history with 700 regular-season victories.

NICK’S PICK: Packers 31, Jets 24


WHEN: 7:20 p.m. Sunday

Line: 49ers by 7

Briefly: Regular-season debut of new $1.2 billion Levi’s Stadium. Grass has been replaced twice since initial turf laid in April failed to root. ... 49ers on two-game winning streak in series, but Bears have won four of last seven meetings with Niners since being shut out 17-0 at Candlestick Park on Dec. 17, 2000. ... Chicago starts stretch with six of eight games on road, including two straight.

NICK’S PICK: 49ers 24, Bears 17


WHEN: 8:30 p.m. Monday

Line: Colts by 3

Briefly: Eagles have eight wins in last nine regular-season games. ... Eagles need one turnover to match team’s longest streak of consecutive games with takeaway (15) since 2004. ... Eagles making first appearance at Lucas Oil Stadium, one of only two NFL venues (49ers’ Levi’s Stadium) they have not yet played.

NICK’S PICK: Eagles 30, Colts 27