An idiot's guide to Week 1 winners in the NFL
As is customary, it's time to make my picks and predict who will win this week's games. If you agree with these picks, go ahead and get your head checked. If you don't, let me know where I went wrong in the comments below. Let's do this.
Ravens at Broncos, Thursday 8:30 p.m., NBC
It's a bit ridiculous that the Orioles basically forced the Ravens to move their season opener out of Baltimore and now the defending champs will have to open their season on the road, but that's just how the cookie crumbles. Unfortunately, the Ravens aren't what they used to be and Joe Flacco lost his favorite WR in the offseason, while the Broncos spent their time reloading around Peyton Manning.
Broncos 24, Ravens 12
Patriots at Bills, Sunday 1:00 p.m., CBS
The Patriots are 20-2 against the Bills when Tom Brady takes the field, and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see who's the starting QB for the Patriots this week. Poor EJ Manuel doesn't stand a chance.
Patriots 31, Bills 10
Bengals at Bears, Sunday 1:00 p.m., CBS
The Bengals are one of the popular favorites to win the AFC, and a lot of people are putting some serious faith in Andy Dalton's development. Geno Atkins anchors the defense, and AJ Green is a truly elite receiver. On the other side of the field, new Bears head coach and former CFL offensive wizard Marc Trestman has put together a solid coaching staff and could do wonders for the Bears offense. This is a great week 1 barometer for both teams.
Bengals 17, Bears 14
Dolphins at Browns, Sunday 1:00 p.m., CBS
The Dolphins have added Mike Wallace, and this is a make-or-break year for Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland. Will additions like Mike Wallace do the trick? This week, they should.
Dolphins 20, Browns 13
Vikings at Lions, Sunday 1:00 p.m., FOX
Matt Stafford and the Lions are hoping to put a disappointing 2012 behind them as they take on MVP Adrian Peterson and the Vikings. Peterson is still the premier back in the NFL, but the Vikings don't really have much else to combat what should be an incredible aerial attack in Detroit.
Lions 27, Vikings 17
Raiders at Colts, Sunday 1:00 p.m., CBS
We get to see the beginning of the Terrelle Pryor experiment in Oakland. Poor Matt Flynn got traded to yet another team with hopes of becoming a starter, and once again he was supplanted by a more mobile and undeniably more exciting replacement. The Colts, on the other hand, are led by their QB of the future in Andrew Luck.
Colts 23, Raiders 9
Falcons at Saints, Sunday 1:00 p.m., FOX
Both of these teams are looking to finish the season atop the NFC South, and both are extremely high-powered attacks led by outstanding quarterbacks and a vast array of quality receivers. One team has the best receiving tight end of all time, and the other has arguably the best in the game today. The question is whether or not either defense will be able to do a damn thing to stop the other team.
Saints 38, Falcons 34
Buccaneers at Jets, Sunday 1:00 p.m., FOX
Darrelle Revis gets to play his old team, and something tells me he's going to have a field day with Geno Smith.
Bucs 18, Jets 6
Titans at Steelers, Sunday 1:00 p.m., CBS
Will Chris Johnson round back into form this year, as he claims he will, or will he have another disappointingly inconsistent year? And can Ben Roethlisberger lead the Steelers back to glory after a stretch of mediocrity? We'll see, I suppose.
Steelers 16, Titans 13
Seahawks at Panthers, Sunday 1:00 p.m., FOX
The Seahawks are another team viewed by many as Super Bowl favorites. If they're worth their salt, they'll show it with a solid Week 1 win in Carolina.
Seahawks 23, Panthers 17
Chiefs at Jaguars, Sunday 1:00 p.m., CBS
This is a matchup of two teams that have been terrible in recent years. The Chiefs have reason for optimism with Alex Smith and Andy Reid, and the Jaguars are just hoping they can tread water.
Chiefs 19, Jaguars 13
Cardinals at Rams, Sunday 4:25 p.m., FOX
Carson Palmer is looking to bounce back with the Cardinals, and Sam Bradford is hoping for the same in St. Louis. While most would agree that these teams aren't on par with the Seahawks and 49ers, they're still some pretty talented teams and they could make some noise in the NFC playoff picture if they can pull it together.
Rams 24, Cardinals 20
Packers at 49ers, Sunday 4:25 p.m., FOX
The 49ers and Packers were playoff teams last year, and are looking to make a statement this year. Last year, the Packers had no answer for Colin Kaepernick. Can the Packers change it this time around? Their defense is still pretty suspect, but they'll make some adjustments and we'll see. On the flip side, the Packers have the best QB in football, and he can put up points against anyone.
Packers 33, 49ers 27
Giants at Cowboys, Sunday 8:30 p.m., NBC
These two bitter division rivals are playing with hopes of the NFC East title in mind. Eli Manning and Tony Romo are both elder statesmen within the division at this point, and this should be an exciting game on Sunday night.
Cowboys 31, Giants 30
Eagles at Redskins, Monday 6:55 p.m., ESPN
The Eagles and Redskins kick off Monday Night Football, another prime time NFC East matchup. With Michael Vick and Robert Griffin III slated to square off, we might be looking at the two fastest quarterbacks in the NFL. But will they be willing to run around and take hits, or are they going to be a little more conservative? If we know anything, it's that Chip Kelly's offense is anything but conservative.
Redskins 21, Eagles 20
Texans at Chargers, Monday 10:15 p.m., ESPN
I can't imagine I'll be awake to see this one, but you never know. Either way, it should be a decent matchup with a couple teams looking to erase the disappointment of the way 2012 ended.
Texans 20, Chargers 17
Agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comments below.