NFL Week 2 Players To Watch
Each week, I’ll discuss 10 players in key matchups that some of you (or many of you) aren’t really considering. Some will seem obvious, but hopefully most of them give you some new insight and perspective.
Eric Winston, RT, Kansas City- Bills LDE Mario Williams was practically shut out by the Jets last week, and the $100 million man was heavily criticized around the league for his lackluster week one effort. He would love nothing more than to have a monster game in his home debut. It will be up for Winston to stop him and restore pride for a Chiefs team that was also blown out last week.
Antoine Winfield, CB, Minnesota- It’s been an extremely difficult week for the veteran corner, having dealt with his brother’s murder and preparing to face Reggie Wayne, Austin Collie and the Colts. It will be an emotionally charged game for Winfield if he’ll play, and he could pounce on an Andrew Luck mistake and make this a game he’ll never forget.
David Wilson, RB, NY Giants- After fumbling his second carry in New York’s week one loss to Dallas, he was benched on offense for the rest of the game and was limited to special teams work. The first round pick has much to prove as the Giants face a Tampa Bay team that stopped Carolina’s ground game in week one. Big Blue will need Wilson to deliver a strong change of pace to Ahmad Bradshaw if they want to defeat the underrated Bucs.
King Dunlap, LT, Philadelphia- The Eagles offensive line was atrocious, forcing Michael Vick to commit five turnovers in a narrow week one escape in Cleveland. The line, led by Dunlap, has to vastly improve against a Ravens team that won’t let Philadelphia hang around if they protect that poorly this week.
Kevin Kolb, QB, Arizona- This is probably an obvious one, but this may be Kolb’s last opportunity to show he can be a starting QB in the NFL. He’ll be facing the pressure of going toe-to-toe with Tom Brady in Foxboro this week and he has to prove he can lead a team after John Skelton’s injury.
Curtis Lofton, MLB, New Orleans- Robert Griffin III absolutely torched the Saints defense in week one and Lofton is the captain of this beleaguered defense. Lofton has faced Carolina twice a season in his years in Atlanta, and he has to take charge of this unit against Cam Newton and the 0-1 Panthers.
Golden Tate, WR, Seattle- With Dallas keying on Marshawn Lynch and Brandon Carr on Sidney Rice, it will be up to Tate to get open on the outside against rookie Brandon Carr and for TE Zach Miller to have a strong performance. Russell Wilson will need secure options against the Cowboys defense and Tate will have to be the provider.
Kyle Wilson, CB, NY Jets- With Darrelle Revis out, Wilson is by far the key to the Jets’ success in Pittsburgh this afternoon. He needs to lock down Antonio Brown in one-on-one coverage so Rex Ryan can deploy blitzes on Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers’ lackluster offensive line.
The 12th Man, San Diego- The crowd at Qualcomm Stadium will be loud and emotional on Sunday as legendary LB Junior Seau has his number 55 retired before the game after his May 2 suicide. Fans will need to carry that energy over into the game against the Titans to help San Diego to an important and symbolic win.
Chris Houston, CB, Detroit- The Lions secondary was abused in its week one escape against the Rams last week. Detroit is going to be focused on stopping the run, so Houston and this underwhelming back four will have to take care of the pass for the Lions to get its high-powered offense on the field. A win on Sunday Night Football will depend on it.