The 2020-21 NFL season is almost here. It is less than a week away and all NFL fans around the world are getting excited. This season will be the 101st of the NFL, and it should be interesting. We will see how teams will battle with injuries, more specifically the pandemic. Although this season will be one of the weirdest, it still should be an exciting and eye-catching season filled with upsets and spectacular highlights. The week before the start of the season, analysts and fans provide their predictions for week one matchups, so here they are. Here are the NFL week one predictions for all the matchups in the first week of the season.
NFL Week One Predictions
The 101st season of the NFL kickoffs with the reigning Super Bowl Champions Kansas City Chiefs versus the Deshaun Watson led Texans. As it is the first NFL matchup, it should follow that this is the first of the NFL week one predictions. The matchup to look for in this game is which quarterback outplays the other. Will it be Patrick Mahomes or Deshaun Watson? It will be Patrick Mahomes, since he is the better of the two, and he has better offensive weapons. Speaking of offensive weapons, this brings up another storyline to look for: how Deshaun Watson will play without DeAndre Hopkins? To summarize, the Chiefs and Texans both have equally talented offenses, but the Chiefs defense is solid enough to be able to stop the Texans, while the shakey Texans defense will collapse to the Chiefs’ explosive offense.
Prediction: Chiefs win 34-21.
This will be a matchup of two quarterbacks drafted in 2018, Sam Darnold and Josh Allen. It should be interesting to see how a healthy Sam Darnold starts his season off and how Josh Allen plays with his newly-acquired receiver, Stefon Diggs. This matchup would have been closer since both teams have solid defenses, but the Jets lost Jamal Adams and C.J. Mosley who were their best players on defense. Ultimately, this is a matchup that the Bills win in these week one predictions. The Bills have the better offense, but the key factor here is that they have a top-five defense that should have no problem stopping Sam Darnold and the rest of the Jets offense.
Prediction: Bills win 27-13.
This is a classic NFC North matchup that should be very tight. It should be interesting how Aaron Rodgers plays after the Packers drafted Jordan Love this offseason. He goes up against a Vikings defense that had some turnover in the secondary and recently added superstar Yannick Ngakoue to their defensive line. Rodgers will be stopped by this Vikings defense a couple of times in this game, especially since he has no new offensive weapons. On the other side of the ball, the Vikings lost Stefon Diggs, so they will use the run game to control the tempo of the game. They will have a healthy and productive Dalvin Cook go up against a poor Packers run defense giving the Vikings a huge advantage in this game and that will help them get the win.
Prediction: Vikings win 24-20.
This is the easiest matchup of these week one predictions and this game should end up in a one-sided score. Although Washington has a sneaky defense with the likes of Chase Young and others, Carson Wentz has put up great production against them in the last couple of years. Besides Wentz’s passing attack, the Eagles also have the skillful running back Miles Sanders, who also put up great production against the Washington Football Team. It doesn’t get easier for Washington on offense. They will have sophomore Dwayne Haskins under center, and he will have no support, as they probably have the worst group of offensive weapons in the league. This especially doesn’t match up well against a solid Eagles defense that is led by Fletcher Cox who will pressure Haskins into making poor throws. This game will be a blowout.
Prediction: Eagles win 35-13.
This will be a desired matchup to watch, as many fans want to see how the Browns will open up the season and if Lamar Jackson continues being himself. For all the fans of offensive games, this is the game to watch. Both of these teams are loaded with star power. The Ravens have Lamar Jackson, a fantastic rushing attack, and the very good Mark Andrews. While, the Browns have a one-two punch duo in Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, and on the receiving side, they have Odell Beckham Jr., Jarvis Landry, and Austin Hooper. Both of these offenses will put up points, but the key turning point comes on defense. Although the Browns have a solid defense, they did lose Grant Delpit, while the Ravens have a better defense that is filled with great players. The defense gives the Ravens the edge.
Prediction: Ravens win 34-27.
