Each week, during the regular season, The Athletes Hub will be providing a game-by-game preview of what to expect in each of the regular season match-ups.
Kansas City Chiefs at New England Patriots:
The first game of the 2017 NFL season should be a great one, as the New England Patriots will square off against a formidable foe in the Kansas City Chiefs. I would expect for the Chiefs to have trouble keeping pace with the new-look Patriots, who added some serious offensive firepower in wide receiver Brandin Cooks. If the Chiefs defense is able to hold the Patriots in check early, a key special teams play by Tyreek Hill may be enough to keep things interesting for an early season surprise upset.
New York Jets at Buffalo Bills:
Let’s face the facts here: The New York Jets have completely decimated what was left of their competing roster from just a season ago, while the Buffalo Bills should be able to stomp on their home turf, even with questions across the board for their offensive unit. I am predicting for a blowout in favor of the home team here, with the Jets showing very little fight.
Philadelphia Eagles at Washington Redskins:
The Washington Redskins have not looked great at all on offense this preseason, but expect their new offensive pieces in Terrelle Pryor Sr. and a healthy Josh Doctson to be just enough to squeeze by the Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles will keep it close, as they have a high-powered aerial attack under sophomore quarterback Carson Wentz, yet a critical turnover will doom them late at FedEx Field.
Oakland Raiders at Tennessee Titans:
Think the Raiders are glad to have their star quarterback Derek Carr back? Oakland should be able to get back on track here against the Tennessee Titans, yet expect Marcus Mariota and DeMarco Murray to have great fantasy stats in an early-season shootout. This will be one of the more entertaining week one games to kick off the regular season.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Miami Dolphins:
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are hoping to have their newly acquired wide receiver, DeSean Jackson, back in time for this match-up, while the Miami Dolphins are looking to new quarterback Jay Cutler to keep their aerial attack moving, much like the way he did during the preseason. Expect a high-scoring affair, with the Bucs pulling away late.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans:
The Houston Texans and their fans have been through a lot these past few weeks, and their fanbase will be more than ready for a welcomed distraction by beating up on the horrid Jacksonville Jaguars. I am aiming for Leonard Fournette to look great, while the quarterback play of Blake Bortles ultimately dooms the Jaguars from competing in this one.
Arizona Cardinals at Detroit Lions:
The newly touted “richest man in football”, Matthew Stafford, will be ready to back up his huge contract, as he should find the end zone early and often against the Arizona Cardinals defense. Expect Carson Palmer and fantasy stud David Johnson to keep things close through three quarters, but ultimately, the Lions will end up with the home win.
Atlanta Falcons at Chicago Bears:
The Atlanta Falcons will be looking to shake off any doubts of a “Superbowl hangover” that has plagued many of the recent runner-ups, and will handily defeat the Chicago Bears in front of their own fans. Julio Jones and Devonta Freeman will have great days, while the Bears will just hope to get through this game healthy enough for a better match-up in week two.
Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals:
The Baltimore Ravens offense has not looked good by any means this preseason without their quarterback Joe Flacco at the helm, and question marks at the position are still lingering leading into this match-up versus their divisional rival; the Cincinnati Bengals. Expect the Ravens defense to create some key turnovers to steal this one away from the Bengals.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns:
The Pittsburgh Steelers are ready to welcome back their stud running back Le’Veon Bell, and will prepare to destroy the Cleveland Browns in a one-sided contest. I would expect new Browns quarterback, DeShone Kizer, to make some highlight reel plays, but ultimately, the rookie won’t be able to keep up with this Steelers squad.
Indianapolis Colts at Los Angeles Rams:
In LA Rams new coach Sean McVay’s first game, expect for him to make enough adjustments to squeeze by the Colts, who may not even have Andrew Luck during this first contest. Todd Gurley should be able to go over the 100-yard mark this game for the first time since 2015, as he will please his fantasy owners for at least one week.
Seattle Seahawks at Green Bay Packers:
This late game treat should be incredibly competitive on both sides of the ball, as the Green Bay Packers’ Aaron Rodgers goes against the Seattle Seahawks’ Russell Wilson. It is only reasonable to assume that Rodgers and Wilson will put on a show, while the Seahawks defense will be just enough to squeeze by with a narrow victory.
Carolina Panthers at San Francisco 49ers:
Cam Newton will be looking forward to bouncing back from his underwhelming 2016 campaign, as he will get back to doing what he does best: Lighting up the scoreboard. The 49ers and new coach Kyle Shannahan will be outmatched here as the Panthers grab this one easily.
New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys:
The Ezekiel Elliot drama will linger over this week one match-up of division rivals, and regardless of whether Elliot is able to play or not, expect the Cowboys to win here against the Giants. We may even witness quarterback Eli Manning throw a late interception to ultimately doom his squad in Dallas.
New Orleans Saints at Minnesota Vikings:
Drew Brees couldn’t possibly have regressed as much as he did during this preseason, right? No, and the New Orleans Saints will do enough to get by the Minnesota Vikings in their home opener on Monday night. Expect the Vikings new rookie running back Dalvin Cook to look great, but it won’t be enough to keep pace with the Saints.
Los Angeles Chargers at Denver Broncos:
The Denver Broncos, who had quarterback issues of their own this off-season, should be able to find their groove here versus the Chargers in the second Monday night game. I am predicting for a low-scoring contest, helped greatly by the defensive pass rush of Von Miller, to be the deciding factor here.