Thursday, September 8, 2011

NFL Week 1 Game Predictions

As a regular feature this season, I thought it would be fun to predict the games each week.  I did pick every game in my season predictions but with the way things change from week to week I thought it relevant to do a weekly pick sheet as well. 

I’ll post my weekly predictions every week, before the first contest takes place.  Typically I’ll try and have the predictions up sometime on Saturdays for normal weeks, and of course earlier on those weeks with Thursday or Saturday games.  I’ll begin each week with a rundown how I fared the previous week and for the season

Thursday Night Game
Saints @ Packers
This should be a really fun game to get the season started, perhaps a preview of the NFC Championship game.  I’m expecting a good paced, fairly high scoring matchup.  Key Players: (Saints) Brees, Thomas, Ingram, Colston, Graham (Packers) Rodgers, Jennings, Finley, Driver, Nelson, Grant, Defense.  This game has the makings for a “whoever has the ball last wins” vibe to it.  However, with GB having an elite defense, I think that will become the biggest difference maker in this matchup.  PACKERS 38  SAINTS  28

Sundays Games

Falcons @ Bears
While I do think the bears will put a decent showing together, I’m much more interested in seeing how Atlanta looks this year.  Key Players: (Falcons) Ryan, Turner, White, Gonzalez, Jones, (Bears) Cutler, Forte, Peppers, Briggs, Urlacher, Williams.  I’m expecting a high scoring offense for the Atlanta this year.  They should be a pretty fun team to watch.  The Bears won’t be as bad as some are projecting, but it’s highly unlikely they repeat as Division champions.  That said I expect a closer score than many might think. FALCONS 31 BEARS 24

Bengals @ Browns
Outside of keeping up with the Cedric Benson legal tales and whether or not Carson Palmer decides to return, there’s not much to look forward to from the Bengals this year.  One thing to watch though is AJ Green, the 4th overall pick in April’s Draft, who should come alive as the season progresses, but probably can’t expect much in his first.  Cleveland looks to be on the rise and should take this game rather easily.  Key Players: (Bengals) Dalton, Green, Benson (Browns) McCoy, Hillis, Cribbs.  The Haden Vs. AJ Green matchup should be interesting to keep an eye on as well.  BROWNS 21 BENGALS 13

Bills @ Chiefs
Not many expect much from Buffalo this year.  The Chiefs are the defending AFC West Champions.  The Bills couldn’t stop the run last year.  The Chiefs led the league in rushing.  Key Players: (Bills) Fitzpatrick, Johnson, Jackson, Merriman, Dareus (Chiefs) Cassel, Charles, Jones, Bowe.  Buffalo is much improved on defense though and KC did not impress me in the preseason.  I’m going for a big return out of Merriman in this one as he goes up against a banged up Chiefs QB.  BILLS 24 CHIEFS 17

Eagles @ Rams
There are lots of interesting angles to watch for in this game.  On the one hand you have the “Dream Team” in Philly.  On the other, a team that’s on the rise, that should compete for their division, that’s being led by an up and coming QB.  Key Players: (Eagles) Vick, McCoy, Jackson, Maclin, Defense (Rams) Bradford, Jackson, Sims-Walker, Hendricks.  Its’ just too much a test for the young Rams this week.  EAGLES 35 RAMS 21

Lions @ Buccaneers
This should be another fun game to watch.  The big question for Lions fans is “ Can Matthew Stafford stay upright and healthy for an entire season?”  Tampa surprised everyone last year and it can’t be expected to happen again.  Key Players: (Lions) Stafford, Johnson, Best, Defense (Buccaneers) Freeman, Blount, Williams, Winslow.  These teams seem to matchup well on paper, yet Detroit’s defense looks dominant, giving them the edge.  LIONS 31  BUCCANEERS 27

Titans @ Jaguars
This game won’t be pretty.  Lots of roster turnover in both cities.  Just this week Jacksonville waived their starting QB.  Just last week Tennessee saw their star RB first report to camp.  Key Players: (Titans) Hasselback, Johnson, Britt (Jaguars) MJD. I’m expecting a lot of wheels turning but not much ground gained in this one.  I’ll give it to Jacksonville seeing they’re at home, but really this one will go to whoever wants it more.  JAGUARS 16 Titans 13

Steelers @ Ravens
Here we have another marquis matchup, between division rivals, with excellent offenses and defenses. Key Players: (Steelers) Big Ben, Wallace, Ward, Mendenhall, Defense (Ravens) Flacco, Rice, Boldin, Evans, Defense.  This game will come down to whichever teams makes the fewest mistakes.  RAVENS 20 STEELERS 16 

