It’s finally here. Opening week of the 2013 NFL season.
Let’s take a quick look at the games other than Denver’s demolition of the gutted Ravens Thursday night:
Patriots @ Bills:
Not much to say here. Buffalo is in disarray and starting E.J. Manuel. The Pats are in disarray for them, but it’s the Pats vs. the Bills.
Patriots 31, Bills 13
Seahawks @ Panthers: This is the game you’re all waiting for. The Seahawks are without free agent Percy Harvin and has limited weapons overall other than Marshawn Lynch. Golden Tate and Sidney Rice are a decent WR duo, but the Panthers’ defense looks like they’ll have a similar personality as Seattle’s and Chicago’s D….pressure creating turnovers. With Cam being the veteran QB of the two, and the Seahawks being 3-5 in road games last season, Luke Kuechly has his coming-out party.
Panthers 21, Seahawks 17
Bengals @ Bears:
Cincy’s on the upswing while the Steelers have fallen a bit from their normal selves the past few seasons. Baltimore showed Thursday night they’re but a shadow of their former selves. Cleveland is Cleveland and the Bengals should have a great shot at winning the division in 2013, and it starts right here.
Bengals 20, Bears 18
Dolphins @ Browns:
Trent Richardson faces a stout front-seven in Miami’s defense and the Dolphins’ free agent signing spree is well-known. I don’t think the ‘fins will score 50, but I also don’t think the Browns will get 20.
Dolphins 24, Browns 16
Vikings @ Lions:
I don’t think the Vikings are as good as they showed last season and the Lions should improve especially having added dynamic Reggie Bush to their backfield. Adrian Peterson will get his yards, but they’ll be hurting from the loss of Harvin to the Seahawks – whether or not he’s hurt.
Lions 31, Vikings 20
Raiders @ Colts:
The Raiders are starting Terrell Pryor, possibly the MOST athletically-gifted QB in the NFL. He’s every bit as raw as he is talented, but the Colts have Andrew Luck.
Colts 38, Raiders 12
Chiefs @ Jaguars:
Andy Reid should have the talented Chiefs roster playing a lot better than the 2-14 they posted last season. QB Alex Smith is adept at taking care of the ball having only 10 INTs in his last 25 games. The Jags still have Blaine Gabbert.
Chiefs 27, Jaguars 10
Bucs @ Jets:
The Jets are in complete disarray as a franchise in Rex Ryan’s likely last season as Head Coach. The Bucs, on the other hand, are a team on the rise.
Bucs 33, Jets 9
Falcons @ Saints:
This game should be a lot closer than people think. Sean Payton’s return should give the Saints an emotional lift, but I think the Falcons just have too much firepower for last year’s worst-ever NFL defense to handle, despite Rob Ryan’s hiring.
Falcons 34, Saints 31
Titans @ Steelers:
The Titans really improved their interior OL including former Alabama guard, Chance Warmack, whom I consider the top talent at any position in the 2013 class. The Steelers get their top guard, last year’s rookie from Stanford David DeCastro, back from injury. While their left side is still suspect, Big Ben has a way about him. Locker? Not so much.
Steelers 24, Titans 17
Cardinals @ Rams:
This is one of the more interesting matchups of the week. The NFC West teams ALL have good defenses, but I think the Rams have more punch on offense than do the Cardinals, and the Cards have offensive line troubles of their own because they lost THEIR top rookie guard, UNC’s Jonathan Cooper, in the preseason due to a knee injury.
Rams 23, Cardinals 13
Packers @ Niners:
The Niners have issues at the WR position but are a run-first team, and Colin Kaepernick is a wild card an iffy Packers defense probably won’t be able to solve. Packers’ rookie Eddie Lacy needs to get started early for the Pack to have a chance, but the Niners’ run defense is too good.
Niners 34, Packers 20
Giants @ Cowboys:
This is my “Game of the Week.” Ever since Jerry Jones built his multi-trillion dollar toy stadium, the Giants have gone 4-0 at Dallas. However, I think Romo has something to prove getting that huge contract, Dez Bryant is a budding superstar, and the ‘boys actually have shown some ability to run the ball in the preseason. The Giants are banged-up on defense already (as are the Cowboys on the right side of their DL) but I think the shootout goes to the Cowboys this year – finally – as Eli Manning has looked terrible this preseason.
Cowboys 27, Giants 23
Eagles @ Redskins:
This should be the highest-scoring matchup outside of the Falcons-Saints game. Chip Kelly may find his fast-paced offense could wear out his defense if they can’t keep moving the ball, but they’re a run-first team if his history at Oregon is any indication. He ran the ball 65% of the time. RGIII should be healthy, but with no preseason, the rust could show. That said, I think the Redskins’ D is a little better than that of the Eagles.
Redskins 31, Eagles 30
Texans @ Chargers:
The Texans are one of the two favorites to go to the Super Bowl (along with Denver) this season. The Chargers are not. Phillip Rivers has to show me he can take care of the football before I can pick them to do much this year. Ryan Matthews and Danny Woodhead just won’t be that big of a backfield combo.
Texans 38, Chargers 27
My apologies on the graphics…new interface and it has some issues.
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