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NFL Season Week One: Predicting Each Game

09/04/2012 10:52 pm ET | Updated Nov 04, 2012
  • Barbara Bruno NFL Analyst and Commentator, Independent Film Producer
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Here are your viewing notes and game picks for every 2012 NFL Season Week One contest.

Wednesday 8:30PM
Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants
It's almost impossible to beat the Super Bowl Champions at home on opening day.
Cowboys fans should watch the pass protection and their revamped secondary (including rookie Morris Claiborne). Star TE Jason Witten continues to recover from a lacerated spleen.
Prediction: Giants win by a Touchdown.

Sunday 1:00PM games
Atlanta Falcons at Kansas City Chiefs
The pressure is on Matt Ryan and the Falcons offense to rival Green Bay for pyrotechnics and on the defense to improve to at least middle-of-the-pack.
The Chiefs have not looked as good as they should after regaining the hundred players that spent 2011 on IR. Dominant defender Tamba Hali is suspended for this game. Matt Ryan is thrilled.
Prediction: Falcons win by a Touchdown.

Philadelphia Eagles at Cleveland Browns
Cleveland's top draft pick, RB Trent Richardson, will be limited at best after arthroscopic knee surgery in August. More pressure on 28-year-old rookie QB Brandon Weeden. CB Joe Haden is appealing a four-game suspension and LB Scott Fujita is out due to the bounty scandal.
The Eagles are on a mission.
Prediction: Eagles win by more than a Touchdown.

Washington Redskins at New Orleans Saints
Saints DB Roman Harper will probably tell his children that he caught RGIII's first interception, but new Redskins WR Pierre Garcon should still make a few big catches.
Drew Brees has to be coach and QB this year in the absence of several bounty-suspended coaches. This may not be humanly possible. The defense is rebuilding around suspensions and injuries.
Prediction: Normally, the Saints would win by two Touchdowns, but it will end up being by less than 10.

St. Louis Rams at Detroit Lions
Rams rusher Steven Jackson begins his campaign for an eighth consecutive 1,000-yard season. QB Sam Bradford had a miserable 2011 marred by a high ankle sprain. The Rams wide receivers aren't stars, but neither are the Lions DBs.
The Rams defense has been coming along. Welcome to the big time as you try to shut down Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson.
Suspended sophomore RB Mikel Leshoure has yet to contribute to the Detroit offense.
Prediction: If Detroit wants to be considered a Super Bowl contender they must win by 10 points at least.

New England Patriots at Tennessee Titans
Bill Belichick versus a second-year QB who has just been named the starter? Oh, and the Titans star WR is suspended. Please.
The only questions in this game are whether Titans RB Chris Johnson returns to form and whether the Pats O-line has gotten their act together. New England fans won't be happy with anything less than a TD pass to new deep threat Brandon Lloyd.
Prediction: Patriots by two Touchdowns.

Miami Dolphins at Houston Texans
Rookie QB Ryan Tannehill versus the Texans all-pro defense. Even with Houston star D-lineman J.J. Watt's elbow injury--it doesn't seem fair.
Texans fans will want to see how well the line can protect their top-tier but fragile QB against a respectable Miami pass rush.
Prediction: Texans by two Touchdowns.

Buffalo Bills at New York Jets
The Big Top officially opens this Sunday. The Buffalo Bills broke the bank beefing up their defensive line. If either Gang Green QB gets the ball in the end zone--there should be parties in the streets.
A Rex Ryan-coached D against Ryan Fitzpatrick or can anyone other than Stevie Johnson catch a football for the Bills?
Prediction: Jets by one point.

Jacksonville Jaguars at Minnesota Vikings
Battle of the Sophomore QBs. Vikings QB Christian Ponder is probably further along the learning curve--he just doesn't have any weapons other than Percy Harvin.
JAX signal-caller Blaine Gabbert has improved. Time to test drive that connection with first-round WR Justin Blackmon.
Prediction: Vikings by a Field Goal.

Indianapolis Colts at Chicago Bears
Rookie Colts signal-caller, first overall draft pick Andrew Luck, faces a mature Bears D--but he will still get one score.
This is the new Bears offense, featuring a healthy Jay Cutler with WR Brandon Marshall. The less said about the Colts D the better.
Prediction: Bears by two Touchdowns.

Sunday 4:30 PM
Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Panthers unveil their $50 million rushing trio while Cam Newton probably picks up exactly where he left off.
The Bucs will roll out their (hopefully) improved offense.
Prediction: Panthers by two Field Goals.

Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals
Seattle rookie Russell Wilson will try to prove that a 5'11" QB can make it in the NFL and Arizona's John Skelton will try to cement his starting position.
Good thing both teams have excellent running backs and good defenses.
Prediction: Seattle by a Field Goal.

San Francisco 49ers at Green Bay Packers
The 49ers have ten returning defensive starters facing a Packers team whose only weakness is their O-line. Flashback to Eli Manning's helmet twisted halfway off his head in the NFC Championship game.
Prediction: Green Bay wins by a kick.

Sunday 8:20PM
Pittsburgh Steelers at Denver Broncos
Expect record-breaking ratings for this game as No. 18 begins his comeback attempt against Blitzburgh. Yikes.
Steelers S Ryan Clark cannot play for health reasons, which will somewhat inhibit Troy Polamalu's freelancing antics. Still.
Ben Roethlisberger is officially an elite QB--with no O-line. They drafted two linemen and neither will be on the field. Great.
Try this for a friendly wager: Brandon Stokely will catch Peyton Manning's first pass as a Bronco.
Prediction: Denver wins by three or less.

Monday 7:00PM
Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens
Can the Bengals build on a breakout 2011? Can the Ravens overcome the loss of Terrell Suggs? Yes and yes.
Prediction: Ravens by a Field Goal.

10:15PM
San Diego Chargers at Oakland Raiders
WR Darius Heyward-Bey should continue his improvement unless Carson Palmer forgets how to throw a football--which he has done upon occasion recently.
The Chargers should be a terrific team. Again.
This contest will hinge on the Chargers ability to stop Oakland runner Darren McFadden, who is healthy--so far.
Prediction: Chargers by a Field Goal. They hope.

2012 Offseason Breakdowns for all 32 NFL teams.

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