College football had its turn in the spotlight this past weekend but now it's time to take a back seat to the NFL and Athlon's experts are ready with their picks for every game on the Week 1 slate. The action kicks off on Thursday with defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia hosting Atlanta.
While the Eagles' title defense will no doubt be one of the top storylines, Week 1 doesn't lack for intrigue. Pittsburgh will be in Cleveland with the primary question be will Le'Veon Bell be with the Steelers and if he does play how will he look after missing the entire preseason?
New England opens up at home against Houston. Tom Brady won't have Julian Edelman to throw to and how will Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson fare in his first game back after tearing his ACL in early November? Other key players making their returns after suffering significant injuries last season include Andrew Luck (vs. Cincinnati), David Johnson (vs. Washington), Odell Beckham Jr. (vs. Jacksonville), and Dalvin Cook (vs. San Francisco).
Aaron Rodgers also will be looking to put an injury-plagued 2017 behind him when Green Bay opens at home against Chicago on Sunday night. Bears head coach Matt Nagy will be making his debut, but his arrival has been overshadowed by that of two-time All-Pro Khalil Mack. How much Mack plays on Sunday after missing all of training camp and the preseason remains to be seen, but his presence alone adds even more juice to one of the league's oldest rivalries.
Week 1 wraps up with a "Monday Night Football" double-header. The first game features Sam Darnold making history as the youngest starting quarterback in NFL history when the Jets take on the Lions in Detroit in Matt Patricia's debut. The nightcap is even more intriguing as Jon Gruden's Raiders host the Rams. Los Angeles got its best player, Aaron Donald, signed to a new long-term extension, while Oakland traded theirs (Mack) away. You don't think that will come up during the ESPN broadcast, do you?
So which teams will come out on top in every NFL game to open the 2018 season? Athlon's own Rob Doster (AthlonDoster) and John Gworek (JohnGworek), along with AthlonSports.com contributor Bryan Fischer (BryanDFischer), predict the winners for every game this week:
NFL Week 1 Predictions
Atlanta at Philadelphia (Thurs.)
Pittsburgh at Cleveland
Cincinnati at Indianapolis
Tennessee at Miami
San Francisco at Minnesota
Jacksonville at New York Giants
Buffalo at Baltimore
New York Jets at Detroit (Mon.)
Los Angeles Rams at