Here’s hoping the NFL close games can continue

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Entering the Week 1 Monday night doubleheader, 11 of the NFL’s first 14 games were decided by one score, which included six games settled by two points or less. 

It’s unlikely this second week will be as riveting, but it doesn’t hurt to hope. Here’s a breakdown of the Thursday night game and Sunday card and what you need to identify before wagering.

N.Y. Jets at Buffalo: Tyrod Taylor’s mobility should come in handy against a New York d-line that gets after QB as well as anyone in the league.

Tennessee at Detroit: Matthew Stafford’s confident play had to be reassuring, but not every secondary is going to be as vulnerable as the Colts.

Kansas City at Houston: Notre Dame product Will Fuller looks like a game-breaker of a receiver, which will only make DeAndre Hopkins even more effective for Houston.

Miami at New England: The disappointed Dolphins had to fly back cross-country knowing they let one get away in Seattle, so their resiliency will be tested immediately. Pats believe they can go 4-0 without Tom Brady.

Baltimore at Cleveland: Robert Griffin III had fans excited in rejuvenated Cleveland, but didn’t even make it to his home debut after suffering a shoulder injury that will keep him out at least eight weeks. Josh McCown will get the call.

Cincinnati at Pittsburgh: The Bengals couldn’t keep the Jets off Andy Dalton, so they’ll have to shore up some holes to keep him upright against a fast, aggressive Steelers defense. These teams are meeting for the first time since January’s memorable Wild Card game that Pittsburgh won after penalties foiled Cincinnati, so it’s certain to be spicy. 

Dallas at Washington: Dak Prescott proved the preseason was no fluke despite a one-point loss to the Giants. The ‘Skins will be favored despite facing a short week, which makes this a dicey game to wager when you add in the divisional rivalry.

New Orleans at N.Y. Giants: The same ol’ Saints showed up at the Superdome in losing to the Raiders, lighting up the scoreboard behind Drew Brees’ precision but coming up empty because the defense couldn’t get a stop.

San Francisco at Carolina: Expect the books to have the Panthers as a double-digit favorite given their excellence at home, not to mention the 49ers being forced to fly cross-country.

Tampa Bay at Arizona: Jameis Winston threw for four scores and looked incredibly impressive at Atlanta. Carson Palmer looked off his game against New England, firing the ball away a split-second early and missing open receivers.

Seattle at Los Angeles: The Rams will have their home debut here. To have any shot at an upset, Case Keenum has to play over his head.

Indianapolis at Denver: Andrew Luck shook off a slow start and looked like his old self in nearly helping the Colts avoid a home upset against Detroit, but concerns over the offensive line and the defense are merited and not going anywhere. The Broncos could feast as a result.

Atlanta at Oakland: Matt Ryan brings the Falcons cross-country after having just been on the losing end of one shootout against Tampa Bay and will likely be faced with another here against Derek Carr. 

Jacksonville at San Diego: The Jaguars are also facing a long flight in an effort to avoid an 0-2 start, but had to feel encouraged by nearly taking down Green Bay on a day where Aaron Rodgers had it going. Chargers probably suffered the most painful Week 1 setback losing WR Keenan Allen for the season.

Green Bay at Minnesota: The Packers flourished after welcoming back Jordy Nelson, found weight loss agrees with Eddie Lacy and saw Rodgers flash his MVP form, but their offense will really get a great test in facing this Vikings defense that single-handedly won their season-opener.

Minnesota will need Shaun Hill to be more productive so teams can’t key in on Adrian Peterson, so this Sunday-nighter should be telling. Will Sam Bradford be deemed prepared enough to start?

Website: VegasInsider.com

About the Author

Tony Mejia

Tony Mejia has been a national sportswriter for nearly two decades and has covered NBA and college basketball as a columnist, analyst, handicapper, and bracketologist for CBS Sports, Pro Basketball News, and numerous other sites.

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