PFT’s Week One picks

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Football is back, and so are our efforts at prognostication.

For the eighth straight season, MDS and I will be picking games straight up. We disagree on four of the games.

Scroll for our takes and our picks as to all of the Week One games of the 100th season of the NFL.

Packers at Bears

MDS’s take: I’m expecting the Bears’ defense to take a step backward this year, both because Vic Fangio has left for Denver and because of simple regression to the mean after Chicago’s defense was otherworldly last year. But I’m also not sure Aaron Rodgers and Matt LaFleur are the right fit, and so I don’t think the Packers are the right team to exploit the Bears’ defensive liabilities.

MDS’s pick: Bears 16, Packers 13.

Florio’s take:  The Bears are largely known. The Packers are largely unknown. Advantage, known.

Florio’s pick: Bears 23, Packers 16.


Rams at Panthers

MDS’s take: This is a very intriguing game that can make an early impact on the NFC playoff race, and I believe the Rams are going to get a big road victory under their belt.

MDS’s pick: Rams 28, Panthers 17.

Florio’s take: The Panthers are not easy to beat at home, especially with a healthy Cam Newton. Look for underrated head coach Ron Rivera to take full advantage of the blueprint provided by the Patriots for slowing down the L.A. offense.

Florio’s pick: Panthers 23, Rams 17.


Washington at Eagles

MDS’s take: There’s an enormous gulf between these two rosters. Philadelphia has great depth, Washington has a lot of holes. I don’t see this one being close.

MDS’s pick: Eagles 35, Washington 14.

Florio’s take: Dysfunction meets potential dynasty.

Florio’s pick: Eagles 34, Washington 17.


Bills at Jets

MDS’s take: I have a feeling Adam Gase and Sam Darnold are going to have a few surprises in their offense that will take opposing defenses off guard early this season, and the Bills may find themselves playing catch-up on Sunday. That’s not what they’re designed to do.

MDS’s pick: Jets 27, Bills 17.

Florio’s take: One of these teams will contend for a playoff berth. That team is more likely to be the Jets.

Florio’s pick: Jets 30, Bills 21.


Falcons at Vikings

MDS’s take: Both of these teams are coming off disappointing seasons and need to turn things around. I trust Matt Ryan to help the Falcons do that more than I trust Kirk Cousins.

MDS’s pick: Falcons 24, Vikings 21.

Florio’s take: The new-look Vikings offense starts at home against a team that could go either way. Since it’s not a night game, Minnesota and quarterback Kirk Cousins should be fine.

Florio’s pick: Vikings 24, Falcons 21.


Ravens at Dolphins

MDS’s take: The Dolphins are going nowhere fast. This should be a fun opportunity to see the Ravens’ new-look offense, playing with a lead for most of the game, churn a lot of yards on the ground.

MDS’s pick: Ravens 20, Dolphins 10.

Florio’s take: Tank for Tua. Failin’ for Jalen. Bustin’ for Justin’. Whatever the label, the Dolphins are content to take their lumps this year, in the hopes of being the team to deliver lumps later.

Florio’s pick: Ravens 24, Dolphins 13.


Chiefs at Jaguars

MDS’s take: The Jaguars’ defense should bounce back this year, and the Chiefs might not put on quite the show that a lot of people are expecting in Week One. I’m still taking the Chiefs to win, but it’s going to be a closer, more competitive game than you think.

MDS’s pick: Chiefs 21, Jaguars 20.

Florio’s take: Although the Jaguars will be a much better team in 2019, there will be no regression in Kansas City.

Florio’s pick: Chiefs 31, Jaguars 20.


Titans at Browns

MDS’s take: Can the Browns live up to the offseason hype? I think they will, at least in this game, when Myles Garrett will live in the Titans’ backfield and the Browns’ defense will lead the way.

MDS’s pick: Browns 24, Titans 7.

Florio’s take: The Titans play up to the level of the competition, the Titans play down to the level of the competition. And the Titans are sick of spending the last seven months hearing about the level of competition the Browns will provide.

Florio’s pick: Titans 23, Browns 21.


