NFL Week 1 Predictions: Road Teams Most Likely to Win Opening Game
Week 1 of the NFL season is just a few days away, and the New England Patriots lead the list of road teams that are most likely to come away with a win in their first game.
Home teams are usually favored in the first week, but there are a few road teams that should start the season 1-0.
Here is a list of road teams that are in the best position to start the season with a win.
New England Patriots
The Patriots will look a lot different on offense at the beginning of the season, but they will still be able to beat the Buffalo Bills on Sunday.
Wes Welker is gone, and Rob Gronkowski is recovering from his injuries. Danny Amendola will be expected to replace Welker, and the rest of the receiving corps will be like every other group Tom Brady has worked with. He will find a way to move the football.
Brady will face one of the biggest challenges of his career with this group of receivers. Fortunately he gets to start off with the Bills, who will be starting a rookie quarterback.
Bill Belichick has led his team to nine AFC East titles in 10 seasons. He knows what it takes to get his team to win games, and this year will be no different.
New England has not lost an opener in 10 years. The last time the Pats lost their first game of the year, it was at Ralph Wilson Stadium, but that was near the beginning of Brady's career. The Bills and the Patriots have met in two openers since then, and the Patriots have won both games.
If any team is going to win an opener, it's going to be the Patriots.
This could be a big year for the Dolphins. Mike Wallace will give Ryan Tannehill a playmaker on the outside, so keep an eye on the team this season.
Brian Hartline has turned into a good receiver, so Wallace's presence should help Hartline get open.
Cameron Wake leads this underrated defense. He had 15 sacks and forced three fumbles last season, which made it the second time he had posted double-digit sacks with three forced fumbles.
Miami allowed only 19.8 points per game last season, which ranked seventh in the league.
The Cleveland Browns are hosting the Dolphins, which is a big reason why Miami will start 1-0.
The Browns will be without receiver Josh Gordon, and they will have to rely heavily on Trent Richardson to run the football. The Dolphins had one of the better run defenses in the NFL last season as they allowed only 108 rushing yards per game.
Cleveland has a bad history of losing its opener. It has lost five straight openers and seven of its last eight. That's a big enough trend to signal that the Browns' first opponent will be able to come into Cleveland and win.
San Diego will host Houston on Monday night, and the Texans will start off with a road victory.
Danario Alexander is out, and Antonio Gates is past his prime. The Chargers are looking for anyone to step up and make an impact at receiver.
Philip Rivers needs help. The 31-year-old needs to take better care of the football, but he isn't getting any consistent production from his receivers.
The Texans have won playoff games in back-to-back seasons. Arian Foster is still an elite running back. He ran for 1,424 yards and 15 touchdowns last season, but the Chargers allowed only 96 rushing yards per game in 2012.
Matt Schaub has Andre Johnson and Owen Daniels to throw the ball to. DeVier Posey should make an impact this season, so Schaub will have talent around him. The Chargers were an average team when it came to defending the pass last year.
Houston's defense ranked fifth in the league with 44 sacks, led by NFL Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt. He is a dominant force on the line and will look to build off last season.
Rivers is going to have to get rid of the ball quickly, which will give corner Johnathan Joseph a chance to get an interception.
The Texans are extremely balanced, and the Chargers need help. Houston will go into San Diego and come away with a victory.
*All stats are courtesy of NFL.com
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