Coaches' grudge match in Sunday Night spotlight
The coaches may be downplaying it but NFL football fans are certainly looking forward to this Sunday night when the Detroit Lions and coach Jim Schwartz collide with the favored San Francisco 49ers and coach Jim Harbaugh in a rematch of the notorious “Handshake Bowl” at Candlestick Park (8:20 pm Eastern, NBC).
As we recall these teams met last year at Ford Field, a game in which the Niners scored late to win 25-19. But things really got interesting after the game, when Harbaugh gave Schwartz an aggressive backslap which led to some heated pursuit and a fiery confrontation between the head honchos.
Both teams come into Sunday night's game off a Week 1 victory, but they got there a little differently. San Francisco (1-0 ATS) dominated the Packers at Lambeau Field last Sunday, while Detroit (0-1 ATS) struggled to beat an inferior Rams team at home. As of Friday morning the 49ers are listed as 7-point favorites for Sunday night over the Lions with the total sitting at 46.
The early slate of Week 2 games on Sunday includes Kansas City (+3) at Buffalo, Cleveland (+8) at Cincinnati, Minnesota (even) at Indianapolis, Oakland (-1) at Miami, Arizona (+15) at New England, Tampa Bay (+8.5) at the Giants, Baltimore (+1) at Philadelphia, New Orleans (-2.5) at Carolina and Houston (-8) at Jacksonville.
Later in the afternoon, the four matchups include Washington (-3.5) at St. Louis, Dallas (-3.5) at Seattle, the Jets (+4.5) at Pittsburgh and Tennessee (+6) at San Diego.
Week 2 of this NFL season will come to a conclusion Monday night when the Falcons host the Broncos in an interconference battle of playoff qualifiers from a season ago. Atlanta opened its season last week with an impressive 40-24 victory at Kansas City, while Denver - in Peyton Manning's debut with his new horses - beat Pittsburgh last Sunday night 31-19.
As of Friday morning the Falcons are favored by three points over the Broncos.