Early 2024 NFL picks, score predictions for Week 1 games

Making way-too-early predictions for the Week 1 slate of NFL games in 2024
NFL picks
NFL picks / Cooper Neill/GettyImages
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Las Vegas Raiders @ Los Angeles Chargers


The final Week 1 matchup to be unveiled is an AFC West showdown between the Las Vegas Raiders and Los Angeles Chargers.

This game will mark Jim Harbaugh’s long-awaited return to the NFL after he built a National Championship team at his alma mater, Michigan. Harbaugh’s return to the NFL is going to be a welcomed sight, and he’ll be expected to take the Chargers from consistent pretenders to actual contenders in the AFC West.

Harbaugh got rid of Keenan Allen and Mike Williams this offseason. The Chargers landed Joe Alt with their top pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. Justin Herbert is going to have a strong running game to lean on and the Chargers simply need to stay healthy to realize the potential they seem to have just about every year.

The Raiders are in a unique situation. They added Gardner Minshew this offseason to compete with Aidan O’Connell, but then they missed out on quarterbacks in the 2024 NFL Draft. With former interim head coach Antonio Pierce being promoted to the full-time gig, this Raiders team is equal parts interesting and terrifying.

Terrifying because did they actually get better on paper? Did they make the right call by not going after anyone like Harbaugh, Bill Belichick, or Mike Vrabel as their next head coach? I think we’re going to see the Harbaugh-led Chargers open the year with a bang.

Prediction: Chargers win 33-17