NFL Predictions 2014: Week 1

I am back again for another season of picking the losers. Based on feedback from last season I’ll use the lines from Pinnacle Sports to pick the games. That will lead to some added ties, but I dont think Ill get as many complaints about the lines seeming unfair. For the first three or four weeks I’ll be winging it before jumping in and using my efficiency ratings to project the games. Also Zack has his predictions up as well so check out his opinions on the games.  Its a good read. Onto week 1….

FALCONS (+3) over Saints– Big game for the Falcons who want to quickly erase the memory of last season and there is no better way to do that than beating the Saints. Should be a high scoring affair and Atlanta has the down the field firepower to compete here. Falcons with the upset. Falcons 27 Saints 24

Vikings (+3.5) over RAMS– I think both of these teams are relatively evenly matched, but I do like the matchup of Adrian Peterson against the Rams defense. Peterson is in a showcase season as his time is likely running out on this contract in Minnesota and there is no better way to kick that off than with a big game to open the season. Is that enough to win? Maybe not, but it will be close. Rams 20 Vikings 17

STEELERS (-7) over Browns– The only way the Steelers won’t cover this spread is if they have a completely uninspired effort like they did against the Titans last year. I just don’t see any offense coming from the Browns, regardless of it being Hoyer or Manziel. Steelers 20 Browns 7


EAGLES (-10) over Jaguars– Chad Henne once had a monster game to start the season . I would not bet on that happening again. Jacksonville will be improved this year but the Eagles have too much speed and move at way too fast a pace for this one. Eagles 27 Jaguars 13

JETS (-5) over Raiders– Id expect the Jets to blitz the life out of Derek Carr and I don’t believe the Raiders have the weapons to exploit the secondary if the blitz doesn’t get there. Jets often do well in these openers and Id expect more of the same. Jets 20 Raiders 10

Bengals (+2) over RAVENS– The Ravens are a good home team but I don’t like the matchup for them. I expect the Bengals to show some new wrinkles and AJ Green should have a big game against the Baltimore secondary.  Bengals defense should neutralize the Ravens passing game to help get the win. Bengals 20 Ravens 16


BEARS (-7) over Bills– The Bills might be the most directionless franchise in the NFL. It almost seems as if they already decided to hedge their bets on EJ Manuel after the preseason whih may not be the best of signs. Bears romp. Bears 35 Bills 14

Redskins (+3) over TEXANS– I really don’t know what to make of this game. RGIII and his receivers should pick on the Texans defense whenever the rush doesn’t get there , but at the same time I have no idea whats going on with RGIII and whats in his head. Ill hedge my bets and take the points but predict a Houston win. Texans 19 Redskins 17

CHIEFS (-3) over Titans– I don’t think a lot of either of these teams this season and expect this to be a low scoring game. My feeling is the Titans will neutralize Jamaal Charles while the Titans offense neutralizes themselves. Chiefs win late but fans will worry after the performance. Chiefs 14 Titans 10

Patriots (-4) over DOLPHINS– I don’t think people realize just how good the Patriots defense will be this year even if Revis was not on the team. With Revis I cant even picture the Dolphins moving the football. Patriots make a statement in week 1. Patriots 31 Dolphins 10


BUCCANEERS (-2.5) over Panthers– Carolina is another team I expect to take a major step back while the Bucs should move somewhat forward with their new coaching staff. Tampa has more explosive players on offense, though the QB spot clearly favors Carolina, and I think that should make the difference in week 1. Buccaneers 17 Panthers 14

Cowboys (+3.5) over 49ers– I’m not sure where the Niners are this season, but I feel like Dallas is going to make this a statement game, specifically Dez Bryant who is set for a monster season. The Cowboys defense is terrible and if Kaepernick starts running it could be lights out, but Dallas and crew will be the talk of the NFL after this. Cowboys 35 49ers 31

BRONCOS (-7.5) over Colts– I don’t think the Colts have anything on defense to stop Peyton Manning and they don’t have enough on offense to win in a shootout. Id be a little worried on the late game, backdoor cover, but Ill take the Broncos anyway. Broncos 27 Colts 17

Giants (+6.5) over LIONS– New York has looked awful in the preseason which is the reason for this line. The Lions do have firepower and I think they will win this game, but I don’t think their defense will keep the Giants down by a touchdown, even if it’s a late score to get the cover. Lions 24 Giants 20

CARDINALS (-3) over Chargers– Arizona’s defense is hurting from injuries, suspensions, and free agent losses, but they should still be a solid matchup against AFC teams. Rivers is better than Palmer, but Palmer should have better weapons to exploit that Chargers secondary. Cardinals 24 Chargers 17