2011 NFL Predictions: Predicting the First Win for All 32 NFL Teams
If the NFL owners and players ever come together and form a collective bargaining agreement, the season, as always, will be one to remember.
There are many questions going into the season.
Will the Packers repeat as Super Bowl champs?
How bad will the Panthers really be?
Here is a prediction of each team's first win for the 2011 season.
As always, please comment with your opinion and constructive criticism.
Week 1 - Carolina at Arizona
The Cardinals will not be a good team this season.
However, their week 1 matchup at home against the Carolina Panthers should be their first win of the season.
WR Steve Smith has been rumoured to be dealt sometime this offseason, which would give the Panthers even weapons than they already have.
Week 1 - Atlanta at Chicago
This should be a great game. Both teams won their division last season, however, I like the Falcons to win the season opener just because of Matt Ryan. He has the leadership qualities similar to the likes of Peyton Manning or Tom Brady.
He also has the ability to lead his team down the field for a last minute touchdown.
Week 2 - Baltimore at Tennessee
I don't like the Week 1 matchup for the Ravens against the Steelers, however the Week 2 matchup against the Titans should be their first win.
The Ravens have the core of their team returning, including Joe Flacco, Ray Lewis and Ed Reed.
The Titans will be an average team this season, however, they should be no match for the Ravens defense.
Week 4 - Buffalo at Cincinnati
The Bengals are without Owens, Ochocinco and Palmer. They will be a very weak team this season.
The Bills are not much better, however, they should be able to scrap a win in this one.
Expect the Bills to make their first win of the season in Cincinnati in Week 4.
Week 11 - Carolina at Detroit
It will be a long season in Carolina.
Not only do they have the league's toughest schedule based on 2010 standings, but they were also 2010s worst team.
Truth be told, the Week 11 matchup against the Lions is the only game that can be a realistic victory.
The Panthers may very well go 0-16 this season.
Week 4 - Carolina at Chicago
Chicago has three tough games to open the season (vs. Falcons, at Saints, vs. Packers).
Chicago should be a good team once again and should compete for the division title.
But their Week 4 matchup at home against the Panthers will be a walk in the park.
Week 3 - San Francisco at Cincinnati
The Bengals are another team that will have a long season.
Most of their offensive weapons will be gone in the offseason, leaving almost no one to lead the offense.
Their Week 3 game at home against the 49ers is probably their most likely first victory.
Week 1 - Cincinnati at Cleveland
Cleveland will be a very average team this season.
The Bengals will be, by all accounts, terrible.
Look for the Browns to beat the Bengals at home in Week 1.
Week 2 - Dallas at San Francisco
The Cowboys have a tough game on the road against the Jets in Week 1.
However, in Week 2, the Cowboys should beat the much weaker 49ers.
Expect Tony Romo to have a good season, and maybe earn a Wild Card spot.
Week 2 - Cincinnati at Denver
Unless things change in Denver during the offseason, do not expect much out of this team.
They finished 4-12 last season and have the third toughest schedule this season.
That being said, there are worse teams out there with the Cincinnati Bengals being one of them.
Expect the Broncos to beat the Bengals at home in Week 2.
Week 6 - San Francisco at Detroit
The Lions will build on their late season play of last year.
The Lions won the last four games of the season to finish with a record of 6-10.
They should struggle out of the gate again this season as four of their first five matchups are against teams that had a winning record in 2010.
However, in Week 6, the Lions will be at home facing the 49ers. This should result in Detroit's first win of the season.
Green Bay Packers
Week 1 - New Orleans at Green Bay
The Packers will begin their Super Bowl defense with a close victory at home against the New Orleans Saints.
The Saints will be a good team again this year, however, the core of the Packers is young and strong.
Some experts are talking back-to-back championships for the Packers, and for good reason.
Week 2 - Houston at Miami
Last season was a bit of a setback for the Texans. They stumbled to a 6-10 finish just a year after their first winning season in franchise history.
The Texans do have a solid team that includes 2010 leading rusher Arian Foster.
Barring a busy offseason, the Miami Dolphins will not be a playoff team. Expect the Texans to beat them in their Week 2 matchup.
Week 1 - Indianapolis at Houston
The Colts have been a playoff team the last nine seasons.
There is no reason to think the Colts will not make make a 10th consecutive playoff appearance.
The Colts did look weak at times last season, with no running game or defense, but Peyton Manning is always able to get things done when it matters most.
Expect the Colts to beat the Texans on the road in Week 1 to start yet another playoff-bound season.
Week 1 - Tennessee at Jacksonville
The Jaguars had the division title within reach until the very end of the season when Peyton Manning and the Colts took it away at the last minute.
The Jaguars have a tough schedule this season, facing nine teams with winning records in 2010.
However, in Week 1, the Jaguars are at home facing the Titans. This should be a good game, ultimately resulting in a Jacksonville victory.
Kansas City Chiefs
Week 1 - Buffalo at Kansas City
Kansas City surprised many last season by winning the AFC West and making it into the playoffs.
The success of the Chiefs last season was in large part because of the play of QB Matt Cassel.
For the Chiefs to continue this success, Cassell will have to pick up where he left off.
That being said, the Week 1 matchup at home against the lowly Buffalo Bills should be a walk in the park.
