Welcome to Week 1 of the 2017-2018 NFL regular season! Today we are talking game predictions, how the offseason moves affect these matchups, and some foresight for the season as a whole.
To start all this off, I need a disclaimer. Before you read any further, you should know that I don’t care who your favorite team is and if they suck, they suck. It’s nothing personal. Now that we’ve gotten through that together:
Let me briefly touch on a few big moves in the offseason. First and foremost, the saints grabbing Adrian Peterson. Now almost everybody knows he isn’t exactly the kind of RB he used to be. But even the worst years of a great athlete are decent years and that’s the mentality New Orleans had to sign AP.
Then New Orleans sent Brandin Cooks to New England. As a Pats fan, I’m scratching my head to figure out why. I get Belichick’s thought process. It never hurts to add to your receivers and Cooks has some hands. I don’t think the Saints got the better end of that deal, but I’ll take it especially with Edelman being hurt.
Lastly, let’s touch on the return of Marshawn Lynch and not just to football, but to his hometown. We all remember Beast Mode and the things he was capable of. That said, he did start to taper off at the end before he retired. I think he’s refreshed, rested, and fueled by hometown love. I expect some big moments from Lynch this season.
Now, let’s talk games and go right down the line.
Kansas City Chiefs @ New England Patriots
This has the makings of what we call a “good game.” The Chiefs have a moderate defense at best but a surprising offense that I would expect more from if Ware wasn’t injured. While the defending champion Patriots have a consistently dominant offense and a defense that’s formidable. What I like about this matchup is the potential for a back and forth feeling. The first quarter we will see an explosive Patriot attack with a lackluster KC offense. But quarters 2 and 3 are going to look like a different story. I expect some punts and field goals from both teams with a KC touchdown thrown in. Fourth quarter is where Brady will shine as he historically has. I’m talking clutch throws, 3rd down conversions, and a weird ass QB sneak that he has no business pulling off. Pats take it 35-21 at the end of the day.
New York Jets @ Buffalo Bills
Refer to my earlier remark about teams that suck. While the Bills aren’t what I would consider a playoff team, I just can’t find a reason they would lose to the Jets. No real quarterback, a half ass group of wide receivers, and I like Forte but he’s just one guy. I have nothing to say outside of it being 32-17 in favor of the bills and I’m being generous to the Jets.
Philadelphia Eagles @ Washington Redskins
I’m calling Redskins win. Not only do I believe Kirk Cousins will show improvement, and not only do I believe their defense will do well this year, I’m going off stats. The Eagles have lost several straight games to Washington. The game is in Washington. Not to say I don’t like Wentz because I like Wentz! I do! But he isn’t enough. Redskins win 24-13
Oakland Raiders @ Tennessee Titans
Oakland? Vegas? Who cares? Tennessee has been doing sort of a Celtics evolution the last few seasons. They sucked but took advantage of the draft and trades to build a better foundation. That day is coming. But it isn’t this Sunday. Carr is talented, young, healthy, and hungry. He’s got too many weapons and a mean defense. Add to that Lynch coming back and ready to take a few W’s for his hometown? I like the Titans but they won’t take this one. Raiders 17-14 only because both defenses should play well.
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Houston Texans
I have made some very stupid decisions in my life. I will not do that with the Jags. Every year it’s, “They’re getting better!” and “This could be the year!” No. It’s not. Stop that. You know better. And so do I. Low scoring game because Houston’s offense is like mild salsa. Houston wins 14-3.
Arizona Cardinals @ Detroit Lions
This one is actually tough for me. No, not because of Stafford’s new contract. Who gives a shit? That’s a financial “wtf” for another time. This game could realistically go either way. You have Detroit’s home field advantage which has proven itself valuable over the years. You have Arizona’s consistently solid and contending team overall. You have Larry Fitzgerald. I think, however, this one goes to Detroit. They have started an uphill climb that has potential. They have home field. I expect them to not do fantastic this season but to start strong and sort of wither away later. Close one but I say Detroit 27-24.
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cleveland Browns
Remember that bit about teams that suck? Do I need to say it? Long story short, there’s just too much that’s HOT on the Steeler offense. Show me a fantasy draft where Bell didn’t go in the first round and I’ll show you a group of people that don’t wipe their ass in the right direction. Steelers 35-10.
