The Patriots have several shiny new toys for Tom Brady as they prepare for a tear through the AFC, starting with the Miami Dolphins.
Here are the fanatix picks for Week 1 of the NFL season (excluding the Thursday game between the Packers and Seahawks):
Minnesota Vikings vs. St. Louis Rams: Rams – While St. Louis has QB problems, the Vikings have entire-offense/defense problems. Shaun Hill is a good enough stopgap solution for the Rams to pick up a win over this team, if no one else.
New Orleans Saints vs. Atlanta Falcons: Saints – The Saints may be the second best team in the NFC, possibly in the entire NFL behind the Seahawks. The Falcons are healthier than they were last year, but it won’t be enough.
Cincinnati Bengals vs. Baltimore Ravens: Bengals – No Rice + problems in the secondary = a loss for the Ravens against one of the top all-around teams in the NFL in the Bengals.
Tennessee Titans vs. Kansas City Chiefs: Chiefs – The Chiefs have Pro Bowlers at nearly every position on the offense and defense. The Titans have a great young receiver in Kendall Wright, but not much else that’s proven.
Buffalo Bills vs. Chicago Bears: Bears – Chicago has quietly put together one of the best receiving corps in football with Marshall, Bennett, Jeffrey and now Santonio Holmes. The Bills may be a great pass rushing team, but even if they do get to Cutler, they won’t get to Matt Forte.
Washington vs. Houston Texans: Texans – Washington has improved with DeSean Jackson on the offense, but against a pass rushing tandem of J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney, Robert Griffin III may have a rough afternoon.
Oakland Raiders vs. New York Jets: Raiders – This game has let down for the Jets written all over it.
Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Philadelphia Eagles: Eagles – An unstoppable offensive powerhouse in Philly versus a team that can neither run the ball nor make a proper choice at QB. The choice is obvious.
Cleveland Browns vs. Pittsburgh Steelers: Steelers – Until the Browns start Johnny Manziel, the Browns will most likely not be a favorite for any game this season.
New England Patriots vs. Miami Dolphins: Patriots – Time for Darrelle Revis to remind the Dolphins why they hated him so much in New York. Oh, and Rob Gronkowski is back as well.
San Francisco 49ers vs. Dallas Cowboys: 49ers – The Cowboys had the worst defense in the NFL last year and it only got worse this offseason. The 49ers are one of the most dominant teams in the league on both sides of the ball. If the 49ers don’t win this game, they don’t deserve to go to the playoffs.
Carolina Panthers vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Buccaneers – The Bucs are a better team than most people give them credit for while the Panthers are likely to be a worse team than most people will project. Add in the fact that Cam Newton is hurting and the Buccaneers may pounce on a quick victory.
Indianapolis Colts vs. Denver Broncos (SNF): Broncos – This will likely be a statement game for Peyton Manning as he invites Andrew Luck and the Colts to his house in the great outdoors this time.
New York Giants vs. Detroit Lions (MNF): Lions – Between the Giants O-Line problems and the Lions having one of the best D-Lines in the league, it would be surprising if the Giants manage to keep Eli Manning upright the entire game.
San Diego Chargers vs. Arizona Cardinals (MNF): Chargers – The Cardinals and Chargers are very similar teams, but the Chargers ultimately have the better QB and (seemingly) the better all-around receiving corps.