2016 NFL: Week 1 Picks

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Well the NFL returns this Thursday for reals. No more lame preseason, it's the real deal now. Week 1 is always fun, just when we all think we know everything Week 1 brings us back down to Earth. Let's see how much I know in 3...2....1.....

Carolina Panthers At Denver Broncos: The Panthers come into Denver as a three point favorite. Where have we seen this trap before? Oh yeah, the Super Bowl. Still, I'm diving into this trap head first, because you have not only the revenge factor, but a dude Trevor Simien making his first start ever, not an easy draw. I believe this time the Panthers will get a defensive TD early and just grind the Broncos out. The Denver defense will keep them in it, but there just won't be enough offense. (Panthers 20 Broncos 12)

Green Bay Packers At Jacksonville Jaguars: I'm happy for this game, because I've heard a LOT about how much of a 'sleeper' the Jags are going to be. Okay Jags, beat the Packers at home and maybe your 'sleeper' status might be warranted. Like I said in my 2016 NFL Season Preview, which can be read right below. I said I wasn't quite feeling the Jags yet. Perhaps if they can win this game, I might change my tune though. (Packers 26 Jags 17)

Buffalo Bills At Baltimore Ravens: After a bad year, it's typical for the Ravens to bounce-back the following year. With an easier schedule than last year, these Ravens can get off to a nice start. Rex Ryan and Tyrod Taylor will make things difficult, but the Bills are just too banged up right now to win in Baltimore. (Ravens 23 Bills 19)

Chicago Bears At Houston Texans: So the Texans are 6.5 point favorites here. Am I the only one who thinks that's nuts? Nothing against the Texans but....well yeah maybe I do have something against the Texans, like that they're overrated. The Bears on the other hand are nothing special, but they maybe a little underrated here. Which leads us to our very first UPSET SPECIAL (Bears 20 Texans 18)

Cleveland Browns At Philadelphia Eagles: Oh man, what a mess of a game. Normally when you see the Browns as the road team, then it's elementary after that, but not this time of course. Nobody knows what's going on with the Eagles these days, not even the Eagles. Hopefully the guy the traded a lot of picks to get who they never meant to start this early will deliver the goods. When in doubt just take the home team by three and run. (Eagles 20 Browns 17)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers At Atlanta Falcons: I like the upside of the Bucs better in an overall sense, but the Falcons are especially tough at home against the division foes. (Falcons 31 Bucs 24)

Minnesota Vikings At Tennessee Titans: Tough game to pick. I still like the Vikings a lot even with their current QB situation. I also like the Titans as a super-sleeper team this year, so I'm going to be bold and give the Titans the mild upset here. Marcus is going to have a good year (Yeah I don't know how to spell his last name and also don't feel like Google searching, so he's just Marcus from now on) (Titans 24 Vikings 23)

Cincinnati Bengals At New York Jets: If you all read my big preview article, you'll all know I'm very high on the Bengals this year. I see this Bengals defense making Ryan Fitzpatrick look like he usually looks after he has a decent year or just think back to his last game against the Bills, which could have got the Jets in the playoffs last year. (Bengals 23 Jets 13)

Oakland Raiders At New Orleans Saints: The Raiders are definitely on the right track for once, not sure I can quite pencil them in for a playoff spot just yet, but I'll give them a nice road win to start. (Raiders 26 Saints 21)

San Diego Chargers At Kansas City Chiefs: The Chargers were very banged up last. They still have all kinds of issues (Especially on the O-line) but when healthy they typically play the Chiefs tough. (Chiefs 23 Chargers 20)

Miami Dolphins At Seattle Seahawks: Seattle should take care of business at home yes? No funny business here? Yes I think so (Seahawks 27 Dolphins 16)

Detroit Lions At Indianapolis Colts: So if the Colts are going to pick where they left in 2014, then they should win this no problem right? I'm a little nervous on this one. The Lions are a little underrated here, so I'll cop out here and give the Lions the cover, but the Colts the win. (Colts 27 Lions 24)

New York Giants At Dallas Cowboys: The Dak Prescott era begins here and he's going to light it up here. Only thing... Eli and Odell will do it better. Should be a fun one. (Giants 35 Cowboys 31)

New England Patriots At Arizona Cardinals: If Tom Brady were playing I'd give the Patriots a legit shot to win here, but without him the Patriots chances of winning are definitely deflated. I could actually see the Pats with a lead in the 4th quarter, but young Jimmy G. will give it up. (Cardinals 31 Patriots 20)

Pittsburgh Steelers At Washington Redskins: This should be a fun Monday night game. The smart money seems to be pointing to the Steelers, but I'm actually leaning to the Skins here. Should be a hot Monday night crowd and the Redskin offense could put up a decent amount of points against a suspect Steeler defense. (Redskins 37 Steelers 33)

Los Angeles Rams At San Francisco 49'ers: Thankfully this dud of a game is going on late on Monday night, that way I won't be too upset about not watching most of it. One thing I don't get though. The Rams have returned to L.A. after 20 years, so why wouldn't they be the home team on a national stage like this? Oh well, the 49'ers will get one of their three wins of the season here. (49'ers 16 Rams 10)