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2017 NFL Picks: Week 1

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The Broncos have a backup QB starting and a starting QB backing up his own backup from 2015. Confused yet? No? Then hang on, I’ll get you there.

NFL: Green Bay Packers at Denver Broncos Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

If you’re new to NFL Predictions, let me explain how it works: Each week I will pick the winners and losers in each matchup. I’m not using point spreads or betting lines. This is straight up predictions. Sometimes I’m right, sometimes I’m wrong, but I’m always entertaining.

Now onto Week 1 of predictions (i.e. let’s throw darts at the ceiling fan, duck, and hope for the best! We honestly don’t know anything about how any team will look come Week 1 as preseason means nothing, and last year is gone).

**All times Mountain Standard Time**

Kansas City Chiefs (0-0) at New England Patriots (0-0) NBC 6:30pm TNF
This is the easiest game of the week to pick. One team has Tom Brady, the other team has Trevor Siemian Alex Smith. Seriously, that’s all anybody has to know. One team obviously drinks blood and rattles chicken bones to win at all costs, and the other team is about to trot out a rookie QB once Alex Smith proves for the 60th time that he’s Alex Smith. PREDICTION: Chiefs 17, Patriots 41

Pittsburgh Steelers (0-0) at Cleveland Browns (0-0) CBS 11am
Do the Browns have a QB on their team? Do they have a Defensive End? (too soon?) Or will they just run the wildcat behind their revamped (and paid handsomely) line an running backs? Hmm... worked once for Miami a decade ago. Anyways, back to the real world, the Steelers offense will, for the first time in a few years, start the season with all their weapons. Assuming Ben Roethlisberger doesn’t abruptly retire in the next few days, this should be a laughable game, and maybe the safest money game of the entire week. Take the Steelers in your Elimination Pools. No game for the rest of the year will be as easy for them as Week 1. PREDICTION: Steelers 38, Browns 10

Arizona Cardinals (0-0) at Detroit Lions (0-0) FOX 11am
The Cardinals offense is flat out old, and the Lions offense straight up pulls miracles out of their asses. Then again, the Cardinals defense is good, and the Lions defense has been a disappointment (spare me the Jarrad Davis is amazeballs nonsense). Look, Carson Palmer and Larry Fitzgerald already have their AARP cards, and they aren’t getting any younger. How much longer can they rely on this aging combo to put up points before they flat out just start smelling like last week’s garbage in the hot summer heat? PREDICTION: Cardinals 20, Lions 24

Jacksonville Jaguars (0-0) at Houston Texans (0-0) CBS 11am
I simply can’t wait for this game. Are we sure this isn’t a Thursday Night Stinkfest? What narrative should I push for this game? The suckiness of Jacksonville? Or the suckiness for the Texans? There will be extra sentiment for the Texans this week in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, but honestly, they don’t need it. The Jags flat out stink, and the Texans defense can win this game without the help of the offense, which is a good thing because they’ll have no help from the offense. I’m high on Deshaun Watson for the Texans actually, but unless he channels his inner Russel Wilson, I think he won’t add much. PREDICTION: Jaguars 13, Texans 17

Oakland Raiders (0-0) at Tennessee Titans (0-0) CBS 11am
Dear Lord baby Jesus, lyin' there in your ghost manger, just lookin' at your Baby Einstein developmental videos, learnin' 'bout shapes and colors. I would like to thank you for bringin' me and my pick of the Titans together, and also that the Raiders sound and look like retarded gang-bangers (Ricky Bobby). Ok, seriously, I can’t pick the Titans. I can’t. I want to, but I can’t. The Raiders hopefully take a step back, but I don’t think the Titans take that step forward to beat them opening Sunday. PREDICTION: Raiders 27, Titans 24

Philadelphia Eagles (0-0) at Washington Redskins (0-0) FOX 11am
I’ve been saying this all offseason, I’m not a Kirk Cousins fan. I’m just not. I think Trevor Siemian is as good if not better than Cousins. Why do I say that? Because just like the last few years, Cousins will be a free agent, and the Broncos might be in need of a QB. But that is foolish money! We already have a clone of Cousins on our squad. But that’s got nothing to do with this game. Washington has talent all around, but so too do the Eagles, even if they squander chance after chance. This is a hard game to call because it’s a divisional game, week 1 of the season, and both QBs are very “ho hum” ... You like that!?!?! PREDICTION: Eagles 13, Redskins 17

Baltimore Ravens (0-0) at Cincinnati Bengals (0-0) CBS 11am
I think the Raven’s season hinges on the bulging disk of their QB Joe Flacco. He saw very limited time this offseason with his receivers, so chemistry might take a while to develop even if he stays standing all 16 games. The Bengals of late have been great in the regular season, but revert to the Bungles in the playoffs. Both teams seem to have good/great defenses, so I don’t see a whole lot of scoring in this game. And when scoring is down, something as simple as a fluke hail mary with 39 seconds left can snatch a victory from the jaws of defeat! PREDICTION: Ravens 16, Bengals 20

Atlanta Falcons (0-0) at Chicago Bears (0-0) FOX 11am
The loss of Kyle Shanahan will affect the Falcons more than people think it will. Sure, they have their core in tact, but I think they all take a step back, even without the “Super Bowl Hangover” affect (kidding, I know it’s effect, again, I like giving the grammar and spelling people things to talk about). Meanwhile the Bears are seriously trying to match the Jets in their tank job. Not sure how John “take a knee” Fox still has a job, but hey, that’s not my problem. I’m not the one paying him. Anywho, this is another “non-competitive” game for week 1. PREDICTION: Falcons 20, Bears 6

