Week 1 NFL Picks: Home Teams That Will Cruise to Victory in Openers
Finally, the first week of real NFL games are upon us. Sometimes it seems like the offseason will drag on forever, especially when all the media talks about is a backup quarterback in Tim Tebow, but nothing matches the excitement in the air ahead of Week 1.
All 32 teams would love to start their season with a victory. The Dallas Cowboys already did, and 15 more squads will join them by the end of Monday Night Football. Let's take a look at three home teams that should have little trouble joining the list.
The Texans' season was derailed last year by injuries to Matt Schaub, Arian Foster and Andre Johnson. The trio of offensive stars was forced to miss a combined total of 19 games. They still made the playoffs at 10-6, but it could have been so much better.
Foster and Johnson have battled nagging injuries during the preseason, an ominous sign, but both are hopeful of suiting up on Sunday. Combined with an underrated defense, the Texans are once again looking at a promising season, health willing.
Assuming Houston's main contributors on offense don't suffer any setbacks, the Texans will have too much firepower for the Miami Dolphins to contain. The Dolphins have a long season ahead as they rebuild with new quarterback Ryan Tannehill.
Which team will pick up the biggest win?
Matt Forte led the Bears with 52 receptions last season; no wide receiver had more than 37. So it's easy to understand why the team's front office felt taking a chance on Brandon Marshall would improve Chicago's chances.
While the offense should be much improved over last year, at least in terms of balance, the Bears are still going to rely heavily on the defense. Linebackers Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs return to lead the vaunted unit.
The Bears face rookie phenom Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts in Week 1. Although Luck was impressive during his limited preseason action, the rest of the Colts roster still has a lot of holes to fill before they are contenders again.
New Orleans Saints
The Saints received some good news on Friday when the suspensions handed out as part of the bounty scandal investigation were overturned. Whether any of the players will be available for Sunday's game is unknown, but it would provide a boost if they were.
It was a crazy offseason for the Saints, who will be happy football is back so they can start focusing on games again. And with Drew Brees leading the way, they should be right back in the NFC title mix when the playoffs roll around.
Like the Bears, the Saints open the season with a game against a star rookie quarterback in Robert Griffin III. Even if the dynamic Baylor product has a nice debut, New Orleans should have enough offense to pick up the win.
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