PFT’s Week One picks

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We’re back.

This year, the picks column becomes supplemented with a “Best Bets” video, during which MDS and yours truly pick three games each against the spread, with no repeats.

So watch the video and then read the column. Or read the column and then watch the video.

For amusement purposes only. Except in the states where gambling is now legal.

Falcons at Eagles

MDS’s take: Plenty of people are doubting Nick Foles after a shaky preseason. I’m not. Foles has a Super Bowl MVP and a Pro Bowl regular season on his résumé. The Eagles will be fine while Carson Wentz is out.

MDS’s pick: Eagles 30, Falcons 28.

Florio’s take: The Eagles may want to bring back the dog masks for this one. As kickoff approaches, more and more are warming to the idea that the Falcons are the better team.

Florio’s pick: Falcons 27, Eagles 20.


Bills at Ravens

MDS’s take: I’m not sure what to think of Joe Flacco this season, but I am sure I don’t buy into the Bills’ offense.

MDS’s pick: Ravens 13, Bills 9.

Florio’s take: Poor Nathan Peterman.

Florio’s pick: Ravens 23, Bills 7.


Jaguars at Giants

MDS’s take: Eli Manning is going to have a long day against a tough defense.

MDS’s pick: Jaguars 20, Giants 10.

Florio’s take: This should be a prime-time game. Tom Coughlin returns to New York. Saquon Barkley debuts. Jalen Ramsey vs. Odell Beckham. The Giants are better but are they good enough to overcome a great Jacksonville team?

Florio’s pick: Jaguars 20, Giants 12.


Buccaneers at Saints

MDS’s take: Ryan Fitzpatrick will play better than most are expecting during Jameis Winston‘s suspension, but Drew Brees will prove to be too much for the Bucs’ defense.

MDS’s pick: Saints 28, Buccaneers 24.

Florio’s take: This is the Survivor Pool lock of the week. 

Florio’s pick: Saints 28, Buccaneers 13.


Texans at Patriots

MDS’s take: I almost want to pick Deshaun Watson to go to New England and pull off a Week One shocker, but I don’t quite have the guts to pull the trigger. It should be a close game that the Patriots just hold on to win.

MDS’s pick: Patriots 27, Texans 24.

Florio’s take: Another year, another Week One home upset loss for the Pats.

Florio’s pick: Texans 27, Patriots 23.


49ers at Vikings

MDS’s take: Jimmy Garoppolo will suffer the first loss of his NFL career, but he’ll go down fighting in what should be an excellent Week One battle.

MDS’s pick: Vikings 21, 49ers 20.

Florio’s take: No Jerick McKinnon. No Reuben Foster. Dominant Vikings defense. The presumed 49ers resurgence may have to wait a week.

 Florio’s pick: Vikings 30, 49ers 20.


Titans at Dolphins

MDS’s take: Ryan Tannehill is talking about how confident he is in this year’s offense, but I’m not confident in him. I think the Dolphins’ offense is going to struggle this year.

MDS’s pick: Titans 17, Dolphins 14.

Florio’s take: Get ready to get back on the Miami bandwagon.

Florio’s pick: Dolphins 28, Titans 20.


Bengals at Colts

MDS’s take: This will be one of the most interesting games of Week One because of the return of Andrew Luck. I think the Colts are going to win in Luck’s first game in 20 months.

MDS’s pick: Colts 21, Bengals 17.

Florio’s take: The Colts have Andrew Luck back, but they still have plenty of flaws. The Bengals quietly are better than most believe.

Florio’s pick: Bengals 23, Colts 16.


Steelers at Browns

MDS’s take: The Browns are a fashionable pick right now because they just have to be better than last year, right? I think they will be better, but the losing streak won’t end just yet.

MDS’s pick: Steelers 24, Browns 13.

Florio’s take: Could the Browns actually match in one Sunday their win total from the last two years? Yes, they could. Do I have the balls to make that kind of a pick in Week One? No, I don’t.

Florio’s pick: Steelers 24, Browns 10.


Chiefs at Chargers

MDS’s take: The debut of Patrick Mahomes will see the Chiefs pull off a road upset in Week One.

