NFL Week 1 Recap--My Predictions
Randal Bruce vs ESPN
Before the season, I picked every game on the schedule. After week 1, I'm 11-5. So I'm feeling pretty good about my predictions so far. I was bested by 4 analysts at ESPN. Mike Golic, Ron Jaworski, Mark Schlereth and Tom Jackson all finished tied at 12-4. I'm not happy about that. There is a link beside this capsule that will lead you to my picks. The next link will lead you to ESPN's.
Patriots win in NFL Opener
The Patriots came out fighting like champions do. They won a hard fought game against a good Steelers team. Tom Brady just continues to prove why he is the best QB in the league. He tossed 4 TD's in his home opener. The Steelers looked confused and out of place for most of the game. New defensive coordinator Keith Butler has his work cut out for him. This big win was overshadowed by more controversy. There were claims that the Patriots messed with the Steelers headsets. It's time for teams to stop crying and making up excuses when they lose to the Patriots.
I picked the Steelers to win before the season because I didn't know how the Brady suspension & appeal would end up. Either way I felt it would hurt the Patriots. I thought the Steelers would win this game and I was wrong. I still think the Steelers will get hot late and win the Super Bowl.
Final Score: Patriots 28-Steelers 21
My Prediction was the Steelers.
Bills pull the upset
There weren't too many surprises in the first week of the season. The biggest surprise has to be the Bills beating the Colts. I know a lot of people had the Bills as their team to watch. I was not a believer. Before the season, I thought Rex Ryan's act had gotten old. I'm still not sold on the Bills but I was very impressed by what they did. I didn't like their QB situation, but Tyrod Taylor was impressive. We'll have to see if he can keep it out for 16 weeks. You have to wonder how the riff between coach Chuck Pagano and GM Ryan Grigson will play out. Owner Jim Irsay say's there is no riff. We will have to wait and see. I don't think anyone should overreact to this loss for the Colts.
Final Score: Bills 27-Colts 14
I picked the Colts because I thought they had too much talent and too many weapons. This was the most shocking game for me.
Packers take care of Bears
The Packers took care of the Bears at Soldier Field. I think everyone outside of Chicago had the Packers in this one. James Jones returned to the Packers with a splash. Jones made two tough, TD grabs in this win.
Final Score: Packers 31-Bears 23
I took the Packers in this one. Beating the Packers in week 1 is too much to ask of new Bears coach John Fox.
Rams out scheme Seahawks
The Seahawks seem to struggle with the Rams when they play in St. Louis. The Rams had an excellent game plan. The Rams constantly pressured Russell Wilson. They sacked him 6 times and picked him off once. Seattle's defense struggled without Kam Chancellor. There were too many guys running free in their secondary. I said in my season preview that I felt Kam was the second most important player on this team and I still feel that way. Kam and Earl Thomas are the heart and soul of the Legion of Boom. That's not why they lost. I still feel the Rams out schemed them. Going forward I do think it will be a problem if they don't have Kam Chancellor at safety.
Final Score: Rams 34-Seahawks 31
I picked the Rams in this one based on how they play the Seahawks well at home.
Jets defense impressive in win over Browns
The Browns are as bad as everyone thought they were. Even with that said, I thought they would find a way to win this game. I was wrong and for that, I am sorry. Todd Bowles gets an impressive win in his opener as head coach. The Jets defense forced 5 turnovers in an impressive showing. This was a tough game to pick before the season for two teams that look like they are going nowhere.
Final Score: Jets 31- Browns 10
I picked the Browns based on the Jets having a new coach and system.
Special Teams lift the Dolphins past the Redskins
Neither team was impressive in this game. The Redskins make basic football plays look hard. They dropped 3 potential interceptions and couldn't recover a fumbled kickoff that bounced into one of their players' hands. The Redskins out gained the Dolphins 349 to 256. Alfred Morris rushed for 121 yards and yet they still find a way to lose. The Redskins had horrible special teams for years and it came back to bite them. Jarvis Landry's electrifying 69 yard punt return for a TD won the game.
Final Score: Dolphins 17-Redskins 10
I picked the Dolphins because I didn't think the Redskins would have enough to beat them. I was right.
The Panthers take care of business beating the Jaguars
This was an easy pick for me. I think the Panthers are a solid team. I expect them to win the NFC South again this year. If you have read my previous hubs, you know I'm not a fan of Gus Bradley. The Panthers have just found ways to win games. No surprise here.
Final Score: Panthers 20-Jaguars 9
I picked the Panthers.
Chiefs hold off Texans late push
Alex Smith looked good in the Chiefs opening game. He tossed 3 TD's while guiding the Chiefs to a big lead in this game. The Chiefs let that lead slip but managed to hold on. That's something that always scares me about this team. I was worried that Houston's lack of a starting QB would hold them back. They need to settle on one of these guys and move forward. Ryan Mallet looked good in relief.
Final Score: Chiefs 27-Texans 20
I picked the Chiefs based on the fact that I didn't know who the Texans starting QB would be before the season. Even if I did, I'd still pick the Chiefs if I'm being honest. The two teams are even but the difference is the Chiefs have a capable starting QB.
