Fearless Rick's Football Picks - Preseason Week 1 early games

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Preseason Week 1 Late Games


WEEK 1 NFL Preseason

All times Eastern

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Thursday, August 11

Washington at Atlanta (-3, 36 1/2), 7:00 pm - Washington won the NFC East last season with a 9-7 record, but, in reality, they're not much better off than the Falcons, who went 8-8 and finished well out of playoff contention. That said, a jumping off point for the NFL after last week's unmitigated disaster with the cancellation of the Hall of Fame contest.

Coin Flip: Coin says Washington -3 is a winner.

Fearless Rick is not in agreement. As pointed out, Washington's 9-7 mark and early exit from the playoffs was not much better than Atlanta's entire .500 season. Redskins had trouble scoring last year and will again.

Prediction: Falcons 20 Redskins 10

Tampa Bay at Philadelphia (-3, 37), 7:00 pm - The Chip Kelly experiment ended in disaster, with the coach gone, replaced by former KC defensive line coach, Doug Pederson, who will likely have his D-line working their skills in stunts and occasional blitz packages. Tampa will start Mike Glennon, but he's unlikely to see much action, though he will become well acquainted with some of the members of Philly's defensive unit.

Coin Flip: The coin likes the home team. Lucky.

Prediction: Eagles 24 Buccaneers 17

Carolina at Baltimore (-1 1/2, 37), 7:30 pm - The return of Cam Newton on a foreign field means he won't be booed too loudly and that should take some of the pressure off the quarterback who had his worst game of the season in Carolina's Super Bowl loss to the Broncos. Baltimore is only a slight favorite, so Fearless Rick says go with the team that had the better record and much to prove in 2016.

Coin Flip: The coin agrees. Panthers, the choice.

Prediction: Carolina 30 Ravens 16

New Orleans at New England (-3 1/2, 39 1/2), 7:30 pm - Too easy. Pats at home will showcase Tom Brady for a series, maybe two, to show the league he'll be ready to rock after his four-game regular season suspension.

Coin Flip: Wow! The coin likes New England.

Prediction: Patriots 23 Saints 14

Jacksonville at New York Jets (-2 1/2, 36), 7:30 pm - Geno Smith and Ryan Fitzpatrick will get in some playing time for the Jets, but Blake Bortles is an up-and-coming superstar. In a limited appearance, he should shred the NY secondary like cheddar.

Coin Flip: Our silver dollar says the Jets take this one.

Prediction: Jaguars 26 Jets 20

Denver at Chicago (even, 35), 8:00 pm - Denver will be suffering PPMD (Post Peyton Manning Disorder) on offense, so expect the Bears to take advantage, especially in the first half. The Bears, 6-10 last season, were oddly 5-3 on the road and just 1-7 at home. Look for some good throws by Jay Cutler to get them going, and it should be enough.

Coin Flip: Coin is obviously from Denver. Ha, ha.

Prediction: Bears 21 Broncos 14

Friday, August 12

Miami at New York Giants (-3, 36 1/2), 7:00 pm - Here are two teams that didn't make the playoffs last year and, realistically, probably are long shots to do so in 2016. A nothing game in a year in which New Yorkers are watching the changing of the guard, especially in Yankee-land. Eli Manning will do his best to keep the Giants from imploding and a win to start things off will set a proper tone.

Coin Flip: Uh, oh. The coin likes the Fish.

Prediction: Giants 20 Dolphins 13

Detroit at Pittsburgh (-3 1/2, 35 1/2), 7:00 pm - Nothing has gone well in Detroit sinceŠ well, name your starting point. The Corvette, the retirement of Barry Sanders? In any case, Pittsburgh pretty much owns them, so don't imagine this will be even fun. Sure, sure, Matthew Stafford, Megatron (Calvin Johnson) are good and all, but the Steelers just have a better work ethic.

Coin Flip: Oh, boy, the coin says it's the Lions.

Prediction: Steelers 34 Lions 17

Minnesota at Cincinnati (-2 1/2, 35), 7:30 pm - Both teams made the playoffs last year and were ousted early, but will be looking for more this year. Probably the most interesting game of the weekend matches up two teams that could end up in the Super Bowl. Good one to watch with the home team getting the slightest of nods.

Coin Flip: Flip came up Bengals.

Prediction: Bengals 27 Vikings 21

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