NFL kickoff results and early predictions

The first week in the NFL received a 7% increase in viewership compared to 2020.

The big name NFL players centered around the Lombardi Trophy, a trophy won in the Super Bowl, the NFL’s championship bout between the winner of the AFC and the winner of the NFC.

The big name NFL players centered around the Lombardi Trophy, a trophy won in the Super Bowl, the NFL’s championship bout between the winner of the AFC and the winner of the NFC.

Maddox Greenberg, Staff Writer

 

The first week in the NFL’s regular season was expectedly exciting and thrilling.  Multiple games down to the wire and a lot of upsets.  The first week was so exciting for so many reasons: first, the fans have returned to stadiums and have been a huge impact on teams thus far, including teams who debuted in their new stadiums (since last year there were no fans in the new stadiums for the LA Rams/Chargers in Sofi Stadium and the Las Vegas Raiders in Allegiant Stadium); second, this is the start of the biggest NFL season in history with 18 weeks (each of the 32 NFL teams plays now 17 games and has one bye week); and finally, so many primetime all-star players have either returned from injury or signed with a new team.  For those who haven’t checked, here are the results of the thrilling opening week:

 

  • Buccaneers def. Cowboys 31-29
  • Texans def. Jaguars, 37-21
  • Chargers def. Washington, 20-16
  • Seahawks def. Colts, 28-16
  • Panthers def. Jets, 19-14
  • Bengals def. Vikings in OT, 27-24
  • Cardinals def. Titans, 38-13
  • 49ers def. Lions, 41-33
  • Steelers def. Bills, 23-16
  • Eagles def. Falcons, 32-6
  • Dolphins def. Patriots, 17-16 (I’m not crying, you’re crying☹)
  • Chiefs def. Browns, 33-29
  • Saints def. Packers, 38-3
  • Broncos def. Giants, 27-13
  • Rams def. Bears, 34-14
  • Raiders def. Ravens in OT, 33-27

 

There were nine underdogs who won in Week 1, the most in the Super Bowl era. Ever. However, whether your team won or lost or if you are just judging by the scores, the season is not over for you (except for Lions fans). Here are my early NFL predictions:

 

Rodgers and the Packers lose isn’t something to worry about. If you Packer or Rodgers fans are thinking that, don’t! It could possibly mean that Aaron is intentionally doing bad to leave Green Bay, which doesn’t make sense since he just signed a $14.7 million contract this season and $25 million in 2022 and 2023. But, big name athletes like Aaron sometimes get out of their contracts and become a free agent.  As for now, this season, Packers fans have nothing to worry about. Green Bay will still win their division and lose in the NFC championship game like every single year.

 

The Patriots are different this season. Despite their sudden, disappointing loss to Miami, 17-16, the Patriots won’t end the season 7-9. Mac Jones, the Pats rookie quarterback, is continuing his streak of no interceptions in an NFL game. Going 29 for 39 and throwing 281 yards and one touchdown (compared to Miami’s quarterback, and Mac-N-Cheese’s former teammate in Alabama, going 16 for 27, throwing for 202 yards and a touchdown and an interception).  The Patriots will return to champions glory soon enough. With our (yes I said “our”; I am a Patriots fan) defense continuing its dominance without star cornerback Stephon Gilmore for a few weeks, our wide receivers performing well (including ‘Obi-Wan’ Jakobi Meyers), our new tight ends balling, and our running back room being the best ever (with Damien Harris, J.J. Taylor, James White and rookie Rhamondre Stevenson), we will be AFC champs again in no time.  We just got to work on not fumbling and avoid penalties. So, sorry Patriot haters. We are not as bad as you hoped.

 

Jameis Winston will be the Comeback Player of the Year.  After a sloppy few years in Tampa, Winston proved why he was Saints’ starting quarterback after Drew Brees (longtime Saints quarterback) retired.  Winston, thanks to that laser eye surgery, went 14 for 20 for 148 yards and five touchdowns (yes, five!). If Winston keeps this up, then during the NFL Honors awards a day before the Super Bowl in Los Angeles, Winston will be holding that CPOY award in the air.

 

The West divisions will be the Best divisions when the season is over. I know you are thinking that I am just looking at their records, but I also think that, too! By the end of this week, in the AFC West, the Broncos (1-0) face the Jaguars (0-1), easy win for Denver; the Raiders (1-0) visit Pittsburgh (1-0), a close game, but if we see the same Carr-Waller combo from the Ravens-Raiders matchup, then the Steelers defense may have some trouble; the Chargers (1-0) host the Cowboys (0-1), easy win for Herbert and the Bolts; and finally, the Chiefs (1-0) fly to Baltimore (0-1), with Baltimore’s running back problem and the Chiefs killer defensive line, Chiefs all the way. In the NFC West, the 49ers (1-0) at Eagles (1-0). Since my dad is an Eagles fan, I have seen several Eagles games. As for that, Philly stays Philly and they will find a way to choke (like last season’s regular season finale). San Fran will win. The Rams (1-0) at the Colts (0-1), Wentz is the quarterback, so Aaron Donald will ragdoll Wentz around. The Vikings (1-0) at Cardinals (1-0). Fans doubted Arizona when they faced Tennessee and look at what they did. It will be a good, close game, but D-Hop doesn’t drop. Titans (0-1) and the Seahawks (1-0). If Derrick Henry continues to have problems like vs. Cardinals, then the Seahawks monstrous D-Line, starring Carlos Dunlap and Rasheem Green, will have a field day.

 

 

Finally, Baltimore, with its running back problems, will soon enough just make it to the playoffs, but the AFC North title is up for grabs—and the Bengals will win it. Now this is a two-parter in one: Baltimore has all of their starting running backs in IR, but DL L.J. Fort and TE Nick Boyle will return in a few weeks. The first few games are crucial, but if Lamar Jackson plays smarter and runs quicker, if RB Ty’son Williams plays well, and if WR Devin Duvernay becomes top wideout, then Baltimore will make it in. Lastly, the Bengals will be the AFC North champs if Joe Burrow stays healthy, Ja’Marr Chase learns how to catch an NFL football, the Chase-Burrow connection is reborn, and the secondary plays well, Cincy will win the AFC North title for the first time since 2015.

 

I know these predictions are a little out there, but we will see as the season rolls on. I will continue at the halfway point and possibly again when the postseason begins.