NO @ATL SUN 1:00
The cup is tilting for the team on the left more than it is for the hosts. Drew Brees will be playing in his 14th NFL season. He wants to win another ring, like Manning does, and this could be the year that the Saints could make noise. Atlanta, on the other hand, is a team that demands respect and their bite is a lot less vicious than their bark. Eat my words, say you?
NO 38 ATL 30
CIN @BAL SUN 1:00
The Ravens and the Bengals already find themselves in a must-win situation. Both teams will try to attack the same way on Sunday: run the ball and chip away before throwing the long bomb. We’re all excited to watch Steve Smith Sr. take the field and Joe Flacco needs time behind the line if his offense wants to take it to the next level. Watch out for the one-two punch in Cincinnati’s backfield: Giovani Bernard and Jeremy Hill. Statement game won by Baltimore.
CIN 20 BAL 23
BUF @CHI SUN 1:00
Sammy Watkins will be challenged in his debut. The Chicago Bears have all the utensils they need to find themselves atop the NFC. They could challenge the Eagles, Saints, Panthers, 49ers, Seahawks, Packers and Detroit comfortably. That’s what I call a bold opinion.
BUF 14 CHI 30
WAS HOU SUN 1:00
The Redskins are the worst team in the NFC East. Their defense is still suspect. Let me rephrase that: the pressure lies on their defensive front seven, really, as their secondary is still suspect. The Texans are the exact opposite. Their defense looks sharp, whereas their offense looks – and feels – too shaky for my personal investment. Look for Jadaveon Clowney to run down and pressure Robert Griffin III who will frantically run around to spot his A-list receivers in DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon.
WAS 24 HOU 14
TEN KC SUN 1:00
Nothing really stands out from this game. The scoreboard won’t reflect who the better team is. Watch the Titans offensive line and how they protect Jake Locker. The Chiefs defense will look to impose from the first snap and whistle blow.
TEN 14 KC 19
NE MIA SUN 1:00
The New England Patriots play sharp like their quarterback’s hairstyle. The Dolphins look to avenge their woes from last season but won’t muster enough firepower to take down the mighty Patriots. Look for a close first half.
NE 34 MIA 20
OAK NYJ SUN 1:00
Congratulations to Derek Carr. He earned the starting nod over Matt Schaub. Geno Smith, who is running slim on excuses now with Chris Johnson in the backfield and Eric Decker lined up wide. The Jets defense is underrated (already!?) and the Raiders won’t click on all cylinders from the jump. Jets’ edge.
OAK 17 NYJ 20
JAX PHI SUN 1:00
Jacksonville Jaguars made many strides to bolster both tips of the football this offseason. The Eagles did, too, and will be shocking it they lose their season opener under Head Coach Chip Kelly. The lesson here is that Nick Foles is aiming towards breaking his PR of 27 touchdown passes and two interceptions. The problem is that the secondaries are also aware — and they’re significantly much more relieved the Eagles cut DJax. They will also scissor JAX.
JAX 15 PHI 23
CLE PIT SUN 1:00
Cleveland is the AFC North’s phantom. They will come in like they know somebody and leave alone like they were just swinging by. Between Brian Hoyer and ‘Money’ Manziel, never mind. The Steelers better not underestimate the Browns’ defense, who is now strong at the safety and cornerback positions with Donte Whitner, Tashaun Gipson and Joe Haden opposite Buster Skrine.
CLE 21 PIT 24
MIN STL SUN 1:00
Like the Titans and the Chiefs game, this game piques our interest all for the wrong reasons. Matt Cassel starts, along with Adrian Petersen, Cordarrelle Patterson and Greg Jennings. This is an exciting offense to watch, if their quarterback is capable of executing the plays. Look for Kyle Rudolph to get behind a solid defensive front in the St. Louis Rams. It’s hard envisioning the Rams winning a game of spin the bottle without their quarterback Sam Bradford.
MIN 24 STL 23
SF DAL SUN 4:25
Yum, what a delicious scoop of game. I love this match. San Francisco is dealing with their own unique set of issues. The Cowboys know exactly how to play the 49ers: contain Kaepernick, cover Vernon Davis and bracket coverage Anquan Boldin. Dez Bryant wants to win and that’s exactly what Dallas will do.
SF 20 DAL 31
CAR TB SUN 4:25
Don’t relax on Tampa Bay. They are sensitive and will attempt to release their anger and frustrations from last season with any chance they get. Look for fights and facemask grabbing. That boiling heat in Florida will be the team’s Achilles’ heel.
CAR 14 TB 10
IND DEN SUN 8:30
Denver is an early favorite to make the trip to the Super Bowl in February. Wes Welker is suspended and won’t play but when was the last time Peyton Manning lost a game because of a receiving missing in action? Hmm. As far as I know, Andrew Luck will play without his best receiver, who we know as Reggie Wayne. The Colts defense will be battle tested at the Mile High.
IND 17 DEN 35
NYG DET MON 7:10
The New York Giants better run the ball well this season to give them a chance at winning games. Do they have a game plan to defeat the Lions? Yes, if they meet in the playoffs. For now, the Lions’ high-powered offense is buzzing with talent. Jim Caldwell is a coach’s player who can corral this team like he did with the Ravens.
NYG 16 DET 34
SD ARI MON 10:20
Flip a coin, just kidding. This is another rare gem – early statement game – for both sides. The Cardinals don’t want to trail behind the Seahawks and 49ers (or the Rams) for the Division Title. The Chargers, same thing, can’t fall to the Chiefs, Broncos (or the Raiders). The intensity levels are high. I like …
SD 21 ARI 27
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GB @SEA THU 8:30
Game is played in Seattle, one of the toughest spots to win anything. (I couldn’t take home a stuffed animal trying to make a basket at a carnival in Seattle.)
We’re curious to see how the Green Bay Packers’ offense will look. How will they fare without Jermichael Finley, James Jones? How will Eddie Lacy be deployed in their new-look offense? The Seattle Seahawks lost a pound of blood on their defense (Red Bryant/Chris Clemons), too, so don’t expect a blowout.
GB: 24 SEA 30