MDS’s pick: Chiefs 20, Chargers 14.

Florio’s take: The Patrick Mahomes era begins with a bang.

Florio’s pick: Chiefs 30, Chargers 23.


Seahawks at Broncos

MDS’s take: The Seahawks’ new-look defense is going to be better than a lot of people think. New Broncos quarterback Case Keenum is also going to be better than a lot of people think. This is one of my favorite matchups of Week One. I’ll take the Broncos in a close one.

MDS’s pick: Broncos 28, Seahawks 27.

Florio’s take: A Super Bowl XLVIII could end up being as lopsided.

Florio’s pick: Seahawks 30, Broncos 20.


Cowboys at Panthers

MDS’s take: The offensive line, which a couple years ago was the strength of the Cowboys, now has to be a concern. Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott are going to struggle.

MDS’s pick: Panthers 24, Cowboys 14.

Florio’s take: The man who seemed to be destined to coach the Cowboys now runs the Carolina offense. The real question is whether the Dallas offense can do anything with a banged up offensive line.

Florio’s pick: Panthers 17, Cowboys 13.


Washington at Cardinals

MDS’s take: Sam Bradford vs. Alex Smith is an intriguing quarterback matchup and I’m not totally sure what to think of it. When I’m not sure what to think in Week One, I go with the home team in a close game.

MDS’s pick: Cardinals 24, Washington 23.

Florio’s take: Sam Bradford is great for one game. And probably only for one game.

Florio’s pick: Cardinals 24, Washington 13.


Bears at Packers

MDS’s take: The Bears are a lot more than just Khalil Mack away from winning the NFC North.

MDS’s pick: Packers 27, Bears 17.

Florio’s take: The presence of Khalil Mack makes this one more interesting. But not so interesting that the Bears can actually win it.

Florio’s pick: Packers 34, Bears 21.


Jets at Lions

MDS’s take: The Lions looked terrible in the preseason, but playing at home against a rookie quarterback, they should be able to win a low-scoring game.

MDS’s pick: Lions 14, Jets 10.

Florio’s take: Rookie quarterbacks haven’t fared well against Bill Belichick, and Matt Patricia had been Belichick’s top lieutenant for years.

Florio’s pick: Lions 17, Jets 9.


Rams at Raiders

MDS’s take: This looks like an ugly return to Oakland for Jon Gruden. The Rams will win easily.

MDS’s pick: Rams 30, Raiders 17.

Florio’s take: The best game of Week One took a hit with the Khalil Mack trade. Derek Carr will take even more hits, now that Aaron Donald and Ndamukong Suh are finally together.

Florio’s pick: Rams 31, Raiders 17.

72 responses to “PFT’s Week One picks

  1. niners816 says:
    September 6, 2018 at 12:41 pm
    49ers-24 Vikings-17
    —–
    No they had it right with the Vikings winning.

  2. MDS giving Bills a lot of credit. Why? Ravens will feast on Bills offensively and defensively. I see two defensive scores by Ravens and no way does Bills offense score a TD against Ravens D.

    Ravens 31
    Bills 6

  3. MDS’s pick: Jaguars 20, Giants 10.

    Florio’s pick: Jaguars 20, Giants 12.

    You guys are being very generous to the Giants defense. Especially if Vernon does not play, and it looks like he won’t. Those boys in blue will be gassed after Messrs Fournette, Yeldon and Grant put up 200+ yards on the ground against their porous front 7.

  4. Going to pull a Jack Luce here and call the Bears to “upset” a core of Packers who aren’t as stout on defense and who will face a galvanized pass rush when Rodgers takes the field on offense.

    It’ll still be a close one though. 27-24.

  5. contra74 says:
    September 6, 2018 at 12:46 pm
    niners816 says:
    September 6, 2018 at 12:41 pm
    49ers-24 Vikings-17
    —–
    No they had it right with the Vikings winning.
    ———-
    They don’t even watch football. I’m not taking their side.