Week 3 - Miami at Cleveland
Last season, the Dolphins had an impressive 6-2 record on the road.
The problem was that they were 1-7 at home. This will have to change if the Dolphins are to make the playoffs this season.
In Week 3, the Dolphins are in Cleveland to face a very average Cleveland Browns team.
Last season's road record, combined with their opponent, should result in a Dolphin victory in Week 3.
Week 3 - Detroit at Minnesota
The Vikings had way too many distractions last season.
The Brett Favre saga is over and the plans to build a new stadium are in place. This leaves no excuse for the Vikings this season.
New head coach Leslie Frazier says that he does not know who the starting QB will be when the season opens.
This can be a positive.
Expect the Vikings to get their first victory at home against the Lions in Week 3.
New England Patriots
Week 1 - New England at Miami
The Patriots were stunned last season by the Jets during their divisional playoff matchup.
This does not change anything about the expectations for the Patriots. They will look to still be one of the Super Bowl favorites for 2011.
This is why their Week 1 matchup in Miami against a very mediocre Dolphins squad should start their season off with a win.
New Orleans Saints
Week 2 - Chicago at New Orleans
The New Orleans Saints did not suffer a Super Bowl hangover last season. They were, however, in the best division in the NFL, and it cost them.
In Week 2, the Saints are at home against the Bears. This should be a good game, one that is close but should ultimately result in a Saints victory.
New York Giants
Week 1 - New York at Washington
Despite having 10 wins last season, the Giants failed to make the playoffs, this means they will have to step it up a notch this season.
The Giants should get off to a great start as they play six teams with losing records in 2010 in their first seven games.
Washington struggled last season and should do the same this year.
New York Jets
Week 1 - Dallas at New York
The New York Jets have made it to two consecutive AFC Championship games without a Super Bowl appearance.
It is mostly the stiffing defense that gets them there.
The Jets Week 1 matchup against the Dallas Cowboys will be a good game, but the Jets should prevail.
Week 1 - Oakland at Denver
For the first time in a while, the Oakland Raiders finished 2010 with a non-losing season, an overall record of 8-8.
The Raiders should put up a good fight to get into the postseason this year.
Oakland has half of their games against teams that had a worse record than them last season, so the Raiders schedule is favorable for them.
It is always difficult to play in Denver because of the elevation, but the Raiders should be able to leave Colorado with a Week 1 victory.
Week 1 - Philadelphia at St. Louis
Michael Vick had immediate success since joining the Eagles.
Vick will have to continue his stellar play this season if the Eagles are to defend as NFC East champs.
The Eagles open up their 2011 season with an away game against the re-emerging Rams.
The Rams finished 7-9 last season and lost a tiebreaker for the lowly NFC West crown.
The Eagles should easily defeat the Rams in for the Week 1 victory.
Week 1 - Pittsburgh at Baltimore
After making the Super Bowl last season, the Steelers look to repeat that success this season.
For the most part, the core of the Steelers is an experienced group of some of football's greatest players.
They open up the season in Baltimore against the Ravens. This should be one of Week 1s best matchups, but I think, in the end, the Steelers will open their 2011 campaign with a tight victory.
San Diego Chargers
Week 1 - Minnesota at San Diego
The Chargers open up their 2011 season with a game at home against the Minnesota Vikings.
The Vikings have a lot of questions going into this season, which bodes well for the Chargers.
San Diego has a reputation of starting off the season poorly, but coming into form as the season progresses.
They will need to correct this if they want to make the playoffs this year.
San Francisco 49ers
Week 1 - Seattle at San Francisco
The 49ers were supposed to run away with the weak NFC West, but failed to do so.
The division remains wide open and should be a horse race right to the finish.
They open the season at home against the division-rival Seattle Seahawks.
The 49ers had a strong home and inter-division record last season and should look to continue that success this season.
Week 3 - Arizona at Seattle
Seattle took the lowly NFC West division last season, but everything is up in the air this season.
Seattle should get their first win of the season in Week 3 when they are home against the Arizona Cardinals, who finished last in the division in 2010.
Minus some offseason movement by the Cardinals, they should expect to find themselves in the same spot they were last season.
St. Louis Rams
Week 4 - Washington at St. Louis
St. Louis was a tiebreaker away from claiming the NFC West division title.
QB Sam Bradford had a strong rookie campaign, and hopefully for the Rams' sake, he does not experience a sophomore slump.
The Rams, however, a have tough schedule to start the season.
It isn't until Week 4 against the Redskins that they are likely to get their first win.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Week 1 - Detroit at Tampa Bay
With 10 wins during the 2010 season, the Buccaneers were lucky enough to make the postseason.
Detroit, although an improved squad, will be no match for a Tampa Bay team at home.
Week 7 - Houston at Tennessee
The Titans are a very different team than they were in 2010.
They are most likely without their starting QB, Vince Young.
RB Chris Johnson should repeat his 2000+ yard season as the Titans are scheduled to face seven of the 10 worst rush defense teams in 2010.
The Titans should have a rough year, however, Houston will provide a good matchup and maybe even a Titans win.
Week 7 - Washington at Carolina
The Redskins will have a long season.
The Donavon McNabb experiment failed and now the Redskins are left with more questions than answers.
The Redskins are destined for a season with few wins, however, their Week 7 matchup against the Carolina Panthers should provide a favourable result.