NFL Games of the Week: NFC Championship rematch steals spotlight

By Joseph Fazio

Sports Blogger



Minnesota Vikings (1-0) at Pittsburgh Steelers (1-0) (12:00 p.m., Sunday, FOX)

Last season, many would say Sam Bradford had his breakout season. After quarterback Teddy Bridgewater went down with a knee injury, Bradford was traded to the Vikings to take over the offense. Bradford would become a key leader for a Vikings’ team that would go 8-8. In his first game this season, Bradford did not disappoint Minnesota, as he threw three touchdowns and 346 passing yards. With talent like wide receiver Stefon Diggs and rookie running back Dalvin Cook, Bradford has great support in the offense. The Steelers’ defense allowed only 279 total yards last week, but if the offensive line is able to stop players like linebacker T.J. Watt, the Vikings may be able to pull off the win.

The Pittsburgh Steelers have taken over the No. 1 spot of the NFL Power Rankings. There has been great improvement in the Steelers defense, particularly with the addition of Watt. Last week, he recorded two sacks and an interception against the Cleveland Browns. The aging quarterback Ben Roethlisberger dished out 263 passing yards and two touchdowns against the Browns’ defense. The only thing not going for the Steelers was their run offense, which only gained 57 yards. Roethlisberger and the Steelers’ defense will play a big role if the team wants to take down the Vikings.

Pittsburgh 27, Minnesota 20


Green Bay Packers (1-0) at Atlanta Falcons (1-0) (7:30 p.m., Sunday, NBC)

(carmine19jock, Flickr)

Week 2 is going to see the rematch of last year’s NFC Championship game, Which saw Atlanta beat Green Bay 44-21. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay offense will look to score more points than last week against the Seattle Seahawks. Both teams have relative decent defenses which will be influential against each team’s high-scoring offense. Last week, Rodgers threw for more than 300 yards but only one touchdown against Seattle’s ball-hawking defensive backs. Receivers Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson will once again have to step up for the Packers. Running back Ty Montgomery will be receiving most of the carriers for and will look to put up more than the 59 yards he rushed for last week.

At many points last week, the Atlanta Falcons were close to losing to the Chicago Bears but managed to come out with the win. Quarterback Matt Ryan completed 21-of-30 passes for an average of more than 10 yards per completion. The running attack for the Falcons was almost invisible, as running back Devonta Freeman took a step back from the offense, only running the ball 12 times. Linebacker Vic Beasley Jr. and the Falcons’ defense will play a major role against the high-powered Packers’ offense. Both teams are almost equally matched in stats and that will equate to a great game.

Green Bay 34, Atlanta 30


Arizona Cardinals (0-1) at Indianapolis Colts (0-1) (12:00 p.m., Sunday, FOX)

Both Arizona and Indianapolis are 0-1, but hear me out, this will be a great game to watch. Every team in the NFL is allowed a bad game,;last week the Patriots had a bad game and they will bounce back. The Cardinals had a bad game and they will bounce back. Losing to the Detroit Lions, throwing three interceptions and losing your star running back can hurt. But I believe the Cardinals can bounce back. If, and I say if, quarterback Carson Palmer can recover from last week’s game and get back to his old tricks, the Cardinals are deadly. Many players will have to step up. Aging wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald and running back John Brown will take a big leap for the Cardinals’ offense. No doubt the Cardinals still have a great defense, but the team just did not cut it last week. After practicing and watching film about what went wrong, I believe the Cardinals will be back to the great team they were last season.

The only reason the Indianapolis Colts are featured this week is because of one player, quarterback Jacoby Brissett. Coach Chuck Pagano would be a fool if he did not start Brissett this week. On the Patriots, Brissett was a quick learner of the offense and was able to get a win in his only start. Brissett had 151 total offensive yards, capped off by a 27-yard rushing touchdown against the Houston Texans. Last week, Brissett only saw a couple snaps after Pagano took out Scott Tolzien after he threw two interceptions. If the Colts want to do well without Andrew Luck until October, Jacoby Brissett is the only viable option the team has.

Arizona 20, Indianapolis 13

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