  6. niners816 says:
    September 6, 2018 at 12:41 pm
    49ers-24 Vikings-17

    —————————–
    I think it will be a good game, but the D got better since last year. Last year it took a great offensive game to get to 17 on this D, especially when #97 was healthy. IF the niners find a way to win it won’t be by getting to 24pts especially at US Bank. Their way to win is finding a way to shut down this offense that has a lot of new parts (QB, Cord, working Cook back in).

  7. Crazy every network picking panthers saying our online is in pices when in truth they are fine and only missing Frederick! Our defense is top 10, loving the under the radar and totally disrespect that every one has for us! Cowboys 17 panthers 13

  8. “The Giants are better but are they good enough to overcome a great Jacksonville team?”

    Remind again me Mike Florio….but what exactly have the Jags won to deemed “GREAT”???

  9. Hail to the Redskins!
    Hail Victory!
    Braves on the Warpath!
    Fight for old D.C.!
    Run or pass and score—We want a lot more!
    Beat ’em, Swamp ’em,
    Touchdown! — Let the points soar!
    Fight on, fight on ‘Til you have won
    Sons of Wash-ing-ton. Rah!, Rah!, Rah!
    Hail to the Redskins!
    Hail Victory!
    Braves on the Warpath!
    Fight for old D.C.!

  10. Rob Brzezinski is a Magician says:
    September 6, 2018 at 12:46 pm
    I’m trying to figure out how the 49ers get to 20 points

    ——

    The same way Nick Foles did

  11. 60% of the betting public is wagering on the Steelers and yet the line continues to move down. Hmmmmmmm….

  12. Both are picking the Panthers over the Cowboys because of our O-line? Have you not seen the Panther’s O-line? Cowboys will be just fine, run at will, and showcase their new and improved defense and come away with 4 sacks!

  13. I have a question/suggestion, can you put the like or dislike next to the predictions or make it into a poll that shows how many agree with Mike’s or MDS’ pick? Also, what about a fan poll? fans can vote on who will win and if possible add a score. The poll could take the average of each score and show what fan score prediction would be by average.

  14. A couple of notes here: Agree with @calizcowboys, I ‘think’ the Cowboys are flying under the radar. The defense could be dominant and the offense will be fine.

    Sam Bradford has a better chance of winning consecutive Super Bowls than Hue Jackson does at winning more than four games. The Browns have some talented players and decent coordinators but they won’t start winning until Hue is out and Mayfield is in.

    Redskins. It’s Washington Redskins.

    The Giants are better than the Jags?

    Rogers is going to feed on the Bears and Mack.

    Rams could put up 50 on Chucky.

    Never thought I’d say this, but I’m with Florio on this one. Texans win.

  15. It’s quite obvious how anyone (and everyone) will score more than 20 on the Vikings defense this year. The blueprint is right there in that 38-7 massacre with a home Super Bowl on the line.

    Honestly, I really can’t see how Vikings fans are so brazenly arrogant this year. You got flat out destroyed in your last game, and your upgrades aren’t super upgrades. Maybe depth? But nothing earth shattering.

    I’d be surprised…truly surprised if the Vikings get double digit wins this year.

  16. There is no team that goes by the name “Washington”. None. Zero. Still trying to confuse readers?

    Hmm, there’s a team in Washington, the Seahawks. But how can they play both the Broncos and Cardinals?

    Drew Brees demands an explanation.

  17. Rob Brzezinski is a Magician says:
    September 6, 2018 at 12:46 pm
    I’m trying to figure out how the 49ers get to 20 points.

    —-

    They asked the eagles.

  18. longtimefanh8tr says:

    Going to pull a Captain Obvious here and pick the Packers big. AR will not let an upset happen!!!!
    ———————————————————-
    “Win Big” & “Upset” mentioned all in one post, Hmmmm……..Are we not so confident? Lol.

    BTW, great to see people talking football, not politics.

  19. “Win Big” & “Upset” mentioned all in one post, Hmmmm……..Are we not so confident? Lol.

    BTW, great to see people talking football, not politics.
    ////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
    reading comprehension???

