Week 1 picks: Lions-Bucs toughest game to call


Steelers 27, Ravens 21

Hines Ward told me this is the most talent the Steelers have had at receiver in his 14 years. They'll be prolific Sunday, as a revamped Ravens secondary works out the kinks.

Falcons 34, Bears 14

Like the Steelers' offense, this Falcons group figures to become a more attack-oriented contingent. If Atlanta can handle Julius Peppers, Matt Ryan will riddle the Chicago secondary.

Browns 30, Bengals 7

Colt McCoy's big preseason was no fluke and the Browns are headed in the right direction. And the Bengals will make them look like they're farther along than they actually are.

Texans 31, Colts 21

It's now or never for Gary Kubiak and the Texans. A smallish Colts defensive front will start making the adjustment to playing without big leads in this one. And it won't be easy.

Titans 16, Jaguars 6

Maybe Luke McCown shocks the world Sunday. I'm just not willing to be the one who says it. Both clubs are strong in the trenches, and neither likes the other very much, so this figures to be a street fight.

Bills 26, Chiefs 16

The Bills are going to be better offensively than a lot of people realize. At least this week, with Matt Cassel nursing sore ribs and Tony Moeaki gone, K.C. can't keep up.

Rams 27, Eagles 19

A scout told me how evident Sam Bradford's swift adjustment to Josh McDaniels' system was in the preseason. And Steve Spagnuolo's defense is coming along, too.

Buccaneers 17, Lions 16

Among the most interesting games on the slate. These two could be the NFC elite in the middle of the decade. Give me the home team in a tough one to pick.

Cardinals 28, Panthers 6

The Panthers were still looking for corner help over the weekend. Not a good sign when Larry Fitzgerald is the opponent. It'll be a rough cross-country trip home for Cam Newton.

Chargers 31, Vikings 10

The Chargers were prolific offensively without Vincent Jackson for most of last year. Now, they have Jackson full-time, and a more seasoned Ryan Mathews. They'll put on a show Sunday.

49ers 13, Seahawks 10

Not much in the way of style points here. Jim Harbaugh's preached toughness to his team, and they'll gut this one out at home.

Giants 26, Redskins 16

The Redskins might get better over the year, but it's going to be slow-going early with a totally reworked roster.

Jets 20, Cowboys 10

The Cowboys' young offensive line figures to have big-time problems handling what Rex Ryan will throw at them. Dallas' D will be better, but it won't be enough here.

Patriots 26, Dolphins 20

Tom Brady and Co. will come on late to put this one away, but I'd expect the Dolphins' defense to give them trouble. The key for Miami will be controlling the pace.

Raiders 24, Broncos 3

Denver has a lot of work to do, and it'll show in the final game of Week 1. Hue Jackson's team shows its toughness here, running right through the home team.


Packers 26, Saints 24

Football returns with a thriller, and Mason Crosby kicks the winner at the end. I've got New Orleans winning the Super Bowl, but they'll have a hard time knocking off the champs on opening night at Lambeau.


Follow Albert Breer on Twitter @AlbertBreer



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