By Zach Felder
Houston Texans vs. Oakland Raiders.
1: Houston’s defense is outstanding and finished as the league's leading defense. Mostly known for their prowess on the front seven. Houston does, however, have a very talented secondary Jonathan Joseph (#24), A.J. Bouye(#21), Kareem Jackson (#25) and Quentin Demps(#27). Who had 34 passes defended, seven interceptions, and two forced fumbles within their secondary. Connor Cook and the receiving core which includes Amari Cooper(#89) and Michael Crabtree(#15). Will face a challenge. Expect Michael Crabtree to be covered by Jonathan Joseph and Amari Cooper covered by A.J. Bouye with the safeties help.
2: Expect Connor Cook to make a lot of mistakes on defense due to the pass rush of the Houston Texans. Players like Jadeveon Clowney (#90), Whitney Mercilus (#59), and Bernardrick McKinney (#55) who have 8.5 sacks and 234 tackles combined. Houston Texans have an aggressive defense and without Raiders left tackle Donald Penn. It can be expected that the Raiders will have a big challenge to win tomorrow's game.
3: Connor Cook is starting his first career game at Quarterback, and it’s the Raiders first playoff game since 2002. That is a lot of pressure for anyone to handle on any game, let alone a rookie against the league’s best defense. Expect the Raiders not to have a high scoring offense in tomorrow's game.
Detroit Lions vs. Seattle Seahawks
1: Detroit’s offensive line is not ready for the pass rush of the Seahawks. Matthew Stafford always collapses under pressure; I call it the “Eli Manning Effect” as soon as someone's in his face he starts to panic and makes a mistake. The Seattle Seahawks had a total of 42 sacks last year, and nearly half came from Frank Clark(#55) and Cliff Avril(#56), both are stout run stuffers as well. Avril had 11.5 sacks, four forced fumbles, and 39 tackles in 2016. While Frank Clark had ten sacks, two forced fumbles and 47 tackles. Michael Bennett(#72) and Bobby Wagner (#54) are clearly studs as well. The duo combined for 201 tackles and 9.5 sacks. Bobby Wagner led the entire league in tackles with 167 in 2016.
2: Jimmy Graham(#88) is the league's best receiving tight end in the league, and it isn't even close who is next. Jimmy Graham had 923 receiving yards 325 were yards after catch (YAC) on 65 receptions with six touchdowns in 2016. Most of the year, Graham was not used due to a healthy wide receiver core. With the injury to Tyler Lockett, Jimmy Graham will be a more involved in the Seahawks offense during the 2016 playoffs. Graham is an absolute force on the field whenever the ball is in his catch radius and Yards after catch (YAC) due to his 6'7" 265 frame and body control of much smaller wide receivers. Detroit's best linebacker DeAndre Levy will most likely will not be playing tomorrow's game with a knee injury, and that will be a void in Detroit's defense.
3: Matthew Stafford threw the ball 594 times in 2016 and Detriot ran 350 times in 2016. The Detriot Lions passed the ball 59% of the time. On top of the one-dimensional offense. Detroit has one of the league’s worst rushing offense in 2016. They ranked at 30 with a total of 1310 yards and nine touchdowns. Zach Zenner(#34) has been playing well for the lions with 334 yards and 4 touchdowns. Which is an okay performance for a team that mostly throws the ball. Pete Carrol and Kris Richard can be assured to gameplan accordingly to stop the excessive passing of Matthew Stafford and make the Lions a more one-dimensional offense than they currently are.
By Zach Felder
Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Tennessee Titans. Jaguars win: 21-14
Honestly, no one really cares about this Thursday night football game outside of Titan and Jaguar fans. Both teams have been playing awful, and there isn’t much on the line for this game besides which coach is going to be on the hot seat and who gets closer to a top ten pick in the 2017 NFL draft. I expect the Jaguars to take this game due to having a more completed offense than the Tennessee Titans have a team. The final score score will be 21-14 with two touchdowns thrown by Blake Bortles for 250 yards and two interceptions.
New England Patriots vs. Buffalo Bills Patriots win: 17-7
This should be an interesting game as the Buffalo Bills won their first game in this year's series 16-0. But without Brady, a third string rookie with a broken thumb, and no Gronk. Brady’s vengeance tour 2.0 will shut Rex Ryan’s hopes of winning the division. Expect the Buffalo Bills to get three sacks on Brady while it is going to be a low-scoring game 17-7 New England Patriots while Gronk gets number 69 in career touchdown receptions, and Tom Brady throws for 200 yards and two touchdowns.
