NFL Week 2: 5 locks to win

By Matt Verderame

While we aren’t sure about many teams in the NFL, and what their capabilities are, there are always a few squads that stand out. For better or worse, you have a good idea almost immediately about a half-dozen teams or so.

In Week 2, the five following teams have favorable matchups, making them the locks of the week…

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa Bay had its game canceled in Week 1 due to Hurricane Irma in Florida, so it had an extra week to get ready for the Chicago Bears. Chicago almost pulled off a huge upset by beating the Atlanta Falcons, but it is already beat up with Jurrell Freeman and Kevin White landing on Injured Reserve. The Buccaneers have all the weapons anybody could ask for and a terrific defense. That will be more than enough.

4. Seattle Seahawks

The Seahawks are trying to erase the memory of a loss to the Green Bay Packers in Lambeau Field. This week ought to do the trick, with the lowly San Francisco 49ers coming into CenturyLink Field on Sunday afternoon. San Francisco was only able to score three points at home against Carolina. This should be a blowout of epic proportions.

3. Carolina Panthers

The Panthers went 15-1 and represented the NFC in the Super Bowl two years ago. Last year, the team went 6-10 and finished dead last in the NFC South despite obvious talent. After trouncing the 49ers last weekend, the Panthers appear tone back on track. In Week 2, the Panthers come home to take on the Buffalo Bills, a team that is actively tanking. Buffalo has nobody outside of Marcell Dareus and LeSean McCoy. That isn’t near enough in this one.

2. New England Patriots

The Patriots were shocked in the NFL’s season opener on primetime, getting handled 42-27 by the Kansas City Chiefs in their own building. New England is not likely to lose again this week, going on the road to take on the New Orleans Saints. New Orleans is a very tough place to play and the Drew Bree’s-led attack will be hard to stop, but the Patriots could score 50 points in this one. Look for Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski and Brandin Cooks to put up video game numbers.

1. Oakland Raiders

We’ll keep this simple. The Raiders are very talented with the likes of Khalil Mack, Derek Carr, Amari Cooper, Michael Crabtree, Marshawn Lynch and that terrific offensive line. The New York Jets, who are making a visit to Oakland, don’t have any player in that category that doesn’t play on the defensive line. In fact, New York might struggle to win a single game this year. The Raiders are favored by two touchdowns, and I might swallow the points even if the line were doubled.