NFL Week 1 expert roundtable: Intriguing games, QBs on hot seat and upset picks

The first game of the 2022 NFL season is over, with Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills showing a 31-10 win over the Rams on Thursday to show why they are the favorites to take the Super Bowl crown from LA in February.

What other interesting games are on the schedule for Week 1? Which quarterback is under the most pressure at the start of the season? Who could be the upset winner this weekend? athletic NFL writers Dan Pompeii, Mike Sandow and Nate Tice discuss what they will be watching on Sunday and Monday.

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Which Week 1 game do you find interesting and why?

Pompeii: The Packers-Vikings are a good way to get the ball rolling in NFC North. The rivalry between the teams is strong. It will be interesting to see what the Packers offense looks like without Davante Adams, and it will be interesting to see what the Vikings look like with Kevin O’Donnell in charge. Vikings linebacker Zadarius Smith won’t have to wait long to show his old team what it will lose.

shirt: The Chargers pulling the Raiders out of the gate are so tempting that the Chargers devoted their offseason to fixing a defense that wasn’t enough to lift them into the turmoil on the Las Vegas team last season. It becomes an instant referendum on a game off-season as it forces the Chargers to immediately face what ruined them last season. Josh McDaniels coordinating the Raiders’ new offense adds another component, as we’ll naturally be measuring Chargers head coach and defensive architect, Brandon Staley, against one of the best offensive callers in the game. That’s a lot to absorb in week 1.

Tice: Packers-Vikings. I’ve become more and more optimistic about how this Vikings crime will look under O’Connell’s ram-inspired attack (Jared Goff version). I think the skill players they have – Justin Jefferson, Dalvin Cook and others – will fit this offense like a glove and I look forward to seeing it with Kirk Cousins ​​(hopefully) launching the ball off the ground I am excited On the Packers side, I rate their starting defensive backs as one of the best in the NFL, and want to see what this defense looks like injected with quay walkers at the linebacker. Also, what does Aaron Rodgers look like with this receiver group? What ties Matt LaFleur with this Adams-less offense? I’m sure they’ll figure it out this season, but can’t wait to see what it all looks like.

Which top story reveal will you be seeing this weekend?

Pompeii: Can the Books Protect Tom Brady? The questions go beyond departures and injuries on his offensive line. He’s even without his go-to receiver, as Rob Gronkowski will probably be on the beach somewhere, cool in hand. Cowboys defensive coordinators Dan Quinn and Micah Parsons are undoubtedly seeing opportunities for sacks.

shirt: Big hopes surround quarterbacks who either switch teams, are promoted to lineups or have their teams ramp up around them. The list included Russell Wilson for Denver, Matt Ryan for Indianapolis, Tua Tagovailoa in that remake Miami crime, Baker Mayfield in Carolina, and even Trey Lance replacing Jimmy Garoppolo – notably with Lance Justin. A Bears team, led by Fields, faced off, which was bypassed by the 49ers. Lance is taking.

Tice: The Broncos-Seahawks “Monday Night Football” game would be so intriguing. What will be the welcome of Russell Wilson in Seattle? What does a Wilson/Nathaniel Hackett crime look like? How does the Seahawks’ young offensive lineman look on top of Geno Smith? Does Pete Carroll get the urge to pound the Rock with Rashad Penny and (when he’s fully recovered) Kenneth Walker III? A fun glimpse of what’s to come should be Monday night.

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Broncos QB Russell Wilson will face his former team the Seahawks on Monday. (Ron Chenoy / USA Today)

Which quarterback is he under the most pressure at the start of the season?

Pompeii: Mitch Trubisky is trying to revive his career by replacing Ben Roethlisberger, a player who could be on his way to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The Steelers have taken on Trubisky thoroughly, naming him a captain in addition to giving him the starting job. But rookie Kenny Pickett did very well in the pre-season, and, given that the Steelers drafted him in the first round, it was only a matter of time before he became a starter.

shirt: The Broncos embraced the idea that they found their savior in Wilson at quarterback. Whether that be the case, Wilson is under pressure to lift that team up immediately, but must play his first game against the team and coach who knows him best and against a reworked Seahawks defensive plan that Didn’t reveal much in the preseason. Seattle’s offense could obviously lose the game, but is it realistic to expect Wilson and the Denver offense to immediately hit their stride? There’s more to lose than win in this game for Denver.

Tice: It has to be Wilson. He has directly or indirectly put pressure on himself to perform and perform this season. And on Monday any blame will be compounded given the sporting headlines. Overreacting for Week 1 performances is an NFL tradition, but Wilson can help by delivering cool whispers against the Seahawks.

Which rookie has the biggest chance of a Game 1 breakout?

Pompeii: Lions Age Aidan Hutchinson appears physically and mentally ready to seize a moment. And if he does, he might just moonwalk.

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shirt: The Saints’ Chris Olev is a pro-ready wide receiver facing the Falcons defense in Week 1, so he could be a candidate.

Tice: Tyler Linderbaum will bring a different skill set to Baltimore at the center. He’s an excellent athlete that the Ravens would love to get out into space as a puller, and that gives them a different flavor than the attack they’ve been on recently. If the Ravens do well against the Jets, check out Number 64 flying for the second level defenders.

Which team is overconfident in their first game?

Pompeii: I wouldn’t say the chargers are overconfident, but I would say they won’t get any better. The Raiders are a dangerous opponent, and they are even more dangerous because it is Week 1 and they have a new coaching staff.

shirt: I have no way of quantifying the overconfidence in the league, but this off-season has been a great celebration of the Eagles’ incredible roster, with little regard for some of the risks associated with the players the team is relying on. . I hope Philly beat the Lions in the opener. I expect Philly to win that game as well. But the last time we saw the Eagles, they went 31-0 in three quarters of a playoff game. It seems to have been completely forgotten.

Tice: I think every team is overconfident at the moment, but as Mike Tyson said: “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” If I had to choose one, it would be the Chargers – not because of my own ego, but because of how they are discussed by third parties. I’m just as excited as others to see Justin Herbert and the Chargers take a step forward this year, but every game in the AFC West division is going to be a fistfight. We’ll see how this team reacts to the bloody lips.

Which team will be a surprise winner in Week 1?

Pompeii: Jaguars are a troubled candidate. They are a more talented team than they have been credited for, Trevor Lawrence is ready to make a big move and Doug Pedersen is about to make him play. The commanders are ready for a dogfight, no doubt about it.

shirt: There are some big troubled candidates. We don’t know who might come out flat or anything, but the Packers lost their 2021 opener 38-3, and they now visit the Vikings to open this season. I actually really like Green Bay this season and think it could be a Super Bowl season, but the Packers parted ways with the Vikings last season. Minnesota is not bad. Given the long-shot upset, I wouldn’t be surprised if Seattle won against Denver at home, if it took some time for Wilson and that offense to synchronize.

Tice: Giants over Titans. The Titans have a strong defense, but their offense seems to be in transition after Tennessee sends AJ Brown to the Eagles. The Giants are rebuilding and reevaluating their personnel with a new reigning charge and Daniel Jones is still proving he’s worth it as a starting quarterback. He is now with a creative coaching staff, however, he would probably prefer to use his feet to make things easier for his offense. The Giants also have a healthy Saxon Barkley and a lot of draft capital invested in their offensive line. Look for an ugly fistfight in Nashville, with the Giants a strong candidate who not only covers his 5.5-point spread but takes an outright win.

(Top illustration: Wes McCabe / athletic, Photos of Josh McDaniels, Tom Brady and Zadarius Smith: Getty Images)

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