Young Alex's NFL Picks Week 1

Ahh, the fall.

You could make an argument that this is the beginning of the best time of year, and that's in no short order to The National Football League making their return to our living rooms every Sunday...and Thursday...and Monday...and select Saturdays. I Digress...

Besides the massive money making operation the NFL is, It seems like everyone plays some sort of fantasy football game with family, friends, coworkers, or complete strangers. One of my favorite formats is Pick 'em, where you pick the winning teams from every match up.

In an effort to help others win their office Pick 'em pools, and to save my fingers from being chopped off per A&G Rules, I'm making my picks offline here in this blog. I'll detail some of the key match-ups for the coming week and who I think will win in an effort to make you sound less dumb. Let's get started!

New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons

The Saints are getting their playmakers back. Jameis Winston looks to lead an offense that gets star receiver Michael Thomas back. Atlanta lacks talent in key positions on both sides of the ball, and The Saints will look to take advantage of those weaknesses. Things could be ugly for The Dirty Birds this year. WINNER: Saints

Cleveland Browns at Carolina Panthers

Former Browns QB Baker Mayfield gets a chance at revenge against his old team. Cleveland traded for QB Deshawn Watson in the offseason, and shipped Mayfield off to Carolina for pennies on the dollar. Watson won't play, as he faces a suspension for sexual misconduct. Both teams run the ball very well, so defense may decide the victor. WINNER: Panthers

San Francisco 49ers at Chicago Bears

The Niners hand the reigns to Trey Lance after 5 seasons under Jimmy Garropolo, who lead the team to two conference championships and one Super Bowl. They have plenty of weapons to surround the 2nd year player, and one of the league's best defenses. Chicago is rebuilding, with a new head coach and little talent to speak of compared to SF. Someone call a park ranger, as these bears are in danger of getting turned into a carpet. WINNER: 49ers

Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals

Pittsburgh loses their QB as Big Ben Rothlisburger retired. Plenty of talent on the offensive side could make for an easy transition to new captain Mitch Trubisky. The Bengals come into this matchup after representing the AFC in the Super Bowl. This team got better in the less than flashy positions, which was a weakness for them last year. A revered rivalry matchup, will there be a Big Game Hangover for the Big Cats? Not this week. WINNER: Bengals

Philadelphia Eagles at Detroit Lions

Philly gets better at the receiving position with the addition of AJ Brown. A much improved defense anchors a sneaky playoff contender. The favorite pastime of many NFL fans is discrediting The Lions, and their woeful playoff drought. Things seem different this year, as The Motor City seems to have a renewed sense of faith in the direction of the club and their Head Coach Dan Campbell. A rough start for Detroit this week, but it's only week 1. WINNER: Eagles

Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans

Indy adds Matt Ryan at quarterback from Atlanta. A one time MVP, could he regain that form in the twilight of his career? He has the talent around him to do so. Houston is bad, and don't seem to have much direction right now. Look out for Jonathan Taylor, as he is the consensus number 1 pick in many fantasy football drafts this season. Indy gallops away with this one easily. WINNER: Colts

New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins

The Patriots maintained their course, as they have for much of Bill Belichick's tenure. Miami makes a big splash in free agency, adding the fastest man in the league in Tyreek Hill to their roster to give Tua Tagovailoa the best chance at success. Lots of people like Miami to make the push towards postseason football, and it rides on Tua's shoulders. I don't see New England making the same push this season. WINNER: Dolphins

Baltimore Ravens at New York Jets

The Ravens are looking for a return to MVP form for Lamar Jackson, and now that he's not banged up, there's a good chance he could do it. The Jets...are The Jets. Not as bad as last year, but no where near good enough to compete week in and out. WINNER: Ravens

Jacksonville Jaguars at Washington Commanders

The Jags had the worst year possible last season, in no small part to the tumultuous antics of former Head Coach Urban Meyer. New skipper Doug Pedersen is a Super Bowl Champ, and the last time he had a talent at QB like Trevor Lawrence, he did great things. The Commanders (Yes, the name is awful) have made strides to get better at key pillar positions, but I can't get excited for any team with Carson Wentz at quarterback. What decides this matchup? Pedersen knows Carson Wentz from their time in Philly, and knows how to stop him. WINNER: Jaguars

New York Giants at Tennessee Titans

New York has Saquon Barkley at Running Back, and he's healthy for the first time in 3 years. He is great, and could be phenomenal once again. Sadly, there's not much else going for the team. Tennessee was the best team in The AFC last season, and lost in the first playoff game. Derrick Henry looks to lead the team back to the playoffs, with more success this time. Easy week for the Nashville team. Don't get too comfortable. WINNER: Titans

Kansas City Chiefs at Arizona Cardinals

Star Quarterbacks meet in the Desert. Patrick Mahomes is a household name and does rediculous things with the ball, but loses his favorite wide receiver to Miami in the off season. Kyler Murray gets a massive payday from the red birds, and they have the players to compete. Their gameplan leaves little to be desired and that may affect them in this one. I could see their Head Coach Kliff Kingsbury get his marching orders by week 8. WINNER: Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders at Los Angeles Chargers

These teams face each other twice a year, and they were fantastic last year. The last matchup saw both teams fight for a final playoff spot in the last game of the year. The Raiders add Davante Adams, a top reciever, reuniting him with college teammate Derrick Carr. Chargers QB Justin Herbert looks to push this team back to the postseason for the first time since 2018. Lots of MVP talk for Justin, will that affect him? WINNER: Chargers

Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings

Aaron Rodgers is certainly the lightning rod of controversy these days. No amount of guest hosting Jeopardy will change that. This offseason, he admitted to use of psychedelic drugs with his new girlfriend. No Aaron, its not the drugs, your team did get much worse, and you have no one to throw to. Minnesota is always close to doing great things, but they get in their way more often than not. This could be the year they get over the hump and win the division, and it starts here. WINNER: Vikings

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Dallas Cowboys

Tom Brady retired, until he didn't. His best friend Gronk is gone, and they lost a key member of the offensive line in training camp. Dallas brings back most of their division winning squad from last year, and will be looking for some revenge against Tom-pa Brady, who beat them in week 1 last year. Tampa "Brady" has one of the most well rounded teams, but Dallas at home on Sunday Night? Upset. WINNER: Cowboys

Monday Night Football: Denver Broncos at Seattle Seahawks

Seattle traded longtime QB Russell Wilson to Denver in the offseason, and the cruel (or blessed) NFL schedule makers won't make them wait for the revenge game. Seattle has a severe lack of talent on both sides of the ball, and Denver looks to compete with young players with lots of potential now that they have the veteran signal caller under center. Don't worry Seahawks, you should be used to Russell Wilson dominating on your home turf. WINNER: Broncos