NFL 2012 Week 2 Preview: Five Things to Watch For

on September 14 2012 3:06 PM

The 2012 NFL Season is in full swing with the second week of play already underway.

The Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears faced off in the first of 15 Thursday night football games, and the rest of Week 2 will kick off on Sunday.

There are plenty of interesting storylines for Week 2. Teams that were upset in the opener look to get the first victory under their belts. Those that played surprisingly good games will try to prove that Week 1 wasn't an anomaly.

Here's what to watch for in Week 2:  

Robert Griffin III

The Redskins quarterback had, perhaps, the best opening week of any NFL player. He set a rookie record by throwing for over 300 yards and two touchdowns, with no interceptions in his debut.

In Week 2, Griffin has a chance to prove that his first game wasn't a fluke. He took advantage of a beaten up New Orleans defense that was without a few key starters, including Jonathan Vilma, because of the bounty scandal suspensions.

Washington heads to St. Louis this weekend against a team that intercepted Matthew Stafford three times on Sunday. A second good game could prove to people that Griffin is the real deal.

Jim Harbaugh vs. Jim Schwartz

The last time San Francisco faced Detroit, the two coaches created one of the more memorable moments of the 2011 season. Harbaugh and Schwartz had to be separated after the 49ers beat the Lions in Week 6.

Now, the two will meet again, this time, on Sunday Night Football. The game should be even more intense, as both clubs have proven themselves to be legitimate contenders in the NFC.

The 49ers will try to stop one of the league's most explosive offenses with a top defensive unit. It will be one of the few times that the postgame handshake between the head coaches could be must-see TV.

New York Jets

The Jets were as dominant as anybody in Week 1, beating the Bills by 20 points at MetLife Stadium. The game wasn't even as close as the score might indicate, as New York took a 41-7 lead in the third quarter.

Can the Jets continue their success against Pittsburgh?

New York surprised many people on Sunday, as expectations for the team had steadily lessened up until the opener. Mark Sanchez threw for the best quarterback rating of his career, and will look to keep Tim Tebow on the bench.

0-2 Teams

While each team still has 14 games left after this weekend, losing the first two games of the season is always tough to recover from. Since 1990, less than 12 percent of teams that start the year 0-2 have reached the playoffs.

Defending division winners, the Saints and the Giants, are in danger of falling two games below .500.

New Orleans has the tough task of winning on the road. They'll play Cam Newton and the Panthers. New York will host Tampa Bay at home. The Giants are favored by a touchdown, but the Buccaneers looked good in the opener, holding Carolina to just 10 points in their victory.

The Steelers are also 0-1. They host the Jets in Pittsburgh, and are favored by six points.

New England and Houston Dominance

Both the Patriots and Texans won their openers easily last week. Expect more of the same this Sunday.

New England is the biggest favorite of the weekend, as they are giving 13.5 points to visiting Arizona. The Cardinals will start Kevin Kolb at quarterback, with John Skelton suffering an injury against the Seahawks.

Houston won by 20 points a week ago, and is expected to have another easy win. They'll visit Jacksonville in their first AFC South matchup of the year.

New England and Houston have the best odds to win the 2013 Super Bowl. Another blowout victory by both teams could cement them as the class of the NFL for 2012.

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