MFST’s NFL Picks: Week 1
Finally, the time has come for some meaningful football! The NFL season is back with a full slate of games including two Monday Night contests. Each week of the season I will be picking the games straight up, and not to brag, but last year I was quite successful with a 75% win-rate. If you want to know odds and picks, you can follow Tayrance’s column here.
Colts 24 at Bills 21
The city if Buffalo will be rocking with optimism over this year’s team who is looking to end the longest active postseason drought in the NFL. With a great defense and solid skill players, Buffalo will hang in there until the very end, but ultimately, Andrew Luck and the Colts will be too much to handle.
Panthers 17 at Jaguars 20
I believe Gus Bradley and the Jaguars will be much improved in year two of Black Bortles under center, and an improving defense. The Panthers are notorious for starting slow in the beginning of the season under Ron Rivera and will be caught off guard by this Jags team. Cam Newton will struggle with a lack of play-makers at the skill positions.
Browns 14 at Jets 20
In what will be a defensive battle, I expect to see a fair share of turnovers and sacks by two veteran QBs who are not more than backups at this stage of their career. Home field advantage will be the deciding in this contest as the Jets pull away late.
Packers 31 at Bears 21
Aaron Rodgers is missing his security blanket in Jordy Nelson, but the Packers as a unit will be able to overcome his loss in this game. With Alshon Jeffery questionable to play, Jay Cutler and the Bears will need their top receiving option available to have any chance at a victory. Both defenses will allow a lot of yards in this contest against NFC North rivals.
Chiefs 24 at Texans 17
In what should be one of the better games of the weekend, the Chiefs offense should prove to be slightly better than the Texans above average defense. I expect Alex Smith to outduel Brian Hoyer in a contest of two mediocre quarterbacks as the Chiefs look to show that they can hang in the competitive AFC West. With Jamaal Charles and new weapon Jeremy Maclin, Smith is guaranteed to throw at least one touchdown to a WR this season (something he could not do in 2014).
Dolphins 34 at Redskins 13
The Redskins are a mess and I do not expect this contest to be that close. The Dolphins have a superior offense and defense and should handle Washington in all areas of the game.
Seahawks 24 at Rams 27
In my 50 things article I had predicted a division championship for the Rams, and that starts week one with a victory over the Seahawks. The Rams front seven is just as good as the Seahawks and with Kam Chancellor missing, their overall defense should be more effective.
Lions 24 at Chargers 28
I view the Lions and Chargers as very similar teams with dynamic rookie running backs and veteran quarterback’s who know how to lead their respective teams. Ultimately, I have the Chargers winning due to home field advantage. If this game were in Mo-town it could have a different outcome.
Saints 20 at Cardinals 17
The Saints are looking to bounce-back from an ugly 2014 season, and I believe that happens week one against a formidable foe in the Cardinals. While the Cardinals own one of the best defenses in the league, I like Drew Brees and Brandin Cooks to successfully exploit them just enough to pull out the victory late.
Ravens 13 at Broncos 34
I have been hearing constant chatter that Peyton Manning will be going through a sharp decline in 2015, but I just do not buy it. Manning, a once-in-a-generation talent will be able to lead his team to yet another playoff berth, throwing for 35 TDs and 4,000 yards. It begins today against a Ravens team that no longer offers a menacing defense and a slightly above average offense. Denver dominates the game for 60 minutes.
Bengals 31 at Raiders 20
I do like the Raiders this season to win more than a handful of games, but they are running into a great defensive unit that will be able to rush the passer and shut down the run games. With the addition of Aldon Smith, the Raiders defense could be daunting, but week one who knows what type of player he is at this point. I expect Jeremy Hill and Gio Bernard to each have over 100 total yards en route to a high scoring victory.
Titans 20 at Buccaneers 19
Winston vs Mariota. Need I say more? This clash of rookie quarterback’s is very intriguing, but the offense line will be the deciding factor in the game. The Bucs o-line has struggled mightily all pre-season and I do not think it will stop just because the regular season is here. Both QBs will throw at least two interceptions and the Titans pull it out on a late field goal.
Giants 31 at Cowboys 34
The Giants have owned the Cowboys in Jerry World and I expect a tight game throughout. Both defenses will allow plenty of yards through the air and on the ground, resulting in many fantasy owners rejoicing. Ultimately, Dan Bailey will be the deciding factor, as the Cowboys start the year 1-0.
Eagles 28 at Falcons 31
With Chip Kelly re-working the Eagles roster the way he wants it, we will see how it turns out against a mediocre Falcons defense and a high-powered offense. I’m a believer in Falcons coach Dan Quinn (who I predicted to win COY) and Matty Ice who is one of the most underrated quarterback’s in the league. I expect this game to be high scoring and the Falcons making an impressive fourth quarter comeback to win in Quinn’s debut.
Vikings 17 at 49ers 20
In a matchup of two teams I can’t quite figure out, I feel the 49ers running game featuring Hyde, Haynes and Kaepernick will be able to control the clock and keep the up-and-coming QB Teddy Bridgewater and RB Adrian Peterson off the field. 49ers win a close one.
Dan Schalk is the Editor-in-Chief for MyFantasySportsTalk, you can follow him on Twitter @FFSportsTalk
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