NFL Week 1 Picks - Early Games

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NFL Week 1 Early Games

All times Eastern

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Preseason Week 3 Results: Rick: 6-9; Coin: 10-5
Cumulative Preaseaon: Rick 24-22-2; Coin: 22-24-2


Thursday, September 9

Dallas Cowboys at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-8, 51 1/2), 8:20 pm - Dallas ended its 2020 campaign at 6-10, missed the playoffs, while the Buccaneers went 11-5, finishing second in the NFC South to New Orleans (12-4) and rode their wild card status all the way to winning the Super Bowl.

The Cowboys will finally get Dak Prescott back at QB, but Tampa Bay has this Brady fellow, who looks pretty good. The Cowboys' defense may not be much better than last year, which could prove problematic.

Coin Flip: Dallas

Prediction: Buccaneers 31 Cowboys 21


Sunday, September 12

Philadelphia Eagles at Atlanta Falcons (-3, 48), 1:00 pm - If this game were played later in the season, if might be deemed the "toilet bowl." Atlanta went 4-12 last season, while the underperforming Eagles were 4-11-1. Either team making it to 8-8 this season will be considered a win, but in terms of winning this game, the Eagles look more up and coming than the Falcons, whose last winning season was 2017.

Coin Flip: Atlanta

Prediction: Eagles 24 Falcons 17


Pittsburgh Steelers at Buffalo Bills (-6 1/2, 48 1/2), 1:00 pm - This lime came out something of a shocker. Sure the Bills went all the way to the AFC Championship game, but the Steelers were 12-4 and got ousted by a red-hot Cleveland squad in the playoffs.

Still, the Bills bumped off the Steelers in Orchard Park, 26-15, last December. Pittsburgh is unlikely to be steamrolled this early in the season.

Coin Flip: Bufalo

Prediction: Bills 23 Settlers 21


NY Jets at Carolina Panthers (-5 1/2, 44 1/2), 1:00 pm - The Jets will start BYU's Zach Wilson, the #2 pick in the draft at QB, trying to erase the Sam Darnold memories. Wilson's received high marks from scouts preseason, but this is on the road and against a fair defense (15th yards allowed).

Aforementioned Darnold is now the starter for the Panthers, so he'll be game to impress upon the Jets what they gave up. Should be a fun, down-to-the-wire match-up.

Coin Flip: Carolina

Prediction: Jets 20 Panthers 17


Minnesota Vikings (-3, 47 1/2) at Cincinnati Bengals, 1:00 pm - The Vikings were supposed to be really good the past three seasons. They were in 2017, going 13-3 and losing in the conference championship to the Eagles, 38-7. 2018: 8-7-1; 2019: 10-6, lost in divisional round; 2020: 7-9. Not buying the hype any more. Joe Burrow and the Bengals get the nod and get their season off to a solid start.

Coin Flip: Minnesota

Prediction: Bengals 27 Vikings 17


San Francisco 49ers (-7, 45) at Detroit Lions, 1:00 pm - Apparently, the guy who make this lines aren't exactly on board with the Stafford for Jared Goff trade, nor were they enthralled by Detroit's 5-11 recon last season.

The 49ers slumped to 6-10, but Jimmy Garoppolo started in only four of those games, and they won three of them. The 49ers can probably give the Lions a TD at home all season and still come out on top.

Coin Flip: San Francisco

Prediction: 49ers 31 Lions 16



Jacksonville Jaguars (-3, 45 1/2) at Houston Texans, 1:00 pm - More trouble in Texas. Deshaun Watson, erstwhile QB for Houston, faces 22 civil lawsuits, and will likely be inactive, leaving the starting role to well-traveled Tyrod Taylor.

It's a different story on the Florida coastline, as the Jags start the #1 pick in the draft, Trevor Lawrence, out of Clemson. The kid looks like a winner, and the turmoil in Houston only helps.

Coin Flip: Jacksonville

Prediction: Jaguars 24 Texans 17


Seattle Seahawks (-2 1/2, 50) at Indianapolis Colts, 1:00 pm - Not much was expected from the Colts last season with aging Phillip Rivers at QB, and there's a similar sound this year with Carson Went behind center. The 2020 Colts went 11-5 and lost a thriller in Buffalo, 27-24, in the wild card round. Carson Went is no Phillip Rivers though, and Seattle was a respectable 5-3 on the road last year, made the playoffs with a 12-4 mark and lost to the Rams, 30-20, in a wild card game.

Despite the high over-under line, this could be a defensive standoff. Take the Seahawks with Russell Wilson's experience in a close one.

Coin Flip: Indianapolis

Prediction: Seahawks 19 Colts 13


Arizona Cardinals at Tennessee Titans (-3, 52), 1:00 pm - Bullies of the AFC, we can expect Derrick Henry to rack up about 140 years rushing, plus an improved Titans defense. Arizona was 8-8 last season, and Kyler Murray continued to impress. He'll provide highlights for the Cardinals.

The Titans are looking like a Super Bowl caliber team and add Julio Jones to an already potent offense.

Coin Flip: Tennessee

Prediction: Titans 34 Cardinals 20


LA Chargers (-1, 44 1/2) at Washington Football Team, 1:00 pm - Are the Washington faithful really going to put up with Ryan Fitzpatrick all season? seriously doubt it, but he won the starting job. He's got guile and experience and Washington defense was pretty solid last season. The "team" limped into the playoffs at 7-9, and got busted by Tampa Bay in the opening round, 31-23.

The Chargers have high hopes this season with Justin Herbert the starter at QB. Herbert kept the Chargers in games they were supposed to lose, and LA won their final four to finish 7-9. This could go either way. Give Fitz one for experience and home field.

Coin Flip: LA Chargers

Prediction: Football Team 30 Chargers 20


Click here for late games.


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