2018 NFL Season: Quick picks for Week 1 games


The 2018 NFL season is set to kick off shortly. That means a slew of games is about to be played in the next 12 hours. Let the drama begin.

What everybody wants to know is who will win and who will lose? There are plenty of factors to dig through but not a lot of time to do so. In order to keep it simple, here is a quick breakdown of every contest today, who will win and why. There are upsets of course, along with a few statement games as well, maybe the occasional QB duel. Here we go.

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cleveland Browns

This is the upset pick of the day. Everything suggests to pick the Steelers. They’re the far more proven team with the great quarterback, star wide receiver, and roster of playmakers. At the same time, they tend to struggle in Cleveland and the Browns have built something interesting on defense. Tyrod Taylor should also not be ignored. He’s not flashy, but he is dangerous.

CLE wins 16-13

Cincinnati Bengals @ Indianapolis Colts

Andrew Luck is back after more than a year recovering from a bad shoulder injury. Colts fans may be elated at the news, but don’t expect the Bengals to welcome him back with anything other than punishment. Their strong defensive front will put Luck under fire right away. It will be interesting to see how this rebuilding Indy roster is able to match up.

CIN wins 24-20

Tennessee Titans @ Miami Dolphins

They just got done making the playoffs and appear to have improved their roster since then. So the Titans have reasons to feel confident, provided Marcus Mariota can snap out of his funk that began last year. Miami has a strong defensive front that could give him problems but they have glaring weaknesses elsewhere they may not be able to mask.

TEN wins 26-23

San Francisco 49ers @ Minnesota Vikings

The hype around Jimmy Garoppolo and the 49ers has been extensive all offseason. Most predict them to make the playoffs this year after finishing with five-straight wins last year. That’s cute, but the Vikings might be the best team in the NFL. They have everything:  great defense, offensive weapons and now a proven quarterback in Kirk Cousins.

MIN wins 30-17

Houston Texans @ New England Patriots

The last time these two teams met, it was a classic shootout between Tom Brady and Deshaun Watson. Will the same happen twice? Well, the Texans offense should put up points but it may be harder for New England this time. That’s because Houston’s defense got back a slew of key players while the Patriots don’t seem to have improved much, while also losing DC Matt Patricia.

HOU wins 35-24

Tampa Bay Buccanneers @ New Orleans Saints

Jameis Winston is out for the next three weeks, so the Buccaneers will have to soldier on with Ryan Fitzpatrick at quarterback. He’s a decent veteran who knows where to go with the football, and Tampa Bay has some good weapons. Problem is the Saints are loaded on offense and their defense is better. It’s a case of the Bucs just not being able to keep up.

NO wins 28-16

Jacksonville Jaguars @ New York Giants

Optimism may be high for the Giants as they turn the page at head coach with Pat Shurmur. They also added a stud running back in Saquon Barkley and retooled the offensive line around Eli Manning. Odell Beckham is locked up long-term as well. In the end, it won’t matter. That Jacksonville defense is too strong and the Giants defense is banged up.

JAX wins 21-10

Kansas City Chiefs @ Los Angeles Chargers

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This could very well turn into a shootout as both offenses are loaded from top to bottom. Philip Rivers vs. Patrick Mahomes. Melvin Gordon vs. Kareem Hunt. Keenan Allen vs. Tyreek Hill. It’s a potential fireworks show. However, the Chargers hold a much more decisive advantage on defense, even with star pass rusher Joey Bosa out with a foot injury.

LAC wins 31-24

Washington Redskins @ Arizona Cardinals

Alex Smith still has a lot of good football left in him and he’s shown flashes of fitting in just fine with the Redskins offense. Their defense also looks like it could have some bite this year too. Arizona still has a good defense themselves but their offense is an unknown, especially at quarterback with Sam Bradford. They’ll need David Johnson to have a big day.

WAS wins 24-14

Dallas Cowboys @ Carolina Panthers

There are plenty of problems the Cowboys are dealing with. Injuries have hampered their offensive line. Their receivers are an unknown quantity. The defensive line is also losing pieces to suspensions too. Meanwhile, Carolina remains the steady, quality team it’s been the past few years with Cam Newton, Luke Kuechly and a veteran roster of good players.

CAR wins 27-23

Seattle Seahawks @ Denver Broncos

It’s amazing to see these two teams in contrast after their Super Bowl meeting five years ago. Back then the Seahawks were a balanced machine with great defense, a running game and a good QB. The Broncos were basically an extension of Peyton Manning. Now it’s the other way around with Denver having the balanced team and everything revolving around Russell Wilson.

DEN wins 26-22

Chicago Bears @ Green Bay Packers

The Packers still have the better quarterback, that much is obvious. However, for the first time in a long time, it feels like Chicago has the superior team. In terms of offensive weaponry, offensive line, and especially defense? The Bears have the edge on paper. All Mitch Trubisky has to do is not throw the game away and this could be a big win to open the season for them.

CHI wins 23-21