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Sports Gab Network Senior Editor Matt Loede’s NFL Picks for Week 1

Well, hard to believe we’re ready to go with week one of the regular season already. Seems like yesterday I was watching Tracey Porter strut to the end zone to clinch Super Bowl XLIV. That’s how fast time flies, and I for one am ready for week one of the regular season. With that, here’s my picks for the first week of action.

Carolina at New York Giants – The Panthers laid a whippin last season on the G-Men with a 41-9 win at Giants Stadium. This time around it’ll be different, as the Giants start the season with a win with a big game from Eli Manning and the Giants D lay down a measure of revenge in getting a win. NY Giants 27 Carolina 10

Oakland at Tennessee – The Titans started 0-6 before they went on a run to end the season 8-8. This is finally the time for Vince Young to shine, and while the Raiders made some improvements on both sides of the ball, look for Chris Johnson to have a big day and the Titans to start out at home with a win. Tennessee 17 Oakland 9

Cleveland at Tampa Bay – Last season the Browns started 1-11 before winning their last four games to end 5-11. This time around they start with two softies in the Bucs and Chiefs before their season gets a lot tougher. They should be able to control the Bucs young offense, and while Jake Delhomme isn’t the answer long term at QB for the Browns, he’s good enough to win in Tampa against the Bucs D. Cleveland 24 Tampa Bay 13

Miami at Buffalo – Smells like a trap game to me. I know, it’s week one, how can there be a trap game in week one? Easy, no one thinks the Bills have much of a shot at home, and the Dolphins are getting all the press as getting an easy week one win. While they will find a way, it won’t be easy, as look for C.J. Spiller and the Bills to give the Fins all they can handle. Miami 17 Buffalo 14

Cincinnati at New England – My favorite game of the early slate, the Bengals want to prove that 2009 was no fluke. The Pats are also a team getting peeved at what little press they are getting entering 2010, and I think here they open some eyes against the Bengals secondary. Look for a big day for mega-millions winner Tom Brady and Randy Moss, while the Pats prove you better not overlook them so fast in 2010. New England 35 Cincinnati 24

Atlanta at Pittsburgh – Both teams want to establish the run games with Michael Turner with the Falcons and Rashard Mendenhall. Dennis Dixon, Steelers QB, is the real “X” factor of this game, as if he comes out and plays well, the Steelers should win this game. If he stinks up Heinz Field, the game is the Falcons for the taking. Matt Ryan is going to get forced into a mistake or two, and the Steelers D wants to show that they are still a force in the NFL. Pittsburgh 17 Atlanta 13

Indianapolis at Houston – Is it finally time for the Texans to take the leap to being one of the elite in the NFL? A week one win over the Colts would go a long way in proving that, but it won’t happen. Indy is still stinging from last years Super Bowl loss to the Saints, and Peyton Manning wants to right away show they are still the class of the AFC. Expect the Texans to hang around, but in the end, the Colts will find a way – like they always seem to do. Indianapolis 27 Houston 23

Detroit at Chicago – You have to like what the Lions are building in Detroit with their offense led by Matthew Stafford. I love Calvin Johnson, and if rookie RB Javid Best steps up and takes control of the run game, the Lions could be fun to watch again. Mike Martz is being asked to do a revamp of the Bears offense, and while it won’t be like the 1999 Rams, it will be better. Jay Cutler and the Bears offense too much for the Lions early in 2010, Bears win. Chicago 29 Detroit 14

Denver at Jacksonville – The Jags are a mess, with David Garrard not having the fans support, and rumors of a knee injury surrounding Maurice Jones-Drew. The Broncos have again made a big offseason subtraction, getting rid of WR Brandon Marshall. They will try to pound at the Jags, who have beaten them four straight times in J-Ville. The Broncos break that streak this time around. Denver 17 Jacksonville 10

Green Bay at Philadelphia – A great game on paper, the country seems to be on the Packers bandwagon with Aaron Rodgers leading the way as a possible MVP. He’s got weapons with Greg Jennings, Donald Driver and Ryan Grant at RB. Can the Eagles stay a contender with new QB Kevin Kolb? Their D has to step up and force mistakes from Rodgers, and their offense has to be able to control the ball. The Pack hasn’t won in Philly in a long time – till Sunday. Green Bay 38 Philadelphia 27

San Francisco at Seattle – Suddenly the Niners seem to be the team to beat in the NFC West with issues all around the other three teams. The Seahawks think that Pete Carroll can turn things around, but it will not be that easy. San Fran has a great young roster, and if Alex Smith can be just a middle of the pack QB, the Niners will be a force in the NFC. San Francisco 20 Seattle 10

Arizona at St.Louis – Two years ago the Cardinals were in the Super Bowl, and now they are a team in risk of going through a rebuild. Derek Anderson teased fans in Cleveland for a few seasons before he was run out of town, and now the Cards are giving him the ball. Good luck. Arizona will win this one, as the Rams are still a mess and won’t win more than 4 games in 2010, but I am deeply concerned that the Cards are a team on the decline right now. Arizona 19 St.Louis 12

Dallas at Washington – Dallas could be the first ever team to play the Super Bowl in their home stadium, but let’s not start looking that far ahead. There’s a lot of pressure on Wade Phillips and Tony Romo to get the job done, and the new look Skins want to ruin their party on Sunday night. No way Donovan McNabb is 100 percent, and look for the Cowboys to pressure him all night. I see the Skins having issues early in Mike Shanahan’s coaching tenure. They still have the black cloud of Albert Haynesworth hanging over them, and a team that isn’t quite ready to be a contender. Unlike Dallas. Dallas 35 Washington 20

Monday Night

Baltimore at New York Jets – The most overhyped team in history, the Jets, finally take the field for real. After watching potty mouth coach Rex Ryan and the Jets in ‘Hard Knocks’ one has to wonder if this team is really ready for prime-time. They haven’t played all that well in preseason, and there seems to be a sense that if Mark Sanchez has issues, this team could falter fast. The Ravens are ready to make a Super Bowl run, and have gone out and made sure they have covered all the bases. Could Anquan Boldin be the thing to get this club over the top? Too early to tell, but they will take out this overrated Jets team that will be wondering what hit them after this setback. Baltimore 17 New York Jets 12

San Diego at Kansas City – New look stadium, same not so good Chiefs. Kansas City thinks they will make a leap in 2010, but they are still a very young team that is a few years away from being a contender. The Chargers are the class of the AFC West, and with Philip Rivers and rookie RB Ryan Mathews running circles around teams in the division, they will be again in the post season and it will start this week with a win over the Chiefs. San Diego 27 Kansas City 7

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