NFL Week One Predictions (2019)

Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes. Mahomes won the MVP Award last year and threw for 50 touchdowns.

Photo Courtesy of: Denny Medley-USA Today

Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes. Mahomes won the MVP Award last year and threw for 50 touchdowns.

Carson Zorn, Writer

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The NFL Season is finally here and NFL fans, including myself, are counting down the hours until the Packers and Bears open the season at 8:15 on Thursday Night. Here are my week one picks:

 

Thursday Night Game:

Packers vs. Bears: 

Maybe a controversial pick but I have trust in the Packers and Aaron Rodgers to come out on opening day and take advantage of the Bears. While the Bears’ defense is elite, Rodgers managed to take advantage of them last year with an injured ankle. While the Bears’ defense could step up, I have no faith in the Bears’ offense to perform at the level they need to to keep up with the Packers. So I’m predicting a close game, and the Packers win it on the back of Rodgers in the final two minutes.

Packers Win 21-17

 

Sunday 1:00 Games:

Chiefs vs. Jaguars: 

This will be a great game. One of the top offenses in the NFL against one of the top defenses in the NFL. The Chiefs offense will come out strong and never let up, even against the tough Jaguars defense. The big reason I am going to give this game to the Chiefs is because I think the Jaguars offense will still be finding its footing in the first couple weeks. They had a complete change at the Quarterback (QB) position from Blake Bortles to Nick Foles. Foles will have a hard time keeping up with the Chiefs offense in week one. I think the Jaguars will be able to slow the Chiefs down, but not enough to win the game.

Chiefs Win 31-17

 

Falcons vs. Vikings: 

This was a tough choice, and it eventually came down to the Vikings having homefield advantage. Last year, it would’ve been an easy choice because the Falcons’ defense was almost completely injured. But this year, the Falcons’ defense is back to being healthy but it still isn’t better than the Vikings defense. The offenses are almost equal, but Falcons QB Matt Ryan is slightly better than Vikings QB Kirk Cousins, but I feel like the better defense of the Vikings cancels that out. But, it comes down to the homefield advantage of the Vikings and that’s why I’m picking them to win a close game.

Vikings Win 28-24

 

Titans vs. Browns:

The Browns hype train is going full speed ahead and the Titans won’t slow it down. The Browns potentially explosive offense is no match for the Titans’ defense. The Browns have a lot of pressure on them to perform and win at home and I think they won’t crack under pressure. Mayfield still has something to prove and I think he does it in this game. Wide Receiver (WR) Odell Beckham Jr. will have a great first game with the Browns and the Browns will get an easy win in Cleveland.

Browns Win 21-10

 

Bills vs. Jets: 

I’m not as high on the Jets as a lot of others. I think the new addition of Running Back(RB) Le’Veon Bell improves the Jets offense, but I think he’ll need a couple weeks to get going, given he hasn’t played football in almost two years. The Bills defense will take advantage of the Jets sub-par offense and I trust Bills QB Josh Allen more than I trust Jets QB Sam Darnod. So, I’m giving the Bills an easy road win in week one. 

Bills Win 31-21

 

Ravens vs. Dolphins: 

This is going to be a blowout. The Dolphins will not be a good football team this year, and it will be evident right off the bat. The Ravens, and especially QB Lamar Jackson, will run all over the Dolphins and run up the score all the way until the end of the game. There’s not much else to say about this game. The Ravens are good, the Dolphins are not, so the Ravens cruise to an easy week one victory.

Ravens Win 38-14

 

Redskins vs. Eagles:

This game will not be close. The Eagles will easily handle the Redskins and this game will be over by halftime. Carson Wentz will return to MVP form against the easily torchable Redskins defense. The Redskins offense could put up a fight, but I don’t have faith in any of their QBs to get the job done. So, the Eagles cruise to an easy week one victory.

Eagles Win 31-20

 

Rams vs. Panthers: 

This will be a tight game to the very end. Both teams are very talented and have some elite players on both sides of the ball. If it was at the Rams’ home stadium, I think it would be a little bit more of a blowout in the Rams favor, but as it stands, this game is being held in Carolina. I think Rams QB Jared Goff will slightly outperform Panthers QB Cam Newton, and that’s why I have the Rams securing the road win this week.

