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NFL Pro Football 2014 Preseason Week 1 Picks

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Fearless Rick's NFL Preseason Week 1 Picks - Early Games

Rick Gagliano | August 3-9

All times Eastern - Click here for late games.

Hall of Fame Weekend
Sunday, August 3

Buffalo (-1, 32 1/2) at NY Giants 8:00 pm (Canton, OH) - Buffalo should be an easy winner in this meeting of Empire State rivals, if only because the Bills have a more talented bench and many players vying for positions, especially at wide receiver, where rookie Sammy Watkins could be a standout. Expect to see QB E.J. Manuel looking for Watkins on several occasions in the first quarter, the only time the two are expected on the field.

Buffalo should get on the board early and their defense is likely sound enough - even at this early point of the season - to keep the Ginats consistently out of the end zone, because New York was dismal on offense last season and many players will be looking at this game as merely more exercise and a chance to get in some early licks.

Don't expect much from Eli Manning or backup Curtis Painter, though rookie QB Ryan Nassib (Syracuse) may wnat to show off his talents late in the game. Overall, the Giants should focus on running the football, which was a dismal experiment last season and needs work, more than this game alone can provide, regrettably.

Prediction: Bills 24 Giants 17

Thursday, August 7

Indianapolis at NY Jets (-3, 36 1/2) 7:00 pm - Were this a regular season game, there's no way the Jets would be favored, but, since it's preseason, there's the possibility that the New Yorkers will get a meaningless win at home.

However, Indy has high hopes for this season and loads of new players and new wrinkles to integrate into the offense. Andrew Luck will come out throwing and probably won't be satisfied until he gets his unit into the end zone. The Jets, meanwhile, may still be struggling offensively and Michael Vick may create a QB controversy with his second half play.

Prediction: Colts 20 Jets 17

New England at Washington (-1 1/2, 38) 7:30 pm - Everybody likes Tom Brady, right? And, who doesn't think RG3 is a cool guy? So, we'll get to see about one quarter worth of playing time from both of these super QBs and then they'll hand the ball over to the subs.

Now, the patriots haven't been to the Super Bowl in a while, so you know coach Belichik is going to be doing lots and lots of evaluating. And for Jay Gruden, the head coach of the Redskins, this is his first NFL game (albeit, one that doesn't count), so his players might be giving a little extra effort to get coach his "baptism." That's pretty much enough to go on, and along with the short line and home field, should be enough to carry the day.

Prediction: Redskins 23 Patriots 20

San Francisco at Baltimore (even, 35) 7:30 pm - Brother vs. brother in a rematch of the Super Bowl from 2013 in which Baltimore was the winner ad it appears that they will be so again.

The Ravens had a poor season, going 8-8 and not making the playoffs, while the 'Niners were denied a second straight trip to the Super Bowl by eventual champion, Seattle.

Baltimore and Joe Flacco will want to test out newcomer Steve Smith at wideout before the backups get in, and they should get on the scoreboard. This will devolve into a macho defensive game in the second half, with Baltimore coming away with a win. Younger brother will have to await his revenge for another day.

Prediction: Ravens 19 49ers 13

Cincinnati at Kansas City (even, 36) 8:00 pm - Two teams which made the playoffs last season, both knocked off in the opening round, so a good story line here, but the Bengals seem to have a leg up on their KC rivals, despite playing in enemy territory.

Cincinnati has one of the deepest benches in the league, including A.J. McCarron at QB, who will get most of the second half snaps. He's got a good arm and will probably strut some stuff. Give this one to the invaders by a slim margin.

Prediction: Bengals 30 Chiefs 24

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Seattle (-1 1/2, 37 1/2) at Denver 9:00 pm - As much as evryone would like to see the Broncos beat the world champs, they is a team that thrives on winning, thus the odd line that makes Seattle favorites on the road.

There will be plenty of banter about what if this and that pertaining to last season's Super Bowl, but the result is likely to be the same: Seattle wins big.

Prediction: Seahawks 34 Broncos 20

Dallas at San Diego (-2 1/2, 36 1/2) 10:00 pm - The Chargers reached the playoffs last season and won a game (beating Cincy, 27-10) before being bounced out by Denver, 24-17, in the next round, so the quality is there. Dallas hasn't made the post-season in a few years (2009) and three straight seasons of 8-8 finishes under Jason Garrett isn't likely sitting well with boss man Jerry Jones, so the Cowboys must show resolve.

Probably a good thing this game is out on the coast, where Jnes will be at a distance from the coaching staff because after the starting units, there isn't much to like about Dallas.

Prediction: Chargers 31 Cowgirls 14

Friday, August 8

Miami at Atlanta (-2 1/2, 37 1/2) 7:00 pm - The Falcons found a way to lose 12 games last season, so it's doubtful they'll come up with a winning formula, even at home.

Miami at least went 8-8 and played some close games, so things are looking up for them. They have experience in Matt Moore, backing up starter, Ryan Tannehill, at quarterback and they welcome Knowshon Moreno into the fold at RB.

The Dolphins are busy fixing their base 4-3 defense, so expect a lot of guys trying to make good impressions, which means many Atlanta players being hurled about. Still, somewhat of a close call, because Atlanta backup T.J. Yates also has some game experience, but this one goes Miami's way.

Prediction: Dolphins 28 Falcons 21

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Buffalo (-1 1/2, 37) at Carolina 7:30 pm - The Bills have a game under their belts already, which partially explains why they're favored on the road. Other than that, the line makes little sense, but it is preseason and the Panthers are probably not going to be all out for a win.

However, Carolina is miles ahead of the Bills in terms of depth and management and will turn this line inside out with a win. There's a battle for the #2 QB job in Carolina, and, as for the Bills' QBs - E.J. Manuel, Thad Lewis and Jeff Tuel - well, none of them are very good.

Prediction: Panthers 24 Bills 9

Tampa Bay at Jacksonville (-1, 36 1/2) 7:30 pm - OK, somebody has to win this game. Between the two opponents, their combined record in 2013 was 8-24, both teams posting 4-12 marks.

One can make the case for either team winning or losing, but we will lean slightly toward Tampa Bay, only because they play in a better division.

Prediction: Buccaneers 17 Jaguars 14

All times Eastern - Click here for late games

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