Steelers @ Patriots

Fuck Tom Brady. Despite Brady’s 4-game suspension being lifted, is there any rational human being who believes Tom Brady and the Patriots did nothing wrong? New England escaped scot-free after being caught red-handed spying and illegally recording opposing teams. Belicheat even went so low as to disguise a team employee to gain locker room access and steal the opponent’s first 20 scripted plays. The Patriot Way: Lie. Cheat. Steal. In no way have the Patriots been vindicated. Instead, they now get to cling tightly to their victim complex and will make a point to obnoxiously pile up scores in meaningless occasions—just like in the aftermath of SpyGate. The only thing stopping New England from home-field advantage throughout the playoffs is an injury to Rob Gronkowski. Make no mistake, Gronk is the heartbeat of this team. Without that big dumb polar bear manhandling defenders and just generally wrecking shit, Tom Brady would turn back into the thoroughly mediocre shell that more closely resembled Alex Smith. Remember when we thought Brady’s career was over? Before his skeletal system was secretly infused with adamantium as part of the Weapon-X Program, Gronk used to have bones made of glass. He was so brittle that Gronk once got hurt on a fucking extra point attempt.

Here’s to hoping Magneto makes a cameo to dismantle Gronk and tear apart the Patriots.

Goodell should automatically force New England’s opponents to sign current free agent safety Bernard Pollard every week just for the chance that he can work some of his patented Patriots-killing magic.

Win: New England Patriots

Colts @ Bills

Rex Ryan

I love Andrew Luck. Unfortunately, the Colts seem destined to waste his career in the same manner as Peyton Manning. You can draft or sign all of the offensive skill position players available, but that’s not what turns NFL teams into perennial Super Bowl contenders. I’ve never seen anyone command an offense like Peyton Manning. In his prime, he was a surgeon in total control. But that’s only one side of the ball. Fast forward a decade and the front office still has the same philosophical issues. The offensive line is a laughable sieve (after misplacing millions investing in inferior talent) and Indianapolis’ defense is similarly inept. I hope I’m wrong about this game, but I expect the Colts to have too many issues containing Tyrod Taylor and preventing anyone from running all over them. With so many media darlings selecting the Colts, Dolphins, Rams, and Vikings as their beloved underdogs, one or all of these teams will shit the bed to start the season. Frank Gore and Andre Johnson are five years or so past their prime and assuredly not the answer to what ails Indianapolis. Fuck Rex Ryan and his gross foot fetish.

Win: Buffalo Bills

Packers @ Bears

It’s a fresh new start for Smokin’ Jay and the Chicago Bears. Sadly, it still has the same stale stench of old cigarette smoke. Can you imagine the screaming and horrified looks on the faces of Packers fans if the Bears pull off this upset? Everyone would be proclaiming the sky is falling. Even if Randall Cobb gets hurt, Aaron Rodgers won’t let that happen. Green Bay could bring Donald Driver’s decrepit corpse out of retirement, and Aaron Rodgers would still perfectly place enough passes to throw him open for 10 TDs. Unless Rodgers gets hurt, the Packers will roll and make it an ugly start for the John Fox Era.

Win: Green Bay Packers

Seahawks @ Rams

St. Louis is the new Tampa Bay. For some reason, everyone has hope that this will be the Year of the Ram. After the first few weeks, that dream comes crashing down and the realization sets in that they’re still the same mediocre team. Nick Foles is an improvement on the revolving door of backups St. Louis has recently employed once the inevitable Sam Bradford injury occurred. Good news, Rams fans, Todd Gurley might now give you the running back equivalent of Sam Bradford! I can’t wait to never find out if Gurley can ever reach his full potential. Foles isn’t capable of carrying a ragtag group of receivers and the random default faces running the ball. Although Seattle isn’t the same dominant team, this game against the Rams probably won’t serve as evidence of that notion.

Win: Seattle Seahawks

Browns @ Jets

Congratulations to the NFL for creating an opening week match-up that the team’s own fanbases don’t want to watch. Are you ready for some FOOOOOOOTBAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLL!

Win: New York Jets

Dolphins @ Redskins

Miami might have the best shot at stealing the division away from New England (except that’s not going to happen), but the Dolphins are bland and slightly above average. Joe Philbin is not going to outsmart many coaches, but it’s a toss-up when Jay Gruden is involved. Washington gives a bad name to three-ring circuses with their awful abomination of a franchise. Even if Dan Snyder claims to be honoring Native Americans with the nickname Redskins, it’s an embarrassment to be associated with this franchise. It would be so Redskins for RG Knee to be forced into action so he can get injured and guarantee his millions due in 2016. Let’s all collectively put this on our dream boards of hate.

Win: Miami Dolphins

Panthers @ Jaguars

Carolina is definitely one of last year’s playoff teams that will not be returning to the Promised Land. At least the Panthers won’t languish in NFL Hell like Jacksonville. The Jaguars might be improved, but they’re still a doormat that should have never existed. Carolina will go as far as Cam Newton is able to drag them on their back. Fortunately, the Panthers are in a division where 7-9 could actually be the best record. According to the NFL, that is parity, not mediocrity.

