Analysis Around the League

NFL Week 1 Preview

The NFL is back, starting tonight as the reigning Super Bowl Champions, Kansas City Chiefs, host the Houston Texans. The NFL has sixteen matchups this week and here are previews for each matchup.

Kansas City Chiefs vs. Houston Texans

The Chiefs are starting their road to repeating as Super Bowl Champions, but the start of the season will not be easy as Deshaun Watson and the Texans stroll into town.

The last time, these two teams faced off was in the Divisional Round of the playoffs, where the Texans jumped out to an early 24-0 lead early into the second quarter. We all know how the game ended as the Chiefs would outscore the Texans 51-7 the rest of the game and move on to the AFC Championship by defeating the Texans 51-31.

Deshaun Watson looks to avenge the loss and start out the season strong with a new arsenal, while Mahomes and Co. look to start the road to repeat within the win column.

Philadelphia Eagles vs. Washington Football Team

The Eagles ended last season with their second NFC East Division title in three years. They would go on to lose in the wild Card Round to the Seattle Seahawks. This year they have a revamped defense with newly-acquired cornerback, Darius Slay, and new pieces at wide receiver.

As for Washington, they got a boost to their defensive line this offseason by drafting Chase Young with second overall pick in April’s Draft. While the defense looks solid, the offense doesn’t look the same. The Eagles look to get a win and start out 1-0 to keep up with the Cowboys, who are favored to win the NFC East this year.

Miami Dolphins vs. New England Patriots

The Dolphins have a much-improved roster after spending lots of money on top free agents to improve the defense, including cornerback Byron Jones and linebacker Kyle Van Noy. The Patriots lost franchise cornerstone, Tom Brady, to the Buccaneers in free agency and took massive hits during the opt-out period.

The last time these two teams met, the Dolphins upset the Patriots, bumping them down to the No. 3 seed in the playoffs with an eventual loss to the Titans in the Wild Card Round. The Patriots look to start the post-Tom Brady era off right with a win against the Dolphins in Cam Newton’s first start in a Patriots uniform, while the Dolphins loom to showcase their improved roster.

Green Bay Packers vs. Minnesota Vikings

The Packers failed Aaron Rodgers heavily this offseason by not adding a wide receiver in April’s Draft and instead, draft his successor and team’s third-string running back. The Vikings made a complete roster turnover, especially on defense by moving on from Everson Griffen, Linval Joseph, and Xavier Rhodes, but also Stefon Diggs on offense.

Last year, the Packers won both meetings against the Vikings and look to win their third straight meeting against Minnesota on week one. The Packers will start their road to repeating as NFC North champs, while the Vikings look to start the season off strong despite multiple big-name departures this offseason.

Indianapolis Colts vs. Jacksonville Jagaurs

The Colts made some big moves this offseason by adding quarterback Phillips Rivers and defensive tackle DeForest Buckner. The Colts look to bounce back after a tough 2019 season, following the shocking retirement of Andrew Luck.

The Jaguars have completely shifted into rebuild mode and look like one of the league’s worst teams going into the season. They traded away Jalen Ramsey, A.J. Bouye, Calais Campbell, and Yannick Ngakoue.

The Colts are looking to start off this season with a win as they hope to return to the playoffs in 2020 as the Jaguars are the favorite to land the No. 1 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Chicago Bears vs. Detroit Lions

The Bears invested in an insurance policy at quarterback by trading for Nick Foles from the Jaguars. The Bears were a disappointing team last year, following a NFC North Division title in 2018. The defense took a step back and Mitchell Trubisky was flat out awful.

The Lions finished last year with nine consecutive losses after losing quarterback, Matthew Stafford to injury. The Bears look to get back to winning ways with their defense this year and that could start this week, but the Lions are hopeful to get back in the win column early on with the return of their franchise quarterback.

Las Vegas Raiders vs. Carolina Panthers

The Raiders got two huge additions to the linebacker core this offseason with the signings of Cory Littleton and Nick Kwiatkoski. However, the offense still looks shaky with the loss of wide receiver Tyrell Williams, who is out for the year with an injury.

As for Carolina, they signed quarterback Teddy Bridgewater to a three-year deal, proving stability at the position. They also brought in new head coach Matt Rhule and wide receiver Robby Anderson. The defense is really young for the Panthers after using all of their draft picks to improve the defense.

The Raider looks to start off strong by holding off Christian McCaffrey and the Panthers, while the Carolina is aiming to start the Matt Rhule era with a win.

New York Jets vs. Buffalo Bills

The Jets suffered some big losses this offseason, losing their No. 1 wide receiver, Robby Anderson. They also traded away All-Pro safety, Jamaal Adams and lost linebacker C.J. Moseley due to the opt out period.

The Bills upgraded on offense this offseason, trading for former All-Pro wide receiver, Stefon Diggs from the Minnesota Vikings. Josh Allen now has a true No.1 option sat wide receiver and the defense still is one of the best in the league, led by cornerback Tre’Davious White and Tremaine Edmunds. The Bills are looking to dethrone the Patriots at the top of the AFC East and it starts this week as the take on the Jets.

