The NFL season is here! Every week, we’ll look at the matchups of the week, and give our predictions for each of the games. And if you’re a betting type…I’d take the opposite of these picks.
Carolina Panthers @ Denver Broncos
Well, the last game we saw in 2016 will also be the first. Cam and the Panthers will travel to Denver for a rematch with their Super Bowl conquerors, the Broncos. The only difference is Peyton Manning is gone, and while he was pretty rough last year, Trevor Seimian is unproven. Cam and that defense are both back, and it should turn into the Panthers’ payback game.
Prediction: Panthers 28-17
— Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) September 7, 2016
Green Bay Packers @ Jacksonville Jaguars
Aaron Rodgers has his favorite target back in Jordy Nelson, and the young Jaguars start their season to make “the jump”. It’s a tough draw getting Green Bay, but this defense should be improved. The question is if the Packers’ D is going to be any better.
Prediction: Packers 24-21
Buffalo Bills @ Baltimore Ravens
Year two of the Rex Ryan era in Buffalo begins with high expectations and demands of a playoff appearance. They travel to Baltimore to take on the Ravens, who were ravaged by injuries a year ago. Flacco and co. are ready to reclaim their place as a competitor in the AFC North, and they get a stiff first-up test to prove it.
Prediction: Bills 24-14
Chicago Bears @ Houston Texans
How quick did things unravel for Chicago last year? Cutler was solid enough, but things around him were bad. Houston has a new quarterback, and both teams added to the defense. The D will probably carry both teams, and Houston’s is better, and they’re at home.
Prediction: Texans 27-14
👻: texansofficial pic.twitter.com/VRVqPvEuKA
— Houston Texans (@HoustonTexans) September 1, 2016
Cleveland Browns @ Philadelphia Eagles
Cleveland’s much-anticipated season kicks off in Philly, as the Browns start the RGIII experiment. The Eagles will be starting their rookie quarterback Carson Wentz, and who would be better to start against than that Browns secondary?
Prediction: Eagles 28-13
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Atlanta Falcons
Jameis Winston and company get things started in the Georgia Dome against Matt Ryan and Julio Jones. Winston is going to be closely watched this season, and has some new toys on the offense around him. Matt Ryan also has one of the best receivers in football, but he had it last year when the team collapsed. This could be the battle for the NFC South’s second-best team come early.
Prediction: Buccaneers 27-24
Minnesota Vikings @ Tennessee Titans
The Vikings have been the most talked about team in the NFL the last week, and will again get big attention against Tennessee. The new QB Sam Bradford will sit this one out. The Titans will have Marcus Mariota round two, and should be able to steal one from a Minnesota team thrown into flux.
Prediction: Titans 21-17
.@AdrianPeterson and the Titans both had 1,485 rushing yards in 2015.
— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) September 6, 2016
Cincinnati Bengals @ New York Jets
Andy Dalton and the Bengals bring their show to New York, where Ryan Fitzpatrick and his sparkling new deal await. The Jets are looking to prove the doubters wrong, and repeat their success. Both teams have some playoff questions, and both need a strong showing this season.
Prediction: Bengals 30-21
Oakland Raiders @ New Orleans Saints
The Raiders were one of the most hyped teams in the NFL this offseason, and start their anticipated campaign on the road in New Orleans. The Saints’ defense is dreadful, but Drew Brees and Sean Payton are back, and will do their best to score their way to the postseason.
Prediction: Raiders 35-31
San Diego Chargers @ Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs have been one of the best regular-season teams in the NFL for the last few years, and are tough at home. San Diego are in the middle of a rebuild, after losing many of their top playmakers from those competitive Charger teams. Rivers will have his hands full in Arrowhead against that defense.
Prediction: Chiefs 31-17
— San Diego Chargers (@Chargers) September 5, 2016
Miami Dolphins @ Seattle Seahawks
Ryan Tannehill and the Dolphins don’t have many expectations going into 2016, and that’s a really good thing, because there is not many tougher places to play than Seattle. Russell Wilson is going to be the key of the offense for the first time, as the post-Beast Mode era begins. And what a great defense to start against.
Prediction: Seahawks 24-10
Detroit Lions @ Indianapolis Colts
The Lions are looking for offense after losing Megatron, but Matt Stafford is capable. It’ll be hard not to put up yards against a Colts defense that needs a lot of help. Andrew Luck is looking for some help, but the home crowd is a decent start. The offense will rack up plenty of points, but they need some defense.
Prediction: Colts 31-27
New York Giants @ Dallas Cowboys
Oh, man. The Cowboys circus never stops, does it? They’ll start two rookies on Sunday, and they both are very capable. But they’re still rookies. The Giants are revamping the D, but the offense is really good. There is just way more to trust with New York than what they have Dallas, outside of Dez.
Prediction: Giants 21-20
— New York Giants (@Giants) September 6, 2016
New England Patriots @ Arizona Cardinals
This one has all the makings of a heavyweight fight. The only problem: Tom Brady is sitting on the sidelines. I’m sure Jimmy G is solid, but this Cardinals defense is nasty, and the offense may be nastier. This game would be way better in December.
Prediction: Cardinals 28-21
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Washington Redskins
All that money the Redskins sunk into Josh Norman will be immediately tested in week one as the Skins hope to slow down the most explosive offense in the NFL. Antonio Brown and Big Ben are thirsty for another shot at the AFC Championship after coming so close a year ago, while Washington is fighting to prove their rise wasn’t a one-hit wonder.
Prediction: Steelers 27-17
Los Angeles Rams @ San Francisco 49ers
The LA era for the Rams begins in Santa Clara against the 49ers. The Rams are really young and really raw. But this defense is talented, and the offense should find some points against a very thin 49ers defense. The Chip Kelly Experience will be rough sailing to begin with.
Prediction: Rams 24-20
Your 2016 Team Captains pic.twitter.com/HL0PaAYijN
— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) September 7, 2016