There were a crazy eight home dogs in the Week 1 of the 2015 NFL season but things are back to normal for Week 2 with only a few home teams listed as underdogs, let's examine a few lines.
Broncos vs. Chiefs (-3, 42)
This is your first CBS/NFL Network Thursday night game of the year. Kansas City looked more than capable of dethroning the Broncos atop the AFC West as the Chiefs won 27-20 at the "Hard Knocks" Houston Texans on Sunday. The game really wasn't that close as it was 27-6 Chiefs in the second quarter. Alex Smith completed 22 of 33 passes for 243 yards, three touchdowns and no picks. New top receiver Jeremy Maclin caught five passes for 52 yards. And 2014 NFL sack king Justin Houston picked up right where he left off last year with a sack of Houston quarterback Brian Hoyer, forcing a fumble that was recovered by K.C. Remember how shaky Denver quarterback Peyton Manning looked at the end of last season? He was much the same on Sunday in a 19-13 win over visiting Baltimore. Manning threw for only 175 yards and had a pick returned for a score. He was also was sacked four times in a game for the first time since his return to Indianapolis on Oct. 20, 2013. The Broncos had two guys starting their first regular-season game on the offensive line in left tackle Ty Sambralio and center Matt Paradis. Justin Houston could have a huge game Thursday.
Texans At Panthers (-3, 40.5)
Houston's Hoyer was not good at all against Kansas City and might have lost his starting job already. Coach Bill O'Brien has said he knows whether Hoyer or Ryan Mallett will start at Carolina on Sunday, but he's not revealing said person. "You'll have to wait for the first play of the Carolina game to see," he said. Hoyer turned the ball over twice inside Houston's 15-yard line and finished 18 of 34 passing for 236 yards with a touchdown, a pick and a fumble. He was yanked in the fourth quarter and Mallett finished 8-for-13 for 98 yards and a touchdown pass. He led the Texans to more points in the final six minutes than Hoyer had in the first 54. In 12 possessions through 3 1/2 quarters, Hoyer put up nine points for Houston and 14 for Kansas City. I think O'Brien goes with Mallett -- he has the bigger upside. Hoyer barely beat him out during camp as it was. There's a possibility that Houston could have running back Arian Foster for this game.
Buccaneers At Saints (-10, 47.5)
New Orleans is our first double-digit favorite of the new season, and it's not like the Saints played that great in Week 1 -- it's more how truly bad Tampa Bay looked. The Saints lost 31-19 in Arizona. Drew Brees threw for 355 yards but just one touchdown as the Saints kept settling for Zach Hocker field goals. Brees' former favorite red-zone target, Pro Bowl tight end Jimmy Graham, was sorely missed. Meanwhile, second-year Bucs coach Lovie Smith continues to search for his first home win with Tampa. The Bucs were blasted at home by a fellow 2-14 team from last year, Tennessee, 42-14. Marcus Mariota had four touchdowns and a perfect rating on that Tampa defense. Fellow rookie and Heisman winner Jameis Winston struggled by comparison, completing 16-for-33 for 210 yards, two touchdowns and two picks (his first NFL pass was picked and returned 26 yards for a touchdown), a rating of just 64.0. And here Winston was supposed to be more NFL ready.
Patriots At Bills (+1, 45)
This is the most interesting matchup of Week 2 in my opinion. Buffalo was terrific in Coach Rex Ryan's debut, thumping Indianapolis, one of the AFC favorites, 27-14. You knew the Bills were going to be good defensively, and that they certainly were against Andrew Luck and Co. What we didn't know was if QB Tyrod Taylor was going to be any good as he made his first regular-season start. He was very sharp, completing 14 of 19 for 195 yards and a 51-yard TD throw to Percy Harvin as well as rushing for 41 yards. Ryan will take those numbers every day. Buffalo also will get back Pro Bowl defensive tackle Marcell Dareus for this game. He was suspended for the opener. New England beat Pittsburgh 28-21 in the Thursday night Kickoff Game behind four TD passes from Tom Brady, three to Rob Gronkowski. New England has completely dominated Buffalo this century, losing only three times. Once was in Week 17 last year when the Pats rested many starters with nothing to play for.