NFL week 1 picks

(No movie quote since I’ve had two posts today)

Here are the NFL matchups for week one:

All-time record: 152-105 (59.1 percent)


Denver OLB Von Miller.
Denver OLB Von Miller.

Carolina Panthers at Denver Broncos
Sports Authority Field at Mile High
Line: CAR -3

It’s a Super Bowl rematch to the start the regular season. I think it’s going to be an electric atmosphere in Denver and I think the Broncos’ organization will have wild party planned to celebrate the reining Super Bowl champions. However, I think that Cam Newton and the Panthers will be hungry to win this game after their embarrassing performance in Super Bowl 50. Both of these teams have great defenses, so, I think the game will be low scoring, and I like the Panthers to cover the spread.

Prediction: Panthers 19, Denver 13


Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers.
Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers.

Green Bay Packers at Jacksonville Jaguars
EverBank Field
Jacksonville, Fla.
Line: GB -5.5

I know I have Green Bay winning the Super Bowl this season, but this will be an interesting first road test. There’s a lot of excitement in Jacksonville. The Jaguars have made some great offseason moves the last few years and the fan base looks for the team to take the next step. I think Jacksonville comes out with a lot of energy to start the game but Green Bay will take over in the second half.

Prediction: Packers 33, Jaguars 20

Buffalo RB LeSean McCoy.
Buffalo RB LeSean McCoy.

Buffalo Bills at Baltimore Ravens
M&T Bank Stadium
Line: BAL -3

Baltimore had a down season due to injuries last year, but the Ravens should be healthy for the opener. I think the Ravens will be much better this season. Baltimore has a good pass rush and Buffalo has a bad offensive line. I think Tyrod Taylor will have a long day against Baltimore’s defense and won’t be able to score enough points to win.

Prediction: Ravens 24, Bills 19

Houston DE J. J. Watt.
Houston DE J. J. Watt.

Chicago Bears at Houston Texans
NRG Stadium
Line: HOU -6

I think Chicago will be an improved team this season, but this will be a tough test. I already liked Houston to win this game, but it looks like J. J. Watt will suit up after many thought he’d miss the first few weeks of the season due to injury. I think the Bears will have trouble keeping DeAndre Hopkins in check, and Jay Cutler will have trouble facing one of the better defenses in the league. I like the Texans.

Prediction: Texans 26, Bears 21

Cleveland TE Gary Barnidge.
Cleveland TE Gary Barnidge.

Cleveland Browns at Philadelphia Eagles
Lincoln Financial Field
Line: PHI -3.5

There’s a lot of excitement around the Eagles because they’re starting rookie quarterback Carson Wentz. I’m not sure that he’s ready, but he has an easy test facing the Browns in his first start. I think Cleveland is going to be one of the worst teams in the league this season. I think Philadelphia wins easily.

Prediction: Eagles 27, Browns 10

Tampa Bay QB Jameis Winston.
Tampa Bay QB Jameis Winston.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Atlanta Falcons
Georgia Dome
Line: ATL -3

I have Tampa Bay in the playoffs and I think the Bucs will be one of the most improved teams in the NFL. I think the Bucs have the better defense and will cause Matt Ryan to make some mistakes. Atlanta has a terrible pass rush and that’ll be difficult to slow down Jameis Winston and the Bucs’ offense. I think Tampa Bay gets a big road win to start the season.

Prediction: Buccaneers 27, Falcons 21

Tennessee QB Marcus Mariota.
Tennessee QB Marcus Mariota.

Minnesota Vikings at Tennessee Titans
Nissan Stadium
Nashville, Tenn.
Line: MIN -2.5

Minnesota took a sucker punch a few weeks ago after the injury to Teddy Bridgewater. However, the Vikings traded for Sam Bradford – who is capable of leading a team to victory. He’s had to learn a new system quickly, but he has the advantage of having Adrian Peterson in the backfield with him. I think Peterson will run up and down the Titans’ defense all game. That’ll allow Minnesota to chew clock and keep Marcus Mariota off the field. I think the Vikings get a nice road win.

Prediction: Vikings 23, Titans 14

New York Jets WR Brandon Marshall.
New York Jets WR Brandon Marshall.

Cincinnati Bengals at New York Jets
MetLife Stadium
East Rutherford, N.J.
Line: CIN -2.5

Cincinnati is the better team on paper but this is a tough game to win on the road. The Jets have a stingy defense and I think Darrelle Revis will find a way to lock down A. J. Green. I think Andy Dalton and the Bengals’ run game will struggle. Ryan Fitzpatrick returns as the Jets’ quarterback and has to face a Cincinnati defense without Vontaze Burfict. I think the Jets win and cover the spread.

Prediction: Jets 24, Bengals 20

Oakland QB Derek Carr.
Oakland QB Derek Carr.

