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Detroit Lions Week 2 NFL viewing guide

With no Lions football on Sunday, here are the games you should—and may have to—watch.

Chicago Bears v Los Angeles Rams Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

While I love me some Detroit Lions football, there is nothing quite like a Sunday slate of NFL games without them. As a fan, there is little emotional investment to stress out about, giving you the freedom to just enjoy football for the spectacle that it is. As a writer, it’s a rare chance to just sit back, enjoy a week of football without furiously live-tweeting, or recapping, or scrambling to the press room to make sure you catch Dan Campbell in time after submitting your game recap.

So to help navigate this Lions-less Sunday, I put together a little recap of the best games to watch, and which ones will be available in your area.

1 p.m. ET

The local games:

If you aren’t in the local Detroit area, see which games are on locally for you here.

  • Rams (1-0) vs. Colts (0-1) — 1 p.m. ET (FOX)
  • Raiders (1-0) vs. Steelers (1-0) — 1 p.m. ET (CBS)

The local broadcasts know exactly what they’re doing. If you’re in the Detroit area, you have your choice of seeing Matthew Stafford and the Rams take on a battered-up Colts team or watching the Raiders take on the Steelers in a matchup of two 1-0 AFC teams.

All of the intrigue here is on the Rams/Colts game. Not only is it an opportunity to see if Stafford can build upon his record-setting Week 1 game, but it obviously has NFL Draft implications given the Lions will have the Rams’ first-round pick in the 2022 Draft. Even from an outsider's perspective, this matchup gives us Aaron Donald vs. Quenton Nelson.

The best of the rest:

  • Bengals (1-0) vs. Bears (0-1) — 1 p.m. ET (FOX)
  • 49ers (1-0) vs. Eagles (1-0) — 1 p.m. ET (FOX)
  • Bills (0-1) vs. Dolphins (1-0) — 1 p.m. ET (FOX)
  • Saints (1-0) vs. Panthers (1-0) — 1 p.m. ET (FOX)

If you’ve got DirecTV, there are a couple of worthwhile games outside of the Detroit viewing area. The Bears/Bengals game is honestly only on this list because it’s a division game, but I suppose if you’re interested in the Andy Dalton Revenge Game, it could be worth your time. Last week the Bengals took down the Vikings, so maybe they can do the Lions another favor by tripping the Bears up, too.

Watching the San Francisco game will be a good opportunity to measure up Detroit’s performance against that of the 1-0 Eagles. Philadelphia opened the year with a surprisingly strong performance against the Atlanta Falcons. Is Jalen Hurts the real deal, or is that just a really, really bad Falcons team in a rebuild?

No one had a better Week 1 performance than the Saints. They’ll have a nice in-division test to see how real their slaughtering of the Packers was with a trip to Carolina. The Panthers aren’t exactly considered world beaters after their unconvincing win over the Jets last week, but divisional games are always fun.

The best matchup in the early slate is without a doubt Bills vs. Dolphins. The Bills were outmatched by the Steelers in Week 1, but they remain Super Bowl contenders. Meanwhile, the Dolphins toppled the Patriots in Week 1, gaining the division’s only win last week. If the Dolphins can start the year 2-0 in the division, it would be huge. Isn’t it nice to talk about AFC East contenders and not just assume the division is going to New England?

The 4 p.m. ET slate

The local game:

If you aren’t in the local Detroit area, see which games are on locally for you here.

  • Cowboys (0-1) vs. Chargers (1-0) — 4:25 p.m. ET (CBS)

YOU WILL WATCH THE COWBOYS AND YOU WILL LIKE IT. At least, that’s what everyone in charge of these things seems to think. Dallas at least looked competent in the season opener, taking the Buccaneers to the final seconds. And, hey, Justin Herbert is fun to watch. I suppose there could be worse games to be forced to watch.

The best of the rest:

  • Vikings (0-1) vs. Cardinals (1-0) — 4:05 p.m. (FOX)
  • Titans (0-1) vs. Seahawks (1-0) — 4:25 p.m. (CBS)

The Cardinals put on one hell of a show, taking it to the Titan 38-13. Kyler Murray arguably put up the best Week 1 performance as Kliff Kingsbury may have finally put together the offense he was hoping to. Seeing them take it to a Vikings defense that continues to struggle could be fun.

However, I’m a little more drawn to the inter-conference matchup of Titans vs. Seahawks. I’d like to see how the Titans respond to last week’s drubbing. Lucky for them, they’re in the horrible AFC South, where only the Texans won in Week 1. So if they can rebound against a Seahawks team that handled their business in Week 1 against the Colts, they should be just fine. But, of course, Seattle is—and never has been—a pushover, especially when the game is in Seattle.

Sunday Night Football

Chiefs (1-0) at Ravens (0-1) — 8:20 p.m. ET (NBC)

Both AFC teams were on opposite ends of close games. The Ravens lost after an embarrassment of errors last Monday night against the Raiders. Their offensive line is bad and beaten up, while Lamar Jackson continues to turn the ball over too much. Meanwhile, the Chiefs were a little fortunate to escape Week 1 with a win over the Browns in a tightly-contested match. The Chiefs have won four straight in this matchup, and they are slight 3.5-point favorites to keep that streak alive.

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