NFL Game Picks: Week 1
The NFL season finally begins this week, and fans will be treated to numerous great matchups right away.
A major Thursday night showdown, multiple divisional rivalries and a prime-time rematch of last season’s opener highlight what should be a Week 1 slate to remember.
Who will begin their season on a high note, and who not so much?
Here are the game picks for Week 1:
Buffalo Bills at Los Angeles Rams
Los Angeles will unveil last year's championship banner before taking on the current Super Bowl favorite Bills at SoFi Stadium. Despite nursing a lingering elbow issue, Rams quarterback Matt Stafford will see no limitations against the league's best defense in 2021.
Both teams have undeniable talent, but Buffalo is a more complete team on both sides of the ball and should edge out the reigning champions in the season opener.
Prediction: Bills 27, Rams 24
New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons
For the first time since 2005, the New Orleans Saints begin their season without Sean Payton as head coach. Luckily, quarterback Jameis Winston and superstar receiver Michael Thomas both return for the Saints after suffering injuries last season.
With long-time starter Matt Ryan departing for Indianapolis, the Falcons are displaying a brand new team, with Marcus Mriota taking over at quarterback and rookie Drake London immediately entering WR1 duties.
The experience and skill of this Saints squad will be too much for the young Falcons.
Prediction: Saints 24, Falcons 13
San Francisco 49ers at Chicago Bears
With possibly the worst roster in the NFL, expectations are low for the Chicago Bears. Sophomore quarterback Justin Fields will struggle yet again this season due to the lack of help around him.
For the 49ers, Trey Lance finally gets his time in the spotlight after a dramatic offseason, and is in a position for success with the playmakers surrounding him.
The 49ers are a flat-out better team and will win this game with ease.
Prediction: 49ers 27, Bears 13
Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals
The reigning AFC champion Cincinnati Bengals got even better this offseason, after adding much needed talent to their offensive line.
For the Steelers, many question marks surround their upcoming season, as fans are eager to see first-round pick Kenny Pickett in action. That will have to wait for now, as veteran Mitchell Trubisky gets the nod for the foreseeable future.
The offensive firepower of the Bengals should help them cruise to a win over their division rivals.
Prediction: Bengals 27, Steelers 17
Philadelphia Eagles at Detroit Lions
Jalen Hurts and last year's No. 1 rushing offense will travel to Detroit, where they defeated the Lions 44-6 last season. Though both teams have had impressive offseasons, the Eagles have a more talented and experienced roster that should take care of this fierce Lions team.
Prediction: Eagles 31, Lions 17
New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins
After losing key pieces on the defensive side of the ball, the Patriots will have to face an electric Dolphins team. Bill Belichick's coaching will help the Patriots stay in the game but the hype around the Dolphins is too much for them to halt.
Prediction: Dolphins 21, Patriots 20
Baltimore Ravens at New York Jets
Joe Flacco will be hosting his former team with Zach Wilson still out with a knee injury. The Ravens’ rushing attack, along with their talented secondary should have no problem taking care of this average Jets squad.
Prediction: Ravens 41, Jets 10
Jacksonville Jaguars at Washington Commanders
After going on a spending spree over the offseason, the Jaguars will be facing a very shaky Commanders team. With all the news off the field and the injuries on the field, it will not be easy for the Commanders to match the Jaguars’ new talent.
Prediction: Jaguars 20, Commanders 18
Cleveland Browns at Carolina Panthers
Baker Mayfield hosts the team that dumped him during the off-season. With Christian McCaffrey seemingly healthy, Carolina’s offense should have a strong showing against a turbulent Browns squad.
Prediction: Panthers 27, Browns 13
Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans
The Colts are a very complete football team, especially with the addition of quarterback Matt Ryan. The Texans can’t even come close to mirroring Indy’s depth, and it will cost them in Week 1.
Prediction: Colts 34, Texans 13
New York Giants at Tennessee Titans
Although the Titans had a questionable off-season in the eyes of some, they still have Derrick Henry. And against a New York team that has some growing pains ahead, that’s all that matters.
Prediction: Titans 21, Giants 10
Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings
The Vikings might have a top-three offense, yet their defense remains shakey. Meanwhile, Green Bay boasts an elite defense along with a back-to-back MVP, so they get the edge in this divisional showdown.
Prediction: Packers 24, Vikings 20
Kansas City Chiefs at Arizona Cardinals
Arizona has a promising team, and Kyler Murray will perform well in spite of everyone who made fun of his contract clause over the offseason.
Kansas City didn’t have the greatest offseason, but Mahomes and Kelce versus Murray with no Hopkins is a no-brainer.
Prediction: Chiefs 28, Cardinals 17
Las Vegas Raiders at Los Angeles Chargers
The best division in football coming into the season starts with the former city-sharers. Both of these teams are newly equipped with new toys and are primed for the postseason. In the beginning of the season, however, the Raiders need to get Carr and Adams reacquainted with each other. The elite defense of the Chargers is a bad first matchup. The Chargers will take a close one.
Prediction: Chargers 27, Raiders 24
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Dallas Cowboys
Dallas has the reigning Defensive Rookie of the Year in Micah Parsons and a true number one cornerback in Quandre Diggs. Unfortunately, Diggs is horrible at double moves and bites on simple cuts against average receivers. He gave up over 1,000 yards by himself last season. Mike Evans is going to eat him alive.
Prediction: Buccaneers 24, Cowboys 10
Denver Broncos at Seattle Seahawks
The NFL script writers decided to start early with the storylines. The first matchup that Russell Wilson has on his new team is against the team he spent almost a decade with. Wilson is one of the best quarterbacks in the league, and the Seahawks are lucky if they win multiple games this year.
Prediction: Broncos 35, Seahawks 14
Joe Tuman is a second-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email him at email@example.com.
Josh Moyer is a first-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email him at Joshmoyer22@gmail.com.
Michael Bolger is a second-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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About the Contributors
Freshman / Broadcast Journalism
Josh Moyer is a freshman from Collegeville, Pennsylvania majoring in broadcast journalism at Penn State. His intentions are to get into the John Curley Center in order to receive a sports broadcasting certificate. He called multiple high school basketball games at Perkiomen Valley High School during his junior and senior years.
Four-Year / Broadcast Journalism
Growing up, Joe Callahan Jr. strove to become a professional athlete, even to the point of participating in the walk-on tryouts for the Penn State football team. Now, he strives for a broadcasting career. Host of CommRadio’s live debate talk show and 2021 ‘Talk Show of the Year’, titled ‘Phone Booth’, he is a go to personality in debating professional and collegiate sports on the airways. Being mostly an on-air talent, he is also an analyst on Penn State Sports Night, the sports debate show on Penn State Network Television Network, host and analyst on The Sportsblitz, the sports talk show on TheLion90.7FM, an anchor for Centre County Report, the student local news station of Centre County, host on After the Whistle, Penn State’s local high school football recap show, the creator of The Valley Network, a mainly sports television broadcasting network. In the professional, he was on the media team for the 2022 Valley League Summer Champions, the Charlottesville Tom Sox.
2nd Year / Broadcast and Print Journalism
First Year /