Bad Blood Highlights Best Matchups for NFL Preseason: Week 2
They are regional rivals, but the Baltimore Ravens and Washington Commanders have played very few meaningful games in their Maryland coexistence. And for the whole of the Ravens time in Baltimore, their D.C. counterparts have been mostly bad, further cooling the would-be rivalry.
That changed significantly on Tuesday, when the two teams got into multiple brawls during a joint practice ahead of their Week 2 preseason game on Monday night.
The fighting began between Ravens wide receiver Tylan Wallace and Commanders cornerback Emmanuel Forbes, and escalated up the chain of command to the point that Ravens All-Pro tight end Mark Andrews body-slammed Commanders corner Danny Johnson after he took exception to the way he was tackled.
The Ravens and Commanders at FedEx Field is the last of our 16 preseason games this weekend, and it’s going to be interesting to see just how much of this bad blood still exists by Monday night.
BetUS.com has the Ravens (-3) as the favorite, and the totals line at 38.5.
Cleveland Browns at Philadelphia Eagles
The first of our 16 games in Week 2 of the preseason is the Cleveland Browns at Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday night.
These two teams have also engaged in joint practices this week, with the Browns accusing some Eagles defenders of taking late cheap shots at quarterback Deshaun Watson. Two-time All-Pro guard Joel Bitonio was vocal about his displeasure in the post-practice press conference, pointing to several plays in which the Eagles were overaggressive.
Watson will start for the Browns on Thursday, while the Eagles are expected to keep starting quarterback Jalen Hurts on the sideline.
The Eagles (-3.5) are the favorites, and the totals line is 37.5.
Carolina Panthers at New York Giants
Number one overall pick Bryce Young will make his second start at quarterback for the Carolina Panthers, while his offensive line works on doing a much better job of protecting him. At only 5-foot-10, 205 pounds, one major concern for Young is durability. The two big hits he took in limited action in Week 1 raises that concern level.
On Friday, the Panthers will be at MetLife Stadium to face the New York Giants, who struggled with the pass rush in their first week loss to the Detroit Lions.
New York (-3) is the home favorite, with the totals line set at 39.
Chicago Bears at Indianapolis Colts
The meat of Week 2 is on Saturday, when 11 of the 16 games will be played. And one of the more exciting quarterback matchups can be found in Indianapolis, when the Chicago Bears make the 180-mile trip south to face the Colts.
We know what Bears quarterback Justin Fields can do with his feet when given the space to run. And we think we know what we will see from Colts rookie quarterback Anthony Richardson, who ran an even faster 40-yard dash than Fields at the NFL combine. For the record, Fields was 4.44, and Richardson was 4.43.
Richardson was named the team’s regular season starter this week, but he is unlikely to get the starter’s treatment and sit on the sideline during the preseason. With only 13 starts at the University of Florida, he needs reps. The Bears are undecided about how much time Fields will get on Saturday.
BetUS.com has Richardson at +600 to win Offensive Rookie of the Year, and the Colts (-3.5) are favored to win on Saturday.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New York Jets
If HBO’s Hard Knocks isn’t giving you enough of the New York Jets, tune in to their first home game of the Aaron Rodgers era on Saturday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The last time we saw a future Hall of Fame quarterback change teams late in his career, it was Tom Brady going to these Buccaneers and winning a Super Bowl. Jets fans will pack into MetLife Stadium on Saturday, hoping to get a glimpse of the man whom they hope will do the same for them.
Rodgers has yet to play in the preseason, and newly acquired Jets running back Dalvin Cook will not play for New York this Saturday.
The Jets (-2.5) are home favorites on Saturday night.
New Orleans Saints at Los Angeles Chargers
After the 11-game smorgasbord on Saturday, there is just one preseason game on Sunday. And you can forgive New Orleans Saints quarterback Derek Carr if it doesn’t feel like he left the AFC West this year. He began his preseason last week against the Kansas City Chiefs, an old division foe he faced 17 times as the quarterback of the Oakland and Las Vegas Raiders. This week he gets the Los Angeles Chargers, a team he has played 18 times.
Carr was sharp in his first outing as a Saint, and he will play at least a couple of series on Sunday. Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert has never played a preseason snap, and that will not change this weekend.
BetUS.com has the Saints (-3) as road favorites, and the totals line at 38.