Tag Archives: Week 1

NFL 2018: Week 1 Predictions

Eagles Rams Football

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.

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NFL 2017: Week 1 Predictions!!!!

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The Ezekiel Elliott situation could potentially hang over Dallas for this entire season.

By: Elias McMillan

 

First, here’s a look at how I’ve done picking regular season games in recent years:

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

Now, here’s my forecast for Week 1 of the 2017 Season.

Big Five Games of the Week

Kansas City @ New England – We will start the 2017 season with the top two seeds in the AFC playoffs a season ago. This matchup doesn’t have a lot of sizzle especially considering that New England has a home game scheduled later this season against the team they beat in the Super Bowl last February. That’s the matchup we need to see on opening night. Don’t get me wrong about Kansas City. They have won a lot of games in the last 3 years. But that team has no buzz going into this season. They are in the beginning phases of what could be a massive roster turnover. The Chiefs have a solid defense but not many offensive stars. The Patriots are reloaded for 2017 and they’ll be eager to give NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell a good show. Prediction: Patriots 38 – Chiefs 20

Baltimore @ Cincinnati – Here’s an underrated AFC rivalry to start the season. These matchups between the Bengals and Ravens are usually 4-quarter slug fests. Both teams offer solid defenses for the most part and plenty of question marks on offense. I think Baltimore if healthy should be able to prove to be the better team but Cincinnati has the best player on the field Sunday in WR A.J. Green. Green seems to always find a way to show out against the Ravens. He will be the difference. Prediction: Bengals 23 – Ravens 17

Oakland @ Tennessee – This matchup features two up and coming teams in the AFC and two QB’s looking to bounce back from late season injuries from last year. I will be interesting to see how both offenses play with Derek Carr and Marcus Mariota. Will they play it safe and protect those QB’s with the run game or will they have the chance to rip it down the field often? Both of these teams are strong up front on offense and they should prove to be affective in the run game. I think Oakland has move playmakers on defense and that could be the difference. Tennessee has some weapons that may not be known on the national level on offense and they will be looking to let them loose on Sunday. This one should be very entertaining. I’m going to go with the home team. Prediction: Titans 29 – Raiders 28

Seattle @ Green Bay – The Seahawks made a monster acquisition just before the start of the regular season with the trade for DE Sheldon Richardson. I’m not sure how Richardson will fit in right away but eventually, he will make the Seattle defense even stronger than it already is. I don’t think much of the Packers outside of Aaron Rodgers. I don’t think they’ll be able to run the ball against Seattle on offense. The strength vs. strength matchup between the Packers receivers and the Legion of Boom should be a good one. The Packers will have a young defense this year especially in the secondary. I can see TE Jimmy Graham and WR Doug Baldwin taking some of those young guys to school on Sunday. I like Seattle on the road. Prediction: Seahawks 30 – Packers 22

New York Giants @ Dallas – RB Ezekiel Elliott will play on Sunday. That’s the good news, right? The Elliott situation is a bad one for everyone involved and there will be no winners. I think one of the biggest losers in this is the team Elliott plays for. His lawyers will want to fight the NFL to the bitter end meaning; this will potentially hang over the Cowboys all season. Elliott’s status for the rest of this season is still unknown so many Cowboys fans are thinking the Elliott will have a big game against the rival New York Giants. Well, the Giants did a decent job at defending the Cowboys running game last season and they return in 2017 with the same defensive front four. The Giants defense performed well against the Cowboys in both matchups last year but Dak Prescott and the Dallas offense will have that in mind on Sunday night and will be in attack mode. The Giants should know about the advantage that have when they are on offense. Eli Manning and his gang of offensive weapons will be going up against a defense that cant create pressure in the back field and a young secondary. That’s bad news for the home team. These matchups between the Cowboys and Giants are always heart wrenching. But I see the Giants having the advantage in Round 1. Prediction: Giants 34 – Cowboys 24

The Rest from Week 1

Bills over Jets – The competition for who can be worst this season should be a tight one between these two teams. This is an early season Toilet Bowl.

