It's hard to find the words to describe how electric it feels to be on the precipice of a full slate of NFL action. No matter who you root for (unless it's the Texans or Lions) the start of a new season brings hope - and it all starts here with week 1. We wanted to roll out our picks for each game this week to help get you ready for the matchups and, hopefully, give you some winners.
Seahawks at Colts
Seattle is returning most of their starters while the Colts are running a new offense with Wentz at the helm. His limited availability during training camp leads us to believe they'll need a few weeks before they gel. Russ will complete a couple big shots to DK and Lockett and the
Seahawks will control the clock with Chris Carson. Indianapolis is a good team, and I think they'll keep it close. But Seattle should win this one by at least a field goal.
Our Pick: SEA -2.5
Jets at Panthers
The Sam Darnold revenge game? Carolina certainly has the weapons to put up points against a Jets defense that has already lost a few key players to injuries. I expect Darnold to keep things in check and let his playmakers win Carolina the game. 3 and a hook is more than I'd like to give here, because I do like the Jets quite a bit this season. But as with the Colts, I think it takes Wilson and gang green a few weeks before they click.
Our Pick: CAR -3.5
Steelers at Bills
The Steelers started last season hot winning their first 11 games - but stumbled down the stretch winning one in their final seven. Pittsburgh's addition of Najee Harris in last May's draft is certainly a plus, but the offensive line is still quite suspect. Apparently Big Ben's arm looks much
improved compared to last year's (how could it not?) and the late addition of TJ Watt bodes well for the defense. The Bills are an all around solid team and a legit threat to win the Super Bowl;
but I think Tomlin will have his guys ready to play out of the gate and keep this one close enough.
Our pick: PIT +6.5
49ers at Lions
There's not much to like about the Lions - except for the fact that they're getting 9.5 points at home. Jared Goff is a somewhat competent starter and D'Andre Swift and TJ Hockenson are respectable weapons. The Niners defense and offense has weapons of their own, though, and shouldn't have any problems handling Detroit. But I'm not sure if they can stretch the lead past 9 by the time the final whistle blows. Or maybe they win by 21 and this pick looks really stupid.
Our pick: DET +9.5
Cardinals at Titans
The Cardinals feel like they should be more of an offensive juggernaut. Kyler Murray is an electric playmaker, DeAndre Hopkins is arguably the best receiver in the league and Rondale
Moore might be the #1 waiver wire add after week 1. I think they get out to a hot start against a below-average Titans defense and don't allow king Henry to get going early. This feels like another close game that could go other way, so I'll take the points and hope Henry doesn't rush for 300 yards.
Our pick: ARI +3
Vikings at Bengals
The Bengals have been one of the most interesting stories to follow during training camp. Joe Burrow, according to beat reporters hasn't looked great and Chase apparently can't see the football. As of now, I have more faith in Kirk Cousins (barf) to take advantage of elite talents at RB and WR. We'll see how the season progresses for Cincinnati; but for now, I think I have more confidence in the Vikings offense to put up more points.
Our pick: MIN -3
Chargers at Washington Football Team
This is definitely one of the matchups I'm most excited for in week 1. Washington boasts arguably the most threatening pass rushes in recent memory; and Gibson, McLauren and Thomas should frighten any defense. That said, I think the Chargers are for real. The defense is
there and Herbert is a budding star. Ekeler's health is definitely a question but the Allen-Herbert connection should be enough to give LA a chance at the end.
Our pick: LAC +1.5
Jaguars at Texans
I really feel for Texans fans. Losing Hopkins and now seemingly Watson just sucks. It seems like the franchise is in disaray but Tyrod has proven his ability to keep the offense on schedule and Brandin Cooks is still an above average wide out. Anything can happen in a division game; but it seems like Lawrence should be able to carry this team to a relatively easy victory over what we assume to be the worst team in the league.
Our pick: JAX -3.5
Eagles at Falcons
This is one of the more difficult spreads to land on in week 1. The jury is still out on Hurts, but the addition of Davonta Smith brings the Eagles a serious weapon. It seems like Philly's OLine is ready to reset after a disappointing 2020 campaign and could help create some holes for Miles Sanders. Matt Ryan will have his guys ready to play, though, and Kyle Pitts was the 4th overall pick for a reason. It feels like this game is a coin-flip, so I'll take the points and hope for a close game.
Our pick: PHI +3
Packers at Saints
New Orleans is dealing with a lot - playing a home game in Jaxonville, retooling a new offense around a new qb, and oh yeah, they're trying to stop Aaron Rodgers. I think Kamara eats, but it feels like the Packers firepower might be too much to keep up with. I'm a fan of the Saints defensive line, but just can't see the Saints keeping up with the packers in a shootout. Winston
will likely turn the ball over too much and dig New Orleans a hole they can't escape from against arguably the best QB of all time.
Our pick: GB -3.5
Browns at Chiefs
Your game of the week ladies and gentleman. The Chiefs are the Chiefs, but the Browns are also one of the league's best teams and may be the most talented on paper. I expect Cleveland's defense to put some pressure on Mahomes, but the Chiefs OLine improved in the offseason and should protect Patrick enough to let him do his thing. Ask me Mahomes vs Mayfield and I'd
expect the former to win every time. But there are 21 other players on the field and the Browns have the edge at more matchups. I wouldn't be shocked if Cleveland wins this game, so I'll take the points and take the Browns.
Our pick: CLE +5.5
Dolphins at Patriots
Miami always plays New England close in September. The Dolphins are my pick to win the AFC East and have a low-key loaded roster led by a great head coach. I think Mac Jones will keep the chains moving, but I have a hard time picturing who
scores the touchdowns for them. Jonnu Smith and Harris can both find the end zone but I see Waddle, Gaskin, and Parker having an easier time. Tua should have improved with a full offseason to work with the offense and the Fins have some great players on the defensive side of the ball.
Our pick: MIA +3.5
Broncos at Giants
Saquon has been cleared to play, but will be running behind a suspect OLine. Jones doesn't inspire much confidence and his counterpart, Teddy Bridgewater, will likely make far fewer mistakes over 4 quarters. That said, the Giants have one of the league's best defenses led by
Bradbury and Jackson on the backend. Sutton, Jeudy, Fant, Gordon and Williams are solid playmakers, but I think New York's defense helps keep the game within a field goal.
Our pick: NYG +3
Bears at Rams
The Ram's pushed all their chips on the table this offseason when they traded for Matthew Stafford. The gunslinger will look to take advantage of being in a Sean McVay led offense and should have an easy time getting the ball into his playmaker's hands. We all know what Aaron Donald can do, and should clog up the run pretty easily. Ramsey vs Robinson will be awesome to watch and it will be interesting to see if Andy Dalton is much of an upgrade from Trubisky. I don't see the Bears winning, but 8 points is a lot to be getting.
Our pick: CHI +8
Ravens at Raiders
Week 1 culminates in Vegas as Lamar Jackson and the decimated Ravens visit the Raiders. The injuries to Dobbins and Edwards is a serious blow to Baltimore's run game and losing Marcus Peters opens things up for Derek Carr and Co. The OLine is still a concern for Vegas, but Josh Jacobs is talented enough to create space on his own. I love Lamar Jackson like Arod loves being an entrepreneur, but I can see Vegas winning this game outright. I can also see Baltimore quieting all the haters and winning by 20.
Our pick: LV +4