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NFL Week 1 picks: Seahawks will stumble against Carolina

By John Breech |

Will Cam Newton and the Panthers stiff-arm their way past Richard Sherman and the Seahawks? (USATSI)
Will Cam Newton and the Panthers stiff-arm their way past Richard Sherman and the Seahawks? (USATSI)

I like the Seattle Seahawks. A lot. I picked them to win the NFC West this year.

What I don't like about the Seahawks is when they play on the road. I also don't like when they play in the Eastern Time Zone. And well, to be honest, I don't like when they play in games on the road in the Eastern Time Zone that kickoff at 10 a.m. PT.

In three seasons under Pete Carroll, the Seahawks are 0-3 in road openers, they're 8-16 overall on the road and they're 1-4 in games that kick off at 10 a.m. PT. Even last year's 11-5 team struggled with this: in 2012 the Seahawks went 3-5 on the road and 0-2 in games that kicked off at 10 a.m. and they went 0-3 if you count the loss to the Falcons in the divisional playoffs.

The Seahawks did beat Carolina on the road last season, but that game kicked off at 4 p.m. ET/ 1 p.m. PT.

All this talk about time zones is kind of confusing, so lets talk about actual football: The Panthers aren't a bad team. Last year, Carolina went 7-9, but they were literally only a few unlucky plays away from 12-4, 13-3, 14-2. Seven of Carolina's nine losses in 2012 came by six points or less.

The Panthers are a team that lost four consecutive games last season by a total of 12 points. Nothing will build confidence faster in Carolina than a win over the Seahawks and that's what's going to happen. Maybe. Because I could be wrong.

As for what's going to happen in the rest of Week 1, you'll have to read on.

If you find that my picks are worse than Miley Cyrus' VMA performance, be sure to let me know in the comment section or on Twitter or on my MySpace wall -- if that's something you're still doing -- I mean, I hope you're not, but if you are.

Anyway, lets get to the picks. And don't forget, you can check out the weekly picks from every NFL expert here.

Week 1 Picks

Seattle at Carolina, 1 p.m. ET: If I didn't make it clear in the three paragraphs above, I'll go ahead and say it one more time: I don't think the Seahawks are going to win this game. Panthers 20-17 over Seattle.

Cincinnati at Chicago, 1 p.m. ET: The Bengals are winless in season openers in years where they appear on Hard Knocks. The only reason I'm bringing that up is so I have an excuse to link to this clip of Brandon Stokley scoring on an 87-yard tipped Hail Mary. Yup, the Bengals were on Hard Knocks in 2009 and yup, that was the year that Kyle Orton hit Brandon Stokley on an 87-yard tipped Hail Mary with 11 seconds left. I don't see Jay Cutler throwing an 87-yard tipped Hail Mary. I do see Cutler getting sacked a few times though. Bengals 17-14 over Chicago.

Atlanta at New Orleans, 1 p.m. ET: New Orleans coach Sean Payton hasn't been on an NFL sideline since January 2012 when the Saints lost to the 49ers in the divisional round of the playoffs. Since then, he's been game-planning for the Falcons. Well, technically that can't be true because Payton and the Saints didn't know they were playing Atlanta until the NFL schedule came out in April, but you get the point. Saints 34-31 over Atlanta.

Green Bay at San Francisco, 4:25 p.m. ET: The last time these two teams got together, 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick totaled 444 yards (263 passing, 181 rushing) and four touchdowns. The Packers have probably watched a lot of Kaepernick film this offseason, but my guess is not quite enough. San Francisco 31-27 over Green Bay.

New York Giants at Dallas, 8:30 p.m. ET: Six of the past eight regular season meetings between the Cowboys and Giants have been decided by seven points or less. Here's guessing that trend continues on Sunday Night Football. Dallas 27-23 over the Giants.

Week 1 Picks: All the rest

Broncos 20-17 over Ravens

New England 31-17 over Bills

Browns 24-21 over Dolphins

Bucs 28-21 over Jets

Steelers 24-17 over Titans

Lions 27-21 over Vikings

Colts 31-16 over Raiders

Chiefs 27-17 over Jaguars

Rams 24-20 over Cardinals

Redskins 31-21 over Eagles

Texans 17-14 over Chargers

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