Ranking Each Week 2 NFL Sunday Game By Watchability

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Each week this season, OutKick will get you primed for an NFL Sunday on the couch by telling you which games deserve the most attention. For Week 2, here we go…

NFL Games Worth Watching From Opening Kick Until Final Whistle

  • Miami Dolphins (1-0) at Baltimore Ravens (1-0), 1pm (CBS)

Both teams come into the contest off dominating Week 1 victories. This game should tell us a lot about both squads. OutKick’s Armando Salguero wrote an excellent piece on why this is the Game of the Week, which you can read here.

  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-0) at New Orleans Saints (1-0), 1pm (FOX)

Main storyline: Believe it or not, this and the game above it are the only two out of 13 Sunday games that feature 1-0 teams facing each other. The Bucs looked good against the Cowboys on Sunday night, although it could have been that Dallas was that bad. But still, you get Tom Brady facing a division rival, and one that he tends to play poorly against.

Jameis Winston is always fun to watch, good or bad, and here we get him against his former team. In fact, it was the team that jettisoned him so they could sign Brady. Winston revenge tour?? Let’s hope so.

  • Chicago Bears (1-0) at Green Bay Packers (0-1), 8:20pm (NBC)

Main storyline: To be fair, this game is here by default. You’re going to have to watch it from opening kick until final whistle if you want to watch football on Sunday night. It’s not a particularly exciting matchup, since the Packers are currently 10-point favorites. It’s a get-right spot for Green Bay coming off the loss last weekend to the Minnesota Vikings. I guess I’ll enjoy watching Justin Fields play terrible on national TV, but surely everyone will blame the offensive line and coaching rather than admit he stinks.

Eventually everyone will realize what I already know: Justin Fields is a bad NFL quarterback.
Eventually everyone will realize what I already know: Justin Fields is a bad NFL quarterback. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)

NFL Games To Flip To During Commercials Of Better Games

To be honest, the Week 2 Sunday slate is rather weak. Of the 13 games, five feature one team favored by at least a touchdown and four of those are by at least 10 points. Of the games with lower spreads, there is a disconcerting lack of storylines. But, we will do our best to power through.

  • New England Patriots (0-1) at Pittsburgh Steelers (1-0), 1pm (CBS)

Main Storyline: Mac Jones vs. Mitch Trubisky just screams mediocrity. The Steelers won in overtime last week against the Bengals, which is the good news. The bad news is that they turned Joe Burrow over five times and still needed a blocked extra point to force OT, a missed field goal to avoid losing, and a poor Bengals coaching decision to not tie. Not exactly inspiring. The Patriots were bad in Week 1 against the Dolphins and to make matters worse, Jones is banged up.

Why is this game so high? Well, as you’ll see when you continue reading, there aren’t many choices. But I have to imagine that Bill Belichick will pull out all the stops to avoid starting 0-2 for the first time since his very first season behind the bench in New England (2000). And for my money, Mike Tomlin is the NFL’s second-best current NFL head coach, so seeing two Hall of Fame coaches go at it is good enough to push this game into this tier.

  • Arizona Cardinals (0-1) at Las Vegas Raiders (0-1), 4:25pm (CBS)

Main Storyline: I’m going to have to consider making new categories. This is the best of the late afternoon kickoffs, but again, it’s by default. So, you can’t really flip to it during commercials of better games because … well, there are no better games. Both teams had hype coming into the season and one of them is going to leave it 0-2. That’s enough reason for it to be the main focus in the early evening. Barely, though.

Kyler Murray has a lot to prove after a poor NFL Week 1 following his massive contract extension. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

I Guess It’s OK If These Games Show Up On RedZone

  • Washington Commanders (1-0) at Detroit Lions (0-1), 1pm (FOX)

Main Storyline: If you need more proof that this week’s slate is bad, look no further than this game being ranked this highly. I never would have thought that a Commanders/Lions matchup would be in the top half of most interesting games. But, here we are. The Commanders are 1-0, yet are the underdogs in this matchup. That’s right, for the first time in two seasons, the Detroit Lions are favored. There’s enough firepower in this game to get excited. We had good Carson Wentz last week, which was fun, and Amon-Ra St. Brown and D’Andre Swift give the Lions some excitement. Again, just enough excitement in a week that’s majorly lacking it.

  • Carolina Panthers (0-1) at New York Giants (1-0), 1pm (FOX)

Main Storyline: Five words: Christian McCaffrey and Saquon Barkley. In today’s NFL, nearly all of the star power lies at quarterback. But these two old-school-style teams have their stars lined up behind their signal-caller. McCaffrey is so good that fantasy football managers were mad that he only scored 15 points last week. How many players can you say that about? Barkley looks healthy and after talking this off-season about how he was going to go off, he delivered in Week 1. I would say this matchup features the two best running backs in the NFL when healthy — which they both will be on Sunday.

