NFL Week One – A New Beginning

With the end of Summer quickly approaching, football fans can finally rejoice as another NFL season kicks off this week.

The first match-up of the season on Thursday night features the Atlanta Falcons facing off with the reigning Super Bowl champs, the Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles ranked 4th in total defense last season and allowed the fewest rushing yards of any other defense. The Falcons were 9th in total defense and were in the top ten in rushing yards allowed. The Falcons will surely look to make an early connection between QB Matt Ryan and WR Julio Jones. Recent reports from NFL Network say that Super Bowl-winning backup Nick Foles will start at quarterback as Carson Wentz is not yet 100% recovered from the ACL tear that ended his season early last year. I predict a QB showdown between Foles and Ryan that ends with the Eagles victorious 38-28.

Sunday will hold many exciting games as the Dallas Cowboys take on the Carolina Panthers. The Cowboys will likely look to utilize the ground game with RB Ezekiel Elliot, but the Panthers rush defense was fairly strong last season. I think QB Cam Newton lead the Panthers through the air and ground to a 28-17 win.

Sunday Night Football will feature the oldest rivalry in the NFL as the Chicago Bears attempt to end their losing streak against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. The Packers currently hold the advantage in the history of the rivalry with an all-time record of 96-94-6. Expect QB Aaron Rodgers to make a big return after missing most of last season with a broken collarbone. Look for him to hit strong receiving targets, WR Davante Adams and TE Jimmy Graham. Chicago has a promising RB in Jordan Howard, but their offensive line has struggled to open holes for him in the past. I predict a Green Bay victory, 24-10.

The week finishes with a Monday night double-header. The New York Jets will travel to Detroit to take on the Lions. The Jets will start their 1st round pick from the 2018 draft, QB Sam Darnold. He’ll face off with veteran QB Matt Stafford. I predict a close game, with the Lions winning 21-17.

Later, the Los Angeles Rams head to Oakland to face the Raiders. Expect plenty of offense as Rams’ QB Jared Goff and RB Todd Gurley go to battle against Raiders’ QB Derek Carr and RB Marshawn Lynch. This game will come down to the team with the better defense. The Raiders just traded a key player on their defense, LB Khalil Mack. The Rams have a strong defense as well, so I give this game to the Rams with a final score of 31-24.

Hopefully, this 1st week of the new season will set the tone for a fun and exciting year of football.