The 2018 NFL Season is upon us! Today I take a dive into each game and make my predictions for who wins and why!
Falcons vs Eagles: Falcons
The opening game of the 2018 season will be a low scoring affair, seeing Nick Foles return to mediocrity and the Eagles’ defense establish itself as one of the best. I believe the Eagle’s defense will hold Matt Ryan and the Falcons to 17 points, but Foles will deliver a poor performance and only put up 10 for his squad.
Vikings vs 49ers: Vikings
The Vikings debut their shiny new quarterback and their youthful new defense against the 49ers, a team looking to establish themselves as a contender with Jimmy Garoppolo and an upgraded defense. The Vikings offense establishes itself early and the defense doesn’t bend to Jimmy GQ. The Vikings win this on 31-14.
Titans vs Dolphins: Titans
Tennessee couldn’t hang with the best team in the AFC East in last year’s playoffs, but they open 2018 with arguably the worst team in the AFC East. The Titans establish Derrick Henry and Dion Lewis as a lethal 1-2 punch and win an ugly game, 21-3.
Texans vs Patriots: Texans
The underdog Texans have had a history of health issues in their past, with JJ Watt hardly ever playing a full season and Desean Watson tearing his ACL early last season. Luckily for Houston, everyone starts the year fresh and at 100%, so look for a hard-fought win for the Texans against Tom Brady and his no-name receiving core. Texans win 34-31 in a close one.
Jaguars vs Giants: Jaguars
The Jaguars get to unleash their elite defense on the Giants shaky offensive line and look to upset Saquan Barkley fantasy owners in week 1. The Jags will win a low scoring game as the Giants won’t fear Blake Bortles and his weak wide receivers and will stack the box against Fournette. Jags win 13-6.
Bengals vs Colts: Bengals
Cincinnati mishandled the young John Ross last season, making him sit the bench after his first play was a fumbled handoff in week 1. Ross has looked like a viable number 2, and Joe Mixon and Gio Bernard could be one of the better running back duos this season. Andrew Luck gets clobbered by the Bengals pass rush and can’t do enough to win this game. Bengals go over 21-7
Buccaneers vs Saints: Saints
The Saints are better on every level and at every position than the Buccaneers are. The Saints come out for the first time since their colossal implosion against the Vikings in the postseason and embarrass a team led by Ryan Fitzpatrick 38-7. Irony.
Bills vs Ravens: Ravens
The Bills might throw double digit interceptions in this game. The team has elected to start Nathan Peterman who threw 5 INTs in one half last season, and if the young Josh Allen has to play, he doesn’t look much better. The Ravens quarterback may not be elite, but I’ll take Flacco over Peterman any day. Raven 17 Bills 3.
Browns vs Steelers: Steelers
The Browns look good enough on paper to maybe be my upset pick this week, but I can’t honestly say the Browns will win. Pittsburgh, without Le’veon Bell, will still beat the Browns 28-24, but Tyrod will help “Believe-land” stay in the game until late.
Chiefs vs Chargers: Chargers
I like what I see from Kansas City, as they have some elite deep threats on their team and a quarterback who can sling the ball. I like the Chargers more however, as they have elite talent everywhere you look on this team, and they have proven that if they had a kicker they could win a championship. L.A. wins 24-13 against the young Mahomes, but the Chiefs look good still.
Cardinals vs Redskins: Cardinals
Both teams don’t seem to be playoff contenders, and I’m picking the team that has the better run game. David Johnson comes back and while Sam Bradford may only be available for 2 or 3 games, he can produce well in those few games. Cardinals take this one 14-9.
Cowboys vs Panthers: Panthers
The Cowboys could be a playoff contender this season, if Dak Prescott can bounce back from a down year last year. The Panthers will load the box to stop Zeke and I don’t trust the Cowboys’ wide receivers to create separation or space enough for Dak to be efficient. Carolina wins 17-7.
Seahawks vs Broncos: Broncos
I didn’t love the addition of Case Keenum in Denver, but I don’t love the Seahawks starting the young Shaquem Griffin at linebacker either. Both teams have issues to work out but I like Denver’s defense a bit more, so I’ll pick them to win 10-7 over Seattle.
Bears vs Packers: *UPSET ALERT* Bears
Sometimes you have to follow your gut. The Bears have added an arsenal of weapons for the young Trubisky and may have a top tier defense with Khalil Mack coming over from Oakland to wreck the NFC North. Aaron Rodgers will come back and while he may be on the Rodgers Revenge Tour, I don’t yet buy the Packers defense as a legit threat with the youth that unit has on it. I’m not saying Trubisky will outplay Rodgers, but I am saying The Bears beat The Packers 27-21.
Jets vs Lions: Lions
Back to a safe pick, the Lions will roll out a new and improved offensive line and run game in addition to the established passing attack led by Matt Stafford. The Lions now have a defensive minded head coach and an underrated defense, so I expect them to beat a bad team like the Jets, who may be on the rise, but lose week 1 28-13.
Rams vs Raiders: Rams
The Raiders blew their defense up by trading Khalil Mack, and while they are the oldest roster in the NFL, they are clearly in a rebuild mode. The Rams on the other hand, have added multiple big name players and established the closest thing to a super team the NFL can have. The Rams’ have a Pro-Bowl roster, and the Raider have a bad roster, so expect L.A. to establish itself as the top team in football this week with a 35-10 win over Oakland.