By Brien O’Donal
Each week I will give you the schedule and my picks. Let me know your thoughts in the Houston Sports & Stuff NFL Q&A column.
Chiefs at Patriots–Thursday 7:30 p.m. CT; NBC
This should be a pretty good game when playoff teams face off in the first official game of the season. I can’t wait to see these coaches match wits when Kansas City’s stellar defense faces New England’s powerful offense. In the end I think Tom Brady does his thing and the Patriots win at home to start the season.
Jets at Bills–Sunday 12 p.m. CT; CBS
The Jets are just awful and I won’t waste too much time talking about them this week. The Bills should win their first divisional game of the season.
Eagles at Redskins–Sunday 12 p.m. CT; Fox
I like this one. NFC East Division games are always fun to watch because the teams play them so close most of the time. These two teams should be throwing it all over the yard and the surprise big gain up the middle will provide some excitement. I like the Eagles to win this one on Carson Wentz’s arm.
Raiders at Titans–Sunday 12 p.m. CT; CBS
Another fun battle to watch . These two young quarterbacks are looking to really make statement early on. I think the Titans can run the ball better but the Raiders will secure a win with their vicious aerial attack and hard charging defense.
Jaguars at Texans–Sunday 12 p.m. CT; CBS
The game of the week here in Houston! This one shouldn’t be this close to a coin flip but it is. The Jaguars have done everything they can to build a good defense and week 1 is when they hope to announce it’s arrival. The Texans should get a win because as much as they have questions at quarterback, they don’t have Blake Bortles.
Cardinals at Lions–Sunday 12 p.m. CT; Fox
This was a hard one to pick. Both of these teams have their issues and should be just about ho hum. I think the Cardinals have a better defense and David Johnson should have a good day out of the backfield so I picked the Cardinals to steal a road win to start the season.
Falcons at Bears–Sunday 12 p.m. CT; Fox
The reigning NFC Champions should have a nice tune up game Sunday against a Bears team struggling to put the pieces together. I don’t know what to say other than the Falcons should roll to 1-0 easily.
Ravens at Bengals–Sunday 12 p.m. CT; CBS
Another great divisional game to start the season. These teams look evenly matched and the lead will probably change hands multiple times. At the end of the day I have the Bengals pulling out the victory at home.
Steelers at Browns–Sunday 12 p.m. CT; CBS
Another team that should have a tune up game to start the season. The Brown did everything they could to improve this offseason but without a quarterback and some more weapons for his to throw to the veteran Steelers will show the Browns they still have a long way to go.
Colts at Rams–Sunday 3:05 p.m. CT; CBS
I would love to say the Colts get a nice win over a tough Rams defense but I can’t. Andrew Luck isn’t under center and they don’t have enough talent to overcome that. I don’t know how but the Rams will pull out a close one at home.
Seahawks at Packers– Sunday 3:25 p.m. CT; Fox
I’m crossing my fingers that this games shapes up to be all the drama it deserves. These could easily be the top two teams in the NFC this year and have become a bit of a rivalry over the years. Turnovers decide this game and I don’t think Seattle has the offense to compete with Aaron Rodgers at home. I’m taking the Packers to win this one.
Panthers at 49ers–Sunday 3:25 p.m. CT; Fox
The Panthers need this one to go their way if they want to bounce back from last season. The 49ers need to make a good showing to justify the new head coach and GM. I don’t think it gets too out of hand for San Francisco but the Panthers still win.
Giants at Cowboys–Sunday 7:30 p.m. CT; NBC
Elliott will play and the Giants defense will try to stop him. The seems to be the traditional Sunday Night Football opener in recent years and the results will make it another ratings hog. It should be a pretty back and forth game but I think the Giants defense gets tired and the Cowboys eke out a win at home.
Saints at Vikings–Monday 6:10 p.m. CT; ESPN
The first of 2 Monday night games brings Adrian Peterson back to the team that decided he wasn’t good enough to be their best player anymore. His addition to the Saints offense may be what they need to be less one dimensional but I don’t think it’s enough the beat the Vikings defense. I like Dalvin Cook and Minnesota to steal one they really shouldn’t.
Chargers at Broncos–Monday 9:20 p.m. CT; ESPN
And to wrap up week 1 we have the West Coast only game. I know I won’t be awake to watch this but it will probably have plenty of highlights. Philip Rivers and the Chargers offense will have their hands full with one of the best defenses in the league year after year. I like their chances though. Really only because I don’t think the Denver offense is anything special. I have the Chargers winning just because they can find a way to put up points.