  20. Kuechly has probably been watching Cowboys film since schedule release day and knows every run play Dallas has, If they stop the run and make Dak throw, who’s he throwing to?

  21. longtimefanh8tr says:
    September 6, 2018 at 1:08 pm
    Going to pull a Captain Obvious here and pick the Packers big. AR will not let an upset happen!!!!
    __________________

    Don’t you mean Captain Collarbone? $10 says Rodgers doesn’t make it through the year. Stock up on the Beer in Wisconsin as your current supply will be watered down with your tears after the nationally televised shocker will have experts scrambling to rocket the Bears up the power rankings and the Pack exposed as an expensive one trick-pony at QB.

  22. minneanderthals says:
    September 6, 2018 at 1:41 pm

    It’s quite obvious how anyone (and everyone) will score more than 20 on the Vikings defense this year. The blueprint is right there in that 38-7 massacre with a home Super Bowl on the line.

    Honestly, I really can’t see how Vikings fans are so brazenly arrogant this year. You got flat out destroyed in your last game, and your upgrades aren’t super upgrades. Maybe depth? But nothing earth shattering.

    I’d be surprised…truly surprised if the Vikings get double digit wins this year.
    ____________

    A Packer fan calling someone else arrogant? Pot, meet kettle.

    The Packers were blown out in the 2016 NFC championship game just as bad as the Vikings were last year, but I didn’t see you on here talking about how everyone had figured out the Packers. Nope, you were predicting a Super Bowl as usual.

    So you’re only as good as your last game? The Packers’ last game was a 35-11 loss to the Lions to end a pitiful season. Oh, that one doesn’t count because Rodgers didn’t play? The last game he played was a 31-24 loss to the Panthers, and he didn’t look good. Your logic dictates that the Packers will be terrible again this year. I don’t particularly agree with that, but you should if you’re going to be consistent.

  23. It makes me nervous when Florio picks the Vikings to win. things always go better when the opposite is true

  24. inozwetrust says:
    September 6, 2018 at 12:49 pm
    MDS giving Bills a lot of credit. Why? Ravens will feast on Bills offensively and defensively. I see two defensive scores by Ravens and no way does Bills offense score a TD against Ravens D.

    Ravens 31
    Bills 6
    __________________________________________________________________________

    First… The Ravens D is no longer the same Ravens D of the past… They are older and slower.

    Second… Nathan Peterman may not be Tom Brady, But he sure as heck not EJ Manuel or Trent Edwards. Nobody is giving this kid any credit where credit is due… All they are relying on is his 1st NFL start and not looking at what he did in the offseason or this preseason for that matter. Peterman’s biggest drawback last season was a weak arm, Which he has built up throughout the offseason. You can see it in his sideline throws that he has more velocity on the ball. Also, He elevated the play of those around him throughout this preseason, Whether he was with the starters or the third team you definitely noticed he was on the field and in charge. He completed 80% of his passes… 33/41 for 431 yards, 3td’s & 1 int in basically 3.5 quarters. The kid has confidence and has outright won the starting Quarterback position in Buffalo.
    I hope he proves everyone wrong and keeps that starting job for years to come.

  25. If you’re in a survivor pool and you are picking Pittsburgh, you better make sure you can buy back in after week 1, because the Browns are a lock.

  26. Don’t you mean Captain Collarbone? $10 says Rodgers doesn’t make it through the year. Stock up on the Beer in Wisconsin as your current supply will be watered down with your tears after the nationally televised shocker will have experts scrambling to rocket the Bears up the power rankings and the Pack exposed as an expensive one trick-pony at QB.
    ///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

    I’ll see your bet and up it $10. The guy who won’t make it through the season is Cousins. Then there will be purple tears the likes of which we saw after a 35-7 loss.

  27. Looking forward to watching the 49ers new QB in person, although I hope he spends most of the game on his rear end.

  28. As for Niners-Vikings, with Jerick McKinnon out look for the Juuuuuice to surprise people with a big game, especially receiving out of the backfield. 49ers have a lot of speedy little guys they’ll be throwing screens to. This won’t be a cakewalk for Minny but I do think Vikes win.

