NFL Sunday’s are back as we get to see a majority of the new look teams in action for week 1.
Jacksonville Jaguars vs New York Giants
Odell Beckham Jr, returns from injury and big new contract alongside number 2 draft pick Saquon Barkley for the New York Giants against the Jacksonville Jaguars led in part by the very vocal Jalen Ramsey who has had his fair share of comments about OBJ and his quarterback Eli Manning. Ramsey a former top 5 pick, labelled the New York Giants receiver a premier player, and he was nowhere near as boastful as he was in an ESPN story by Mina Kimes or the piece in GQ magazine in which he was critical of numerous NFL quarterbacks, including saying Beckham is the reason for Giants quarterback Eli Manning’s success.
Ramsey also went on to say that
“Football is a team game. Eleven guys out there for us, 11 guys out there for them. We going to have to come together and do what we gotta do to try and get a win. I’m going to try and do my part…. It’s 11 versus 11. It’s not me vs. him all game. I’ll be on him a fair amount; I’m sure other guys will be on him too.”
Odell vs Ramsey has been a headline but I believe that Jacksonville have a better cornerback in A.J Bouye who I think will take most of the snaps across from OBJ, but nevertheless I am sure Ramsey will be talking his usual trash from the Jacksonville secondary. Barkley’s impact will be one to watch for as he is an explosive running back but against a top Jaguars defence it will be tough for him, I expect the Jaguars to edge this encounter.
Pittsburgh Steelers vs Cleveland Browns
The new look Cleveland Browns who will start Tyrod Taylor at quarterback instead of number one pick Baker Mayfield who continues his NFL education, will play division rival the Pittsburgh Steelers.. Cleveland seem to have wiped there slate clean after an awful few years and will look to write a different story this season.
The Steelers have had their fair share of woes this offseason with the drama of star running back Le’Veon Bell’s dramatic holdout situation. Bell has been holding out from the preseason and training camp, refusing to report for the $14.5 million franchise tag after he and the Steelers in July failed to agree on a new contract. Bell is looking for a deal that pays him as the best running back and doesn’t want to play on one he feels is below market for his skills. Bell looks likely to lose $852,000 for every week he misses, but by holiday out could easily make that back and much more in a major deal next offseason and due to missing game weeks he is preserving his body and keeping his touch count low, therefore meaning that he could extend his career and achieve a large contract which for running backs in their later years is rare.
Even without the great Le’Veon Bell Pittsburgh who have won their last 6 games against their division rival should prevail, with offensive talent of Antonio Brown and Ben Roethlisberger.
My Predictions (in bold) for Week 1
Atlanta Falcons @ Philadelphia Eagles – Lost
Buffalo Bills @ Baltimore Ravens
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cleveland Browns
Cincinnati Bengals @ Indianapolis Colts
Tennessee Titans @ Miami Dolphins
San Francisco 49ers @ Minnesota Vikings
Houston Texans @ New England Patriots
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ New Orlean Saints
Jacksonville Jaguars @ New York Giants
Kansas City Chiefs @ Los Angeles Chargers
Washington Redskins @ Arizona Cardinals
Dallas Cowboys @ Carolina Panthers
Seattle Seahawks @ Denver Broncos
Chicago Bears @ Green Bay Packers
New York Jets @ Detroit Lions
Los Angeles Rams @ Oakland Raiders
I am planning to aim to preview the midweek game and then two games for the weekend, including my predictions. Thanks for reading!