Prisco's Picks: Week 1

 
 
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WEEK
 
1
PETE PRISCO
Senior NFL Columnist
Pete Prisco has covered the NFL for three decades, including working as a beat reporter in Jacksonville for the Jaguars. He hosted his own radio show for seven years, and can be seen throughout the week on CBS Sports' NFL shows. When he's not watching game tape you can find Pete on Twitter or dreaming of an Arizona State national title in football.
MATCHUP SCORE ANALYSIS
Thursday, Sep. 7, 2017
 
New England
Patriots
27
The Patriots should have an explosive offense again, even without Julian Edelman. The Chiefs have a good defense, but they won't be able to slow down Tom Brady and they sure can't keep up. Patriots big.
Result: New England Patriots 27, Kansas City Chiefs 42
Kansas City
Chiefs
13
 
Sunday, Sep. 10, 2017
 
Buffalo
Bills
23
The Jets come in here with so many issues, but the Bills aren't far behind. Some will call this the Tanking Bowl with the way these teams have operated. The Bills have the better quarterback in Tyrod Taylor, so that's the reason I am picking them.
Result: Buffalo Bills 21, NY Jets 12
New York
Jets
17
 
 
Atlanta
Falcons
31
The defending NFC champions open on the road, but the Falcons are in a different class now than the Bears. Matt Ryan and company should put up some points, and the improved Atlanta defense will limit Mike Glennon. Falcons take it.
Result: Atlanta Falcons 23, Chicago Bears 17
Chicago
Bears
17
 
 
Cincinnati
Bengals
20
The Ravens expect Joe Flacco to play, but coming off the back injury, how effective can he be? The Ravens have had a ton of injuries this summer, and that will show up here. The Bengals get off to a good start with an impressive defensive effort.
Result: Cincinnati Bengals 0, Baltimore Ravens 20
Baltimore
Ravens
13
 
 
Pittsburgh
Steelers
23
This is the Joe Haden Bowl. The Browns cut him last week and the Steelers signed him that same day. It will be interesting to see how they use him here. Pittsburgh is considered a Super contender, while the Browns are playing for the future. They will start rookie DeShone Kizer at quarterback, which will be a challenge against the Steelers defense. The Steelers take it, but the Browns play well.
Result: Pittsburgh Steelers 21, Cleveland Browns 18
Cleveland
Browns
16
 
 
Arizona
Cardinals
27
This will be Matthew Stafford's first game as the highest-paid quarterback, which adds some pressure. He faces a good Arizona defense that can pressure the quarterback. The Cardinals should be able to score against a Lions defense that doesn't rush the passer well.
Result: Arizona Cardinals 23, Detroit Lions 35
Detroit
Lions
21
 
 
Houston
Texans
14
The Jaguars have looked bad in the preseason, so can they turn it on? The Texans have a great defense and should be able to dominate up front against a bad Jacksonville offensive line. But Jacksonville's defense will also play well. Texans win a close one.
Result: Houston Texans 7, Jacksonville Jaguars 29
Jacksonville
Jaguars
13
 
 
Tennessee
Titans
21
Both of these teams are trendy preseason playoff picks, which makes it a big statement game right out of the gate. The Titans love to pound the football, and the Raiders aren't good against the run. Look for Tennessee and their run game to get the best of it here.
Result: Tennessee Titans 16, Oakland Raiders 26
Oakland
Raiders
20
 
 
Washington
Redskins
28
The Eagles face a tough road challenge against a division rival to open the season, and that's never easy. Whichever of the two quarterbacks plays bigger here will be the winner, and I think Kirk Cousins will get the best of Carson Wentz.
Result: Washington Redskins 17, Philadelphia Eagles 30
Philadelphia
Eagles
23
 
 
Miami
Dolphins
20
This intra-state game features two rising teams that have playoff looks about them to start the season. Jay Cutler makes his first start for the Dolphins, and I think he plays well with all the weapons he has. This will be close, but Miami will find a way to win it late.
Tampa Bay
Buccaneers
17
 
 
Los Angeles
Rams
17
Without Andrew Luck, the Colts will start Scott Tolzien at quarterback -- or possibly Jacoby Brissett. That is not a good thing. The Rams, under first-year coach Sean McVay, will be improved on offense this season, and they will show it here in the opener. Rams take it.
Result: Los Angeles Rams 46, Indianapolis Colts 9
Indianapolis
Colts
13
 
 
Green Bay
Packers
27
This is a heck of a way to open the season for these two. We have Aaron Rodgers against that great Seattle defense. I think Rodgers will find a way to get his points, but Seattle will keep it close. This will be fun.
Result: Green Bay Packers 17, Seattle Seahawks 9
Seattle
Seahawks
20
 
 
Carolina
Panthers
28
This is a long trip to open the season for the Panthers, which can be challenging. But this is a young 49ers team with a new coach and a lot of new players. The Panthers will win it behind a big game from Cam Newton.
Result: Carolina Panthers 23, San Francisco 49ers 3
San Francisco
49ers
25
 
 
New York
Giants
30
This is always a fun game between division rivals, but the Cowboys might be without Ezekiel Elliott (depending on his appeal for a six-game suspension), which will make it a challenge. If the Cowboys rushed the passer better, I'd pick them, but since they don't, the Giants and Eli Manning will pull it out late.
Result: NY Giants 3, Dallas Cowboys 19
Dallas
Cowboys
27
 
Monday, Sep. 11, 2017
 
Minnesota
Vikings
24
This is a tough road game for the Saints. The Vikings have a good defense, but this will be about slowing Drew Brees. I am not sure they can. Evens so, Sam Bradford will make a play late to win a close one for the Vikings.
Result: Minnesota Vikings 29, New Orleans Saints 19
New Orleans
Saints
23
 
 
Denver
Broncos
23
This is a nice early division test for both teams. The Chargers lost a lot of close games last year, and I think that happens here. Give me Philip Rivers over Trevor Siemian every day, but I think the Denver defense comes up big in this one with a late stop.
Result: Denver Broncos 24, Los Angeles Chargers 21
Los Angeles
Chargers
21