Rams Win 38-31

 

Sunday 4:00 Games:

Colts vs. Chargers: 

If you asked me two weeks ago who would win this game, I would’ve told you it could go either way. But, it isn’t two weeks ago and Colts QB Andrew Luck has retired and this game has swung heavily towards the Chargers favor since then. While I think Jacoby Brissett is a competent backup QB for the Colts, he is no match for Phillip Rivers and the Chargers offense. The Chargers will rack up points in this one, and the defense will hold the Colts to only one or two scores. This game will be an easy win for the Chargers, and a ugly loss for the Colts.   

Chargers Win 31-10

 

Bengals vs. Seahawks: 

As much as I hate picking against my Bengals, I have to in this one. The Seahawks are a far superior team to the Bengals, and even though they lost key players, the Seahawks defense is still better than the Bengals defense. The only wild card is that we don’t know how the Bengals will play under new Head Coach (HC) Zach Taylor, but I think Taylor will need to shake off the rust of his first regular season game as HC. Therefore, I’m giving this game to the Seahawks.

Seahawks Win 35-20

 

Giants vs. Cowboys:

Even though star RB Ezekiel Elliot may not show up for the Cowboys, they can still win this game with or without him. The Giants lost their star WR to the Browns in the offseason and RB Saquon Barkley can only touch the ball so many times. The Cowboys defense will easily take care of the Giants one-note offense, and the Cowboys offense will have no problem scoring points against the Giants weak defense. So, the Cowboys get to start the season 1-0.

Cowboys Win 24-13

 

49ers vs. Buccaneers:

This game is similar to my Vikings prediction in that, it came down to who had home field advantage. This will be a very high scoring game, given that both teams’ defenses play how they did last year. It will be a very offense heavy game and that is why it’s my highest scoring game of the week. It will also be an exciting game because we’ll get to see what the Buccaneers offense looks like under new HC Bruce Arians. This game could definitely go either way and I think it’s a last second touchdown by the Buccaneers that settles the score and gets them the win. 

 Buccaneers Win 42-38

 

Lions vs. Cardinals:

This is another tough game to pick, because the Cardinals are so unpredictable week one with many changes to the offense and coaching staff. While Lions QB Matthew Stafford is nothing special, he will still take advantage of the Cardinals questionable secondary and will outperform Cardinals QB Kyler Murray. Again the game is very unpredictable, but I will give the game to the more experienced team, so the Lions get their season off on the right foot. 

Lions Win 31-20

 

Sunday Night Game:

 

Steelers vs. Patriots:

This will be the definition of a shootout. This game will be hotly contested until the very end, and I think the Patriots win it with a last second touchdown (side prediction: I think it’ll be Brady to Gordon for the touchdown). The QBs for both teams will have insane levels of stats, and this is going to be one of the most fun Sunday Night Football games of the season, but the Patriots won’t disappoint in Gillette Stadium and start the season with a win.

Patriots Win 35-33

 

Monday Night Games:

Texans vs. Saints: 

What a great kickoff to a double-header of Monday Night Football. I have high expectations for both these teams going into the season, and I think they both win their divisions. But who wins this game? Both teams have elite defenses, elite QBs, crazy good receiving weapons and exceptional coaching staffs. But, the Saints have one thing the Texans do not. RB Alvin Kamara, arguably one of the top 3 RBs in the NFL. I think this boost to the Saints offense is enough to propel them past the Texans and win the game.

Saints Win 27-21

 

Broncos vs. Raiders:

No, I don’t think this will be a high scoring game. Yes, I think the Raiders take the win. Upset? Maybe. Let’s get a couple things straight, the Denver defense is miles above the Raiders defense, and defense can win games. But, I think the Raiders will use the hype surrounding WR Antonio Brown to give them the energy to close out week one with a close, albeit potentially boring, home win. 

Raiders Win 21-17

 

Those are my week one picks and predictions, and I’ll be back every Wednesday throughout the season with week-by-week picks.

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