NFL predictions 2018, Week 2: Patriots-Jaguars should be a great fight

Derrick Gunn
NBC Sports Philadelphia

NBC Sports Philadelphia's Derrick Gunn gives his predictions for Week 2 of the NFL season.

Ravens at Bengals (8:20 p.m., Thursday, NFL Network)

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These two AFC North rivals both got off to winning starts. Joe Flacco and Andy Dalton have had some memorable shootouts in the past. This could be another one. I like the Ravens' pass-catching trio of Willie Snead IV, John Brown and Michael Crabtree better than I like the Bengals being at home.

Panthers at Falcons (1 p.m., FOX)

Carolina had 147 yards rushing vs. Dallas, but it's never good when your QB is the leading rusher (Cam Newton ran for 58 yards). Atlanta is hurting and not just because of how it lost to the Eagles. Safety Keanu Neal tore his ACL and is out for the season. Linebacker Deion Jones was placed on IR with a foot injury. It may be Week 2 but this is a key NFC South tussle. The Falcons claw the Panthers in their nest.

Chargers at Bills (1 p.m., CBS)

Buffalo should have known it was in trouble when it allowed QB Nathan Peterman to start its season opener, and it was a disaster. Head coach Sean McDermott saw all he needed to see from Peterman and has announced first-round pick Josh Allen will start against Los Angeles. But Allen vs. Philip Rivers sounds like a mismatch, and it is. Another tough Sunday for the Bills.

Vikings at Packers (1 p.m., FOX)

What Aaron Rodgers did on one leg vs. the Bears is the stuff legends are made of. If he's able to go against Minnesota, he knows the Vikes' relentless defensive front is coming after him. Kirk Cousins was efficient in his debut with his new team. Because Rodgers is not at 100 percent, I give the edge to the Vikings in Round 1 of this NFC North battle.

Texans at Titans (1 p.m., CBS)

Marcus Mariota lost his TE Delanie Walker for the season because of a dislocated ankle. Speaking of Mariota, he's dealing with an elbow injury. Houston QB Deshaun Watson and the Texans didn't get the job done at New England. Tennessee isn't as difficult of a place to play, especially if Mariota is ailing. Texans ride out of town with a W.

Browns at Saints (1 p.m., FOX)

Cleveland had the Steelers on the ropes and let them off the hook. It's obvious the Browns are fielding a more talented team, but they have to learn how to win before they can win. Unfortunately, they're heading to the Superdome and the Saints are ticked off after getting embarrassed by Tampa Bay. The Browns will give it their best, but their best won't be good enough against Drew Brees and his crew.

Dolphins at Jets (1 p.m., CBS)

Just like every other year, both of these teams think this is the season they take down the Patriots in the AFC East. But first they get to size each other up. Ryan Tannehill has the experience, but rookie QB Sam Darnold was smooth in his pro debut against Detroit and could be really special. The Jets' defense looks good and will give the Dolphins problems. New York gets to 2-0.

Chiefs at Steelers (1 p.m., CBS)

Tyreek Hill and Antonio Brown on the same field is worth the price of admission. The Steelers' run game is different without Le'Veon Bell, but James Conner has shown he can be an adequate replacement. Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes has a cannon for an arm and he's accurate. Pittsburgh is always tough at home, but I think the Chiefs are tough enough to take the 'Burgh down.

Colts at Redskins (1 p.m., CBS)

It looks like Alex Smith is a perfect fit for Jay Gruden's offense, and so is 33-year-old Adrian Peterson. Andrew Luck and the Colts have problems along the offensive line, run game and defense. The Colts blew a 23-10 third-quarter lead at home vs. the Bengals. It's going to be a long afternoon on the road  for Indy.

Cardinals at Rams (4:05 p.m., FOX)

It's hard to explain what went wrong for the Cardinals in their home opener. Now they have to go on the road to face a Rams squad that is complete on both sides of the ball, and is favored by many to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl. Can Arizona stop Jared Goff, Brandin Cooks, Todd Gurley, Aaron Donald, Marcus Peters and many more? Not on this day, it can't.

Lions at 49ers, (4:05 p.m., FOX)

Both teams opened with losses. The difference is the Lions got blasted by the Jets at home. Just like last year, Detroit is still trying to find a run game. The Niners gave it a good shot at Minnesota, but Jimmy Garoppolo and his crew still have some kinks to work out in their schemes. San Fran gets it right at home this time.

Raiders at Broncos (4:25 p.m., CBS)

Plain and simple, Derek Carr has to get the ball in the hands of WR Amari Cooper more than just one time. But Carr's bigger problem is knowing where Denver DE Von Miller is at all times. All Miller did against Seattle was record three of the team's six sacks, force two fumbles and recover a fumble. The Raiders' defense just isn't the same without Khalil Mack. No Mack attack, no Raiders win here.

Patriots at Jaguars (4:25 p.m., CBS)

Is this an early preview of another AFC Championship showdown between these two? The Jaguars feel they owe the Pats. Cornerback Jalen Ramsey has said Pats TE Rob Gronkowski is a mere mortal when a cornerback is covering him. Sounds like fighting words to me, and this should be a good fight from start to finish, with Tom Brady taking on the Jags' defense. I think Brady and crew are just crafty enough to steal one in Florida.

Giants at Cowboys (8:20 p.m., NBC)

Both teams' deficiencies were exposed last Sunday. Both have problems along the offensive line. Dallas has bigger problems. Dak Prescott can't carry the weight of the offense on his shoulders, and a No. 1 receiver hasn't emerged. Odell Beckham Jr. and rookie RB Saquon Barkley take a lot of pressure off Eli Manning. It's a good, old fashioned NFC East grudge match. The Giants will prevail in the house that Jerry built.

Seahawks at Bears (8:15 p.m., Monday, ESPN)

Russell Wilson was sacked six times at Denver, and the 'Hawks' defense, as expected, has holes in it. The Bears are still trying to shake the cobwebs off how they blew a 20-nothing lead in Green Bay. Mack should be in better football shape to wreak havoc. Wilson won't have WR Doug Baldwin for a few weeks because of a knee injury, and their run game isn't there yet. The Bears bounce back in their den. 

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