The 2010 NFL football season kicked off on Thursday, with the New Orleans Saints defeating the Minnesota Vikings 14-9 in a rematch of last year’s NFC Championship game. Here are my picks for the rest of Week One.
Cleveland Browns at Tampa Bay Buccaneers – My Pick: Tampa Bay
This is a tough one to predict, with both teams coming off disappointing seasons in 2009. Jake Delhomme is looking to redeem himself with Cleveland after falling apart last year in Carolina, but he will have to wait until next week – I give the slight edge to Tampa Bay at home.
Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills – My Pick: Miami
Miami’s strong running attack and the addition of Brandon Marshall will likely prove to be too much for Buffalo’s weak defense. The Dolphins should not have much trouble coming out victorious against the Bills.
Cincinnati Bengals at New England Patriots – My Pick: Cincinnati
The Ochocinco and T.O. show begins the regular season on the road against the Patriots. For all the press those two outspoken wide receivers get, the Bengal that will have the biggest impact on the game is Carson Palmer. If he can take advantage of the weaknesses in New England’s defense, then Cincinnati should be in for a nice, high-scoring day.
Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans – My Pick: Houston
This is my pick for the upset of the week. This game means a lot more to Houston than it does Indianapolis, and a win would be huge for the Texans. If this is going to be their breakout year, then beating the Colts in Week 1 would be a fantastic start.
Denver Broncos at Jacksonville Jaguars – My Pick: Denver
This is another tough one to call, but I think Denver will pull out a close victory. Of course, all eyes will be on Tim Tebow if he manages to make it into the game. You better believe that if he does make any big plays, the Jacksonville fans will loudly voice their disapproval of the Jaguars passing over the hometown hero in the draft.
Atlanta Falcons at Pittsburgh Steelers – My Pick: Atlanta
There was a lot of offseason drama surrounding Pittsburgh, with the worst fallout being Ben Roethlisberger getting a four game suspension and Santonio Holmes being shipped off to the Jets. Unless Dennis Dixon and the rest of the Steelers have a great game, look for Matt Ryan and the Falcons to pick up the win.
Oakland Raiders at Tennessee Titans – My Pick: Tennessee
The Raiders have been bad for a long time now, only winning 5 games or less every season after 2002. With Jason Campbell as their new quarterback, there is hope that Oakland will be able to turn it around and have a good season this year. The Titans, with Chris Johnson looking to have another monster year after leading the league in rushing in 2009, will make the Raiders wait at least another week for their first win.
Carolina Panthers at New York Giants – My Pick: New York
This should be another good game, as both teams hope to rebound from last year and make the playoffs. I expect a close and hard-fought game with the Giants coming out on top.
Detroit Lions at Chicago Bears – My Pick: Chicago
Both teams improved in the offseason, but the Bears are still the better team. Chicago will win in what should be a high-scoring shootout.
Arizona Cardinals at St. Louis Rams – My Pick: Arizona
The Cardinals lost some big name players this offseason (Kurt Warner retired and Anquan Boldin was traded to the Ravens), but they should still have little trouble beating the Rams.
Green Bay Packers at Philadelphia Eagles – My Pick: Green Bay
The Packers, picked by many to reach the Super Bowl this year, will start the season off with a win over the Eagles.
San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks – My Pick: San Francisco
The 49ers are a team on the rise, and the Seahawks are trying to get back to their winning ways of old after two bad seasons. I believe that San Francisco will come away with the win, thus building momentum in their quest for a NFC West title.
Dallas Cowboys at Washington Redskins – My Pick: Dallas
The Redskins added Donovan McNabb and have a new coach in Mike Shanahan, so they look to be markedly improved this year. Bad thing is, they play the Cowboys the first game of the year. Dallas should coast to a relatively easy victory.
Baltimore Ravens at New York Jets – My Pick: Baltimore
This should prove to be a great game between two Super Bowl contenders. A huge amount of hype has been built up for the Jets, and this will be their first chance to try to live up to it. In a game that could very well be decided by 3 points or less, I believe the Ravens will come away with the victory.
San Diego Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs – My Pick: San Diego
In the second half of the Monday Night Football doubleheader, the Chargers look to continue their dominance of the Chiefs. San Diego has lost some players from last year’s 13-3 team, but should still beat Kansas City handily.