2016 Week 1 NFL Predictions

Each week, I will predict the winners of each game.  Keeping a running tally of how many I get correct.

Thursday, September 8th:

-Carolina Panthers(0-0) at Denver Broncos(0-0)

Analysis:  The Denver defense is one of the best in the NFL, but without knowing what they have at QB, I have to go with the Panthers.

Winner: Carolina

Sunday, September 11th:

-Tampa Bay Buccaneers(0-0) at Atlanta Falcons(0-0)

Analysis:  Tampa Bay, being led by 2nd year QB Jameis Winston, will be a team to watch this season.  That being said, I don’t think the Tampa offense has the fire power yet, to be able to outshoot Atlanta.

Winner: Atlanta

-Minnesota Vikings(0-0) at Tennessee Titans(0-0)

Analysis:  Before Teddy Bridgewater went down for the season, Minnesota was still the favorite to defend their NFC North crown.  With the Vikings listing Shaun Hill as their starter, Tennessee, and their new rushing attack, have a legitimate shot in this game.  That being said, I can’t go against AP.

Winner: Minnesota

-Cleveland Browns(0-0) at Philadelphia Eagles(0-0)

Analysis:  The Eagles traded away their starting QB to Minnesota for a 1st and 4th round pick.  Cleveland always look like they are prepared to climb out of the cellar, but always seem to fall back in.  Cleveland has a lot of high hopes, now that they have RGIII behind center.  However, the question is, how long can he remain healthy?

Winner: Philadelphia

-Cincinnati Bengals(0-0) at New York Jets(0-0)

Analysis:  The Bengals, behind the arm of Andy Dalton, should threaten for the AFC North title this season.  After just missing the postseason last season, the Jets are going to be trying to get a big win at home.

Winner: Cincinnati

-Oakland Raiders(0-0) at New Orleans Saints(0-0)

Analysis:  This game should be a great one.  The Raiders, led by Derek Carr, have been a lot of experts pick to not only make the Playoffs, but threaten for the AFC West.  The Saints, led by Drew Brees, should continue to be a high scoring team.  Playing in one of the toughest divisions in the NFL, the Saints need to get wins like this.

Winner: New Orleans

-San Diego Chargers(0-0) at Kansas City Chiefs(0-0)

Analysis:  The Chargers are hoping to bounce back from a 4-12 season, but this isn’t the game that will get it started.  Chiefs win going away.

Winner: Kansas City

-Buffalo Bills(0-0) at Baltimore Ravens(0-0)

Analysis:  This should be a good game, potentially a defensive struggle.  Both teams are known for their defenses.  However, the Bills have some very solid offensive weapons, that can make the ultimate difference.

Winner: Buffalo

-Chicago Bears(0-0) at Houston Texans(0-0)

Analysis:  The Bears may be the happiest team to see the problems for Minnesota.  Houston brought in Brock Osweiler in the offseason, and are hoping to be able to defend their AFC South title.

Winner: Houston

-Green Bay Packers(0-0) at Jacksonville Jaguars(0-0)

Analysis:  The Jaguars are a legitimate threat for an AFC Wild Card spot this season.  Blake Bortles will have that offense humming, and the Jaguars defense is improved.  With Bridgewater’s injury in Minnesota, the Packers are now the favorite to win the NFC North.  Aaron Rodgers is expected to have an MVP-caliber year, Eddie Lacy has lost weight, and Jordy Nelson is returning from his ACL injury last season.

Winner: Green Bay

-Miami Dolphins(0-0) at Seattle Seahawks(0-0)

Analysis:  Miami is the weakest team in the AFC East, and sadly for Dolphins fans, I don’t see them making too much noise this season.  Seattle is looking to get back atop their perch in the NFC.  After their 2013 and 2014 campaigns, 2015 has to be seen as a letdown.  It will be interesting to see how Seattle reacts to playing without Marshawn Lynch being their work horse.

Winner: Seattle

-New York Giants(0-0) at Dallas Cowboys(0-0)

Analysis:  The Giants are starting the year with a new Head Coach.  The Cowboys are starting with a rookie at QB in Dak Prescott.  This game could be the game of the week, not for the great football, but for the unknowns.

Winner: Dallas

-Detroit Lions(0-0) at Indianapolis Colts(0-0)

Analysis:  With Minnesota having their QB go down, Detroit has a real chance at threatening for #2 in the NFC North.  With a very good defense, and Matthew Stafford at QB, Detroit has a lot of potential.  The Colts are still trying to recover from a year ago, where they saw Andrew Luck go down, and the Colts missed the Playoffs for the first time since Luck was drafted.  In time, the Colts will show who they truly are.

Winner: Indianapolis

-New England Patriots(0-0) at Arizona Cardinals(0-0)

Analysis:  With Tom Brady serving his 4-game suspension for Deflategate, the Patriots will have to try to handle the first 4 games as best as possible.  It’s still a Bill Belichick team though, so you know that they will be fine.  The Cardinals are one of the favorites to make the Super Bowl this season.  Carson Palmer is getting older, but he showed last season that he can still throw the ball well.  David Johnson is also expected to have a big year running the ball for Arizona.

Winner: Arizona

Monday, September 12th:

-Pittsburgh Steelers(0-0) at Washington Redskins(0-0)

Analysis:  The Steelers will be without Le’Veon Bell for the first 3 games of this season, serving a suspension for failing to show for a drug test.  That being said, Ben Roethlisberger is still leading this team, and the Steelers have the best WR in the NFL.  The Redskins will fight for the NFC East title this season, and will be looking to take advantage of home field in this game.

Winner: Pittsburgh

-Los Angeles Rams(0-0) at San Francisco 49ers(0-0)

Analysis:  The Rams are back in Los Angeles, and will immediately be looking to give the fan base a reason for optimism.  The 49ers should have an O.K. season.  Currently, the 49ers are going with Blaine Gabbert at QB, over Colin Kaepernick.  I don’t see that decision lasting too long.

Winner: San Francisco

To recap, my winners are:

  • Carolina
  • Atlanta
  • Minnesota
  • Philadelphia
  • Cincinnati
  • New Orleans
  • Kansas City
  • Buffalo
  • Houston
  • Green Bay
  • Seattle
  • Dallas
  • Indianapolis
  • Arizona
  • Pittsburgh
  • San Francisco

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