By Eric Jacinto, Matt Koontz and Mike B
This is the first NFL Pick'em of the season as myself, Matt Koontz and our friend Mike B who runs MattandMikesports with Matt will predict each and every game of every week. I will keep track of how we did each week and we'll see who has the best record at the end of the season. Myself and Matt do this with Premier League (Soccer) so check that out under World Soccer.
Thursday, September 6, 2018, 8:20pm ET, (NBC):
Atlanta Falcons @ Philadelphia Eagles:
The Falcons, come in to Philly with revenge on their minds from the Divisional round lost in January. The Eagles, on the other-hand come in as the Super-Bowl champions and looking to get off to a great start as they're on a quest for a repeat. This won't be an easy game for the Eagles coming of that great Super-Bowl win and the Falcons get payback and get a late touchdown to beat the champs on the road.
Final Score: Falcons 21 - Eagles 17; Eric J
I love this as a season kickoff game but the Eagles better hope Nick Foles doesn’t look like Nick Foles of the preseason in this game or they could find themselves in trouble during this game. I love the two teams rosters in this game and believe we will be entertained Thursday night.
Final Score: Falcons 27 – Eagles 23; Matt K
Football is back, as the Atlanta Falcons visit the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday night. The Eagles are our defending Super Bowl champions, and will be starting quarterback Nick Foles to open the season. Meanwhile, Jay Ajayi, who is dealing with a leg injury, should play this week. The Falcons are a better team than last season's results show, and they should make some noise this year. In fact, I expect them to open the season 1-0 with a win against the Eagles.
Final Score: Falcons 21 - Eagles 20; Mike B
Sunday, September 9, 2018, 1:00pm ET:
Buffalo Bills @ Baltimore Ravens, (CBS):
The Buffalo Bills will start Nathan Peterman, over rookie Quarterback, Josh Allen (1st round, Pick 7) who he beat in training camp to win the starting job. Peterman, in his first NFL career start last season threw five interceptions versus the Los Angeles Chargers. I think the Ravens' defense gets picks off Peterman several times and they roll to a week one victory.
Final Score: Ravens 24 - Bills 13
I thought the Bills were going to have a chance to really battle this game out but the idea to start Nathan Peterman really ruined that. The Ravens without Jimmy Smith and Hayden Hurst will still roll.
Final Score: Ravens 24 – Bills 6 Matt K
This should be a big statement win for the Ravens. Peterman struggled in his first career start, and the Ravens are at home trying to prove that they can become competitive again. Expect a big game out of the Baltimore defense and run game. Final score: Ravens 24 - Bills 14; Mike B
Jacksonville Jaguars @ New York Giants, (FOX):
The Saquon Barkley, era in New York will start on Sunday against one of the best defenses in the NFL last season. Barkley who was drafted number two overall in this year's draft gives the Giants a franchise running back that they haven't had in a long time. The Giants will start the season with a overtime win as Barkley leads the way in his NFL debut.
Final Score: Giants 20 - Jaguars 17 in OT, (Upset Alert); Eric J
The Giants have some gaping holes on the right side of the offensive line and it concerns me against sacksonville. I believe Ramsey with all the trash talk will struggle to slow down Odell and we will see a 80 yard and 1 TD game from Odell but the Jaguars defense will win this game otherwise..
Final Score: Jaguars 17 – Giants 13; Matt K
The Jaguars are one of the best teams in the AFC, but they are also a bad road team. This will work in favor of a Giants team who should rebound nicely as their receivers return from injury. The Jaguars are weak on offense, especially in the passing game, and the Giants might just win this one. Final Score: Giants 27 - Jaguars 14; Mike B
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ New Orleans Saints, (FOX):
The Buccaneers won't have their franchise, quarterback, Jameis Winston for three games (Suspended) so Ryan Fitzpatrick will be under center for the first four games. However, Head Coach, Dirk Koetter said he's not committed to starting Winston after his suspension is over. This has all the makings of a blow out and I believe the Saints will do just that.
Final Score: Saints 38 - Buccaneers 13
No Winston isn’t overrated and without Jameis they have no shot at winning this game. The Buccaneers defense was a major concern last year and against Kamara and Brees I don’t see it going well for them to start the season. Final Score: Saints 31 – Buccaneers 17; Matt K
Jameis Winston is more integral to the Bucs offense than Mark Ingram is to the Saints. This should be a solid home opener for New Orleans as they take the win.
