This Week in the NFL _lowres

Associated Press photo by Charlie Riedel -- Denver's Peyton Manning is hit by Seattle's Cliff Avril during the first half of Super Bowl XLVIII. Manning was intercepted on the play.

This week’s storyline: Seahawks, Broncos set for Super Bowl rematch

The Seahawks were supposed to be a powerhouse team that was going to rip through the league and leave everyone they faced begging for mercy.

Well, Philip Rivers and the Chargers had different plans by dropping the Seahawks last week and showing the league that, yes, even Richard Sherman has exploitable flaws.

Still, this team is one of the best in the league and will look to re-establish itself as the Super Bowl favorite by taking on the Denver Broncos, the No. 1 team in our power rankings, in a rematch of last year’s Super Bowl.

All of the tried and true cliches still apply: It’s offense vs. defense. Finesse vs. fury. Peyton Manning vs. the Legion of Boom.

The Seahawks are basically the same team they were in February, but now feature a healthy Percy Harvin.

The Broncos, however, went on a spending spree, adding pieces to a defense that ranked 22nd in the league in terms of points allowed per game. This year, they rank 15th.

Since the game will be played in Seattle, where quarterback Russell Wilson is 16-1, the guess here is that Seattle improves to 2-1 this week. But it wouldn’t be surprising at all if Peyton Manning finds his own ways to exploit the Seattle defense after being thrashed by it in the Super Bowl and leads Denver to victory.

Nick Underhill

Nick’s Picks: Nick Underhill’s Top 5 NFL teams this week

1. Broncos (2-0)

Last week’s win against the Chiefs wasn’t as convincing as it should have been. A win is a win.

2. BENGALS (2-0)

The way they handled the Falcons last week was impressive — and A.J. Green was not a factor in the game.

3. SeAhawks (1-1)

Looked unbeatable until going on the road, where flaws were exposed by the Chargers.

4. Eagles (2-0)

That Darren Sproles guy is still pretty good. Will be hard to beat if Nick Foles can find last year’s magic.

5. Panthers (2-0)

For as flawed as they are supposed to be, still have a very good defense that has produced six turnovers.

This Week’s Games

DALLAS (1-1) at ST. LOUIS (1-1)

WHEN: Noon Sunday

Line: Cowboys by 1

Briefly: Cowboys coach Jason Garrett is 2-0 vs. Rams and QB Tony Romo is 3-0 with eight TDs and one interception. ... Rams coach Jeff Fisher is 3-4 vs. Dallas. ... Rams lost opener at home, 34-6 to Vikings. Cowboys also lost opener at home, 28-17 to 49ers. ... Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray leads NFL with 285 yards rushing.

NICK’S PICK: Rams 24, Cowboys 21

SAN DIEGO (1-1) At BUFFALO (2-0)

WHEN: Noon Sunday

Line: Bills by 2

Briefly: Game is a homecoming for numerous Chargers’ staff members and players, starting with GM Tom Telesco, who grew up in Buffalo. Offensive coordinator Frank Reich and TE coach Pete Metzelaars played for Bills. And rookie RB Branden Oliver played at University at Buffalo.

NICK’S PICK: Chargers 28, Bills 27

OAKLAND (0-2) at NEW ENGLAND (1-1)

WHEN: Noon Sunday

Line: Patriots by 14

Briefly: New England QB Tom Brady and Oakland safety Charles Woodson, teammates at Michigan, first met as pros in “tuck rule” playoff game Jan. 19, 2002, won by Patriots 16-13 in OT. Woodson forced Brady’s apparent fumble with under two minutes left, but call was overturned on replay and New England kicked tying field goal. ... Patriots won past three matchups with Raiders with previous loss Nov. 17, 2002.

NICK’S PICK: Patriots 34, Raiders 20


WHEN: Noon Sunday

Line: Ravens by 11/2

Briefly: Ravens ended tumultuous few days triggered by Ray Rice suspension to pound the Steelers. ... Ravens playing first road game and third straight inside AFC North. ... Ravens have won 5 of past 6 games in Cleveland. ... LB Terrell Suggs has 15 career sacks vs. Browns, most against any team. ... Ravens coach John Harbaugh and QB Joe Flacco are 11-1 vs. Browns.

NICK’S PICK: Ravens 21, Browns 17


WHEN: Noon Sunday

Line: Colts by 7

Briefly: Colts are 0-2 for first time since 2011, year Peyton Manning went down with neck injury and they lost first 13 games. That’s also only year in which Jacksonville swept both regular-season meetings. ... Colts have won three in row in series, all by at least 17 points.

