The NFL kicks off into full gear tomorrow when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers play at home against the Dallas Cowboys. Here are my picks for each game this week.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Dallas Cowboys, Winner: Tampa Bay
The return of Dallas QB Dak Prescott will not be enough to give the Cowboys the edge against the defending Superbowl champs who return most of their team. However, expect big plays from Prescott and Wide Reciever CeeDee Lamb.
Houston Texans vs Jacksonville Jaguars, Winner Jacksonville
Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson will not start due to concerns over 23 civil lawsuits over sexual assault filed against Watson. Journeyman QB Tyrod Taylor will get the start and is not expected to outperform 2021 number 1 pick, Trevor Lawrence, in his debut. Expect Jaguars coach Urban Meyer to get his 1st win as an NFL head coach.
Atlanta Falcons vs Philadelphia Eagles, Winner Atlanta
With the trade of Eagles QB Carson Wentz to Indianapolis, the Jalen Hurts era has begun. However, a talented Falcons offense featuring WR Calvin Ridley, and rookie TE Kyle Pitts will be too much to handle for an Eagles defense with 4 starters questionable for Sunday’s game.
Buffalo Bills vs Pittsburgh Steelers, Winner Buffalo
While the Steelers addressed a need at running back by adding Alabama sensation Najee Harris in the draft. There are still major concerns over the run blocking he will receive this season. Also, expect Bills QB, Josh Allen, and company to take advantage of the aging CB Joe Haden, and the loss of Steelers safety Mike Hilton to free agency.
Cincinnati Bengals vs Minnesota Vikings, Winner Minnesota
While the Bengals return QB Joe Burrow from the IR and drafted his former teammate, WR Ja’marr Chase, they did little to address one of the worst offensive lines in the league. They will also have to contend with a fearsome Vikings offense featuring QB Kirk Cousins, WR Adam Theilen, HB Dalvin Cook, and WR Justin Jefferson.
Detroit Lions vs San Francisco 49ers, Winner San Francisco
Detroit traded away star QB Matt Stafford in the offseason, his replacement Jared Goff just isn’t as good. The return of 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo should ensure a strong year for the 49ers.
Arizona Cardinals vs Tennessee Titans, Winner Arizona
The addition of WR AJ Green and HB James Connor gives the Cardinals even more weapons for QB sensation Kyler Murray. The home-field advantage gives them the edge over a solid Titans squad.
Indianapolis Colts vs Seattle Seahawks, Winner Seattle
The excellent stable of Colts HBs consisting of Jonathan Taylor, Nyheim Hines, and Marlon Mack will not be enough for a home victory against a stacked Seahawks offense featuring QB Russell Wilson, WRs Tyler Lockett, and DK Metcalf, and HB Chris Carson.
Washington Football Team vs Los Angelos Chargers, Winner Chargers
Washington failed to address their need at QB instead opting to hope for more Fitzmagic from journeyman QB Ryan Fitzpatrick. The Chargers on the other hand are all set at the QB position with former Oregon Ducks QB Justin Herbert. However, strong weapons around Fitzpatrick and Washington DE Chase Young leading a stout defense should keep this game competitive.
Carolina Panthers vs New York Jets, Winner Carolina
The Sam Darnold revenge tour starts off with a game against his former team, now surrounded with weapons like HB Christian McCaffrey, and WR DJ Moore. Expect Darnold to look different than his time as a Jet. Jet’s rookie QB Zach Wilson could see early season struggles due to inexperience.
Kansas City Chiefs vs Cleveland Browns, Winner Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs once again feature a Superbowl-ready roster featuring the usual suspects of QB Patrick Mahomes, TE Travis Kelce, WR Tyreek Hill, and DE Frank Clark. The Browns will be no easy test featuring a stout defense led by former number 1 draft picks DEs Jadeveon Clowney and Myles Garrett and CB Denzel Ward. Baker Mayfield also leads a talented bunch on offense. But with all the talent Cleveland possesses, the Chiefs have more. Expect another tight one at Arrowhead like their playoff game a year ago.
New England Patriots vs Miami Dolphins, Winner Patriots
Bill Belichick has found his man. After missing the playoffs following the departure of future Hall of Famer QB Tom Brady, the Patriots selected Alabama QB Mac Jones with the 15th overall pick who has impressed in preseason. Jones will face off against former Alabama teammate and Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa. The Dolphins sports talent on offense but now that the 2019 best NFL defense the Patriots have help on the other side of the ball, the Dolphins will have a hard time defeating the Pats on the road.
New Orleans Saints vs Green Bay Packers, Winner Packers
Despite all of the drama in Green Bay surrounding Packers QB Aaron Rodgers and his desire to leave Greenbay, the Packers will have an excellent team this year. Rumors of Rodgers’s unhappiness with the situation in Greenbay are nothing new and have yet to affect his play. Don’t expect it to now, the future Hall of Famer is poised for another excellent season. Expect Saints QB, Jameis Winston, to lose his season debut.
New York Giants vs Denver Broncos, Winner Denver
The Broncos signed QB Teddy Bridgewater in the offseason and with WR Jerry Jeudy and RB Melvin Gordon III he has talent around him. But the strength of the Broncos will be the defense with LB Von Miller, CB Kyle Fuller, and LB Bradley Chubb. The injury-laden Giants offense will not have an answer.
Los Angelos Rams vs Chicago Bears, Winner Rams
Former Rams QB Jared Goff has struggled since leading the Rams to a Superbowl loss in 2019, so the decision was made to trade for Detroit Lions standout Matt Stafford. Matt Stafford is the more talented between the two and with a stacked receiver corp and a defense led by DT Aaron Donald and CB Jalen Ramsey the Rams are poised for success. The Bears have a strong defense led by LB Khalil Mack arguably the best defender in the league. But an offense led by QB Andy Dalton fails to impress.
Las Vegas Raiders vs the Baltimore Ravens, Winner Las Vegas
Both teams will have solid squads this year, the Ravens have their patented tough defense with star QB Lamar Jackson leading the offense. However, the loss of HB J.K. Dobbins and temptations of Sin City will prove a distraction for any road team. Raiders QB Derek Carr and HB Josh Jacobs should be expected to get the victory.