Oakland Raiders at New Orleans Saints
Mercedes-Benz Superdome
New Orleans
Line: NO -1.5

Oakland will be a really good team but this is a tough first game. The Raiders have to travel across two time zones for an early kickoff. I expect New Orleans’ offense to score points and the defense to be much improved from last year. However, if the Saints’ defense hasn’t improved, it could be a long day for New Orleans. It could be a shootout, but I think Drew Brees and the Saints get the win.

Prediction: Saints 30, Raiders 28

Kansas City TE Travis Kelce.
Kansas City TE Travis Kelce.

San Diego Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs
Arrowhead Stadium
Kansas City, Mo.
Line: KC -6.5

I think San Diego will be one of the worst teams in the NFL this season. It looks like the Chargers will limit the snaps for first-round pick Joey Bosa for this game – he may not even play – since he held out for the majority of Chargers’ training camp. I think Andy Reid will have Kansas City’s offense ready to play, and San Diego’s offense will struggle against the Chiefs’ stout defense. I think the Chiefs will control the whole game and get a comfortable win.

Prediction: Chiefs 27, Chargers 16

Miami QB Ryan Tannehill.
Miami QB Ryan Tannehill.

Miami Dolphins at Seattle Seahawks
CenturyLink Field
Line: SEA -10

This will probably be the most lopsided game of week one. I think Adam Gase is going to work his magic with Ryan Tannehill and Miami’s offense, but it won’t happen this week. Seattle is the toughest place to play in the NFL and the Seahawks’ defense is too tough. I don’t think Tannehill will be able to outplay Russell Wilson on the road.

Prediction: Seahawks 34, Dolphins 13

Indianapolis QB Andrew Luck.
Indianapolis QB Andrew Luck.

Detroit Lions at Indianapolis Colts
Lucas Oil Stadium
Line: IND -3.5

This is another game that has potential to get out of hand. I think Matt Stafford will struggle this season without Calvin Johnson. However, Indianapolis has a below average defense. If Detroit’s defense can find a way to slow down Andrew Luck, the Lions have a chance to outscore the Colts. Luck missed most of last season due to injury and I think he and the Colts play well in the opener.

Prediction: Colts 27, Lions 19

Dallas WR Dez Bryant.
Dallas WR Dez Bryant.

New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys
AT&T Stadium
Arlington, Texas
Line: Even

Football fans saw what happened last year when the Cowboys didn’t have Tony Romo – the team fell apart. There’s been a lot of hype surrounding Dak Prescott this preseason, but I think he’ll come back down to reality in the regular season. I think the fan base will be excited to see Prescott and he’ll play well, but the Giants have a track record of playing well in Dallas’ stadium. This game will be close, but I think the Giants start the season with a nice division road win.

Prediction: Giants 26, Cowboys 23


Pittsburgh QB Ben Roethlisberger.
Pittsburgh QB Ben Roethlisberger.

Pittsburgh Steelers at Washington Redskins
FedEx Field
Landover, Md.
Line: PIT -3

Washington has been the toughest team to judge this offseason. The Redskins made the playoffs last year but didn’t make a lot of noise in the offseason outside of signing Josh Norman. Pittsburgh will be without Le’Veon Bell for this game but DeAngelo Williams performed very well in the 11 games Bell missed last season. Washington has one of the league’s worst front sevens and I think the Steelers will be able to control the line of scrimmage, chew clock, and get out of Washington with a win.

Prediction: Steelers 31, Redskins 24

Los Angeles RB Todd Gurley.
Los Angeles RB Todd Gurley.

Los Angeles Rams at San Francisco 49ers
Levi’s Stadium
Santa Clara, Calif.
Line: LA -2.5

I think that San Francisco will be one of the worst teams in the NFL this season, but part of me thinks Chip Kelly will have the 49ers ready to play for this game. Both teams are subpar at quarterback, and have tough defenses. Division road games are always tough for every team. I think the 49ers’ defense will turn this into a low-scoring game and force Case Keenum to make mistakes. Then, find ways to turn those mistakes into points.

Prediction: 49ers 17, Rams 16

Game of the Week:

New England QB Jimmy Garoppolo.
New England QB Jimmy Garoppolo.

New England Patriots at Arizona Cardinals
U of Phoenix Stadium
Glendale, Ariz.
Line: ARI -6

It would be a different game if Tom Brady was playing. I don’t know what to expect from Jimmy Garoppolo. New England has a mediocre offensive line and Arizona should have a stellar pass rush this season – I think Chandler Jones will want to stick it to his former team for trading him. That being said, I still think that the Patriots keep this game close, but the Cardinals win with a late score.

Prediction: Cardinals 23, Patriots 20

Thanks for reading

Shane Price
Follow me on Twitter – @priceisright53


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