The second weekend of NFL games has blessed us with multiple intriguing matchups. In the early games, we get to see an NFC North grudge match between the Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers, with Aaron Rodgers looking for a little revenge against the team that ended his season last year. There’s also a divisional battle in the NFC South, with Matt Ryan and the Falcons hoping to bounce back from their Week 1 loss
In the last afternoon games, there’s another pair of contests that will draw plenty of eyeballs. First, out in Denver, the Broncos hope that their offense can carry over its momentum from Week 1 against the division-rival Raiders and head coach Jon Gruden. Then, in Jacksonville, a rematch of the AFC Championship Game, with the New England Patriots squaring off once more with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
To get an expert’s perspective on these games, we dialed up WCCO-TV sports anchor Mark Rosen in Minnesota. You can find his picks for two of the games below. For the rest, check out the video at the top of the page.
Minnesota Vikings @ Green Bay Packers, 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time (FOX)
“Aaron Rodgers is riding high off of his magic-carpet-ride comeback win over the Bears. But his injured left knee will limit his mobility, which has been a strength when he can stretch out plays against the Vikings. Head coach Mike Zimmer is a master at disguising his defenses, and how Rodgers handles those exotic blitz packages will go a long way in deciding this one. Meanwhile, Kirk Cousins is the other quarterback in this matchup. He has a variety of offensive weapons, starting with the return of running back Dalvin Cook, who’s pass-catching ability keeps the chains moving. I think the Vikings defense should be the difference-maker in this early-season rivalry. Vikings 24, Packers 20.
New England Patriots @ Jacksonville Jaguars, 4:25 p.m. Eastern Time (CBS)
“The featured game of the weekend, and the Jaguars have a great opportunity to show they are worthy of being Super Bowl contenders. They have circled this one since losing to Tom Brady in that painful AFC title game, when the Pats scored 14 unanswered points in the fourth quarter. Now, it’s only September, but the outcome could have lasting effects to decide who ends up with home-field advantage. How do you ever pick against Belichick and Brady? Well, I do this week. I think Jacksonville’s defense is that good, and they knock off the Pats. Jaguars 21, Patriots 17.