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NFL Week Two Live: Early Afternoon Games

Just because there’s no Texans football doesn’t mean there’s no NFL football. Check out the early offerings inside!

NFL: Arizona Cardinals at Detroit Lions
Our fave QB today.
Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Our Texans defeated the Red Rifle and the Bengals on Thursday night, but we’ve got eight games to offer this afternoon that pit division rivals and star players against each other.

Browns at Ravens

This AFC North rivalry goes back to Art Modell’s decision to move the Browns east to Baltimore and become the Ravens. The Browns deactivated for three years (but retained their history, unlike the Texans/Oilers). Since the revival of the team, the loathing has been fierce. The Browns are the most hapless team in the NFL, so it’s hard to see anything other than a Ravens win, but it should be a hard-fought game.

Bills at Panthers

One of these teams has their franchise quarterback and one does not. Since 1995 (the Panthers’ first season), the southern team has made it to two Super Bowls, whereas the Bills can’t even get into the NFL Playoffs. The glory days of Jim Kelly getting the Bills into the Super Bowl four seasons in a row are a distant memory for the team, yet their fans are diehards, gladly sitting in the snow for games.

Cardinals at Colts

Any Texans fan worthy of his fandom will be rooting for some redbirds this afternoon. This game matters to us, because the Colts have been our nemesis since our inception and we love to watch them suffer. Andrew Luck is still out, so this should be a victory for the Cards, but Any Given Sunday is not just a slogan.

Titans at Jaguars

These are our two other two division rivals. For our sake, we need the Titans to win. It almost feels dirty rooting for them, but the fanatic in me knows that for the Texans to win the AFC South, we’re at the point of rooting against the Jags, who currently hold the lead and the head-to-head advantage over the Texans.

Eagles at Chiefs

If you’re like me, you’ll root against the Chiefs not because of the players on the field, but because of the fanbase on SB Nation. Although both of these teams won their first games, it’s hard to see either of them making it to the big game. Arrowhead Stadium is always an intimidating place for opposing teams, but the Eagles play for a fanbase that throws batteries and boos Santa. I’m sure they can handle it.

Patriots at Saints

So Tom Brady is one of the best quarterbacks in the game right now, and one of the best of the modern era. Drew Brees has fans who’ll say the same about him. This tilt is more a game of the head coaches than any players on the field. Bill Belichick is a defensive mastermind, and Sean Payton’s offenses are a joy to behold. This should be the game everyone’s slobbering over. Don’t feel bad if you’re just over it.

Vikings at Steelers

SKOL? Sam Bradford’s knee isn’t destroyed but Case Keenum will start the game, which gives the Vikings practically no chance against Big Ben and the Steelers. Despite their recent history of being afterthoughts in the NFC North, the Vikings have been pretty d@mn good recently, having won the NFC North two years ago. The Steelers remain one of the class of the AFC, though they are far removed from their glory days.

Bears at Buccaneers

Thanks to Irma, this is the Bucs’ first game of the season; they go into the second week of the season with an 0-0 record. Jameis Winston and Gerald McCoy will be eager to give Floridians something to smile about as they welcome Mike Glennon back to his former stomping grounds. The Bears will be without several key members of their team, like both starting wide receivers, but the Bucs might be recovering emotionally from the havoc the weather has wreaked upon their lives.

Eight games to digest and discuss this afternoon. This is your early games open thread. A late afternoon open thread will be available at 3 p.m.