Final Score: Saints 24 - Buccaneers 20; Mike B
Houston Texans @ New England Patriots, (CBS):
The Patriots, are coming into the season with redemption on their minds after losing to the Eagles in the Super-Bowl. The Texans get their franchise quarterback back in DeShaun Watson whose coming off an ACL injury and JJ Watt and Jadeveon Clowney back on defense. This is gonna be a fun and high scoring game where the Patriots win by a touchdown to start 1-0.
Final Score: Patriots 34 - Texans 27
The return of DeShaun Watson is finally here and there can’t be a more excited person than me even though I am not a Texans fan. I don’t like Brady and Gronk being AWOL during the OTA’s. I really don’t like Tom without Edelman especially without Amendola. The Texans are healthy right now and will capitalize on a healthy Watt and Clowney together. Final Score: Texans 26 – Patriots 20; Matt K
Bill Belichick likes to experiment in September, and the Texans are terrifying when DeShaun Watson is healthy. I think the Texans win this one in New England.
Final score: Texans 21 - Patriots 20; Mike B
San Francisco 49ers @ Minnesota Vikings, (FOX):
The Minnesota Vikings, made a big splash signing this off-season by signing quarterback, Kirk Cousins to a three-year deal worth $84 million. I believe, this is the game of the weekend and it will be a great game to watch. I have the 49ers winning on a late game-winning field goal.
Final Score: 49ers 26 - Vikings 23; Eric J
The Jimmy G era has officially begun. Jimmy is way overpaid entering this season and I am not one of the firm believers that he is a superstar. I do worry about the Vikings offensively without Pat Shurmur they might struggle for a few weeks getting up to speed with a new offensive coordinator. This game could be very interesting, but defense wins football games. Final Score: Vikings 23 – 49ers 16; Matt K
This is the week that Jimmy G loses his first career game as a 49er starting QB. The Vikings defense is too solid, especially at home, for the 49ers to win this one.
Final Score: Vikings 28 - 49ers 20
Tennessee Titans @ Miami Dolphins, (CBS):
The Titans are coming into the season as a sleeper team for a lot of people and could sneak into the playoffs this season. I don't believe in the Dolphins and I think they will be one of the worse teams in the NFL this season and the Ryan Tannehill era in Miami will come to an end after this season as they will draft a quarterback in next year's draft. I do see the Dolphins getting the week one win though. Final Score: Dolphins 17 - Titans 14; Eric J
Tannehill is back, and Mariota is healthy. Corey Davis is healthy and had a season to learn the league and Amendola is looking good with a new team. I enjoy what this game could mean offensively with these two teams. The Dolphins should enjoy the addition of Mike Gesecki to their offense even with the loss of Landry we could see fireworks from both offenses. Final Score: Dolphins 20 – Titans 17; Matt K
This game could go either way; both of these teams are middle-of-the-pack teams, but the Titans have the slightly better overall team. therefore, I think Mariota and the Titans pull off a close victory.
Final Score: Titans 18 - Dolphins 17; Mike B
Cincinnati Bengals @ Indianapolis Colts, (CBS):
This is gonna be an interesting game as both teams are going in different directions. The Colts get Andrew Luck back as he returns after missing all of last season and the Bengals I believe are going to be in rebuild mood very soon. I have the Colts as one of my sleeper teams this season. I see this going into overtime as the Colts get a touchdown on the first play in OT.
Final Score: Colts 27 - Bengals 21 in OT
Andrew Luck is back and for the Colts that is a great thing, but their offensive line is pretty bad. Their run game is ugly even with Marlon Mack who I have no faith in. The Bengals offense looked pretty great during the preseason and yes, I know it is just the preseason, but it should give them some hope. I like the Bengals this year a bit more than I did before the preseason. Final Score: Bengals 23 – Colts 19; Matt K
Cincinnati may have been a bad team last season, but they addressed their biggest weakness (offensive line). That improved Bengals offense should dominate the Colts. Bengals win.
Final Score: Bengals 21 - Colts 7
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cleveland Browns, (CBS):
The Steelers will not have their star running back for week one in Cleveland as Le'Veon Bell is still holding out for a new contract. I believe the Steelers still win by two touchdowns as Antonio Brown and Big Ben (Ben Roethlisberger) lead them to victory.
