September 8, 2013

NFL Week 1 at a Glance

SUNDAY

PATRIOTS at BILLS, 1 p.m.

TV: CBS

Outlook: The Patriots have had some major off-the-field issues, but they're still the Pats and they always seem to handle their business when it comes to on-the-field issues. That's especially true in Buffalo.

The pick: Patriots

BUCS at JETS, 1 p.m.

Outlook: Is there any better team to write about in New York than the Jets? I think not! Trade their best player (Darrelle Revis) to Tampa Bay in April? Check. Draft a QB (Geno Smith) in the second round? Check. Allow your possible starting QB (Mark Sanchez) to get hurt in the fourth quarter of a meaningless preseason game? Check. Revis promised to "spill the beans" on the Jets' offensive tendencies.

The pick: Bucs

BENGALS at BEARS, 1 p.m.

Outlook: Marc Trestman makes his NFL head coaching debut for the Bears and faces a thorny maiden test, with the Bengals coming off their first back-to-back playoff years since 1981-82. Cincinnati also happens to be 4-1 all time at Chicago.

The pick: Bengals

FALCONS at SAINTS, 1 p.m.

TV: FOX

Outlook: Welcome back, Sean Payton. We missed you last season but not as much as your Saints, who went 7-9. A huge divisional game in Week 1, and maybe the best game of the weekend. The Saints are 11-3 vs. the Falcons since Payton took over in 2006.

The pick: Saints

SEAHAWKS at PANTHERS, 1 p.m.

Outlook: Seattle ran the table in the preseason and quarterback Russell Wilson's bunch is a darling Super Bowl choice. But the Seahawks aren't as mighty on the road and the Panthers ended last season with four consecutive wins.

The pick: Panthers

VIKINGS at LIONS, 1 p.m.

Outlook: The Vikings made the playoffs last year and swept the Lions, making it an 11-2 run in the series. And Minnesota will have a shot as long as Adrian Peterson is the guy a million fantasy owners hope he is. Peterson needs 151 yards Sunday to join Jim Brown and Eric Dickerson as the only men with 9,000 rushing yards in their first 90 games.

The pick: Vikings

RAIDERS at COLTS, 1 p.m.

Outlook: It doesn't really matter who starts at quarterback for the Raiders. Why? Because the other team's quarterback - Andrew Luck - will look to start Year 2 on a high note.

The pick: Colts

CHIEFS at JAGUARS, 1 p.m.

Outlook: The Chiefs, under new coach Andy Reid, must improve on the road - 27-53 overall since 2003. They get a cupcake here against the Jaguars, who could very well be the NFL's worst team.

The pick: Chiefs

TITANS at STEELERS, 1 p.m.

Outlook: The sense that Pittsburgh is headed for a down year was not altered by an 0-4 preseason, but quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is still very good, and the Steelers at home still are tough if no longer impenetrable. In fact their 10-0 streak in home openers is the NFL's best current run. But the Titans did beat Pittsburgh last year.

The pick: Titans

DOLPHINS at BROWNS, 1 p.m.

Outlook: The Dolphins are 5-15-3 in their last 23 September games, but good things are expected from Miami this season.

The pick: Dolphins

PACKERS at 49ERS, 4:25 p.m.

TV: FOX

Outlook: Packers linebacker Clay Matthews talked about putting hits "as early and often" on read-option QBs like San Francisco's Colin Kaepernick. Now, 49ers Coach Jim Harbaugh is talking to the NFL to ensure his prized QB won't become a target. Sorry, coach, he probably is.

(Continued on page 2)

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