NICK’S PICK: Colts 31, Jaguars 24


WHEN: Noon Sunday

Line: Giants by 1

Briefly: Texans have started 2-0 five straight seasons. ...Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick has 129.1 rating last week, second best of career. ... RB Arian Foster has rushed for at least 100 yards in first two games. ... WR Andre Johnson has 14 catches for 178 yards in two games against Giants, while WR DeAndre Hopkins has caught TD in each of first two games this season.

NICK’S PICK: Texans 24, Giants 20

GREEN BAY (1-1) at DETROIT (1-1)

WHEN: Noon Sunday

Line: Lions by 2

Briefly: Packers have won 15 of past 17 in series, but Detroit routed Green Bay on Thanksgiving last year. ... Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers is 9-1 against Lions with 111 passer rating. Only loss came in 2010 when he left game with injury. ... Green Bay’s Jordy Nelson had nine catches for 209 yards last week, most yards receiving for Packers player in non-OT game since 1956. ... Packers LB Nick Perry trying for third straight game against Lions with sack and forced fumble. ... Detroit’s Calvin Johnson leads NFL since 2011 with 315 catches, 5,384 yards receiving.

NICK’S PICK: Packers 28, Lions 24


WHEN: Noon Sunday

Line: Bengals by 7

Briefly: Third most-played rivalry in Bengals history includes one playoff game, Cincinnati’s 41-14 win at Riverfront stadium over Houston in 1990. ... Titans have league’s top-ranked pass defense, but allowed Cowboys to run for 220 yards during Dallas’ 26-10 win. ... Tennessee’s eight sacks tied for second most in NFL.

NICK’S PICK: Bengals 28, Titans 20


WHEN: Noon Sunday

Line: Eagles by 6

Briefly: Eagles have won seven of last 10 meetings. ... WR DeSean Jackson plays first game vs. Eagles after his release from team in March. Jackson went to three Pro Bowls in Philadelphia and ranks fourth in team history in yards receiving (6,117), seventh in catches (356) and eighth in TD catches (32). He injured shoulder last week. ... Redskins trying to win NFC East opener for first time since beating Dallas in Week 1 in 2010. ... RB Alfred Morris (3,064) needs 49 yards to pass Don Bosseler (3,112) for 10th on team’s all-time list.

NICK’S PICK: Eagles 34, Redskins 27


WHEN: 3:05 p.m. Sunday

Line: 49ers by 3

Briefly: 49ers have beaten Cardinals four straight and nine of past 10. ... Coach Jim Harbaugh is 5-1 against Arizona. ... San Francisco 18-7 on road under Harbaugh since he took over in 2011. Best winning percentage (.720) of NFL road team in that span. ... Arizona QB Carson Palmer missed game Sunday for 1st time since 2012 season finale.

NICK’S PICK: Cardinals 20, 49ers 17

DENVER (2-0) at SEATTLE (1-1)

WHEN: 3:25 p.m. Sunday

Line: Seahawks by 41/2

Briefly: Only sixth time in NFL history teams from previous Super Bowl have met following regular season. Three teams that won Super Bowl, won rematch following season. Only losses were Vikings beating Chiefs 27-10 to open 1970 season and Bills beating Cowboys in Week 2 of 1993 season. ... Last Super Bowl rematch came in 1997 when Packers beat Patriots.

NICK’S PICK: Seahawks 27, Broncos 24

KANSAS CITY (0-2) at MIAMI (1-1)

WHEN: 3:25 p.m. Sunday

Line: Dolphins by 4

Briefly: Chiefs are playing in Miami for first time since 2006, when they lost 13-10. ... Matt Moore, Dolphins’ backup QB, threw three scores to help them beat Chiefs previous time teams met in 2011. ... Dolphins and Chiefs are both minus-3 in turnover differential.

NICK’S PICK: Dolphins 24, Chiefs 21


WHEN: 7:20 p.m. Sunday

Line: Panthers by 3

Briefly: Steelers allowed Ravens to rush for 157 yards last week. ... Ben Roethlisberger 2-0 as starter against Carolina with 445 yards passing and two TDs. ... Roethlisberger needs 313 yards passing to reach 35,000 for career. ... RB LeVeon Bell has AFC-high 304 yards from scrimmage.

NICK’S PICK: Panthers 24, Steelers 20

CHICAGO (1-1) at NEW YORK JETS (1-1)

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Monday

Line: Jets by 3

Briefly: Bears 27-35 in Monday Night Football games, while Jets are 20-27. ... Bears have won three straight vs. Jets, and are 3-1 overall against them in New Jersey. ... Bears coming off comeback win over 49ers in which they erased 17-point deficit. QB Jay Cutler threw four TD passes in game, including three to Brandon Marshall.

NICK’S PICK: Bears 24, Jets 17