NFL: WBLZ NFL Week One Staff Picks

With the start of the NFL Season being this weekend it is time to put your thinking caps on. The staff at WBLZ will put their weekly picks out for you to enjoy every week. We begin, of course, with week 1.

Sean Naylor

Kansas City Chiefs at New England Patriots – Yes, that Patriots are the defending champs. While they are playing at home, they are meeting a tough Chiefs squad. Going on a limb, week 1 upset. Chiefs Win!

New York Jets at Buffalo Bills – The battle of the dumpster fires. I thought the Bills might be a surprise, then they traded players away. The Jets could end up the better teams. At least for week one. Jets Win!

Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns – Although the Browns will be better in 2017 it does not start week 1. The Steelers are a tough out this season. Steelers Win easy.

Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans – The Texans have one of the best defenses in the league. How many week 1 INTs can they force from Blake Bortles? Texans Win!

Arizona Cardinals at Detroit Lions – The Cardinals are one of the better teams in the league. The Lions are still on the come up. Can the Lions offense handle the Cardinals defense? No. Cardinals Win!

Atlanta Falcons at Chicago Bears – Are the Falcons still hung over from the Super Bowl defeat? Will the Bears new QB be the right starter? This could be a shocker. Upset #2. Bears Win!

Oakland Raiders at Tennessee Titans – Probably the best game of week 1. Both teams have playoff aspirations. I think the Raiders are just a bit better on defense. Raiders win!

Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals – Joe Flacco has been cleared to play after back issues all preseason. Bengals will be without their best linebacker and possibly best defender. Ravens win!

Philadelphia Eagles at Washington Redskins – The Eagles are everyone’s princess this season. The Redskins are on the bottom for everyone. Week 1 Cinderella’s pumpkin breaks. Redskins win!

Indianapolis Colts at Los Angeles Rams – No Andrew Luck! Rams have a solid defense and a new look. They could start fast. Rams win!

Carolina Panthers at San Francisco 49ers – 49ers are rebuilding and are looking good doing it. Panthers have solid weaponry. Look for McCaffrey to start a solid ROY Campaign. Panthers win!

Seattle Seahawks at Green Bay Packers – The Seahawks made a strong move by trading for Sheldon Richardson. However, it will not help against a revamped Packers offense. Packers win!

New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys – This may be the only game the Ezekiel Elliott sees for 6 weeks. The Giants have a top 5 defense. Cowboys offense will struggle. Giants win!

New Orleans Saints at Minnesota Vikings – The return of Adrian Peterson to Minnesota. Can the Vikings protect Sam Bradford? This will closer than many expect. Saints win!

Los Angeles Chargers at Denver Broncos – What a great game to close out week 1. Divison battle. Denver’s defense comes up big late. Broncos win!

Anthony Fiuza

Chiefs vs Pats: The Chiefs don’t have much on offense, which means their defense will get winded in Gillette Stadium. The Pats will look average early on, but their passing game will be too much to handle. Pats 31- Chiefs 17

Jets vs Bills: Both offenses will be hard to watch on Sunday as well as the entire 2017 season. This matchup comes down to turnovers. Since the Jets traded Sheldon Richardson away, Buffalo might have the ability to make some plays on the ground; they’re also at home. Bills 16-Jets 3

Steelers vs Browns:  The killer B’s (Ben, Brown, and Bell) are back together again and they’re ready to collect some honey from the hive in Cleveland. It will be a more competitive game than what some may think (Pitt lost to two rookie quarterbacks last season). Some big plays from the Steelers edge rushers should seal the deal late in the 3rd quarter. Steelers 27 Browns 17

Jags vs Texans: The Jags will ground and pound as they try to limit Bortles’s mistakes. However, Houston will bring the heat up front and their offense will get the ball into DeAndre Hopkins’s hands. Texans 24- Jags 13

Falcons vs Bears: The Falcons are loaded on offense and their defense is only getting better under Dan Quin. Mike Glennon won’t have enough help to win this one for Chicago. Falcons 25 Bears 10

Ravens vs Bengals: With injuries decimating Baltimore before week 1, Cincy will have an opportunity to attack new faces. Turnovers will hurt Baltimore in this one and with Flacco missing time I don’t his throws will be crisp the entire game. Cincy 24 Ravens 13

Cardinals vs Lions: Arizona’s defense has more playmakers and Detroit is still looking for a true number one running back to help Stafford. Cards take this one 27-20.

