Photo: Associated Press
Week 1 is finally here! All the speculation, rumors, suspensions, and everything that has happened this offseason will finally be put to test. There a lot of intriguing matchups to watch this week, and one game that got rescheduled. Let’s take a look at some of the best matchups going on in the NFL this week.
Thursday @ 8:30 pm ET, Kansas City Chiefs at New England Patriots:
This is likely a future playoff matchup in the making. A season opener in New England will be electric. Both teams will be looking to come out strong and get off to a hot start. Two great head coaches in Andy Reid and Bill Belichick will be featured in this game.
How the Chiefs can win:
They have an offense that can pace the game very well. It isn’t a big play, high scoring offense like some but it is capable of getting the job done. The biggest thing the Chiefs have to worry about is going up against one of the greatest quarterbacks ever at the top of his game. The Chiefs know what they need to do though. They have heard all this talk about how Brady is older though the arm strength is still there, but are his legs still with him? The key to slowing Brady is to put him on the ground time and time again. If the secondary can keep tight windows long enough for the pass rush to get to Brady then the Patriots will have a hard time winning this game.
How the Patriots can win:
They have the greatest quarterback ever, one of the greatest coaches ever, and depth beyond imaginable. Brady finally has a deep threat again. The last time he had a true deep threat he rallied off an 18-0 record before losing in the Super Bowl. I’m not saying Brandin Cooks is anywhere near as good as Randy Moss, but he is a deep threat for sure. With Cooks, Gronk, and newly acquired Philip Dorsett in the receiving corps Brady shouldn’t have a problem moving the ball down the field. The defense again is above average. They added Kony Ealy and Stephon Gilmore for additional depth and coverage. As long as they can contain the running game and protect Brady they should have this one in the bag
Prediction: Patriots win 28-17
Sunday @ 4:25 pm ET, Seattle Seahawks at Green Bay Packers:
Another possible playoff matchup! An explosive offense vs a lockdown defense. The most gifted quarterback this league has ever seen and one of the most consistent defenses in recent memory. This game should be legendary.
How the Packers can win:
They have one of the best offenses in the league, and one of the best quarterbacks in the league. The offensive weapons Rodgers has is insane. With Jordy Nelson, Davonte Adams, and new acquired Martellus Bennett, Rodgers should have no problem scoring any points. The defense is the weak spot on this team. As long as the defense can play at an average place then this team will be top notch. For them to beat the Seahawks though they must keep Russell Wilson and co. off the field. Pace the game and eat the clock. Keep the offense on the field and control the front seven is how they will win this game.
How the Seahawks can win:
The defense has just added another pro bowler in the form of Sheldon Richardson. The pass rush got a huge upgrade with him in the line. With Michael Bennett on the other side, they are the real deal. The secondary is already one of the best in the league and will look to continue to prove it against this pass heavy offense. Russell Wilson and the offense will feast on the weaker defense of the Packers. The addition of Eddie Lacy to go along with a beast in Thomas Rawls when he’s healthy should help take a load off of Wilson. The Seahawks need to score and score quickly if they want to win this game. With the kind of defense the Seahawks have, keeping them on the field is the best bet for them.
Prediction: Seahawks win 34-20
Pete Carroll said newly acquired DL Sheldon Richardson will start out playing 3-tech DT, but as he learns defense has versatility to do more
— John Boyle (@johnpboyle) September 4, 2017
Sunday Night Football @ 8:30 pm ET, New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys:
Every time these two teams play it seems to be a good game. Week one last year it came down to the last play. When they played in week 14 it was a 10-7. As a matter of fact, 9 of the last 10 matches between the two teams have been decided by 7 points or less. The other game being a 10 point victory by the Cowboys all the way back on October 14, 2014. It is safe to say these teams know each other very well.
How the Cowboys can win:
If Zeke plays in this game the Cowboys will have a much better chance at winning this game. The offensive line is no joke and can block for anybody but Zeke brings more to the table than just his run game. He is a good pass catcher and an excellent pass blocker. He takes pressure off Dak big time. For these Cowboys to win though Dak needs to show up to play. He needs to get Dez Bryant and co. involved and do it early. The key to beating this Giants team is to get them into passing situations and let Eli Manning make his usual mistakes. Bait him into thinking a route is open and then jump it. Turnovers are key and will give the offense more chances to score.
Jason Garrett said Ezekiel Elliott has done an excellent job of preparing for the opener. Now eligible to play Sunday. #cowboyswire
— Rob Phillips (@robphillips3) September 6, 2017
How the Giants can win:
Do exactly what they did last season. Slow the game down and let the Cowboys run the ball, but contain Dak and shut down the passing game. Without the passing game, a one-dimensional run game is very easy to stop. Their defense is versatile and very good. The offense has a plethora of weapons around Eli. With OBJ, Brandon Marshall, and rookie tight end Evan Engram all on this team it would be hard to see how Eli could struggle. If they can control the front seven and contain Dak, then they will win this game.