Colts at Chargers

MDS’s take: Jacoby Brissett, in his first game as The Man for the Colts, will struggle against a stout Chargers defense. Philip Rivers should have a good day and the Chargers will win.

MDS’s pick: Chargers 28, Colts 20.

Florio’s take: The Colts started 1-5 last year with Andrew Luck. Without him, 0-1 is a likely outcome, especially with the Chargers being the opponent.

Florio’s pick: Chargers 24, Colts 20.


Bengals at Seahawks

MDS’s take: The Seahawks showed by trading for Jadeveon Clowney that they’re serious about winning this year. They should get the season off to a big start, at home against a bad Bengals team.

MDS’s pick: Seahawks 31, Bengals 14.

Florio’s take: Look away while you still can.

Florio’s pick: Seahawks 27, Bengals 6.


49ers at Buccaneers

MDS’s take: The Bucs’ new-look offense under Bruce Arians will outplay the 49ers’ offense, which still doesn’t seem like it has the right pieces in place in Year 3 of Kyle Shanahan.

MDS’s pick: Buccaneers 30, 49ers 27.

Florio’s take: This may be the hardest one of the week to call. Bruce Arians always did well against the 49ers while coaching the Cardinals, and the Bucs are at home. Plus, it’s still not clear whether Jimmy Garoppolo can get it done.

Florio’s pick: Buccaneers 23, 49ers 20.


Giants at Cowboys

MDS’s take: I’m expecting a rough year for the Giants, who need to figure out the right succession plan to go from Eli Manning to Daniel Jones. The Cowboys should win this one comfortably.

MDS’s pick: Cowboys 30, Giants 20.

Florio’s take: The Cowboys had a good chance to win this one, even without Ezekiel Elliott in the fold. Now that he’s there, it’s 1-0 for the defending NFC East champs.

Florio’s pick: Cowboys 30, Giants 20.


Lions at Cardinals

MDS’s take: Kyler Murray and Kliff Kingsbury may take Matt Patricia’s defense off guard early on, but the Cardinals’ roster just isn’t rebuilt yet, and in what I’m expecting to be a tough game over four quarters, the Lions’ defensive depth should help them late.

MDS’s pick: Lions 24, Cardinals 21.

Florio’s take:  I want the Cardinals’ new offense to work. I’ll take a wait-and-see approach to whether it actually will.

Florio’s pick: Lions 31, Cardinals 20.


Steelers at Patriots

MDS’s take: The Steelers won’t miss Antonio Brown off the field, but they’ll miss him on the field. The Patriots, on the other hand, are well-equipped to adjust to the absence of Rob Gronkowski. I like the Patriots to win this one with their passing game.

MDS’s pick: Patriots 31, Steelers 21.

Florio’s take: Two years ago, the Patriots lost to the Chiefs on the night they hung a banner. Bill Belichick won’t let that happen a second time.

Florio’s pick: Patriots 27, Steelers 24.


Texans at Saints

MDS’s take: This is the most intriguing game on the schedule to me, a Texans team that took a couple of big gambles on cut-down day against a Saints team that wants one more run to the Super Bowl with Drew Brees. I’m not sold on what the Texans are doing.

MDS’s pick: Saints 20, Texans 16.

Florio’s take: The Saints have started slowly each of the last two years, and they’re keenly aware of that.

Florio’s pick: Saints 31, Texans 21.


Broncos at Raiders

MDS’s take: Vic Fangio’s defense should be good in Denver, but that offense just doesn’t have the personnel. I like the Raiders to win a low-scoring game.

MDS’s pick: Raiders 13, Broncos 10.

Florio’s take: Tick . . . tick . . . tick . . . tick . . . tick. . . . . BOOMIN’.

Florio’s pick: Broncos 23, Raiders 13.

58 responses to “PFT’s Week One picks

  1. Bears over Packers
    Rams over Panthers
    Jets over Bills
    Patriots over Steelers
    Eagles over Redskins

  2. Two years ago, the Patriots lost to the Chiefs on the night they hung a banner. Bill Belichick won’t let that happen a second time.

