NFL Watchability Index, Week 2: Seahawks-49ers the big headliner

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Another week of NFL action is here. Which games are worth tuning in? We'll help you out with the Week 2 Watchability Index.

Week 2 of the NFL season is the perfect time to start complaining about the dull games on the upcoming schedule. We all do it. But just three weeks ago we were voluntarily watching the preseason.

It's not a great slate of games this week. Outside of the big NFC West clash on NBC, these are pretty slim pickings for Week 2. Which games might be worth your time? That's what I'm here for. Welcome to another week of the NFL Watchability Index.

New York Jets at New England Patriots

Geno Smith had a surprisingly-decent performance in his NFL debut. He now faces a team that gave up a surprisingly-decent performance to a rookie quarterback in his NFL debut. What could go wrong here? The Patriots lost Shane Vereen to a broken wrist, and will almost certainly be without Danny Amendola. This game could be closer than people suspect.

Watchability rank: 3

St. Louis Rams at Atlanta Falcons

Matt Ryan was nearly flawless against the Saints until a late interception ended Atlanta's chances of winning. Roddy White is a concern this week; his ankle sprain may be more severe than the team is letting on.

Tavon Austin got all the hype going into the season, but Jared Cook may end up being Sam Bradford's new favorite toy. He might finally be looking at a breakout year after being underutilized in Tennessee.

Watchability rank: 3

Cleveland Browns at Baltimore Ravens

Every team in the AFC North is 0-1. Something has to change this week. Baltimore is still looking for answers at tight end after Ed Dickson flopped in last week's loss. They'll also be without Jacoby Jones, so undrafted rookie Marlon Brown gets his big chance to show something. This game's watchability mostly depends on whether the Browns remember that Trent Richardson is on the roster.

Watchability rank: 2

Carolina Panthers at Buffalo Bills

The Panthers' front seven made a big statement on Sunday, shutting down Marshawn Lynch and making Russell Wilson run for his life all afternoon. E.J. Manuel looked pretty salty in a losing effort to the Patriots, but I think he'll face his first real test here. Ron Rivera is still trying to figure out how to use Cam Newton, which doesn't bode well for his warming seat.

Watchability rank: 2

Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears

The Marc Trestman offense got off to a slow start, but they recovered in time to mount a comeback win over the Bengals. One encouraging stat from the game: Jay Cutler was sacked a total of zero times.

Adrian Peterson got three total touchdowns and the Vikings still lost, because they're still under the impression that Christian Ponder is a franchise quarterback. He should be on a shorter leash than he is, but the front office remains committed to him. They did sign Matt Cassel in the offseason, so they have a more credible Plan B than Joe Webb if things keep going south for Ponder.

Watchability rank: 2

Washington Redskins at Green Bay Packers

The Packers spent all offseason preparing for the read-option, then watched Colin Kaepernick hang 412 passing yards on them. Now they face Robert Griffin III, who showed clear signs of rust in Monday's loss. Maybe they'll get it right this time? Eddie Lacy should see better looks against a Washington defense that was gashed by LeSean McCoy. This is the Fox Game of the Week, and those usually don't disappoint, despite Joe Buck's best efforts. Highly recommend this one.

Watchability rank: 4

Tennessee Titans at Houston Texans

For now, the Titans seem content to just sit on the ball and hold Jake Locker's hand for the entire game. That strategy worked against a Steelers team that could be even worse than expected, but we'll see how it does against the Texans defense. Brian Cushing being back is huge for Houston.

Watchability rank: 2

Miami Dolphins at Indianapolis Colts

Some people expected the Colts to regress this season, but few predicted them needing a late rally to beat the Raiders. The good news is that Ryan Tannehill isn't a dual threat QB like Terrelle Pryor. One storyline coming into this game is Mike Wallace's usage. He got just five targets against the Browns and later expressed frustration with his decoy role. It's probably a non-story, but the broadcasters will still be talking about it, so there you go.

