NFL Games of the Week: Lions, Falcons play in battle of undefeated teams

By Joseph Fazio

Sports Blogger

@JoeFazio32

 

Baltimore Ravens (2-0) at Jacksonville Jaguars (1-1), at Wembley Stadium, London, England (8:30 A.M., Sunday, Yahoo)

This week features the yearly NFL game held at Wembley Stadium in London, England. The Baltimore Ravens are only one of 10 teams left in the NFL which are undefeated. The Ravens’ defense have been one of the best in the league. Cornerbacks Lardarius Webb and Brandon Carr lead the league in interceptions with two apiece. Running back Terrance West has stepped up for the offense, scoring two touchdowns. Wide receiver Jeremy Maclin, who joined the team this season, has also been a key component to the offence, catching two of Joe Flacco’s three touchdown passes. This week, it will be the battle between two stellar defenses and the offense will have to pick up the slack if it want its team to come out on top.

Sacksonville, no longer known as the Jacksonville Jaguars, have one of the best defenses in the league. Defensive end Calais Campbell has shown himself to be one of the league’s best pass rushers. Campbell leads the league in sacks with four, as well as being one of Jacksonville’s leading tacklers. If there is one thing that needs to change, it’s the way quarterback Blake Bortles is performing. Bortles has only thrown two touchdowns and also two interceptions. It may be only a matter of time Bortles is benched in favor of Chad Henne. This game will be low scoring and will come down to which offense can push past their opponent’s great defenses.

Baltimore 17, Jacksonville 9

 

Houston Texans (1-1) at New England (1-1) (12:00 P.M., Sunday, CBS)

It is not an easy thing to say quarterback Tom Brady is getting old. Brady hit a wall in his first game against the Kansas City Chiefs in his 17th season. Luckily, Brady bounced back last week throwing for 447 yards and three touchdowns. The biggest problem for the Patriots will have to be their lack of receivers. Only three Patriots’ wide receivers suited up for the game against the Saints. Notable players such as Julien Edelman and Danny Amendola suffered injuries that left them out of the game. Against the Saints, tight end Rob Gronkowski and wide receiver Chris Hogan were shaken up and were absent for part of them game. Players such as wide receiver Brandin Cooks and running back Mike Gillislee will have to step up if they want to lead the Pats to victory.

Houston’s defense will play a big part in this against the aging and rusty Patriots’ offense. So far, Houston’s defense has been certainly been non-existent for the first two games. The team has rallied for only one sacks and zero interceptions. There is not much to say about the Texans’ offense, either. The team is at the bottom of the rankings for points, total yards and passing yards. The only viable weapon the Texans have used is their running backs. The team ranks 7th in rushing yards partly because of running back Lamar Miller and rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson. The Texans look as if they are not ready for this season but do have the possibility of shocking the Patriots this week.

New England 44, Houston 13

 

Atlanta Falcons (2-0) at Detroit Lions (2-0) (12:00 P.M., Sunday, FOX)

This week, will see at least one team lose their undefeated record, as the Atlanta Falcons head to Detroit to face off against the Lions. The Falcons look to continue that undefeated streak after a disappointing end to the 2016 season. Running back Devonta Freeman has been the heart and soul of the offense, rushing for 121 yards and three touchdowns. Quarterback Matt Ryan has been relatively accurate, completing 69 percent of his passes at an average of nearly 10 yards per completion. Outside linebackers Brooks Reed and Vic Beasley Jr. have been a tag team on defense, each obtaining two sacks. Both games have been relatively close for the Falcons, winning by only seven and 11 points. The Falcons’ defense will have to be the ones to lead the team to victory.

(Bruce Adler, Flickr)

The Detroit Lions are quickly looking to get back to the team they used to be many years ago. The team is starting off strong after dropping the Arizona Cardinals and New York Giants. Quarterback Matthew Stafford is looking like a changed man, leading the league with six touchdowns. Stafford is also rushing for yards which he has not done in a while. He seems to have a better sense in the pocket and is able to roll out when the pocket crashes. Defensive end Ezekiel Ansah has become the true leader of the Lions’ defense. Ansah has a great ability of pushing right through the opposing offensive lines to get to the quarterback. This game is really hard to tell who will take the win.

Detroit 20, Atlanta 13

ozone@ocolly.com

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