Prisco’s NFL Week 1 picks: Chargers roll over Raiders, Baker Mayfield tops ex-team, Jaguars upset Commanders – CBS Sports

Prisco's NFL Week 1 picks: Jaguars upset Commanders, Chargers roll over Raiders, Baker Mayfield tops ex-team - CBS Sports

One game at a time. One week at a time.

Never look ahead. It has to be week by week.

It’s a four-quarter season, with the first quarter being the most important right now.

Coach talk. Don’t you love it? Well, it also has to do with choosing games. Getting off to a good start is imperative if you want to have any chance of having a winning season – and possibly winning it all. It’s also hard to get off to a good start. There is so much uncertainty, especially with all the free agency and coaching changes every year.

Here are some tips to get you started quickly:

1. Ignore the preseason. It means nothing.

2. Look for teams that return a lot of veteran players to get off to a good start.

3. Passersby and bystanders. That’s what the league is all about. Take those teams – especially early.

With that, it’s time for my first picks of the season. I will pick the games here each week, also against the spread in ours CBSSports.com experts pick and again will hand out my best bets every week on the Pick Six Podcast.

Last year was a good season. Let’s get on with it. After all, I had a great offseason, came into this season healed from all my injuries and feel confident that I can win it all.

Of course, I’ll take it one choice at a time.

One winner at a time.

Not looking ahead to this man. Not when a Week 1 failure can ruin an entire season.

Outstanding Game | Los Angeles Rams vs. Buffalo Bills

The home team coming off the Super Bowl was a good game in these games, going 10-5-1. But I’m going to buck that trend and take the Bills to cover and win this game. Buffalo will be explosive on offense all year and it starts here. But the biggest difference is that they have Von Miller and the Rams don’t. That will mean a sack-fumble-game-ending late for the Bills to win it.

Choose: Bills 30, Rams 24

Outstanding Game | Atlanta Falcons vs. New Orleans Saints

These two teams do not like each other and it usually shows. The Saints are the better team, but what will they get from Jameis Winston every week? Marcus Mariota starts for the Falcons. He can move, but the Saints defense has a chance to be special. They will limit the Atlanta offense here and Winston will make quite a few plays on the field.

Choose: Saints 29, Falcons 13

Outstanding Game | Carolina Panthers vs. Cleveland Browns

This is the Baker Mayfield bowl. He is the starting quarterback for the Panthers after being dumped by the Browns for Deshaun Watson, who is now suspended. Jacoby Brissett will start for the Browns. Mayfield has a lot of skill talent around him and the Panthers young defense will be improved. Carolina wins it as Mayfield beats his old team.

Choose: Panthers 23, Browns 17

Outstanding Game | Chicago Bears vs. San Francisco 49ers

This is Trey Lance’s first game as the bona fide starter for the 49ers at quarterback. That can lead to a lot of pressure on the road. But the 49ers are clearly the better team. Kyle Shanahan will make it easy for Lance. Justin Fields will have trouble behind a shaky line for the Bears against a good 49ers defense. The 49ers win big.

Choose: 49ers 23, Bears 14

Outstanding Game | Detroit Lions vs. Philadelphia Eagles

The Steelers enter as a division underdog, which is a role Mike Tomlin has done well in as a coach, going 14-6. There are concerns about the Steelers offensive line, which is why this number is inflated. But Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow dealt with appendicitis during the preseason, which could lead to some rust. The Steelers will stay in this one, but the Bengals will win it late.

Choose: Bengals 23, Steelers 20

Outstanding Game | Detroit Lions vs. Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles are looking to have the makings of a deep playoff team. That is if quarterback Jalen Hurts can make strides as a passer, which is what he supposedly did this offseason. The Lions will be a fervent tough team every week, embracing the personality of their coach. But facing this Eagles offense will be a challenge for their defense. Hurts will make his season off to a good start.

