Week 1 NFL Picks


You want winners?  We’ve got winners (at least I think we do).

Without further ado, here are our picks for Week 1.

Packers vs. Bears

The Bears had one of the worst defenses in football last year and they can’t improve upon it all that much, especially when changing schemes.  Aaron Rodgers will have Eddie Lacy and Randall Cobb, and that’s plenty.  Packers 38, Bears 17.

Chiefs vs. Texans

This could be one of the best games of the day if you hate big plays in the passing game.  Neither Alex Smith nor Brian Hoyer has the arm strength or willingness to go deep, and this is an important game for a possible Wildcard tiebreaker.  This one could certainly go either way, but I like the home team. Texans 20, Chiefs 17. 

Browns vs. Jets

This is certainly a game that both teams feel they need to win to get to where they want to go this season.  The quarterback matchup is pretty much a wash, and I believe the Jets have a few more playmakers on offense.  Jets 13, Browns 12.

Colts vs. Bills

Possible game of the week!  A Top 3 offense visits a Top 3 defense.  I like the Bills coaching situation better than the Colts and I like the element of surprise that Tyrod Taylor brings. Upset special!!! Bills 24, Colts 23. 

Dolphins vs. Redskins

Okay Fighting Philbins, if you’re going to be a playoff team this is a game you have to win.  As much as I don’t believe in Joe Philbin, I believe in Jay Gruden even less.  It will be closer than the talent disparity would suggest. Dolphins 24, Redskins 20.

Panthers vs. Jaguars

The two-time defending NFC South champs should walk all over a lowly Jaguars team that’s won just seven games in the last two years combined, right?  Wrong.  These are some much improved, angrier Jaguars with a real quarterback for the first time since Mark Brunell donned the teal.  Upset special!!! Jaguars 20, Panthers 17.

Seahawks vs. Rams

Seattle always seems to struggle when they travel to St. Louis.  This just happens to be the best Rams team that Jeff Fisher has had since he took over.  The Seahawks line will struggle against the Rams front.  I want to pick the upset here, but I just can’t do it.  Seahawks 20, Rams 17. 

Saints vs. Cardinals

Drew Brees travels to play in a climate controlled stadium with a new set of weapons in the backfield.  What’s not to like?  He’s playing against a Bruce Arians coached team and they don’t lose many games at home.  Cardinals 24, Saints 20.

Lions vs. Chargers

This is another game that can really go either way.  The Lions look like the more talented team, but they’re traveling across a few time zones to play against one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL in Philip Rivers.  It’s hard to believe in Matt Stafford and Jim Caldwell.  Chargers 27, Lions 20.

Titans vs. Buccaneers

Both teams feel like this is a winnable game and the Bucs haven’t won a regular season game at home since 2013.  The Titans may have the worst roster in the NFL and even a Lovie Smith-coached team can’t lose to that (with a rookie project quarterback) at home.  Bucs 20, Titans 13. 

Bengals vs. Raiders

The Cincinnati Bengals have one of the best rosters in the NFL, even with Andy Dalton at quarterback.  Sure, they are traveling across three time zones and they have Marvin Lewis as their head coach, but they can’t lose to Oakland, can they?  Oh yes they can….Raiders 20, Bengals 17.

Ravens vs. Broncos

Joe Flacco has an unbelievable record in big games.  Peyton Manning has been known to choke in big games.  This is not a big game. Broncos 38, Ravens 27. 

Giants vs. Cowboys

The Giants will be rolling into Dallas without Victor Cruz and Jon Beason.  JPP is still counting his digits and the G-Men are severely outclassed.  Cowboys 35, Giants 20.

Eagles vs. Falcons

The Falcons had an atrocious defense last season against teams that ran at a normal pace.  Chip Kelly’s Eagles are an offense that it’s nearly impossible to prepare for.  This one has blowout written all over it.  Eagles 41, Falcons 24. 

Vikings vs. 49ers

Expectations are pretty high for the Vikings, and we know what happened this offseason in San Francisco.  With that said, Jim Tomsula will have his team ready to play and while everyone is picking Minnesota, something just doesn’t feel right about it.  49ers 20, Vikings 17. 

Thursday night: 1-0, 1.000

About Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein is the managing football editor for Football Insiders and has covered the NFL for over a decade.  Charlie has hosted drive time radio for NBC and ESPN affiliates in different markets around the country, along with being an NFL correspondent for ESPN Radio and WFAN.  He has been featured on the NFL Network as well as Sirius/XM NFL Radio and has been published on Fox Sports, Sports Illustrated, ESPN as well as numerous other publications.