Watchability rank: 3

Dallas Cowboys at Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs took care of business against a woeful Jaguars team, but I still don't know exactly how good they'll be this year. Dallas should provide a better litmus test for Andy Reid and company, provided that Dez Bryant isn't slowed by his foot sprain. This is looking like another toss-up game, and I'm not seeing many compelling reasons to recommend it.

Watchability rank: 2

San Diego Chargers at Philadelphia Eagles

Chip Kelly's offense looks like the real deal. That gives this game an automatic bump in my rankings. LeSean McCoy in particular looked like a man possessed on Monday, and that should scare defenses everywhere. Shady is a gifted runner who was always an awkward fit in Andy Reid's system. He's a darkhorse MVP candidate.

Meanwhile, the Chargers had another second-half meltdown on Monday Night Football. Are we sure Norv Turner got fired?

Watchability rank: 4

Detroit Lions at Arizona Cardinals

These two teams' biggest offseason acquisitions are already paying dividends. Reggie Bush and the Lions look like a match made in heaven, while Carson Palmer has already revived Larry Fitzgerald's career. Arizona is going to be airing it out a lot with the running game still a concern, and Palmer has a much better arm than Detroit's Week 1 opposing QB, Christian Ponder. This game could become a shootout.

Watchability rank: 2

New Orleans Saints at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Josh Freeman had yet another miserable performance and the Bucs still nearly beat the Jets. That's largely thanks to a defense that the team spent big money on in the offseason. Standard Jets caveats apply, of course, but it's something to build on. However, that defense is now facing Drew Brees instead of Geno Smith. If Freeman doesn't improve on his 48-percent completion rate, the Mike Glennon Experiment might start sooner than later.

Watchability rank: 2

Denver Broncos at New York Giants

The Broncos defense played better than expected last week, a promising sign while they wait for Von Miller to return, assuming he ever stays out of trouble and can get back on the field. The Giants still don't trust David Wilson after his Sunday night meltdown, but they may have no choice but to start him now that Da'Rel Scott has a knee injury. Speaking of Scott, I honestly never expected to type the words "Da'Rel Scott" this season. The Giants dearly miss Andre Brown, though they did just re-sign Brandon Jacobs.

This probably won't be that great of a game, especially if Peyton Manning continues rewriting the record books, but hey, it's Manning Bowl III. CBS will make you tune in and you will like it.

Watchability rank: 3

Jacksonville Jaguars at Oakland Raiders

The Raiders didn't totally embarrass themselves in Week 1, but that might say more about the Colts than the Raiders. Terrelle Pryor was entertaining, at least -- either the Colts underestimated him or he really is making improvements in his game. If he keeps this up they might be the most exciting 4-12 team of all time. The Jaguars are still a complete mess, in case you were wondering. They might be the front runner for the No. 1 draft pick after this week.

Watchability rank: 1

San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks

The media spent the entire offseason hyping up 49ers-Seahawks as the next great rivalry. Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson responded by reportedly agreeing to shave one eyebrow if they lost. That's so lame. These two quarterbacks are way too likeable to have any real animosity toward each other. We need Jim Harbaugh and Pete Carroll squaring off in a cage match or something. Spice things up here.

Anyway, it's a prime-time game in Seattle, so if you're doing a drinking game, do not take any drinks for camera shots of the fish tossers at the Pike Place Market. You'll be dead by the third quarter.

Watchability rank: 5

Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals

Last week's MNF doubleheader was surprisingly watchable, so naturally we have our first big stinker in Week 2. The Steelers' offense is in crisis after losing Maurkice Pouncey for the year, and they may be without Le'Veon Bell for at least another month. The running game is in such bad shape they brought back Jonathan Dwyer after releasing him at final roster cuts. I wasn't too high on Pittsburgh before the season, but things could fly off the rails in a hurry if they start 0-2.

Watchability rank: 2

More from SB Nation NFL:

Pride of the City: FDNY vs. NYPD's annual baseball game

Breaking Madden: Let's give Peyton Manning the worst O-line ever

The best plays & players from Week 1

NFL power rankings: 49ers still on top

Disarming the NFL's newest weapon: How to stop the read-option

Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.


You must be a member of to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at You should read them.


You must be a member of to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at You should read them.




Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.