The time is now. The 2018 NFL preseason has concluded and the regular season is here. So for opening weekend, I've predicted the final outcomes of every single game. The goal is perfection, but I’ll settle for mediocrity.
Bengals vs. Colts | 9/9 at 1:00 PM
These two teams played in the final game of the preseason. The Colts barely won and will find a way to win the Week 1 matchup, too. Andrew Luck and the Colts’ offense will be too much for Cincy, giving Indy the 21-17 win.
Bills vs. Ravens | 9/9 at 1:00 PM
Baltimore will prove too much for a weak Bills team. Buffalo quarterback Nathan Peterman is too green to beat a strong Ravens defense; Baltimore wins this one 24-13.
Buccaneers vs. Saints | 9/9 at 1:00 PM
Divisional games are usually fun to watch, but this one will be pretty lopsided without Bucs QB Jameis Winston. The Saints’ powerful offense will cruise to a 27-13 win at home.
Texans vs. Patriots | 9/9 at 1:00 PM
The return of Deshaun Watson and J.J. Watt for Houston. Another season opener for the ageless Tom Brady. This will be a good one. The Texans’ talented offense and dominant defense will give the Patriots their second straight opening game loss, 20-17.
49ers vs. Vikings | 9/9 at 1:00 PM
Two teams that just locked up talented quarterbacks for multiple years square off in this Week 1 matchup. They have similar rushing and receiving attacks, but the defensive backs and offensive linemen for San Francisco will provide an edge as the 49ers will beat the Vikings, 17-14.
Titans vs. Dolphins | 9/9 at 1:00 PM
The Dolphins get skilled quarterback Ryan Tannehill back, but they also lost Ndamukong Suh (cut) and Jarvis Landry (traded). The Titans only got better as they added multiple players on both sides of the ball. Tennessee gets the win in Miami this time, 31-13.
Jaguars vs. Giants | 9/9 at 1:00 PM
The Jaguars have one of the best defenses in the league, but need some work on offense. The Giants have plenty of playmakers on offense, but could use some help on defense. This will be a low-scoring game, but in the end, Jacksonville steals a 13-10 win.
Steelers vs. Browns | 9/9 at 1:00 PM
The rumors are true: The Browns will, indeed, be better this season. They will get some wins, but not against the powerful Steelers. Pittsburgh’s booming offense will thrash Cleveland’s somewhat improved team, 24-13.
Chiefs vs. Chargers | 9/9 at 4:00 PM
Another one of those nerve-racking Week 1 battles comes at 4:00 PM on Sunday as the Chiefs take on the Chargers. Kansas City’s young quarterback Patrick Mahomes won’t be able to overcome a strong Los Angeles defense, and the Chargers will pick up the 24-13 win.
Cowboys vs. Panthers | 9/9 at 4:25 PM
The Cowboys lost Dez Bryant and Jason Witten to free agency and retirement, respectively, and will be without Travis Frederick for a little while after he was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome. Meanwhile, the Panthers improved this offseason—enough to beat the Cowboys at least. 17-14.
Redskins vs. Cardinals | 9/9 at 4:25 PM
It’s hard to tell how either of these teams will do this year. If the Redskins can stay healthy and the Cardinals commit to running the ball, both teams will succeed.In this game, Cardinals get a surprising victory thanks to a strong showing from their defense. Final score, 10-7.
Seahawks vs. Broncos | 9/9 at 4:25 PM
The Seahawks are falling apart on defense, and they continue to be hurt by injuries to their running backs. The Broncos had a great offseason, adding Case Keenum, Royce Freeman, and Bradley Chubb, who will do great alongside Von Miller. It’ll be a close game, and every play will matter. The end result will be 14-13, in favor of the Broncos.
Bears vs. Packers | 9/9 at 8:20 PM
The Bears got better on offense and defense this offseason, picking up Roquan Smith, Khalil Mack, and Allen Robinson. The Packers added some help on defense and offense, and signed Aaron Rodgers to an extension. Green Bay wins a heated divisional battle this time, 17-10.
Jets vs. Lions | 9/10 at 7:00 PM
Sam Darnold gets the nod as the Jets open the season in Detroit. The Lions look like a solid squad after making many much-needed moves this offseason. They’ll get the win in this one, beating the Jets, 33-13.
Rams vs. Raiders | 9/10 at 10:20 PM
The Rams got a whole lot better by adding Brandin Cooks, Aqib Talib, and many other players this offseason. The Raiders wasted a third-round pick in a trade for Martavis Bryant, who they cut, and continue to unload as they appear ready for a rebuild. The Rams get the biggest win of Week 1: 38-10.
(Photo credit: Jim Davis/The Boston Globe/Getty Images)