Falcons over Bears – Chicago will have their hands full at home on Sunday.

Steelers over Browns – Between the trades that were made earlier this week and the new that first overall pick Myles Garrett is hurt, I come to the conclusion that there is no hope in Cleveland.

Cardinals over Lions – This will be close. I’m going with David Johnson to keep fantasy owners happy in this one.

Eagles over Washington – I think Washington will end up as the better team this season but for Week 1, I could see them finding a way to lose this one.

Texans over Jaguars – Emotions will be on full tilt in Houston for this one. Jacksonville is pretty much guaranteed to use multiple QB’s in this game.

Colts over Rams – I feel bad if you brought a ticket to this one. Aaron Donald and Andrew Luck are two of the league’s biggest stars and neither will play. Snooze fest.

Panthers over 49ers – I’m interested in seeing how well this young San Fran defense can play. But the 49ers lack the players on offense to score points.

Vikings over Saints – The Adrian Peterson revenge angle is overplayed. Minnesota has a great defense and a great home field advantage.

Broncos over Chargers – This one will be closer than you think. It might come down to which defense can make the big play in the 4th quarter. I’ll bet on Von Miller but don’t sleep on Joey Bosa.

 

Week 1 Fantasy Football Picks

QB: Matt Ryan (Falcons) – Chicago’s secondary is a weak spot that Ryan and the Falcons passing attack will expose.

RB: LeSean McCoy (Bills) – Shady will shine against a toothless Jets defense.

WR: A.J. Green (Bengals) – Green usually has big game at home against Baltimore.

TE: Evan Engram (Giants) – I’ll show the rookie some love. The Giants will attack the Cowboys’ safeties with the young TE.

DEF: Houston – Jacksonville might be forced to sign Kaepernick after this game. J.J. Watt. Jadeveon Clowney. Whitney Mercilus. Thats too much for even a good offense to deal with.

 

NFL 2016: Week 1 Predictions!

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You may not know Broncos starting QB Trevor Siemian but the Panthers defense will get real comfortable with him on opening night.

By: Elias McMillan

First, here’s a look at how I’ve done picking regular season games in recent years:

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

Now, here’s my forecast for Week 1 of the 2016 Season.

Big Five Games of the Week

Carolina @ Denver – This Super Bowl rematch won’t have the same sizzle as the game in February did obviously. First, the stakes aren’t nearly as high and second, Denver is a different team since then. The most glaring difference will be that Denver did not return its starting QB or backup QB for 2016. Instead, Trevor Siemian will take his first snaps ever in the NFL game on opening night against the Carolina Panthers. Many are not expecting much from Siemian but I think that speaks more about how good Carolina’s defense is and less about how good of a QB Siemian is. Lets face it, no one knows how good or bad Siemian is as a QB. But I do know that the Panthers defense will work to get him to look bad on Thursday night. Denver could try to hide Siemian by slowing down the game by running the ball. But Carolina defends the run pretty well too. For Carolina, Cam Newton maybe taking the humble approach but he is definitely thinking of proving him self against this Denver defense that completely humiliated him in last season’s Super Bowl. I think Denver’s defense will still be a tough nut for Newton to crack in this game but Denver will be missing a few key pieces from that championship game that left in free agency. Both defenses will be good in this game but Carolina will be able to use their offensive weapons effectively because of the advantage at the QB position. I don’t think Newton will have a big game but he will do enough to make a big difference for the Panthers. Prediction: Panthers 21 – Broncos 13

