@TSFSports Week 1 NFL Picks: The New England Patriots Are Out For Blood and Glory

(Stew Milne/USA Today)

After a hellacious summer, Tom Brady is out to restore calm to the New England Patriots fan base.

The 2015 NFL season kicks off with 26 players on the suspension list. Notably absent from this group is New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. Brady avoided a four-game suspension when it was ruled his involvement in the Deflategate scandal was not enough to call for a suspension.

The Patriots open the 2015 season against the Pittsburgh Steelers, who will be without their leading rusher Le’Veon Bell. Bell is serving a two-game suspension for violation of the league’s substance abuse policy. Bell will be replaced by former Carolina Panthers running back D’Angelo Williams who was signed as a free agent.

Thursday, September 10 

Pittsburgh at New England (8:30 PM) – The New England Patriots have circled their wagons and are in for the long haul. D’Angelo Williams scores twice for the short-handed Steelers tonight. Tom Brady spent the bulk of training camp and preseason running back and forth to New York jousting with Commissioner Roger Goodell. Someone has to pay for that.

Prediction: Patriots 31 – Steelers 25

Sunday September 13

Green Bay at Chicago (1:00 PM) – The Packers come into Soldier Field with a sore Randall Cobb and no Jordy Nelson. The Bears will be without rookie stud Kevin White (injury) and possibly new No. 1 wideout Alshon Jeffrey — which doesn’t fare well for Jay Cutler. Look for Packers receiver Davante Adams to emerge as a compliment to Cobb, causing a huge sigh of relief from quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

Prediction: Packers 24 – Bears 13

Kansas City at Houston (1:00 PM) – The Texans will be without Arian Foster for at least another month, they’ll use a running back by committee. Jeremy Maclin will work wonders for Andy Reid’s offense. Great to see safety Eric Berry back in uniform.

Prediction: Chiefs 23 – Texans 14

Cleveland at NY Jets (1:00 PM) – If you have anything good to say about this meeting, kudos to you.

Prediction: Browns 17 – Jets 13

Indianapolis at Buffalo (1:00 PM) – Tyrod Taylor gets his first NFL start against the Colts, handing off to LeSean McCoy 25 times can’t hurt. We prayed Andrew Luck would get a solid back, veteran Frank Gore will more than fill the bill.

Prediction: Colts 28 – Bills 20

Miami at Washington (1:00 PM) – This Dolphins defense is full of sharks. If you don’t remember the “Body Bag Game” 25 years ago, this may be a remix.

Prediction: Dolphins 30 – Washington 13

Carolina at Jacksonville (1:00 PM) – The Panthers get to work out the kinks and get Devin Funchess more work as they get used to life without receiver Kelvin Benjamin. Looking forward to seeing Jags rookie T.J. Yeldon.

Prediction: Panthers 30 – Jaguars 10

Seattle at St. Louis (1:00 PM) – If the Rams weren’t so banged up at the running back position I would really like their chances at home against a Seahawks team missing safety Cam Chancellor. Seattle’s addition of Fred Jackson gives Marshawn Lynch even fresher legs late in games.

Prediction: Seahawks 26 – Rams 21

New Orleans at Arizona (4:05 PM) – Mark this down as a game that would’ve been greater later. Mark Ingram has finally come into his own and will take another step this season. Can Cards quarterback Carson Palmer pick up where he left off prior to his injury?

Prediction: Saints 31 – Cardinals 24

Detroit at San Diego (4:05 PM) – This is only the tenth meeting between two teams in the League over a combined 140 seasons. Phillip Rivers has a new deal in the books and can relax. Calvin Johnson is looking to put a so-so 2014 behind him.

Prediction: Chargers 23 – Lions 21

Tennessee at Tampa Bay (4:25 PM) – Jameis Winston gets a small measure of revenge in his pro debut against Marcus Mariota. One thing both quarterbacks can count on is a definite learning experience in their first season as starters.

Prediction: Bucs 18 – Titans 13

Cincinnati at Oakland (4:25) – It’s now or never for Andy Dalton, who has everything but playoff wins in Cincy. The Raiders have David Carr and Amari Cooper, the only thing missing in this offense is a reliable running back.  

Prediction: Bengals 27 – Raiders 21

Baltimore at Denver (4:25 PM) – Not much noise from the Broncos camp this summer. Peyton Manning still has the receivers, but is C.J. Anderson the back for this offense. Justin Forsett played out of his mind last season and was properly rewarded. Another good intra-conference meeting scheduled too early.

Prediction: Ravens 31 – Broncos 27

NY Giants at Dallas (8:30 PM) – This game comes down to which team can gain yardage on the ground. Neither team has a standout backfield, but the Cowboys have more at this point. Victor Cruz may not be available for this one which really puts the pressure on Eli Manning and the Giants running game.

Prediction: Cowboys 30 – Giants 17

Monday, September 14

Philadelphia at Atlanta (6:55 PM) – Those head-scratching offseason moves have Chip Kelly looking like a genius while fans are giddy with cautious optimism as long as Sam Bradford stays in one piece. Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan will have his sights on Eagles rookie corner Eric Rowe when he looks deep.

Prediction: Eagles 30 – Falcons 19

Minnesota at San Francisco (10:15 PM) – Huge game as Teddy Bridgewater begins his second season with the Vikings. More importantly the return of running back Adrian Peterson has made this Vikings squad a dark horse in the NFC. The 49ers are welcoming the season after a summer of turmoil.

Prediction: Vikings 24 – Niners 14

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