And… we are back to football. Tonight kicks off the 2014 season, so alas, I give you my Week 1 NFL Predictions for 2014.
With tonight’s game, we get to see the “Revenge of the Fail Mary”. That’s not my title, but nfl.com’s.
If I had to come up with something for tonight’s game, I would call it “Rodgers and the Cheese-heads fight the Legion of Boom”… I don’t know… something classy like that.
Obviously, there are no bye weeks until Week 4, but I will instead offer you an entertaining football gif from last season.
Thursday, 9/4 – 8:30 pm ET
Green Bay Packers 0-0 @ Seattle Seahawks 0-0
Prediction: Seattle Seahawks
I really like Green Bay this season, but it is almost impossible to win on the road in Seattle with the Seahawks defense and the crowd noise. Green Bay will keep it close, but I like Seattle in front of a rowdy Seattle crowd.
Sunday, 9/7 – 1:00 pm ET
New Orleans Saints 0-0 @ Atlanta Falcons 0-0
Prediction: New Orleans Saints
This will be closer than you would think, but New Orleans is too good. The Atlanta defense won’t be able to stop the Saints consistently – if at all – and the New Orleans defense will play well.
Minnesota Vikings 0-0 @ St. Louis Rams 0-0
Prediction: Minnesota Vikings
This one is close. I think St. Louis will play well with Shaun Hill at quarterback and their talented defensive line teeing off at home on their turf. That said, I really like Minnesota to play well this season under Mike Zimmer. Minnesota’s offense is more explosive, courtesy of offensive coordinator Norv Turner, and their defense will be improved because of Zimmer.
Cleveland Browns 0-0 @ Pittsburgh Steelers 0-0
Prediction: Pittsburgh Steelers
Cleveland is very much unknown right now. Without Josh Gordon in the lineup, I don’t know if Cleveland will be able to effectively move the ball down the field with Brian Hoyer at quarterback. However, Johnny Manziel will be eaten alive by Pittsburgh’s defensive coordinator Dick Lebeau if he plays. I also think Pittsburgh’s offense will be hard to contain, despite Cleveland’s defense being stacked with talent.
Jacksonville Jaguars 0-0 @ Philadelphia Eagles 0-0
Prediction: Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles are too explosive offensively. We probably won’t, but I would like to see Blake Bortles see snaps for Jacksonville. I think he could make this a more interesting game.
Oakland Raiders 0-0 @ New York Jets 0-0
Prediction: Oakland Raiders
Maybe a surprise pick here, but Oakland is stacked with veterans. The trip to New York isn’t an easy one for Oakland, but the oldest roster in the NFL is going to be fresh. There’s enough left in the tank to upend the Jets in Week 1.
Cincinnati Bengals 0-0 @ Baltimore Ravens 0-0
Prediction: Baltimore Ravens
This is another big test for the Bengals with all eyes watching them and waiting for a defining victory that screams to the heavens “WE ARE SUPER BOWL CONTENDERS!”
That is why I am picking Baltimore.
Buffalo Bills 0-0 @ Chicago Bears 0-0
Prediction: Chicago Bears
I can’t, in good conscious, pick Buffalo in the upset after they looked so bad offensively in the preseason. Chicago will start strong with a win.
Washington Redskins 0-0 @ Houston Texans 0-0
Prediction: Houston Texans
I actually think Houston could start the season 4-0. Obviously, that means I’m picking them here. Houston has talent on their roster, they just had a bad year last season.
Tennessee Titans 0-0 @ Kansas City Chiefs 0-0
Prediction: Kansas City Chiefs
I like Tennessee this season, but beating Kansas City, in Kansas City in the season opener is a tall task. I think the Titans’ offense will look impressive, but ultimately Jamaal Charles is too much.
New England Patriots 0-0 @ Miami Dolphins 0-0
Prediction: New England Patriots
Is there a stat on how many times Tom Brady has opened the regular season with wins over divisional opponents? I would imagine it is rather impressive.
Sunday, 9/7 – 4:25 pm ET
Carolina Panthers 0-0 @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers 0-0
Prediction: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Cam Newton is still recovering from an offseason ankle surgery and his only real options in the passing game are tight end Greg Olson and rookie receiver Kelvin Benjamin. The Buccaneers are pretty good against the run and should be able to limit those two guys. I like the Buccaneers to win a surprising season opener.
San Francisco 49ers 0-0 @ Dallas Cowboys 0-0
Prediction: San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers will score points. The Cowboys will also score points. The 49ers will probably stop the Cowboys at least once. The Cowboys defense probably will not be able to stop the 49ers. That, literally, was my thought process for this pick because… it’s really that simple.
Sunday, 9/7 – 8:30 pm ET
Indianapolis Colts 0-0 @ Denver Broncos 0-0
Prediction: Denver Broncos
I’m excited to see this matchup. I expect Indianapolis to make this a high-scoring affair, but ultimately there is just too much Peyton Manning in Denver to stop the Broncos.
Monday, 9/8 – 7:10 pm ET
New York Giants 0-0 @ Detroit Lions 0-0
Prediction: Detroit Lions
I think New York is in for a rough season. Detroit will be explosive on offense whereas… the Giants will not.
Monday, 9/8 – 10:20 pm ET
San Diego Chargers 0-0 @ Arizona Cardinals 0-0
Prediction: Arizona Cardinals
Arizona gets a home game to kickoff the season against San Diego, which should be a good gauge for what to expect from the Cardinals. I expect Arizona to take care of business. Their secondary is frightening and their offense will be good.