Cincinnati @ New York Jets – Cincinnati had a very good team in the regular season in 2015. I think they can be the same in 2016 but they might have to deal through some things before they see consistent success. The Bengals will be missing a few key defenders because of suspension and injuries. But I realize that you could say the same about the Jets defense in this game. The Jets and Bengals offer big play offenses and defenses that are usually tough. I think that I like the home team’s chances in this game because the Jets are a bit tougher upfront defensively. I think it will be a long day for Jeremy Hill and Giovanni Bernard. I also think Andy Dalton will be under a lot of pressure in this game. I don’t trust Cincy’s secondary very much and if Ryan Fitzpatrick stays on his feet, he’ll take advantage down the field by throwing to big targets, Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker. It will be close but I like the Jets in a slight upset. Prediction: Jets 26 – Bengals 23

New York Giants @ Dallas – Tony Romo or no Tony Romo, the Giants matchup very well with the Cowboys in this opening game. Once again, these teams meet to open up the season in what is almost always an ultra competitive game. The Giants enter this game looking to show off its shiny new defense that they spent a lot of money on in the offseason. The addition of DE Olivier Vernon will make this Giants defensive line a force in 2016 and they’ll face a great test on Sunday in the Cowboys offensive line. This game will basically be about those two units. The Giants also brought in new members in the secondary but I still think they’ll have problems containing the Cowboys receivers led by WR Dez Bryant. The Cowboys will be starting a rookie at QB and RB on Sunday. Dak Prescott will be in for the injured Tony Romo and Ezekiel Elliott will be starting a much hype rookie campaign. I think Dallas will be successful running the ball against a Giants defense that struggled at stopping the run last season but I don’t know how well Prescott will do as a passer in this first game. But this game will really be about the shortcomings of the Dallas defense. Eli Manning plays his best football when the defense cannot pressure him. With no heat on Eli, I fully expect him to out play Dak Prescott. Not to mention, the Giants also have a great receiving core led by WR Odell Beckham Jr. These games always manage to be gut wrenchingly close up until the end but I’m giving the advantage to the road team. Prediction: Giants 32 – Dallas 27

New England @ Arizona – Arizona will be fired up on Sunday to play against a team that has dominated the league for a while now. New England comes into this season shorthanded on both sides of the football. Everyone knows about the Tom Brady suspension but on defense, their top pass rusher, Rob Ninkovich is suspend and their other best pass rusher, Chandler Jones, is now a Cardinal. New England’s defense has been known for years as an overachieving group but I expect this Arizona offense to really take it to them in this contest. We will see plenty of RB David Johnson, which will allow a balanced passing attack led by QB Carson Palmer. We shouldn’t write off QB Jimmy Garoppolo as he will have a couple of recent weapons to go to as well. It is going to interesting to see how this Arizona defense decides to attack TE Rob Gronkowski and try to limit his impact on this game. But New England will be too shorthanded to give Arizona the proper challenge in this game. Prediction: Cardinals 31 – Patriots 20

Pittsburgh @ Washington – There is a lot of Super Bowl hype surrounding the Steelers entering this season. But first, they’ll have to beat a pretty good Washington team that is coming off a playoff berth. QB Kirk Cousins will be looking to prove that last season was no fluke against Pittsburgh’s defense. Cousins is going to have to be the driving force for Washington in this game. I feel that Washington’s offensive line will give Cousins the opportunities to go down field and make an impact in this game against a banged up and aging Steelers pass rush. Washington doesn’t have a great ground game and Pittsburgh usually plays the run well defensively. So, it will be all about Cousins for the Washington offense. Thinking of offense, the Steelers have a pretty good one. QB Ben Roethlisberger is primed to have a big season with the many weapons at his disposal. WR Antonio Brown is a player that was made for Monday Night Football. He will be the big play guy in this contest though Washington CB Josh Norman will give him quite the challenge. Washington’s defense is a lot better than advertised and they’ll be tested by the Steelers upfront and by their running game led by DeAngelo Williams. Washington has plenty of big play guys like DeSean Jackson and TE Jordan Reed but I think the Steelers playmakers will make more of an impact. This game will be closer than what the experts will think but I’m still taking the road team. Prediction: Steelers 33 – Washington 28

The Rest of Week 1

Falcons over Buccaneers – Atlanta is a tough out during their home opener. Though I like Tampa’s defense a little more than Atlanta’s. Can Matt Ryan make more big plays than Jameis Winston? Well, one of them has Julio Jones to throw to. The other does not.

