3 must-see NFL games in Week 2

Sept 13, 2:52 PM

With one week of the 2014 NFL season in the books, the Week 2 schedule features plenty of intriguing games, and here are the three you can't miss this weekend.

Atlanta Falcons at Cincinnati Bengals

1 p.m. EDT, FOX

If you like offense, Sunday's matchup between the Atlanta Falcons and Cincinnati Bengals will certainly be one to watch.

Matt Ryan and the Falcons' offense turned in one of the more dominant performances of the NFL's opening week, moving the ball at will against a New Orleans Saints defense that was widely expected to make the jump to one of the league's best.

While the Bengals struggled to hang on to a two-score second-half lead on the road against the division rival Baltimore Ravens, the Andy Dalton-to-A.J. Green connection that has carried the offense for several seasons once again came through late, putting the unit's big-play ability on full display.

The Bengals have had one of the NFL's more consistent pass defenses over the past few seasons, but matching up against what is arguably the league's top tandem in Julio Jones and Roddy White is no easy task.

The Bengals will be the favorites heading in, as their pass rush will have an opportunity to offset some of the matchup problems the secondary will face.

However, should the Falcons' defense play the same opportunistic football they did in Week 1, giving up their share of yardage but coming away with key turnovers, they could very well come away with what would be a second-straight impressive win to start the season.

Seattle Seahawks at San Diego Chargers

4:05 p.m. EDT, FOX

At first look, Sunday's matchup between the Seattle Seahawks and San Diego Chargers is a relatively lopsided one, but don't rule out the home squad just yet.

The Seahawks are road favorites, and for good reason. The defending Super Bowl champs are coming off a convincing season-opening win against a good Green Bay Packers team, and the Chargers started their season with a disappointing loss after giving up an 11-point fourth quarter lead to the Arizona Cardinals.

However, the Seahawks are certainly more vulnerable on the road than they are in front of Qwest Field's 12th man, and while the Chargers lacked consistency under head coach Mike McCoy in 2013, they made a habit of pulling off upset victories.

Wins over the Indianapolis Colts, Denver Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs all displayed the Chargers' ability to dedicate a game plan to the running game with success and thus dictate the pace of the game and come out on top when supposedly outmatched.

The Seahawks should win this game, but the Chargers' penchant for pulling off upsets, and doing so with a strong dedication to the running game, will give them a chance. Everyone likes an upset, right?

Chicago Bears at San Francisco 49ers

8:30 p.m. EDT, NBC

After a Week 1 loss at home to the Buffalo Bills, the Chicago Bears already need a win in the worst way, and going on the road to take on the San Francisco 49ers doesn't exactly make it an ideal week to face that situation.

The 49ers head in as the favorite, due in large part to the matchup of their dominant running game with a Bears defense that gave up 193 rushing yards and 5.0 yards per carry last week.

While the 49ers didn't look their best on either side of the ball in their season opener, the turnovers the defense was able to force played a big role in what turned out to be a convincing road win over the Dallas Cowboys.

If Bears quarterback Jay Cutler can both take care of the football and get enough time in the pocket against the pass rush, the matchup of the Bears' receivers against the 49ers defensive backs is one they can exploit.

Considering which, expect the Bears to push the ball down field throughout the game, and if their new-look defensive front struggles like it did against the Bills, this could turn out to be one of the higher scoring matchups of the week.

Overall, the Bears' defense will have to improve if they are to keep the 49ers from controlling the game. Otherwise, the Bears' offense could be forced into far more obvious passing situations than they would like, and the 49ers defense could carry them to victory for a second straight week as a result.

Feature photo courtesy of USA TODAY Sports /Dennis Wierzbicki