Atlanta Falcons @ Chicago Bears
You’re expecting a joke about 28-3. I said I was a Pats fan, I have to do it. Well I’m not giving you the goddamn satisfaction. The Falcons are a phenomenal team with a LOT of talented playmakers. The Bears are…… just the fucking Bears. There just isn’t a question in my mind. Atlanta takes it 28-3.
Baltimore Ravens @ Cincinnati Bengals
Here is another tough one for me. I like what both teams have. I can see either heading into the playoffs this year. Ravens have consistently played a mediocre defense and an offense that sort of does really well or blows. Cincinnati has Andy “Choke in the playoffs” Dalton and two RB’s that perform consistently. That said, I’m going to give it to Cincinnati for the simple fact that I think they will start strong this year and I see a slower pace for Baltimore. Bengals 30-21
Indianapolis Colts @ Los Angeles Rams
This one comes with the biggest conditional clause of the week. IF THE COLTS DON’T START BRISSETT: They’re going to have a bad time. With Andrew Luck temporarily out of commission, they’re options at QB are meh, fuck it, and what do we have to lose? I say start Brissett, prove you made a smart trade, and you have a chance against this improving Rams team. Otherwise I say it’s a low scoring Rams win 14-10.
Carolina Panthers @ San Francisco 49ers
San Fran has some problems. They’ve taken some hits these last few seasons but managed to not COMPLETELY bomb. Carolina has had their struggles but they have a healthy offense. Now I wouldn’t be too surprised if the 49ers can pull this off at home on week 1 where they have historically done well. But in terms of a safe bet, I say Carolina’s defense will hold and the offense will score. Carolina wins 28-20.
Seattle Seahawks @ Green Bay Packers
Aaron Rodgers may look like a pornstar but that doesn’t mean he’s about to fuck Seattle like one necessarily. I dig his mustache, I do, but it’s not a good look if we are being honest. Seattle’s offense has suffered the loss of Kearse though and Green Bay has the numbers behind them. They are at home, with the addition of Bennett, and they’ve beaten Seattle in their last two games by 10 or more points. I’d be impressed if Seattle could pull it off, but I doubt it. GB wins 34-21.
New York Giants @ Dallas Cowboys
This game is why I titled this article and my fantasy team Zeke and Destroy. His rookie year was impressive and I think he’s got plenty more where that came from. Now I don’t want to overlook Prescott’s rookie year which was great, but Zeke gets the spotlight because of his suspension controversy. Now I’m not here to say if he did or didn’t do what he is accused of. And I don’t care for this purpose. OBJ is a top WR but he is not 100% healthy and while the Giants defense is solid as hell, I see Zeke doing what he did last year and maybe more with a chip on his shoulder thanks to Goodell. Cowboys will take this one home 31-24.
New Orleans Saints @ Minnesota Vikings
Whether you think of Minnesota as a playoff team or not, I’m telling you they are. Bold as it is to say, they’ve made some moves. That defense was beast last season and we will see that continue. On the other hand, you have Drew fuckin Brees, guy. A quarterback who every season continues to show why he is in the same conversation as the greats. Now AP may have some fire in him against his old team, but that won’t mean anything against a defense that knows him. Minnesota takes this one 21-17 in a close and entertaining bout.
And last but certainly not least,
Los Angeles Chargers @ Denver Broncos
Last ballsy prediction: LA takes it to Denver in their own backyard. Mile High is notoriously tough for visiting teams. Denver has a good defense, and some playmakers on offense. I don’t think that will save them. Not only are the Chargers healthier overall, I think they have more speed, and something to prove. They have faced a disgusting amount of hate about their move from San Diego. If I’m on that team, I’m going to Denver on Monday night, and I’m going to silence the boos by knocking a top AFC team down to start my season. LAC with a 34-14 upset.
There you go. That’s some stuff to think about when you watch the games this week. If you liked what you read, send this to your friends. If you didn’t, send it anyway. They might have better taste than you.
Stay tuned next week for reviews/reactions and more predictions. Don’t forget to check out the Best Losers podcast, follow all of our social media links for the goods, and have a beer for me.