"The Stack" 9-9-16

The Broncos defense pummeled Cam Newton last night. Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
The Broncos defense pummeled Cam Newton last night.
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Peyton Manning brought out the Broncos' third Super Bowl trophy to the delight of the Denver faithful Thursday night.
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Seems like it wasn’t that long ago when we had our last Football Friday, but we’ll say it now: Happy Football Friday.  The Stack is here with our normal Friday ritual during football season with a preview and predictions for the upcoming week in the NFL.  In this case it is week one of the new NFL season and we’re already 0-1 after the Denver Broncos escaped with a 21-20 win over the Carolina Panthers so let’s get right to “the stack” for today, Friday, September 9th:


Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Atlanta Falcons 1 PM ET FOX


Both teams seem to be on the rise.  The Falcons started strong last year, but faded mightily down the stretch.  A lot of eyeballs will be on the Falcons early on this year and quarterback Matt Ryan in particular whose play has really slumped the past few years.  Jameis Winston is a quarterback looking to continue to ascend in his second year.  The Buccaneers can pull off this upset, but I will go with Ryan and Julio Jones to make a couple more plays. 


Prediction: Falcons 27 Bucs 20


Buffalo Bills @ Baltimore Ravens 1 PM ET CBS


The Bills are quietly saying it’s playoffs or bust this year.  With all of the suspensions and injuries they’ve suffered, I need to see them beat a Ravens team who is bound to be better this year in part because they are healthy to start the season.


Prediction: Ravens 23 Bills 17


Chicago Bears @ Houston Texans 1 PM ET FOX


The Texans want to prove to people that they are the real deal this year.  Brock Osweiler can take that first step to prove the haters wrong that he is worth the $72 million they gave him in the offseason.  Against a Bears team that will be better defensively this year, but worse offensively, I think they get the job done.


Prediction: Texans 27 Bears 10


Green Bay Packers @ Jacksonville Jaguars 1 PM ET FOX


I am one of many people that think the Jaguars are on the up and may be a playoff team this year.  They can prove a lot of us right by beating a team whom many feel will run away with the NFC North now that Teddy Bridgewater is out for the year for the Vikings.  They also have an easy schedule.  They also are welcoming back wide receiver Jordy Nelson.  They also have Aaron Rodgers.  I’ll give the edge to the Pack.


Prediction: Packers 30 Jaguars 20


San Diego Chargers @ Kansas City Chiefs 1 PM ET CBS


The Chargers were decimated by injuries last year.  The Chiefs are still waiting for running back Jamaal Charles to get fully healthy.  He is unlikely to play.  They shouldn’t need him in this one.


Prediction: Chiefs 26 Chargers 17


Oakland Raiders @ New Orleans Saints 1 PM ET CBS


Even more people like the Raiders to take that next step this year and make the playoffs than they do the Jaguars.  Derek Carr, Amari Cooper, Khalil Mack.  There is reason for optimism in the Black Hole.  An early start time will not make it easy, nor will playing in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, but the Raiders are a better team than the Saints and they will prove it on Sunday.


Prediction: Raiders 30 Saints 24


Cincinnati Bengals @ New York Jets 1 PM ET CBS


Forgive me for doubting the Bengals as we enter the season.  They’ve lost offensive coordinator Hue Jackson to Cleveland where he is the new head coach.  They’ve lost some defensive players and they’ve lost some experienced wide receivers.  Outside of A.J. Green, they have very little experience.  They’ll be just fine as the year goes on, but against the Jets defense and against Ryan Fitzpatrick, Brandon Marshall, Eric Decker and company, it is going to be a little more difficult.


Prediction: Jets 20 Bengals 17


Cleveland Browns @ Philadelphia Eagles 1 PM ET CBS


Former North Dakota State product Carson Wentz will make his first career start Sunday against a team that apparently didn’t want to him so they gladly traded the second overall pick to the Eagles to get multiple draft picks back.  It is going to be a long year in Philly, but against a Browns team that has a ton of rookies on it, I think they can squeak by with a win to give the city some false hope for the city.


Prediction: Eagles 23 Browns 20


Minnesota Vikings @ Tennessee Titans 1 PM ET FOX


If you like hard-nose smash mouth football this is the game for you.  Adrian Peterson against DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry.  The Titans want to pound the rock and the Vikings defense is a little susceptible to giving up some rushing yards.  It’s going to be a low scoring affair and will we see Shaun Hill or Sam Bradford starting at quarterback for the Vikings?  The Titans will be better this year, but the Vikings are the better team in this one.


Prediction: Vikings 20 Titans 10


Miami Dolphins @ Seattle Seahawks 4:05 PM ET CBS


Talk about a tough way to start the season if you’re the Dolphins.  You have to fly all the way across country to take on a Seahawks team with those loud fans.  Good luck.  Seahawks will win this one. 


Prediction: Seahawks 30 Dolphins 17


New York Giants @ Dallas Cowboys 4:25 PM ET FOX


The Cowboys are starting a rookie quarterback and a rookie running back to start the season.  Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott.  Both will be pretty good, but the Giants spent a lot of money on their defense this offseason.  They need to show that that money went to good use and win this game.  They typically play well in Jerry World anyway.


Prediction: Giants 27 Cowboys 20


Detroit Lions @ Indianapolis Colts 4:25 PM ET FOX


A healthy Andrew Luck is bad news for the Lions.  I am not bully on the Colts this year, but they are a better team than the Lions at least at this point and will start out 1-0. 


Prediction: Colts 30 Lions 24


New England Patriots @ Arizona Cardinals 8:30 PM ET NBC


No Tom Brady, he’s suspended.  Carson Palmer doesn’t feel too bad for him.  The Patriots might not have Gronkowski either.  He says he is iffy with a hamstring injury.  What little chance the Patriots had of winning this game will be significantly smaller if Gronk can’t go.


Prediction: Cardinals 31 Patriots 20


Coming up Monday: Week 1 NFL reaction plus MNF doubleheader preview

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