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NFL 2015 Week 1 Preview
Thursday Night Football
Pittsburgh Steelers @ New England Patriots -7
Football is back! Roger Goodell, however, will not be in attendance, but who could blame him? Tom Brady is also going to be playing, but I don’t think that is going to make as big of a difference as most. The Patriots are coming off a thrilling Super Bowl victory from last year, but in the off season they lost quite a few key players from that Super Bowl run. The Steelers, however, appear to be coming back in full force from last year. If they had Le’Veon Bell for this game, I would pick the Steelers to win straight up. However, they don’t, so give me the Steelers with the points.
Green Bay Packers @ Chicago Bears +6.5
The Packers will be without one of their most dangerous weapons, Jordy Nelson, as he had a season ending ACL tear in the preseason. Fortunately for the Packers, the Bears are not going to be good, at all this year. At the time of writing this article, the Giants have just released James Jones, who would be a great fit for the Packers as he already knows the system and is familiar with Aaron Rogers. If they can add another good receiving option for Rogers, the Packers will be able to cover this spread easily. Even without adding more players, take the Packers minus the six and a half points.
Kansas City Chiefs @ Houston Texans -1
The Chiefs are a more complete team than the Texans, however, the one area of the game that they excel in the most, is directly combated by the Texans strongest unit. I’m talking about Jamaal Charles and the Chiefs running game against the Texans and their defensive line, of course. Charles is one of the league’s best running backs, but the Texans defensive front seven is arguably the best in the league. It should be a fun game, if Alex Smith can connect with his new explosive Jeremy Maclin the Chiefs will come away with the win. Give me the Chiefs plus the point.
Cleveland Browns @ New York Jets -3
I’m almost surprised to see the Jets favored in this game as they are one of the most dysfunctional teams in the league. If Josh McCown can show the glimpses that we saw in Chicago a couple years ago, the Browns may actually be a pretty decent team. Both teams have a solid defense, so we will likely have a low scoring affair, but I think the browns will win the game. Give me the Browns plus three points.
Indianapolis Colts @ Buffalo Bills +2.5
The Colts are traveling to Buffalo in week one. The Bills are returning one of the league’s best defenses from last year. I expect them to be even better than they were last year, as now they have Rex Ryan as their head coach. However, just like other Ryan teams, the offense will more than likely struggle. The good news for the Bills is they are going to be running the ball a lot with a fantastic running back, LeSean McCoy, and the Colts historically struggle to stop the run. I expect the Colts passing game to outshine Shady McCoy and for the Colts to win minus the points.
Should RGIII get traded?
Miami Dolphins @ Washington +3.5
The Redskins are a mess again this year. I really like Ryan Tannehill and the receiving corps in Miami, and I think they are going to start off this year red hot. The Redskins should do a fine job in the running game this year with Alfred Morris and rookie Matt Jones, but the Dolphins beefed up their defensive line with Ndamukong Suh. I’ll take the Dolphins minus the three and a half.
Carolina Panthers @ Jacksonville Jaguars +3
Cam Newton and the Panthers should go into Jacksonville and beat up the Jaguars, however, I think the game is going to be much closer than that. I have a feeling Blake Bortles is going to start shining this year, and he will turn some heads in week one. If Jaguars’ tight end Julius Thomas was healthy, I’d like the Jags even more, but even despite him being out, give me the Jags plus three.
Seattle Seahawks @ St. Louis Rams +3.5
The Seahawks travel to St. Louis for their first game against the Rams. Seattle is coming off a poor decision that most likely lost the Super Bowl last year. The Rams are building a team and getting better every year. Maybe now that they don’t have a hurt starting quarterback they will be better? I think the game will be close so I’m taking the Rams plus three and half.
New Orleans Saints @ Arizona Cardinals -2.5
The Cardinals are hosting the Saints, and it should be a matchup of a strong defense vs powerful offense. The Cardinals are returning one of the best defenses from last year and look to thwart Drew Brees and his high powered offense. If Carsen Palmer can stay healthy throughout this game I see him leading his team to a victory minus the two and a half.
Detroit Lions @ San Diego Chargers -2.5
Which Phillip Rivers and Chargers team is going to show up? History says, the bad one at the beginning of the season. The Lions are coming off a trip to the playoffs and what some would say a terrible call that lost them the game to the Cowboys. Maybe that is true, I think the Lions are going to come out hungry and get that win plus the two and half points.
Tennessee Titans @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers -3
Most years when the two worst teams from the previous year play, it’s not something to look forward too. However, with the starting quarterbacks from each team being the first and second picks in the draft, it makes things a little more exciting. I think the Buccaneers are a little more put together than the Titans, that being said, give the Titans the points and they win. Titans plus three.
Cincinnati Bengals @ Oakland Raiders +3.5
The Raiders are going into week one three and a half point dogs at home. That sounds about right even though I think they will be significantly improved this year. Derek Carr has some young talent around him and they will be able to grow together over the next few years. However, the Bengals have Jeremy Hill and with their stout defense they should be able to travel to the west coast and get the win and cover.
Baltimore Ravens @ Denver Broncos -4.5
The Broncos really have one more shot to get this elusive Super Bowl with Peyton Manning. They have spent a lot of money on their defense and their offense should be back and as powerful as ever. Sure they lost Julius Thomas, but if they wanted to keep him they wouldn’t have improved in other areas. Look for Demaryius Thomas and Owen Daniels to have big days as they trounce the Ravens and cover the four and a half point spread.
Sunday Night Football
Let's Not Forget
New York Giants @ Dallas Cowboys -5.5
Eli Manning his spoiled many games for the Cowboys in the past, and I think he may just be able to do that again. The Giants have no business going into Dallas and getting a win, but I think it may happen. The Cowboys have moved on from Demarco Murray, the league’s best running back last year, and I think it will take a couple games for Darren McFadden to get comfortable. The Giants, with Victor Cruz and Odell Beckham Jr will go to Dallas and make it close, and possibly get the win. Take the Giants with the points.
Monday Night Football
Philadelphia Eagles @ Atlanta Falcons +3
MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL IS BACK! This is a tough call for me, because the Falcons should be good, and getting three points at home seems like it’s the way to go. However, the way the Eagles looked in the preseason, with all their weapons, I find it hard to bet against them. Give the Falcons the three points and the Eagles still soar. Take the Eagles minus 3.
Minnesota Vikings @ San Francisco 49ers +2.5
Teddy Bridgewater is back for his sophomore season, and this year he has one of the best running backs to ever grace the gridiron back in his backfield. Will Adrian Peterson be able to return to the field in his old form? Time will tell, but he certainly won’t hurt the development of Bridgewater. The 49ers are going to be awful, and the two and a half points aren’t going to help. Give me the Vikings minus two and a half.