NFL Week 2's top games: NFC title game rematch, Browns in prime time

Yahoo Sports

Yahoo Sports NFL senior writers Charles Robinson, Terez Paylor and Kimberley A. Martin select games this week that will leave us buzzing heading into Monday or Tuesday.

Robinson’s must-watch
New Orleans Saints at Los Angeles Rams

C’mon. Are we going to pretend there is any game on the slate better than a rematch of last season’s controversial NFC title game?

Scroll to continue with content
Ad

Saints fans have been circling it from the moment of the schedule announcement after getting pooched on the biggest pass interference no-call in league history. But hard feelings aside, the football is what matters here. And this is going to give a fantastic measuring stick on the quality of both of these teams.

We all know the Rams and Saints should be in the mix for the Super Bowl. With both teams relatively healthy, this will let us know which one has the edge in the conference’s race for the No. 1 seed.

Paylor’s must-watch
Cleveland Browns at New York Jets

The Browns looked terrible in a 43-13 home loss to the Titans in the season opener, as they struggled to protect quarterback Baker Mayfield and were also flagged so many times (18) it made the 1976 Oakland Raiders blush.

Now they have an opportunity to right the ship against a Jets team that will be starting Trevor Siemian in place of Sam Darnold, meaning the over-under for interceptions they should snare is about 1.5. The Jets are at home, however, and it’s on Monday night; if the Browns don’t play well, anything could happen. And if Cleveland loses ... woof. Expect a meltdown by arguably the most tortured fan base in the NFL.

Martin’s must-watch
Cleveland Browns at New York Jets

Odell Beckham, Jr. vs. Gregg Williams.

Jarvis Landry vs. Adam Gase.

Baker Mayfield vs. Everybody.

Get your popcorn, people!

Williams’ Bountygate ways are back in the news after Beckham blasted the former Browns defensive coordinator/interim head coach for targeting him with “cheap” and “dirty” defense two years ago. Landry denied being disgruntled about Gase dealing him from Miami to Cleveland last year, but there’s definite bad blood there. And after throwing three interceptions against the Titans, Mayfield is amped to quiet his critics.

But if you’re not here for the drama, consider this: The beginning of the Baker era began in Week 4 against the Jets with a 21-17 come-from-behind win on “Thursday Night Football.” Now the stage is set for one hell of a prime-time showdown.

Both teams were embarrassed at home last week, so this is as “must-win” of a game as it gets this early in the season. The Browns, who were blown out by 30 points, are still reeling from the death of DE Chris Smith's girlfriend. Meanwhile, the Jets were dealt a blow when they lost starting quarterback Sam Darnold to – of all things – mononucleosis.

More from Yahoo Sports:

What to Read Next