The Infallible NFL Week 1 Straight Picks

After yet another successful year of everything, we bring you another year of straight picks for NFL games. Traditionally, picking games in the NFL is oddly easier early on as there is less scrutiny over various injuries and streaks. Instead, picks are generally made with less thinking and more feeling. That’s how shit is in life. Never on a multiple choice test will you second guess yourself and get it right the second time around. The same goes for fantasy football. When was the last time you changed your lineup at the last second (not including injuries) and it actually helped? Here’s what we think will happen in Week 1.

Green Bay at Seattle. The Packers will have to get the ball to Randall Cobb with some dink and dunk before trying Jordy Nelson deep. Flushing Russell Wilson out of the pocket is also important. If they can contain Wilson’s bursts into the second level then they could quite possibly win this game. It’s the opening game of the year and is being played in front of arguably the loudest crowd in the league. But if the Seahawks can’t run or show that they can keep up with a high-powered passing game we might see a different outcome than many might expect. Green Bay will have a good year, but not the start to it they that hoped for. Seattle 24, Green Bay 21

New Orleans at Atlanta. After a season where Atlanta was shredded by injuries and finished with a record way worse than many expected (I predicted a Super Bowl run, but who could have foreseen all the injuries?), many assume the same will take place. But their running game isn’t any worse and they arguably got passing in the passing game with the emergence of Harry Douglas, whom they will need after the official retirement of Tony Gonzalez. The issue won’t be on the offensive side of the ball for Atlanta but on defense. New Orleans may have lost Darren Sproles, but Pierre Thomas was their leading receiver out of the backfield last year anyways. Expect a close one with some dramatics and the Saints marching on. New Orleans 38, Atlanta 31

Buffalo at Chicago. Considering what we know about each time it’s tough to choose anyone but Chicago. Buffalo’s defense isn’t as tough as it was last year but they are better than the Bears. Trouble is, their offense hasn’t quite figured it out. When the Bills do get it together they could be dangerous with Sammy Watkins and Robert Woods as well as a few other dangerous options at receiver. This is a big year for CJ Spiller to stay healthy now that Fred Jackson is that much older. The Bears have an embarrassment of riches with Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery, and Matt Forte to throw to. If Cutler can manage the game and not get hurt then this one won’t be close. Chicago 31, Buffalo 13

Cincinnati at Baltimore. It’s a tough one to not be biased about, but given the closeness in this division I can’t pick against Baltimore. I do think that the Bengals will win in a blowout the second time around. But both defenses will be tough. It will ultimately come down to Baltimore’s offense. We know Cincinnati will run well and have a decent passing game. But if Bernard Pierce can be effective and Torrey Smith can get over the top it will likely come down a big play late by the defense. Baltimore 27, Cincinnati 20

Cleveland at Pittsburgh. The Browns walk into this season with higher hopes than recent years, but these hopes lay on a nucleus that is still a year or two away (especially without Josh Gordon). Meanwhile, Big Ben had a great finish to last season and Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell look to have big seasons. Pittsburgh 34, Cleveland 13

Tennessee at Kansas City. Two teams that are wildcards of sorts are playing in KC. Tennessee has a few intriguing pieces but not enough complete talent on each side of the ball to stick with the Chiefs. Smith will manage the game and Charles will run wild. Barring any injuries or numerous turnovers, this game will be over at the end of the third quarter. Kansas City 28, Tennessee 14

Oakland at NY Jets. Woeful offenses with young quarterbacks come into this one with over the hill running backs and aging defenses. Two teams that are rebuilding at some positions decided to plug holes at others. Don’t expect tons of offense in this one as these teams will likely slug it out in the running game. NY Jets 17, Oakland 14

Minnesota at St. Louis. The Vikings come into this game with a new offensive game plan (aside from giving the ball to Adrian Peterson every down). It looks as though even with an average quarterback Minnesota will attempt to open the game up some more and let Cordarelle Patterson do work. St. Louis has a great defense and if they can limit Minnesota in the running game this one could come down to the wire. Minnesota 24, St. Louis 20

New England at Miami. The Dolphins will be better this year. Unfortunately, the Patriots will also be better this year. Miami has been able to split with New England each of the last few years and there’s a decent chance that could happen again this year. But my money is on Tom Brady and his merry band of white receivers. New England 31, Miami 20

Jacksonville at Philadelphia. With an unknown besides a lot of running, the Jaguars have a lot to answer in this first game of the season. The Eagles have a few answers of their own after Desean Jackson signed with the Redskins. The Jags do have a solid defense, but Philly will get a nice start to the year. Philadelphia 35, Jacksonville 24

Washington at Houston. After an offseason of uncertainty on offense and the opposite on defense, this season looks to be interesting from the Texans. This game is going to go a lot towards figuring out the trajectory of this team. Not saying the Skins are going to win anything this year, but they are a tough out anywhere. Conversely, if Washington can establish the run and protect RG III in the pocket it’s likely there won’t be much doubt who will win the game after three quarters. Still, I think this game will go down to the wire. Washington 24, Houston 17

San Francisco at Dallas. If Dallas had a defense they would be up towards the top of the conference. But their defense is porous and pathetic. The 49ers aren’t as good as most might think, but they are still very good. San Francisco 31, Dallas 17

Carolina at Tampa Bay. Hopefully Cam Newton is feeling his best for this one. He needs to find a couple reliable receivers besides Greg Olsen and the running game needs to show up. But the defense is already one of the best in the league. The Buccaneers are slowly building a contender. But it’s still slowly. Maybe by the end of the season you will see what I mean, but until then look for Carolina to come out on top. Carolina 27, Tampa Bay 21

Indianapolis at Denver. The Broncos have a better defense and don’t lose tons with Welker and Decker missing. Emmanuel Sanders will make up for some of it as well as Ronnie Hillman. Montee Ball could also be important, then again that’s what we thought at the beginning of last season. Oh yeah, and Peyton Manning is pretty good. Andrew Luck isn’t too shabby either. Reggie Wayne is back and the defense got tons of help in the offseason. I expect Denver to win without tons of resistance but that doesn’t mean the Colts won’t try. Denver 41, Indianapolis 31

NY Giants at Detroit. The G-men can’t do much worse than last season. Their defense is healthier even though they last some talent to free agency. Eli Manning needs to avoid interceptions. If he can do that then there’s no reason why the Giants can’t put points up on the board. Too bad Megatron is on the other team. Here comes a beastly number from both Johnson and Stafford. Detroit 38 NY Giants 28

San Diego at Arizona. Two underrated teams walk into this game with two older quarterbacks looking to stay relevant. Philip Rivers has a great option in Keenan Allen and can do some fun things with Danny Woodhead in the backfield. While this game will inevitably come down to Arizona’s superior defense, look for strong showings by Andre Ellington and Michael Floyd as two breakout players in an effective offense. Arizona 28, San Diego 20

 

 

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