Here at Downtown Rams we are looking forward to picking every game every week of the NFL season. Here are our panels picks for week one.
(0-0) Carolina Panthers vs. (0-0) Denver Broncos
The Super Bowl rematch with a Denver team that is arguably better than last season. Cam Newton is looking for revenge for his loss and the beat down he received at the hands of the Broncos defense in the Super Bowl. Denver starts a new QB not Brock Osweiler who was given the keys to the city after Peyton Manning retired. No, it’s Trevor Siemian under center for the world champions.
Winner: (Carolina 3 Denver 1)
Jake Ellenbogen: Denver Broncos
Blaine Grisak: Carolina Panthers
Josh Hardin: Carolina Panthers
Lorenzo Munoz: Carolina Panthers
(0-0) Minnesota Vikings vs. (0-0) Tennessee Titans
The Vikings would normally come into this game the odds on favorite but, with their franchise QB Teddy Bridgewater out for the season with a torn ACL and the Titans with a new and improved offense with Marcus Mariota under center in year two. The Titans pose to be better competition than previously anticipated. One thing that could be the Titans downfall is their lack of talent on the defensive side of the ball, something the Vikings have a surplus of. It’s also worth noting the Vikings are starting Shaun Hill since Sam Bradford is not prepared for the season after being traded at what some would call the last minute.
Winner: (Minnesota 2 Tennessee 2)
Jake Ellenbogen: Tennessee Titans
Blaine Grisak: Minnesota Vikings
Josh Hardin: Tennessee Titans
Lorenzo Munoz: Minnesota Vikings
(0-0) Chicago Bears vs. (0-0) Houston Texans
A full on revamp of the Houston Texans offense led by signings of ex-Broncos QB Brock Osweiler, ex-Dolphins RB Lamar Miller and the draft picks of Will Fuller and Braxton Miller. The Texans could be in for a good season. Chicago Bears comes into this game having lost their offensive coordinator Adam Gase to the Miami Dolphins, RB, WR coaches Mike Groh and Skip Peete respectively to the Los Angeles Rams. The Bears have lost a lot but didn’t really gain a lot either. It could be a tough year for Jay Cutler in company especially with Gase no longer in the mix Cutler could struggle.
Winner: (Houston Texans unanimously)
Jake Ellenbogen: Houston Texans
Blaine Grisak: Houston Texans
Josh Hardin: Houston Texans
Lorenzo Munoz: Houston Texans
(0-0) Cleveland Browns vs. (0-0) Philadelphia Eagles
Both teams are starting quarterbacks that weren’t even on their respective rosters last season (Carson Wentz and Robert Griffin III). Both teams have new head coaches (Doug Pederson and Hue Jackson). Both teams could be facing an uphill battle during the season. The Browns look like they could have a serious offense especially when Josh Gordon comes back from suspension. The Eagles on the other hand we have no idea what to make of because they don’t really have anyone at the cornerback position but they have great safeties and they are starting a rookie QB in an offense that doesn’t quite jump off the page by any means. This game could tell us early on who is going to have a tough time winning football games.
Winner: (Cleveland 2 Philadelphia 2)
Jake Ellenbogen: Cleveland Browns
Blaine Grisak: Philadelphia Eagles
Josh Hardin: Philadelphia Eagles
Lorenzo Munoz: Cleveland Browns
(0-0) Buffalo Bills vs. (0-0) Baltimore Ravens
The Bills come into this season seemingly already bit with the injury bug losing the two top assets they acquired via the draft (Shaq Lawson and Reggie Ragland). The Ravens however, have a QB that is coming back from a torn ACL, a committee backfield, a 37-year-old no.1 wide receiver and a defense that doesn’t really look all that scary on paper like they once did a decade ago.
Winner: (Buffalo 2 Baltimore 2)
Jake Ellenbogen: Baltimore Ravens
Blaine Grisak: Buffalo Bills
Josh Hardin: Buffalo Bills
Lorenzo Munoz: Baltimore Ravens
(0-0) San Diego Chargers vs. (0-0) Kansas City Chiefs
Philip Rivers and company come to Arrowhead for a date with the Chiefs who didn’t really change their roster a ton from last year. With that being said neither did the Chargers outside of drafting Joey Bosa who isn’t playing, Hunter Henry who backs up Antonio Gates and Max Tuerk. The best move the Chargers made this offseason was signing one of the best nickel cornerbacks in the game Casey Hayward. The Chiefs were not long ago competing with the Patriots to go to the AFC Title game.
