Fearless Rick's Football Picks - Preseason Week 1 late games

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Preseason Week 1 Early Games


WEEK 1 NFL Preseason

All times Eastern

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Friday, August 11

7:00 pm Pittsburgh Steelers at New York Giants (-3, 38) - Pittsburgh finished off the AFC North with seven straight wins to take the conference with an 11-5 mark last season, and fell short of reaching the Super Bowl, losing to New England, 36-17, after topping Miami and Kansas City in the playoffs.

The Giants were also 11-5, but qualified only as a wild card as Dallas ran away with the NFC East. New York fell flat at Green Bay, losing 38-13 to the Packers in the wild card game but they were 9-2 down the stretch and have some experienced pros and maybe the most exciting QB-WR duo in Eli Manning and Odell Beckham Jr.

With the game in New York, expect the fans to be rabid and the game to be a lively offensive showcase.


Prediction: Giants 34 Steelers 24

7:30 pm Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Cincinnati Bengals (-2, 37 1/2) - Here are two teams which actually may be going in opposite directions. The Buccaneers were one of the surprise teams of 2016, going 9-7 but missing the playoffs due to the imbalance in the NFC. James Winston had a coming-out season as the Tampa QB.

The Bengals went 6-9-1, playing the second half of the season without wide receiver, A.J. Green. But, they weren't much better with Green, 3-4-1, and 3-5 without. QB Andy Dalton is under lots of pressure to improve, though that may not be enough to defeat the young Bucs.


Prediction: Buccaneers 21 Bengals 13

9:00 pm San Francisco 49ers at Kansas City Chiefs (-4 1/2, 37 1/2) - The 49ers are simply a very bad team with an uphill climb to make over the next few seasons. Don't expect them to be competitive here, as the Chiefs are deep and talented.

This could be a major blowout win for Kansas City, barring injuries or flukes.


Prediction: Chiefs 30 49ers 10

Saturday, August 12

7:30 pm Tennessee Titans (-2 1/2, 37) at New York Jets - Until the Jets prove they are a real NFL team, it's advisable to take the other side whenever they play.

This is one of just two preseason games favoring the visiting team, which is very telling.


Prediction: Titans 22 Jets 10

9:00 pm Dallas Cowboys (-2 1/2, 37 1/2) at LA Rams - Mismatch, maybe, depending on how long the Dallas starters play. The Rams were 4-12 and managed to score just 224 points, the worst in the NFL. Since Dallas had one of the best offenses in the league (421 points, 5th), yes, this looks like a mismatch.

Dallas is probably going to take everything very seriously this season, now that they're back to being glorified by fans and media alike.

Coin Flip: DALLAS

Prediction: Cowboys 27 Rams 13

10:00 pm Oakland Raiders at Arizona Cardinals (-3, 39 1/2) - If this was a regular season game, the O/U would probably be somewhere around 50, because both teams possess potent offenses with Oakland led by Derek Carr and the Cardinals starting Carson Palmer.

The Cardinals have efficient backups in Drew Stanton and Blaine Gabbert, but, if Carr remains healthy all season, they may end up in the Super Bowl. This one is too close to call, so it's best to take the points and enjoy the highlights in a wide-open affair.

Coin Flip: OAKLAND

Prediction: Cardinals 35 Raiders 34

Sunday, August 13

1:30 pm Detroit Lions at Indianapolis Colts (even, 37 1/2) - Lots of questions to be answered on both teams as the Lions just barely made the playoffs, losing their final three regular season games and settling for a 26-6 wild card beat-down at Seattle.

The Colts were 8-8 and would like to think they'll get back to the playoffs with Andrew Luck at QB. Both Luck and Lions' QB Matthew Stafford will see limited action here, and depth may be more of an issue for the Colts than the Lions.

Coin Flip: DETROIT

Prediction: Lions 19 Colts 16

8:00 pm Seattle Seahawks at LA Chargers (-1 1/2, 37 1/2) - Seattle had an up-and-down season, despite their 9-6-1 mark and a wild card win over Detroit before giving it up to Atlanta, 36-20 in the divisional round. The Seahawks never won more than three straight, but that was somewhat because of QB Russell Wilson's immobility through much of the season.

The Chargers gave it all up at season's end, losing their last five and the team needs to make changes at a plethora of positions, so this looks like more of a look-see for some marginal San Diego guys rather than a chance to make a strong showing. Too bad it's on national TV, because it may not be the best football the NFL is capable of presenting.


Prediction: Seahawks 23 Chargers 14

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