Week 1 NFL Predictions

Scores from every upcoming game
By Paul Bessire, WhatIfSports.com
September 2, 2008

Each Tuesday morning will preview every NFL game of the upcoming week. Rosters and depth charts are up-to-date and as accurate as possible as of Tuesday morning before the week. All of our NFL content, including our most recent power rankings and weekly fantasy projections, is located here. If you want to take WhatIfSports weekly college football and/or NFL picks with you (to your MySpace, Facebook or personal homepage), please see the widget below on the right or at this page.

The inputs to the 201 simulations of each upcoming game are based on a rigorous analysis of each team that considers strength-of-schedule-adjusted team and player ratings and then makes modifications for injuries and depth at each position.

Games of the Week: #15 Washington 20 @ #11 New York Giants 27
The season kicks off with a divisional rivalry involving teams with playoff aspirations. For two teams that love to sack the quarterback, don't expect much pressure from either side after the Giants lost Osi Umenyiora and Michael Strahan and the Redskins lost Phillip Daniels and will likely be without Jason Taylor. Brandon Jacobs rushes for 91 yards to lead the way for the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants, who win just 52.1% of the time and by an average score of 27-20.

#4 Minnesota 23 @ #9 Green Bay 21
Two top ten teams from our most recent power rankings meet in an early season Monday night game that will tell us all a great deal about the NFC North in 2008. Aaron Rodgers' 199 passing yards bests fellow unproven QB Tarvaris Jackson's 175 passing yards, but Jackson's running game and defense a still good enough to secure the road win 62.3% of the time and by an average score of 23-21.

#8 Seattle 19 @ #12 Buffalo 18
Especially given the health (or lack there of) of the Seahawks, this game is as close as it gets. Whether it is Maurice Morris, Julius Jones, Nate Burleson, Courtney Taylor, Logan Payne or John Carlson who gains the bulk of the yards, Matt Hasselbeck should be healthy enough to lead this team to victory. In the sim, Hasselbeck throws for 204 yards and a 2:1 TD to interception ratio as Seattle squeaks by the Bills 62.2% of the time and by an average score of 19-18.

#2 Dallas 28 @ #7 Cleveland 26
Going to the Dawg Pound is a big factor here as the Cowboys are the better team, but it could be close. The Browns offense has high expectations and will likely succeed, but its secondary will be overmatched by Terrell Owens and Jason Witten (who may play receiver with the injuries to Sam Hurd and Miles Austin). Romo, Owens, Witten and Marion Barber are all top ten fantasy players at their positions this week and Derek Anderson, Braylon Edwards and Kellen Winslow are right there with them. These are two great teams with great offenses. This should be fun to watch.

Week 1 Scores for Every NFL Game

MatchupHome Win%Avg Score
Kansas City @ New England9510-37
Chicago @ Indianapolis78.717-34
St. Louis @ Philadelphia70.518-30
Carolina @ San Diego67.219-28
Houston @ Pittsburgh5919-26
Tampa Bay @ New Orleans54.120-27
Washington @ New York52.520-27
Denver @ Oakland50.824-29
Detroit @ Atlanta49.224-22
Cincinnati @ Baltimore42.625-24
Jacksonville @ Tennessee42.621-20
Seattle @ Buffalo37.819-18
Dallas @ Cleveland37.728-26
Minnesota @ Green Bay37.723-21
Arizona @ San Francisco31.128-24
New York @ Miami27.929-25

Paul Bessire is the Senior Quantitative Analyst and Content Manager for WhatIfSports.com and a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. With any comments, questions or topic suggestions, Paul can be reached at BtB@whatifsports.com. Thanks!

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