Vikings over Titans – This one is another toss up. Minnesota’s QB situation has thrown their entire season into doubt already but I trust Mike Zimmer to have his team ready. Tennessee is improved but Minnesota’s defense is tough and will slow down Mariota and the new Titans running attack.

Chiefs over Chargers – Kansas City’s home field advantage is like none other. Even without Jamaal Charles, the San Diego defense wont slow down the Chiefs’ attack.

Saints over Raiders – I struggled picking this one too. I really like the Raiders this season but the Saints are a tough out in the Super Dome. If Oakland wins, I’ll kick myself.

Browns over Eagles – Cleveland hasn’t won a season opener since 2004. That streak ends on Sunday. I don’t know if Carson Wentz will be booed at the Linc but I do know that RG3 will outplay him.

Packers over Jaguars – Everyone is hyping the Jaguars. That hype machine would get even louder if they beat a team like the Packers at home on Sunday. Sounds too good to be true. I’m betting on Aaron Rodgers.

Ravens over Bills – Buffalo is dealing with too many things off the field. Baltimore will be looking to show their fans that this year will be different than last.

Texans over Bears – Chicago doesn’t have the defense to slow down this new Houston offense. Houston won’t even need J.J. Watt in this one.

Seahawks over Dolphins – Nightmare matchup for Miami. That inconsistent offense against that powerful defense on the road? Bad news for Ryan Tannehill. The L.O.B.’s will eat. The 12th man will be loud.

Lions over Colts – I think Indy’s slump from last season will continue into this one. Detroit’s defense is underrated and they’ll get after Andrew Luck. The Colts don’t have the defense to slow down Matt Stafford.

Rams over 49ers – This game is an absolute stinker. The team in LA has Todd Gurley and Aaron Donald. The end.

Week 1 Fantasy Football Picks

QB: Eli Manning (Giants) – With no pressure from the Dallas defense, the “not retired” Manning brother will put up big numbers in Jerry’s World.

RB: Lamar Miller (Texans) – Houston will be looking to show off its newest acquisition against a really bad Chicago run defense.

WR: Julio Jones (Falcons) – Jones will be the best player on the field in this game. So, why not?

TE: Jordan Reed (Washington) – Pittsburgh doesn’t have a great secondary so expect Cousins to find Reed plenty of times on Monday night.

DEF: Seattle – It’s simple really. Miami’s offense will be greatly outmatched on the road in Seattle. Expect multiple defensive touchdowns from the L.O.B.

NFL 2015: Week 1 Predictions!!!

Dec 14, 2014; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) celebrates with head coach Bill Belichick (R) after clinching the AFC East title with a 41-13 win over the Miami Dolphins at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports ORG XMIT: USATSI-180434 ORIG FILE ID: 20141214_ads_bt1_125.JPG

The most evil, dastardly duo in NFL history return tonight to crush your dreams and steal your innocence.

By: Elias McMillan

First, here’s a look at how I’ve done picking regular season games in recent years:

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

Now, here’s my forecast for Week 1 of the 2014 Season.

