Ahh, finally. Week 1 in the NFL is here. The Saints have already defeated the Vikings 14-9 to kick off the season. Here’s my selections for the rest of Opening Weekend.
Detroit Lions at Chicago Bears
I think the Bears win this one despite themselves. The Lions are a fast-improving squad, but the Bears have the better football team right now.
Bears 24, Lions 10
Carolina Panthers at New York Giants
The Giants get to officially open the new Meadowlands Stadium with what should be an easy win over the Panthers. Matt Moore is a good young quarterback, but the Giants are the better team. Add in the emotion of Week 1, new stadium, all that stuff, the Giants win easy.
Giants 35, Panthers 10
Atlanta Falcons at Pittsburgh Steelers
In one of the better matchups of the week, I’m looking for the Falcons to go into the Steel City, and leave with a win in hand. With Big Ben out for four games, the Steelers aren’t the same team. The Falcons are the chic pick in the NFC South, and I think they get off to a good start here today.
Falcons 20, Steelers 17
Cleveland Browns at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
I read a profile of Eric Mangini in the NFL Preview issue of ESPN the Magazine, and it truly sounds like he’s got things going in the right direction. They have serious questions at quarterback with Jake Delhomme, but they’re still a better team than the Bucs.
Browns 14, Bucs 7
Denver Broncos at Jacksonville Jaguars
The Broncos will be without a few key players from last season. Brandon Marshall took his talents to Miami and Elvis Dumervil is out for the season with a torn pectoral muscle. That being said, Kyle Orton is a winning quarterback, and sources say the Broncos will mix things up and give Tim Tebow some playing time.
Broncos 20, Jaguars 10
Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans
If there’s one trap game in the NFL this week, this is it. The Colts are coming off the dramatic loss in the Super Bowl, and the Texans always give them a run for their money. The Texans keep getting better, but the Colts could be the best team in the league this year. The Colts ultimately just have too many weapons.
Colts 41, Texans 24
Miami Dolpins at Buffalo Bills
Not much to talk about in this game. The Dolphins are an underrated football team in my opinion, and they take care of business up there in Buffalo.
Dolphins 28, Bills 7
Oakland Raiders at Tennessee Titans
The Jason Campbell era begins in Nashville today, and while the Raiders will be better, the schedule this week isn’t exactly helping them out. Vince Young came back to lead the Titans back into the playoff hunt last season. He continues his resurgence today and the rest of the season. Oh, and there’s that Chris Johnson guy.
Titans 35, Raiders 10
Cincinnati Bengals at New England Patriots
One of the best games on Sunday, this one is an intriguing matchup. The Bengals obviously at Terrell Owens to the mix, and the Patriots get Wes Welker back after a knee injury. Can Batman and Robin co-exist in Cincinnati? How will Tom Brady celebrate his new contract? The edge goes to the home team here, but I won’t be surprised if the Bengals pull this one out.
Patriots 32, Bengals 28
Arizona Cardinals at St. Louis Rams
I have a funny feeling about this one. The Sam Bradford era gets under way in St. Louis, and I think he’s going to be a star. They’ll have a good enough offense with Stephen Jackson, though they’re missing Donnie Avery. The Cardinals had quarterback controversy in the preseason, and I’m not entirely sold on Derek Anderson’s ability to replace Kurt Warner. Arizona is better, but St. Louis could surprise.
Rams 20, Cardinals 16
San Fancisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks
The Niners are a sneaky pick to come out of the NFC West, though it really shouldn’t be that sneaky. It’s a bad division, and they should get off to a good start in this Week 1 divisional matchup. Pete Carroll makes his Seahawks debut, but it’s a losing one at home.
49ers 21, Seahawks 14
Green Bay Packers at Philadelphia Eagles
No McNabb, no problem? I don’t think so. Not today anyway. The Eagles got a bad draw in Week 1, as the Packers are a lot of people’s favorites to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl. Aaron Rodgers is quickly becoming an elite quarterback, and the defense should improve in their second year playing a 3-4.
Packers 31, Eagles 17
Dallas Cowboys at Washington Redskins
Donovan McNabb has to be feeling snake-bitten. He’s got a new team, new coach, and new opportunities, but guess what? For his third game in a row, McNabb has to line up against the Cowboys defense. Another Super Bowl favorite, the ‘Boys are licking their chops to get another shot at McNabb. Redskins are better, but Cowboys win out.
Cowboys 28, Redskins 14
Baltimore Ravens at New York Jets
I’m going to be all over the Jets this season, and we’ll get a good idea of how they’ll be right off the bat. The Ravens are actually getting much better on offense. If it wasn’t for Chris Johnson, Ray Rice would be the talk of the NFL, and Joe Flacco is a good quarterback. As for the Jets, I think Shonn Greene is going to have a breakout year now that he’s the featured guy.
Jets 24, Ravens 17
San Diego Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs
This is a Monday Night Football game? Chargers over Chiefs. Not much else to say.