NFL Must-Win Games in Week Two?
New Orleans (0-1) @ Carolina (0-1). This one could be construed as a make-or-break affair for either team, but the Saints are the team that really can't afford to start 0-2. In light of all of the off-season turmoil with Bounty Gate, the suspensions, the Brees contract squabble, the lifted suspensions, as well as the constant weather concerns in Louisiana, the Saints need this one bad. The offense will probably put up points but that D better pull it together or the Saints are going to find themselves deep in the NFC South.
New York Jets (1-0) @ Pittsburgh (0-1). Probably a little early to be calling this a must-win for the Steelers. After all, they still get to play the Browns twice, but then so does everyone else in their division. Let's just say that Pittsburgh doesn't need to be losing their second consecutive game in the AFC... at home... to the friggin' Jets. The way the Ravens looked in their season opener, if the Steelers drop this one they might as well start thinking wild card.
Tampa Bay (1-0) @ New York Giants (0-1). This is and isn't a huge game for the Giants. They lose and they'll have dropped their first two games at home to NFC opponents. Not good. That being said, they won the Super Bowl last year and didn't raise ticket prices, so there's goodwill aplenty among the fans. Even though we're talking about a New York (yeah, Jersey too) team, as long as the Giants don't stink out the joint this year no one has any right to question them. Interesting side story is, of course, Bucs coach Greg Schiano's return to his Rutgers roots.
Oakland (0-1) @ Miami (0-1). Probably the most fun potential must-win game on the board. It's pretty simple, the Raiders lose to the worst team in the NFL and their insane fans are waiting for them at the airport with blow torches, battle axes, and something that looks half Chris Berman/half bloated bilge rat. The Dolphins lose and no one shows up for the remainder of their games this year... and the forseeable future. Like I said, fun.
Next week officially begins the "I don't want my lousy team to win so they can get the #1 pick in the draft" watch.