  • Cincinnati Bengals (0-1) at Dallas Cowboys (0-1), 4:25pm (CBS)

Main Storyline: If we had ranked these games prior to last week, this one had a strong claim for Game of the Week. In fact, it definitely would have been there for me. But following a disastrous overtime loss for the Bengals and an even worse loss for the Cowboys — one that cost them their starting quarterback — this one drops way down. That said, it’s still a game that I will be focusing on.

I want to see if Week 1 was a fluke or if the Cincinnati offense is poised to take a major step back in 2022. While Dallas’ offense was abysmal against Tampa Bay, their defense was actually quite good. They held Tom Brady’s offense to one touchdown and a bunch of field goals. Plus, Micah Parsons gets to go up against a Bengals offensive line that was terrible in Week 1. Joe Burrow must be terrified. And we’ll get a healthy dose of Ja’Marr Chase vs. Trevon Diggs. It should be a fun game, it’s just too bad Dak Prescott won’t be opposite Joe Burrow. I can’t justify ranking a Cooper Rush game higher than this.

Joe Burrow and the Bengals offensive line need to figure it out, fast, or it’s going to be a long season (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

If You’re A Fan Of These Teams, I Guess You Might Care. But I Don’t.

  • Indianapolis Colts (0-0-1) at Jacksonville Jaguars, 1:00 (CBS)

Main Storyline: Trevor Lawrence is about the only thing making this game remotely interesting. The Colts tying the Houston Texans last week was a complete disaster. Both of these teams compete in the AFC South, the league’s only winless division. How bad is that? None of the four teams won in Week 1 — and two of them played each other. There’s hardly such a thing as a must-win game in Week 2, but it does feel like a must-win for the Colts. Starting the season tying Houston and losing to Jacksonville might force Matt Ryan to retire mid-season. On a normal week, this would be a bottom-tier game. But in 2022 Week 2, it isn’t. Sad, really.

  • Seattle Seahawks (1-0) at San Francisco 49ers (0-1), 4:05 (FOX)

Main Storyline: I’m sure you’re tired of hearing it, but this game would also belong lower in any normal week. But this is no normal week. Geno Smith and the Seahawks spoiled Russell Wilson’s homecoming, but they’re still one of the worst teams in the NFL. Trey Lance looked overmatched in his first start, but this one won’t come in a monsoon. I don’t think his leash is very long and if he struggles again, we could see a quick hook to Jimmy G. That’s a somewhat interesting storyline, I suppose.

Trey Lance gets a bit of a pass for the rain game, but not so much this week vs. an inferior NFL opponent at home
Trey Lance gets a bit of a pass for the Week 1 rain game, but not so much this week vs. an inferior NFL opponent at home (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)

If These NFL Games Show Up On My TV, I’m Punting It Off My Back Deck

Trying to figure out which games went into this tier was very difficult. Not because there aren’t contenders. No, quite the opposite. I could make a case that five or six of the Sunday games belong down here. In fact, the teams that did make the cut should be ashamed. This is the worst of the worst in what could be the worst week of the entire season.

  • New York Jets (0-1) at Cleveland Browns (1-0), 1:00 (CBS)

Main Storyline: This game has literally all the trappings of a terrible game, on paper. Two bad teams? Check. Two bad quarterbacks? Check. One team heavily favored? Check (Browns are 6.5-point favorites at DraftKings Sportsbook as of writing). I can’t imagine watching Jacoby Brissett and Joe Flacco go head-to-head for three hours. And, you know what? I won’t.

  • Atlanta Falcons (0-1) at Los Angeles Rams (0-1), 4:05 (FOX)

Main Storyline: How did the defending Super Bowl champions end up here so quickly? I don’t know, but I have very little interest in seeing them this week. Matthew Stafford looked hurt, Allen Robinson looked … well, I’m not sure because, like everyone else, I didn’t even see him on Thursday night. The Rams are massive favorites — 10 points as of this writing — and blowouts are already not fun to watch. Add in an uninspiring and possibly Super Bowl-hungover Rams offense and you have the recipe for a very boring NFL football game.

  • Houston Texans (0-0-1) at Denver Broncos (0-1), 4:25 (CBS)

Main Storyline: Following a loss to the SEATTLE SEAHAWKS, I don’t know how you can be excited about this Denver Broncos team. And following … being the Houston Texans, I don’t know how you can ever be excited about that team. The Broncos are another massive favorite (10-point favorites, as of writing) and a blowout seems imminent. It’s a no from me, dawg.

Written by Dan Zaksheske

Dan began his sports media career at ESPN, where he survived for nearly a decade. Once the Stockholm Syndrome cleared, he made his way to Outkick. He is secure enough in his masculinity to admit he is a cat-enthusiast with three cats, one of which is named “Brady” because his wife wishes she were married to Tom instead of him.

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