Big Five Games of the Week

Pittsburgh @ New England – After the offseason that the Patriots and their fans had Foxboro will be on the edge of exploding tonight. All the questions and hatred from opposing fans and some media members will make tonight’s game for New England feel like an “us against the world” situation. Despite all the emotions going into this game, they wont carry New England to victory tonight alone. Tom Brady will be as sharp as ever tonight and this will be bad news for Pittsburgh’s secondary. The Steelers secondary has already looked bad in the preseason and I don’t expect them to have an answer for New England’s passing attack tonight. The secondary isn’t the only problem on Pittsburgh’s defense entering the season. They also struggle with creating a pass rush. New England doesn’t have a great offensive line but if the Steelers cant pressure Brady, he’ll have a big first night back. New England’s defense isn’t anything to write home about either. They’ll be weaker this season in the secondary and on the defensive line. Pittsburgh might be able to exploit those weaknesses but not as well as they normally would because they’ll be without RB Le’Veon Bell and WR Martavis Bryant. I think Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown will be able to put up big numbers tonight but it wont be enough. This game might be closer than expected but make no mistake: Brady and the Pats will be looking to make a point tonight in front of enraged home crowd. Should be fun. Prediction: Patriots 42 – Steelers 31

Indianapolis @ Buffalo – Rex Ryan makes his home debut as head coach of the Bills and he’ll have a first tough test on Sunday against the Colts. The matchup of the game will be between the Colts offense and the Bills defense. The Colts will be looking to unveil a new look rushing game with Frank Gore but they might have a tough time with that Bills front four. But then again maybe not because DT Marcell Dareus will miss this first game due to suspension. The Bills have multiple talented players on that defensive line but Dareus is the glue that keeps them together especially as a run defender. They will definitely miss him on Sunday. The Colts defense is supposed to be improved this season as well and they face a young QB in Tyrod Taylor who is making his first career NFL start. Indy’s defense was so bad last season but it will be interesting to see how Taylor attacks them. I would expect them to bring Taylor and the passing game along slowly especially since he can just hand off to all-pro RB LeSean McCoy. I think they’ll be more points scored in this game than expected but I don’t expect this Bills offense to outscore Andrew Luck. Prediction: Colts 27 – Bills 20

Kansas City @ Houston – Kansas City’s offense should face a decent road challenge against J.J. Watt and the Texans defense. The Chiefs will definitely try to feed RB Jamaal Charles as much as they can but the Texans front seven looks impressive and they’ll be ready for the Chiefs running game. Houston’s secondary was so bad a season ago so will Alex Smith attack them through the air and finally get a TD pass to a WR? One thing I think I know, QB Brian Hoyer will have issues against this Chiefs pass rush especially since RB Adrian Foster wont be playing. This should be another close week 1 contest but I’m going with the road team. Prediction: Chiefs 28 – Texans 24

Baltimore @ Denver – This Week 1 will be very interesting because of the multiple subplots. Gary Kubiak coaches his first home game for Denver after spending a couple seasons on Baltimore’s sideline. Denver and Baltimore have been playing for a couple years straight now and you can sense that a small rivalry is forming. Also the match up between Steve Smith and Aqib Talib should be must see TV (“Ice up, son!). But the real reason I think this game will be notable is because of the debut of Wade Phillips and the new and improved Broncos defense. I believe that they will formulate a game plan to make Joe Flacco uncomfortable all afternoon. Baltimore will a couple of new starters on defense this season and Peyton Manning will make sure to expose those match ups. The Ravens know Manning very well and they know that they must pressure him to throw him off his game. I expect Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil will be very busy in this game attacking that Denver offensive line. If Manning is up right, he’ll remind everyone that he is indeed healthy. Manning has a knack for putting up big numbers in Week 1. Prediction: Broncos 38 – Ravens 28

