Bills vs. Rams, Broncos vs. Seahawks highlight the slate

Week 1 picks: Bills vs. Rams, Broncos vs. Seahawks and more appeared first on NBC Sports Bayarea

The 2022 NFL season is just getting started and if the offseason was any indication, this campaign is going to be a roller coaster.

A constant theme will be familiar names in new places. From Russell Wilson joining the Broncos to AJ Brown landing with the Eagles, the NFL landscape looks a lot different than it did when the Los Angeles Rams hoisted the Lombardi Trophy in February.

NBC Sports’ Ethan Cadeaux and Matt Weyrich return to make their picks for all 272 games this season, starting with those Rams facing the Bills on Thursday night.

Here are their picks for Week 1. All game times listed are EST.

BILLS (0-0) at RAMS (0-0)

Thursday, 8:20 p.m. on NBC

The defending champions will face the betting favorites to win it all this season when the Rams host the Bills in the NFL season opener. Both teams look absolutely loaded and the betting lines suggest it will be a thriller. This should match the pricing.

Ethan: Rams 28, Bills 21 | Checkmate: Bills 24, Rams 20

JAGUARS (0-0) at COMANDERS (0-0)

Sunday, 1pm on FOX

Two teams looking to take steps forward in 2022 will square off at FedEx Field on Sunday when the Commanders take on the Jaguars. Washington has high hopes for its offense now that new quarterback Carson Wentz is under center, while Jacksonville expects its roster to show some improvement with a capable coach in Doug Pederson.

Ethan: Commanders 27, Jaguars 24 | Checkmate: Jaguars 21, Commanders 14

49ERS (0-0) at BEARS (0-0)

Sunday, 1pm on FOX

Trey Lance and Justin Fields were the third and fourth quarterbacks in the 2021 NFL Draft, respectively, and will now open their second campaigns against each other. The 49ers kept most of their star-studded roster that was a few late stops away from reaching the Super Bowl. The Bears have one of the youngest rosters in the NFL.

Ethan: 49ers 31, Bears 13 | Checkmate: 49ers 28, Bears 7

SAINTS (0-0) at FALCONS (0-0)

Sunday, 1pm on FOX

No one believes in the Saints this year more than themselves. Drew Brees and Sean Payton may be gone, but they’re still winning it all, just like they have been for the past few years. They take out their biggest rivals right out of the gate, facing a Falcons team that already looks like Bryce Young is the starting quarterback for 2023.

Ethan: Saints 23, Falcons 10 | Checkmate: Saints 30, Falcons 3

STEELERS (0-0) at BENGALS (0-0)

Sunday, 1pm on CBS

The Bengals may be the defending AFC champs and Mitchell Trubisky is starting for the Steelers, but these AFC North games always seem to come up. Cincinnati will get a tough first test for its rebuilt offensive line, and Pittsburgh’s wide receiver pipeline will feature its newest addition in rookie George Pickens.

Ethan: Bengals 27, Steelers 21 | Checkmate: Bengals 24, Steelers 14

EAGLES (0-0) at LIONS (0-0)

Sunday, 1pm on FOX

Even though Detroit is coming off a 13-loss season, the Lions look like a fun team heading into 2022 with a plethora of offensive weapons and a coach in Dan Campbell whose players would follow him to war if he asked. However, the Eagles have a lot of high expectations, especially after trading for AJ Brown.

Ethan: Eagles 28, Lions 20 | Checkmate: Eagles 34, Lions 31

DOLPHINS (0-0) at PATRIOTS (0-0)

Sunday, 1pm on CBS

It’s a season for Tua Tagovailoa, who has an offensive lineman making the throws in Mike McDaniel and an elite duo of receivers Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle catching passes. The Patriots won’t be a pushover, though the cracks may be starting to show on this New England team that had a fairly quiet offseason.

Ethan: Dolphins 27, Patriots 14 | Checkmate: Dolphins 20, Patriots 10

RAVENS (0-0) at JETS (0-0)

Sunday, 1pm on CBS

The Jets have not announced whether Joe Flacco or Zach Wilson will start at quarterback Sunday, but it may not matter. Finally, nearly back to full strength after an injury-plagued 2021, the Ravens look poised to make another run at the top of the AFC. There are good vibes around the Jets this year, just not Lamar Jackson-caliber vibes.

