NFL Week 1 Predictions: Can the Chiefs, Giants, and Jets Win Difficult Prime-Time Home Games?

NFL football is back! College football gave us a teaser last weekend, but professional football is here. What do the PFN NFL Week 1 predictions look like?

As Eleanor Shellstrop would say, “Holy forking shirt balls!” Regular-season NFL games have returned to us all. No more must we do things and stuff on Sunday afternoons. We may lock ourselves snuggly into our caves and devour seven hours of commercial-free football.

Football is a game, and games are meant to be fun. Jason Mendoza must be proud of how the Jaguars have turned things around while he hangs out in “The Good Place.” But at PFN, we’re going to have more fun. Our weekly predictions are back and better than ever.

Pro Football Network’s Week 1 NFL Predictions

The NFL season starts off with a somewhat curious matchup, but it is entertaining nonetheless. Meanwhile, the Cowboys, Giants, Bills, and Jets all get prime-time games in New York on Sept. 10 and Sept. 11, respectively.

These predictions are simply deciding between winners and losers. There are no points spreads here. For that, head over to our Week 1 betting predictions.

Detroit Lions at Kansas City Chiefs

  • Beasley: Chiefs
  • Bearman: Chiefs
  • Miller: Lions
  • Morrison: Chiefs
  • Robinson: Chiefs

There’s always one jokester who zigs while everyone else zags. But Bill Belichick has done that his entire career, and he has six Super Bowls to show for it!

In all seriousness, if Chris Jones isn’t playing, it makes what is already a suspect defense even more uninspiring on paper. Additionally, the Chiefs have historically started slow on defense over the past few seasons, despite having solid team success in that time.

But Travis Kelce might not go either, and he certainly won’t be 100% if he does. Patrick Mahomes is the best in the game, and so is Andy Reid, but the Chiefs are already a flawed team with their second and third-best players on the field.

Carolina Panthers at Atlanta Falcons

  • Beasley: Falcons
  • Bearman: Falcons
  • Miller:  Falcons
  • Morrison: Falcons
  • Robinson: Falcons

The Atlanta Falcons might be the most fascinating team in the NFL. If Desmond Ridder can become even 80% of what Ryan Tannehill became for Arthur Smith, this Falcons roster could do significant damage.

Meanwhile, the Panthers’ offensive line looked suspect in the preseason, and they aren’t exactly boasting the best weapons for a rookie QB in the passing game. However, Ejiro Evero is a great defensive coordinator, which could keep this a low-scoring contest.

Houston Texans at Baltimore Ravens

  • Beasley: Ravens
  • Bearman: Ravens
  • Miller: Ravens
  • Morrison: Ravens
  • Robinson: Ravens

Although there is a lot of intrigue in this contest, there isn’t much question about who the more talented team is.

Still, we have a rookie QB and head coach on one side with a young and talented defense that looked hungry in the preseason. On the other side, we have a new offensive coordinator and a slew of new weapons at Lamar Jackson’s disposal.

Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns

  • Beasley: Bengals
  • Bearman: Bengals
  • Miller: Bengals
  • Morrison: Bengals
  • Robinson: Bengals

We won’t name names, but there was one person among the group who originally picked the Browns, but they were cowards came to their senses and chose the more accomplished team to win the game.

While there are a few enticing games in the 1 p.m. ET slate, this is probably the most appetizing. Each team has legitimate playoff aspirations, and everyone will be interested to see if Deshaun Watson is able to knock the rust off from a season ago.

If he does, this Browns roster could be incredibly dangerous in the AFC. They have one of the best offensive lines in the business, and they’ve made the necessary coaching and personnel changes on the defensive side to repair that broken unit.

Jacksonville Jaguars at Indianapolis Colts

  • Beasley: Jaguars
  • Bearman: Jaguars
  • Miller: Jaguars
  • Morrison: Jaguars
  • Robinson: Jaguars

No Jonathan Taylor means the Colts will be utilizing an RB-by-committee approach for some time. The Colts’ roster isn’t in such bad shape that they can’t be competitive, but their offensive efficiency will fluctuate as Anthony Richardson grows as a passer.

