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We’re still early in the NFL season, but with seven of the 16 games in the second week being between division rivals, the results could play a major role in late season tiebreakers. Here’s a look at the top storylines for Week 2.


Wardens of the North

The top two teams in both the AFC and NFC North square off this week. In the AFC North, the Cincinnati Bengals and Pittsburgh Steelers will renew their rivalry. The Steelers (3-point favourites) have had the upper hand in recent years, winning four of the last five meetings, including last season’s vicious playoff matchup where Ben Roethlisberger could hardly throw by the end of the game, and Antonio Brown needed help to stand. This will be a physical matchup.

In the NFC North, the Packers (3-point favourites) will visit the Minnesota Vikings. As you may recall, the Vikings beat the Packers in Week 17 last season to claim the division. Was that a changing of the guards? The Packers are still the chalk in the NFC North, but the Vikings can send a message in this matchup.


Coaches on the Hot Seat

We’ve seen only one week of action in the NFL, and Jeff Fisher and Mike McCoy are on the hot seat already. In both cases, this is just carry-over from last year, but time is ticking for both of their teams to turn things around.

Fisher’s Los Angeles Rams traded a small fortune in the 2016 NFL Draft to move up and select QB Jared Goff with the first overall pick. Fisher thought Goff would give the offense a boost, but he’s struggled thus far. He is now a third-stringer behind Sean Mannion and Case Keenum, who couldn’t even get the Rams into the red zone, let alone on the scoreboard, when they were shut out in San Francisco last week.

As for McCoy, his Chargers blew a 24-3 second-half lead at Kansas City in one of the ugliest losses of the week. The Chiefs started their comeback after the Chargers’ star wideout, Keenan Allen, collapsed with a now-confirmed torn ACL. He’s out for the season.


Texans Seek Revenge

The Texans (2-point favourites) host the Kansas City Chiefs this week in a game they’ve been looking forward to since the schedule was revealed. The Texans hosted the Chiefs in the playoffs last season and suffered an embarrassing 30-0 loss. As a result of that game, the Texans made significant changes to their offense in the offseason, signing quarterback Brock Osweiler, running back Lamar Miller and drafting wideout Will Fuller. We’ll find out just how much they’ve changed this Sunday.


Dolphins’ Challenging Start to the Season

The Dolphins nearly upset the Seahawks in Seattle last week, and now they hit the road to New England to face the Patriots. Starting the season with back-to-back road games in New England and Seattle is as tough as it gets. The Seahawks have won 32 of their last 37 home games, and the Patriots have won 33 of their last 38 at home. No other teams have posted better home records in that span. The Dolphins face an uphill battle to avoid an 0-2 start.


*Odds as of September 15, 2016