New York Giants @ Dallas – It feels like this two play on Week 1 every season. But regardless, if you look at last year’s contests between these teams, you’ll know that you’ll be in for an entertaining game on Sunday night. The Giants might be seriously short handed on defense due to the many injuries. But on paper, I expect the Giants to be tough to run against so they’ll be a nice test for Dallas’ new rushing attack. I’m not sure if Joseph Randle of Darren McFadden will start but the word out of Dallas is that they’ll use a similar rushing attack from last season. We’ll find out if that statement will stand true even if they aren’t as successful without DeMarco Murray. If the Giants are without Jason Pierre-Paul, this would be great news for Tony Romo and the Cowboys passing attack. The Giants don’t have the secondary to cover Dallas’ talented receivers and that task will be even tougher without a pass rush. The Giants will have a chance by outscoring the Cowboys and Eli Manning has had plenty of past success against the Dallas defense. New York should be able to test that Dallas defense on the ground and through the air. Odell Beckham Jr is pretty much unguardable and he might leave this game with another memorable moment. What people seem to forget about that crazy one-handed catch against Dallas last season is that Dallas won that game. I expect to see similar results on Sunday night. Beckham Jr might leave with the highlight but Dallas will start 2015 with the W. Prediction: Cowboys 31 – Giants 30

The Rest of Week 1

Packers over Bears – This used to be a premiere matchup in the NFC. The Bears wont compete with Aaron Rodgers and the Pack this season. (Survival Football Pick of the Week)

Seahawks over Rams – Seattle will be looking to end that stigma of underperforming on the road. St. Louis wont mustard enough offense but they’ll put out all the stops at home. Should be an entertaining and ultra competitive game.

Jets over Browns – I flip-flopped on this game. I think the Jets will be really bad this season but they’ll have the defense that will keep Cleveland from scoring enough points.

Dolphins over Washington – Kirk Cousins will have nightmares about this new Miami front seven.

Panthers over Jaguars – This game would be more interesting if it was a franchise all-star game. I wanna see Mark Burnell and Fred Taylor vs. Kerry Collins and Tim Biakabutuka!

Cardinals over Saints – Can the Arizona defense be as good this season even without last season’s defensive coordinator? Drew Brees will definitely test them. I like Carson Palmer to stay up right and exploit that New Orleans secondary.

Chargers over Lions – Detroit wont be able stop the run and that will set up big passing plays from Phillip Rivers. Could be a shootout.

Bengals over Raiders – Ultimate trap game for Cincinnati. If they allow Oakland to score the upset at home, it could set the tone for a long season in southern Ohio.

Buccaneers over Titans – With two rookie QB starting, I’ll take the team with the best defense. One team has Gerald McCoy and the other team doesn’t. Fire them cannons, at home.

Eagles over Falcons – This could be another high scoring shootout. Philly’s front seven should give them the edge in this one though the secondary should have their hands full with Julio Jones.

Vikings over 49ers – This should be Adrian Peterson’s coming out party. San Fran used to have the toughest run defense in the league. But you could say that entire unit retired in the offseason. Colin Kaepernick will try to win this game by himself and the results shouldn’t be pretty.

Fantasy Football Picks of the Week

QB: Tom Brady (Patriots) – Opening night. Facing that Steelers secondary. Brady will be jacked and looking to silence his critics.

RB: Adrian Peterson (Vikings) – Peterson wont miss running against Patrick Willis, Justin Smith, and the other defensive stars that left the Niners in the offseason. He’ll explode on Monday night.

WR: Antonio Brown (Steelers) – Darrelle Revis is back in New York. Brandon Browner is in New Orleans. The Patriots secondary wont have an answer from Brown tonight.

TE: Greg Olsen (Panthers) – I mean, who else does Cam Newton have to throw to? Seriously, they should be banging on Randy Moss’ door. Until then, I expect Olsen to receive most of the targets.

DEF: Miami – Washington’s offense is in disarray and they probably score the least amount of points this weekend against this new Miami defense.

NFL 2014: Week 1 Predictions!

Russell-Wilson-of-the-Seahawks

QB Russell Wilson and the Seahawks will be looking to start the season right tonight.

By: Elias McMillan

First, here’s a look at how I’ve done picking regular season games in recent years:

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

Now, here’s my forecast for Week 1 of the 2014 Season.

