Week 1 of the 2022 NFL season featured several “rivalry” games, and a number of them lived up to the hype.
The Los Angeles Chargers and Las Vegas Raiders, long-time bitter AFC West rivals, went back and forth at SoFi Stadium with L.A. winning by five, Baker Mayfield suffered a heartbreaking loss to his former employer, the Cleveland Browns, and Russell Wilson was unable to beat his former team, the Seattle Seahawks, in Washington state.
But Week 2 will certainly have its share of interesting, if not “must-watch” matchups that even the casual fan will want to tune into.
This is a season defined by big-name faces in new places and perhaps the most talented and deep conference ever in the AFC, and there is no shortage of intriguing storylines across the land.
In particular, these three matchups should adequately whet the palate of pigskin fans everywhere.
3. Chargers Versus Chiefs
The Kansas City Chiefs have been arguably the best team in the AFC for the past few years, and even without star wide receiver Tyreek Hill, they could still be the team to beat.
But the Chargers are determined to take that honor away from Kansas City, and they certainly have the talent to do so.
On Sunday against Las Vegas, their defense made numerous big plays at key moments, while Justin Herbert looked fantastic.
This will be a matchup of two of the league’s best offenses, not to mention two of the league’s best quarterbacks.
Unfortunately for Los Angeles, they’re likely to be shorthanded, as Pro Bowl wideout Keenan Allen appears unlikely to play in the contest because of a hamstring injury, and head coach Brandon Staley admitted as much.
Brandon Staley says that “it’s not looking great” for Keenan Allen on Thursday. Allen has a hamstring injury.
— Lindsey Thiry (@LindseyThiry) September 13, 2022
Still, this contest, which can be seen on Amazon Prime Video, could end up being a hotly contested shootout and possibly a preview of the AFC Championship Game this winter.
2. Bengals Versus Cowboys
The Dallas Cowboys always find a way to put themselves in the headlines, whether it’s for good or bad reasons.
Right now, tough times have come for them, as QB Dak Prescott injured his right thumb and is expected to be out for about two months.
Owner Jerry Jones, brash and blindly optimistic as ever, thinks Prescott could return in one month, not two.
Jerry Jones said on 105.3 The Fan that the Cowboys won’t put Dak Prescott on injured reserve and that he thinks his injured quarterback could return within the next four games.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 13, 2022
If Cooper Rush, who will fill in for Prescott, plays unexpectedly well despite his lack of NFL experience, this could be a very competitive game.
Dallas certainly has ample talent throughout its roster, starting with running back Ezekiel Elliott and ascendent wideout CeeDee Lamb.
But so do the Cincinnati Bengals, the defending AFC champions who possess a Big 3 in QB Joe Burrow, running back Joe Mixon, and wideout Ja’Marr Chase, the reigning Offensive Rookie of the Year.
Cincinnati lost by three to the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 1, and it will surely be hungry for a win.
1. Vikings Versus Eagles
These are perhaps two dark-horse teams that could win their respective divisions if enough goes right.
The Minnesota Vikings clobbered the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, while the Philadelphia Eagles should benefit from the Cowboys being without Prescott.
Philly doesn’t have an overpowering amount of talent, but Jalen Hurts is one of the best running QBs in the game, while wideout A.J. Brown (who had 155 yards on Sunday versus the Detroit Lions) and tight end Dallas Goedert are a nice receiving duo.
The Vikings, of course, have their own star offensive duo in WR Justin Jefferson and RB Dalvin Cook.
This could turn out to be a pretty entertaining game between two teams that have ample ability to score the football.NEXT: Video Shows Mac Jones Returning To Patriots Practice