Win: Carolina Panthers

Chiefs @ Texans

Alex Smith vs. Brian Hoyer! If Kansas City wants to surpass Denver and distance themselves from San Diego, they need to win these gift-wrapped games against cellar dwellers. Expect Jeremy Maclin to record Kansas City’s first TD to a wide receiver in over a year. Over the long haul, TE Travis Kelce will likely dominate receptions for the Chiefs as Alex Smith’s blankie on underneath passes.

Win: Kansas City Chiefs

Saints @ Cardinals

While delusional Cardinals fans won’t acknowledge it, Arizona and New Orleans are in the same tier of NFL hierarchy. Arizona has somehow managed to be incredibly lucky over the last two seasons despite suffering substantial QB injuries to Carson Palmer and Drew Stanton. Both Logan Thomas and Ryan Lindley actually played for the playoff-bound Cardinals last year. Arizona’s makeshi(f)t offensive line will likely lead to more injuries before the season is through. But have no fear, Matt Barkley is here! All of the pressure is on the Cardinals defense to steady the team. Although talented, Arizona has placed the defensive responsibility into the hands of a coordinator without any experience. Learning on the job is not exactly ideal, but the Cardinals have enough playmakers like Tyrann Mathieu to at least be an 8-8 team. New Orleans has a higher ceiling if everything clicks, but the Saints’ boom-or-bust potential is likely to go kablooey with a mid-season Rob Ryan firing to make him the scapegoat.

Win: Arizona Cardinals

Lions @ Chargers

A perfect match-up for people who only care about Fantasy Football. In all likelihood, this will be a high scoring game that is still boring. I have zero faith in Matt Stafford. But I hate Philip Rivers even more than my distrust in that big-jawed yokel. Both Detroit and San Diego could challenge for the crown in their respective divisions. A more likely scenario is what we’ve seen in recent years: average teams with disappointing finishes to end the year.

Win: San Diego Chargers

Ravens @ Broncos

Peyton Manning has earned my undying faith. Although he can’t feel his fingertips, I expect Manning to still lob his fair share of lame duck TD passes again. Gary Kubiak looks like a cheesy villain in a Bond movie rather than an NFL head coach. If there’s a brain rattling around in his thick skull, Denver will limit Peyton Manning to fewer than 30 pass attempts each game with a stronger commitment to running. You can anticipate an early struggle for Manning, but the Broncos are a playoff contender even if Peyton is doing his best late-career Pedro Martinez impersonation getting by on pure guile and grit.

Win: Denver Broncos

Bengals @ Raiders

Cincinnati would be the same team with David Carr instead of Andy Dalton—if not better. On the other hand, Oakland would be considerably worse with that erratic ginger. Don’t be surprised if the Raiders take a stride towards respectability. The Bengals are a prime candidate to stagnate like pond water. In this match-up, Cincinnati’s defense should do enough to secure the victory.

Win: Cincinnati Bengals

Titans @ Buccaneers

Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston aren’t enough of a reason to watch this game. Maybe it’s proper motivation to check out the “highlights”, but a Week 1 match-up of rookie QBs is a recipe for shitty football. The difference between Tennessee and Tampa Bay is the talent surrounding these rookies.

Win: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Giants @ Cowboys

Why haven’t the Giants gotten Eli any help over the past few years? Odell Beckham Jr. flashes superstar potential, but a dynamic No. 1 receiver is probably the easiest weapon to contain with double coverage. New York still doesn’t have a running back to alleviate pressure off Peyton’s dumb looking brother. And this isn’t the same Giants defense that dismantled the Patriots in two Super Bowls. The most interesting thing about the Giants this year is whether or not we’ll see Jason Pierre-Paul’s mangled stumpy hand. I want to see the aftermath of that damage more than any New York game this year. Dallas will take a step back without DeMarco Murray and worse talent on defense, but they just need to fend off Philadelphia.

Win: Dallas Cowboys

Eagles @ Falcons

Hopefully this Chip Kelly Experiment will explode in spectacular fashion with a string of racial slurs when Sam Bradford suffers another catastrophic leg injury. As long as he manages to stay healthy, Bradford will light up the scoreboard and have Eagles fans foaming from their mouths…even more than usual. How many weeks will it take for Atlanta to realize that hiring Pete Carroll’s most recent defensive underling does not mean you will build the same defensive juggernaut? I would be shocked if Philadelphia doesn’t rack up 400+ total yards on offense against the awful Atlanta Falcons.

Win: Philadelphia Eagles

Vikings @ 49ers

What will be more entertaining this year: Jim Tomsula’s press conferences or the actual 49ers games? I, for one, have my money on Tomsula comparing his team to a sandwich and evading the most bland, basic questions. I feel slightly bad for Tomsula being the cemetery caretaker for this dumpster fire of a franchise.

Win: Minnesota Vikings


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