  29. Rob Brzezinski is a Magician says:

    A Packer fan calling someone else arrogant? Pot, meet kettle.
    The Packers were blown out in the 2016 NFC championship game just as bad as the Vikings were last year, but I didn’t see you on here talking about how everyone had figured out the Packers. Nope, you were predicting a Super Bowl as usual.
    So you’re only as good as your last game? The Packers’ last game was a 35-11 loss to the Lions to end a pitiful season. Oh, that one doesn’t count because Rodgers didn’t play? The last game he played was a 31-24 loss to the Panthers, and he didn’t look good. Your logic dictates that the Packers will be terrible again this year. I don’t particularly agree with that, but you should if you’re going to be consistent.

    ——–

    Reading comprehension is hard.

    You haven’t really upgraded in any meaningful ways. The Packers have huge upgrades at positions of weakness from last year. Plus a DC that has consistently put good defenses on the field.

    As recently as two days ago I picked the Vikings to make it to the Championship game, but since revisiting all the changes to your team, I can’t see it happening. You have a great team. Truly. But saying a team can’t put up 20 points on your defense after it’s last game is folly.

    You have no idea if Cousins will mesh well with your spankin new OC. Your offense last year was better than expected. That could have been because of scheme, which could be vastly different this year. You don’t know. I can tell you this: A strong inside rush makes the Vikings offense look bad. Guess what the Packers have? A strong inside rush, that got better this offseason… in both personnel AND scheme.

    Firehose could end up leading you to the promised land. I don’t think it’s this year. If I had to pick one of the 3, I’d say next year.

    It’s going to take time.

  30. I LIKE the idea of a Thumbs up/down along with each pic.
    Same with the power rankings up/down for where we think the teams should be ranked…

  31. You guys are being very generous to the Giants defense. Especially if Vernon does not play, and it looks like he won’t. Those boys in blue will be gassed after Messrs Fournette, Yeldon and Grant put up 200+ yards on the ground against their porous front 7.
    Did I miss something or is Blake Bortles still the starting QB on this team. First off, the strength of the Giants defense, even when its bad, is the run defense. With Snacks as their nose tackle, better linebacker play, and a pro bowler in Collins helping defend the box, you beat the Giants by throwing not running. Which again comes to my first point, is Blake Bortles still your QB. If he is then the running game won’t matter if they are seeing 8 in the box. Listen the Jacksonville defense is fantastic but this isn’t your old 11 personnel Ben McAdoo offense. They have weapons at every level but unlike before when their line was terrible, and their running backs were 3 yards and a cloud of dust. This year they have a head coach/play caller who is competent, a decent line, and a stud RB. Teams cant put 7 men in coverage anymore. Teams actually have to pay attention to a running game too. Jags may still win but both teams score 20 thats for sure.

  32. micktanner says:
    September 6, 2018 at 1:04 pm
    “The Giants are better but are they good enough to overcome a great Jacksonville team?”

    Remind again me Mike Florio….but what exactly have the Jags won to deemed “GREAT”???
    Great defense yes. Offense I think OK would be a better definition.

  33. I’m just hoping the Bears D knocks Rodgers out Week 1 so the Vikings don’t have to do it Week 2.

  34. minneanderthals says:
    September 6, 2018 at 3:56 pm

    You haven’t really upgraded in any meaningful ways. The Packers have huge upgrades at positions of weakness from last year. Plus a DC that has consistently put good defenses on the field.

    As recently as two days ago I picked the Vikings to make it to the Championship game, but since revisiting all the changes to your team, I can’t see it happening. You have a great team. Truly. But saying a team can’t put up 20 points on your defense after it’s last game is folly.

    You have no idea if Cousins will mesh well with your spankin new OC. Your offense last year was better than expected. That could have been because of scheme, which could be vastly different this year. You don’t know. I can tell you this: A strong inside rush makes the Vikings offense look bad. Guess what the Packers have? A strong inside rush, that got better this offseason… in both personnel AND scheme.

    Firehose could end up leading you to the promised land. I don’t think it’s this year. If I had to pick one of the 3, I’d say next year.

