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NFL Week 2 underdogs: Can Justin Herbert’s Chargers conquer the Chiefs? Will Saints best Bucs?

Itching to view an underdog make an effort to overcome the chances or triumph against adversity? Simply seeking to pass enough time reading another NFL.com article while stuck in your cube? Nick Shook supplies a bead on five us-against-the-world scenarios to track entering Week 2 of the 2022 NFL season. The order below depends upon confidence rankings, from No. 1 (most confident) to No. 5 (least confident).

Everyone gather around, link arms and take a breath. It’s not the finish of the planet.

The finish of Week 1 marks the peak of overreaction. The beginning of the NFL’s regular season provides us with the initial legitimate football action because the end of the prior Super Bowl, sufficient reason for it comes hot takes, knee-jerk responses and fears of doomsday.

It’s new. It’s fresh. It’s all we need to trust. It should be law!

Nonetheless it isn’t. Week 1 is only weekly … and Week 2 brings new opportunities to all or any 32 teams.

Much like every week, we’ve 16 underdogs to pick from. Listed below are the ones I really believe generally in most.

The lines below supplied by DraftKings are current by 2: 45 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Sept. 14 unless otherwise noted below.

Kansas City Chiefs

The AFC West is advertised being the best & most rugged division in football this season, but history is apparently on Patrick Mahomes‘ side: The superstar owns a 21-3 record against AFC West opponents. Having said that, two of these three losses attended contrary to the Chargers, and only 1 quarterback has defeated Kansas City twice because the start of 2020 season: Justin Herbert.

Sure, the Chiefs rolled over the Cardinals in Week 1, plus they certainly looked impressive on both sides of the ball. They will be considered a force in the league again this season, but if there’s one team that’s primed to take them down as the season continues to be in its infancy, it is the Chargers. LA will probably be without Keenan Allen (hamstring), but that’s OK: Herbert linked to nine different targets in Los Angeles’ Week 1 win on the Raiders. He’ll have options. That one promises to become a doozy.

New Orleans Saints

Guess what happens they state: Throw the records out with regards to rivalries. Both these teams enter Week 2 at 1-0 and feel great about their season-opening wins, however they came in vastly different fashions. The Buccaneers gradually built a lead within an underwhelming Sunday night make an impression on Dallas, although it took the Saints two . 5 quarters to get their offensive rhythm in a comeback victory over Atlanta. I expect New Orleans to try and carry that momentum into Week 2.

The only real problem: The Saints are facing a far greater defense. That isn’t the main element detail influencing my undertake this matchup, however. It is the other defense — New Orleans’ unit — that could be the difference-maker in that one.

New Orleans is really a perfect 4-0 versus Tampa Bay in the standard season since Tom Brady moved south, and the Saints have caused a lot of problems for the best quarterback ever sold. He owns a passer rating of just 71.5 and a touchdown-to-interception ratio of 6-8 in regular-season meetings with the Saints, who’ve repeatedly stymied the G.O.A.T. and rode their takeaways to a small number of victories. Brady owns a 25-5 record against all the opponents and is quarterbacking an offense that averages 32.3 points per game since 2020, however the Buccaneers have scored just 13.3 points per game contrary to the Saints for the reason that span. Dennis Allen, the brand new head coach of the Saints, may be the same man who coordinated those defenses that turn off Brady.

New Orleans’ offense is chock-full of weapons, and Michael Thomas is apparently completely back. Provided that Jameis Winston can steer clear of the crushing turnovers that punctuated a lot of his career with the Bucs, the Saints have an authentic potential for taking down the Bucs and creating a statement early.

New York Giants

The Giants shocked the football world making use of their comeback win on the Titans in Week 1, also it was apparently so stunning, it’s made them a popular in Week 2. Life certainly comes at you fast.

Saquon Barkley looks the very best he’s got since tearing his ACL in 2020. I will not say he’s completely back, but it’s promising, and the Mike Kafka-directed offense provided more of a spark than many expected last weekend. There are many reasons to trust in the Giants regardless of the low expectations set for them entering this year.

But it is also weekly 2 game. Those responsible for determining favorites and underdogs could have had one way too many sips from the chaotic well that has been Week 1.

Baker Mayfield looked pretty terrible in the initial 1 / 2 of Carolina’s Week 1 loss to Cleveland, but he also nearly led the Panthers to an exciting comeback win. Carolina has enough weapons to go win a casino game, however the Panthers must get Christian McCaffrey more involved after he previously just 14 touches contrary to the Browns. McCaffrey might lead to headaches for the Giants’ defense, which doesn’t include a havoc-wreaker just like the one Mayfield’s Panthers faced in Myles Garrett. If Carolina can play a complete game enjoy it did the ultimate two quarters of Week 1, it includes a good shot to take this road game.

Pittsburgh Steelers

That one feels like a toss-up, and once and for all reason. The injury bug bit both these teams in Week 1, though it sounds as though the Patriots were able to escape with a better outlook because of their banged-up key player, Mac Jones, compared to the Steelers did with T.J. Watt.

It seems Watt avoided the worst possible outcome along with his pectoral injury, but, unfortunately, Pittsburgh’s defense — that was ferocious in the initial 1 / 2 of the Steelers’ overtime make an impression on the Bengals — will need to go minus the reigning Defensive Player of the entire year on Sunday.

Pittsburgh still has standout defensive contributors — Cameron Heyward, Alex Highsmith and Minkah Fitzpatrick all played key roles in Week 1 — who should be salivating at the idea of pressuring Jones — even though he’s “feeling better” from the back spasms he experienced in the growing season opener. Weekly after forcing Joe Burrow to commit a career-high five turnovers, Sundays matchup must appear to be a steak dinner to these Steelers, that are getting ready to face a Patriots offense that mustered just seven points in a Week 1 loss to Miami.

I have to share a little bit of bad news, though: The Steelers havent won a casino game without Watt in the starting lineup (0-4) since he joined the team in 2017.

That one might drop to Pittsburgh’s offense, that was definately not perfect last weekend. Making matters worse, Najee Harris is coping with a foot injury, although he’s got said he’ll play on Sunday. If the second-year RB reaches significantly less than full strength, Mitch Trubisky will need to account for a more substantial part of Pittsburgh’s offense than he did in Week 1. Fortunately for Pittsburgh, Trubisky is among the winningest quarterbacks in games where his team scores less than 24 points (12 wins) since he entered the league in 2017 — second and then Ben Roethlisberger (16).

Trubisky also knows what it’s prefer to win with out a key defensive teammate available: The Bears won both of the starts he made while Khalil Mack was sidelined in 2018. It’s time for Mitch to channel his inner Big Ben.

Follow Nick Shook on Twitter.

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