NFL Week 1: Bold Takes

NFL Week 1: Bold Takes

2022

NFL Week 1: Bold Takes

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Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

As part of the new NFL season, our team of writers will be unveiling a new weekly series regarding each weeks predicted upsets. Each analyst will give their top two upsets, and a few sentences as to why.

Elie Gaffen:

1. Giants will upset Titans

The Giants open up their season against the Tennessee Titans and there is some optimism in this matchup. I’m very low on the Titans this season, and I don’t see them being near as dominant this season as they were last season. They have lost a key piece in A.J. Brown, and I don’t think their offense can replicate his presence or just replace his presence by running Derrick Henry into the ground more than they already have. The Titans also are in a look ahead spot to week two against Buffalo and week one is a throw away game.

On the Giants side, I think Brian Daboll can turn this team around a little. They now get Saquon back and fully healthy who I think can be the best running back in the league this season. This is the final year I have confidence in Daniel Jones and I think he can turn it around. On top of that, road underdogs tend to perform well in week one against teams that have previously made the playoffs and with the Titans regressing, the Giants are in the perfect spot to beat them.

2. Javonte Williams will finish as the top running back in fantasy points in Week One

This Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks game is going to be a bloodbath and while most people will look at Russell Wilson to dominate, I think running back Javonte Williams is the breadwinner in this game and leads all running backs in fantasy points. This is a game where the Broncos go up early and keep with the run primarily the rest of the way. Javonte Williams has an underrated matchup against the Seahawks. The Seahawks ranked in the bottom half of opponent rushing yards per game and allowed the third most fantasy points to running backs last season.

Broncos Head Coach Nathaniel Hackett said he will ride with the hot hand between Javonte Williams and Melvin Gordon Monday night. The game will start with a 55/45 snap percentage split in favor of Williams but I expect him to be the hot hand during this game. Gordon is on the back end of his career and the talent of Williams will show up in the game and he’ll take over. I think Javonte WIlliams can get 30+ points in PPR and lead all running backs in fantasy points.

Daryan Martin:

1. The New Orleans Saints will have at least 400 total yards of total offense

In the first game last season, Winston threw for 148 yards with five passing touchdowns against the Green Bay Packers. Marquez Callaway is the only receiver still on the roster that played in the game against the Packers last year. The Saints completely revamped their receivers room and will put the league on notice after week one. Alvin Kamara is one of the most electrifying running backs with big play potential every time he touches the ball, so Atlanta’s defense coordinator should be worried about how his defense can stop the Saints offense on Sunday. The Atlanta Falcons have one of the worst defenses in the NFL as they finished 26th in total defense last year. One important factor is the Falcons did not make many changes to their defense this off-season, so fans should expect a blowout with many yards gained by the Saints.

2. The Raiders vs. Chargers game will have at least 65 total points scored between both teams

The last time the Las Vegas Raiders and Los Angeles Chargers faced off there was excitement from start to finish. Both offenses are competing with the Cincinnati Bengals and Buffalo Bills for the best offense in the NFL. Justin Herbert may have the strongest arm in football with the ability to place the football precisely where it needs to be for his receiver to make plays. Keenan Allen is in the conversation for the best route runner in the NFL and the Chargers coaches expect Mike Williams to keep ascending. While Derek Carr is reunited with his college teammate who is the best wide receiver in football in Davante Adams. Adams, Darren Waller, and Hunter Renfrow will be a tough trio to contain for opposing defenses. Carr is coming off one of his best seasons as an NFL quarterback and will continue to be on an upward trajectory as the talent around him has improved. I am expecting an offensive onslaught from each offense as they’re both too talented to be stopped.

Isabelle McCarthy:

1. The Minnesota Vikings Upset the Green Bay Packers

In 2021 Aaron Rodgers had Davante Adams but failed to shine up during week one. For the start of the 2022 season, I believe Rodgers will start the year 0-1. Allen Lazard is already listed as doubtful, and Roger’s frustration with his new receivers will continue into the regular season. The Vikings may not have a top five quarterback, but they do have a very solid guy throwing the ball to Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielan, and not to mention a solid running back in Dalvin Cook. The key for Green Bay will be their run game, with Aaron Jones getting a lot more touches, but it won’t be enough to overcome a defense that has Za’darius Smith, Danielle Hunter, Eric Kendricks, and Harrison Smith. I think the Packers will struggle against the Minnesota Vikings, and it will be a close game with a score of 30-24 in favor of the Vikings.

2. Baker Gets His Revenge

Credit goes to the schedule makers for putting the Carolina Panthers as the opponent for week one against the Cleveland Browns. Without Deshaun Watson, the Browns will struggle for 11 weeks, even with Nick Chubb at running back. However, week one’s main theme is motivation, and Baker Mayfield will have a ton of motivation when it comes to playing his former team. A team that indeed did him dirty when it came to the Deshaun Watson situation. The Browns may have the elite defense, but the Panthers do have D.J. Moore, and if healthy; a star running back in Christian McCaffrey. The Panthers defense is also underrated in my eyes, and the Browns do not have an elite quarterback at the moment, so they will be forced to run the ball a lot more. We have seen Baker Mayfield have good games against the Cincinnati Bengals, who were a big rival for Cleveland when Mayfield played for them, so I think he’ll have that same type of performance when playing against his former team. Again, I think this game will be close but the Panthers come out victorious, with a win of 38-35.

Rishi Rastogi:

1. Seahawks Upset Broncos

This may be a little too bold, but the Seahawks are overall a better team that they were last year, excluding the quarterback position. A much stronger defense with a revamped secondary including “avatar” cornerback Tariq Woolen should be able to hold their ground against Wilson and the Broncos. However, this game will come down to the Seahawks run game and their ability to chew clock out with Rashaad Penny. Rookie tackles Abe Lucas and Charles Cross will be key factors in this game.

2. Lions Upset Over Eagles

The Lions, despite a 3-13-1 season last year, proved to be an extremely competitive team that would no go down in any game without a fight. The overall consensus around the Eagles is they are a unanimous contender in the NFC, and while I agree with that, I believe they start out the season rusty. Hurts has yet to prove himself in the air game and I think Detroit’s gritty attitude will lend them the win tomorrow.

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