Scott Shapiro's Week 2 NFL Worksheet: Packers will bounce back, rout Lions
It was so great to have the NFL back last week.
Week 1 started with a classic, between the Cowboys and Buccaneers, and did not let us down Monday night, either, when the Ravens and Raiders went to overtime, before Las Vegas found a way to earn a hard-fought victory.
With a number of high-flying aerial attacks across the league, as well as some strong defensive units, it should be another season to remember.
Let's examine teams and players to keep an eye on now that Week 2 has arrived.
Team most likely to win by 14+ points: Green Bay Packers
Tue, September 21 2021, 12:15 AM
The Packers sleepwalked through their season opener in Jacksonville against the Saints. The highest-scoring offense in 2020 got an incredibly disappointing start to 2021 from reigning Most Valuable Player Aaron Rodgers, and the Packers were never in the game. Credit the Saints for playing great defense and being efficient on offense in the lopsided opener.
Despite the lackluster Week 1 performance, I am not overly concerned with the poor effort from Green Bay. Look for the Packers to bounce back in a big way Monday night at Lambeau Field against the Lions.
Detroit’s secondary — especially without second-year cornerback Jeff Okudah, who suffered a season-ending Achilles injury against San Francisco — stands no chance to slow down the Packers.
Underdog of 6+ points most likely to spring outright upset: Jacksonville Jaguars
Sun, September 19 2021, 5:00 PM
I pride myself in my ability to uncover a live underdog, but finding a team that fits this category in Week 2 was nearly impossible.
The Packers are in a major bounce-back spot Monday night, while the Falcons and Texans appear completely out-manned in road matchups in Tampa and Cleveland, respectively.
That leaves us with the Jaguars, who are getting six points at home, against the Broncos.
I have no faith in Urban Meyer’s ability to lead this team, especially with rumors he may leave before his first season in Jacksonville is complete.
But, gun to head? Give me Jacksonville as the best of the extremely unappealing options.
RB/WR/TE most likely to score two touchdowns: Davante Adams
Rodgers was not solely responsible for the Packers' inept performance, but he definitely played one of his worst games as a pro. Not only did Rodgers complete just 15 of 28 his passes for 133 yards, but he threw two interceptions, after he threw just five all of last season.
The good news is the Lions pass defense struggled at home against San Francisco and will now be shorthanded in Wisconsin on Monday night.
Expect Rodgers to go to his main man, Davante Adams, early and often, after the All-Pro caught just five balls for 56 yards in Week 1. Two trips to the end zone for Adams is definitely within the range of outcomes.
Quarterback most likely to throw for 400 yards: Justin Herbert
Herbert’s new offensive line gave the second-year signal caller time in a tough matchup at Washington, and he took advantage. Herbert played close to mistake-free football against one of the NFL’s best defenses.
If the revamped group up front can continue to allow anything close to just a 12% pressure rate, like they did to start the season, it will spell major trouble for opposing defenses.
Instead of facing Chase Young, Los Angeles will encounter a Dallas defense that was historically poor in 2020 and struggled to cover Chris Godwin, Antonio Brown, and Rob Gronkowski last week.
With the Cowboys’ offense almost certain to score at least into the mid 20s, Herbert will likely drop back often enough to post big numbers in the home opener, even if Chargers fans are outnumbered at SoFi Stadium.
Defense most likely to pitch a shutout: New England Patriots
Sun, September 19 2021, 5:00 PM
The Jets struggled to protect rookie quarterback Zach Wilson and allowed six sacks in his debut at Carolina. To make matters worse, they will be without second-year left tackle Mekhi Becton for an extended period of time. The 11th-overall pick in the 2020 draft suffered a knee injury against the Panthers.
The Patriots, who did not come away with a win in their Week 1 grinder against the Dolphins, but overall got plenty of pressure on Tua Tagovailoa, should make life miserable for the second overall pick from the 2021 draft.
My Week 2 plays of the week:
- UNDER Patriots/Jets (42.5)
- Los Angeles Chargers (-2.5)
- Green Bay (-10.5)