The Everyday Man’s NFL Football Predictions-Week 1

Its that time again!!! Week 1 is finally upon us!! Are You Ready!!! Well, you know I am!! Those who are new to my NFL predictions, what I do is predict every NFL game for the week and provide a breakdown of how I think the game will play out. Without further adieu, here are my predictions for Week 1 of the NFL football season!!!

New Orleans vs. Green Bay
The Saints travel to Titletown to take on the defending champs in what should be an entertaining game. The Saints will be determined to establish their running game and get back to the balance they had the year they won the Super Bowl. Expect RBs Pierre Thomas and Mark Ingram to get the ball early to try and loosen up the Packers defense. NT BJ Raji must be a force for the Pack because if the Saints are allowed to run and pass, Drew Brees and his crew will be unstoppable. I know it sounds crazy, but I would try to force the Saints have to pass more to win. The more the Saints pass, the more Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers can unleash his schemes on the Saints.
The Pack will have some added weapons this year in TE Jermichael Finley and RB Ryan Grant. Expect them to use Finley as a mismatch on the Saints defenders this game. Also, expect the Packers to spread the field a little bit more than the Saints will and that will be the difference in the game. The Saints don't have enough good DBs to cover Finley, Driver, Jennings and Nelson. The Pack win in a shootout.
Prediction: Green Bay 38, New Orleans 31

Atlanta vs. Chicago
The Falcons travel to the Midwest to take on the new Monsters of the Midway. The running game will be key for the Falcons. RB Michael Turner and the offensive line must establish the ground game. If the Bears shut that down, Falcons QB Matt Ryan could be on the run all game with the likes of DE Julius Peppers lurking on the Bears defensive line. It should be interesting to see the impact that WR Julio Jones has on this game because he will be matched up against CB Tim Jennings, who is 5'9". The Falcons should exploit that mismatch some this game.
The Bears must come out and just be a consistent offense. And the consistency starts with QB Jay Cutler. He must make smart decisions and not try to fit the ball in a keyhole. I still have my reservations about the Bears line. And with my reservations and the combo of Ray Edwards and John Abraham at DE, this could spell trouble. The Bears must get the run game going to at least give the Falcon defense something to think about. This should be a close game, but I feel the Falcons will be the more consistent team.
Prediction: Atlanta 23, Chicago 17

Cincinnati vs. Cleveland
The battle of Ohio has turned into the tale of two teams going in different directions. QB Andy Dalton will be starting his first NFL game of his career. Dalton already didn't look very good this preseason, so I expect him to struggle this game as well. The only way he doesn't struggle is if RB Cedric Benson gets it going on the ground. If Benson gets going, Dalton will be able to utilize play-action to use his play-making,TE Jermaine Gresham, across the middle of the field. I expect Gresham will make some plays as well as will rookie WR A.J. Green.
Cleveland QB Colt McCoy just needs to manage the game and make his plays when they are presented to him. He has RB Peyton Hillis and crew behind him and I expect the Bengals will see a heavy dose of the running game. When Colt does go for big plays, look for WR Mohammed Massiqua to be the guy he looks for. This game could be a slow game, but I expect Cleveland to pull this one out.
Prediction: Cleveland 20, Cincinnati 16

Buffalo vs. Kansas City
Buffalo travels to KC to take on a Chiefs team that is trying to add to the success they had last year. QB Ryan Fitzpatrick had a pretty good season last year, considering the weapons that were around him. Expect him to look early and often to WR Brad Smith, who will more than likely be lined up all over the place. And wherever he is, CB Brandon Flowers will be right there with him. The Chief defense will be ready for the challenge of finding Smith. Expect the Bills run game to stall early and for them to abandon the run.
QB Matt Cassel of the Chiefs will be ready to play despite a cracked rib. With Cassel's ribs being a concern, expect RBs Thomas Jones and Jammal Charles to get the ball early and often. And if they are effective, look for Cassel to exploit the inept Bills defense with weapons like WR Dewayne Bowe, Steve Breaston and RB/WR Dexter McCluster. The Chiefs should prove to be the better team in the end.
Prediction: Kansas City 31, Buffalo 14