Big Five Games of the Week

Green Bay @ Seattle – Super Bowl champs have a great track record playing at home to start the season. This might prove to be true again this year, as Century Link Field in Seattle will be absolutely rocking tonight as the Seahawks welcome the visiting Green Bay Packers. There will be a lot of talk before and during the game about what happened the last time these teams played (Fail Mary) but obviously that wont have any bearing on how tonight is going to go. The officiating will be interesting to watch in this game as we will see first hand how the officials will handle physical play in the secondary; something that they are trying to crack down on this season. I can see Aaron Rodgers being in attack mode early and often in this game as he will be willing to test the mighty Seattle secondary and maybe draw some penalties. I expect Seattle defense to be as dominate at home as they were last year so Rodgers should have his hands full tonight. I’m interesting in seeing how different the Packers defense will look with Julius Peppers rushing the passer. On defense, I’ll expect to see Green Bay to blitz and try to send a lot of pressure Russell Wilson’s way. Without B.J. Raji, Seattle might be able to exploit the middle of the Packers defense with Marshawn Lynch and the running game. Should be an interesting contest tonight that could come down to the last quarter. I’m going to take Seattle to start the season strong in front of the home crowd. Prediction: Seahawks 34 – Packers 28

Cincinnati @ Baltimore – A big time divisional matchup to start the season for the Bengals and Ravens. The Bengals released BenJarvus Green-Ellis about a week ago so I’m interested in seeing new starting RB, Gio Bernard, receiving the bulk of the carries against this Ravens defense. On paper, Baltimore should have a formable front seven that might give Andy Dalton problems. It will be key for Dalton to target A.J. Green early and often in this game. I think the Ravens secondary can be exposed in that matchup. The matchup between the Ravens receivers and the Bengals secondary should be entertaining as both teams are deep at those positions. The Bengals were pretty good against the run a season ago and DT Geno Atkins is back from injury and ready to continue what he was able to do last year. Without Ray Rice, backup RB Bernard Pierce will start and might have a long day at the office against that Bengals run defense. What’s going to help QB Joe Flacco this Sunday is that the Bengals pass rush isnt as strong as it was a season ago. If Flacco is able to find time in the pocket, he will make the Bengals secondary pay. Cincinnati is favored but I’m going with the home team to play inspired and score the small upset. Should be a real even game though. Prediction: Ravens 23 – Bengals 20

San Francisco @ Dallas – This is only a “big game” because of the team names involved are the most recognizable in sports. In reality, the 49ers have been a largely successful football team in recent years and the Cowboys have been the exact opposite. At first glace, I would think that the 49ers should blow out the Cowboys but here’s why I think it will be a close game. The San Francisco defense is hurting. They are missing multiple guys from a season ago due to injuries, suspensions, and free agency. The Dallas defense is hurting just because they are awful. They put up historically bad number a season ago and Jerry Jones did very little to help improve on that side of the ball. That being said, I think Colin Kaepernick should be able to have a career day through the air and on the ground. Dallas is especially horrid defending the run so I expect Frank Gore to tee off for a few huge runs in this game. Its crazy to say but the Dallas secondary enters this game as a strength for Dallas but with no pass rush, Kaepernick will be able to drop back and test them. For the Cowboys, it will be all about Tony Romo as it always usually is. Romo will have to do most of the heavy lifting again and will be praised or chastised at the end of the game. What will help Romo is using DeMarco Murray by running the football, running the clock, and keeping that awful defense off the field. If it does turn into a shootout, Romo and Cowboys passing game can produce lighting quick strikes down the field to WR Dez Bryant or TE Jason Witten. I’m confident in Romo in this game because the 49ers will be without its best pass rusher, Aldon Smith. However, the Niners will have LB Patrick Willis to help against the run and just make plays all over the field. I think a lot of points will be scored but one narrative will continue to be true: Dallas will find a way to lose. Prediction: 49ers 38 – Cowboys 34