New York Jets (0-0) at Buffalo Bills (0-0) CBS 11am
This should have been the easiest game of the week to call as the Jets are doing their best 1919 Chicago Black Sox tank job. If this team doesn’t go 0-16, they will personally have let themselves down. I get it, I get it, “no team tanks on purpose” and “players play for pride”, but give me a freaking break. All these players will focus on this entire year is a) cashing their paychecks, b) not getting hurt, and c) remembering the script the PR department gives them to say at the end of each embarrassing loss. The only speed bump in their “Road to zero*” (*trademarked Peter Baron, 2017) is that the Bills suck too. But just like the Broncos QB competition, just because both QBs suck doesn’t mean they are the same level of suck. PREDICTION: Jets 0, Bills 6

Indianapolis Colts (0-0) at Los Angeles Rams (0-0) CBS 2:05pm
This game is all about who isn’t playing rather than what will actually happen on the field. It isn’t about how lost and inept Jared Goff looks, it’s about how poorly Irsay has built a functional offensive line to help keep his franchise QB healthy. Remember him pounding the table with his Super Bowl ring saying “we only got 1 of these” and how it takes a team, not only a QB to win? And he’d never strap the Colts down by paying a QB so much he couldn’t build a team around him? Yeah, that lasted a few years before he did the exact opposite. Well, for your sins, Andrew Luck opens the season hurt and on the sideline. Some people will never learn. PREDICTION: Colts 9, Rams 12

Seattle Seahawks (0-0) at Green Bay Packers (0-0) FOX 2:25pm
Good game right here. The Seahawks find ways to win, but so do the Packers. This one is in Green Bay, and that might prove enough. A lot of this game will have to do with the trenches for both teams. Green Bay’s line needs to hold up so Rodgers has a chance, and the Packer’s running game needs to protect the lead once they jump up 24-10 on the Seahawks, but will it? Somehow, some way, the Seahawks always find that miracle 4th quarter magic nonsense. But not this week! PREDICTION: Seahawks 20, Packers 24

Carolina Panthers (0-0) at San Francisco 49ers (0-0) FOX 2:25pm
Christian McCaffrey alone will win this game for the Panthers. They went out and got Cam Newton more weapons, and their defense is still good. Meanwhile, the 49ers have Brian Hoyer manning the ship. I don’t care how many 1st round draft picks you have, you have Brian Hoyer, aka Siemian Lite manning the ship. If the Panthers can survive the hot box and sun in their eyes that the genius designers of that stadium failed to take into account, they will moonwalk all over the 49ers while benching all starters after halftime with IV bags in their arms to keep from dehydration. PREDICTION: Panthers 24, 49ers 6

New York Giants (0-0) at Dallas Cowboys (0-0) NBC 6:30 SNF
Will Zeke play or won’t he? As a Broncos fan, I obviously hope he’s suspended. But the Cowboys need to be nervous that more might go wrong for them. Perhaps Dak regresses? Perhaps the chemistry with the Dallas offensive line isn’t there and the running game, even with Elliott won’t be as potent? Maybe the defense stays broken even though they have the best named player in Taco on it? But is that enough for Eli to be the Eli of old instead of Eli is old? I’m not sure. I’ve seen him throw twice the picks as touchdowns. I’m also annoyed with all the OBJ hype. For that alone, I’m picking the Cowboys. PREDICTION: Giants 17, Cowboys 20

New Orleans Saints (0-0) at Minnesota Vikings (0-0) ESPN 5:10pm MNF#1
Who They Say Gonna Beat Them Saints? Not the Vikings! This is a revenge game for Adrian Peterson, and boy do I see him running wild on the Vikings. Sure, the Saints lost Cooks, but an already potent offense just got a whole lot more dangerous with Peterson. Meanwhile, the Vikings do have Dalvin Cook, who should add something to the Sam “nobody has made more for doing less” Bradford led offense. And the Saints aren’t exactly known for defense. Still, I can’t root against my boys in Gold and Black. The voodoo for this game will just be too strong. The Magic Man has personally guaranteed me of this. PREDICTION: Saints 31, Vikings 17

Los Angeles Chargers (0-1) at Denver Broncos (1-0) ESPN/CBS 8:20pm MNF#1
I’m pretty sure the Chargers already have half their team on injured reserved. However, the great equalizer is Alex Smith Trevor Siemian and his lack of even looking beyond his first read, much less the middle of the field. Ok, snark aside, Siemian will do ok. I see him throwing 2 interceptions, with at least 1 dropped interception, but I see him doing just enough to not get us beat (notice I didn’t say to win. Because much like the QB Competition, he didn’t win it, he sat back as a C student and let the other people fail a test or two and win by default). I see him finding Tight Ends... wait, no, that means he’s looking in the middle of the field. Ok, lets set the bar real low and attainable... I see Siemian finishing the game healthy. Whew! That was difficult. But hey, that alone is better than how the Chargers enter this game. It might also keep the chants for Brock down to a dull roar. Lets not forget, the last time Brock played for us, we won a damn Super Bowl!!! PREDICTION: Chargers 17, Broncos 20