Today is the start of the road to the Super Bowl for the 30 other NFL teams who have yet to hit the field.
Today is also the reason why the Green Bay Packers will be the only team in the NFC North left standing with a win.
By virtue of the team’s 42-34 victory over the New Orleans Saints, the Packers sit atop the division after their first game. As the season kicks off and the season progresses, it’s clear that the Lions are the only NFC North team with a shot at a better record than the Packers at the end of the year – and only because of their home schedule.
While the Packers play at Atlanta, San Diego, and the New York Giants, the Lions host San Diego, Atlanta and easy games against San Francisco and Kansas City. Those games could make a huge difference in which team wins the North.
But the Packers stay on top this week. That’s because no other NFC North team will win today.
The Lions will have the best shot at winning today, but being on the road at Tampa Bay is a tough assignment. While the Lions will chase Josh Freeman throughout the day, I feel Tampa Bay’s defense will have the upper hand in the long run … and the Lions’ weakness – their defensive backfield – will be the big difference in the game.
In Chicago, the Bears open the season against Atlanta … A team still smarting from the Packers’ pasting put on them in the playoffs last year.
I put the Falcons as winners by at least 10 points. The beginning of the end of the Jay Cutler era begins today – in fact, the Bears will be lucky to win six or seven games this season.
And as for the Vikings, Donovan McNabb, and their newest $100 million man, Adrian Peterson, the won’t come close to defeating the Chargers in San Diego.
The Vikings may score early, but that will be it … Philip Rivers and the Chargers win going away, 34-13.
So, welcome to the new NFL season … It’s going to be another great year.