Arizona Cardinals vs. Carolina Panthers. Cardinals win: 28-10
The Arizona Cardinals win this game. Cam Newton is just awful this year, and their defense is horrible and outright laughable at times. Josh Norman was clearly a huge part of the team's success last year. Bruce Arians and the Arizona Cardinals are in vengeance mode for losing in embarrassing fashion in the NFC championship last year. Expect David Johnson to play his heart out and make Cam Newton cry. David Johnson will have over 100 all-purpose yards and have three touchdowns while Carson Palmer will not implode this game and throw for 200 yards and a touchdown that goes to David Johnson. Cam Newton will throw for 200 yards and a touchdown.
New York Jets vs. Cleveland Browns Browns win: 14-7
Probably the most boring game of the week, it is really going to be a Fitzmediocre experience. Watch out for Terrelle Pryor, the only football hope in Cleveland. He does everything for the Browns and is their only spotlight of greatness currently. Flip a coin to see who will win this game. Heads for the Jets. Tails for the Browns. I got Tails so that the Browns will win the game. 14-7 Pryor can be expected to get over 100 all-purpose yards.
Detroit Lions vs. Houston Texans. Lions win: 28-10
Mathew Stafford is on a hot streak this season and seems like he is going to win a couple more game until this hot streak ends. Brock “lobster” Osweiler has been mediocre this season, but better than Fitzpatrick. Not a great feat, but at least he is winning the division The Houston Texans are without JJ Watt for the season and their defense isn’t the same without him. Expect Matthew Stafford to throw for over 350 yards and four touchdowns against the Houston Texans.
Kansas City Chiefs vs. Indianapolis Colts. Chiefs win: 20-7
Kansas City wins this game; their defense is too stout for Andrew Luck to win this game. The Colts have been playing abysmally for the past two seasons. Don't expect any changes now. Alex Smith will play a boring game for Chief fans; however, he will win the game for them by not making a turnover. It will be a low scoring game. However, the Chiefs defense will force some turnovers and sacks. Andrew Luck will throw for 200 yards and one touchdown with an interception.
Seattle Seahawks vs. New Orleans Saints. Seattle wins: 28-7
Seattle’s defense will have a tough game against Drew Brees and company. Brees has been a great passer his entire career. However, he hasn’t played this amazing defense yet. I expect the Legion of Boom to shut down Drew Brees and only allow him to throw for 200 yards with a touchdown and one interception. Expect DeShawn Shead #35 on the defense to be an unspoken hero in the game. Russell Wilson will return to normal form and throw for 300 yards and four touchdowns two of which go to Jimmy Graham who has 95 yards receiving on seven receptions.
Oakland Raiders vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Raiders win: 30-17
Derek Carr is playing very well this year thanks to Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper. They will win Sunday’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Raiders are a complete team currently and will outperform Jameis Winston and a subpar defense. Derek Carr will throw for over 400 yards for 3 three touchdowns, and the team could have nearly 500 yards of total offense. Jameis Winston will throw for over 200 yards and two touchdowns
San Diego Chargers vs. Denver Broncos. Broncos win: 30-14
I feel sorry for Phillip Rivers, I really do. For countless years as a Charger, he never got a ring and this year he won't make the playoffs. The San Diego Chargers have a curse right now on ACL season ending injuries. The Season is not looking bright at all, and this game against the Denver Broncos will not go in their favor as they will lose to the Broncos. Trevor Sieman has been playing quite well (better than Brock “Lobster” Osweiler) but expect him to play well and win against the Chargers. Trevor Sieman will throw for 300 yards and two touchdowns and an interception. The Broncos Defense will score a defensive touchdown this game and will only allow two touchdowns. One by Melvin Gordon and the other by Phillip Rivers. Joey Bosa will have seven tackles and two sacks for the Chargers.
Green Bay Packers vs. Atlanta Falcons. Falcons win: 34-20
This will be the game of the week. Two of the best teams in the league will be facing off against each other. Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons have had the best offense in the league. Who is going to stop Julio Jones now? No one. That's who. Aaron Rodgers hasn’t been himself all season long, and the Packers defense isn’t the greatest this year. I expect this game to be mostly a shootout that could go either way. However, the Falcons will win the game. Matt Ryan will throw for 400 yards and three touchdowns. Two of which goto Julio Jones who has 170 yards receiving. The Packers offense could produce. But most likely will not due to the lack of having a proper halfback on the team.
