Throughout the 2020 NFL season, NFL Network analysts will provide one bold prediction heading into each week's slate of games, beginning today with forecasts for the campaign's opening weekend (see the full Week 1 schedule).
James Jones: It's been a long time since we've seen SuperCam on a football field. He makes his New England debut memorable with five touchdowns -- two rushing, three passing -- against the Dolphins and has Patriots fans feeling as if the dynasty (albeit without Tom Brady) isn't quite over just yet.
Brian Baldinger: When the Las Vegas Raiders visit the Carolina Panthers on Sunday, they will see a first-time head coach in Matt Rhule. While Carolina has a new staff, a lot of new players and a new way of doing things, the Raiders will find out the Panthers are not bereft of talent. There is Teddy Bridgewater, who is coming off his 5-0 run while filling in for Drew Brees as the Saints' starter last season. He's been reunited with offensive coordinator Joe Brady, who was an assistant on New Orleans' staff during Bridgewater's first season with the Saints, and he'll be taking the field with Christian McCaffrey, Curtis Samuel, D.J. Moore and Robby Anderson. That's as speedy a group of playmakers as you'll find in the NFL.
Paul Guenther is asked again to coordinate a Raiders defense that has a bunch of new faces for the third year in a row. Las Vegas could have as many as five new starters on that side of the ball, including last year's first-round draft pick, Johnathan Abram, who missed all but one game in 2019. It's a good time to catch the Raiders as they try to put a lot of defensive pieces together after an unusual offseason that didn't give the unit much time to jell. I like the Panthers' offense to strike big in this game against a newly constructed defense, and for Rhule to win his first game as an NFL head coach.
Marc Ross: Kyler Murray stakes an early claim in the MVP race by leading the Cardinals to the biggest upset of the week in a win over San Francisco. Murray throws for 300-plus yards and three touchdowns AND runs for another score against one of the NFL's best defenses -- one that powered the 49ers to the Super Bowl last season. Newly paid All-Pro DeAndre Hopkins starts earning his loot immediately by catching two of Murray's TDs while finishing with more than 100 yards receiving.
Joe Thomas: Dak Prescott will make a strong statement for a new contract in Mike McCarthy's new offense. The fifth-year QB will lead the Dallas Cowboys to a double-digit win over the Los Angeles Rams -- spoiling their debut in SoFi Stadium -- while throwing for 300-plus yards and three touchdowns.
Nate Burleson: Since 2003, quarterbacks selected No. 1 overall are 0-11-1 in their first career start. The last QB picked first overall to win his debut is none other than my colleague David Carr, who did it back in 2002. Joe Burrow ends the streak on Sunday, picking up right where he left off in his college career, and leads the Cincinnati Bengals to a victory at home over the Los Angeles Chargers.
Scott Pioli: Philip Rivers is going to have an explosive debut for the Indianapolis Colts and throw for over 350 yards and three TDs. Rivers' familiarity with HC Frank Reich and OC Nick Sirianni will be an asset in a league that has had a restricted offseason. The coaches not only have a familiarity with Rivers, but they have been in Indy long enough to know what they already have on the roster and what will mesh with Rivers -- so not everything will be new. Rivers is also out to prove something to himself and others. The best time to do that is at the start of the season, when he is healthy and fresh against this Jacksonville defense.
Thursday, Sept. 10
Sunday, Sept. 13
- Philadelphia Eagles at Washington Football Team (1 p.m. ET on FOX)
- Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots (1 p.m. ET on CBS)
- Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings (1 p.m. ET on FOX)
- Indianapolis Colts at Jacksonville Jaguars (1 p.m. ET on CBS)
- Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions (1 p.m. ET on FOX)
- Las Vegas Raiders at Carolina Panthers (1 p.m. ET on CBS)
- New York Jets at Buffalo Bills (1 p.m. ET on CBS)
- Cleveland Browns at Baltimore Ravens (1 p.m. ET on CBS)
- Seattle Seahawks at Atlanta Falcons (1 p.m. ET on FOX)
- Los Angeles Chargers at Cincinnati Bengals (4:05 p.m. ET on CBS)
- Arizona Cardinals at San Francisco 49ers (4:25 p.m. ET on FOX)
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints (4:25 p.m. ET on FOX)
- Dallas Cowboys at Los Angeles Rams (8:20 p.m. ET on NBC)