WEEK ONE PICKS (Winners in Bold), Enticing Games with Stars


Thursday (8:30 on NBC)-

***Pittsburgh Steelers @ New England Patriots*** 

-Tom Brady’s return from the scandal may not be what decides this contest, as each team’s weakened secondary takes on a powerhouse offensive passing game. Ultimately, without LeVeon Bell, the Steelers will fall to the Patriots.


Sunday (1:00 on CBS)-

***Kansas City Chiefs @ Houston Texans***

***Cleveland Browns @ New York Jets***

Indianapolis Colts @ Buffalo Bills

Miami Dolphins @ Washington Redskins


-It’s a shoe-in that the Colts and Dolphins win this week, despite an improved Bills roster. The really challenging game is in Houston, when the offensively stagnant Texans host the Andy Reid Chiefs. After the addition of Jeremy Maclin, the Chiefs’ passing game looks to be improved. They could score just enough to allow their defense to take care of Houston. As for the Jets, they bring their revitalized look to a home game against the struggling Browns. Because of the stakes, it’s an important game, but the Jets should cruise.


Sunday (1:00 on FOX)-

Green Bay PackersChicago Bears

***Carolina Panthers @ Jacksonville Jaguars***

Seattle Seahawks @ St. Louis Rams


-Packers and Seahawks pick up Week 1 wins, surprising right? Unfortunately for the mediocre Bears and Rams, they do not stand a chance against the NFC’s top 2 teams, even at home. In other news, division winner Carolina must combat defensive departures and offensive injuries to limp into Jacksonville to beat the Jags. The Jags look to be improved this year, so don’t be surprised if they win, but Carolina should take care of business.


Sunday (4:00 on FOX)-

***New Orleans Saints @ Arizona Cardinals***

***Detroit Lions @ San Diego Chargers***


-Both of these games look great as Drew Brees and the high-powered Saints head to Arizona to battle their elite defense, coupled with Carson Palmer’s return from injury. What’s misleading, though, is that Arizona’s pass-defense ranked toward the bottom of the league last year, so they may have trouble stopping Brees. The horrible defense of the Saints should be porous enough to allow Arizona to win a close one at home. Meanwhile, the Lions will head to San Diego to play the Chargers, and this may be (quietly) the game of the week. The Lions are a few pieces short of being a contender, but so are the Chargers, and although the Chargers are going to score, I like the Lions in this one.


Sunday (4:30 on CBS)-

***Tennessee Titans @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers*** 

Cincinnati Bengals @ Oakland Raiders

***Baltimore Ravens @ Denver Broncos***


-Tenessee and Tampa Bay do not matter in terms of their final record this season, but it will be interesting to see Jameis against Mariota in a week 1 matchup. The Bengals, despite being a mediocre team, will put away the Raiders for a good start, and the Baltimore Ravens must prove that Denver really is in decline. Peyton had a bad preseason, and we wonder how much Denver’s veteran roster has left in the tank, so this will be a monstrous game. Broncos are home, so I’ll barely pick them.


Sunday (8:30 on NBC)-

***New York Giants @ Dallas Cowboys***


-Giants upset the Cowboys on a Week 1 screwball game with a bad Dallas secondary allowing a strong first game outing from Eli. Will it be a sign of a Dallas decline and a New York rise?….Possibly.


Monday Night Football (7 and 10 on ESPN)-

***Philadelphia Eagles @ Atlanta Falcons***

***Minnesota Vikings @ San Francisco 49ers*** 


-Eagles win a shootout in Atlanta, where Atlanta hangs 30 on a bad Eagles secondary, but the Eagles may score 35-40. This will be fun game for your fantasy teams. The late game, in San Francisco, has the 49ers, new coach and all, trying to bounce back from a let-down season against the rising Minnesota Vikings. Their defense will be enough to stop Minnesota for most of the game, but the return of AP will prove to be the key.


WEEK ONE POWER RANKINGS (With Last Season’s Placement)

  1. Seahawks (12-4, 1st in NFC, lost in Super Bowl)
  2. Colts (11-5, 4th in AFC, lost in AFC Championship game)
  3. Patriots (12-4, 1st in AFC, won Super Bowl)
  4. Packers (12-4, 2nd in NFC, lost in NFC championship game)
  5. Eagles (10-6, 7th in NFC)
  6. Broncos (12-4, 2nd in AFC, lost in Divisional Round)
  7. Dolphins (8-8, 11th in NFC)
  8. Lions (11-5, 6th in NFC, lost in Wild-Card Round)
  9. Steelers (11-5, 3rd in AFC, lost in Wild-Card Round)
  10. Cardinals (11-5, 5th in NFC, lost in Wild-Card Round)
  11. Ravens (10-6, 6th in AFC, lost in Divisional Round)
  12. Chiefs (9-7, 7th in AFC)
  13. Falcons (6-10, 12th in NFC)
  14. Chargers (9-7, 9th in AFC)
  15. Cowboys (12-4, 3rd in NFC, lost in Divisional Round)
  16. Giants (6-10, 11th in NFC)
  17. Jets (4-12, 13th in AFC)
  18. Saints (7-9, 9th in NFC)
  19. Texans (9-7, 8th in AFC)
  20. Bengals (10-5-1, 5th in AFC, lost in Wild-Card Round)
  21. Bills (9-7, 10th in AFC)
  22. Bears (5-11, 14th in NFC)
  23. Rams (6-10, 13th in NFC)
  24. Panthers (7-8-1, 4th in NFC, lost in Divisional Round)
  25. Vikings (7-9, 10th in NFC)
  26. 49ers (8-8, 8th in NFC)
  27. Buccaneers (2-14, 16th in NFC)
  28. Jaguars (3-13, 14th in AFC)
  29. Browns (7-9, 12th in AFC)
  30. Titans (2-14, 16th in AFC)
  31. Raiders (3-13, 15th in AFC)
  32. Redskins (4-12, 15th in NFC)