Philadelphia Eagles vs. Dallas Cowboys. Cowboys win: 21-14
The rookie Qb duel will be an interesting one. Will Dak Prescott perform better against an excellent Eagles defense or will Carson Wentz play well against the marginal Cowboys defense? I think Dak will prevail. With Players like Zeke and the great wall of ‘merica (Dallas’ offensive line) Dak has a better system around him to succeed. Expect Zeke Elliot to run for at least 100 yards and two touchdowns against the Eagles defense. While Carson Wentz of the Eagles will throw for 300 yards with two touchdowns.
Washington Redskins vs. Cincinnati Bengals. Bengals win: 21-14
Kirk Cousins and Andy Dalton will ball it out. However, Josh Norman will perform highly and stop the nearly automatic 100 yards and a touchdown from AJ Green. AJ Green still may get those 100 yards. However, it will be challenging. This will be a low scoring game that will be mostly a defensive game and a low turnover game. Kirk Cousins will throw for nearly 300 yards and one touchdown. While Andy Dalton will throw for 200 yards and a touchdown, while the Bengals have 100 yards on the ground and two rushing touchdowns.
Minnesota Vikings vs. Chicago Bears. Vikings win: 28-6
Monday Night Football Massacre Bears edition. The Bears have been competing for the first overall nearly all season, and they are playing a team that is just more talented on every level than the Bears. I expect that this game puts John Fox on the hot seat and the Vikings defense to have one defensive touchdown with multiple sacks and takeaways. Anthony Barr will have seven tackles and two sacks throughout the game. While the Bears have almost 100 yards receiving from Alshon Jeffery.
By Zach Felder
Atlanta Falcons over Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 23-14
There is a lot of speculation that Jameis Winston will start the season hot, and the Bucs will become possible contenders in the NFC South. However, I believe that is not the case even with the success of first round pick Vernon Hargreaves who caught more passes (2) than he allowed (1) all throughout the preseason. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be tested from Dan Quinn’s second year Atlanta Falcons that will have a drastically improved running game with all pro center Alex Mack. I don't think there is someone on earth who can guard Julio Jones in their first game of their career in the NFL.
Baltimore Ravens over Buffalo Bills: 28-10
With the amount of Injuries and suspensions that the Buffalo Bills have had this offseason, the Bills have lost the offseason and preseason. The team is already hurting at multiple positions, and it isn't even the end of week one. As Talented pro bowl quarterback, Tyrod Taylor is, a finally healthy Baltimore team makes winning in Baltimore even harder. I expect Justin Forsett to have close to a 100-yard game and Joe Flacco to return to his super bowl form and throw two touchdowns for 285 yards.
Houston Texans over Chicago Bears: 30-7
Brock Osweiler started his first career game as a Bronco in 2015 against the Bears, and will repeat that with the Houston Texans, this time, more appreciated and with a higher pay grade. The Texans have a better roster than the Chicago Bears. The Chicago Bears defense was upgraded with the acquisitions of Jerrell Freeman and Danny Trevathan for their interior linebackers, but that is not enough. There are too many holes for a drastic improvement. The Texans defense will demolish the Chicago offensive line as long as, JJ Watt returns to 75% of his former self-week one. Expect Deandre Hopkins to have nearly 100 yards and two touchdowns.
Kansas City Chiefs over San Diego Chargers: 24-7
Kansas City right now is a complete team compared to the Chargers. As talented as Phillip Rivers is on offense, they are not in place to take the AFC West from the talented Broncos and Raiders. Even with the addition of Travis Benjamin, the Chargers will not have success. For the Chiefs victory, Spencer Ware, Chadrick West, Travis Kelce, and Justin Houston will all play a significant factor in tomorrow's game. Kansas City’s offense and defense will dominate on the ground, and the Chiefs will come home 1-0.
Oakland Raiders Over New Orleans Saints: 40- 17
Derek Carr is going to change the landscape of the NFL this year; I believe that he will truly breakout this year. That’s not good for a post-Rob Ryan defense that is not ready for the talented Oakland Raiders. The Saints are years behind being a possible contender and only are hanging on by a thread from future Hall of Famer Drew Brees. The Oakland Raiders defense stops the Saints from scoring while Derek Carr throws for 400 yards and has three touchdowns.
Cincinatti Bengals over New York Jets: 17-14
The Bengals will win this game if A.J. Green produces and in the last seconds of the game, a game-winning field goal will be kicked. The Front seven for the New York Jets will be a challenge for the Bengals’. With the loss of Muhammed Sanu and Marvin Jones to different teams via free agency. Andy Dalton will have to win by throwing the ball and doing so quickly. This will be a low scoring game and could be the most defensive game of week one. I expect Muhammed Wilkerson of the Jets to have one sack, and Andy Dalton to throw for 250 yards 2 touchdowns to 2 interceptions.
