Quarterback battles heat up in Week 2. The Eagles try to protect their most important investment, while Detroit hopes to add to their growing confidence. The subplots are many in this edition of the NFL preseason schedule.
New England Patriots at Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Will Tom Brady make cameo?
The offense of the New England Patriots had no trouble scoring 47 points without Tom Brady. Several fans are eager to see what they do with him, which begs the question if he'll indeed play a series or two against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Buccaneers defense didn't surrender a single point in their first preseason game and are eager to measure themselves against the cream of the NFL crop.
Prediction: Patriots win 27-17
Philadelphia Eagles at Pittsburgh Steelers: Eagles offensive line faces tough test
Michael Vick led the only touchdown drive in the first NFL preseason schedule game for the Philadelphia Eagles. He benefited from decent protection against Baltimore but faces a far different animal in the Pittsburgh Steelers, who come off an uneven showing against the Redskins. Both defenses should flex muscles early before the reserves roll in, but all eyes should stay on the offensive lines of both teams.
Prediction: Eagles win 17-14
Washington Redskins at Indianapolis Colts: John Beck trails Rex Grossman
Rex Grossman took advantage of extra playing time in his first preseason appearance and looked extremely good. Teammate John Beck was out of the contest with an injury and now has lots of ground to make up if he wants to prove he deserves the Washington Redskins starting job. The Indianapolis Colts need to figure out if they can find a competent backup to Peyton Manning after a miserable game against the Rams.
Prediction: Redskins win 31-21
Detroit Lions at Cleveland Browns: Matthew Stafford aims for repeat on the road
While Ndamukong Suh continues his ornery rampage of slamming defenseless quarterbacks, it was Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford that looked healthy. His next test is to produce the same results away from comfortable Ford Field against the Cleveland Browns where fellow rising star Colt McCoy also hopes for another strong outing against a much tougher defense.
Prediction: Lions win 24-10
Kansas City Chiefs at Baltimore Ravens: Matt Cassell dodging second shutout
Scoring any points at all is a challenge for the Kansas City Chiefs lately. After the Baltimore Ravens held them to seven points in the playoffs last year, the Chiefs offense has looked tentative and overmatched as ever. Quarterback Matt Cassell must take command of his team if he hopes avoid another shutout against a defense in the Ravens that is better than Tampa Bay.
Prediction: Ravens win 20-7
Carolina Panthers at Miami Dolphins: Cam Newton resumes Jimmy Clausen chase
Ron Rivera got a strong showing from both of his young quarterbacks against the Giants. Jimmy Clausen threw a touchdown in the game despite immense pressure while Cam Newton displayed his wide array of physical talents. The Miami Dolphins have a quarterback issue of their own and hope to get a clearer picture when they face a hardened, well-coached Carolina Panthers defense.
Prediction: Panthers win 23-21
The first set of NFL preseason schedule predictions are in. Stay tuned for part two.