Raiders vs Titans: Oakland has the weapons to get past the Titans secondary and move the chains consistently. Plus, Marcus Mariota doesn’t have many playmakers to assist him, at least not yet. Raiders 27 Titans 17

Eagles vs Redskins: This game could be an ugly one to watch due to the fact that both offenses aren’t consistent when it comes to putting up good numbers. Don’t expect either team to run the ball well, but expect Cousins to push the ball down the field vs Philly’s secondary. Washington 24 Philly 18

Colts vs Rams: Whether Luck plays or not, it doesn’t affect the outcome in this one. Too much on the defensive side of LA and too little for Indy. Expect the Rams to put Indy’s QB under duress for most of the game. Rams 20 Colts 10

Panthers vs Niners: Carolina’s D will take the ball away and make Brian Hoyer uncomfortable. It’ll be closer than some people expect. Carolina 26 Niners 16

Seahawks vs Packers: Seattle’s secondary will do its job versus the Packers’ receivers and Sheldon Richardson will help shut down Green Bay’s running game. Seahawks 26 Pack 20

Giants vs Cowboys: The G-men will have success throwing the football and their front seven will keep the Dallas offense predictable. New York 24 Dallas 17

Saints vs Vikings: Minnesota’s lack of offense puts their defense in trouble. Drew Brees leads New Orleans on a fourth quarter run. Saints 23 Vikes 16

Chargers vs Broncos: Los Angeles has some firepower to work with offensively. Denver lost an important piece to their secondary in T.J. Ward and their offense is lacking talent at the quarterback spot. Los Angeles takes this one 28-16.

Michael Esposito

Kansas City Chiefs @ New England Patriots

This is a tough game because they are the defending champs but the Chiefs were a 12-4 team and the 2 seed in the playoffs. I can’t bet against Belichick history shows that.

Atlanta Falcons @ Chicago Bears

If Atlanta is as prolific on offense as they were last year this game won’t be a contest and I believe Chicago will be better in year 3 of the Fox regime. Just won’t be against the defending NFC Champs.

Philadelphia Eagles -1 @ Washington Redskins

Anytime you have an NFC East battle and have a road team as a favorite, odds are you need to take the Home team.  It is impossible to predict how this game will play out but I stand by my pick Washington to win the game.

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cleveland Browns

Road teams usually don’t win these games but in this case, it’s the Browns we are talking about give me the Steelers.

Baltimore Ravens @ Cincinnati Bengals

Hopefully, with the addition of John Ross, this will make the offense come back to life, this game is a toss up and can go either way at this point. But I will ride with the home team with home field advantage usually playing a huge part in these games.

Jacksonville Jaguars @ Houston Texans

Well, this will be the upset of the week and Texans fans will be calling the name Watson by halftime. Give Me Jacksonville

Arizona Cardinals @ Detroit Lions

This may be the most interesting game of the week, as I think this is the easiest one to predict. I believe Arizona will be better than last year and this game will be their example to the rest of the league.

New York Jets @ Buffalo Bills

The Bills have a lot of young upside talent highlighted by Zay Jones, and the Jets well they are the Jets are they are going to contend for 0-16 this season. Give me the Bills

Oakland Raiders  @ Tennessee Titans

Yes, I understand Tennessee has improved and should contend for the division and possible wild card spot but Oakland went 12-4 last year until I see differently I will trust they are still good. No way Oakland should be underdogs for this one.

Indianapolis Colts @ Los Angeles Rams

No Luck means lots of trouble for Colts, this team can’t get lucky with Luck as he is injured and missing yet another start. Tolizen will be the starter but they are hoping only for week 1 and that Luck will be back week 2. LA is improved on offense with the addition of Sammy Watkins and should win comfortably.

Seattle Seahawks @ Green Bay Packers

Seattle is a road underdog anytime a team as good as Seattle is a road underdog it almost guarantees a win.  Green Bay is good but they are getting older it will be an interesting game for sure.

Carolina Panthers @ San Francisco 49ers

This Panthers team wasn’t good in 2016 and neither was the 49ers. Yes, the Panthers have more talent and will probably win the game but if you made me choose I feel like the 49ers could be that team no one sees coming and has a good season. Give me the 49ers in the home upset.

New York Giants @ Dallas Cowboys

What we do know is Zeke will be playing in this one, what we don’t know is if ODB will be.  Without ODB this offense takes a hit and I think it will make a difference in the game.

 New Orleans Saints @ Minnesota Vikings

All day Adrian Petersen returns home to his former team in this week 1 matchup. The high powered New Orleans offense adds depth at RB now and has 2 horses that can run. Minnesota is still in a semi rebuilding phase so I will give the nod to New Orleans.

Los Angeles Chargers @ Denver Broncos

Well LA who had no teams 2 years ago now has its second team in a matter of 2 years. They have tons of weapons on offense but this Denver team is very good on D and they will keep them at bay for the most part. This is one of those games though where I would not be shocked if the Chargers pulled the upset. As a matter of fact, if this game wasn’t in Denver, LA would have been my pick.


