I am happy to say that I am only going to be doing game predictions for Sunday/Monday games, 1. because Thursday night gams are unpredictable and usually boring, and 2. because I was leaning toward choosing the underdog Pittsburg Steelers over the New England Patriots last night Glad I waited.
With that being said, lets take a look at the week 1 games. I’ll italicize the three games that most intrigue me.
NFL Week 1
Indianapolis Colts @ Buffalo Bills – 1:00 p.m.
- I consider all week 1 games pretty much a toss-up (with the exception of a couple), but this one is especially tough for me.
- It all comes down to the Bill’s offense because I think their defense will do enough to keep Andrew Luck’s high-powered offense from absolutely exploding. No one knows how Tyrod Taylor will play, but I think he has good weapons around him in LeSean McCoy, Sammy Watkins, Robert Woods and Percy Harvin.
- I’ll take the Bills, but they’re going to have to score at least 20 points.
Cleveland Browns @ New York Jets – 1:00 p.m.
- This should be a good defensive battle. Both teams have strong defenses, but questionable offenses.
- The Jets’ offense immediately improved this offseason when adding WR Brandon Marshall, and I think it will be evident come Sunday. He will make the entire offense better, and the Jets will win their first game under new Head Coach Todd Bowles.
Carolina Panthers @ Jacksonville Jaguars – 1:00 p.m.
- I am going out on a limb and saying the Jaguars could have a solid season. It will start in week 1.
- The Panthers’ offense is surrounded with question marks and I think it’s going to take some time to get Cam Newton to click with his receivers this year.
- On the other hand, the Jags offense is young and could be excited. Second year QB Blake Bortles, Rookie RB TJ Yeldon and second year WR Allen Robinson are the players I am excited about. I think they score enough to cover any damage done by Carolina’s O.
Green Bay Packers @ Chicago Bears – 1:00 p.m.
- I think everyone is expecting the best QB in the league, Aaron Rodgers (did I even have to say it?) to steamroll the Bears this Sunday. But, it’s the first week in the NFL and this game always has potential for an unpredictable outcome.
- The Packers should be just fine, but I am interested to take a look at a new Bears team under an entirely new coaching staff. Lets see if John Fox can light a fire under Jay Cutler.
- Doubt it. I’ll go Packers
Kansas City Chiefs @ Houston Texans – 1:00 p.m.
- I think everyone is excited about the Texans coming off HBO’s Hard Knocks, and it is completely understandable. This offense can be exciting once Arian Foster comes back, and I think Deandre Hopkins will make Brian Hoyer look like a decent NFL QB. Their defense should be nice with Brian Cushing returning, and the addition of 330 lb Vince Wilfork will help free J.J. Watt. If Jadeveon Clowney ever lives up to the hype, this defense can be scary.
Miami Dolphins @ Washington Redskins – 1:00 p.m.
- Miami has a real shot of becoming playoff contenders this year. I am on the bandwagon.
- Fins easily.
Seattle Seahawks @ St. Louis Rams – 1:00 p.m.
- This game is going to be fun and is the first of 3 games that especially intrigue me.
- The Rams’ defense is no joke and Seattle’s offensive line is really going to struggle against their nasty front 7. I expect Aaron Donald to have a field day.
- I am interested, especially, to see how Seattle’s “Legion of Boom” secondary responds to huge changes. Time will only tell how good Byron Maxwell really is with the Eagles, but one thing is for sure: he is better than Cary Williams. Seattle is also without former Defensive Coordinator, new Atlanta Falcon’s Head Coach, Dan Quinn. Oh, and Safety Kam Chancellor will be missing.
- I love the Rams +4, and I am even going to take them straight up.
Detroit Lions @ San Diego Chargers – 4:05 p.m.
- This is another game that’s really tough for me.
- I am leaning toward the Lions because I think Stafford is going to have a great year. Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate are among the better 1-2 punches at WR around the NFL. I like the Chargers’ secondary, but not enough to stop the Lions’ explosive offense.
- Lions in a shootout.
New Orleans Saints @ Arizona Cardinals – 4:05 p.m.
- I think the Saints are going to get back on track this year after a terrible 2014 season. I expect big things from 2nd year WR Brandin Cooks.
- With that being said, this game is still really tough. Arizona should be a good football team and if Carson Palmer stays healthy, there is no reason to believe they won’t pick up where they left off with him under center in 2014.
- I am going to take the Saints on the road, but I am the least confident in this game compared to all of the others.
Baltimore Ravens @ Denver Broncos – 4:25 p.m.
- The Ravens have arguably the best offensive line (and that’s coming from a Dallas fan), but they may struggle to move the ball against Denver’s defense.
- They should be able to control the clock and run the ball well, and I think the only way they win is if they rush for 125+ yards.
- Denver’s offense is an interesting one for me because I truly think Peyton Manning is running on E. But, then again, he is Peyton Manning and he has two really good receivers in Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders.
- I will take Denver because they’re home, but it won’t come as any surprise if Baltimore wins.
Cincinnati Bengals @ Oakland Raiders – 4:25 p.m.
- I really like the Raiders this year. As of about an hour and a half ago, they signed Aldon Smith to play with Khalil Mack. I think Mack, if healthy, will be one of the best defensive players in the entire NFL. I think their offense can be fun to watch with WR Amari Cooper catching balls from Derek Carr.
- With that being said, the Bengals are going to be a good football team again. But there is still one huge question mark for me and the rest of the NFL community: Andy Dalton.
- I can’t see Dalton being the Bengals’ QB past this season unless he takes a significant leap and wins a playoff game or two.
- It took me a while to pick this game, but I am going to play it safe and say the Bengals win on the road. It will be close though.
Tennessee Titans @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 4:15 p.m.
- This matchup of rookie QB’s is going to be fun. But not that fun.
- I think the Bucs have a good defense and as long as Mike Evans is healthy, the offense will move.
- Jameis Winston 1, Marcus Mariota 0. Bucs.
New York Giants @ Dallas Cowboys – 8:30 p.m.
- I feel like it took forever for me to get to this game, and of course it is the most intriguing of the week. I am flying out to Dallas Sunday morning and could not be more excited.
- The Cowboys are coming off their best season in years and look to defend their title as division champions at home against division-rivals. They should be able to move the ball, and this one will probably be a shoot out like it usually is. Dallas’ defense is going to surprise some people, especially up front.
- The Giants concerns surround the offensive line, but I think they are going to end up being a solid unit. I just don’t think they have enough defensive weapons to stop Tony Romo and Dez Bryant.
- Dallas in a shootout.
MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
Philadelphia Eagles @ Atlanta Falcons – 7:10 p.m.
- The Eagles headline my third most intriguing game, and I think they are going to have a great year under Chip Kelly. That pains me to say.
- The Falcons have their hands full under first year Head Coach Dan Quinn. The Eagles offense will be fast and explosive, but I am a bit worried about their receiving corps outside of Jordan Matthews.
- The Eagles defense should be better, and as long as Chip keeps them off the field they will shine.
- Eagles in another shootout.
Minnesota Vikings @ San Fransisco 49ers – 10:20 p.m.
- The Vikings seem to be everyone’s favorite underdog pick this year, and it is tough not to jump aboard the bandwagon.
- Their offense should be explosive, and their defense should be good enough to beat a 49ers team that everyone expects to crash this season (If they didn’t already).