The football season has started off with a bang with the defending champions Indianapolis Colts winning convincingly over last season’s NFC runner up the New Orleans Saints 41-10. Most of us here at AskStudent expected a shootout between Drew Brees and Peyton Manning, but in the end the Colts D put up an outstanding performance despite losing several key starters from their SuperBowl year and limited the Saints highly potent passing game and limited Reggie Bush and the running game.
As always, we have our two editors Ajit and Alex giving us our weekly NFL rundown with our predictions for the coming week. The figures in brackets ( ) represent the teams winning – losing record from last season.
We will have three categories, the Games of the week which we will limit to 3 games a week, the ones where we already know who is going to win in Sure Shot winners of the week and Close games of the week where it might be a slugfest but still not as interesting as the NFL games of the week
NFL Week 1 Game Predictions
NFL Week 1 Games of the Week
1. Chicago Bears (13-3) at San Diego Chargers (14-2)
This is definitely the game of the week, if we have to pick just one game in this category. I think this game might go down to the wire. I almost want to predict a Chargers heart breaking loss but it would be foolish to go against LT and Rivers controlling the offense. The Bears D is simply too good. I only fear Rex Grossman.
San Diego Chargers 24, Chicago Bears 20
2. New England Patriots (12-4) at New York Jets (10-6)
If you are keeping tabs, New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick referred to Eric Mangini as “he”. Still no first name. A new season but same old Bill. Mangini was seen courting recently cut WR Reche Caldwell, well to get what New England offense might be scheming up. We will also see the long awaited Brady to Moss hookup although, more than Maroney the Patriots RB, it is going to be their slot receiver Wes Welker who is going to have a field day with over a 100 yards receiving. It will be interesting seeing all the no huddle offense and blitz defense from both sides. This will be the most cerebral game of the week but i see the Master beat the disciple once again.
New England Patriots 31, New York Jets 17
3. New York Giants (8-8) at Dallas Cowboys (9-7)
The Giants and Eli Manning will do okay and won’t miss Tiki Barber. However, Tony Romo would have a good enough night to convince Jerry Jones and the cowboys fans that he is their QB of the future and they didn’t trade away their franchise QB in Brady Quinn.
Dallas Cowboys 27, New York Giants 20
NFL Week 1 : Sure shot winners of the week
1. Denver Broncos (9-7) at Buffalo Bills (7-9)
The Bills look like a no star team this year losing several stars from their defense including Nate Clements to SF. We like Jay Cutler going into his second season and a secondary patrolled by pro bowlers Champ Bailey and Dre Bly are going to stifle Bills passing game.
Denver Broncos 24, Buffalo Bills 10
2. Pittsburgh Steelers (8-8) at Cleveland Browns (4-12)
The Steelers with their no huddle offense should do well against the Browns D. While the Browns D will be good, I don’t see the same from Charlie Frye and his offense. The minute he throws his second interception, I am sure we will hear “Brady … Brady” from the sold out crowd. I see Brady Quinn as the starting QB for the Browns from their sixth game after the game against the New England Patriots.
Pittsburgh Steelers 20, Cleveland Browns 10
3. Philadelphia Eagles (10-6) at Green Bay Packers (8-8)
Donavan McNabb should lead the Eagles to a good start this season. Even though it is a home game for the packers, Brett Favre doesn’t have any good receivers except Driver. Favre won’t gunsling the whole game and if the Packers rushing game gets going, it will be a close game.
Philadelphia Eagles 20, Green Bay Packers 13
4. Miami Dolphins (6-10) at Washington Redskins (5-11)
Miami will regret the day they passed on their potential franchise QB Brady Quinn and instead got a glorified punt and kick returner in Tedd Ginn Jr. The Redskins offense might click.
Washington Redskins 14, Miami Dolphins 6
5. Kansas City Chiefs (9-7) at Houston Texans (6-10)
We think that the Houston Texans might be the most improved team from last season. And finally they have a good QB in Matt Schaub. I heard a Falcons fan groan somewhere. Schaub will show a good head and control the offense of the Texans. The Chiefs have too many problems this year starting with their QB.
Houston Texans 27, Kansas City Chiefs 13
6. Tennessee Titans (8-8) at Jacksonville Jaguars (8-8)
Vince Young and the Tennessee Titans might take a step back this year. They need another draft and a good offseason to contend again. They lack receivers and I think the recent cut of the Patriots Reche Caldwell might be called to assist the Titans. The Jaguars rushing duo of Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew have a good day at the office.
Jacksonville Jaguars 17, Tennessee Titans 10
7. Detroit Lions (3-13) at Oakland Raiders (2-14)
I almost bought into Lane Kiffin’s system and maybe he was the Mangini of this season. However, when they cut promising rookie DE Quentin Moses, it just shook me. However, the Raiders D is pretty good and should limit Kitna and Mike Martz offense besides scoring the Raiders only touchdown. I want to see this game just to see Calvin Johnson snap up a couple of passes.
Detroit Lions 20, Oakland Raiders 13
8. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-12) at Seattle Seahawks (9-7)
I think we might see Matt Hasselback find out why Tom Brady loved Deion Branch so much this season. Branch is going to be good this season and will definitely go over 1000 yards receiving for the first time in his career.
Seattle Seahawks 20, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 10
NFL Week 1: Close games of the week
1. Carolina Panthers (8-8) at St. Louis Rams (8-8)
Panthers are being predicted by some to represent the NFC in the SuperBowl this year. The St. Louis Rams are considered to the sleeper team this year. It will be a close game but a game where Bulger proves he is one the NFL Elite QBs. Jake D will need to step up his game to the 2003 season levels if he wishes to lead the Panthers to the SuperBowl.
St. Louis Rams 24, Carolina Panthers 20
2. Atlanta Falcons (7-9) at Minnesota Vikings (6-10)
Joey Harrington finally finds his team and the Atlanta Falcons move past Mike “dogfighting” Vick. Coach Petrino’s offense would be a ball controlling, clock killing offense. Harrington will limit his mistakes and will be handing over the ball a lot to Jerius Norwood and Warrick dunn. Adrian Peterson and Chester Taylor combo will also have a good game rushing for the Vikings.
Atlanta Falcons 17, Minnesota Vikings 16
3. Arizona Cardinals (5-11) at San Francisco 49ers (7-9)
I think this might be the year Alex Smith and the 49ers have a breakout season. They might even challenge Seattle for their division title. I love the LB’s they picked up this year. All that remains to be seen if Norv Turner is going to be missed there. Cardinals i think have one of the best WR group in the league and their QB Matt Leinart is darn good. It is going to be the closest game of the week.
Arizona Cardinals 23, San Francisco 49ers 20 (OT)
4. Baltimore Ravens (13-3) at Cincinnati Bengals (8-8)
Carson Palmer is a top 4 QB along with Manning, Brady and Brees and he is in elite company. His team unfortunately is not. The Ravens despite losing Adailus Thomas will still be good.
Baltimore Ravens 13, Cincinnati Bengals 10