As with the Eagles matchup against Washington, this game should be easy within these week one predictions. Over the offseason, the Colts re-vamped their offense by adding Philip Rivers, Michael Pittman Jr., and Jonathan Taylor. Additionally, the Colts also have a solid defense that is led by superstar Darius Leonard. This matchup is not about the Colts’ ability, but more about what the tanking Jaguars can do. Well, the Jaguars have an offense that is led by the inconsistent Gardner Minshew and they also lost Leonard Fournette, while their defense isn’t very good as it lost Yannick Ngakoue. This game is as simple as, the Colts will put up points against a poor Jaguars defense, all while being able to stop the inconsistent offense.
Prediction: Colts win 31-13.
Many people will be watching this game for fantasy purposes. It’s a matchup between Josh Jacobs and the very productive superstar Christian McCaffrey. These two will likely put up great stats. In general, the Raiders and Panthers should be able to up points against each other, but it’s not going to be high scoring, according to these week one predictions, of course. It is very hard to give one of these teams the edge on offense, so this game will rely on defense. Last year, these defenses struggled, but the Panthers had a greater struggle. They had an awful rush defense and a poor pass defense. Although both teams added pieces on defense, the edge goes to the Raiders. The Raiders are the better-coached team, and they have a better chance to stop the Panthers than the Panthers do to stop the Raiders.
Prediction: Raiders win 24-21
This is a game where it is very hard to pick the winner, and it is very likely this game goes down to the last seconds. Last week, Mitchell Trubisky was named the Bears starter, and although he had a poor season last year, he has played very well against the Lions in his career. In fact, he has three wins and zero losses against Matt Patricia, combined with nine touchdowns, and over 850 passing yards. On the other side, the Lions are led by a healthy Matthew Stafford who was playing at an MVP level up until his injury last year. These quarterbacks will find success against the opposing defenses. This game will be very tight, but the Bears will get the win. That Super Bowl-caliber defense will step up and stop the Lions offense late in the game.
Prediction: Bears win 27-24.
This game is the sneaky good matchup of the week. The Falcons have an elite offense led by Matt Ryan along with the likes of Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, and Todd Gurley. While the Seahawks are led by Russell Wilson who should have another MVP type season, and his weapons in Tyler Lockett, D.K. Metcalf, and Chris Carson. This will be an exciting game with lots of points. It comes down to the play of the defense, more specifically the secondary. The Falcons have a shaky secondary, while the Seahawks secondary wasn’t that better than the Falcons, but now is, with the addition of Jamal Adams. Yes, what a surprise, Jamal Adams, will have to be a game-changer. The Seahawks have the better secondary and they will get the win in these week one predictions.
Prediction: Seahawks win 31-27.
In this game and throughout the season, the Patriots will be in the spotlight. Everybody wants to see how the Patriots will play without Tom Brady and how their defense that was best in the league last year will play without key players. The offenses of both teams are not especially special, aside from Cam Newton on the Patriots. This game won’t be a jaw-dropping game, it will likely be low scoring. Although it will be low scoring, this game has my bold prediction. The Dolphins will beat the Patriots. It all factors into that the Dolphins will be able to put up points against the Patriots, and they will be able to stop the Patriots offense with the help of Xavien Howard who will have a big game.
Prediction: Dolphins win, 24-21
For the fans who like very offensive games, this is the matchup to steer away from. Of course, it will be exciting to see Joe Burrow in NFL action, but he will have a hard time scoring points. He goes up against a Chargers defense that is very good at bringing pressure and interrupting plays. In this game, many times, fans will likely see Joey Bosa pressuring Burrow into making poor throws. The same goes for the Chargers offense. Tyrod Taylor isn’t a great quarterback and he will be pressured by a Bengals defense line that is very underrated. Ultimately, the Chargers will be able to stop the young Joe Burrow and they will get a win, which isn’t pretty.
Prediction: Chargers win 17-14.