Handicapping Week 1 of the 2017-18 NFL Season


Jon Blayne

Patriots over Chiefs

Pats are home and play well. Also having Tom Brady doesn’t hurt.

Bills over the Jets

The Jets are going to be bad this season.

Falcons over the Bears

The Falcons are trying to get the 28-3 blown lead behind them.

Ravens over the Bengals

Ravens defense will help them.

Steelers over Browns

This won’t be a close game.

Cardinals over Lions

Cardinals have a good offense and the Lions have a lot of holes.

Texans over Jaguars

The pre-season has shown that the Jaguars are in trouble.

Raiders over Titans

Raiders are poised to have a good season and it begins on Sunday.

Redskins over the Eagles

This won’t be a blowout and these teams will destroy each other.

Rams over the Colts

The Colts won’t have Luck in Hollywood.

Seahawks over the Packers

These two teams always play well. I see the Seahawks defense causing problems for Rodgers.

Giants over Cowboys

Even with Elliot now playing, the Giants know how to contain that offense.

Vikings over Saints

Vikings have a good defense that will cause havoc for the Saints.

Broncos over Chargers

It is tough to play in Denver.


NFL Picks for Week 1 – With the Spread


Joel Schafer

Chiefs at Patriots: Tom Brady has new toys to play with and will do what he always does.  The Chiefs lost their top rusher for the year and will not be up to the task. The pats defense will take away Kelce.  Pats win 31-10 

Jets at Bills:  In a race for the top pick in the draft, the Jets have nothing to offer on offense. They left a major hole on the defense in trading Sheldon Richardson. Bills will have just enough with Taylor and McCoy to win. Bills win 17-9

Steelers at Browns: Browns were terrible last year and have the upside of mediocre this year.  Big Ben and Bell both have big days while the defense gets 4 turnovers.  Steeler win big 38-7

Buccaneers at Dolphins:  Hurricane Irma wins this.

Raiders at Titans: Raiders’ Derek Carr has a new friend in Beast Mode in the backfield. The Raiders look to have a better roster than last year on both sides. The Titans look to have a better year and be playoff contenders.  It will come down to who runs the ball better Murray or Lynch. Raiders 27-21 in overtime.

Eagles at Redskins: Wentz as an average day 215 and 1 TD. Cousins throws 3 picks but still wins it in the last 5 minutes.  24-21 Redskins #httr

Carolina at 49ers: Carolina had a very bad year last year. This should be a statement game for them. The 49ers will go as far as Carlos Hyde can take them with and mundane passing game. Carolina shuts down the run and wins.  Carolina 28-10

Giants at Cowboys:  Giants still have no running game and will call on Eli to lead the charge.  ODB gets 125 and 2 Tds, but the story of the game will be the abuse Ezekiel Elliott dishes out to the Giants defense for 150 and a TD.  Cowboys run over the Giants 28-13.

Jaguars at Texans: Tom Savage breaks out and help start a resurgence of DeAndre Hopkins. Blake Bortles continues to throw ducks.  Lenard Fournette’s debut will be  55 yards and no Tds.  Texans win 24-10

Cardinals at Lions: Stafford will have another good year but it won’t start out that way. He will struggle with the Cardinals defense. Carson Palmer will throw his normal 2 TD 1 int and David Johnson will salt the game away.  Cardinals win 24-21

Falcons at Bears: Mike Glennon is a bridge quarterback with no weapons. The defense is not much better for the Bears. Matt Ryan and Julio Jones will have good days and Freeman and Coleman both get needed reps.  Falcons win 38-9.

Ravens at Bengals: Flacco and Mike Wallace have a good game but not enough for the Bengals to Overcome in a sloppy game on both sides.  24-20 Bengals

Colts at Rams:  Andrew Luck is out for week one and Scott Tolzien is starting. Neither team has a good Qb. The Colts don’t have a running game. The defense will rule the day.  Rams in a slobber knocker 10-7.

Seahawks at Packers: Both teams seem to start the year slow but this may be a case of who can get a stop.  Can the Packers stop Wilson? Can the L.O.B. stop Aaron Rodgers and all his weapons?  35-32 Packers in a track meet.

Chargers at Broncos: Broncos don’t know what they have at QB. This will show up often this year. Philip Rivers is Philip Rivers and he will light up the Broncos in the opener. Hunter Henry will have a  career game.  LA Chargers win 20-17.

Saints at Vikings: The return of Adrain Peterson will be no big deal to the Vikings and the keep him off the field after he fumbles twice. Vikings defense scores once and carries the offense for yet another season. Vikings 24-17

We hope you enjoy the weekend.

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