Final Score: Steelers 24 - Browns 10
Le’Veon Bell is a dramatic little baby. He isn’t playing because he doesn’t like that he was franchise tagged again. He is one of the highest paid players on his team and yet he is acting like a dramatic baby. He needs to grow the hell up and be a teammate or just officially sit the whole season. What a joke. James Conner will be a perfectly good replacement, no he won’t put up Bell numbers, but he is a great option and a franchise talent back. The Browns have really shown a lot of improvement during the offseason from last year and I believe that they are going to compete this year.
Final Score: Browns 17 – Steelers 16, (Upset Alert); Matt K
The Browns have to win a game sooner or later, and this is a surprisingly talented team with coaches fighting for their NFL lives. They host the top team in their division, a team filled with locker room strife. I expect the Browns to shock the NFL world with a win at home this week.
Final Score: Browns 21 - Steelers 12; Mike B
4:05pm, Kansas City Chiefs @ Los Angeles Chargers, (CBS):
The Chargers, enter their second season in Los Angeles with high hopes as they could make some real noise this season and win the AFC West. I don't believe in the Chiefs this season as they unproven quarterback under center in Patrick Mahomes who takes over for Alex Smith who got traded to the Washington Redskins. I think Mahomes will be good with time but not right away. I see the Chargers winning a high scoring and entertaining game.
Final Score: Chargers 30 - Chiefs 23; Eric J
I love Patrick Mahomes so very much and I am so excited for the Mahomes ERA to begin but I worry against this Chargers defense it could start with a struggle week 1. Rivers is bound for the playoffs this year and could be Super Bowl bound. DO NOT SLEEP ON THE CHARGERS THIS YEAR. This is the game of the week. Final Score: Chargers 31 – Chiefs 28 in OT, Matt K
Both of these rosters are extremely talented, but the Chargers dominant defense will be too much for Pat Mahomes to handle. Good player, but the Chargers will shut him down.
Final Score: Chargers 21 - Chiefs 10; Mike B
Seattle Seahawks @ Denver Broncos, (FOX):
The Seahawks, have retooled their defense as Kam Chancellor retires from the NFL and Richard Sherman signs with the San Francisco 49ers after getting cut by the Hawks. Earl Thomas is holding out for a new contract or a trade. The Broncos have another different starting quarterback this time Case Keenum takes over. I see a close game here as the Broncos edge out the Seahawks with a late field goal.
Final Score: Broncos 23 - Seahawks 20; Eric J
This game is going to be interesting. Bradley Chubb will be making his NFL regular season debut for the Broncos and Shaquem Griffin, the one handed LB, will be making his first NFL start as well. Case Keenum won’t be the Keenum we saw last year, and the Broncos will find that out the hard way. You would think John Elway could produce QB’s better than he has.
Final Score: Seahawks 17 – Broncos 13; Matt K
The Seahawks defense is a unit in transition, and the future franchise quarterback for the Broncos may be on their bench (Chad Kelly). While the holes in the Seahawks defense, especially with Branden Jackson on the practice squad rather than as a starter (Branden Jackson SHOULD be starting), are present, Case Keenum is also not the player that Vikings fans might think he is. He had a great season last year, but will show the league why he has been a journeyman throughout his career this season. Seahawks win.
Final Score: Seahawks 24 - Broncos 10; Mike B
Dallas Cowboys @ Carolina Panthers, (FOX):
The Dallas Cowboys have a tough task this season as their offensive line won't be the same with out Travus Frederick. Ezekiel Elliott will after carry the offense as he is the only weapon the Cowboys have. They have nobody at wide receiver as the cut Dez Bryant. I think the Panthers roll here and win by two touchdowns.
Final Score: Panthers 38 - Cowboys 24
Dak and Zeke lost the best center possibly in NFL history during the offseason, Travis Frederick, due to Guillain-Barre Syndrome. I believe it effects Dak more than it does Zeke and we will see a small drop off in production from Dak, but Zeke is back from his suspensions for being a thug and will have a great season. Cam has a new shiny weapon in DJ Moore and McCaffery looks phenomenal and more freakish than ever. Watch out for Carolina if Cam can stay healthy.
Final Score: Panthers 23 – Cowboys 21; Matt K
The Cowboys' biggest weakness is their passing game, and the Panthers have the potential to have a dynamic, complete offense. I expect DJ Moore to emerge as an OROY candidate this season, while the Cowboys might not have a legitimate #1 receiver on roster. This will be an interesting game, and one that could go either way. However, I think the Panthers will win it.
