NFL Predictions Week 1: Quarterbacks Sure to Star in Opening Week
There are obvious picks every week, like Aaron Rodgers and Brady. However, Brady is an even better pick given his opponent.
Other quarterbacks are due for big games based on the talent around them and who they are facing this week.
Here is the full schedule for Week 1:
|Date||Time (ET)||Away||Home||Predicted Winner|
|9/5 (Thursday)||8:30 p.m.||Baltimore Ravens||Denver Broncos||Broncos|
|9/8 (Sunday)||1 p.m.||Cincinnati Bengals||Chicago Bears||Bengals|
|9/8||1 p.m.||New England Patriots||Buffalo Bills||Patriots|
|9/8||1 p.m.||Miami Dolphins||Cleveland Browns||Dolphins|
|9/8||1 p.m.||Minnesota Vikings||Detroit Lions||Vikings|
|9/8||1 p.m.||Oakland Raiders||Indianapolis Colts||Colts|
|9/8||1 p.m.||Atlanta Falcons||New Orleans Saints||Falcons|
|9/8||1 p.m.||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||New York Jers||Buccaneers|
|9/8||1 p.m.||Tennessee Titans||Pittsburgh Steelers||Steelers|
|9/8||1 p.m.||Seattle Seahawks||Carolina Panthers||Seahawks|
|9/8||1 p.m.||Kansas City Chiefs||Jacksonville Jaguars||Chiefs|
|9/8||4:25 p.m.||Arizona Cardinals||St. Louis Rams||Cardinals|
|9/8||4:25 p.m.||Green Bay Packers||San Francisco 49ers||49ers|
|9/8||8:30 p.m.||New York Giants||Dallas Cowboys||Giants|
|9/9||7 p.m.||Philadelphia Eagles||Washington Redskins||Redskins|
|9/9||10:15 p.m.||Houston Texans||San Diego Chargers||Texans|
Tom Brady, New England Patriots (at Buffalo Bills)
The Patriots haven't lost a season opener in 10 years. Dating back to the 2003 opening loss at Buffalo, Brady has been magnificent on opening day.
Not counting the 2008 opener, when he suffered a season-ending injury, the numbers are astonishing.
He has 21 touchdowns to only four interceptions in eight games. That's a ratio of over five touchdowns for every interception, and one interception every other game. He has also averaged 311 passing yards per game, so he performs well in openers.
This will be a big game for the Patriots. They want to prove that they are still an elite team no matter what their offense looks like. Wes Welker joined Peyton Manning in Denver while Rob Gronkowski is still rehabbing.
Danny Amendola is the only name that people outside of Massachusetts will recognize.
Every year, New England seems to make unknown receivers fit in its system. From Julian Edelman to Deion Branch, Brady makes his receivers better.
Brady averaged 288 yards and had five touchdowns to no interceptions against the Bills last season.
Buffalo ranked 26th in points allowed in 2012 by conceding 27.2 per game. The Patriots put up 89 points in two games against the Bills, so look for Brady to put up big numbers in Week 1.
With the Bills starting a rookie quarterback, this game could quickly turn into a blowout.
Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts (vs. Oakland Raiders)
The Indianapolis Colts surprised everyone by making the playoffs last season and they should have no problem starting the 2013 season 1-0.
They get the team that many feel will be the worst in the NFL, so quarterback Andrew Luck is expected to have a big game.
Luck passed for 4,374 yards and 23 touchdowns as a rookie. He threw a lot of interceptions early in the season, but got better as the year went on. He did not have an interception in the final three weeks of the season.
Indianapolis has one former Raider, Darrius Heyward-Bey, who will be looking to have a big game. He joins Reggie Wayne and T.Y. Hilton in the receiving corps.
Wayne had 1,355 receiving yards and five touchdowns on 106 catches last year.
The Raiders allowed 27.7 points per game in 2012, ranking 28th in the NFL. Oakland's pass defense ranked 20th in the NFL and allowed an average of 235.9 passing yards per game. Its 11 interceptions tied for the seventh-fewest in the league.
Oakland doesn't have much on either side of the football, so Luck and the Colts should have a big day.
Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons (at New Orleans Saints)
Sean Payton is back as coach of the Saints, and Rob Ryan is now the defensive coordinator. New Orleans probably won't rank 31st in pass defense again this season, but it can still be exploited.
The Saints went 5-3 at home, but they allowed a lot of points in the Superdome. The team allowed 28.4 points per game last season. Six different opponents, including the Falcons, came to New Orleans and scored at least 24 points.
Matt Ryan had a breakout season last year. He threw for 4,719 yards and completed 68.6 percent of his passes. He threw for 32 touchdowns to only 14 interceptions. He had a passer rating of 99.1 in 2012. He set career bests in each of those categories, excluding interceptions.
He averaged 288 yards and threw four touchdowns to only one interception in two games against the Saints.
It will be an emotional game for the Saints, but the Falcons have more talent. Roddy White, Julio Jones and Tony Gonzalez give Ryan plenty of options in the passing game. Steven Jackson was brought in to stabilize the running game and keep defenses honest.
The Falcons were held under 20 points only twice in 18 games last season. They are going to put up points—especially in a dome.
This game has the potential to be a shootout and Ryan will be ready to put up huge numbers.
Statistics courtesy of NFL.com.
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