    Ha! It won’t happen, but Bill won’t be the reason why – the NFL scheduling office has already prevented it. The Chiefs won’t be anywhere near Foxboro on Sunday night!

    😉

  3. This was the first time in franchise history the Bills finished 4-0 in preseason. Have they turned over a new leaf? Probably not. However, one thing is for sure, they are due for another playoff appearance.

  4. Thank god football is back! So sick of the same old regurgitated stories(theories). Ready to read about things that actually happened.

  5. Bears lose by a double-doink FG – it just has to be. Don’t try to resist fate, get it out the way.

  6. FootballSeasonRules says:
    September 5, 2019 at 12:48 pm
    Bears over Packers
    Rams over Panthers
    Jets over Bills
    Patriots over Steelers
    Eagles over Redskins
    —–
    Wow! Way to go out on a limb and pick nothing but teams that are favored to win!

  7. Eagle a potential dynasty hahahaa … not going to say the skins will beat them but they are capable of doing it

  8. Florio’s take: Dysfunction meets potential dynasty.

    Florio’s pick: Eagles 34, Washington 17.
    ______________________________________________

    Mike lets not get ahead of yourself here. Wentz can’t keep himself on the field, dynasty’s need consistency.

    Oh and my money is on the Chiefs blowing it in Jacksonville. Jacksonville 28, KC 24

  9. Ok, granted Bruce Allen is a boob, but still where is the dysfunction??? Is it because Trent is holding out? I think at some point all teams have a hold out, but that doesn’t mean there’s dysfunction

    A lot of holes? How so? They may be equal at QB I mean Alex Smith wasn’t exactly lighting it up as QB, and Keenum might be a better fit for this offense, A.P. well he had flashes last year and you still have him, but you’ve also got Guice back that’s an upgrade, the receivers albeit not household names, I wouldn’t sleep on them…and well the defense was good last year, and with another year together plus some new additions (good ones) they should only get better. Again to start off with the dysfunction label already is a bit premature, and to think Philly is just going to run away with the game…I don’t see it, Wentz has played about as much as Alex Smith over the last year, practice reps don’t equal real game reps, oh there will be rust and if he’s not careful he could be sitting on the sidelines again.

  10. Steelers beat NE last year, and should have won 2 straight from them, had they not been cheated out of that TD catch to Jessie James. Patriots over the Steelers is by no means a done deal…

  11. Patriots 27 Steelers 24 I think this will be a close game with Julian Edelman and Stephon Gilmore being the differences. Bears 24 Packers 17 I don’t think the Packers fixed their o line issues nor did they fix their defense. Finally, I have the Eagles blowing out the Redskins 41 to 17 due to the Skins being in a rebuild year and the Eagles getting Desean Jackson back.

  12. NE 41, PIT 16

    Big Ben eats a giant-sized meatball sub from Jersey Mikes in front of the entire team during halftime

  13. If not for the Bengals/Seahawks game, the Ravens/Dolphins game might be the most lopsided game of the weekend.

    Ravens 31
    Dolphins 13

  14. Rams over Panthers – Rams are a solid team and though the Panthers D could be challenging, Newton has rust to knock off (if not playing through injury)

    Falcons over Vikings – Vikings will play well on both sides as well as the Falcons… Falcons OC Keotter did well offensively last year with a lame team and inaccurate qbs… imagine what he will do with this major upgrade..

    49ers over Bucs – I thought this would be one of the Bucs few wins this year but after their preseason game the starters could not even get a field goal… 49ers score early and place all the pressure on Bucs and Mr. Turnover shows no change.

    Saints over Texans – The Saints just know how to win more often than lose and the Texans haven’t really become a stand-out team.

  15. Florio’s take: Dysfunction meets potential dynasty.

    Florio’s pick: Eagles 34, Washington 17.
    ————————————
    Dynasty? What dynasty? A 1 SB dynasty?

  16. bird2urmother says:
    September 5, 2019 at 1:01 pm

    FootballSeasonRules says:
    September 5, 2019 at 12:48 pm

    Bears over Packers
    Rams over Panthers
    Jets over Bills
    Patriots over Steelers
    Eagles over Redskins
    —–
    Wow! Way to go out on a limb and pick nothing but teams that are favored to win!

