NFL Picks Week 1: Major Upsets to Watch for

Ben Layman@@houtexmajorinCorrespondent ISeptember 5, 2012

Aug 30, 2012; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (12) takes a snap during warm ups before the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Lucas Oil Stadium.  Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE
Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE

Week 1 of the NFL season kicks off with several intriguing games, and there are plenty of major upsets to watch out for.  

Week 1 usually delivers some of the best upsets of the entire season, and this year should be no different.

Here are a few major upsets to watch for in Week 1.


Indianapolis Colts at Chicago Bears

It's probably hard to imagine a rookie quarterback going on the road in his first game and defeating a playoff contender like the Bears, but that's just what Andrew Luck will do this weekend.  

The first overall pick in the draft was impressive in the preseason, and not just because of his productive numbers.  Luck demonstrated a level of poise that should translate to instant success in the NFL.

Luck's biggest issue in this game will be his defense stopping the Bears.  Chicago should be expected to score plenty of points in this game.  Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall will likely have big opening days, and Chicago's running game could also have a big impact.

It's likely Luck will be asked to throw the ball more than 30 times in this game.  The young quarterback will have to bail out his defense.  The Bears will be caught off-guard by the Colts aggressively attacking their secondary through the air.

Andrew Luck will be one of the biggest stories next week after he shocks the Bears with a Week 1 road win.

Prediction: Colts 28 Bears 24


Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens

It's always a physical, grueling affair when these two AFC North rivals get together.  The Ravens swept the Bengals in 2011, but both games were closer than the sweep would indicate.  

Cincinnati's offense looked sluggish in preseason, but much of that should be attributed to scaled-back play-calling.  Baltimore's defense appears ready to be a dominant unit again in 2012, despite the absence of Terrell Suggs.

The Bengals will look at this game as a way to establish themselves as serious players in this division.  Cincinnati struggled to beat any playoff-caliber teams last year.  The Bengals will take a big step toward fixing that in 2012 with a big Week 1 win over Baltimore.

Prediction: Bengals 17 Ravens 14


San Francisco 49ers at Green Bay Packers

Green Bay spent the entire offseason trying to fix its defense.  The Packers hope to see immediate results from all that work in this Week 1 thriller.  

The Niners were the darlings of the NFL last year, and this year they'll look to establish themselves as more than just a one-year wonder.

San Francisco's defense traveled well last year, and the same should be expected this year.  The Packers did not play against a defense even close to as good as San Francisco's in 2011, and they'll be in for a rude awakening in this Week 1 matchup.

Prediction: 49ers 31, Packers 27