NFL Week 1 Preview – Weekend

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Eagles @ Panthers, Sunday 1pm
Evan: If I had to pick a game to open at on the road (other than Detroit), it would probably be Carolina.  I don’t think they have the most rabid fans, but I don’t know how many are dog lovers, so that will remain to be seen (I swear that’s the only one of those comments I will make all year, just had to get it out of my system).  I am concerned about some of the injuries with the Eagles, but I can’t, and won’t pick against them. Pick: Eagles
Matt: I am not sure about the Panthers this year. They have two really good running backs, although I think only Deangelo Williams is healthy for this game. Jake Delhomme ended the season last year on bad note, turning the ball over 6 times in their playoff loss. Their defense isn’t that great, either. The Eagles had a good offseason with upgrades on the offensive side of the ball. The defense will be weaker this year than in years past without Jim Johnson, Dawkins, and Bradley. Weren’t the Panthers undefeated at home last regular season? It should be a good game, but I like the Eagles here. Pick: Eagles
Ahad: I am a little worried about this game.  The Eagles offensive line is a major concern as they have not played a game together yet.  Also, the defense has not looked sharp at all.  It might take a few weeks for the defense to get up to the level where it needs to be if the Eagles are to contend for a championship.  The offense has lots of weapons and should be very potent.  They might end up carrying the team until the defense gets up to par.  Carolina is always going to be the same team.  They are going to play solid defense and try and run the ball.  I see the Eagles being able to outscore the Panthers in this one.  Pick:  Eagles
I’d rather the Eagles open against a team without such a strong running game. My biggest concern for this Eagles defense is the run defense. Safety is a concern, but we have the corners to handle a good passing game. The question will be Westbrook. He has to be healthy for this game, more than he will be the rest of the season. A Panthers win will not shock me in the least, but this has to be the Eagles year. Pick: Eagles

Dolphins @ Falcons, Sunday 1pm
Evan: Dolphins season last year, wasn’t a fluke, but it also wasn’t reality.  Matt Ryan, on the other hand is the real deal.  Fantasy sports people like Michael Turner this year also, and they are never wrong. Pick: Atlanta
Matt: Two surprise playoff teams from last year battle it out here. I think the Dolphins are more solid in all phases of the game than the Falcons, although the Falcons offense should be pretty explosive, especially with the addition of Tony Gonzalez. I think the Falcons defense will fail them in this game. Pick: Dolphins
Ahad: Tough game to pick here.  I think the Falcons defense will make enough stops to win the game.  Pick: Falcons
Will the Falcons be a let down this year? Very strong possibility. I’m sick of this Wildcat talk and the best direction of blame is toward the Dolphins. Although it should be more at the NFL in general. A team tries a different approach in hopes of winning, is that a big deal? Shouldn’t that be what every team does instead of the exact same thing? Here’s the thing. The Dolphins starting QB is Chad Pennington. Do I need to repeat that? Pick: Dolphins

Jets @ Texans, Sunday 1pm
Evan: Who is the Jets quarterback now?  I don’t pay much attention to the other team from NY.  I am, however, a Matt Schaub fan, mostly because if I’m not, who will be?  A lot of people are picking Houston to win 8 games this year.  If they’re going to, this needs to be one of them. Pick: Houston
Matt: Will the Texans win more than 8 games this year? Some are picking them to go to the playoffs, or maybe even win the division. I don’t think that will happen with the Colts and Titans still playing well. The question for the Jets is can Mark Sanchez manage the game? If he can limit turnovers, the Jets should be improved. However, I don’t like Sanchez on the road here. Pick: Texans
Ahad: I don’t see this rookie QB going on the road and winning his first start.  Pick:  Houston
I’ve been pulling for the Texans to get it together, which doesn’t sound like me. This would qualify as my average game of the week. One that will be close but we have no business picking. The question has to be is Sanchez going to be any worse than Favre at the end of last year. I think it’s a close call. But the Jets needed more than an upgrade at QB. Pick: Texans

Redskins @ Giants, Sunday 4:15
Evan: Excellent NFC east match up to start the year.  I still hate Eli, I don’t see me ever liking him as a player or a person, which is strange since I love Peyton.  Nevertheless, Pick: G-Men
Matt: Easy pick for me here. The Redskins, as most have them predicted for this season, are the worst team in the NFC East. They are still a pretty solid team, though. This one will be closer than expected, but the Giants at home are a safe bet. Pick: Giants
Ahad: Giants at home against the lowly Skins makes this an easy pick.  Pick: Giants
How can I pick against the best QB in the NFL? Eli is the man. Nice weather, early in the year, Eli is at least in the top half of NFL QBs. No doubt deserves to be the highest paid. Nobody talks about the Redskins these days. They could be decent, nobody knows. These NFC East battles are always close. You just can’t pick them with any sense of confidence. Pick: Giants

Bears @ Packers, Sunday 8:20pm
Evan: I’m actually excited to watch this game.  I’ve been an Aaron Rodgers fan since he was at Cal.  My favorite stat from last year is that in the Red Zone, Rodgers threw 23 touchdowns, 0 interceptions.  That is quality. Pick: Packers
Matt: I am pumped for this game as well.The addition of Jay Cutler adds a new twist to this heated rivalry. This won’t be a typical NFC North battle. Expect both teams to air it out as much as possible. The Bears have an advantage in the run game with Matt Forte, but the Packers were the hottest team in the preseason. Pick: Packers
Ahad: The Packers are predicted to throw the ball a lot more this year and the Bears defense is getting old.  Pick: Packers
I’ve got too many biases for the 1st week. I want Cutler to fail. He is a socialist. The teams are flipped a bit this year. The Packers now have the better D and Bears looking toward offense. Cutler to Olsen is going to be a big connection this year. Pick: Bears

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