By Jacob Adams
Week one of the NFL season rarely gives any insight when it comes to making postseason predictions, and this should remain true come Sunday, September 11. There does appear to be one intriguing match-up in the AFC that could give NFL fans a preview of what is to come later in the season. The Bengals and the Jets both had very good seasons last year that ended on a sour note. The over-achieving Jets went into week 17 with a chance to make the playoffs, but they dropped the game to Rex Ryan’s Bills, thanks to a three-interception game by Ryan Fitzpatrick. The Bengals made it into the wild card round last season, but let the Steelers slip by them in a penalty-filled embarrassment.
When the Bengals visit the Jets this coming Sunday, fans should be on the lookout for whether or not these teams are competitive with each other. Based on the current state of both teams, they should be battling for the two wild card spots by the end of the season. While the Bengals certainly remain a talented AFC contender, I worry that last season was a fluke for the Jets. There are serious questions concerning Ryan Fitzpatrick’s ability in the clutch, and whether or not Darrelle Revis is still elite after being exposed by Sammy Watkins and DeAndre Hopkins. That being said, the Jets should remain a dangerous team because of their wide receiving corps and defensive line. Expect the Bengals to win a close one in East Rutherford, by a score of 24-21.
By Jake Rosenstein
Football season is upon us and many people will be closely watching this season’s match-ups. Week one begins with some promising match-ups, in which young talents and established superstars look to launch themselves in pursuit of a statistically great season. My New York Jets take on the Cincinnati Bengals in what will most likely be a decent match-up. The AFC East champion New England Patriots take on the NFC West champion Arizona Cardinals in a powerhouse match-up. The only thing preventing this from being the marquee match-up is that former MVP Tom Brady is suspended. Instead, a young Jimmy Garoppolo looks to prove to be the Patriots’ future at quarterback. The rematch of the Superbowl takes place on the opening Thursday, but does not promise an exciting game as reigning MVP Cam Newton takes on untested and lackluster Trevor Siemian of the Denver Broncos.
The best games of week one come down to two divisional match-ups, Giants at Cowboys on Sunday afternoon, and Rams at 49ers on Monday night. The Giants and Cowboys are slated to be a hard-nosed divisional game fought between legendary rivals. Despite the loss of Tony Romo, rookie Dak Prescott aims to impress in his debut. The Los Angeles Rams are also ready to showcase their energy after moving into a market with considerably more spotlight than St. Louis. While many match-ups in week one are sure to excite, these two divisional games are ones that any football fan will be sure not to miss.
By Conor Oliver
Finally, the 2016-2017 NFL season is about to kick off. In week one, starting Thursday night, the Carolina Panthers and the Denver Broncos face off. A rematch of last year’s Big Game, Cam Newton is sure to return with a vengeance as he leads his team against the Peyton-less Broncos. While other games, such as the Patriots vs. the Cardinals or the Bengals vs. the Jets promise to be great opening match-ups, nothing is going to compare to the Broncos-Panthers game.
Following up on an MVP season in which he scored 45 total touchdowns and led his team to the championship game, Cam Newton looks to follow up on his breakout year. He is the biggest star the NFL has to offer, one any fan should tune in to watch on opening night. He is backed by a talented roster, featuring Luke Kuechly, Greg Olsen and Jonathan Stewart, to name a few.
Since their underdog championship last season, the Denver Broncos have lost future Hall-of-Famer Peyton Manning to retirement. It does not appear that they have missed a beat, especially defensively, as forces such as Von Miller, MVP of the championship game against the Panthers, return to the squad. New quarterback Trevor Siemian looks to lead the offense without faltering under the pressure of being handed the keys to one of the NFL’s best teams.
With this game, the NFL season starts off on the right foot. These teams are both talented and hungry for another championship. That combination promises an epic opening game that should not be missed.