NFL Week 1 Predictions/Picks

 

 

The opening week of the 2017 NFL season is finally upon us. The New England Patriots welcomed the Kansas City Chiefs to Gillette Stadium this past Thursday night to officially kick off the season only to see their season start 0-1. As for the rest of the menu, Green Bay faces off against a familiar foe in Seattle, the NFC East presents two division games to get things under way, the Atlanta Falcons attempt to turn the page on a sour ending to their 2016 campaign, and a possible playoff preview takes place in Nashville. Here are the picks/predictions for week one in the NFL.

New York Jets vs. Buffalo Bills – 1 PM EST, CBS 

A long season may be under way for the Jets as they begin the season with a new starting quarterback (Josh McCown), and no Sheldon Richardson, Brandon Marshall, Eric Decker, Nick Mangold, well you get point. First year head coach Sean McDermott brings his hard-nosed philosophy to the Bills. An active Bills defense gets to attack the Jets offense and makes the day a long one for McCown and company. Pick: Bills 23, Jets 10 

 

Oakland Raiders vs. Tennessee Titans – 1 PM EST, CBS

An explosive Raiders offense now has an intimidating run game with newly un-retired Marshawn Lynch toting the rock. If you like physicality on offense, you’ll love this showdown. The Titans boast a top-notch run game themselves with DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry, who combined for 1,777 yards and 13 touchdowns last season. The spotlight is on both defenses. The Titans have the more reliable of the two, especially at linebacker and in the secondary. It will pay dividends. Pick: Titans 34, Raiders 30 

 

Philadelphia Eagles vs. Washington Redskins – 1 PM EST, Fox

A losing streak is on the line here as the Eagles have lost five in a row to their rival. The newly polished Eagles offense, led by quarterback Carson Wentz and receivers Alshon Jeffrey and Torrey Smith, is poised to have a big year. Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins is looking to rectify his stance on being a franchise quarterback. He will not have his two 1,000 yard receivers from last season so the pressure is turned up just a notch for Mr. Franchise Tag. Pick: Eagles 28, Redskins 26 

 

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cleveland Browns – 1 PM EST, CBS 

Is DeShone Kizer the answer for the Browns at the most important position? Time will tell. But he starts his career against a proven Super Bowl quarterback in Ben Roethlisberger. Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell is back after an entertaining contract holdout. The blitz happy Steelers defense is salivating with a rookie quarterback across from them. Something tells me Pittsburgh corner Joe Haden may try to make a play or two in this game. Pick: Steelers 31 Browns 14 

 

Atlanta Falcons vs. Chicago Bears – 1 PM EST, Fox 

No team may be ready to get the 2017 season started more than the Falcons. The offensive coordinator may not be back but the firepower is definitely in place with the reigning MVP in Matt Ryan, arguably the best receiver in the game in Julio Jones and arguably the best one-two punch at running back in Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman. The Bears possess a nice weapon at running back in Jordan Howard. A lot will be expected from a banged up Bears defense. Especially from their unproven secondary. Pick: Falcons 41, Bears 17 

 

Arizona Cardinals vs. Detroit Lions – 1 PM EST, Fox 

Health was the issue for the talented Cardinals last season. Arizona running back David Johnson is a walking big play and the 18th best run defense in the league last season will have their hands full. The highest paid player in the game, Lions QB Matthew Stafford, was Mr. Comeback last season and he will probably be relied on heavy again this year. If the Lions can get to Arizona QB Carson Palmer, this one may not go Arizona’s way as many may believe. Pick: Cardinals 30, Lions 20 

 

Baltimore Ravens vs. Cincinnati Bengals – 1 PM EST, CBS 

The Ravens are limping into this one and the biggest injury is at quarterback with Joe Flacco and his back. The Ravens have missed the playoffs the past two seasons and a third may make things iffy for head coach John Harbaugh. Talent is evident once again for the Bengals and more is onboard thanks to the 2017 NFL Draft. Even with key defensive personnel suspended, the Bengals have enough on both sides to take advantage of a Ravens team who are not themselves. Pick: Bengals 24 Ravens 14 

 

Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Houston Texans – 1 PM EST, CBS 

Emotions will be riding high in this one thanks to Hurricane Harvey and the return of J.J. Watt. The Texans had the #1 defense in the league last season and the expectations are still sky high. The Jaguars spent feverishly this offseason and they are thinking playoffs. Of course, Jags quarterback Blake Bortles has been a liability more times than not and is 0-6 in his career against Houston. Pick: Texans 27, Jaguars 17 

 

Los Angeles Rams vs. Indianapolis Colts – 4:05 PM EST, CBS

A healthy Andrew Luck may change the outlook for the Colts in this one. Backup quarterback Scott Tolzien takes the start for the Colts and he will be tasked to getting the ball to playmaking receivers T.Y. Hilton and Donte Moncrief. The Rams will not have their best player in defensive tackle Aaron Donald but defensive coordinator Wade Phillips is a magician and well respected for a reason. Pick: Rams 23, Colts 16 

 

Seattle Seahawks vs. Green Bay Packers – 4:25 PM EST, Fox 

Super Bowl talk is floating around both teams and rightfully so. For the Seahawks, their stellar defense got even better thanks to a recent trade for defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson. That Seattle defense was on the wrong end of a 38-10 loss to Green Bay last season. Green Bay will hope their defense show considerable improvement after a below average 2016. The odds are against Seattle but it is something about that defense….Pick: Seahawks 27, Packers 23 

 

Carolina Panthers vs. San Francisco 49ers – 4:25 PM EST, Fox 

The last time these two teams met (Week 2 last season), the Panthers beat the Niners 46-27. That was before things got way out of hand for Carolina. The Niners are breaking in the Kyle Shanahan-John Lynch era in the Bay Area. Of course, new beginnings need time to iron out, especially when there are talent deficiencies. The return to Levi Stadium for the Panthers may ignite a few emotions in this one. Pick: Panthers 30 49ers 17 

 

New York Giants vs. Dallas Cowboys – 8:25 PM EST, NBC 

It seems these two open the season every year. This edition will prove to be juicer than the last. The combination of receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Brandon Marshall is a scary one and they have a decimated Dallas secondary at their disposal. Dallas running back Ezekiel Elliott gets a new lease on life after recent transgressions from his legal woes. Will Dak Prescott progress in his second year? Many of the Cowboys faithful would like to know and the Giants defense provides a very interesting test. Pick: Giants 38, Cowboys 30

 

New Orleans Saints vs. Minnesota Vikings – 7:10 PM EST, ESPN (Monday)

Saints running back Adrian Peterson wants to “stick it” to his former team. He will get his chance as he is backed by the productive Saints offense, led by quarterback Drew Brees. Getting wins in Minnesota is a tough challenge. Thanks to the home crowd and a physical defense. A defense that had five Pro Bowlers last season and who knows how to get after quarterbacks and shut down run games. Pick: Vikings 26, Saints 24

 

Los Angeles Chargers vs. Denver Broncos – 10:25 PM EST, ESPN (Monday) 

The Broncos are a convincing 16-1 in their last 17 home openers. The Chargers have not won in Denver since 2013. With a young pass rushing tandem in Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram, things can swing in the Chargers favor. That also depends on if veteran quarterback Philip Rivers can produce his usual magic. If the run game for the Chargers can aid Rivers and the offense, the Chargers can be in position to get a win. A win in Mile High may be a taller task than the improving Chargers bargain for. Pick: Broncos 26, Chargers 20 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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