THE opening of the 2021 season was exactly what everyone hoped to be.
Shocks, stars and slip ups aplenty, but who will kick on in the second week, and who will be left stuck in reverse?
Look at these five games for potential value.
Bengals @ Bears (-3)
The Bears were kept at arm's length by the Rams on Sunday Night Football and a tricky banana skin awaits them in the form of Joe Burrows' Bengals.
It's mystifying that Matt Nagy continues to keep Justin Fields (mainly) on the sideline as Andy Dalton's career continues to canter along the beach of mediocrity.
Cincy just managed to get rid of the Vikings and that will give them confidence – Soldier Field isn't a tough place to come at present.
Five of the Bears' last seven games have been by a score or less, so I wouldn't expect a Chi-town rumble.
Instead, I like the mild upset here as the Bengals go 2-0.
Prediction : Bengals 24 Bears 21 ( Bengals +3)
Patriots (-5.5) @ Jets New England entered the Mac Jones era with a narrow defeat to Miami but this is a great 'get right' game against the whipping boys of the AFC East.
Robert Saleh will get the Jets in the right direction but unfortunately for Gang Green, they're going to have to be even more patient than they've already been.
Jones looked comfortable on an NFL field and a poor Jets defense should hold little fears for him.
It's been six years since the Jets won this fixture and the average margin of victory in that time is a whopping 20 points.
It might not be that high a scoreline but look for the Pats to cover.
Prediction: Patriots 24 Jets 14 (Patriots -5.5)
Vikings @ Cardinals (-3.5)
The Cards waxed Tennessee in Week 1 and the bookies have moved quickly to make them a comfortable favourite against the luckless Vikings, who should have beat the Bengals if they were able to get out of their own way.
Expect their D to be sorely tested by Kyler Murray and co. but they should take heart from the issue that has been plaguing the Cardinals recently: Consistency.
Last season, on all but one occasion a road win was followed by a road loss in the next fixture.
The Vikings on the other hand went 6-4 after their bye last season and have enough here to keep this one close.
The four point handicap feels a little reactionary after just one performance: It might be enough to see the Vikings cover, even in a narrow loss.
Prediction : Vikings 26 Cardinals 28 (Vikings +3.5)
Cowboys @ Chargers (-2.5)
Dallas almost shocked the Bucs on the opening kickoff but a porous secondary allowed 44-year old Tom Brady to do what 40-year old Tom Brady did. And 35-year old Tom Brady. And 30-year old…
If you can ever feel positive about a loss, this was it. Dak Prescott looked imperious after recovering from his injury and CeeDee Lamb looks every bit a star.
The Chargers got a tricky road game out the way by beating Washington but how will they react when they play their first home game at SoFi Stadium in front of fans? The Cowboys have all the tools here to outfight LA in a shootout.
Prediction : Cowboys 32 Chargers 30 (Cowboys +2.5)
Titans @ Seahawks (-5.5)
It's a case of everything went right for Seattle last Sunday, and everything went wrong for the Titans.
After being flayed by Kyler Murray, they've now got to deal with Master Chef Russell Wilson in his own backyard.
The Seahawks went 7-1 at home last season. In fact, they haven't had a losing home record in the whole of the last decade.
The Titans need to show some kind of bounce back in this one, but a comfortable Seattle victory looks more likely.
Prediction : Titans 20 Seahawks 28 (Seahawks -5.5)
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