    _______________________________________________________

    I picked the Cowboys to beat the Saints last season and I was right. Week 1 is quite unpredictable. It’s the best bet to pick the teams that look better overall. Playing it safe is the way to go.

  17. I wish I can say with certainty who wins tonight, but I cant. All I know is it should be a game for the ages and will come down to the final minutes. These two teams never lie down for each other and tonight will be no exception.

    Finally, real football is back!

  18. streetyson says:
    September 5, 2019 at 1:01 pm
    Bears lose by a double-doink FG – it just has to be. Don’t try to resist fate, get it out the way.
    —————–
    I actually hope he is better than last years kicker. I want to see the triple doink!!!

  19. steelerdeathstar says:
    September 5, 2019 at 1:29 pm
    Steelers beat NE last year, and should have won 2 straight from them, had they not been cheated out of that TD catch to Jessie James. Patriots over the Steelers is by no means a done deal…

    11 27 Rate This

    ——————————————–

    LOL

    You idiots got what you wanted.

    James used the ground to trap the ball. No catch. He spins the ball for some reason and uses the ground for final possession. The rule is the rule. You can’t use the ground to possess the ball. And you have to show control all the way to the ground, which he clearly didn’t. Then Goodell cheated for you in the SB and changed the rule to help Philly.

    You have nothing to complain about here.

    YOur LBs blow and NE’s RBs will abuse the daylights out of them, not to mention NEs WRS will abuse your awful secondary.

  20. hendawg21 says:
    September 5, 2019 at 1:22 pm
    Ok, granted Bruce Allen is a boob, but still where is the dysfunction??? Is it because Trent is holding out? I think at some point all teams have a hold out, but that doesn’t mean there’s dysfunction

    A lot of holes? How so? They may be equal at QB I mean Alex Smith wasn’t exactly lighting it up as QB, and Keenum might be a better fit for this offense, A.P. well he had flashes last year and you still have him, but you’ve also got Guice back that’s an upgrade, the receivers albeit not household names, I wouldn’t sleep on them…and well the defense was good last year, and with another year together plus some new additions (good ones) they should only get better. Again to start off with the dysfunction label already is a bit premature, and to think Philly is just going to run away with the game…I don’t see it, Wentz has played about as much as Alex Smith over the last year, practice reps don’t equal real game reps, oh there will be rust and if he’s not careful he could be sitting on the sidelines again.

    12 17 Rate This

    ______________________________________________________________________________________________________

    umm, QB, 3/5ths of your offensive line, as you say nobodies at WR, TE is probably out with his 7th concussion and should retire, great DL but meh linebackers and so-so secondary. There’s a reason why they scooped up the 2 guys the Eagles cut. It’s the NFL, opening day, anything can happen but the Eagles are one of the deepest rosters in the NFL and the Skins have more holes than swiss cheese, that’s just a fact.

  21. “The Cowboys should win this one comfortably.”

    Only someone who hasn’t followed the Cowboys for decades, like I have, could say such a thing.

    The Cowboys never win comfortably, especially within the division. No matter how good their team is or the margin of victory, they make it harder than it should be.

  22. Only surprise pick I see is Mike taking the Titans. Browns are the big talkers now and its their home opener. Will they not walk the walk?

  23. steelerdeathstar says:
    September 5, 2019 at 1:29 pm
    Steelers beat NE last year, and should have won 2 straight from them, had they not been cheated out of that TD catch to Jessie James. Patriots over the Steelers is by no means a done deal…

    ——–

    Perhaps if “Leader of Men” Mike Tomlin would have got the offense together and come up with a plan on how to run the next three plays instead of staring into the jumbotron for 5 minutes along with the fans in the stadium the Steelers would have left with a win

  24. Big mistake thinking Adam Gase and a new offense will be better than an established top 5 defence, but you’ll find out for yourselves. Gase is overrated as a head coach.

  25. Huge Pats fan, but I hate to break it to the koolaid drinking Pats fans. They’re up against it Sunday night. Playoffs will be a different story. steelers will be lucky to make it.