Philadelphia Eagles Over Cleveland Browns: 20-10
The resurgence of Robert Griffin III is about to commence, just not this week. The Philadelphia Eagles’ defense seems to be the real deal in the NFC East this year. Players like Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham will wreck havoc on a Browns interior offensive line. hEven though Carson Wentz is starting his first NFL career game, I believe that the Eagles will prevail and win this game with ease. The Cleveland Browns have no real skill position players excluding rookie Corey Coleman from Baylor to help the offense move the chains. Most points will be scored in the first half by the Eagles.
Tenesesse Titans over Minnesota Vikings: 21-10
Shaun Hill is starting for the Minnesota Vikings; I have no faith in him leading the Vikings to a week one win. The Vikings do have one of the youngest defenses in the league as well as Adrian Peterson. Adrian Peterson is a monster and will “put the team on his back” and carry them to a 2-1 start until Sam Bradford learns the playbook. The Titans defense led by Dick Labeau will stop the offense overall, but Adrian Peterson will produce and run for the team's only touchdown. The Titans power run offense will wear down the Viking defense, and the Murray/Henry combo will rush for over 150 yards and two touchdowns while Marcus Mariotta has one touchdown in the air.
Seattle Seahawks over Miami Dolphins: 27-7
Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks come into Miami with Christine Michael as their starting HB, Jimmy Graham healthy, and Kam Chancellor not holding out. Wilson and company will outplay the defensive line of Miami which includes recently acquired, Mario Williams. Wilson will be sacked a couple times, but expect the Seahawks to pull away with the win thanks to their defense led by Earl Thomas III, Richard Sherman, and Bobby Wagner. These defenders will prove too much for Ryan Tannehill to handle especially with injury prone Arian Foster and Jarvis Landry being shut down.
Dallas Cowboys over New York Giants: 30 24
Dak Prescott will become the successor to Tony Romo and will win at their biggest rivals home turf. With the help of Ezekiel Elliot, Dez Bryant, the great wall of Dallas, and Jason Witten expect Prescott being a potential rookie of the year candidate. The New York Giants have recently upgraded their defense by spending the GDP of Morocco on Oliver Vernon, Janoris Jenkins, and Damon “Snacks” Harrison. But this isn't enough to make their league-worst defense in 2015 to winning the NFC East.
Indianapolis Colts over Detroit Lions: 30-27
Andrew Luck is back, and the Colts finally drafted him offensive lineman to help him not die on the field! The Colts are favored to win the game since the Lions are a broken team without Calvin Johnson, and the defense of the Colts will prevail over Matt Stafford and company. The Lions defense is suspect minus Darius Slay, Deandre Levy, and Ezekiel Ansah. I believe that Chuck Pagano will scheme the right game to gain the upper hand in a gut-wrenching win against the Lions.
Arizona Cardinals over New England Patriots: 21-10
Carson Palmer will start out 1-0. The Cardinals defense has become one of the most talented defense in the league. Tyrann Mathieu, Patrick Peterson, and company will command the New England offense and control the game. Jimmy Garoppolo in his first game as the starter for the Patriots will be without Gronkowski, Nate Solder, and Dion Lewis. As a Patriots fan, it will be a miracle in the desert if we win the game offensively. But never count out our defensive studs like Jamie Collins, Dont’a Hightower, Jabal Sheard, Devin McCourty, and Malcolm Butler until the clock hits 0:00
Pittsburgh Steelers over Washington Redskins 40-32
The game will be in the hands of the defense, it will be a shoot up from the beginning. Kirk Cousins and Ben Rothlesberger both are top ten quarterbacks in the league right now. Both quarterbacks will play well and throw a maximum of two interceptions between them for a combined 800 yards and 8 touchdowns. Expect Josh Norman to have a bad game against the leagues best Antonio Brown.
Los Angeles Rams over San Francisco 49ers: 17-3
The most boring game is left for last. Blaine Gabbert versus Case Keenum, who's starting over first overall Jared Goff. The Los Angeles Rams have a boring offense minus Todd Gurley and Tavon Austin. While the 49ers have Carlos Hyde. Ex-week one warrior of 100+ yards against the Vikings last season. But that won't be a factor this year. Aaron Donald with his fellow members of that aggressive front seven will wreck havoc and help bring back the Jaguar’s version of Blaine Gabbert. Blaine Gabbert does not score but on one drive he makes it to within field goal range. Todd Gurley runs for 145 Yards and two touchdowns.