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Week One Predictions and Expectations (1/4)

Yes, football fans week one of the NFL season is finally here. After watching preseason game after preseason game and reading projection after projection, the real deal is under way and with that projections of its own. What has this week one have for us? Perhaps an early sleeper comes out of the undergrowth of some NFL teams 53 man roster and totally lights it up, perhaps a proven veteran totally crumples under the immense pressure of a new season, or perhaps we will see some great, hard-hitting and fast-paced football that we have been waiting all summer just to see. Whatever the outcome, we know for certain, after such a turbulent off-season, week one should be a roller coaster, so buckle up NFL fans for a ride.

1.Baltimore @ Denver, Outcome- Baltimore 24 Denver 31
The two playoff powerhouses meet again after a heartbreaking AFC Divisional Playoff game that featured two hail maries and one eventual Super Bowl Champion. The Broncos, hungry for redemption, don’t need any more reminders. As the first game of the regular season, it should definitely be exciting. Both teams feature extremely talented lineups consisting of Pro Bowl Quarterbacks, young Running Backs, breakaway Wide Outs and intimidating defenses. With that considered when we look closer I have to give the advantage to Denver. The First game of the season at home? You might as well bring ear plugs if you’re Joe Flacco because that stadium is guaranteed to get LOUD. In my opinion Manning and this Broncos offense, especially with the additions of Wes Welker and Montee Ball have one of the most explosive offenses in the league and if there is any chance for the Ravens to pull this one out, they will have to stop Manning and the Broncos totally over powered aerial attack. The Ravens do have one edge over the Broncos in that they have an 11th ranked running attack with Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce. If the Ravens can utilize Rice not only rushing out of the backfield, but also as a check down for Flacco in case none of his receivers are open. Regardless though, it will most likely be the Broncos who will be on the winning end of this game. Their offense is much too powerful for any NFL defense to handle and even if the Ravens do shut down Denver, their offense quite simply can’t penetrate this 2nd ranked Denver Broncos defense. Baltimore will definitely put up a fight, but in the end it will be Denver on top, 31-24

2.Oakland @ Indianapolis, Outcome- Oakland 13 Indianapolis 28
As the Black Hole mongers make their way to Lucas Oil Stadium, even before they arrive in Indianapolis, they’ll have their work cut out for them. This past off-season the Raiders went out and got former Green Bay backup Matt Flynn and at the same time, losing WR Darrius Heyward-Bey and TE Brandon Myers forcing the Raiders to rely on the legs of Darren McFadden. Unfortunately for the Raiders, the Colts this season look extremely deep. Andrew Luck looks to repeat his rookie season and lead these Colts back to the playoffs. Personnel-wise, these Colts look stacked compared to the lonesome Raiders. Not only is Luck a playmaker, but Reggie Wayne, Dwayne Allen, Vick Ballard, T.Y. Hilton and even former raider Darrius Heyward-Bey are all elite players on this Colts squad! All signs point towards Indy, home field advantage, better QB, better defense. By chance Run DMC does have a monster game against the Colts, the Raiders passing game is just too weak to make any difference. Look for the Colts to come out on top.

3.NY Giants @ Dallas, Outcome- NY Giants 24 Dallas 28
One of the more intense and heated NFL rivalries, the Cowboys and Giants will be getting together for a perhaps future playoff matchup. For years this rivalry has gone back and forth, the overall record goes to the Cowboys with a 57-43-2 record against the Giants. In recent years however, the Giants have held the upper hand, since 2007 the Giants have led the series 8-5. This season  may be yet another turning point in the series. Coming off an 8-8 season that featured Tony Romo throwing for 4,903 yards and 28 touchdowns, the Cowboys are looking to improve as they get back RB DeMarco Murray who was injured for multiple games last season. The Cowboys ability to run the football will dictate not only the success of this game, but the success of their entire season. But apart from the Cowboys running game, the Giants have to step up their 31st ranked passing defense in order to stop Dez Bryant, Jason Witten and the explosive aerial attack of the Dallas Cowboys if they want any chance of winning this matchup. The Giants do have the upside with their Running Back David Wilson who has broken out as the clear starter this preseason. The Giants with Eli Manning can use a more balanced offense to run through over the Cowboys, it will be interesting to see whether or not the Cowboys can step up to the challenge. I believe they will, look for Dallas to pull off a squeaker.

4.New England @ Buffalo, Outcome- New England 24 Buffalo 17
Perhaps one of the weakest divisions in the NFL this season is the AFC East. Considering where the Patriots were last year, this season looks to be about as pleasant as black Friday shopping at Wal-Mart, slim pickings. This past off-season the Patriots lost basically their entire receiving corps to trades, releases and well, arrests. However the Patriots do have one thing they can rely on, and that is Tom Brady. I believe even with such a dilapidate offense, Brady will make this season work, but it won’t be as dominant as in years previous. With that considered, the Bills come in about as struggling, both starting QBs are injured, with no reliable replacement in sight. Both of these teams will rely heavily on their run games, so heavily not even Hulk Hogan can lift it. But they do have some of the best backs in the game right now in C.J. Spiller and Stevan Ridley. Buffalo does have the advantage when it comes to running games, however the Patriots lead when it comes to QB play and thus will come out on top in this matchup, even if it isn’t as dominant as 2012.

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