2015 Week 1 NFL Predictions


NFL week 1 is finally here!   A full slate of games to kickoff the 2015 NFL season including:

Steelers at Patriots (Thursday) – Everyone is waiting to see Tom Brady play after a week ago it looked like he’d be serving his 4 game suspension for deflating gameballs in the AFC Championship game.  The Pats should be very fired up for this game and the Steelers could be in big trouble.

Packers at Bears – One of the oldest rivalries in the NFL renews at Soldier Field with a Bears team coming into the year with low expectations and the Packers consider Super Bowl contenders.  Aaron Rodgers won’t lose this game.

Chiefs at Texans – The Chiefs had a banged up defense last year and with it healthy could be tops in the league.  The Texans will start Bryan Hoyer and he’ll have to throw to someone other than Andre Johnson who’s now a Colt.  The pass rush of the Chiefs should get them a win.

Browns at Jets – This is game was super close when we formulated it. Both teams have many changes from last season.  The Jets have a new coach and new QB who was pushed into the starting job after Geno Smith was punched in the face by his then teammate.

Colts at Bills – Rex Ryan is now in Buffalo and has some weapons after bringing Shady McCoy to town to join Sammy Watkins.  Andrew Luck is as steady as they come and with an improved receiving corp should have a big year.  Buffalo is always tough at home but Luck is on Indy’s side.

Dolphins at Redskins – Kirk Cousins starts for the ‘Skins as the RG3 saga continues.  The Dolphins have high hopes and this is the tone setter for the season.  If they can’t win at a mediocre at best Redskins team, the playoffs may have to wait for another season.

Panthers at Jaguars – Is this the year the Jags regain some respect?  It’s hard to see after their first round pick got injured in the offseason and won’t play.  The Jags are just lacking talent to make a playoff run any time soon.  Cam Newton will lead the Panthers to a close road win.

Seahawks at Rams – The Seahawks have been the best team in the NFL for the past two seasons.  They’re coming off the Super Bowl disaster of a goalline interception that cost them back-to-back titles.  A lot of us were expecting a Super Bowl hangover but they traded for Jimmy Graham and could have a potent passing game this season to go with Beastmode.  The Rams have a solid defense so this will be a good test for the Seahawks.  Can the Rams put up enough offense to win though?  Unlikely.

Saints at Cardinals – The trading of Jimmy Graham shocked many.  Drew Brees loses his go-to receiver.  Now he’s got some talent around him but it’s inexperienced.  The Cardinals were the team to beat last season before Carson Palmer’s injury.  Is he ready to lead them back and make a run at the NFC West title?  Bruce Arians is a great coach and will have the Cardinals ready.

Lions at Chargers – The Lions lost Suh but still have a good pass rush.  Phillip Rivers is tough at home but will rookie Melvin Gordon step up and give them a rushing attack this year?  This one should go down to the final minute.

Titans at Bucs – The top 2 picks from the 2015 NFL Draft collide in their NFL debuts as Marcus Mariota (Titans) and Jameis Winston (Bucs) get to start their NFL careers opposing one another.  More talent is in Tampa and should help Winston start his career undefeated…at least for a week.

Bengals at Raiders – The Raiders can get worse than they were last year.  Will the Bengals step up from simply a playoff team to be a Super Bowl contender?  A lot will fall on Andy Dalton’s shoulders.  Look for an improved Raiders offense to keep them in this game but the Bengals will leave Oakland with a W.

Ravens at Broncos – Peyton Manning starts what may be his final season.  The Ravens went to Denver to start the season two years ago and Manning lit them up to set a new passing TD record.  The Ravens are a good road team and should hang around with the Broncos.

Giants at Cowboys – The Cowboys let DeMarco Murray go but have faith their offensive line can generate another league leading rusher.  The Giants seem a .500 team at best so the Cowboys should win week 1.

Eagles at Falcons – The Eagles were the most fascinating team of the offseason as they made drastic changes by bringing in a new QB and RB.  They’ve got Sam Bradford and DeMarco Murray in the backfield now to lead the Chip Kelly attack.  The Falcons have a new coach who looks to maximize the talent and get Matt Ryan back to the playoffs.  This is a game that’s should be great to watch to see how all the new pieces fit together.

Vikings at 49ers – Jim Harbaugh is at Michigan and a lot of what was a great defense in San Francisco has left.  The Vikings welcome Adrian Peterson back and hope he can help out QB Teddy Bridgewater in year 2.

Now to our data driven NFL Predictions for week 1:

STEELERS 35% 22 55
PATRIOTS 65% 29 -6 1/2
PACKERS 60% 27 -4
BEARS 40% 22 50
CHIEFS 51% 22 43
TEXANS 49% 21 -1.5
BROWNS 51% 21 41
JETS 49% 20 -1
COLTS 50% 22 -3
BILLS 50% 21 48
DOLPHINS 56% 25 -2.5
REDSKINS 44% 22 44 1/2
PANTHERS 53% 22 -4
JAGUARS 47% 21 43 1/2
SEAHAWKS 56% 22 -3 1/2
RAMS 44% 20 44
SAINTS 44% 21 48
CARDINALS 56% 24 -2 1/2
LIONS 47% 20 46 1/2
CHARGERS 53% 21 -2
TITANS 42% 19 42 1/2
BUCS 58% 23 -3
BENGALS 58% 24 -3
RAIDERS 42% 20 44 1/2
RAVENS 45% 23 53
BRONCOS 55% 26 -4
GIANTS 37% 22 50
COWBOYS 63% 28 -5 1/2
EAGLES 53% 27 -1 1/2
FALCONS 47% 26 53 1/2
VIKINGS 46% 20 42
49ERS 54% 22 -3 1/2

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