Philadelphia vs. St. Louis
The Dream Team travels to the Show Me State to take on the upstart St. Louis Rams. QB Michael Vick and the Eagles will get a stiff challenge from the Rams defense. Coach Steve Spagnolo will be bring the kitchen to try to stop the high-powered Eagles. Expect serious pressure on Vick all day because of the lack of strength in their offensive line. Andy Reid will use some screens to relieve the pressure on Vick and hopefully get his play-makers involved in the offense. Also, expect some big plays from the Eagles. The Rams can't keep them down the whole game.
The Rams will hopefully use the weapons that they have on offense. RB Stephen Jackson should be getting the ball early and often because he is their best offensive weapon. If the Rams can establish the run, expect the Rams to them put the ball a little more in QB Sam Bradford's hands down the stretch. I believe that Bradford will play well and so will Jackson, but they just don't have enough weapons to keep up with the Eagles.
Prediction: Philly 30, St. Louis 20

Detroit vs. Tampa Bay
The Lions head to Tampa to take on the upstart Tampa Bay Buccaneers. QB Matt Stafford has got to have a good day because he has an inconsistent running game with RB Jahvid Best. If Best is able to get going, the Lions will be even tougher to beat because Stafford will have even more time to use his weapons against a Tampa defense that is a little under-manned.
QB Josh Freeman will be under pressure all game with the Lion defensive line hot on his trail. He must get help from RB LaGarette Blount to help sustain the pressure. TE Kellen Winslow II and WR Mike Williams must be present this game. If they aren't, then expect the Bucs to be slowed offensively. I have a feeling this could be a long game for Freeman.
Prediction: Detroit 24, Tampa Bay 13

Tennessee vs Jacksonville
This game should be interesting. RB Chris Johnson is back and ready to go for the Titans. Expect the Titans to give him 15-20 carries this game. CJ mixed in with RBs Javon Ringer and Jamie Harper should help soften up the defense for QB Matt Hasselbeck to use weapons like Kenny Britt against the Jaguars pass defense.
QB Luke McCown needs to have help from his RB Maurice Jones-Drew this week. If he doesn't get help from his running game, the relentless pressure from the Titans could bury him. This game should be interesting because of the rivalry involved. The Titans are the better team though.
Prediction: Tennessee 27, Jacksonville 17

Pittsburgh vs. Baltimore
This game will be a physical battle. The Steelers will come out and try to establish the run with RB Rashard Mendenhall. When he runs well, the Steelers are even more dangerous. Expect Big Ben to take some shots up top with WR Mike Wallace and go to steady receiver Hines Ward as well.
QB Joe Flacco will once again get to prove he's the better man in this QB battle. But, like Big Ben, he will need some help as well. RB Ray Rice and the offensive line will have to take it to the Steelers defense. That's a tough task because the Steelers have a propensity to make offenses look ugly. And this game will not be any different.
Prediction: Pittsburgh 20, Baltimore 17

Indianapolis vs. Houston
Indy travels to Houston without their leader. QB Kerry Collins will be starting this game in place of Peyton Manning. If the Colts are smart, they will try to mix the run and the pass more with Collins at the controls. RB Joesph Addai will probably get more carries than he's used to having. I'm anxious to see what defensive coordinator Wade Phillips can do with this defense.
QB Matt Schuab may have to carry more of the offensive load this game with RB Arian Foster nursing a hamstring injury. Schuab will have WR Andre Johnson against the smaller DBs of Indy, so expect these two to hook up early and often. This game has the potential to get ugly if the Colts don't mount some consistent offense.
Prediction: Houston 31, Indianapolis 17

Carolina vs. Arizona
The Cam Newton era begins in Arizona against a Cardinal team trying to get back to the playoffs. Newton must get a healthy dose of Smash and Dash( RBs Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams) to ease Cam in to the game. Also, look for the Panthers to set Cam up for manageable down and distances and also look for them to use his athleticism by giving him so run-pass option plays. Look for Steve Smith to make a big play this game.
QB Kevin Kolb makes his debut in the desert. Look for the Cardinals to go put the ball in the air a lot this game because their running game has been non-existent. WR Larry Fitzgerald and his crew will be matched up with CB Chris Gamble and the Panthers' secondary and in this matchup, Fitzgerald's crew is deeper.
Prediction: Arizona 24, Carolina 13

Minnesota vs. San Diego
QB Donovan McNabb makes his Viking debut out in San Diego against a feisty Charger defense. McNabb needs Adrian Peterson to be successful in the run game. If Peterson isn't successful, then expect McNabb to have to carry this offense, and against ball-hawking S Eric Weddle and crew, that could be a tall task, even for a QB the pedigree of McNabb.
QB Phillip Rivers is one of the best QB in the NFL. He has lit up defenses for years. Expect him to use weapons like WR Vincent Jackson and TE Antonio Gates to run right thru this defense, provided the offensive line can contain Vikings DE Jared Allen, which I think they will. Expect the Chargers to come out strong this year.
Prediction: San Diego 31, Minnesota 20

