There’s officially less than one week to go until the start of the NFL season! Football fans have eagerly awaited the new 17-game regular season to get underway – and now it’s here! Here at TSFJ, we’re going to predict the winners of each game in the opening week – read on to find out who we’ve selected!
TNF | Dallas Cowboys @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Winners – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Kicking off the season on Thursday Night Football, the reigning and defending Super Bowl champions host the NFC East Cowboys. Unsurprisingly, we’re predicting that it will be the Bucs that go 1-0 after their first game. Brady and Co. will be too much for Dallas, and will secure the win on Thursday.
Arizona Cardinals @ Tennessee Titans
Winners – Arizona Cardinals
The first 1pm EST game we will look at is the clash between the Cardinals on the road to the Titans. With Arizona strengthening their defense, we advise watching the run game matchup, with Tennessee’s Derrick Henry a major threat to any team in the league. With that said, with the highly-talented Cardinals offense, we think Arizona comes away with a win.
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Houston Texans
Winners – Jacksonville Jaguars
In one of the only two divisional games in the first weekend of the regular season, the Jaguars travel to Houston to face a struggling Texans side. With the No.1 overall Trevor Lawrence getting his first start in the NFL, we think he could have a great opportunity to start his career in style with a win here.
Los Angeles Chargers @ Washington Football Team
Winners – Los Angeles Chargers
It’s a battle between the AFC West & NFC East in this 1pm game, with the Chargers heading to Washington in week one. Offensive rookie of the year Justin Herbert has had even more talent added to the roster, and we think they will be too much for their opponents. Are the Chargers playoff bound?
Minnesota Vikings @ Cincinnati Bengals
Winners – Cincinnati Bengals
Joe Burrow has been reunited with his college teammate and wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase, and will host the Vikings in their season opener. It will be an intriguing matchup, that could be a close one to call. However, we’re predicting that with an improved Bengals outfit, they will start the NFL season with a victory.
New York Jets @ Carolina Panthers
Winners – Carolina Panthers
It’s going to be a big weekend for Sam Darnold, who faces his old franchise when he starts for the Panthers. Meanwhile, the Jets will start with No.2 overall Zach Wilson. However, the offensive weapons available to Carolina, with Christian McCaffrey especially, they should be able to overcome the Jets, and send them away with a loss.
Philadelphia Eagles @ Atlanta Falcons
Winners – Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons host NFC opponents, the Philadelphia Eagles, in a chance to see how two newly-appointed head coaches manage their new franchise. Falcons’ QB Matt Ryan is under new head coach Arthur Smith, and has the disposal of generational talent Kyle Pitts. Meanwhile, we think Jalen Hurts will need time to adapt as a starter, so we’re expecting Atlanta to win.
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Buffalo Bills
Winners – Buffalo Bills
The Buffalo Bills have gone from strength to strength, with Josh Allen at the helm. Sean McDermott has built a strong franchise, and are now the team to beat in the AFC East. On the other hand, the Steelers have Big Ben for one more season (at least) as starting QB. However, with how impressive the Bills are, they should start the new season with a victory.
San Francisco 49ers @ Detroit Lions
Winners – San Francisco 49ers
The Lions traded their QB, and now have Jared Goff as their starting QB. As well as that, they released Kenny Golladay – arguably their best receiving talent. Meanwhile, the 49ers are almost back to full strength and fitness, after a lot of injuries last year, and now can kick on the season. It’s likely that they win in week one.
Seattle Seahawks @ Indianapolis Colts
Winners – Seattle Seahawks
In what could be a very interesting contest, the Seahawks and Colts will battle to get their first win on the board. It will be a close encounter, and despite losing linebacker KJ Wright, the Seattle defense will be strong against the Colts’ O, and Russell Wilson will do the rest to go for the victory.
Cleveland Browns @ Kansas City Chiefs
Winners – Kansas City Chiefs
A repeat of last year’s divisional playoff game, the Browns start a tough schedule as they travel to the Chiefs. This will be an extremely close contest, and it should be a very exciting game for the neutrals. However, it’s difficult to predict against Patrick Mahomes – the Chiefs win on Sunday afternoon.
Denver Broncos @ New York Giants
Winners – New York Giants
This matchup is going to be a very close game, and it will be interesting to see how it pans out. The Broncos have a new starting QB in Teddy Bridgewater, while New York have heavily improved their offensive talents. The big matchup in this one is the Giants’ receiver corps up against a talented Denver secondary.
Green Bay Packers @ New Orleans Saints
Winners – Green Bay Packers
Two of last year’s NFC playoff teams go head to head on Sunday afternoon/early evening, and it is shaping up to be a great game. Now the Aaron Rodgers situation has settled, the Packers are looking to dominate their division, as well as Drew Brees’ retirement, we think that Green Bay will start their season with a win.
Miami Dolphins @ New England Patriots
Winners – Miami Dolphins
In the other divisional game of the opening weekend, the Dolphins travel to Foxborough to play the Patriots. With the recent release of Cam Newton, it’s clear that Belichick is trusting Mac Jones to lead the offense in the season. However, with the Dolphins adding offensive talent, and an already strong defense, we predict they will win on Sunday.
SNF | Chicago Bears @ Los Angeles Rams
Winners – Los Angeles Rams
Primetime football! In the first Sunday Night Football, we have a hotly-anticipated game in the NFC, with the Bears traveling to LA to battle the Rams. Matt Stafford is now the starting QB for the Rams, and will want an important win to start the schedule. Our predictions are that they will be too strong for Chicago, and win in their first home game of the season.
MNF | Baltimore Ravens @ Las Vegas Raiders
Winners – Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens travel to Las Vegas to face a Raiders side in the first Monday Night Football of the new season. Lamar Jackson is still arguably the best rushing QBs in the league, and we expect him to lead Baltimore to their first win in week 1. The Raiders will need to ease into the season, but face a tough test in their opening game.
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