  26. tylawspick6 says:

    James used the ground to trap the ball. No catch. He spins the ball for some reason and uses the ground for final possession. The rule is the rule.
    ————
    I don’t think he’s upset that the rules are the rules. I think he’s upset because if it was Brady to Gronkowski it never would have never been reviewed or overturned to begin with.

  27. I don’t think he’s upset that the rules are the rules. I think he’s upset because if it was Brady to Gronkowski it never would have never been reviewed or overturned to begin with—————————————————————————————————-
    Complete, utter nonsense posted by paranoid fans of loser teams.

  28. What kind of BS are you talking about, “ThE pAcKeRs ArE LarGeLy UnKnOwN.” With a healthy 2x MVP Aaron Rodgers as your QB your’re never unknown. Trubisky will step up from last year but it won’t be enough. Packers 35 Bears 24

  29. Week 1

    The longest and the most boring series in the NFL kicks off the 2019 season. Since the 1960’s rarely have the packers & Bears been good at the same time. I don’t recall a memorable game between the two teams in the last 30 years.
    I hope the packers win tonight though to help my team. Because the packers aren’t going to be in the playoffs anyway.

  30. The big question is what is the under/over on how many red flags Sean Payton throws to challenge pass interference?

  31. SWFLPC.INC says:
    September 5, 2019 at 3:00 pm
    steelerdeathstar says:
    September 5, 2019 at 1:29 pm
    Steelers beat NE last year, and should have won 2 straight from them, had they not been cheated out of that TD catch to Jessie James. Patriots over the Steelers is by no means a done deal…

    ——–

    Perhaps if “Leader of Men” Mike Tomlin would have got the offense together and come up with a plan on how to run the next three plays instead of staring into the jumbotron for 5 minutes along with the fans in the stadium the Steelers would have left with a win
    *****************************************************************

    What people forget is that the Patriots had rolled down the field to take the lead and there were literally seconds left. The Steelers got luck when a guy should have been pushed hard out of bounds decided to stay in, and it resulted in a fluke play taking the Steelers close to the end zone in an event that shocked everyone. The Db had pulled up to avoid a penalty when he should have been b-lining into the receiver to be SURE he went out. Even the receiver looked shocked. He knew he was going OOB but sensed at the last second he could squeeze a few more yards out and the rest is history. The other Patriots thought the play was over…and then it wasn’t. So they were pretty lucky to be in that position, but then they did fail to properly capitalize when they needed to most. Both teams made mistakes in the final series. The Steelers mistakes cost them the game.

  32. You both think the Cards will score 20, that’s HILARIOUS!

    They’ll be lucky to put up a TD, Lions 27, Cards 12 but only if Gonzalez goes 4 for 4!

  33. fmc651 says:
    September 5, 2019 at 3:45 pm

    I understand the picks but no upsets. Week 1 is the best week to pick upsets.
    ________________________________

    Upsets in week one when every team is 0-0 and no one knows for sure how good or bad any team is going to be, so technically can there really be an upset in week one?

  34. MDS’s pick: Bears 16, Packers 13.

    Florio’s pick: Bears 23, Packers 16.

    Well, you guys are off to a flying start.

  35. MDS’s take: I’m expecting the Bears’ defense to take a step backward this year, both because Vic Fangio has left for Denver and because of simple regression to the mean after Chicago’s defense was otherworldly last year. But I’m also not sure Aaron Rodgers and Matt LaFleur are the right fit, and so I don’t think the Packers are the right team to exploit the Bears’ defensive liabilities.

    MDS’s pick: Bears 16, Packers 13.
    Florio’s take: The Bears are largely known. The Packers are largely unknown. Advantage, known.
    Florio’s pick: Bears 23, Packers 16.

    ——

    Whoops.

  36. danbo3330 says:
    September 6, 2019 at 9:21 am
    MDS’s pick: Bears 16, Packers 13.

    Florio’s pick: Bears 23, Packers 16.

    Well, you guys are off to a flying start.
    ###

    Who knew how putrid both of these offenses were going to be? Trubisky was worse than Rodgers, but not by much.

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