Winner: (Kansas City Chiefs unanimously)
Jake Ellenbogen: Kansas City Chiefs
Blaine Grisak: Kansas City Chiefs
Josh Hardin: Kansas City Chiefs
Lorenzo Munoz: Kansas Ciy Chiefs
(0-0) Oakland Raiders vs. (0-0) New Orleans Saints
This could be a real good game. You never know how the Saints are going to come out since they have one of the best QBs in the league running a high powered offense that always finishes in the top 10. On the other hand their defense has struggled and was one of the worst last season. Oakland has a very good defense that is improved to go along with their offense that continues to develop. This could end up being a shootout but if it’s not that probably means the Saints were dominated by the Raiders defense led by All-Pro Khalil Mack.
Winner: (Oakland Raiders unanimously)
Jake Ellenbogen: Oakland Raiders
Blaine Grisak: Oakland Raiders
Josh Hardin: Oakland Raiders
Lorenzo Munoz: Oakland Raiders
(0-0) Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. (0-0) Atlanta Falcons
Jameis Winston leads his men into battle inside the Georgia Dome when they take on the Falcons. It’s worth noting Matty Ice has looked horrible in preseason and that should worry some Falcons fans. Tampa Bay has a new secondary starring first-round pick Vernon Hargreaves III. It’s unclear who he would be assigned to but VGIII is going up against Julio Jones he is going to get welcomed into the NFL pretty quickly.
Winner: (Atlanta 3 Tampa Bay 1)
Jake Ellenbogen: Atlanta Falcons
Blaine Grisak: Atlanta Falcons
Josh Hardin: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Lorenzo Munoz: Atlanta Falcons
(0-0) Cincinnati Bengals vs. (0-0) New York Jets
The Bengals have their signal caller Andy Dalton healthy again and he comes back to a receiving corps that has been replaced. Marvin Jones has gone off to Detroit and now it’s time for rookie WR Tyler Boyd to step up. Tyler Eifert opens the season injured so there goes the red zone threat who caught double digit touchdown passes last season. On the other side the Jets after a long stand still were able to re-sign Ryan Fitzpatrick who had a great year connecting on multiple occasions to WR Brandon Marshall. The Jets might struggle a little bit in the run game due to the loss of Chris Ivory to the Jacksonville Jaguars via free agency. A broken down Matt Forte could lead the Jets to rely heavily on 27-year-old RB Bilal Powell. The Jets still have a great defense so they should be in good shape to open the season.
Winner: (Jets 3 Bengals 1)
Jake Ellenbogen New York Jets
Blaine Grisak: Cincinnati Bengals
Josh Hardin: New York Jets
Lorenzo Munoz: New York Jets
(0-0) Green Bay Packers vs. (0-0) Jacksonville Jaguars
Super Bowl contender Green Bay comes to Jacksonville to take on one of the more explosive young offenses in the league. Led by Blake Bortles the Jaguars are on the uptick with star WR Allen Robinson, rising-star WR Allen Hurns and slot WR Marqise Lee the Jaguars have the best trio of WRs in the game today. That’s not all though, the Jaguars drafted Myles Jack, Jalen Ramsey, Yannick Ngakoue, Sheldon Day and signed the likes of Prince Amukamara and Malik Jackson. The Jaguars are on a quest to turn it all around this season. The Packers have returning WR Jordy Nelson and a new TE in the form of ex-Ram Jared Cook.
Winner: (Green Bay Packers unanimously)
Jake Ellenbogen: Green Bay Packers
Blaine Grisak: Green Bay Packers
Josh Hardin: Green Bay Packers
Lorenzo Munoz: Green Bay Packers
(0-0) Miami Dolphins vs. (0-0) Seattle Seahawks
Miami has a new head coach in the form of former offensive coordinator of the Bears Adam Gase. Seattle comes into this game pretty much the same team as last year minus LB Bruce Irvin who left in free agency. Russell Wilson lacks the offensive line that he would want but the Dolphins aren’t exactly the most fierce team going into this contest.