Choose: Eagles 31, Lions 21

Outstanding Game | Houston Texans vs. Indianapolis Colts

This will be Matt Ryan’s first game as the Colts quarterback after coming over in a trade. Ryan is still more than capable of lighting things up, which will prove to be a challenge for the Texans defense. They can also beat Jonathan Taylor. Davis Mills looked good for the Texans late last year, which will carry here. Look for many points in a tight game.

Choose: Colts 31, Texans 27

Outstanding Game | Miami Dolphins vs. New England Patriots

The Patriots are in an unusual situation as a road dog here. They are coming off an anxious preseason, while Miami is coming off a preseason filled with Tua Tagovailoa hype. He has a lot of weapons and looked good, which makes this a big game for him. I think Mike McDaniel will get the ball out to his playmakers quickly and cause problems for a defense that isn’t as talented as years past. The Dolphins have beaten the Patriots three straight times. Make it four.

Choose: Dolphins 24, Patriots 19

Outstanding Game | New York Jets vs. Baltimore Ravens

This could be Joe Flacco starting for the Jets against his former team if Zach Wilson doesn’t return from a knee injury. Flacco won a Super Bowl for the Ravens, but it’s been a while since he did. Lamar Jackson is back healthy after a down 2021 season, and I think he’s off to a good start here. The Ravens have some pass rush questions, but they’ll get around it against their veteran quarterback. It’s close.

Choose: Ravens 26, Jets 23

Outstanding Game | Washington Commanders vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

This will be former Eagles coach Doug Pederson against his former Eagles quarterback in Carson Wentz. The Jaguars beat Wentz and the Colts last year in the playoffs, which is why he’s no longer in Indianapolis. They will beat him again. The Jaguars defense has a chance to be really good, and it shows here.

Choose: Jaguars 21, Commanders 17

Outstanding Game | Tennessee Titans vs. New York Giants

The Titans suffered a hit to their defense last week when Harold Landry went down with a torn ACL. That will affect the pass in a big way. Giants coach Brian Daboll will make his debut here and he should be able to create problems for that defense without Landry. The Titans will beat Derrick Henry, but their passing game is in trouble. The giants will circle in this one.

Choose: Titans 28, Giants 27

Outstanding Game | Arizona Cardinals vs. Kansas City Chiefs

This should be fun to watch with Patrick Mahomes vs. Kyler Murray. It will be interesting to see how Mahomes does without Tyreek Hill. Here’s a thought: He’ll be fine. The Arizona cornerback situation is shaky, which Mahomes will take advantage of here. The Chiefs will win in a high scoring game.

Choose: Chiefs 33, Cardinals 24

Outstanding Game | Los Angeles Chargers vs. Las Vegas Raiders

This game features two teams going for a playoff spot and a division title. The Raiders defeated the Chargers in the playoffs last season to reach the playoffs. This time, it will be different. The Chargers at home with Khalil Mack added to the defense will be able to slow down Derek Carr. Justin Herbert will have a big day on the other hand.

Choose: Chargers 30, Raiders 21

Outstanding Game | Minnesota Vikings vs. Green Bay Packers

Aaron Rodgers has 13 touchdown passes and no picks in his last four games against the Vikings. But he went 2-2 in those games. The difference this time will be the Green Bay defense. That unit has a chance to be special. The Vikings fight back with an explosive offense, but in this offense it is not rolling as it will. Packers take it.

Choose: Packers 24, Vikings 19

Outstanding Game | Dallas Cowboys vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

These two both come into the game with concerns about their offensive lines. That’s a problem for Tom Brady, who doesn’t move that well. Dak Prescott will be able to handle himself moving and creating problems outside the pocket. The Cowboys will win a tough, defensive game to start 1-0.

Choose: Cowboys 20, Bucs 17

Outstanding Game | Seattle Seahawks vs. Denver Broncos

This is the return of Russell Wilson to play his former team, which makes this really intriguing. The Seahawks are almost in rebuilding mode after trading him, but playing at home on Monday night will make this a tough game for Wilson. I think the Seahawks keep it close.

Choose: Broncos 27, Seahawks 23

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