A fellow writer and I give our week 1 NFL predictions in a head to head match-up of the sexes. He’s a former coach, so he’s got the leg up on me, but I’ll be giving it the college try.
Bills v Ravens CBS
Jay: I’ll take the Ravens. Look for more offense than you’ve seen from the Ravens in the past few years. While I think Peterman is going to be a backup qb in this league for a long time because he can understand and teach the game at the next level, I see the Ravens being too good for Nate in his 2nd start.
Jules: Ravens. It seems Flacco is pulling an Alex Smith and awakening from a slumber with the addition of Lamar Jackson behind him. Meanwhile, the Bills are starting Peterman against a Baltimore defense. Yikes.
Steelers v Browns CBS
Jay: Sorry Cleveland, even without Bell, Hue Jackson is going to 1-32 in his career as the head coach of the Browns
Jules: Pitt. no offense to Tyrod Taylor, but I think he’s only had four games in his career with more than 300 yards, against the Steelers, he’s going to need all that.
Bengals v Colts CBS
Jay: I’ll take the Bengals because their roster is just better. Andrew is the better qb, but I’m not sure where he stands yet. I’ll take the Bengals here
Jules: Cincy is one of those teams that is always, eh. Andrew Luck is rusty and the Colts are, eh. Only giving Indy the edge because it’s a home game.
Titans v Dolphins Fox
Jay: I see a very low scoring game here. I’ll take Vrable here to get his first win, but have very little confidence in this pick.
Jules: I love Vrable, but he’s a first time HC and Mariota has been sporadic. Going with Gase and Tannehill finally getting on the same page down in Miami.
49ers v Vikings Fox
Jay: I’ll take Kirk Cousins because I think with his defense leading the way, he will manage the game and not put the 49ers in advantageous positions.
Jules: First game that should be good to watch. Going with MN because I think Jimmy G against that defense won’t hold up.
Texans v Patriots* CBS
Jay: This is going to be a very good game to watch. I’ll take the Pats, but that Houston defense is legitimately a top 5 defense in this league, and Watson gave the Pats (and every other team he played) hell. I’m not sure there is a gameplan that Belichick can implement to totally stop Watson, but the book on Watson’s first reads, his drops, his tendencies…the book is out. Look for the Pats to take away his first security blanket from the jump.
Jules: Not a fan of NE*’s defense, but also think Bilichick knows that Watson had eight plays, six involved throwing deep and he’ll find a way to disrupt him. Pats in a squeaker.
Buccaneers v Saints Fox
Jay: Saints…this pick is extremely self-explanatory
Jules: Saints. Fitzpatrick against their defense and Brees abusing theirs, going to be a long night for the Bucs.
Jaguars v Giants Fox
Jay: I think the Giants have some special players on the offensive side of the ball, but I need to see that O-line compete before I buy in. Jags win on the shoulders of their defense and Leonard Fournette.
Jules: #Duuuval! Eli moves like I do and I’m walking wounded. He has a new coaching staff, too. I’ll take King Ramsey over OBJ and Calaias Campbell over their OL. With that said, I can see smart Mr Manning targeting the linebackers early often for a lot of success between the 30’s. Not nearly as fortunate in the RZ.
Chiefs v Chargers CBS
Jay: Give me the Chargers at home (although this is the type of game they lose every year). Too strong on defense and Mahomes is going to throw interceptions.
Jules: The Chiefs defense hasn’t shown much, almost rookie Mahones has been rookiesh. I’m going with Phillip Rivers and the Chargers, they’re the most complete team.
Redskins v Cardinals Fox
Jay: Alex Smith manages his team into another win. The playbook will be wide open and Alex is walking into the same type of offense he has been playing in with Andy in KC.
Jules: Choosing the team without a new coach and walking wounded QB, both defenses leave me yawning, so see this as a battle of offenses.
Cowboys v Panthers Fox
Jay: I need to see the Cowboys passing game before I get behind this team. I think Carolina wins a tight one here.
Jules: I was never on the Dak train, think it was Jason Garrett and a fantastic OL/RB. With 1/2 that equation missing, more is on Prescott’s shoulders and I don’t think he can pull it off. However, Newton isn’t all that great either, but it’s a home game for them.
Seahawks v Broncos Fox
Jay: When in doubt, take the better QB. Give me Seattle in a hard fought game.
Jules: Denver has a habit of winning its first games on luck, or good QB play or teams not having enough film on the ever-changing QB rosters. I know everyone is down on the Seahawks, but Denver has Vance puking Joseph and Case Keenum in a new offense. Seahawks because of Wilson unless Justin Simmons makes a pick.
Bears v Packers NBC
Jay: Even with the signing of Mack and the drafting of Smith, I’ll still take AR in Green Bay.
Jules: Bears in a squeaker. Shocking, but I think Chicago has a better overall team and while AR12 was the best QB in the league, I need to see him play a few games to see how healed he is…plus, there’s the Danica factor.
Jets v Lions ESPN
Jay: Welcome to the league Sam Darnold. You’re going to see some things in this game that you haven’t even thought about Sam. Look for Patricia to force Jim Bob Cooter to run the football and keep Stafford’s attempts below 40. The signing of LeGarrett Blount was the indicator that they aren’t screwing around anymore in MoTown.
Jules: My father was born in Detroit and while he became a rabid Dolphins fan, his heart never left the motor city and he taught me all about Barry Sanders. Can Blount give Stafford the Sanders treatment? I’m betting he does. Normally I don’t pick new coaches, but I’ll take their defense over a barely 21 year old kid.
Rams v Raiders ESPN
Jay: Bright lights, big city. Oh that’s right, this game is being played in the hole. Doesn’t matter…the Rams are clearly better and will win this game.
Jules: Oakland has a new coach, no Khalil Mack, a roster on AARP benefits, so no one should pick them. I’m going to only because we’ve been agreeing too much.