Who’s ready for some football?? In preparation of the season opener tonight with the Dallas Cowboys and the New York Giants, Sports Talk Plus is here to give the predictions for all of the week 1 regular season games. (Winners in bold)
Denver 17-Pittsburgh 21
In the official debut of Peyton Manning in a Denver uniform, I believe that he will not be in sync the way he needs to be. The last time the Steelers were in this stadium, Tim Tebow and his 80-yard pass knocked them out of the playoffs, do not expect Steeler Nation to have forgot about that.
Carolina 31-Tampa Bay 17
The Carolina Panthers open year two of the Cam Newton project, and Tampa Bay starts the Greg Schiano era. I expect Cam to have a fairly good day against the Buccaneer defense, and with all of the Panthers defense healthy, Tampa Bay may not be able to keep up with Newton and his gang of weapons.
Poor Ryan Tannehill. His first game as a NFL pro is against the Texans defense, in Houston. This unit will be looking to prove that they can succeed without free agent loss Mario Williams, and Tannehill will be running for his life majority of the day. Too bad he doesnt have any weapons besides Reggie Bush to get the ball to.
New York Jets 20-Buffalo 10
This will be an interesting game. If the New York Jets were playing possum during the preseason (which I clearly believe they were), then the Bills and their new and improved defense will have no clue what hit them. If the Jets go into the game with the same vanilla offense and game plan they used in the preseason, this score could easily be the other way around.
Philadelphia 31-Cleveland 13
In Philly, it is “Dream Team-Part 2″. I believe this team will be a lot better than it was last year, especially on defense. Their week 1 tune-up against the Browns will be a chance for them to work out kinks and get everything on track. Cornerback Joe Haden being out for Cleveland hurts when they have to defend Desean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, and Lesean McCoy. Despite the fact that these teams recently played in the preseason, I do not expect the result to be any different.
Indianapolis 20-Chicago 24
Year 1 of the Andrew Luck era will be a competitive one, but I do not believe it will start with a win. The Colts are outgunned as far as weapons on offense, and a new defensive scheme will need time to work out the kinks. A new Bears offense with Brandon Marshall and a happy (key word is happy) Matt Forte is not the type of offense you want to work out kinks against.
St. Louis 13-Detroit 28
New coach Jeff Fisher has a tough road ahead of him, and one clear goal this season being keep Sam Bradford healthy. That goal will be put to the test as the Lions pass rush will be after him all day long. On the other side of the ball, the Rams will struggle to stop the Lions offense, which has their goal of Calvin Johnson getting 100 yards in every game. I think that will happen against the Rams secondary.
New England 28-Tennessee 13
Jake Locker is at the helm in Tennesee, and his first test is to keep up with Tom Brady and the Patriots offense. Brady will put this game out of reach in the second half, or after Locker makes mistakes, which ever comes sooner.
Atlanta 31-Kansas City 24
This game features two offenses that can put up yards and points, and two defenses that may struggle to stop them. Anything can happen in Arrowhead, especially on the first game of the season. I give the Falcons the nod for the fact that they have more weapons than the Chiefs, that and a better quarterback.
Jacksonville 14-Minnesota 17
The Jaguars head into the Metrodome with an improved passing game, but questions about their running game. This does not serve well against a team that has Jared Allen and a always stout rush defense. This game could go either way, but I will go with the home team to close it late.
Washington 17-New Orleans 31
In RG3 first game as a regular season pro, he heads into the Superdome to face a Saints team looking to prove a point. Although Griffin III has all the tools to be successful in this league, it is hard for most offenses to keep up with Brees and the Saints offense, regardless if Sean Payton is there or not. Look for big plays for the home team.
San Francisco 24-Green Bay 28
In one of the most anticipated matchups of the day, the Packers host the 49ers and their new group of recievers. This game will be a closely contested matchup with San Francisco’s defense keeping them in the game. In the end, it comes to a matter of Aaron Rodgers or Alex Smith…easy choice.
Seattle 20-Arizona 14
In the battle of two unlikely starters, Russell Wilson takes his Seahawks to Arizona against John Skelton and the Cardinals. Wilson has been more than impressive in the preseason, and I expect that to continue.
San Diego 17-Oakland 24
In a battle of teams I honestly do not trust, I believe this game comes down to one thing, who Carson Palmer throws the ball to. If he throws it to Raider players, they win, if he throws it to Chargers players, they lose. I expect Palmer to connect on a couple deep throws while the running game seals the deal.
Cincinatti 14-Baltimore 30
This AFC North opener will go pretty similar to the way it did last year for the Ravens. Last year, a hyped up Baltimore team playing at home came in and knocked Pittsburgh out of the game early, and I expect pretty much the same this year.
Dallas 17-New York Giants 28
Now to the kickoff game. This game will be closely contested, as many NFC East games are, but I think the Giants will pull this one out due to more recieving weapons matched up against a new secondary.