Seattle vs. San Francisco
Seattle heads to Monster Park to take on the 49ers, who will be looking to get off on the right foot this year. QB Tavaris Jackson will lead the Seahawks into San Fran. RB Marshawn Lynch must relieve some of the pressure off Jackson by running the ball. If he isn't effective, things could get scary for the Seahawks with Jackson having to throw to win.
QB Alex Smith gets yet another chance to prove himself. The difference between Jackson and Smith is that Smith has a more consistent running game than Jackson. Expect Frank Gore and the offensive line to take over this game down the stretch and carry the 49ers to the victory.
Prediction: San Francisco 24, Seattle 20

New York Giants vs. Washington
The Giants take their mash unit to the capital where they take on a confident Redskin team. QB Peyton Manning has RBs Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw to lean on. If they can get it going, look for Eli to have more time to use WRs Hakeem Nix and Mario Manningham. The Giants must keep their protections rolled toward OLB Brian Orapko. He's a beast coming off the edge.
QB Rex Grossman has his second chance at being "the man". This time, he must have some help from his running game and his receivers. RBs Tim Hightower and crew must get it done on the ground. If not, Rex will be on his own against a Perry Fewell-led defense that can come at you from every angle. Expect the Redskins to pull this game out because the Giants have just sustained too many key injuries defensively.
Prediction: Washington 27, New York Giants 21

Dallas vs. New York Jets
The Cowboys head to the Meadowlands to take on the self-proclaimed Super Bowl favorite New York Jets. The 'Boys must come out and attack the Jets with the ground game and their TEs. Witten must be huge this game because the combination of Revis and Cromartie at CB are dangerous.
QB Mark Sanchez has some veteran weapons this year in WRs Plaxico Burress and Derrick Mason in addition to WR Santonio Holmes. But even with these weapons, expect the Jets to attack the Cowboys with their ground game. It should be interesting to see if they are able to make the Cowboys submit or if the Cowboys stand up and fight. This game will go down to the end, but Romo isn't clutch, so I give the edge to Sanchez
Prediction: New York Jets 24, Dallas 21

New England vs. Miami
The Patriots head to South Beach to take on the Dolphins. QB Tom Brady should be able to use his weapons against the lackluster Dolphins secondary. If OLB Cameron Wake is able to get to Brady, that could throw a wrench in Brady's plans and they could have a repeat of the Lions fiasco in preseason.
QB Chad Henne is down to his last chance to be the Dolphins' starting QB. He must get some plays out of RB Reggie Bush and he must also be smart with the football. If he does this, Miami has a chance to stay in the game. If he makes bonehead decisions, then it could be trouble in Miami. I think he will play well all the way until the end.
Prediction: New England 31, Miami 27

Oakland vs. Denver
The Raiders head to Mile High to take on the Broncos. QB Jason Campbell should be more comfortable in his second year in the offense. And with RB Darren McFadden available, he should be even more confortable. Expect McFadden to get the ball early and often. Also, expect Campbell to use WR Denarius Moore against the Broncos' second corner because WR Darius Heyward-Bey will see CB Champ Bailey.
QB Kyle Orton will hopefully get some help from RBs Knowshon Moreno and Willis McGahee. If not, the Broncos will have to win the game on the strength of his arm. And with the pass rush that the Raiders can create, that could be problems.
Prediction: Oakland 30, Denver 17

These are my predictions for the Week! Let the games begin!!!!

6 Responses

  1. Dallah Smith

    Can’t wait for tonights Thursday Night Opening Game GreenBayPacker will rise once again on the big stage New Orleans will have there moments but Packers Defense will be better as another year in the 3 4 def

  2. nice work Mike and looking forward to this every week, like alot of your picks, I like Lions on road, as always the Steelers/Ravens game will be close, it would be nice if 49ers started 1-0, alot of great week 1 matchups. cant wait.

  3. Nice predictions, but I do have to disagree on how close the Patriots-Dolphins game will be. I’m thinking 34-21.

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  4. 7Boss1

    Man I’m so excited that the regular season is finally here let the debates begin!!!

  5. Christy

    You put down Peyton Manning under the Giants section. The colts will be disappointed to hear he is playing for them.

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