NFL Week 1 Predictions: Road Teams That Will Pull off Big Upsets
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The Dallas Cowboys surprised the NFL with their road upset of the New York Giants on opening night, and after this weekend we'll be talking about three other teams that were able to get the job done on the road.
Buffalo, San Francisco and Jacksonville are all road underdogs heading into their Week 1 matchups, but all three have the ability to leave town with a win.
Jacksonville Jaguars (+4) @ Minnesota Vikings
Jacksonville was the epitome of a struggling team this past year, but the Jaguars still managed to finish 5-11 and avoid having the AFC's worst record. That included a 12-7 victory over the Baltimore Ravens on Monday Night Football, a win no one saw coming.
Adrian Peterson is still questionable for the opener. Toby Gerhart is a solid running back, but he's not AD. Christian Ponder takes the reigns full time in Minnesota without much to work with besides Percy Harvin, and there are some question marks on the offensive line.
I think quarterback Blaine Gabbert will show improvement in Week 1, especially with new target Justin Blackmon as potentially this year's A.J. Green and Maurice Jones-Drew looming in the backfield.
Prediction: Jacksonville 20, Minnesota 14
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Buffalo Bills (+3) @ New York Jets
I do think the offense will be better than the preseason indicated, with Tebow-centric packages and a better dynamic between Sanchez and Santonio Holmes. But don't count out the Bills, who return Fred Jackson, Stevie Johnson and look to use C.J. Spiller in the Wildcat for the first time in his young career.
I'm not a firm believer in the Jets defense quite yet, either.
The Bills will get their season started right by forcing Jets turnovers and keeping Shonn Greene in check, while Jackson excels as both a runner and receiver in a tight Bills victory.
Prediction: Buffalo 21, New York 16
San Francisco (+5) @ Green Bay Packers
The 'Niners march into Lambeau to take down the Packers on opening weekend. With an upgraded receiving corp and Alex Smith another year into Jim Harbaugh's system, the 49ers will prove that Green Bay still has work to do on defense.
San Francisco will be busting out some new toys on offense. Mario Manningham and Randy Moss will be in uniform. Kendall Hunter figures to play an expanded role as a change-of-pace back. And don't forget about Vernon Davis and Michael Crabtree.
Green Bay still has the NFL's most potent offense. But concerns on defense outweigh the home-field advantage, and San Fransisco does enough to put the Packers away late.
Prediction: San Francisco 28, Green Bay 24
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