Predictions for each Week 1 matchup
Obviously, I can't predict the Cowboys @ Giants game because it already happened, but for the record, I would have picked the Giants in a close, slightly higher scoring game. I would have, however, taken the Cowboys getting 4.5 points.
Now for the real stuff.
Colts @ Bears: Like pretty much everyone else in the world, I really like Andrew Luck and think that he'll be a big help to the Colts' offense. However, this is still a very similar defense to the one that gave up 62 points to the Saints last year, and I don't think that Luck is ready to exchange blows with Jay Cutler, Matt Forte, Brandon Marshall, and the rest of the Bears offense.
Bears win 31-21.
Eagles @ Browns: What's funny is that this seems to be the exact type of game that the Eagles would lose last season. With losses to the Bills, Cardinals, and Seahawks, the Eagles repeatedly upset fans who thought they had a sure win. However, everyone is healthy for the Eagles now. Desean Jackson has stated that he'll put effort in again. The Browns are lead by a quarterback who's making his first start, and their offensive centerpiece, Trent Richardson, is coming off of a knee scope.
Eagles win 28-6.
Rams @ Lions: Did you see what Tony Romo did to this defense in one half of a preseason game without Miles Austin, Dez Bryant, or Jason Witten? 9 of 13 for 198 yards and two touchdowns. I can't imagine what Matt Stafford and Calvin Johnson are about to do to these guys. Sam Bradford is a solid player, but has no one to throw to. The Lions defense is built to stop guys like Steven Jackson with Suh, Fairley, and Vanden Bosch.
Lions win 38-14.
Dolphins @ Texans: Wait, so Ryan Tannehill is starting, right? And Reggie Bush will be running into the teeth of last season's 4th best run defense? And Andre Johnson is back, correct? Foster (questionable, knee) or no Foster, the Texans score enough points as their defense gives a rookie quarterback fits.
Texans win 24-10.
Falcons @ Chiefs: The victims of about a thousand ACL tears last season, the Chiefs have everybody back now. With quarterback Matt Cassell and exceptional running back Jamaal Charles back from injury, the offense should look much better against an average Falcons defense that lost middle linebacker Curtis Lofton to the Saints. The Chiefs also added bruiser Peyton Hillis to pound the rock. Shutdown cornerback Brandon Flowers can slow the production of one of the Falcons' elite receivers, and Eric Berry is back playing a mean centerfield. Michael Turner is now 30 years old, and the Chiefs' have a solid front seven. It's all the ingredients for an upset pick, but I just think that the Falcons' new aerial attack will be too much for the Chiefs to keep up with.
Falcons win 27-21.