Final Score: Panthers 21 - Cowboys 17; Mike B
Washington Redskins @ Arizona Cardinals, (FOX):
Both the Redskins and Cardinals have new quarterbacks under center as the Redskins traded for Alex Smith and the Cardinals signed Sam Bradford. This will be a big test for both teams as neither are expected to be a contender and looking to prove people wrong. The Cards, pull out the win as the return of David Johnson scores three touchdowns to lead them to victory.
Final Score: Cardinals 21 - Redskins 14
David Johnson is back. The Cardinals will be with Sam Bradford and the best running back in the league David Johnson. The Redskins are with a new QB in Alex Smith but the loss of Derrius Guice really hurts their offense this season and we will see that low production this week.
Final Score: Cardinals 25 – Redskins 13, Matt K
Is Alex Smith a better QB than Kirk Cousins? Is David Johnson healthy? This will be an interesting game on all fronts, but ultimately, the Cardinals have too many weapons to lose this one at home. Cardinals win.
Final Score: Cardinals 23 - Redskins 17; Mike B
8:20pm ET, Chicago Bears @ Green Bay Packers, (NBC):
Mitch Trubisky, enters his second season as full time starter and will try to improve from last year (only started 12 games) as the Bears have a new look offense. Mean while, the Packers look to balance back from last season as they missed the playoffs. I believe the A-Rod (Aaron Rodgers) will have an MVP type season and lead the Packers to the promise land and win the Super-Bowl this season. Packers win easily at home against their arch rivals.
Final Score: Packers 35 - Bears 21; Eric J
The two teams with record contracts during the offseason will battle it out in an NFC North classic week 1. The Bears traded for Khalil Mack and then gave him a massive contract extension while the Packers and Aaron Rodgers agreed to the biggest contract in NFL history. The Packers overspent a little but they should just hope that he stays healthy. The new weapons for the Bears on defense will significantly help them. They signed Allen Robinson in the offseason and have a healthy Kevin White for once. This game could be very close. Final Score: Packers 28 – Bears 24; Matt K
The Chicago Bears will be a legitimate playoff team either this year or next season. They prove this point by going into Green Bay with Khalil Mack and a re-vamped offense and beating the Packers at Lambeau Field.
Final Score: Bears 27 - Packers 14, (Upset Alert); Mike B
Monday, September 10, 2018:
7:10pm ET, New York Jets @ Detroit Lions, (ESPN):
Matt Patricia, makes his debut as an NFL head coach as the Lions face the new look New York Jets with their new franchise Quarterback in Sam Darnold (1st round/3rd Pick); Dornold will have a rough debut as the Lions win by double-digits.
Final Score: Lions 27 - Jets 14; Eric J
The future of the Jets has begun with Sam Darnold starting week 1. All they need to do now is get him a running game and the Jets could really have something special here. The Lions finally got Stafford a great young running back in Kerryon Johnson. I really hate the Lions tight end situation and offensive line and I believe it will cost them this year a shot at a good season. Final Score: Lions 20 – Jets 16; Matt K
The Jets may finally have a franchise quarterback in Sam Darnold. Two seasons ago they made a playoff push with Ryan Fitzpatrick. This is the week where Sam Darnold wins his first career game on national television.
Final Score: Jets 28 - Lions 27, (Upset Alert); Mike B
10:20pm ET, Los Angeles Rams @ Oakland Raiders, (ESPN):
It's the return of "Mr. Football Genius" himself, Jon Gruden who makes his return to the NFL to once again coach the Oakland Raiders. The Los Angeles Rams come into the season with very high expectations and on paper have one of the best rosters in the NFL. Can they live up to the expectations? That's the million dollar question! How good can the Rams actually be? Rams will ruin the return of Jon Gruden to the NFL! I'm not a fan of Jon Gruden in fact I think he's overrated as a head coach and the Raiders will regret given him part ownership of the team. Horrible move!
Final Score: Rams 27 - Raiders 20
The Rams have put together a team with no real weaknesses except maybe tight end? They are paying everyone and we still can’t figure out how they are managing to do so. The Raiders are hoping Derek Carr and Amari Cooper will turn it around this season. The loss of Khalil Mack will be bad for their defense and I think John Gruden will be in over his head as a rookie coach this year with this roster.
Final Score: Rams 31 – Raiders 18; Matt K
The Rams offense is dynamic. The Raiders defense without Khalil Mack is nearly nonexistent. Big statement win for the Rams to open the year.
Final Score: Rams 35 - Raiders 14; Mike B