N.F.L. Week 2: Top Games, Injuries and Matchups

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The Patriots’ Tom Brady and Mike Gillislee face the Saints on Sunday.

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Winslow Townson/Associated Press

There are several matchups between potential playoff teams this week, and each could shed some light on which teams are to be feared this season, and which ones are not quite ready for prime time. Here are the top story lines for Week 2:

■ The New England Patriots find themselves in an difficult position in terms of wide receivers heading into their early game against New Orleans. Danny Amendola did a fine job of filling in for Julian Edelman as New England’s slot receiver in Week 1, but he sustained a concussion during the game and has been ruled out for Week 2. In his absence, the team will only have Chris Hogan, Brandin Cooks and Phillips Dorsett available, each of whom profiles as a deep threat rather than a possession receiver. The Patriots are trying to avoid an 0-2 start, but the odd field personnel might not be too big of an issue considering the struggles the Saints had with Minnesota’s quick wide receivers last week.

■ None of today’s matchups looms larger than the night game between Green Bay and Atlanta, which is a rematch of last year’s N.F.C. championship game. The Packers responded to their dismantling in that game by trying to rebuild the team’s defense, and in a Week 1 victory over Seattle it looked like they may have succeeded. Shutting down the Seahawks is a step in the right direction, but the Packers still need to prove they can handle a top-flight passing team like the Falcons.

■ The early game between Minnesota and Pittsburgh seemed like it could be a good one, but things got complicated when it was announced that Sam Bradford would be a game-time decision. Six days after dismantling the New Orleans defense in an easy Monday night win, the Vikings quarterback might not be able to go because of a knee injury, which would leave Case Keenum to start in his place. That’s a devastating downgrade and would potentially help the Steelers avoid an 0-2 start.

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Injury Report

■ Jordan Howard, the second-year running back of the Chicago Bears, is listed as questionable with a shoulder injury, but ESPN is reporting that he will play.



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