Carson Palmers return leads the Cardinals past the Saints
Welcome Back Carson Palmer! Palmer threw 3 TD passes in his return as starting QB of the Cardinals. His 2014 season was cut short due to injury. Injuries have plagued Palmer his whole career. I don't really believe in Palmer but I do believe in Bruce Arians. I think he is a terrific coach and the Cardinals will be tough to beat under his leadership. The Saints were huge underachievers in 2014. That scares me a bit because they have so much talent and a solid coaching staff.
Final Score: Cardinals 31-Saints 19
I picked the Cardinals based on my belief in Bruce Arians coaching ability. Plus, I thought that the Saints haven't shaken the stink of last year off of them.
Lions start fast but the Chargers finished strong for the win
This loss has to be frustrating for the Lions. They jumped out to a 21-3 lead. They seem to be rolling. Then the Chargers got hot and scored 30 straight points. It was a game of streaks. Keenan Allen balled out for the Chargers. He had 15 catches for 166 yards. Phillip Rivers passed for 404 yards and 2 TD's. It's a tough pill to swallow for the Lions. Their defense was ranked 2nd in 2014 but they got torched in this opening game by giving up 483 yards. It's a tough loss to a good team and I don't think there is any cause for panic.
Final Score: Chargers 33-Lions 28
This was a tough game to pick. I feel both of these teams are going to make the playoffs as wild cards. I just thought the Chargers would be tough to beat at home and that's why I picked the Chargers.
The Broncos beat the Ravens in a defensive struggle
This was an awful game to watch if you love offense and I do. If you love defense, then this was the game of the day. The only touchdowns scored were on defense. Both were interception returns. Peyton Manning's arm strength doesn't seem to be getting better. It's not surprising, but could be a problem like last post season in Denver. The Ravens suffered a big loss in the game. Terrell Suggs was lost for the season with an Achilles injury.
Final Score: Broncos 19-Ravens 13
You knew this was going to be a battle. They are both tough teams. I picked the Broncos because I thought they would be tough to beat at home.
Bengals roll past the Raiders
The Bengals are off to a good start. They went into Oakland and took care of business. They looked good doing so. Jack Del Rio has his work cut out for him. I don't think anyone was surprised how this turned out. Derek Carr was injured in the game and their season may have gotten tougher. It was going to be a long season with Carr it will be a miserable one without him. He may not miss any time, but we'll have to wait and see.
Final Score: Bengals 33-Raiders 13
I picked the Bengals because they just have too much talent for the Raiders to keep up.
Mariota dazzles in debut leading the Titans past the Buccaneers
This was a tough game to pick because both teams were coming off awful 2014 seasons. Marcus Mariota looked impressive. I think Ken Whisenhunt's game plan with him was brilliant. He is building the offense around Mariota's talents and will try to ease him into being a pocket passer. On the flip side, Jameis Winston struggled in his first game. I think it will take time for both of these QB's. I don't want to overreact over Mariota's debut. I think with time they will both be fine. It just seems like the Titans have a better plan at this moment.
Final Score: Titans 42-Buccaneers 14
I picked the Buccaneers in this game just because they were at home. They were the two worst teams last year and I thought just because Tampa was at home they'd pull it out. I was really wrong about this one, but I'm ok with it.
Romo's clutch TD pass lifts the Cowboys past the Giants
Before the season, I picked the Cowboys to go to the Super Bowl. After week 1, I still feel good about that pick. I don't think they'll win, but I think they'll make it. I felt the Giants would underachieve again and they did in this game. They had it all but won and managed to find a way to let it slip away. Tony Romo has shaken the bug of choking in the clutch. He now delivers when the game is on the line. He did it again in the final moments. The Cowboys needed all 3 of his TD passes to win this game. The Cowboys suffered a major hit in the game with Dez Bryant's injury. They may need to lean on their running game more in his absence. I think they have enough talent to survive until he's healthy.
Final Score: Cowboys 27-Giants 26
The Giants have a history of starting slow and that's why I picked the Cowboys.
Falcons soar past the Eagles
I didn't understand why so many people were high on the Eagles before the season. I thought Nick Foles was a better QB than Sam Bradford. LeSean McCoy is easily a better RB than Demarco Murray. I didn't get the optimism with those changes. I know people believe in Chip Kelly. I think he is a great play caller, but his defense stinks. His defenses were not good since he came to Philly. The Falcons were in the driver seat for the majority of the game. Julio Jones was amazing. Jones had 9 catches for 141 yards and 2 TD's.
Final Score: Falcons 28-Eagles 24
I picked the Falcons because they were at home. I thought it would be an offensive shoot out because both teams have bad defenses.
Vikings lay an egg in loss to 49ers
A lot people have the Vikings going to the playoffs. I am not one of those people. I thought they were 8-8 at best. With that said, I felt the 49ers are a 5-11 team. I just don't believe in their head coach. I'm wondering about the Vikings now. I say that because their first drive was all passes and Adrian Peterson didn't touch the ball once. That told me all I needed to know about this game. It was shocking how bad the Vikings looked. I was impressed with the 49ers. They lost a lot in the off season and they showed a lot of fight.
Final Score: 49ers 20-Vikings 3
I picked the Vikings based on my faith in their coaching staff. I think they have a good one, but they were out coached. I just didn't have faith in the Niners coach before the season and not much has changed after one game, but I have to give him credit for this one.