The NFL Is Set To Kickoff: Week One Preview and Predictions

C KSenior Analyst IAugust 31, 2008

Yes the NFL season kicks off on Thursday. So what am I going to write about involving the NFL season? A preview of every team? Why DeSean Jackson will be a monster? Or is it a complete rundown of Week One?

You got it, a complete rundown of Week One.

What I will do is take every single NFL game in Week One and give you a preview and prediction. I will be doing this every week in the NFL season.

So here we go!


Washington Redskins @ New York Giants

Are the Giants in big trouble now that Osi Umenyiora went down? Yes. But will it mean their defense will be much worse than it was before this? Maybe. Before this, their defense was already looking down after losing many key components.

And now that Mathias Kiwanuka has to move from linebacker to the defensive line, it's even worse. Now the linebacker position will be weaker. With that said, we will now concentrate on the task at hand...the preview and prediction.

The Redskins' defense may not be that superior to the Giants, but it is better, in my humble opinion. The offense? The Giants have the upper hand there, but only because the Redskins' offense is nothing special.

So who wins the matchup?

The Giants will win, pulling away late in the fourth. Plaxico Burress will be too much for the 'Skins' secondary, and Brandon Jacobs will have a strong start to the year (although I don't think he will end up having a good year).

Clinton Portis will have a good game, but it won't be enough to help the Redskins pull out the victory. Giants win 31-17.


Detroit Lions @ Atlanta Falcons

Boy, this will be an exciting game, won't it? Two terrible teams going head to head, you gotta love it! Seriously though, it could turn out to be a decent game. Both teams have questionable offenses and questionable defenses, so maybe it could turn out to be a high scoring or low scoring, close game.

Who would win this engaging affair? The Lions, carried by Kevin Smith and his outstanding debut. Lions win 17-14 with a late field goal.


Seattle Seahawks @ Buffalo Bills

Although I do think the Bills could be a surprise team this year, I don't like them in this matchup. The Seahawks' defense will be too much for Trent Edwards to handle, and Matt Hasselbeck will make a strong start to the season, mainly passing the ball to Nate Burleson, who will also start the season off strong in this game. Seattle wins, 35-21.


Jacksonville Jaguars @ Tennessee Titans

The Titans are not facing a good matchup here at all. The Jaguars are superior across the board, and there's no way I see Vince Young and Co. beating Jacksonville. Maurice Jones-Drew and David Garrard will easily showcase their talent in this game, and Vince Young will show why he's another Michael Vick, as the Jaguars come away with the 27-9 win.


New York Jets @ Miami Dolphins

Are the Jets as good as people think they are, even with Brett Favre? Maybe. I personally think they could be a surprise playoff team. But this isn't the week it will be showcased.

For some reason, I have the gut feeling that the Dolphins will come out and play a whole lot better than the Jets. Favre won't be in tune with the Jets' offense, as much as he wishes he could, and the defense may not perform as well as they should.

I don't know, I don't have a great rhyme or reason for this choice, but I have the Dolphins pulling out the upset, 13-7.


Kansas City Chiefs @ New England Patriots

Is there much debate here? The Patriots overmatch the Chiefs all across the board. Patriots win, 56-17.


Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ New Orleans Saints

This is possibly the game of the week. I still like Tampa Bay's chances of making a splash this year, and with Shockey as another weapon for Drew Brees to utilize, both teams could make the playoffs.

But who will win this matchup?

Well, Drew Brees will be excited to show off his new toy (Shockey), and he will use him a lot, as well as Marques Colston. The Saints' passing game will be too much for the Bucs too handle, but it will be close. Saints win 27-21.


St. Louis Rams @ Philadelphia Eagles

I will be watching this game from my Eagles seats on Sunday, and I think I will be quite pleased. As I stated in my Eagles preview, I think DeSean Jackson will have a nice debut, and will help the Eagles in a 24-13 win. But it will be close until the fourth, because this Rams team will be dangerous this year.


