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NFL Preseason Week 2 Predictions & Preview: New England Patriots vs. New Orleans Saints & Chicago Bears vs. Indianapolis Colts

NFL Preseason Week 2 Predictions & Preview: New England Patriots vs. New Orleans Saints & Chicago Bears vs. Indianapolis Colts

The NFL Preseason keeps rolling as teams now head to Week 2. Players have gotten their reps and finally played some competitive football after a long and busy offseason. They should be up and ready to be at their best now into their second games of the preseason.

Tom Brady and the New England Patriots continue to get themselves warmed up for the regular season when they visit the Saints at New Orleans. Meanwhile, the Indianapolis Colts welcome the Chicago Bears to Lucas Oil Stadium. Read on as we break down this pair of preseason games.

Catch plenty more preseason action with our previews for the Ravens vs. Eagles and Raiders vs. Vikings as well as the Bills vs. Browns and Browns vs. Packers.

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New England Patriots vs. New Orleans Saints

Where: Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, LA

When: Saturday, August 22, 7:30 PM ET

Line: New England Patriots (+1) at New Orleans Saints (-1); total 43.0view all NFL lines

Tom Brady played just two series – a three-and-out and a four-and-out – in the New England Patriots’  22-11 preseason opening loss to the Green Bay Packers. He then gave way to backup Jimmy Garoppolo the rest of the way. Garoppolo went 20 for 30 for 159 yards, no touchdowns and one interception. He was sacked seven times, which is bad news if the offensive line continues to struggle.

[sc:NFL240banner ]Garropolo will start the first four games of the season if Brady’s suspension or a part of  it won’t be reduced. Getting plenty of reps will be beneficial, and the backup quarterback could also rely on second-year running back Jonas Gray to ease some of the pressure off him. Gray ran for 74 yards and a touchdown on just seven carries as he gets set to back up LeGarrette Blount.

Gray isn’t the only young player to look out for, fourth-round draft pick defensive end Trey Flowers impressed by sacking Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers in the preseason opener. However, Flowers left the game in the first quarter due to an apparent injury.

There’s no such quarterback situation when it comes to the New Orleans Saints. Drew Brees was held out of the preseason opener by head coach Sean Payton, but should play a couple of series in this showdown against the Patriots.

Expect Brees to throw some passes to tight ends Benjamin Watson and Josh Hill, who are currently embroiled in a battle for a starting position. Now without Jimmy Graham, Watson was penciled in as the team’s starter, but Hill has been busy with both first and second team offenses. Hill looked impressive in the preseason opener, catching 3 of 3 targets for 40 yards.

Zach Strief, the Saints’ starting right tackle since 2011, struggled early on, being beaten by Ravens defensive end Elvis Dumervil on a third down. He also couldn’t clear routes for running back Mark Ingram on a third-and-1. Strief may have struggled, but first-round draft pick tackle Andrus Peat did not. The 6’7” rookie played a part in a second quarter touchdown drive and should be getting looks as a possible replacement if Strief continues to be unimpressive.

Writer’s Prediction

Garropolo shows flashes of brilliance as the Patriots take this preseason game.

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Chicago Bears vs. Indianapolis Colts

Where: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN

When: Saturday, August 22, 7:30 PM ET

Line: Chicago Bears (+3) at Indianapolis Colts (-3); total 41.0view all NFL lines

The Indianapolis Colts didn’t seem to care too much about their preseason opener, a 36-10 loss at Philadelphia. Several of their starters didn’t play, such as the likes of wide receiver T.Y. Hilton, running back Frank Gore and cornerback Vontae Davis. Quarterback Andrew Luck attempted just six passes, making five of them for 43 yards. Free agent acquisition Andre Johnson did make an appearance, catching a pass for nine yards.

Expect the starters to play to some degree in this game. Luck, in particular, may play a couple of series before giving way to Matt Hasselbeck, who went 8 for 17 for 72 yards in the preseason opener. Hasselbeck should have the backup quarterback spot locked up after Bryan Bennett went 4 for 16 for 35 yards and two interceptions in the same game.

The Colts didn’t come out of Philadelphia without losing a man in rookie cornerback D’Joun Smith, who suffered a concussion in the first half. A pair of rookies also made some noteworthy plays. Wide receiver Phillip Dorsett had four catches for 51 yards (but lost a fumble), while running back Josh Robinson ran for 44 yards and a score.

Indianapolis welcomes a Chicago Bears team, which rallied to a 27-10 victory after trailing for the first two quarters against Miami. Quarterback Jake Cutler missed his top two receivers in Alshon Jeffery and Kevin White both due to injury. Cutler played just two possessions, going 4 for 7 for 42 yards.

Don’t expect Cutler to be on the field for an extended amount of time with his top two receivers injured. Instead, Jimmy Clausen could further solidify his spot as the backup quarterback after completing 17 of 27 passes for 151 yards against the Dolphins.

The Bears have some gritty reserves on the other side of the ball. Veteran linebacker Sam Acho, playing in the fourth quarter, made an interception which led to a field goal. He also registered a sack in that game. If the Colts field their third team offense after leading in this game, expect the Bears to stage another late rally.

Writer’s Prediction

The Colts put on a show at home to win and cover -3.

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Written by Kevin

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