Meanwhile, the Jaguars are coming off an unbelievably hot end to their 2022 season, and they have appeared to improve over the offseason by adding Calvin Ridley to the offensive fold.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Minnesota Vikings

  • Beasley: Vikings
  • Bearman: Vikings
  • Miller: Vikings
  • Morrison: Vikings
  • Robinson: Vikings

Chalk isn’t much fun, but early games are early games for a reason, right?

The Buccaneers don’t have an awful roster, but they possess an uninspiring offensive line and Baker Mayfield at quarterback. There’s hope (delusion?) locally that the offense could actually be better than a season ago, but until we see that, it’s best not to count on it.

However, the Vikings aren’t a great football team, either. Sure, they won 13 games a season ago, but they also had a negative point differential. They purged a ton of elder statesmen from the roster as well. It will be fascinating to track their season.

Tennessee Titans at New Orleans Saints

  • Beasley: Saints
  • Bearman: Saints
  • Miller: Saints
  • Morrison: Titans
  • Robinson: Saints

Finally, some dissent!

The Saints are favorites in the NFC South, and for good reason. They shouldn’t be completely hamstrung by mediocre QB play with Derek Carr now in the building, and that defense is still talented.

Derek Carr (4) passes against the Kansas City Chiefs during the first half at the Caesars Superdome.

On the other side, the Titans’ offensive line is a horror house, which is a curious way to build an offensive roster, considering they want to run the ball and run play action at a very heavy rate. But maybe the Titans are turning over a new leaf?

San Francisco 49ers at Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Beasley: 49ers
  • Bearman: Steelers
  • Miller: 49ers
  • Morrison: Steelers
  • Robinson: Steelers

No game on the docket was more difficult to choose. The Pittsburgh Steelers offense was an unstoppable force during the preseason, and Kenny Pickett looks like he’s about to take the next step in his development.

Deadlines make deals. While nobody knew whether Nick Bosa and the 49ers would strike a deal before the hourglass ran through its sand, some of us made our picks like it was a foregone conclusion and hoped for the best. Bosa’s presence could be the difference between a 49ers win and a 49ers loss.

Arizona Cardinals at Washington Commanders

  • Beasley: Commanders
  • Bearman: Commanders
  • Miller: Commanders
  • Morrison: Commanders
  • Robinson: Commanders

Even immediate family members of Arizona Cardinals staffers and players aren’t predicting a win here for their team. The Cardinals legitimately have one of the worst rosters we’ve seen in quite some time at the NFL level.

However, they are still professional football players, and nobody has gone winless since the NFL introduced the 17-game schedule. The Commanders also start an unknown commodity at quarterback. Is this a nice ramp-up game for Sam Howell, or could it put him in Jacoby Brissett’s proverbial crosshairs?

Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears

  • Beasley: Bears
  • Bearman: Packers
  • Miller: Bears
  • Morrison: Bears
  • Robinson: Packers

Calling the Bears and Packers a great rivalry is a bit of an overstatement, at least recently. Aaron Rodgers owned the Chicago Bears, and he let the entire world know it. But he’s not in Green Bay anymore, and the Packers aren’t a shoo-in to be the NFC North title holders in 2023.

The Bears have seemingly improved while the Packers have seemingly regressed, but the Bears still have defensive flaws, and Jordan Love might actually be pretty good. The first game of the season can also be quite sloppy at times; anything can happen.

Las Vegas Raiders at Denver Broncos

  • Beasley: Broncos
  • Bearman: Raiders
  • Miller: Broncos
  • Morrison: Raiders
  • Robinson: Broncos

The afternoon slate has much more variety among picks. Neither team in the AFC West looks like much of a contender, no matter how much Sean Payton wants to say that he’d be disappointed without a playoff birth. This is a contest between disappointing teams a season ago, and it probably hasn’t gotten much better.