Indianapolis @ Denver – This game features two of the top passers in the league for the seasons Sunday night opener. Denver’s defense will be fired up for this one, as their new additions will be looking to impress. Denver’s run defense should be really to meet RB Trent Richardson as one of the top units from last year. For the Colts offense, it will be about Andrew Luck and if he can out score Peyton Manning. Denver’s retooled secondary will be tested a lot in this game as the Colts will probably find it hard to run the football. If Denver’s defense can play as well as advertised, that will only make Peyton Manning’s job even easier. If you remember Peyton’s season opener last season, he really went for the throat and threw for 7 touchdowns. I’ll expect something close to that performance in this game as he should be able to expose the Colts secondary even without Wes Welker. Last season, the receiver that burst out from the scene was TE Julius Thomas. This season, I think it will be newcomer WR Emmanuel Sanders. Prediction: Broncos 37 – Colts 28

San Diego @ Arizona – In recent history, the second game of the Monday night football double-header has been awful. But that wont be the case this season as this matchup includes a playoff team and a 10-win team from last season. The matchup between the Chargers offense and the Cardinals defense should be a good one. San Diego might be reluctant to let Phillip Rivers to go pass-happy in this game, as the strength of the Cardinals defense is the secondary. Arizona is hurting in the middle of the defense without Darnell Dockett and Daryl Washington so it would be smart for San Diego to test that run defense. And the Chargers have the backs for the job in Ryan Matthews and Donald Brown. San Diego can be successful in this game by running the ball to set up big plays down field to WR Kennan Allen. Cardinals RB Andre Ellington is starting to gain a lot of buzz as a possible breakout player this season. Monday night would be a perfect time for him to put the league on notice so the Chargers defense will have to key on that guy. Creating pressure around Carson Palmer will be key for the Chargers defense in this game. Palmer can’t move around as much anymore but if he has time, he has two really good options down the field in Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd. I think the Cardinals defense will be able to keep them in this game at home but eventually you have to score enough points in this league. I’m taking San Diego in a small upset. Prediction: Chargers 27 – Cardinals 20

The Rest of Week 1

Saints over Falcons – Drew Brees and Jimmy Graham usually have big games in the Georgia Dome.

Bears over Bills – Chicago’s defense was bad last season but the Bills might still have problems scoring points. (Survival Football Pick of the Week)

Chiefs over Titans – Kansas City will be looking to start the season strong much like last season.

Vikings over Rams – St. Louis has a great young defense but they will be tested against Adrian Peterson.

Patriots over Dolphins – New England’s defense might look really good against the Miami offense that is starting a completely new offensive line.

Jets over Raiders – Rex Ryan will have a plan in place to confuse rookie QB Derek Carr.

Eagles over Jaguars – I don’t think Jacksonville will be able to keep up with Philly’s constant attack on offense.

Steelers over Browns – Cleveland’s defense looks good on paper but they are still the Browns. Who the hell wants to watch Brian Hoyer face the Steelers defense? Hashtag: Let Johnny play!

Texans over Redskins – I went back and forth with this pick. I think RG3 will be looking to show out in this game but Washington’s defense is still really bad.

Panthers over Buccaneers – Tampa Bay has a lot of new pieces but Carolina brings one of the best front sevens in football.

Lions over Giants – The home crowd will help Detroit in this game. New York’s defense will help them too.

Fantasy Football Picks of the Week

QB: Peyton Manning (Broncos) – I’m expecting history to repeat its self with another strong start from Manning on Sunday night.

RB: LeSean McCoy (Eagles) – Shady will facing a run defense that ranked near the bottom a season ago.

WR: Victor Cruz (Giants) – I have Detroit winning the game but they have horrid secondary. Eli Manning will be going to Cruz through out this game.

TE: Jimmy Graham (Saints) – Graham has always been a matchup nightmare for the Falcons.

DEF: Carolina – The Panthers defense should be able to set the tone on the road against division rival, Tampa Bay.