Football is finally back! Let’s take a look at our picks here at the Raider Ramble for opening week in the NFL.
All teams are starting with high expectations; the question is, how will they perform? The first week is always one of the hardest to predict, but hey, let’s give it a shot anyway.
San Francisco 49ers vs Detroit Lions
What we have here in this game is a contender against a true pretender. The latter will be lucky to win six games this year. San Francisco should blow out the Lions and start their season 1-0.
Pittsburgh Steelers vs Buffalo Bills
Buffalo is well-favored in this NFL matchup though both teams are well structured. However, Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs will get it done for the Bills in what will surely be a fun game.
Jacksonville Jaguars vs Houston Texans
The No. 1 overall pick, Trevor Lawrence, will be making his NFL debut against a Texans team that won’t have Deshaun Watson, who’s inactive as a healthy scratch. This game will not be pretty but the Jaguars will claw their way to victory.
Los Angeles Chargers vs Washington Football Team
In what will be a low-scoring affair, this game will come down to the final seconds. Considering the Chargers’ coaching overhaul, that might end being the deciding factor in giving Washington the win. However, this shouldn’t discourage Chargers fans heading into the matchup.
Verdict: Washington Football Team
Seattle Seahawks vs Indianapolis Colts
The Colts roll into this one with both a good defense and running game. Nevertheless, Wilson is just going to be too much to handle throwing to DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. Carson Wentz will not be terrible by any means though Seattle’s defense played exceptionally well down the stretch last year.
New York Jets vs Carolina Panthers
The Sam Darnold revenge game. Look for the Panthers to win with McCaffrey leading the way. The Jets will have a new quarterback and head coach so expect some mistakes to help Carolina.
Minnesota Vikings vs Cincinnati Bengals
While Joe Burrow was good before his injury, the Bengals’ O-line didn’t improve enough this offseason. Rookie Ja’Marr Chase hasn’t looked too inspiring so far either. This game will be close early on but look for Minnesota’s offense to help them run away in the end.
Arizona Cardinals vs Tennessee Titans
This one will be a shootout. Even though the Cardinals have a better defense, it won’t be enough to hold off Tennessee’s offense. The Cardinals offense will make this close, but not close enough.
Philadelphia Eagles vs Atlanta Falcons
Another shootout here as well. Both teams are set up well on offense but nothing too great on defense. Despite Atlanta’s infamous history of choking games, they should be the safer bet to make.
Cleveland Browns vs Kansas City Chiefs
This is one of the top games this weekend. The Browns’ running backs, Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, will be key against the Chiefs. Mahomes and company will still rise to the occasion and get the job done dramatically.
Green Bay Packers vs New Orleans Saints
Jameis Winston’s comeback won’t have a perfect beginning. Aaron Rodgers will be out for blood to start his “last dance” with Green Bay. Expect the Packers to win by a healthy margin, thanks to some good football on offense and defense.
Verdict: Green Bay
Denver Broncos vs New York Giants
If you like high-scoring games, this may be hard to watch. Both teams bolster quality defenses, but the deciding factor will be how the quarterbacks play. Teddy Bridgewater is much less likely to turn the ball over than Daniel Jones, which is why Denver will walk away with a win.
Will there be any upsets during NFL Week 1?
Miami Dolphins vs New England Patriots
We are going for an upset with this pick. In this battle between Alabama quarterbacks Mac Jones and Tua Tagovailoa, the Miami defense will get the best of Jones. Tua will play well enough to get the win.
Chicago Bears vs Los Angeles Rams
This one can get ugly. Chicago’s O-line looked shaky in the preseason, so if that carries into Sunday night, the Rams defense is going to eat. It will be interesting to see if Justin Fields gets any playing time.
What about the NFL’s opening edition of Monday Night Football?
Baltimore Ravens vs Las Vegas Raiders
A couple of weeks ago, this game leaned in Baltimore’s favor. However, things have changed after all the injuries they’ve suffered on both sides of the ball. Now, the Raiders have a more realistic shot. The Raiders have also won their last three games on Monday Night Football, and I’m going with them to make it four.
Well, there you have it, Raider Nation, our picks for opening week in the NFL. As always, Ramble On!
*Top Photo: Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports