Week 1 Predictions for the 2014 NFL Season
Here are my predictions for the first week of the 2014 NFL season to start things off. Let's enjoy the games for the next four months and good luck to your team(s) for this season. NOTE: This will most likely get published when the games are going to finish.
Packers @ Seahawks: You might have heard that this game is a rematch between both of these teams back in 2012 with the whole "Fail Mary" fiasco. You can call it a revenge game for the Packers because of how it ended and that the loss cost them a chance for a bye week in the playoffs that season. With that in mind, I think Aaron Rodgers and Co. will come out motivated and ready. Key things to watch are the offensive lines for Seattle and Green Bay against the opposing defense. Both have a rookie starting on the offensive front. Eddie Lacy will get the ball early and continue to get it throughout the game.
My pick: Packers in a close game. Didn't really mention any reasons why Green Bay will win, only that the motivation and revenge factor will work in their favor.
Saints @ Falcons: Both offenses will come out racking up points. For Atlanta, Julio Jones and Roddy White will be healthy. Left tackle Jake Matthews will get tested by the New Orleans defensive front. For New Orleans, rookie receiver Brandon Cooks enters to fill the, what is believed, Darren Sproles role.
My pick: Saints. Only because their defense will be able to hold the Falcons out of the end zone. If Atlanta can get after Drew Brees, it will be a different outcome.
Vikings @ Rams: This will be a physical game. Between safeties T.J. McDonald (Rams) and Harrison Smith (Vikings) getting after the receivers and the defensive fronts for both teams stuffing the run or getting after the quarterback. Defensively, both teams are better from two seasons ago. Minnesota has the edge though because the opposing quarterback has not started a game since 2010. Offensively, Minnesota has the edge because of their receiving threats in Kyle Rudolph and Cordarrelle Patterson and with Peterson in the backfield behind a good offensive line. The Rams' receivers and running back, though underrated, won't be able to make those big plays. First game in the regular season, however so we'll see. The last time Minnesota visited St. Louis, Peterson ran for 212 yards and a touchdown in a 36-22 victory for the Vikings in 2012.
Browns @ Steelers: I'm not buying into that Johnny Manziel will come into this game to take a few snaps. Thinking about it takes me back to the preseason game against Washington. Brian Hoyer started, than Manziel came in and then Hoyer comes back in again. Anyway, this will be a pretty exciting game. Two things to watch: tight end Jordan Cameron, who I think will have a big game, matching up against the Steelers linebackers and secondary; and if the defensive lines for both teams can get into the backfield.
Pick: Steelers. Their defense will hold Cleveland to 3 points on their last two drives to allow Ben Roethlisberger to drive the Steelers to a last-minute win.
Jaguars @ Eagles: With Philadelphia lacking a deep threat receiver, it remains to be seen how and if rookie Jordan Matthews and Jeremy Maclin (didn't play last season due to injury) fill that roll. One thing is for certain, the Eagles' offensive tackles will have their hands full going up against the former Seattle Seahawks defensive ends: Red Bryant and Chris Clemons. That is a match-up to observe over the course of the game. The slick RB's in LeSean McCoy and Darren Sproles will give QB Nick Foles a consistent option in the passing game if everybody else is covered. I wouldn't be surprised if the Jaguars pull off the upset, however, they're offense is going to have to be near-perfect to have a chance.
Raiders @ Jets: Both teams have a pretty decent 'pass-rush' defense. The Jets though have a slightly better offensive line. I think the Jets will be fired up and the big play making ability that is lacking on the receiving end for QB Derek Carr will help. We'll see how both running backs (Chris Johnson and Maurice Jones-Drew) fair if they still have that explosiveness running the ball.
Bengals @ Ravens: Corner back Lardarius Webb is questionable for this game for Baltimore. You already know about Ray Rice missing this game but his back-field partner Bernard Pierce is probable. The Webb injury is more of a concern because of Bengals receiver A.J. Green. Cincinnati has a running back duo themselves in Giovani Bernard and Jeremy Hill. I think they will be used often for this game to keep the Ravens honest. This Bengals defense will also pose a factor because DT Geno Atkins is back.
Bills @ Bears: Despite the gap between both teams, Buffalo and their underrated defense will be able to stop Jay Cutler and their offense. Cutler will probably even throw an interception. I am not worried though about this Bears' offense. Eventually in this game, they will be figure it out and start scoring. If EJ Manuel can keep up with the scoreboard, the Bills will keep it close.
Redskins @ Texans: Houston's defense is better but they do have to watch for Washington's receivers who can make big plays at any time. At the same time though, I don't think the Texans will be able to do enough with Ryan Fitzpatrick which will have Washington put six or seven guys in the box.
Titans @ Chiefs: Alex Smith will go out to prove that he is worth that contract extension. Receiver Dwayne Bowe out for this game serving a 1-game suspension won't help. However, I think their defense will come up big for this game. Despite the Chiefs losses on the offensive line, I think they will be able to score some points with the help of Jamaal Charles. Chiefs offensive weapon De'Anthony Thomas will help out also returning punts to give Smith good field position.
Patriots @ Dolphins: At the end of this game, there won't be any injuries to report for the next few days for either team. That is my feeling on this game. With that in mind, New England will put up points. Both teams' projected starters on the offensive line will have one lineman with at the most one career start. It will be interesting to see how they do against whoever is opposite of them. For Miami to put up some points themselves, they have to establish a run game and avoid turnovers.
Panthers @ Buccaneers: Carolina will only score one touchdown in this game (Have a feeling rookie receiver Kelvin Benjamin will do it). Bold prediction, yes, but Tampa Bay will control the Panthers up front. With QB Cam Newton not 100%, and the offensive line getting a makeover, the Buccaneers defense will have a big day.
49ers @ Cowboys: This game will be a shootout. That much will be said. The Cowboys' offensive line will keep Tony Romo upright against this San Francisco defense that are missing some players. Whichever team gives up the ball more, they will lose. I think Dallas will be that team.
Colts @ Broncos: Here is what we know: Colts' offensive line is scary in a bad way, Robert Mathis is serving a 4-game suspension and the Broncos are still the Broncos. Receivers Emmanuel Sanders and Cody Latimer will make a a few plays while the rest of Peyton's passes will be to Julius Thomas and Demaryius Thomas. Denver will start off slow to try to get emotions settled but eventually they will pick things up on offense. Indianapolis on the other hand will come out with some big plays early to try to steal that away. In the end though, Denver's new additions on defense and their offense sending a message will be too much for Andrew Luck and the Colts.
Giants @ Lions: Another bold prediction: Calvin Johnson will grab a touchdown or two while Golden Tate walks out of this game with more receiving yards. Although Megatron can nab anything, anywhere while being double or triple covered, Detroit has that much-needed second receiver to compliment him. I'm expecting a double-digit win for the Lions but, what will make it interesting is if the Giants' defensive line will be able to cause Matthew Stafford to turnover the ball early in the game. That will be something to watch.
Chargers @ Cardinals: Strange things seem to happen to the Chargers early in the season; especially when their first game is on Monday night. Something happens right before the end of the game that goes against the Chargers. Arizona's secondary will get the better end of the deal against San Diego's receivers and their defensive front, feeding off of the home crowd, will be able to just do enough to force Phillip Rivers into a bad situation late in the game. The Chargers will score some touchdowns though.
Which week 1 match-up are you most looking forward to?
- 0% Green Bay @ Seattle
- 0% Indianapolis @ Denver
- 0% Saints @ Falcons
- 0% San Diego @ Arizona
- 0% 49ers @ Cowboys
This poll is now closed to voting.