Winner: (Seattle Seahawks unanimously)
Jake Ellenbogen: Seattle Seahawks
Blaine Grisak: Seattle Seahawks
Josh Hardin: Seattle Seahawks
Lorenzo Munoz: Seattle Seahawks
(0-0) New York Giants vs. (0-0) Dallas Cowboys
Dallas trots out their future in Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott while the New York Giants will have a new look defensive line centered by free agency pickups Olivier Vernon and Damon Harrison. This game could be a shoot out but the Giants defense is new and improved as opposed to the Cowboys defense which is battered with suspensions.
Winner: (New York Giants unanimously)
Jake Ellenbogen: New York Giants
Blaine Grisak: New York Giants
Josh Hardin: New York Giants
Lorenzo Munoz: New York Giants
(0-0) Detroit Lions vs. (0-0) Indianapolis Colts
Calvin Johnson has retired and now no one wants to give the Lions the edge in any game this season. The Lions still boast an offense that should continue having a high octane passing attack with new free agent signing Marvin Jones to lead the way. The Colts come into this game finally having Andrew Luck at what we believe is 100 percent. Luck now has some help up front after GM Ryan Grigson made it his personal mission to find offensive line help for the Colts franchise QB.
Winner: (2 Detroit 2 Indianapolis)
Jake Ellenbogen: Detroit Lions
Blaine Grisak: Indianapolis Colts
Josh Hardin: Indianapolis Colts
Lorenzo Munoz: Detroit Lions
(0-0) New England Patriots vs. (0-0) Arizona Cardinals
The storyline going into this game is the fact Tom Brady is suspended and will not play. That means Jimmy Garoppolo will get the chance to start versus an elite Arizona Cardinal team. Normally this would be a close game to call but it’s looking bleak for the Patriots to beat a fully healthy Cardinals team. Especially now with recent reports Rob Gronkowski might not play. Chandler Jones also gets a crack at his former team that traded him. That could be fun…
Winner: (Arizona Cardinals unanimously)
Jake Ellenbogen: Arizona Cardinals
Blaine Grisak: Arizona Cardinals
Josh Hardin: Arizona Cardinals
Lorenzo Munoz: Arizona Cardinals
(0-0) Pittsburgh Steelers vs. (0-0) Washington Redskins
The Steelers are coming into this game fully healthy and that should scare the life out of the rest of the league. Led by Ben Roethlisberger under center and Antonio Brown this team is an obvious threat on the offensive end. LeVeon Bell is suspended but in steps DeAngelo Williams who played very well in his relief last season. The Steelers are new and improved on the defensive side of the ball with stud small-school rookie DT Javon Hargrave and first-round pick CB Artie Burns. The Redskins could be without their first-round selection WR Josh Doctson who is rehabbing a strained achillies. Kirk Cousins is coming off a great season though and could pose a threat especially with WR DeSean Jackson who could make a mess out of the rookie Burns early on.
Winner: (Pittsburgh Steelers unanimously)
Jake Ellenbogen: Pittsburgh Steelers
Blaine Grisak: Pittsburgh Steelers
Josh Hardin: Pittsburgh Steelers
Lorenzo Munoz: Pittsburgh Steelers
(0-0) Los Angeles Rams vs. (0-0) San Francisco 49ers
Last but not least we have our own L.A. Rams and their QB Jared Goff…oops I mean Case Keenum. The Rams drafted Goff no.1 overall. He just isn’t ready yet and that’s okay. The Rams still have the nastiest defensive line in all of football and a new middle linebacker in Alec Ogletree who they moved over from outside. The 49ers come into this game with not a ton of talent on paper and should be looking at the bottom of the NFC. Chip Kelly comes in to try to install his system that seems to have come to a hault at the expense of NFL teams figuring it out.
Winner: (Los Angeles Rams unanimously)
Jake Ellenbogen: Los Angeles Rams
Blaine Grisak: Los Angeles Rams
Josh Hardin: Los Angeles Rams
Lorenzo Munoz: Los Angeles Rams
What picks do you have this week? Let us know down below!