Alex Frank | Staff Reporter Zach Fries | Staff Reporter Joe Petrosino | Staff Reporter
Ethan Bastian | Staff Reporter Sean McMahon | Staff Reporter
There’s a certain feeling on Sunday’s in the fall.
The crispness in the air, the smell of whatever is being grilled at tailgates, the anticipation of your team taking the field and 70,000+ fans cheering incredibly passionately for three+ hours all make up, perhaps, the best season in all of sports; the NFL.
As with our college football picks, we will be picking the top games every week on CBS, ESPN, FOX, NBC and NFL Network, if any.
The member with the best record at the end of week 17 will get a Montgomery Inn at the Boathouse dinner from the member who comes in second place. Duh duh duh duh…
With that, here are our week one picks.
Atlanta Falcons @ Philadelphia Eagles – 8:20 E.T. on NBC (Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya)
Alex: Falcons 27 Eagles 24 Zach: Falcons 27 Eagles 24 Joe: Falcons 35 Eagles 17
Ethan: Falcons 27 Eagles 24 Sean: Falcons 17 Eagles 7
Alex: Nick Foles is the starting quarterback for the Eagles in this game, as well he should be. He led the Eagles to their first ever Super Bowl title back in February where he was named the game’s MVP. But I see the Falcons making a statement in this one. I think second-year offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian will open the playbook more for quarterback Matt Ryan to spread the ball around to his arsenal of weapons and the defense will be able to slow down an Eagles offense playing without wide receiver Alshon Jeffery.
Houston Texans @ New England Patriots – 1 E.T. on CBS (Jim Nantz, Tony Romo, Tracy Wolfson)
Alex: Patriots 31 Texans 28 Zach: Patriots 31 Texans 23 Joe: Patriots 28 Texans 20
Ethan: Texans 41 Patriots 38 Sean: Patriots 35 Texans 14
Ethan: The Texans vs Patriots will be a high scoring game and the best one on Sunday. Let’s not forget the last time Deshaun Watson played the Patriots it was a shootout too. Houston will come out strong against a Tom Brady team that has lost a lot around him but is not a good September team in the Brady-Belichek era. Look for Watson to have a coming out party and show why he could be an MVP candidate this season in an up for grabs AFC South.
Dallas Cowboys @ Carolina Panthers – 4:25 E.T. on FOX (Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews)
Alex: Panthers 27 Cowboys 17 Zach: Panthers 28 Cowboys 20 Joe: Cowboys 20 Panthers 13
Ethan: Cowboys 27 Panthers 24 Sean: Panthers 24 Cowboys 12
Zach: America’s team will have a tough time slowing down Panthers quarterback Cam Newton and running back Christian McCaffrey. Additionally, the Cowboys have some critical injuries on their offensive line, so running back Ezekiel Elliott may have a tough time finding holes against a strong Carolina defensive front. Quarterback Dak Prescott will keep the Cowboys in the game, but Carolina will prove to be too much down the stretch.
Chicago Bears @ Green Bay Packers – 8:15 E.T. on NBS (Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya)
Alex: Packers 34 Bears 20 Zach: Packers 27 Bears 14 Joe: Packers 33 Bears 21
Ethan: Packers 30 Bears 14 Sean: Packers 35 Bears 17
Alex: America’s Game of the Week for week one will be closer than some may think, especially after the Bears signed linebacker Khalil Mack to a six-year $141 million contract which is the highest deal ever for a defensive player. Mack joins a defense that finished No. 10 in yards and No. 9 in points allowed last season. But with Aaron Rodgers back and healthy, and a whole lot richer, and tight end Jimmy Graham coming over from Seattle in free agency, I think the Packers offense will go about their business as usual; spreading the ball around, unleashing an up-tempo offense and an efficient performance from Rodgers.
New York Jets @ Detroit Lions – 7:10 E.T. on ESPN (Beth Mowins, Brian Griese, Laura Rutledge)
Alex: Lions 28 Jets 20 Zach: Lions 27 Jets 17 Joe: Lions 42 Jets 17
Ethan: Lions 28 Jets 14 Sean: Jets 21 Lions 10
Sean: The Jets and the Lions are set to square off next Monday in Detroit. It will be the first Monday night game of the 2018 NFL season. The Jets look to put some of their new recruits to good use, especially rookie quarterback Sam Darnold from USC. It seems as though they might finally have a quarterback. Finally. The Detroit Lions were among the worst defenses last year and the Jets were among the worst offenses last year. It will be interesting to see how this might change during this new season.
Los Angeles Rams @ Oakland Raiders – 10:20 E.T. on ESPN (Joe Tessitore, Jason Witten, Booger McFarland, Lisa Salters)
Alex: Rams 35 Raiders 17 Zach: Rams 30 Raiders 13 Joe: Rams 21 Raiders 17
Ethan: Rams 31 Raiders 21 Sean: Rams 28 Raiders 14
Sean: The Rams and the Raiders will face each other after the Jets and the Lions with a starting time of 10:20 at night. The Rams will be putting running back Todd Gurley to good use this year after he put up 1,305 rushing yards last season. The Raiders’ defense was in the lower levels. I believe the Rams will win on the road in Oakland.