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
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Pittsburgh Steelers @ Atlanta Falcons


The NFL missed an opportunity here to have the season open between the Denver Broncos and Pittsburgh Steelers, a revenge matchup between Russell Wilson and the team that is paying him nearly $38 million to be on the Steelers this season.

Alas, it's an "Arthur Smith revenge game". That headline doesn't sell quite as much, but this is an intriguing game nonetheless. The Atlanta Falcons became one of the most interesting teams of the 2024 offseason rather quickly when they signed Kirk Cousins to a four-year deal worth $180 million and $100 million guaranteed.

They became even more interesting when they went and drafted Michael Penix Jr. with the 8th overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. We all expect this matchup to be Kirk Cousins vs. Russell Wilson, but what if it's Michael Penix Jr. vs. Justin Fields?

Now that would be wild.

The Falcons have so much talent offensively but the Steelers counter with one of the best defenses in the league. That defense is going to be relied upon to carry the team once again with Arthur Smith installing a new offense and trying to make things work with Russell Wilson, whose time with the Denver Broncos is something everyone wants to put behind them as quickly as possible.

This game might come down to which QB makes fewer mistakes.

Prediction: Falcons win 22-18