The Sports Editors’ Week 1 NFL Picks

Stuzin: Jacksonville Jaguars (+3.5) vs. Washington Commanders

Jacksonville versus Washington may not be the most exciting matchup of the week, but it presents an interesting spread. The Jaguars, coming off a season in which they tied for the worst record in the league, may not be everyone’s first choice for a team to bet on, but there are several reasons to go Jags over Commanders here. Jacksonville’s quarterback Trevor Lawrence is following up a strong end to his rookie campaign. (In Week 18, Lawrence threw for 223 yards and 2 TDs.) And he’s been given additional weapons on offense to help him out, with running back Travis Etienne back in the lineup after a season-ending foot injury, and a newly signed wide receiver in Christian Kirk.

On the other side of the ball, the Washington Commanders aren’t looking too intimidating this year. Their biggest threat on offense is wide receiver Terry McLaurin, but “Scary Terry” isn’t so scary if his quarterback is Carson Wentz. On defense, defensive end Chase Young always seems to take an opportunity to break out and become a superstar, but considering he’s still hurt with an ACL tear and might miss up to half the season, he poses no threat to Jacksonville. Don’t be surprised if the Jags upset the Commanders here. 


Martin: Tennessee Titans (-5.5) vs. New York Giants

Look away, Giants fans. While the Giants may eventually emerge as a threat under new general manager Joe Schoen and new head coach Brian Daboll, they face a tough Week 1 matchup on the road against the Titans, who claimed the AFC’s #1 seed in the playoffs last year. I love the Titans in this matchup — especially against a weak Giants roster that has struggled to a 12-26 record with Daniel Jones at the helm. The Titans traded away star receiver A.J. Brown during the offseason, but the additions of first-round rookie Treylon Burks and proven veteran Robert Woods should mitigate his loss. Not to mention Derrick “King Henry” Henry is now healthy and should return to his superstar status. The Giants, led by an older Saquon Barkley and an unknown commodity in Kadarius Toney, might struggle to keep up with the Titans on offense. If the Titans cannot beat the Giants by at least a touchdown, then something has gone terribly wrong.


Silverstein: Philadelphia Eagles (-3.5) at Detroit Lions 

Bird Gang! Iggles Fans! How are we feeling? Are we ready for Jalen Hurts to take that next step? Are we pumped to see A.J. Brown muscle his way past cornerbacks every Sunday? Are we maybe not going to “boo” our own players when things inevitably get a bit bumpy? Whatever the case may be, things are looking up for the league’s best/worst fanbase, and I’m ready to start the season with a win in Detroit. Don’t get me wrong: the Lions this season are surely an improvement from the roster that stumbled to a 3-13-1 record in Dan Campbell’s first season on the sidelines. But this Eagles team is built to win and win now. With a dynamic offensive line, a relentless rushing attack, a now multidimensional passing attack with Brown, a second-year stud in Devonta Smith and a proven producer Dallas Goedert, the birds are primed to be able to win in multiple ways. And, oh yeah, former Lion Darius “Big Play” Slay leads a well-rounded defense. I hope I’m not jinxing us. The Eagles will start their season off with a win at Ford Field.   


Notis: Denver Broncos (-5.5) at Seattle Seahawks

Our first Monday Night Football of the best season of the year starts off with quarterback Russell “Mr. Unlimited” Wilson’s return to Seattle to face his former team. While this is supposed to be a dramatic return for a franchise hero, this game will be anything but dramatic. The Seahawks are entering a full rebuild and have veteran journeyman Geno Smith at quarterback. The offense will be stagnant and the defense will be limited. If the Hawks can put together a somewhat decent drive it will be a miracle.

Meanwhile, Denver is suited to win right now. Mr. Unlimited runs an offense with weapons all across the ball. An upgraded defense with the addition of defensive end Randy Gregory should be able to keep a lifeless Seahawks offense scoreless. Denver should be able to open up the season with a big win in Seattle. Broncos country, let’s ride. 


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