Week 1 of the new NFL season brought plenty of surprises, but will there be more in store for Week 2?
In this edition of the Showstopper, we’ll break down all the NFL news and betting angles for 49ers vs. Eagles and Cowboys vs. Chargers.
We’ll also turn to college football and dish out what you need to know for a must-see SEC battle between No. 1 Alabama and No. 11 Florida.
No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide vs. No. 11 Florida Gators
Saturday, September 18 | TV: CBS
One of Florida’s biggest challenges is trying to stop Alabama quarterback Bryce Young, who has completed 70.8% of his passes with 7 touchdowns and no interceptions. It will be a difficult first road start for Young, but unless Florida can pressure him into some costly mistakes, he’ll keep it rolling in The Swamp. And on the other end of the ball, it could be a tough task for the Gators to trade points with the Crimson Tide, especially considering Florida has ranked near the bottom of the SEC in red-zone offense so far this season. Alabama has scored 30 or more points in 28 consecutive games now.
Florida quarterbacks Emory Jones and Anthony Richardson have combined to deliver a dynamic 1-2 punch, although many have argued that Richardson should be given more snaps beyond his typical change-of-pace role. Jones threw a total of 4 interceptions paired with a subpar QB rating in the Gators’ victories over Florida Atlantic and South Florida. Some important stats you should know: Alabama coach Nick Saban is 10-0 in head-to-head matchups with Florida coach Dan Mullen. Also, the Crimson Tide are 11-4 against the spread in their last 15 contests as the double-digit favorite.
San Francisco 49ers vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Sunday, September 19 | TV: FOX
Both the 49ers and Eagles got their seasons off to impressive starts in Week 1. Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts looked terrific against the Falcons, but obviously we have to take it with a grain of salt (they are the Falcons, after all). San Fran’s defense gave up 338 passing yards and 3 touchdowns to Jared Goff as the Lions racked up 33 points, so you have to imagine Hurts tests the 49ers secondary with some deep shots to his talented duo of DeVonta Smith and Jalen Reagor. The 49ers lost cornerback Jason Verrett to an ACL tear in Week 1, which could pose additional problems trying to contain the Eagles’ passing attack.
When these squads faced off last season, the Eagles escaped with a narrow 25-20 victory in San Francisco, though that was before Hurts took the reins from Carson Wentz. Since the 49ers lost starting running back Raheem Mostert to season-ending knee surgery, it’ll be up to rookie Elijah Mitchell to shoulder the load, but the pressure will be on Jimmy Garoppolo, Deebo Samuel and George Kittle to recreate their Week 1 downfield magic if the 49ers want to remain in control of this showdown.
Dallas Cowboys vs. Los Angeles Chargers
Sunday, September 19 | TV: CBS
The NFL season opener resulted in a heartbreaker for the Cowboys, and now they’ll have to contend without two of their top stars. Defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence is out 6-8 weeks after breaking his foot and wide receiver Michael Gallup will miss 3-5 weeks with a calf strain. To add insult to injury, defensive end Randy Gregory is listed as doubtful, since he’s still in the league’s COVID-19 protocol.
Dallas didn’t have much luck getting pressure on Tom Brady last week, and with these new developments likely to affect the Cowboys’ pass rush, Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert should have plenty of time to find wideouts Keenan Allen and Mike Williams all game. The Cowboys were shredded by Bucs tight end Rob Gronkowski last week, which could also make Jared Cook a sneaky play to score his first TD in a Chargers uniform. It’s shaping up to be the Dak Prescott Show if Dallas hopes to pull off the road upset.