Buffalo (0-1) at Green Bay (1-0), 1 p.m.: There's no other way to put it – it's all uphill for the Bills this week when they travel to Lambeau Field. Despite a Swiss-cheese (pun intended) offensive line last week, quarterback Aaron Rodgers and the high-powered Green Bay offense scored on four consecutive drives midway through their 27-20 victory in Philadelphia. Green Bay has won its last three home openers under coach Mike McCarthy, and the team hasn't strung together four home-opening victories since 1938-41. So Green Bay will be ready to make history.
However, Buffalo will have a chance to exploit Green Bay's beat up defense if it can get the running game going.
Packers defensive ends Johnny Jolly and Justin Harrell will miss the game due to suspension and injury, respectively, and defensive ends Cullen Jenkins and Mike Neal were limited in practice this week… Bills quarterback Trent Edwards will be facing a nasty pass rusher in Clay Matthews, though Matthews was limited in practice this week due to a lingering hamstring injury. Also, cornerback Charles Woodson is battling a toe injury, and other starting corner Al Harris is out.
Defensively, Buffalo won't have to face Green Bay running back Ryan Grant as ligament damage in his ankle from last week ended his season… Despite the injuries, Green Bay still has Rodgers and Greg Jennings. Also, Matthews and Woodson should be good to go. Plus, the Bills are the Bills. We'll see. Buffalo couldn't get its backfield going last week like it did in the preseason, and Edwards may struggle with having Lee Evans as his best wideout.
Saint Nick's Prediction: Green Bay 27, Buffalo 7.
Miami (1-0) at Minnesota (0-1), 1 p.m.: An interesting matchup in this game will be the Vikings' defensive line against the Dolphins' offensive line – not because of how competitive it will be, but because of how dominant the Vikings could be. Left tackle Jake Long will have his hands full with fierce pass-rusher Jared Allen, and Ray Edwards is no slouch at the right defensive end. Put tackles Pat and Kevin Williams in between the two, and it could be a long day for the interior guys of a Dolphins offensive trench unit who haven't had a lot of work together yet… The key for the Dolphins will be to get Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown rolling out of the backfield, and quarterback Chad Henne may be able to take advantage of the Vikings' rush with some quick passes.
Minnesota couldn't get much going offensively last week against the Saints, but that's mostly because Brett Favre wasn't spectacular. Favre missed almost all of the offseason and was expected to start a little slow this year. Miami's defense is pretty good, but Adrian Peterson running behind a good offensive line and Favre's dynamic passing attack will be a chore for the Flippers.
Saint Nick's Prediction: Minnesota 24, Miami 10.