But things might be a bit worse for the Raiders right now. Chandler Jones is less than pleased with the organization and might not be playing for the Raiders in the near future. Can their offense do enough to outpace what looks like another underwhelming Raiders defense?

Miami Dolphins at Los Angeles Chargers

  • Beasley: Chargers
  • Bearman: Dolphins
  • Miller: Dolphins
  • Morrison: Dolphins
  • Robinson: Chargers

If you’re only able to catch one of the afternoon games, try to make it this one. 2020 NFL Draft classmates will face off against one another. Mike McDaniels, Brandon Staley, Kellen Moore, and Vic Fangio join the ring together in a battle of tactical wits. It should be a blast.

The Dolphins offense was incredibly hot with a healthy Tua Tagovailoa a season ago. However, their offensive line remains the low point on their roster, and the Chargers will finally have Joey Bosa and Khalil Mack on the field together at one time.

Philadelphia Eagles at New England Patriots

  • Beasley: Eagles
  • Bearman: Eagles
  • Miller: Eagles
  • Morrison: Eagles
  • Robinson: Eagles

The Patriots have been left for dead this offseason, but that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. They were an absolute train wreck on and off the field a season ago and still managed to win eight games with a middle-of-the-pack strength of schedule. Since then, they’ve hired a real OC and discarded any potential distractions.

Week 1 is different because they’re facing the league runner-up, who shouldn’t be much worse than a season ago, if they are worse at all.

However, it will be worth keeping an eye on how the Eagles’ offense and defense operate with new coordinators manning each side. The offense shouldn’t look too much different after the in-house hiring of Brian Johnson. Sean Desai’s defense will operate differently, but will it be better with the weapons at his disposal?

Los Angeles Rams at Seattle Seahawks

  • Beasley: Seahawks
  • Bearman: Seahawks
  • Miller: Seahawks
  • Morrison: Seahawks
  • Robinson: Seahawks

The NFL moves fast. Just two years ago, the Rams were on their way to a Super Bowl season, and the NFC West looked formidable. Now, half the division looks like the only thing they’ll compete for is the rights to a top-five draft pick.

The Rams are one of those teams. They’re an incredibly young and inexperienced team. But the coaching staff and front office have done most of that by design. The offensive line is a travesty, and that has been because of gross mismanagement.

Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants

  • Beasley: Cowboys
  • Bearman: Cowboys
  • Miller: Cowboys
  • Morrison: Giants
  • Robinson: Cowboys

The New York Giants haven’t beaten Dak Prescott since his rookie season. He is a perfect 10-0 against them since. Dallas filled what were their only true weak links on the roster with the additions of Stephon Gilmore and Brandin Cooks, and they look like a competitive roster in the NFC.

The Giants were a surprise playoff team in 2022 and should be marginally more talented in 2023. However, they are starting two rookie cornerbacks in Wink Martindale’s aggressive system, so there could be a few growing pains along the way for the Giants secondary.

Buffalo Bills at New York Jets

  • Beasley: Jets
  • Bearman: Jets
  • Miller: Bills
  • Morrison: Bills
  • Robinson: Bills

The Jets defense was outstanding a season ago, and they still possess the talent to play at an elite level. Meanwhile, the Buffalo Bills have won the division in each of the last three seasons and have won double-digit games in each of the last four.

New York needed a QB in the worst way this offseason, and the deal they swung for Aaron Rodgers brings us an almost carbon copy of Brett Favre 15 years ago. Rodgers looks reinvigorated. Maybe it’s the New Jersey air, or maybe it’s the hallucinogens from the offseason. Who knows for sure?

MORE: 2023 PFN QB Power Rankings

All we know is that we’re getting two powerhouse rosters together for a Monday Night Football showdown in Week 1 of the NFL season.

It feels so good to be back!

Listen to the PFN Inside Access Podcast!

Listen to the PFN Inside Access Podcast! Click the embedded player below to listen, or you can find the PFN Fantasy Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, and all major podcast platforms.  Be sure to subscribe and leave us a five-star review!

Join the Conversation!

Related Articles