Sup, so in a few days the most beautiful words will be spoken in homes across America, “Are You Ready for Some Football!?!” I, for one, am extremely excited, so I will be predicting the first eight match-ups for Week One of the new NFL season.
Green Bay Packers v. Seattle Seahawks:
So we finally have our rematch after the debacle that was the Fail Mary. Except this time we have a weaker Packers team, because they are young, versus the champions. Like I said, the Packers are young and there will be some growing pains, however they will not be terrible. The Packers will be the Packers and should put up a good fight, but that will not be enough. Going against the champs, the number one defense and with Seattle at home will make for a very tough game. In this game I am going with the Seahawks.
Buffalo Bills v. Chicago Bears:
I really like what the Bills are doing up in Buffalo. They are putting together a very good team, one that might surprise some this year. That being said, they still do not have it all. They have a decent offense, but they are still using EJ Manual as their starting QB who is in his second year. Their defense is also pretty darn good, but they will be facing the second best offense in the NFL from last year. The Bears also have Jay Cutler back and players that know the system, Trestmen being the first offensive coordinator to make it past his first year. Yes, I know he is the head coach, but he really calls most of the offensive plays. The Bears still do not have a great defense, but it should be decent and better than the horror that was last year. Therefore in this one, I am going with the Bears.
Cincinnati Bengals v. Baltimore Ravens:
Ah, a nice division rivalry. In one corner we have the not so far removed champs in the Baltimore Ravens. They have a pretty good offense, but a very streaky quarterback. Their defense is the real issue here, being that they are still very much recovering for Reed and Lewis leaving. They will still be respectable, but not what they were. On the other side we have the regular season greats that are the Bengals. The Bengals are a very good team on all fronts. They have a great offense with Dalton, Green, Bernard, etc. They also have one heck of a defense. All together, the Bengals are the team to beat in this division, which is why I am picking them in week one.
New Orleans Saints v. Atlanta Falcons:
Alright, another division match-up. The Saints are looking like, well the Saints. They actually look like they have a more dynamic offense with the likes of Cooks and the running back tandem looking better and ready to step up. Their defense will always be the sore spot of this team, but even they have looked pretty good in the preseason this year. The Falcons however, are looking to bounce back after a horrid time last year. The offense is healthy, which is important, but their running backs are still a question. Their defense, for lack of a better word, is horrible. They are not very good and have not shown a sign of it throughout the preseason. With a bad defense, that does not make for a good time against the Saints, therefore I am going with New Orleans on this one.
Minnesota Vikings v. St. Louis Rams:
Man, you have to feel for the Rams. Another year, another year without Sam Bradford. I honestly think his time is quickly approaching and he will be soon replaced, however the Rams must carry on. Neither team has a starting QB announced yet, but in offense the edge goes to the Vikings, I mean come on they have AD. The defense is where the real match-up is. The Rams have one of the better defenses in the league, while the Vikings are looking to rebuild theirs. They added Barr, which was great for them, but they are all very young. THAT BEING SAID, I am going for a bit of a shocker on this one and picking the Vikings.
Cleveland Browns v. Pittsburgh Steelers:
Divisions, divisions! Alright so we have the Browns that suck. But really, the Browns are not very good. They have some decent players on defense, like Haden, but the defense is still not that great. On the offensive side, they are near to nonexistent. They do not have a running back, they do not have wide receivers without Gordon, and they do not have a starting quarterback. Hoyer is decent, and Manziel is no where close to ready. Even if they had something of an offense, the Steelers are far better. They may not have a running back because they are all too busy getting blitzed, but with Big Ben and a WR core looking better, I’d take them every time. The Steelers, like the Bears, were one of those historic franchises built on defense and their defense was terrible last year. Well this year, they look really good. The young guys look better, the rookies look like impact rookies, and all around they look good. That is why, hands down I am going with the Steelers.
Jacksonville Jaguars v. Philadelphia Eagles:
So another relatively easy one is this match-up. The Eagles are really good. They have a capable quarterback (finally), in Nick Foles. They may be lacking on the wide receiver front, but they are not terrible, and Foles should make them look respectable. Their back court is explosive as any other, especially under Chip Kelly. The defense is still not there, but they should not expect a tough time with the opponent they are facing, or should they? Much like the Bills, the Jaguars are rebuilding and I really like what they are doing. They seem to be a few years out, but if most of the players pan out, this will be a team for the future. Especially with the likes of Bortles and Lee, that is one combination to look forward too. That being said, Blake should be starting, he is showing he is ready and doing everything right, so why not give him the start? Even if he starts, the Eagles offense will be tough to match, that is why I am going with Philly.
Oakland Raiders v. New York Jets:
The final match-up we are looking at is the Jets and Raiders. The Jets are trying to find their way back to the days of a few years ago. Smith and Vick are interesting options to start, but neither will explode the score board. Not only will they not explode the score board, but neither will the rest of their offense, which is very below par. The Jets defense looks improved, but I seem to be saying that every year, so we will see what happens once Sexy Rexy is calling the plays. The Raiders though are another team on the up. They really needed to fix a lot of issues and they tried to do just that. They got a great defensive player in Mack who will lead and motivate this defense from day one. The other great player they got was Carr. If you know me personally, you would know I thought Carr was the best quarterback in the draft, yeah come at me. I have seen a lot of his work, and let me tell you, the kid has the size, arm strength and smarts to start, and he deserves it. Sure, he may not be a superstar, but he was easily the most NFL ready rookie QB, and he will be a very good player for a long time. It is because of my love for Carr and the improvements the Raiders made that I am going with Oakland.
Thanks for reading!
All stats and information courtesy of espn.com