2016 NFL Predictions Week One
The 2016 NFL Season begins.
Panthers @ Broncos: The "Super Bowl 51 Champions" banner will be lifted. All of Denver will applaud and celebrate. Will the focus be there for Denver? Without Malik Jackson and Danny Trevathan, who will fill in for their defense? The visiting Carolina Panthers and Cam Newton will treat this Super Bowl rematch as any other game but that February night will still be in the back of their minds. A game highlighted by defense early on, Kelvin Benjamin's return will help Newton with some big plays.
Buccaneers @ Falcons: An early division match-up between the Falcons and Buccaneers. Should be exciting to see how Jameis Winston does in his second year. I expect points to be scored but with Tampa Bay leaving Atlanta with the win.
Bills @ Ravens: Both teams are heading into this game missing some players on both sides of the ball. Think the Bills will come out on top thanks to the defense and Tyrod Taylor's play making ability on offense.
Bears @ Texans: The Bears offensive line hope to be ready against the Texans front seven. Let's see how former Packer Josh Sitton will perform with the Bears who was just signed earlier in the week. New quarterback Brock Osweiler will have a shaky start early in the game but will settle down and lead Houston to a victory.
Packers @ Jaguars: Lane Taylor will get the start at guard after the surprising release of veteran Josh Sitton. Taylor started two games last year (his only games started in career) and will face an improving Jaguars defense. Gus Bradley will find a way to neutralize Aaron Rodgers.
Chargers @ Chiefs: Jamaal Charles is not expected to start vs the Chargers on Sunday and that is ok. I am confident that they will have success in the run game with their other running backs (Knile Davis, Charcandrick West, and Spencer Ware) having playing time last season. The Chargers on the other hand didn't have much of a run game in 2015. They will need to get Melvin Gordon going early.
Raiders @ Saints: A good start to the season for the Raiders who have a favorable match up against the Saints defense. Drew Brees' contract extension won't save New Orleans from this beat down.
Bengals @ Jets: The Bengals offense won't be a factor against this Jets defense. Aside from A.J. Green and the play making ability after the catch with Giovani Bernard, Andy Dalton will have a tough day. In what would be a low scoring affair, the Jets come out victorious with an interception to seal the game.
Browns @ Eagles: Current Browns Defensive Coordinator Ray Horton served as the Defensive Coordinator for Tennessee the last two seasons. This is relevant because last season, the Titans opened up the 2015 season against the Buccaneers with rookie quarterback Jameis Winston under center. Tennessee won that game but the defense hardly brought pressure. Rookie Carson Wentz will start for the Eagles to begin his career and I expect the Browns to try to make Wentz feel uncomfortable in the pocket.
Vikings @ Titans: Running back Adrian Peterson has rushed for an average of 94.9 yards in season debuts. Minnesota will look to run the ball more regardless of who starts at Quarterback. The Marcus Mariota-led Titans will look to establish a run game themselves with their own running game. A close game but Minnesota's defense will prove to be a factor.
Dolphins @ Seahawks: How about this for making your head coaching debut? Dolphins coach Adam Gase will have his hands full with this one but I think he will help out Ryan Tannehill in the long run. I don't expect much success for Miami's offense. I'm probably overlooking Seattle's offensive line but Russell Wilson has posed a threat at improvisation.
Giants @ Cowboys: Expect a wacky ending when these two teams play against each other. Mental lapses won't be the cause of the loss, however. I expect both offenses to have success in this game but the Cowboys defense surprisingly will come away with a turnover to win the game.
Lions @ Colts: Detroit will get enough from their defense against an Indianapolis offensive line that hasn't improved much from last season. The ball will be thrown a lot between these two offenses and their receiving corps.
Patriots @ Cardinals: A tough situation for Jimmy Garappolo to be in against a Cardinals defense with former Patriot Chandler Jones. Does last year's NFC Championship game affect Carson Palmer at all on Sunday Night? However he performs the run game will play a factor against New England with David Johnson and Chris Johnson.
Steelers @ Redskins: A test for the Steelers offense who will start their season without starters Le'Veon Bell (Running Back) and Martavis Bryant (Wide Receiver) against Josh Norman and the Redskins. De'Angelo Williams had success in the run game last year for Pittsburgh while filling in for Bell. Washington was not great at defending the run so we will see if they made any improvement. After a stellar year from Kirk Cousins in 2015, what kind of year will he have in 2016? I think he'll have a good game here testing this Steelers secondary with Pierre Garcon, Jordan Reed and Desean Jackson. Pittsburgh will come up big on defense.
Rams @ 49ers: The Monday Night season opener for San Francisco last season was a complete surprise. The defense will certainly play a role here much like they did last year against Minnesota. What kind of performance will we see from the 49ers offense under their new head coach Chip Kelly?