Brian: COWBOYS 27, GIANTS 23
Dak Prescott will be making his first regular season start as an NFL quarterback, and will be welcomed into the NFC East rivalry quickly. Defensive coordinators around the league still do not have a ton of tape on Prescott which is one of the reasons I think Dallas wins this game. Giants coordinator, Steve Spagnuolo, will be the Week 1 guinea pig as to how the Cowboys plan to use Prescott when it matters. New York upgraded their defense via free agency, but I believe the new parts will take time to gel as a unit. Dallas also has a significant advantage in the trenches coupled with the prized addition of Ezekiel Elliot in the backfield. The Giants will need to win the turnover battle to take this division game. Eli Manning and company will also be mixing in new faces within the offense as well. Rookie receiver Sterling Shepard looks to make an immediate impact, and fellow wideout Victor Cruz will finally be returning from injury. Let’s also not overlook the fact this is Ben McAdoo’s first game as an NFL head coach much different than being an offensive coordinator. I think this is a close division contest throughout, but Dallas hangs on in the end.
Ryan: GIANTS 27, COWBOYS 21
Another year of football and another season kickoffs off with Giants Cowboys. We finally get a look at 4th round pick Dak Prescott. I expect him to struggle early and often against a defense that will game plan specifically for him. I think as the game progresses he will adapt and play better but the Giants might have control at that point. I’m on record, I think the Giants D and OL will be weak points this season but I think its enough to control this game and get off to a nice start. Not to mention the Dallas defense is decimated with weed suspensions. Dallas makes it respectable with a late TD late.
Brian: STEELERS 21, REDSKINS 17
This Monday night showdown features two of the more explosive passing attacks in the league, but I believe the defenses will hold their own in Week 1. Pittsburgh will be without starting running back Leveon Bell as veteran Deangelo Williams takes his spot. Antonio Brown lining up opposite Josh Norman should be must watch television as two of the best in the league go at it. In the end, I give the edge to the Steelers because of the quarterback comparison as Kirk Cousins has yet to beat a playoff team during his time as a starter. We all know what Ben Roethlisberger has accomplished. The Redskins have also struggled in recent seasons when playing host on Monday Night Football losing the last three times. This projected result would be a nice Tuesday morning boost for all Eagles fans.
Ryan: REDSKINS 30, STEELERS 27
Hopefully Antonio Brown can shut Josh Norman up. This cat hasn’t shut up all off season. I think Norman plays like garbage but the Skins will get the game. I think around the league and including myself we may be underestimating this Skins offense. I ultimately think they will be 10-6 or 9-7 but their offense will perform at a high level. If Matt Jones can return that will add another level and wrinkle the Steelers will have to prepare for. This isn’t the Steelers defense old. They have transformed into an air it out style of team.
Brian: JETS 20, BENGALS 14
The Bengals will be without starting tight end Tyler Eifert and starting linebacker Vontaze Burfict. Cincinnati also lost wide receivers Mohammed Sanu and Marvin Jones during the offseason via free agency. Veteran Brandon LaFell and rookie Tyler Boyd will look to fill their shoes. The Jets are actually a home underdog in this AFC contest, but I like Gang Green at home in Week 1. New York has one of the better run defenses in the league, and Andy Dalton’s main weapon in A.J. Green will be matched up with Darrelle Revis all game. I can’t stand Ryan Fitzpatrick, but I do think the Jets offense will make enough plays with Eric Decker and Brandon Marshall to start off 1-0.
Ryan: JETS 21, BENGALS 13
I think the Jets are an improved team this year. I’m not sold on this current Bengals team with out the likes to Hue Jackson running the O. I think this team takes a step back. I think it’s a close game and with the Jets edging the bengals in the 4th quarter. I expect the Jets to control the game through the air and the ground.
Brian: EAGLES 17, BROWNS 13
We discussed on our most recent podcast it’s our belief this will be a closer game than most people think. The Eagles are a team in rebuild mode regardless of what the organization says, and the Browns have a new approach as well. All eyes will be on Carson Wentz in his NFL regular season debut, and I expect him to struggle at times. To me this is a game where the defense needs to backup the offseason hype surrounding the hire of Jim Schwartz. Top ten defense has been thrown around a lot in reference to this unit, but I still have to see things play out in order to fully believe that. I think the Eagles will be able to get after RG3 and force some turnovers which provides a shorter field for the offense. This will be a good ole fashioned field position battle with special teams playing a key role as well. In the end, I see the Eagles hanging on in the 4th quarter and starting off the Wentz Era 1-0.
Ryan: EAGLES 24, BROWNS 17
The Carson Wentz era kicks off this Sunday at LFF. We thought at some point we see him but until recent events we didn’t think it would be this early. We gave our predictions on our kick off podcast but they were with out Wentz as the starting QB. The Browns are a dreadful team. The Eagles should win this game. I do however believe this will be a very close game, possibly ending in OT. The Browns O should be no match for the Eagles D. I expect Fletcher Cox and co to be after RG3 all game long. I think the Eagles ultimately win with a ST or a defensive TD late.