Wednesday, September 5, 2012

NFL Week 1 Predictions

(Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Tony Romo has been historically bad against the Giants. Will Romo get his first win in six starts
vs. the defending champs, or will Eli Manning and the Giants be too much for Dallas to handle. 

After posting up a better record than every NFL expert over at ESPN and CBS, I hope to have similar success this season. Here is a brief prediction and pick for the first game of the season: Cowboys vs. Giants. The rest of the predictions and picks for the rest of the week will be up shortly.

Cowboys vs. Giants: 31-20 Giants
The reigning Super Bowl champs will start off their 2012-2013 campaign Wednesday night when one of their longtime divisional rivals comes to town. Dallas Cowboys starting quarterback, Tony Romo, hasn't had great success vs. the Giants in his career. In 11 starts against New York, Romo has been sacked 22 times, and hasn't beat them in his last five starts. Overall he is 4-7 vs. Big Blue. Eli Manning and the Giants' offense will be put to the test in this Week 1 showdown. Dallas has brought in two new cornerbacks to hopefully shut down the dynamic duo if Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz. On the other hand, the Giants defense will likely give Tony Romo's offense some trouble. Romo's two favorite targets, Jason Witten and Miles Austin are banged up with injuries but will suit up.

Colts vs. Bears: 27-17 Bears
Unfortunately for Andrew Luck, his first professional start in the NFL will result in a loss. Although the Colts will improve this season, they aren't good enough to beat a great team like Chicago. The Bears are ready to return to playoff form, and must start off the season with a win. Expect big games from Matt Forte and newcomer Brandon Marshall in the season opener.

Eagles vs. Browns: 31-10 Eagles
The Eagles are ready to prove that last season was a fluke, and that they are 100% focused this season. There's no better way to start off the season with a good old blowout. It will be interesting to see how Brandon Weeden and Trent Richardson play in the first game of their NFL careers. Expect the Eagles offense to unleash on the Browns.

Rams vs. Lions: 30-16 Lions
Can anyone say Stafford to Megatron (over and over again)? Expect the Lions to come out strong and pick up where they left off last season. The Rams have a new coach in Jeff Fisher, but even he won't be enough to knock off Detroit. The Rams simply don't have the firepower to keep up with the Lions' potent offense.

Patriots vs. Titans: 28-13 Patriots
Not only is Tom Brady arguably the best quarterback in the league, but his receiving core is pretty damn good too. Brady will have the pleasure of throwing touchdowns to Wes Welker, Brandon Lloyd, Aaron Hernandez, and the one and only Gronk throughout the season. The Titans have made improvements this offseason, and it will be exciting to see how Jake Locker and Chris Johnson play, but they are no match for the reigning AFC champs.

Falcons vs. Chiefs: 27-20 Falcons
Both teams have a lot to prove this season. The Chiefs want to prove that with Jamaal Charles back, they can return to being a playoff team. The Falcons know they are a playoff team already, but they want to prove that they can take it to the next level and be Super Bowl contenders. I think the Falcons have a few more weapons in this game, and end up winning it by a touchdown.

Jaguars vs. Vikings: 24-6 Vikings
Even with Adrian Peterson not completely healthy, the Vikings will still pull out the win. The Jaguars might have MJD back, but he won't even get the majority of the carries in Week 1. Expect Percy Harvin himself to outscore the Jaguars on Sunday. Since Ponder took over as starting quarterback, Harvin has being targeted the most out of all receivers in the league, by over 25 targets.

Redskins vs. Saints: 37-20 Saints
After finding out that their previously suspended players are no longer suspended, the Saints jump back to being a serious contender in the NFC. Even without coach Sean Payton, the Saints' offense will be too much for the Redskins to handle. Drew Brees will spoil RG3's NFL debut. Who Dat nation will start off the year 1-0.

Bills vs. Jets: 20-17 Jets
This may surprise a few, but I think the Jets' defense is good enough to contain the Bills. I also believe that the Jets will turn it around on offense whether Tebow is involved or not. Don't get me wrong, the Bills will have a great season, and might make a run for the playoffs, but I like Gang Green in their season opener.

Dolphins vs. Texans: 32-12 Texans
The Dolphins are about to live the Hard Knock life after Sunday's game. Miami is no match for Houston's offense or defense. With Matt Schaub, Arian Foster, and Andre Johnson all ready to go, the Dolphins' defense might be in for a long day.

Niners vs. Packers: 30-20 Packers
What this game comes down to is the quarterback matchup: Alex Smith vs. Aaron Rodgers. Both have strong defenses, but the Packers have a huge advantage on offense. Green Bay is going to come out of the game with a huge chip on their shoulders, trying to prove that they should be the defending champs. I'm with Bill Simmons on this one, the Niners might be regressing this season.

Seahawks vs. Cardinals: 24-13 Seahawks
The Seahawks have everything going their way while the Cardinals can't quite figure anything out. After Sunday's games, Russell Wilson will be the only rookie quarterback (out of five total starting Week 1) to win in his first start. Wilson will get help from the Seahawks' relentless defense and the Cardinals' nonexistent offense.

Panthers vs. Bucs: 26-17 Panthers
Last year's Rookie of the Year Cam Newton is back and ready to prove that the sophomore slump isn't for him. His first game will be a tough one vs. divisional rival Tampa Bay, but Cam and the Panthers should pull out the victory. They are getting back two of their best defensive players who missed the majority of last season with injuries. If the Panthers can stay healthy, this might be a big year for the franchise.

Steelers vs. Broncos: 24-13 Broncos
Both teams have a lot of questions that will be answered in their Week 1 showdown. The Broncos want to prove that Peyton Manning is healthy and back to being one of the best quarterbacks in the league. The Steelers want to prove that they can be an elite team despite having no run game, and just getting back Mike Wallace last week. It also might hurt the Steelers that safety Ryan Clark will miss the game due to his sickle cell disease.

Bengals vs. Ravens: 23-13 Ravens
The Ravens want to prove that they can make it to the Super Bowl even without Terrell Suggs. Many experts and analysts are predicting it to be Joe Flacco's breakout year. It doesn't hurt that they also have arguably the best running back in the league, Ray Rice. The Bengals might have made the playoffs last year, but they struggled in both games vs. the Ravens.

Chargers vs. Raiders: 28-23 Chargers
Both teams are ready to take the next step towards becoming playoff teams this season. If the Chargers don't get off to a hot start, that could mean the end of Norv Turner. The Chargers will be without Ryan Mathews, but will have a healthy Philip Rivers and Antonio Gates. Darren McFadden is also healthy for the Raiders, but it won't be enough to beat the Chargers on Monday night.

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