NFL Week 1 Preview

NFL Week 1 Preview

Heading into a new season, there’s always excitement and expectations. It’s fun to see the new look of each team. As usual, there’s anticipation that there will be one big upset right off the bat. The key aspects of each game will be highlighted here. Let’s take a look at what Week 1 of the 2021 NFL season has in store for the football world.

Dallas Cowboys at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

To ring in the 2021 campaign, the defending Super Bowl champions will be hosting America’s Team in what should be a fun showdown. The Buccaneers are coming off an offseason in which they retained every key contributor. For the Cowboys, a healthy Dak Prescott will be back. It will be exciting to see Prescott with the incredible wide receiver trio of Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb, and Michael Gallup. Tom Brady will be leading an exceptionally talented football team on both sides. We will get to see right away if the Cowboys’ defense is any better than it was a year ago. Not having Zack Martin in Week 1 game will hurt the Cowboys against a dominant Buccaneers front. Expect the Buccaneers to win a close game.

Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans

Trevor Lawrence will be making his highly anticipated debut in this one. The first-overall pick starts his career with a favorable matchup against a subpar Texans roster. Tyrod Taylor will be starting for a rebuilding Houston team. Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer will get his first chance to bring some change to the franchise. The Texans simply lack talent throughout their roster. Meyer and Lawrence could not have asked for a better start. Lawrence has skilled players around him in James Robinson, Marvin Jones, D.J. Chark, and Laviska Shenault Jr. Most of the Jaguars’ secondary is revamped and improved. Jacksonville should win this game.

Los Angeles Chargers at Washington Football Team

This matchup is a very exciting one, maybe the best in the early time slot of games. Second-year quarterback, Justin Herbert, enters this season with great expectations after a special rookie year. Herbert will be leading his dynamic offense against the potentially best defense in football. New head coach, Brandon Staley, has brought great optimism in Los Angeles. For Washington, offseason addition, veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick, will be starting. Washington had a strong offseason improving their already good team. They addressed major needs at wide receiver and on the offensive line. The front office squared away the few positions of concern they had defensively at the draft. This game looks to be a fun one that could go either way. Washington should win a close one at the end.

Seattle Seahawks at Indianapolis Colts

These are two very respectable football teams entering the year. Luckily for the Colts, they will likely have Carson Wentz and Quenton Nelson. It will be fun to watch their dominant offensive line and running attack this season. In terms of running back trios, Jonathan Taylor, Nyheim Hines, and Marlon Mack rank at the top of the list. As usual, the Seahawks will be led by Russell Wilson. His supporting cast is a great one with Chris Carson, D.K. Metcalf, and Tyler Lockett. The team also just re-worked Duane Brown‘s deal. How the Seahawks defense performs will be critical. Expect the Colts defense to continue their stellar level of play led by DeForest Buckner, Darius Leonard, and Kenny Moore. In close fashion, the Colts should win this one at home.

New York Jets at Carolina Panthers

This game should be a close one between two young teams. The Jets moved Sam Darnold in the offseason to the Panthers and selected Zach Wilson with their first-round pick. For the Jets, head coach Robert Saleh will be making his debut. The Jets have some new additions in Elijah Moore and Corey Davis who will bring great excitement. The Panthers have a great group with Christian McCaffrey, D.J. Moore, and Robby Anderson, who will all be impactful. In this matchup, both of these defenses are fairly young and have a lot to prove. Quinnen Williams and Brian Burns are two headliners who will command attention upfront. This should be a close game that the Jets end up winning.

Minnesota Vikings at Cincinnati Bengals

Entering the 2021 season, the Vikings have big expectations. Kirk Cousins should remain productive, while winning a few more games for his team this year. He has three tremendous players to work with in Dalvin Cook, Justin Jefferson, and Adam Thielen. The Bengals will be getting Joe Burrow back which provides great excitement. Hopefully, his offensive line can be better because the skill positions have great talent. It will be interesting to see how each defense executes in this one. There could be a lot of scoring. On the road, the Vikings should win this one by around 10 points.

Arizona Cardinals at Tennessee Titans

After two straight playoff appearances, the Titans look to build on that with some early success. They made two big additions this offseason in Julio Jones and Bud Dupree who will help greatly. They have an elite offensive core in Ryan Tannehill, Derrick Henry, and A.J. Brown. The Titans’ defense can’t be worse than it was a year ago, especially under head coach Mike Vrabel. The Cardinals are entering a huge season in which they have to take the next step. Head coach Kliff Kingsbury and Kyler Murray will be looking to lead this team to the playoffs. DeAndre Hopkins should be dominant. The Cardinals front could be impactful with J.J. Watt and Chandler Jones as the Titans’ right tackle is an unknown. In the end, the Titans should win by one score.

San Francisco 49ers at Detroit Lions

The 49ers are entering this year with great expectations. They have a complete roster with some elite talent. Expect head coach Kyle Shanahan to get his prolific running game going early, led by Raheem Mostert, Kyle Juszczyk, and Trey Sermon. The 49ers’ talented defense is led by Nick Bosa, Arik Armstead, Fred Warner, and Jimmie Ward. For the Lions, this will be the first game they are led by their new head coach Dan Campbell and quarterback Jared Goff. They are likely in for a long year. On the road, the 49ers should win this one with ease.