Cleveland Browns vs. Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens used this offseason and got better on defense by trading for five-time Pro Bowl and former All-Pro defensive end, Calais Campbell, and by drafting linebacker Patrick Queen out of LSU.

The Browns added another weapon on offense, signing tight end Austin Hooper to a four-year deal. After a disappointing season last year, the Browns hired former Viking Offensive Coordinator, Kevin Stefanski, as head coach.

The Ravens have reigning NFL MVP Lamar Jackson under center for the third season. The Ravens suffered a tough loss to the Titans in the Divisional Round of the playoffs last year and are looking to start this season off with a win over a divisional opponent, while the Browns look to win their first game with Stefanski as head coach.

Seattle Seahawks vs. Atlanta Falcons

The Seahawks have one of the league’s best quarterbacks in Russell Wilson, and added another weapon to his arsenal this offseason, signing tight end Greg Olsen and re-signing wide receiver Josh Gordon, while boosting the defense by acquiring All-Pro safety, Jamal Adams.

The Falcons have an explosive offense but added EDGE Dante Fowler Jr. to boost the defensive line and trade for Hayden Hurst after the departure of Austin Hooper. Both the Seahawks and Falcons are in two of the most competitive divisions this year, and a Week 1 victory will go a long way in staying competitive at the top of their respective divisions.

Los Angeles Chargers vs. Cincinatti Bengals

The Los Angeles Chargers have moved on from longtime quarterback, Phillip Rivers, and drafted their future franchise QB, Justin Herbert in April’s draft. The defense added Chris Harris Jr. and Linval Joseph this offseason, but recently lost star safety Derwin James.

The Bengals also moved on from their longtime quarterback, Andy Dalton, and drafted Joe Burrow No. 1 overall, while adding multiple pieces on defense. Both teams are currently in a developmental stage are not necessarily going to compete for playoff spots, but a win Week 1 could go a long way for both teams in the development of young talent.

Arizona Cardinals vs. San Francisco 49ers

The Cardinals made a blockbuster trade, acquiring All-Pro wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins from the Houston Texans. They also used the transition tag on running back Kenyan Drake and drafted linebacker/safety, Isaiah Simmons with the eighth overall pick in the NFL Draft.

The 49ers traded away defensive tackle, DeForest Buckner to the Colts, but drafted lineman Javon Kinlaw and wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk in the first round of the draft. The 49ers kept key pieces of their NFC Champions team intact and look to repeat their success from last season this year.

Both teams are in the league’s most competitive division and a Week 1 victory could go a long way in who comes out on top at the end of the season.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. New Orleans Saints

After another tough loss in the playoffs last season, the Saints went out and beefed up the wide receiver unit by signing Emmanuel Sanders to a two-year deal and brought back safety Malcolm Jenkins to improve the secondary.

The Buccaneers moved on from quarterback Jameis Winston and signed Tom Brady to a two-year deal while trading for tight end Rob Gronkowski. These two teams are the favorites to be fighting for the top spot in the NFC South this season. This Week 1 matchup at the Superdome will put one team a step ahead of the other going into the rest of the season as the battle for the division champ has an impact right away on opening week.

Dallas Cowboys vs. Los Angeles Rams

The Cowboys addressed their needs on defense this offseason by signing defensive linemen Dontari Poe and Everson Griffen while adding wide receiver CeeDee Lamb in the first round of April’s draft.

The Rams lost a lot of big-name players on defense, such as Dante Fowler and Cory Littleton, but locked up cornerback Jalen Ramsey to a five-year extension. The Cowboys have emerged as the favorites in the NFC East with the additions to their roster, but also with the hiring of former Green Bay Packers head coach, Mike McCarthy. The Cowboys look to start the season off right with a win to start their road to a division championship, while the Rams look to stay relevant in their division with a win.

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. New York Giants

The first Monday Night Football game of the season features the Steelers and Giants. Steelers finished last season 8-8 after losing quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in Week 2. Roethlisberger is returning this year and is looking to lead the Steelers back to the playoffs.

The Giants are now in the Daniel Jones era and have anew head coach in Joe Judge. This matchup is one of the least desired ones as the Steelers have the advantage with a top-tier defense and solid offense with the return of Big Ben. The Steelers look to welcome Big Ben back with a win, while the Giants look to welcome Joe Judge with a win in his first game as head coach.

Tennessee Titans vs. Denver Broncos

The last matchup of the week has the Tennessee Titans traveling to Denver to take on the Broncos. The Titans weren’t extremely active this offseason as the lost cornerback Logan Ryan in free agency, but recently added defensive end, Jadeveon Clowney.

The Broncos acquired defensive lineman Jurrell Casey from the Titans and drafted wide receiver Jerry Jeudy in the draft. The Broncos did just get a crushing blow as Von Miller is out for the season with a serious ankle injury. The Titans look to win their first AFC South title since 2008, while the Broncos look to fight for AFC West with the Chiefs and a Week 1 victory could go a long way for both teams.

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