    It’s going to take time.
    __________

    I appreciate that you put some actual thought into one of your comments rather than the usual trolling. I still feel like you’re applying reasoning to the Packers that you won’t apply to the Vikings, and vice versa. Let me share a few thoughts:

    – The Packers made a huge upgrade at quarterback this season, but that gets them to a 10-6 baseline because that was their record the previous two seasons with Rodgers. Graham is an upgrade over last year’s tight end debacle, but he’s not the Jimmy Graham from five years ago. Does he make up for not having a legitimate #2 wide receiver? Every year we hear excitement about the new tight end in town and it hasn’t worked out yet.

    – I didn’t say a team can’t put up 20 points on the Vikings’ defense. It happened six times last year. But it only happened once at home, when the Saints scored 24 in the playoffs. That was with the help of an interception and a blocked punt giving them very short fields. I just think it’s unlikely that SF does it this week.

    – You call your new DC a “huge upgrade.” Then you say I have no idea if Cousins will mesh well with our new OC. How do you know your defensive players will mesh well with your new DC? Why not admit that we won’t know how well either works until we see it?

    – I would say Kirk Cousins is a slight upgrade over last year’s Case Keenum and a huge upgrade over historical Case Keenum. I’d say Dalvin Cook is a huge upgrade over Jerrick McKinnon. I’d say Sheldon Richardson is a huge upgrade over Tom Johnson. I’d say this year’s Mackensie Alexander and Mike Hughes are a big upgrade over last year’s Mackensie Alexander at nickel corner. You seem to think those changes are a problem but I don’t see any reason to be pessimistic about them.

    – How do you know a strong inside rush makes the Vikings’ offense look bad? You haven’t even seen the new Vikings’ offense. You said so yourself.

  35. Lions were a top 10 scoring offense last year, despite never playing with their O line intact. Going into the year reasonably healthy, and upgrading the backfield and the O line hopefully they can manage more than 14-17 pts at home against the Jets.

    What has me concerned is lions defense. This is going to be higher scoring than either of you predicted.

  36. People must really WANT the 49ers to be good. “Garoppolo went 5-0 to finish the season.”
    (throwing 7 TD and 5 INT)

    15-14 win @ CHI… the Bears? Trubisky’s rookie year/4th place in the NFC-n?
    26-16 win @ HOU… the Texans (w/o Watson, Watt)
    25-23 win vs TEN… a legit win vs a playoff team
    44-33 win vs JAX… that was playing for nothing
    24-13 win @ LAR… that didn’t start: Goff, Gurley or Donald

    I see 1 quality win out of those 5.

  37. The Packers have had one of the most talented defenses in the NFL for years and I think we’ll finally see the results with their new DC. Packers 35 Bears 7

  38. Texans 31 Patriots 28 I don’t see the Pats starting well I think they find their footing in week 3 then go on a roll. Brady and the offense will still ball out but the defense is incredibly suspect. Vikings 24 49ers 20 Cousins will put up some offense but the Vikes defense is unlike anything Jimmy G has faced yet. Ravens 30 Bills 9 my lock of the week because this is going to get ugly even Flacco will probably have great stats but picks by Buffalo will open up the game.

  39. Broncos 30, Seafrauds 16.

    Cardinals 24, Redskins 9.

    The true test of the week will be to see if the Buccaneers are truly as bad as everyone expects them to be and whether the Saints are truly as great as everyone expects them to be. If the Saints don’t score more than 35 I’m going to be disappointed.

  40. @USD

    The packers have had one of the most talented defenses in the NFL for years… really? Based on what exactly? The revolving door of rookie DBs? The desperate search for any warm body to play ilb? Overpaying Perry because the HGh isn’t working for Fabio anymore? They finally got a second decent DL last year…. You’re “talented defense” from just a couple years ago features multiple players who played significant snaps that aren’t on a roster anymore. The cheese is seeping into what is left of your brain, buddy

  41. billsfan4life says:
    September 6, 2018 at 12:55 pm

    Buffalo 27 Baltimore 17. Mark it down!

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    We marked it down. You’re done for the season.

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