Pittsburgh Steelers at Buffalo Bills

Entering this season, the Bills have a great roster across the board capable of winning the Super Bowl. They are led by Sean McDermott, Josh Allen, and Stefon Diggs. For the Steelers, they will need T.J. Watt to have a chance in this one. Their back-seven defensively could have some problems holding up against Diggs, Cole Beasley, Emmanuel Sanders, and Gabriel Davis. Expect the Bills defense to do some good things. It will be interesting to see how Ben Roethlisberger plays. Najee Harris, Chase Claypool, and Diontae Johnson are talented young players. At home, the Bills should win by a touchdown.

Philadelphia Eagles at Atlanta Falcons

This matchup is an interesting one as these are two older teams not poised to have good years. Both teams are led by new head coaches in Arthur Smith of the Falcons and Nick Sirianni of the Eagles. The Falcons offense should remain successful led by Matt Ryan, Calvin Ridley, and rookie Kyle Pitts. It will be interesting to see how Jalen Hurts performs. He has a talented offensive line and two reliable veteran tight ends in Dallas Goedert and Zach Ertz. The Falcons defense is filled with unknowns on all three levels. Outside of the Eagles front, the rest of their defense is lacking in talent. In the end, the Falcons should win a close one here.

Cleveland Browns at Kansas City Chiefs

This is arguably the best matchup of Week 1. These two powerhouse teams meet up to start the season after their battle in the playoffs last season. Both of these teams addressed their dire needs this offseason. The Browns accumulated a ton of talent on defense in free agency and the draft. The additions of John Johnson, Troy Hill, Greg Newsome II, and Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah will be at the forefront right away. The Chiefs aggressively attacked their offensive line for Patrick Mahomes. The team signed Joe Thuney and traded for Orlando Brown, who will greatly improve the left side of the line. This should be another battle, one in which the Chiefs likely win.

Green Bay Packers at New Orleans Saints

After a long offseason, the Packers have the reigning MVP, Aaron Rodgers, back as they look to reach the Super Bowl. Expect Rodgers to start fast along with Aaron Jones and Davante Adams. Under Matt LaFleur, this offense will remain one of the best. Their defense is led by elite-level players in Kenny Clark, Za’Darius Smith, Jaire Alexander, and Adrian Amos. For the first time in a long time, the Saints will not be led by Drew Brees. Jameis Winston will be the team’s starting quarterback. Winston has all the talent to make big plays. He will just have to limit his mistakes. Expect a lot of Alvin Kamara in this one. The Saints’ offensive line is probably the best in football. The Packers should win by a touchdown.

Denver Broncos at New York Giants

Both the Broncos and Giants have very respectable rosters across the board but major unknowns at quarterback. For the Broncos, their defense is extremely talented on all three levels. They have an exciting young group in Javonte Williams, Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy, KJ Hamler, and Noah Fant. Their offensive line is solid, and is one that will have the task of protecting Teddy Bridgewater. This offseason, the Giants added a ton of talent around Daniel Jones. It does seem likely that Saquon Barkley will play which helps immensely. The Giants have an exceptionally talented defense, but the Broncos should win a very close one.

Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots

This AFC East battle should be interesting. Former Alabama teammates, Tua Tagovailoa and Mac Jones, will be starting against each other. The Dolphins took a drastic step in the right direction last season. It will be intriguing to see how they are this year. They did a good job of surrounding Tagovailoa with offensive talent. The defense should remain one of the best under Brian Flores. After missing the playoffs for the first time in many years, the Patriots were very aggressive in free agency. It will be fascinating to see how it plays out for them. This one will likely be close to the end, but while playing at home, the Patriots should win.

Chicago Bears at Los Angeles Rams

The Rams enter the year with Super Bowl expectations. They made a huge move acquiring Matthew Stafford. With Sean McVay, expect Stafford to start fast alongside Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp. After owning the best defense last season, expect the Rams unit to remain close to the top again in 2021. They are led by the best defensive player in the game, Aaron Donald, and arguably the next-best in Jalen Ramsey. For the Bears, this seems to be an uphill battle. Head coach Matt Nagy and Andy Dalton could struggle in this matchup. The Bears’ defense is aging and lost a lot of talent in the offseason. The Rams should win this one by 10.

Baltimore Ravens at Las Vegas Raiders

To end the opening week, the Raiders will be hosting the Ravens. The Ravens are led by Lamar Jackson and his dynamic skill set. Newly-extended Mark Andrews should continue making big plays early on. The defense is led by arguably the best cornerback duo in Marlon Humphrey and Marcus Peters. For the Raiders, anticipate Derek Carr continuing his strong level of play. Josh Jacobs, Hunter Renfrow, and Darren Waller should all make an impact in this game. Defensively, the Raiders’ struggles could very well continue. The Ravens should win by at least a touchdown.

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Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images 

Check us out on our socials:   
Twitter: @PTSTNews and @TalkPrimeTime
Facebook Page: Prime Time Sports Talk
Join our Facebook Group: Prime Time Sports Talk 
Instagram: @primetimesportstalk

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