NFL Week 1


Each week, the Cynic Sports staff will predict the winner of some of the week’s most anticipated matchups. The participants are Jeremy Karpf, Mike Eaton, Will Andreycak, Colin Hekimia, Josh Aronson and Jake Bielecki.


Buffalo vs. New York Jets

It took four preseason games and the third string quarterback, but Greg McElroy did throw a touchdown in the Jet’s final preseason game.

Mark Sanchez will now try to guide the offense and prove he should be quarterback over Tim Tebow.                                                                                                                                     This will be a defensive showdown with two of the best defenses in the AFC. The Jets return the fifth ranked total defense from a year ago, and Buffalo added Mario Williams to a defense already strong with Nick Barnett and Marcell Dareus.            Stevie Johnson is a genuine number one wide receiver and the tandem of Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller look to earn the Bills their first playoff berth of the new millennium. Bills run wild at the Meadowlands.

Picks: JK: Buffalo, ME: New York, WA: New York, CH: Buffalo, JA: Buffalo, JB: Buffalo

San Francisco vs. Green Bay

In what could be a preview of a potential playoff matchup to come, Jim Harbaugh’s 49ers will rush into Lambeau Field to take on the Packers. Quarterback Aaron Rogers will look to build upon his offensive success from a year ago, while San Francisco will attempt to bounce back from their loss in last January’s playoffs.

Since then, San Francisco has added Super Bowl hero Mario Manningham to quarterback Alex Smith’s offensive weapons. They have also added Randy Moss, attempting again to show that he still has something in the tank. The Packers have too many weapons on both sides of the ball and I just don’t see Mike McCarthy’s team dropping a home opener.

It may take until the second half, but I expect Green Bay to pull this one out.

Picks: JK: Green Bay, ME: Green Bay, WA: Green Bay, CH: Green Bay, JA: San Francisco, JB: Green Bay

Pittsburgh vs. Denver

Peyton Manning’s first NFL game in two years and his first as a member of the Denver Broncos is the story, no ifs, ands or buts. However, Pittsburgh has Big Ben Roethlisberger and standout wide receivers Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown, not to mention another installment of Steelers defense.

In the preseason, the Broncos looked strong at times, but Manning looks like a player who was out of football for over a year. He is only now building a relationship with receivers Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker.

Running back Willis McGahee will be leaned upon to a great degree to start the season, but I see Manning and the Broncos in contention for a playoff berth. Steelers win big at Mile High.

Picks: JK: Pittsburgh, ME: Pittsburgh, WA: Pittsburgh, CH: Pittsburgh, JA: Denver, JB: Denver

Cincinnati vs. Baltimore

Honestly, I am not sure which is the bigger story going into kickoff: The Bengals’ Andy Dalton and a potential sophomore slump, or a depleted Raven defense. Once the ball is kicked, though, Terrell Suggs’ absence will be felt. Dalton will show last season was no fluke and A.J. Green will continue to be his favorite target.

The Bengal defense is improved from the Wild Card team of a year ago, but the real defensive story has to be who will not be there for Baltimore.

Ray Lewis is back a year older, but still one of the best linebackers in football. So is Ed Reed, oft injured but one the best safeties playing the game today. But without star linebacker Terrell Suggs, the Raven D is missing a major piece.

Despite all of this, Joe Flacco remains a disappointment at quarterback with few weapons. Anquan Boldin is not the wide out that starred in Arizona and Torrey Smith still has to show he is a number one threat. This game will be ugly and the score will not likely reflect how hard fought the game will be. I expect a victory for the Bengals by a field goal.

Picks: JK: Cincinnati, ME: Baltimore, WA: Baltimore, CH: Baltimore, JA: Baltimore, JB: Baltimore