Each Thursday this season, I'm going to predict the outcome of every NFL game that weekend - including games played by the Buffalo Bills, of course. I generally am not very good at this, but thankfully, the job is made easier by the fact that I won't have to pick against any sort of spread. Still, I'm betting if y'all play along, many of you will wipe the floor with me. On to the Week 1 picks!
Bears 35, Colts 17: I expect that Andrew Luck will look pretty good against an underrated Bears defense. I also expect that the Bears will have little trouble moving the ball on offense, and that the young Colts will make a few mistakes. I like the Bears quite a bit in the NFC North, and they should get off to a strong start.
Eagles 34, Browns 10: This won't even be a contest, in my opinion. The Eagles have too much on offense for Dick Jauron and company to contend with, and while I expect that the Browns will run the ball fairly well, it's tough to envision them scoring a lot of points against a very talented Eagles defense. The NFC East is going to be a lot of fun this year.
Lions 38, Rams 21: Detroit has way too much on offense - even if that's just Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson - for the Rams to keep up for a full game, but Sam Bradford will give it his level best for a while.
Texans 27, Dolphins 13: Miami's defense is going to be pretty dang good this year. Their offense will not be, and Houston's got much more talent on both sides of the ball. This won't be a blowout, I don't think, but it has that potential.
Chiefs 23, Falcons 20: I like Atlanta's receivers just fine, but I'm not buying into them quite as much as I'm buying into the Chiefs at home. Jamaal Charles is the real deal, and that defense will be one of the more underrated units in the league (and should be fine for a week without Tamba Hali).
Patriots 31, Titans 21: This has the feel of a game that is much closer in score than it should have been, to me. The Titans can't match up with New England's best offensive players, and they don't have enough on offense themselves to keep up against a Pats defense that still isn't that great.
Cardinals 16, Seahawks 13: If Ryan Fitzpatrick plays poorly against the Jets, I'm going to watch this game on Monday to feel better about the Bills' state of affairs. I like both defenses in this game, so I'm expecting a low-scoring affair.
Packers 28, 49ers 24: Had I been born into a world where I wasn't pre-destined to be a Bills fan, and was therefore without a "favorite team," this would be the game I'd be watching. These two teams could very well meet in the NFC Championship Game this year.
Panthers 26, Buccaneers 20: I'm all aboard the Cam Newton hype train, and while I think the Buccaneers are closer to contending than most people realize, I'm not ready to pick them against a star-studded offense yet.
Steelers 24, Broncos 23: This has the makings of another excellent Week 1 contest. Peyton Manning will play well, but I think Pittsburgh's offense is very underrated, and I think they'll eke out a little revenge at Mile High.
Bengals 21, Ravens 17: Everyone's talking up Pittsburgh and Baltimore, as usual, but I believe that when the year's over, the Bengals will be AFC North champs and being talked up as the future of the AFC. They'll kick that rhetoric off with a big road win over their division rivals.
Chargers 33, Raiders 17: The Raiders are banged up at receiver and one Darren McFadden injury away from being horrendous on offense. I'm not convinced that the Chargers will be anything special this year, but they should run away with this game relatively quickly.
Jets 23, Bills 17: Sorry, folks, but I just don't think that the Bills match up particularly well against the Jets. Buffalo is a finesse offense that can be confused and overwhelmed by the Jets' complex and physical defense. The Bills also have a gelling defense that has a ton to prove, even against a struggling Jets offense. It will be a close, competitive game, don't get me wrong, but I can't call this one in favor of Buffalo with such little confidence in the personnel matchups.