Colts @ Texans
There’s lots of storylines with this game.  How will Kerry Collins fare in Peyton Manning’s offense?  Will Arian Foster play?  Will Austin Collie Play? How will Houston’s revamped defense look in live action?  Key Players: (Colts) Collins, Wayne, Clark, Addai, Defense (Texans) Schaub, Johnson, RB’s, Daniels, Defense.  They’re at home and not having your QB is too much too overcome most times, therefore I’ll take the Texans here.  TEXANS 42 COLTS 21

Panthers @ Cardinals
Here’s another game with a few storylines.  For Carolina it’s seeing Cam Newton’s first game, but also Rivera’s first game as a HC.  For Arizona it’s Kevin Kolb’s first game as the Cardinal’s starting QB.  It’s also interesting to see how Beanie Wells will handle the workload as the Arizona starting RB.  Key Players: (Panthers) Newton, Smith, Williams, Olsen, Stewart, Shockey (Cardinals) Kolb, Wells, Fitzgerald.  Having to travel across the country, having a rookie QB in his first game ever and going against a defense that’s ranked pretty consistently over the past few years appears to be too much for Carolina to overcome in this game.  CARDINALS 21 PANTHERS 10

Vikings @ Chargers
I just have a bad feeling about this game.  As much as I like Donovan McNabb I can’t sell this move working out for him or the Vikings.  Lacking at the WR position, having an aging offensive line and one of your premier defensive stars suspended are just three of the pieces going against Minnesota.  Key Players: (Vikings) McNabb, Peterson  (Chargers) Rivers, Matthews/Tolbert, Jackson, Gates, Defense.  Oh yeah, I think the Chargers are going to kill people this year.  CHARGERS 49 VIKINGS 12

Seahawks @ 49’ers
This is another game I won’t be watching.  Seattle won their division last year with a losing record.  They let their starting QB leave town, replacing him with two third string guys.  The 49’ers won’t be that good either but have upside to them, which includes a pretty decent RB and a not too shabby defense. Key Players: (Seahawks) Lynch, Miller (49’ers) Gore, Edwards, Crabtree, Defense.  49’ERS 13 SEAHAWKS 6

Giants @ Redskins
This is yet another of the lower rated games this week.  Washington is not in NY’s class, however with a myriad of defensive injuries the playing field is somewhat leveled.  Key Players: (Giants) Manning, Nicks, Bradshaw/Jacobs, Manningham (Redskins) Hightower, Moss. This game comes down to QB play.  Eli Manning is easily 10x the signal-caller that Rex Grossman is, however he does make costly mistakes and has looked terrible in the preseason.  That all said I just can’t pick the Redskins until they show me something.  They could win, it won’t shock me if they do, I’m just not going to say they will. GIANTS 17 REDSKINS 13

Sunday Night Game
Cowboys @ Jets
This should be a fun game to watch.  There’s a few storylines to pay attention to.  What Cowboys receiver will spend the night on Revis Island?  Will NY allow their young QB to sling the rock around to his talent receiving corps, or will they be nothing more than glorified decoys, hoping to assist the running game?  Key Players: (Cowboys) Romo, Jones, Austin, Bryant, Witten, Ware (Jets) Sanchez, Mason, Burress, Holmes, Greene, LT, Keller, Defense.  I’m probably going completely against the grain with this pick but I just have a feeling that Dallas steals this one.  COWBOYS 14 JETS 13

Monday Night Games
Patriots @ Dolphins
By the time the second game gets going this one should be well in hand.  I can’t find anything interesting to say about Miami, except perhaps that Brandon Marshall has looked really good in preseason and how Reggie Bush will be used.  New England is a premier team and shows no sign of coming back to earth.  Key Players: (Patriots) Brady, RB’S, Ochocinco, TE’s, Defense (Dolphins) Marshall, Bush, Bess.  PATRIOTS 56 DOLPHINS 3

Raiders @ Broncos
I doubt this one will entice too many East Coast viewers to watch the entire game.  I expect both teams to be pretty bad this year.  Only storyline I can think of is that both teams have new HC’s.  In addition each time has a one-time elite college QB buried on their depth charts, Pryor because of suspension and Tebow because they like Orton and Quinn better right now.  Key Players: (Raiders) Campbell, McFadden (Broncos) Orton, Lloyd.  DENVER 19  RAIDERS 10

No comments:

Post a Comment