Top 5 NFL Games to Watch in Week 2

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Top 5 NFL Games to Watch in Week 2

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Eager fans have been itching for their NFL football since February, and Week 1 did not disappoint. The Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints and the Green Bay Packers at San Francisco 49ers showdowns provided fans with great games between playoff contenders, E.J. Manuel, Geno Smith, and Terrelle Pryor all surprised people with solid performances in their first NFL starts, and Peyton Manning ended several people’s fantasy football matchups on Thursday night, throwing for 462 yards and seven TDs.

Week 2 has a tough act to follow, but there are several potentially great games on tap. Before getting into the top-five, there are a couple of honorable mentions that didn’t quite make the list, but are definitely worth watching:

Tennessee Titans at Houston Texans: Sun, Sep 15 -- 1:00 p.m. (ET):

In week 1, Houston showed their resiliency by scoring 24 unanswered points in the second half to beat the San Diego Chargers 31-28. In Tennessee’s season debut, the revamped defense raised some eyebrows as they held the Pittsburgh Steelers to 195 total yards and stole a win on the road.

Prediction: I’ m going with the upset in this game despite the Texans being 8.5-point favorites. I think the Titans are underrated and will take it, 21-17.

Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals: Mon, Sep 16 -- 8:30 p.m. (ET):

Both teams started the season with disappointing losses and will look to bounce back on Monday Night Football. Pittsburgh is going to have to find some weapons on offense if they want to compete on the road against a superior Cincinnati roster.

Prediction: The Bengals are at home and are legitimate contenders this year. I’ll take them over the Steelers, 30-13.

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5. Washington Redskins at Green Bay Packers: Sun, Sep 15 – 1:00pm (ET)

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These two teams have a few things in common — both are 2012 playoff teams, both are 0-1, both should still contend for a playoff spot this season, and both have extremely entertaining quarterbacks to watch. Green Bay seems to be the superior team, but anything can happen with Robert Griffin III under center.

Prediction: You have to take the Packers at Lambeau. Green Bay over Washington, 42-30.

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4. New Orleans Saints at Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Sun, Sep 15 – 4:05pm (ET)

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As I wrote earlier this week, the Bucs have the talent to win this game. They have the opportunity to rebound this week and prove they aren’t the same dumb, undisciplined team who lost to the inferior New York Jets in Week 1.

The Saints are coming off a hard-fought win against the Falcons and will be heading to Tampa with a lot of confidence. Sean Payton’s return is going to big a big boost for New Orleans this season and in this game specifically.

Prediction: Both teams have great rosters, but I have to go with the Saints in this one. I can’t pick the Bucs until they’ve shown they can play smart, organized football. New Orleans over Tampa Bay, 34-21.

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3. Denver Broncos at New York Giants: Sun, Sep 15 – 4:25pm (ET)

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After performances on the opposite end of the spectrum, this game has a “what's next?” element to it. Can the Broncos' offense possibly play that well again? Can the Giants' offense possibly play that sloppy again? Not likely on either end, but watching the encore performances will be entertaining.

Denver has a great passing offense, but let’s not get too crazy over one monster half of football. And New York will definitely protect the ball much better than they did in their six-turnover season debut, because Tom Coughlin will make sure the players who don’t will go missing.

Prediction: The insanity can’t continue, so this should be a better game than most people are expecting. I think Peyton wins the Manning Bowl, and Eli eventually steers their conversation toward who has more Super Bowl rings afterwards. Denver over New York, 31-27.

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2. Dallas Cowboys at Kansas City Chiefs: Sun, Sep 15 – 1:00pm (ET)

Rob Foldy-USA TODAY Sports

This game gets the no. 2 spot because it should help satisfy a lot of curiosities about two teams with big potential. Both the Cowboys and Chiefs could compete now, but we need to see more from them before we can call them contenders.

As I mentioned earlier this week, the Chiefs need to prove they can beat decent competition, and the Cowboys need to prove they can win without the other team handing them the ball six times. There is a large range of possibilities for KC and Dallas. Making the playoffs or landing a top-10 draft pick are both very realistic possibilities for these teams. Sunday’s game should help clear up a lot of the uncertainties.

Prediction: With the help of a starving Arrowhead crowd, I think the Chiefs are up for the challenge. Kansas City over Dallas, 27-21.

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1. San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks: Sun, Sep 15 – 8:30pm (ET)

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Two Super Bowl-contending rival teams facing off on Sunday Night Football is unquestionably the game of the week. Last season, the NFC West foes split their games, with their last meeting ending in a rout of the 49ers by the Seahawks, 42-13.

Watching two exciting young quarterbacks in Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson up against two stellar defenses will make for some great football. San Francisco had a much stronger showing in Week 1, beating the Green Bay Packers at home, while Seattle struggled on the road and eeked out a win against the Carolina Panthers.

Prediction: This is the hardest one to call of the week. While I don’t believe in Kaepernicking because it’s incredibly stupid, I do believe in Kaepernick. I think he's a clutch playmaker, and will help the 49ers edge out a tough win on the road. San Francisco over Seattle, 17-13.