NFL Picks, Previews, and Odds for Week 2 Preseason Games on 8/17/13
2013-08-17 09:00:00 EDT
A Quick look of what to watch for in the NFL Match ups for preseason week two on August 17, 2013.
Dallas Cowboys at Arizona Cardinals 4:30 PM EST (NFL Network):
Bruce Arians is liking what he is seeing from his Cardinals. Carson Palmer saw only light action in week 1 giving way to Drew Stanton but expect more here as he tries to build a better bond with Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd who the Cardinals will need to step up. The running game is a concern for Arizona with a ton of injuries and Stepfan Taylor carried the ball 20 times in week 1. Tyrann Mathieu and Patrick Peterson are all the rage these days on defense but this is a team who can sack QB’s
This is the third preseason games for the Cowboys this year after playing in the Hall of Fame game and Tony Romo saw the field last week for the first time and he will see it again here. DeMarco Murray also saw his first action but Lance Dunbar has looked like he will contribute this year and Kendial Lawrence looks like he can play as well. Dez Bryant and Miles Austin are back on the field as well but the Cowboys haven’t really wanted the starters in much. DeMarcus Ware saw action last week but the surprise contributor has been George Selvie.
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Tennessee Titans at Cincinnati Bengals: 7:00 PM EST
The Cincinnati Bengals looked great in week 1 against the Flacons but it wasn’t Andy Dalton and A.J. Green, the players who have led the Bengals to back to back playoff appearances, it was Josh Johnson and rookie running back Giovanni Bernard who appears to be ready to contribute right away. Green is banged up and there is no rush to get him back into action. The Bengals D allowed just 268 yards last week.
The Tennessee Titans didn’t look great in week one and they still have some question marks. Jake Locker appears to be at worst serviceable. Chris Johnson had just two carries but one of them he found a seam and was gone changing his draft status I a lot of fantasy leagues in my guess. Kenny Brit and Delanie Walker are still up in the arias far as health. Defensively the Titans allowed 359 yards and they are hoping to lock some things down this week.
Jacksonville Jaguars at New York Jets: 7:30 PM EST (NFL Network)
There is no mystery surround the Jets starting QB this week as it is Mark Sanchez with Geno Smith banged up and hurting. Braylon Edwards is looking to revive his career Santonio Holmes is unable to play. Chris Ivory will be in the backfield this week as he has been cleared and the Jets hope he is the answer to the running game. The Jets defense wasn’t bad last week and Quinton Coples recorded a sack which is encouraging.
The Jacksonville Jaguars weren’t all that bad in their week 1 preseason game despite putting just three points on the board. Blane Gabbert will see his first action of the preseason in this one and this will be a pivotal year for him as it has to go from learning to doing at some point. Maurice Jones-Drew also will see his first action of the preseason and he is still one of the premier backs in the game. I really liked the Justin Blackmon pick a year ago but I liked getting Ace Sanders this year almost as much and the Jags have a few other youngsters ready to step up. The Jaguars defense allowed just 269 yards last week and they have been the strongest unit on the team the past several years.
Miami Dolphins at Houston Texans 8:00 PM EST
The Houston Texans are hoping this is their year as despite their recent success they have suffered huge injuries along the way that could have been difference maker. Matt Schaub completed all of hispasses last week. Arian Foster still isn’t back so it should give someone a chance to emerge as the number three back as it appears Cierre Wood and Ray Graham are battling. One place where the Texans may be weakest is at receiver as after Andre Johnson it tails off fast. Brian Cushing says he is ready for contact as he returns from injury and J.J. Watt is talking about playing offense but I am not sure how far that will go.
This is preseason game number three for the Miami Dolphins and this is the first year in many there are expectations for the Fins. Ryan Tannehill is a gunslinger and we are still waiting for him to hook up for a big one with Mike Wallace. The battle is at running back where Lamar Miller and Daniel Thomas are facing off but I have to think Miller has the inside track with his breakaway speed and Thomas has had chances and not delivered. The Dolphin defense looked a lot better last week after having trouble against the run against Dallas.
Green Bay Packers at St. Louis Rams 8:00 PM EST
The St. Louis Rams are flying under the radar but Jeff Fisher ahs a reputation of winning and I have to believe he wins in St. Louis as well. Sam Bradford has all of the tools, he has just lacked the supporting cast primarily at receiver. Daryl Richardson looked good in limited action but the Rams backfield looks to be loaded. While Tavon Austin will be the playmaker Chris Givens looked better than ever in week one and apparently tight end Jared Cook has become Bradford’s favorite target. The Rams have drefted wisely on defense getting Janoris Jenkins last year and this season the pick of Ray Ray Armstrong might be one of the biggest steals of the year.
The Green Bay Packers didn’t score in week 1 against the Cardinals but there isn’t any reason to be worried. Aaron Rodgers is always in the discussion of the best QB in the NFL. The battle in Green Bay is at running back where Dujuan Harris is the starter but Eddie Lacy, Jonathan Frankin and James Starks all have something to say about it and my guess is little is settled this week and it may be a committee situation all season. None of the Packers starting receivers had a catch last week but look for that to change here. The Packer defense was ordinary last week but expect increased intensity, as this is the unit that needs to get better if the Packers are going to have any chance to go to the Super Bowl.
Denver Broncos at Seattle Seahawks 10:00 PM EST (NFL Network)
The Seattle Seahawks are several people’s pick to go the Super Bowl and last week’s performance did little to create an argument that those people are wrong. Russell Wilson wasn’t impressive in week on ebut he showed last season it doesn’t always have to look good to get the desired result. Christine Michael looks like he can contribute at running back but he has been sidelined with back spasms. Sidney Rice looks like he is ready to get back into action and there are several young receivers looking to make an impact like Arceto Clark. It all starts with defense in Seattle and with four sacks, two interceptions, and 238 yards allowed they set the tone.
The Denver Broncos are the other team people are looking at to complete the Super Bowl matchup and while they won last week it was a low scoring battle. Peyton Manning didn’t play much but like many of the stars it has less to do with him getting prepared, it has to do with building the chemistry with the players on the offense as chemistry is what separates the good from the also ran’s in the NFL. The battle is at running back where Montee Ball, Knowshon Moreno, and Ronnie Hillman will all get some sort of action. Manning has taken a liking to tight end Julius Thomas and with Manning’s success with the tight ends over the years look for Thomas to have a big year. The Broncos defense was outstanding in week one but Von Miller continues to have unsettled off the field issues.