It will be interesting to see how an improved Cardinals offense that includes DeAndre Hopkins will play against a top-five 49ers defense. The 49ers defense is fantastic, but it is not unbreakable. Kyler Murray will throw a couple of touchdowns, while Kenyan Drake will probably rush in for one. Like the Cardinals, the 49ers will able to put up points. Though Jimmy Garoppolo isn’t the best thrower, the 49ers have one of the best rushing attacks and it will find success against a poor Cardinals defense. This game is very capable of going down to the wire. It all depends on if the Cardinals can force the 49ers into throwing instead of running the football. If they do, they will have a great chance of winning, but if they don’t, they will lose. The latter is more likely and it will happen. The game will be close, but the 49er’s rushing attack will be too much for the Cardinals defense.
Prediction: 49ers win 27-24.
This is the best game in week one. It’s a matchup of two legendary quarterbacks in Tom Brady and Drew Brees. It is also a matchup of the two most high-powered offenses in the league. On the field, at almost all times, there will be plenty of superstars. This is just a matchup between superstars, and its also a matchup with high stakes for a playoff spot. Points will be scored, almost every possession for each team. Look for Michael Thomas to have over 100 receiving yards, while the Buccaneers duo of Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, should each have close to 100 receiving yards. It’s a phenomenal game, that will finish in Drew Brees triumphing over Tom Brady. These teams will put up points, but the Saints have a better defense that will stop the Bucs offense at a key moment in the game.
Prediction: Saints win 38-34.
This game is the first Sunday Night Football game of the season, and it should be interesting to see how it plays out because it is hard to pick a winner. The Cowboys and Rams have defenses that are great at some moments, but not don’t play well at other times. They both have holes in their defense; the Rams linebacking core isn’t good, while the Cowboys secondary is very inexperienced. These defenses will both give up more than 20 points. If you turn towards the offenses, the Rams have a solid offense, with great receivers, but the Cowboys have a huge edge. Dak Prescott is better than Jared Goff, Ezekiel Elliott is better than any Rams starting running back, and the Cowboys have three receivers that could all be number one receivers on different teams. The Cowboys will get a W in the win column.
Prediction: Cowboys win 31-27.
This game will be the first Monday Night Football game of the season and it will be exciting for Steelers fans because Ben Roethlisberger will be starting. In his first game back, Big Ben should have no trouble. When healthy, Roethlisberger can throw for over 30 touchdowns and over 4,500 passing yards in a season. He is a gunslinger and has many offensive weapons that will succeed against a very bad Giants defense. Besides playing great himself, Big Ben will get help from his defense. It is a defense that is top-10 in the league. It had forced the most fumbles in the league, and it is going up against the quarterback Daniel Jones, who had the most fumbles. T.J. Watt will destroy the Giants’ offensive line and he will sack Daniel Jones or force him to make poor throws towards the Steelers’ fantastic secondary consisting of Minkah Fitzpatrick, Joe Haden, and others. Yes, the Giants have Saquon Barkley, who will help the Giants score some points, but he ultimately will be stopped. The Steelers should easily win.
Prediction: Steelers win 31-17.
The final game of week one should be a great one. Last year’s Cinderella story, the Titans, face off against a very young Broncos team. It is hard to give either team the edge on either side of the ball because they are very equal. Both of these teams have very good defenses consisting of very good secondaries. On offense, both have decent quarterbacks in Ryan Tannehill and Drew Lock. They also have offenses that rely on a great rushing attack which includes Derrick Henry and the duo of Phillip Lindsay and Melvin Gordon. This game will be low scoring, not because the offenses are not good, but because the defenses are so good. The win in this game will go to the Titans. The main reason is the Titans are more experienced especially at the quarterback position, while Drew Lock is still very young and will be prone to make mistakes, especially against a very good Titans defense.
Prediction: Titans win 21-20.
Week One Predictions Recap
Week one of the NFL season will be very exciting. It will be interesting to see how teams play with no training camp and how the new faces on teams will play. I know that some of the predictions above won’t be correct because the NFL is a game of inches and that is what makes it exciting.
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