Houston Texans @ Pittsburgh Steelers

I love the Texans this year, I really do. But do I think they can pull of this win? Eh, no. Andre Johnson should have a monster year in my opinion, and this could be a good game for him, but Santonio Holmes and Hines Ward will have even better games this week, as the Steelers' passing attack single-handedly defeats the Texans, 34-28.


Cincinnati Bengals @ Baltimore Ravens

Another interesting game between two bad teams. If Chad Johnson can find a way to make himself look like a fool again before the game, I will be very interested in this game. If that doesn't happen, who cares about it?

In all seriousness, I do think the Bengals' passing game will have a good day, but Johnson will not be a big contributor. This may not be the best matchup, but the Bengals always find a way to play better against bad matchups. The Bengals pull out a win, 35-31, in a high-scoring affair.


Carolina Panthers @ San Diego Chargers

Are the Chargers as good as people say they are? Absolutely. Are the Panthers as good as people say they are? Nope. The Chargers overpower the Panthers everywhere in this matchup, which is why the Chargers will trounce the Panthers, 31-13.


Arizona Cardinals @ San Francisco 49ers

I like this game a lot this week. We have a high-powered offense in Arizona and a questionable offense in San Fran. But who says J.T. O'Sullivan can't have a great year? I say he could be the next Joe Montana!

Eh, maybe not, but in this game he could. Since he's basically a nobody, and defenses don't have much tape to put together a full game plan, I see him coming out firing in this game and lead the 49ers to a 17-10 win over the Cards'.


Dallas Cowboys @ Cleveland Browns

Two overrated teams will go toe-to-toe in this matchup, but the more overrated team will lose. Who is that? The Cleveland Browns.

They really are a one-hit wonder in my eyes, and I don't like Derek Anderson this year at all. Besides Kellen Winslow and Braylon Edwards, I don't think this team can do enough to stay with the big boys (Jamal Lewis should only have a decent year).

And the Cowboys just have a better defense, and a deeper running game. Cowboys win 21-13.


Chicago Bears @ Indianapolis Colts

Once again, do I have to give much reason for this one? Bears are the far better team and will come away with an easy win, 35-17.

Ha, you should have seen the look on your face Bears fans! You were excited that someone believed in you! Eh, how quickly that emotion will leave, as I can just substitute Colts for Bears. Colts win 35-17 (see). (I'm so sorry Bears fans, please forgive me.)


Minnesota Vikings @ Green Bay Packers

Are the Vikings as good as people think? Nope. Their defense may be outstanding this year, but they have one BIG problem. Tarvaris Jackson. Is there a worse QB in the league right now? Of course. But is Jackson that much better than the bottom five QBs in the league? Not really.

His passing skills match those of Vince Young and Michael Vick. His game is running, and the Vikings already have enough of that (although I don't think Adrian Peterson will do well this year...).

With that said, the Packers' defense is too strong to not take advantage of Jackson's passing inabilities. The Packers win 13-10 in a great show by their defense, bringing in at least three interceptions and stopping Peterson all night long. And Aaron Rodgers won't do too bad, either.


Denver Broncos @ Oakland Raiders

We finish off this long preview with a "meh" game. I look at this game, and I just go "meh." The Broncos could have a surprising year, but with Marshall not in this game, and not much else for Cutler to throw too, who knows what their offense could do.

And the Raiders aren't terrible; they just don't have the right talent. With that said, whom do I think will win? I'm going with the upset and taking the Oakland Raiders in a 20-14 win, with Justin Fargas, not Darren McFadden, stealing the show.


Offensive Player of the Week

Justin Fargas-RB-Oakland Raiders (127 rushing yards, 2 TDs, 37 receiving yards)


Defensive Player of the Week

Al Harris-CB-Green Bay Packers (1 INT, 1 TD, 1 sack, 2 TFL)


So I went on a limb in some picks this week, but what the hay, you gotta do that if you want to get 'em right!

I hope you enjoyed this preview of Week One, and I'll be back next week to recap Week One. I'll then do my Week Two previews and predictions.


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