NFL TV Schedule 2018: Week 1 Coverage Map, Game Times and Predictions

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorSeptember 6, 2018

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - AUGUST 09:  Saquon Barkley #26 of the New York Giants carries the ball as Damarious Randall #23 of the Cleveland Browns defends in the first quarter during their preseason game on August 9,2018 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

Two massive upsets nearly occurred in Week 1 of the 2017 NFL season, as the Pittsburgh Steelers held off the Cleveland Browns 21-18 while the Atlanta Falcons needed overtime to beat the Chicago Bears 23-17.

This season, a few Week 1 upsets could be brewing, and analysis can be found on one predicted below. You can also review a Week 1 coverage map, some NFL picks and the upcoming schedule, with dates, times and television channels listed.

         

Week 1 Coverage Map (via 506 Sports)

        

Atlanta Falcons at Philadelphia Eagles

Date, Time and TV: Thursday, September 6 at 8:20 p.m. ET on NBC

Pick: Atlanta 24, Philadelphia 17

              

Cincinnati Bengals at Indianapolis Colts

Date, Time and TV: Sunday, September 9 at 1 p.m. ET on CBS

Pick: Cincinnati 34, Indianapolis 31

             

Buffalo Bills at Baltimore Ravena

Date, Time and TV: Sunday, September 9 at 1 p.m. ET on CBS

Pick: Baltimore 24, Buffalo 10

          

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints

Date, Time and TV: Sunday, September 9 at 1 p.m. ET on FOX

Pick: New Orleans 31, Tampa Bay 17

        

Houston Texans at New England Patriots

Date, Time and TV: Sunday, September 9 at 1 p.m. ET on CBS

Pick: Houston 31, New England 30

           

San Francisco 49ers at Minnesota Vikings

Date, Time and TV: Sunday, September 9 at 1 p.m. ET on FOX

Pick: Minnesota 27, San Francisco 20

           

Tennessee Titans at Miami Dolphins

Date, Time and TV: Sunday, September 9 at 1 p.m. ET on FOX

Pick: Tennessee 24, Miami 10

         

Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns

Date, Time and TV: Sunday, September 9 at 1 p.m. ET on CBS

Pick: Pittsburgh 31, Cleveland 20

           

Jacksonville Jaguars at New York Giants

Date, Time and TV: Sunday, September 9 at 1 p.m. ET on FOX

Pick: New York 17, Jacksonville 16

           

Kansas City Chiefs at Los Angeles Chargers

Date, Time and TV: Sunday, September 9 at 4:05 p.m. ET on CBS

Pick: Los Angeles 34, Kansas City 31

              

Washington Redskins at Arizona Cardinals

Date, Time and TV: Sunday, September 9 at 4:25 p.m. ET on FOX

Pick: Arizona 24, Washington 13

           

Dallas Cowboys at Carolina Panthers

Date, Time and TV: Sunday, September 9 at 4:25 p.m. ET on FOX

Pick: Carolina 27, Dallas 17

    

Seattle Seahawks at Denver Broncos

Date, Time and TV: Sunday, September 9 at 4:25 p.m. ET on FOX

Pick: Denver 20, Seattle 17

        

Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers

Date, Time and TV: Sunday, September 9 at 8:20 p.m. ET on NBC

Pick: Green Bay 17, Chicago 13

   

New York Jets at Detroit Lions

Date, Time and TV: Monday, September 10 at 7:10 p.m. ET on ESPN

Pick: New York 20, Detroit 17

   

Los Angeles Rams at Oakland Raiders

Date, Time and TV: Monday, September 10 at 10:20 p.m. ET on ESPN

Pick: Los Angeles 38, Oakland 10

        

Upset Special: New York Giants over Jacksonville Jaguars

Last year, the Jacksonville Jaguars were minutes away from winning the AFC championship over the New England Patriots. Meanwhile, the New York Giants went 3-13 and had the second-worst record in football, ahead of a team that went winless. So why pick the Giants over the Jags straight up here?

First, the Giants have the personnel to appropriately attack the Jaguars defense. Jacksonville finished No. 1 in defense efficiency last year, per Football Outsiders, but it ranked just 16th against running backs, 20th versus tight ends and 27th in rush-defense efficiency.

That's not a big deal for Jacksonville in the air if it is facing running backs and tight ends more attuned to downhill running and blocking rather than pass-catching, per se, but it could be a problem when a team has adequate pass-catching running backs and tight ends.

The Giants are lucky enough to have both: rookie Saquon Barkley put up wide receiver numbers from his pass-catching stats alone at Penn State in 2017, snagging 54 passes for 632 yards and three touchdowns. In limited action last year, Wayne Gallman was used as a pass-catching threat, and he delivered to the tune of 34 receptions.

Furthermore, tight end Evan Engram shined in his first year in the league, hauling in 64 passes for 722 yards and six scores.

As far as the running game goes, Barkley should be the bell cow there. Expect the Giants to try to run behind their strong side of the line (the left side with tackle Nate Solder and guard Will Hernandez).

Ultimately, the Giants' offensive game plan should be simple: dial up a ton of short passes to running backs and tight ends and run the ball as much as possible. As good as star wideout Odell Beckham Jr. is, it wouldn't be optimal to consistently target him in this one, as that plays into the Jags' strength.

Second, Jacksonville is a run-first offense, but that plays into the strength of the Giants defense. New York did a great job stopping the run through the first three weeks of the preseason (the Giants rested every defensive starter in Week 4), preventing the Cleveland Browns (33 carries, 50 yards), the Detroit Lions (22 carries, 67 yards) and New York Jets (21 carries, 66 yards) from doing much of anything on the ground.

Nose tackle Damon "Snacks" Harrison is the biggest reason why the Giants may stonewall teams on the ground this year. Per Pro Football Focus, Harrison is No. 1 in the NFL in defensive stops by interior defenders since 2015 with 147. The next-closest player (the Los Angeles Rams' Aaron Donald) has 124.

Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette is a talented back, and he was the catalyst for his team's upset win over the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC divisional round. However, Harrison and the Giants front seven is capable of shutting him down.

The Jags should still get on the board, of course. The Giants secondary has some question marks outside of cornerback Janoris Jenkins and safety Landon Collins, so Jags quarterback Blake Bortles could air it out to his receivers for big gains.

But expect this contest to be a rock fight in which neither team even hits 20 points. Ultimately, Barkley will do just enough to lead Big Blue to a win.

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