Ethan: Ravens 31, Jets 21 | Checkmate: Ravens 30, Jets 14

BROWNS (0-0) at PANTHERS (0-0)

Sunday, 1pm on CBS

Baker Mayfield Revenge Game? The NFL schedule makers can’t even take credit for this, the Browns just did the most Brown thing ever by trading their displaced starting quarterback to their opponent in Week 1. While Cleveland has the better overall roster, Carolina should keep the lead under center with Mayfield going against Jacoby Brissett.

Ethan: Panthers 20, Browns 13 | Checkmate: Browns 17, Panthers 14

COLTS (0-0) at TEXANS (0-0)

Sunday, 1pm on CBS

This game won’t get much attention in a crowded 1:00 schedule, but there’s a lot to look out for in Colts-Texans with season-long implications. How will Matt Ryan fare in his Colts debut? Can Jonathan Taylor repeat as a rushing champion? How will Derek Stingley Jr. stack up against top Texan draft pick Michael Pittman Jr.? Can Davis Mills be Houston’s franchise quarterback?

Ethan: Colts 24, Texans 14 | Checkmate: Colts 27, Texans 24

TITANS (0-0) at GIANTS (0-0)

Sunday, 4:25pm on FOX

The Titans were the No. 1 seed in the AFC last season and all reports out of camp are that Derrick Henry is full. However, expectations appear to be softening for Tennessee, which selected quarterback Malik Willis after passing on Ryan Tannehill in the playoffs. The Giants, meanwhile, have been praised for hiring Brian Daboll, but there are plenty of question marks on their roster.

Ethan: Titans 23, Giants 16 | Checkmate: Titans 21, Giants 14

PACKERS (0-0) at VIKINGS (0-0)

Sunday, 4:25pm on FOX

This has ‘game of the week’ written all over it, and not just because FOX calls it that. The Packers haven’t ceded the NFC North division crown since 2018, but this year there could be an opening after trading Davante Adams to the Raiders. If there’s one team capable of passing them, it’s the Vikings and their new offensive scheme.

Ethan: Vikings 28, Packers 24 | Checkmate: Vikings 31, Packers 30

CHIEFS (0-0) at CARDINALS (0-0)

Sunday, 4:25pm on CBS

Which Cardinals were real in 2021? The ones who started 10-2, or the ones who finished 1-4 before being blown out by the Rams in the first round of the playoffs? We should find out quickly when they face Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs, who are coming off their own Jekyll and Hyde season after starting 3-4 and going 9-1 the rest of the way.

Ethan: Chiefs 33, Cardinals 23 | Checkmate: Chiefs 35, Cardinals 28

RAIDERS (0-0) at CHARGERS (0-0)

Sunday, 4:25pm on CBS

The AFC West is going to be a treat this season and these two teams will be right in the middle of it. Both teams made big offseason acquisitions as the Raiders landed Davante Adams and the Chargers bolstered their defense with JC Jackson and Khalil Mack. Every division game will have a playoff feel and this one should be no different.

Ethan: Chargers 35, Raiders 31 | Checkmate: Chargers 27, Raiders 20

BUCCANEERS (0-0) at COWBOYS (0-0)

Sunday, 8:20 p.m. on NBC

For an idea of ​​how this game might go, look no further than the 2021 NFL season opener. These two high-octane offenses led the way with a 31-29 tilt in favor of the Buccaneers who saw nearly 900 yards total attack. With Tampa Bay losing some pieces on the offensive line and Dallas having a depleted big receiver room, can they repeat those fireworks?

Ethan: Buccaneers 31, Cowboys 23 | Checkmate: Buccaneers 38, Cowboys 28

BRONCOS (0-0) at SEAHAWKS (0-0)

Monday, 8:15pm on ESPN & ABC

Russell Wilson has little time with his new teammates before he has to return to Seattle, the team that sent him to Denver after 10 seasons and eight playoff berths combined. The Seahawks will look to play the spoiler role on their own turf, something this Geno Smith-led team may be more capable of than critics give them credit for.

Ethan: Broncos 26, Seahawks 10 | Checkmate: Seahawks 24, Broncos 21

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