NFL Football 2023 Week 1 Preview. NFL fans have enjoyed the draft, caught glimpses of training camps, were informed of trades and free agency signings, and then got a sneak peek of rookie performances through preseason games. Now it’s time to sit back and watch what that wheeling and dealing has produced.
The season’s opening game was Thursday night between the Lions and the Chiefs. The Lions continued the impressive play that turned things around for them in the second half of last season, winning eight out of ten games. They upset Kansas City by a score of 21-20.
There are no Friday or Saturday games, but there is one Monday night game to close out the weekend. That’s when we all see Aaron Rodgers in his New York Jets uniform playing against the Buffalo Bills. The Bills and Josh Allen are two-point favorites, but Rodgers should keep it interesting.
Week 1 Schedule with Spread and Totals
Thursday, September 7
Lions at Chiefs (-6.5, 54)
Sunday, September 10
Panthers at Falcons (-3.5, 40)
Texans at Ravens (-10,44)
Bengals at Browns (+2, 47.5)
Jaguars at Colts (+4.5, 45)
Buccaneers at Vikings (-6.5, 45.5)
Titans at Saints (-3.5, 41)
49ers at Steelers (+2.5, 40.5)
Cardinals at Commanders (-7, 38.5)
Packers at Bears (-2, 44)
Raiders at Broncos (-4, 43.5)
Dolphins at Chargers (-3, 51)
Eagles at Patriots (+4.5, 45)
Rams at Seahawks (-4.5, 47)
Cowboys at Giants (+3.5, 46.5)
Monday, September 11
Bills at Jets (+2, 46.5)
Los Angeles Rams Visit the Seattle Seahawks
Half of the NFC West seems to be in rebuild mode, leaving the Seahawks to battle it out with the 49ers for the top spot. Unfortunately, Seattle lost all three battles against San Fran last season. Regardless, the Seahawks still have to beat the Rams and Cardinals if they hope to top the 49ers this year.
The Rams have a very young roster and will need time to be taught the ropes. Aaron Donald, the leader of the Rams’ defense, is a good mentor for the young guns. Hopefully, he’ll stay with the team another year. Cooper Kupp may miss Week 1 on the offense with a hamstring injury. He’s a big part of their offense.
Seattle averaged 23.9 points per game last season. Quarterback Geno Smith has even more targets this season. He should have no problem winning this game and covering the spread.
The Battle of Ohio
It isn’t easy to see the game between the Bengals and Browns being as close as the spread would suggest. The only way that can happen is if Joe Burrow does not play (or his lack of practice manifests in his worst performance) and Deshaun Watson plays at the high level he displayed before 2022.
Last season, Burrow missed weeks of the preseason because of an emergency appendectomy, and the Bengals lost the first two games of that season. Burrow missed almost the entire training camp this year because of a calf injury. Perhaps oddsmakers are expecting the same slow start to this year. I’d be surprised if Cincinnati couldn’t win this one by more than two points.
The Patriots Have the Toughest Schedule in the NFL, Starting with the Eagles
The Eagles arguably have the deepest roster in the NFL, but they have lost key personnel in the offseason. They have All-Pro caliber wide receivers in A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith, but they don’t have a strong backup if those two are injured.
New England has a solid defensive unit, but their offense is questionable. They’ll successfully run the ball but don’t have any stars to catch a pass. Quarterback Mac Jones had mixed success last season with 2,997 passing yards, 14 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions. He also missed a couple of games due to injury. Jones finished the season strong, so the team hopes he will continue that trend into this season. But the Eagles should win by at least five points.
Will Brock Purdy Continue to Impress?
Somehow, the 49ers have been able to compete with three different quarterbacks. They have a stacked team but will need consistency in the player under center if they want to make it far into the playoffs this year. Purdy has been given the starter position and has recovered from his elbow surgery. He’ll be playing against another second-year quarterback on the Steelers’ roster. Kenny Pickett has similar assets as Purdy, which means the defense could be the deciding factor. Pittsburgh’s defense is pretty tough, which might make it difficult for Purdy to penetrate. It all depends on how the sophomore quarterbacks perform out of the gates.
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