The NFL season is finally here. With no preseason and a shortened training camp, the Vince Lombardi trophy is up for grabs more than ever. With no fans at any NFC home games in week 1, is there really a major home-field advantage this week?
There are plenty of great matchups in the NFC in week 1. Many matchups include division rivals like the Saints vs. Buccaneers and the Packers vs. Vikings. Can Tom Brady win his first game in a Buccaneers uniform? Is Aaron Rodgers going to lead the Packers to a victory against Minnesota as an underdog? These are just some of the prominent NFC matchups in week 1.
Seattle Seahawks @ Atlanta Falcons
This could very well be the game of the week. Two pro bowl quarterbacks, Matt Ryan and Russell Wilson, look to start their season in the right direction. These teams met last season in week 8, Seattle won by a score of 27-20. However, this game will show Atlanta’s cards. Atlanta will come out firing on all cylinders, Todd Gurley will run all over the weak front line of Seattle. A late surge by Russell Wilson won’t be enough to slide past the Falcons here in week 1.
Score Prediction: Atlanta Falcons 34 – Seattle Seahawks 28
Chicago Bears @ Detroit Lions
The Lions open as a three-point favorite against the Chicago Bears. Last season in both meetings, the Bears beat the Lions, however, that was without Matthew Stafford. Stafford comes into this game healthy and ready to make the Lions a contender. In this game, the Bears starting quarterback, Mitchell Trubisky, struggles to make throws and the Lions defense makes a crucial play late in the game to secure the victory.
Score Prediction: Detroit Lions 20 – Chicago Bears 17
Green Bay Packers @ Minnesota Vikings
Another NFC North division game in week 1. This one involves the Green Bay Packers traveling to Minnesota to take on the Vikings. Last season, Green Bay won both games holding Minnesota to less than 17 points in both games. As shocking as it may seem, the Vikings open as a 2.5 point favorite. After the loss of many key pieces to Minnesota’s defense, Aaron Rodgers will exploits the Minnesota defense. This game will showcase plenty of offense, with the Green Bay Packers getting the last laugh.
Score Prediction: Green Bay Packers 27 – Minnesota Vikings 20
Philadelphia Eagles @ Washington Football Team
These NFC East division rivals open up the season facing one another. The last time these teams faced-off, their games were closer than anticipated. The Eagles won both games last year and their win streak against Washington doesn’t stop in week 1. Carson Wentz and Miles Sanders have exceptional games while Dwanye Haskins struggles to get going. The six-point favorite Eagles beat the spread and win by a large margin.
Score Prediction: Philadelphia Eagles 34 – Washington Football Team 17
Las Vegas Raiders @ Carolina Panthers
This matchup features only one of two NFC/AFC matchups in week 1. This one has the Las Vegas Raiders traveling to Carolina to take on Teddy Bridgewater and the Panthers. This is only the seventh meeting all-time between these two franchises, each team has won 3 games. This matchup features two of the games better running backs in Christian McCaffrey and Josh Jacobs. Although the Raiders are favorites to win in week 1, McCaffrey will be too much for Las Vegas. This will be a back and forth game, but Carolina will make a defensive stop to start the season 1-0.
Score Prediction: Carolina Panthers 20 – Las Vegas Raiders 16
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ New Orleans Saints
This is undoubtedly the game of the week here in week 1. This game features two great offenses led by future Hall of Fame quarterbacks Drew Brees and Tom Brady. Brady puts on his Buccaneers jersey for the first time and will have a phenomenal game. On the other side of the ball, Brees also has a fabulous game. Both quarterbacks combine for 675 passing yards, but the Saints’ chemistry gets them over the top on a game that highlights very little defense.
Score Prediction: New Orleans Saints 37 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers 31
Arizona Cardinals @ San Francisco 49ers
Kyler Murray and Jimmy Garoppolo face off for the third time in their young careers. The 49ers open as a seven-point favorite. Last season, the Cardinals were the one team that gave the 49ers some troubles. Although the 49ers won both meetings, the games were close. The seven-point spread seems a bit high for how close the games were last season. As a result, the Cardinals will cover the spread and the Murray/ Hopkins connection is on full display in week 1. However, it won’t be enough to take down the defending NFC champions.
Score Prediction: San Francisco 49ers 31 – Arizona Cardinals 27
Dallas Cowboys @ Los Angeles Rams
The Dallas Cowboys will have the opportunity to open the newly built SoFi Stadium to take on the Rams. This game surrounds plenty of question marks for both teams. Are the Cowboys legit? Are they a Super Bowl contender? While on the Rams side, was their Super Bowl run a fluke? Is Jared Goff a good quarterback? These questions will be on full display on Sunday Night Football. However, the Cowboys will show that they are the better team and roll right past the Rams.
Score Prediction: Dallas Cowboys 34- Los Angeles Rams 24
Pittsburgh Steelers @ New York Giants
The second NFC/AFC matchup of the week features two of the oldest franchises in the league. The New York Giants host the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first of two Monday night games in week 1. Ben Roethlisberger is back from his season-ending elbow surgery and looks to rebound in 2020. On the other side, the New York Giants look to be a scary team with their new head coach. However, Daniel Jones turns over the ball too many times as the Pittsburgh defense causes havoc. Pittsburgh covers the 5.5 spread and Roethlisberger looks like his old self.
Score Prediction: Pittsburgh Steelers 24 – New York Giants 16
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