We are on the brink of our first regular season action in the year 2010. Thursday opens up the NFL season with the NFC Championship game rematch between the Minnesota Vikings and New Orleans Saints.
Every team is undefeated now, but come Thursday, some fans will be elated at the victory of their squad, while others will be scratching their heads in disbelief.
Minnesota Vikings @ New Orleans Saints
What a great game to start the NFL season with. Both teams are expecting big things this season, while Brett Favre is that much closer to playing quarterback with a power chair.
The Saints have such an advantage playing at home, with some of the most passionate fans in the NFL.
Saints Win - One for One
Cleveland Browns @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Both of these teams are several years from competing. While they both seem to be on the path towards the right direction, they won't be picked as favorites during most games. Luckily, this will be a good game between two up-and-coming teams.
Cleveland's Jerome Harrison is in for a big season, while Josh Freeman will try to improve a decent performance last season.
Buccaneers Win - Two for Two
Miami Dolphins @ Buffalo Bills
The Miami Dolphins seem to be in shambles lately, as players have been hurt and released, and Bill Parcells has delegated his power to Jeff Ireland.
Chad Henne is entering his first full season as a starter, and finally has a No.1 receiver to throw to in Brandon Marshall. Ronnie Brown is also healthy, and in a contract year.
Buffalo will start rookie C.J. Spiller, an electrifying running back, who is rumored to also take snaps out of the Wildcat formation this Sunday.
Miami hasn't won in Buffalo since 2004.
Dolphins Win - Three for Three
Cincinnati Bengals @ New England Patriots
This is a very intriguing matchup. The Cincinnati Bengals have vastly improved since last season, when they made the playoffs. Tom Brady is entering the season healthy, but there could be distraction due to his contractual situation. Randy Moss is also dissatisfied with his contract.
The Bengals mediocre passing offense from a year ago just got that much better, with a healthy Carson Palmer and a cooperative Terrell Owens.
The Patriots defense will have trouble with the balanced attack of the Bengals.
Bengals Win - Three for Four
Indianapolis Colts @ Houston Texans
The Houston Texans are entering this season looking pretty good on paper. Matt Schaub is one of the most underrated quarterbacks in the NFL, and he has many targets to throw to in Andre Johnson, Kevin Walter, Owen Daniels, and more.
The Colts still have a bad taste in their collective mouth from the Super Bowl defeat against the Saints. The Colts will make quick work of this game, as they begin their journey to another deep run into the playoffs.
Colts Win - Three for Five
Denver Broncos @ Jacksonville Jaguars
The Denver Broncos have sent about every meaningful player packing, as Josh McDaniel is trying to breed his own culture into the franchise. While the moves won't yield results quickly, the Broncos do have a winning quarterback in Kyle Orton.
Orton has improved every year as a professional quarterback, and he should have a great day against the Jaguars defense.
Broncos Win - Three For Six
Atlanta Falcons @ Pittsburgh Steelers
The Pittsburgh Steelers are missing Ben Roethlisberger. However, don't forget how Dennis Dixon played against the Baltimore Ravens in his first career NFL start.
The Atlanta Falcons defense is looking sold this season, while Matt Ryan has improved coming into his third season.
This will be a close game, but the Steelers will have a healthy defense, which will give Dennis Dixon and the Pittsburgh running game a little room to breathe.
Steelers Win Four for Seven
Oakland Raiders @ Tennessee Titans
This is another great matchup. The Raiders have improved, getting Jason Campbell, and already have a stout defense. Tennessee's Chris Johnson has talked all offseason of how he will gain the most rushing yards in NFL history.
Vince Young also came in and did very well last season for the Titans, after they were 0-6 with Kerry Collins to start the season.
Titans Win - Five for Eight
Carolina Panthers @ New York Giants
The New York Giants seem to be in the position every single year to contend in the NFC East, but instead they underachieve late in the season, ruining their playoff chances. Eli Manning has some great targets, especially considering Plaxico Burress is no longer with the team. Steve Smith (NYG) and Hakeem Nicks are two young receivers with a lot of upside.
Carolina has one of the best run games in football, with a steady mix of DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart. Carolina is a couple years from competing, but they drafted a solid player in Jimmy Clausen this season.
Giants Win - Six for Nine
Detroit Lions @ Chicago Bears
The Chicago Bears are in Year 2 of the Jay Cutler experiment. Last year, he turned the ball over way too much, as the Bears failed to get over .500. The Lions are also coming into this season with Matthew Stafford as the consensus starting quarterback.
The Lions had one of best offseasons, with a solid draft and free agency. However, they are still a couple years away from being in any shape to compete. This game will be close, though.
Bears Win Seven for Ten
Arizona Cardinals @ St. Louis Rams
The St. Louis Rams have lucked out with Sam Bradford, as he will get the start against the Cardinals. Arizona is also in some disarray after Matt Leinart was released, when he was looking like he would be the starting quarterback coming into 2010.
The Cardinals have lost many players, including Karlos Dansby, Antrelle Rolle, Anquan Boldin, and Kurt Warner. This could be upset material.
Rams Win - Seven for Eleven
Green Bay Packers @ Philadelphia Eagles
This is not a dream matchup for first year starter Kevin Kolb. He is facing a Green Bay defense that is one of the best units in the NFL, especially in the secondary. The Packers and Eagles are close in this game, but the Packers are a little better on both sides of the ball.
Kevin Kolb doesn't throw this game away, but he doesn't do enough to seal it away.
Packers Win - Eight for Twelve
San Francisco 49ers @ Seattle Seahawks
One of the most questionable moves this offseason was the move of Pete Carroll from USC to Seattle. Seattle is a struggling team while USC is always in contention, though they have been sanctioned by the NCAA.
The 49ers come into this game as favorites to win the division, which almost completely relies on the arm of Alex Smith. If Smith comes into form, this will be a hard team to beat. If he struggles, the 49ers will be several years away, again.
49ers Win - Eight for Thirteen
Dallas Cowboys @ Washington Redskins
The Dallas Cowboys are, once again, favorites to go to the Super Bowl. The difference this year is that they would be playing on their home field if they made the Super Bowl. Tony Romo has yet to show that he can win the big game, but this Dallas roster is talented up and down.
The Redskins are not making the press the right way the week before the season, as Albert Haynesworth continues to test Mike Shanahan's authority. Donovan McNabb is also injured, so he could be limited when he plays on Sunday.
Cowboys Win - Eight for Fourteen
Baltimore Ravens @ New York Jets
This game has the potential to be one of the best games of the season, as both of these teams are very similar. While the Jets' defense is a little better than Baltimore's, and Baltimore has a better offense than the Jets do, it will be interesting to see how it plays out.
Mark Sanchez will have trouble against the Ravens, even with their depleted secondary. The Ravens simply have too many weapon to lose.
San Diego Chargers @ Kansas City Chiefs
Even with Vincent Jackson out, the San Diego Chargers have a great set of weapons on offense, and finally have their featured back in Ryan Matthews. The Chargers lost Antonio Cromartie on defense, which could help Matt Cassel of the Chiefs to finally feel comfortable passing in that offense.
San Diego's offense will see little resistance from the Chiefs defense, and they will score almost at will. The Chiefs will put up some points as well.
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