Nick Foles had a nice moment last January but he is still Nick Foles.
By Elias McMillan
Past Regular Season Records:
2009 Regular Season Record: 169-87
2010 Regular Season Record: 157-99
2011 Regular Season Record: 162-94
2012 Regular Season Record: 163-92-1
2013 Regular Season Record: 158-97-1
2014 Regular Season Record: 158-97-1
2015 Regular Season Record: 163-93
2016 Regular Season Record: 163-91-2
2017 Regular Season Record: 151-103
Big Five Games of Week 1
Atlanta @ Philadelphia – The home team usually does well in these season opening Thursday night games. But I don’t feel too good about Philadelphia tonight. I think they are primed some Super Bowl hangover type performances this season and we will see one tonight. What’s going to hurt the Eagles tonight will be their lack of offense. QB Nick Foles has struggled recently. Atlanta has one of the better rosters in the league and I think they’ll be looking to put on an impressive performance tonight. Philly’s defense may be able to keep them in this game but I don’t think they’ll get enough from the other side of the ball tonight. Prediction: Falcons
Houston @ New England – If memory serves me right, I think the Patriots lost in their home opener last season. Either way, I’m going out on a limb and saying that I really like Houston’s chances in this game. With a healthy J.J. Watt and other key pieces on defense, I think the Texans will be able to limited Tom Brady on Sunday. QB Deshaun Watson led a dynamic Texans offense before he got injured last season. I think they’ll be able to attack an underrated but not strong Patriots defense. The Brady-Rob Gronkowski connection will be a force for the Houston secondary to deal with but I think this game will end with a failed Tom Brady comeback attempt. Prediction: Texans
Jacksonville @ New York Giants – The Jalen Ramsey and Odell Beckham Jr. matchup makes this game must see TV. The offense on display here probably will not be pretty. This could be an old school drag ‘em out type of game with the lack of scoring. The Giants retooled their offense in the offseason and there is a lot of hype behind the debut of Saquon Barkley but I still believe that the Jacksonville defense is really good. They’ll force Eli Manning into some mistakes and Blake Bortles and his lack of weapons in the passing game will not have to do much heavy lifting. Prediction: Jaguars
Dallas @ Carolina – I’m having nightmares about what Cam Newton did to Dallas on Thanksgiving a few years ago. Both teams are different now, obviously. The buzz around Dallas for the start of this season is that the defense is supposed to be vastly improved; Especially at the defensive line. That unit may have a chance to shine Sunday as Carolina’s offensive line is banged up. If they can get after Cam Newton, they could have the potential to create some big plays. The Dallas offense vs. the Carolina defense is the matchup that may determine this game. Carolina still touts a good defense and the Cowboys offensive line is also not at 100%. Dak Prescott and even Ezekiel Elliott might face a uphill battle in this contest offensively. I think Carolina is vulnerable but I trust Newton’s big play ability. He usually balls out in season opener. Prediction: Panthers
Chicago @ Green Bay – This game might be one that everyone will be talking about on Monday. I think the addition of Khalil Mack drastically changes Chi-Town’s outlook for this season. The Bears really focused this offseason on adding pieces on offense but then they ended up adding a big fish in the world of pass rushers. I think we are all aware of what Aaron Rodgers is capable of but the Bears could be able to up the pressure on him that night. I wouldn’t count on Mitch Trubisky dueling with Rodgers but Green Bay’s defense has been on the downside recently. I don’t think Chicago will win but they’ll have the potential to make this one interesting. Prediction: Packers
The Rest of Week 1
Steelers over Browns – This might sound strange but Pittsburgh is vulnerable going into this one. Cleveland has the momentum just from being under the radar. They must execute or just be the Browns again.
Bengals over Colts – Andrew Luck is back but he doesn’t have enough weapons. Marvin Lewis is also back and his team has a knack for giving away victories. Something will have to give.
Titans over Dolphins – I think Tennessee will have a big day on the ground in this one.
Vikings over 49ers – Jimmy G will find it tough against Minnesota’s defense on the road.
Saints over Buccaneers – This matchup is ironic because it was Tampa that should have traded for Teddy Bridgewater. I like the New Orleans defense to really flex their muscles at home.
Ravens over Bills – Buffalo is going to stink so bad this year. And it might be all directly linked to the QB position. Baltimore’s third string signal caller is better than the guy Buffalo will start Sunday.
Chargers over Chiefs – The Chargers had to hear all offseason about how their slow start in September kept them from the postseason. They’ll have that in mind Sunday against a divisional opponent.
Broncos over Seahawks – Russell Wilson will try to win this one by himself. Life without the Legion of Boom will be tough this season for Seattle.
Cardinals over Washington – The lack of a run game in Washington means Chandler Jones and company will have opportunities to get after Alex Smith.
Lions over Jets – I’m excited about Sam Darnold but the Jets are a few weapons short to go toe to toe with Matt Stafford and the Lions passing attack.
Rams over Raiders – The offseason champs should smash this Oakland team that has just been hit by a bus this past week with the trading of their best player.
Fantasy Football Picks
QB: Drew Brees (New Orleans) – Brees at home against Tampa’s secondary. He is a must start.
RB: Todd Gurley (LA Rams) – Gurley should run wild against a Raiders defense without a soul.
WR: Antonio Browns (Pittsburgh) – AB big play ability will make everyone forget about the drama with Le’Veon Bell.
TE: Greg Olsen (Carolina) – Cam Newton will be facing a lot of pressure. Olsen, his security blanket, will get plenty of looks.
DEF: Baltimore – Against Nathan Peterman, the interception could rack up for the Ravens.