NFL Week 2: Trends which will decide each game

Use your ← → (arrows) to browse

CINCINNATI, OHIO – SEPTEMBER 13: Joe Burrow #9 of the Cincinnati Bengals looks to pass the ball against the Los Angeles Chargers during the game at Paul Brown Stadium on September 13, 2020 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

A look at the numbers that will prove to be the most relevant in Week 2.

The NFL’s 101st season kicked off with the reigning champion Kansas City Chiefs taking care of business on a Thursday night at home against the Texans. In Week 1, both the home and visiting teams each won eight games. And it was somewhat notable that half of the league’s eight last-place teams from a year ago (Jaguars, Chargers, Washington and Cardinals) won Sunday.

So here is a look at Week 2 and what to keep an eye on. There are five match-ups in which both teams come off an opening week victory and five contests pitting both clubs looking for their first win in 2020.

NOTE: All times ET

Thursday, Sept. 17

Cincinnati Bengals (0-1) at Cleveland Browns (0-1), 8:20 pm

Bengals: Zac Taylor’s team comes off a heartbreaking 16-13 home loss to the Los Angeles Chargers in which rookie quarterback Joe Burrow drove the team into scoring position late in the game only to have kicker Randy Bullock miss a short field goal and injure himself in the process. But the bigger issue for the team came in the form of a defensive unit that was hoping to be better against the run this season.

The Bengals allowed the most rushing yards in the league this past year and were 29th in the NFL in this category in 2018. Cincinnati gave up 155 yards to the Bolts on Sunday and will now attempt to slow down Browns’ Pro Bowler Nick Chubb on a short week.

Browns: The team hasn’t won an opening-day game since 2004, going 0-15-1 in Week 1 the past 16 seasons. Now new head coach Kevin Stefanski and the Browns hope to get better against a team they have had some success against the previous two seasons.

Although Cincinnati won the last meeting in Week 17 a year ago at Paul Brown Stadium, Cleveland bested their intrastate and divisional rivals in the previous three encounters. In four career meetings vs. the Bengals, Browns’ quarterback Baker Mayfield has thrown twice as many touchdown passes (10) as interceptions (5). But buyer beware, because all five of those picks came a year ago in the clubs’ two clashes.

Use your ← → (arrows) to browse