New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara (41) catches a pass during practice in New Orleans, Thursday, Sept. 3, 2020.
New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara (41) catches a pass during practice in New Orleans, Thursday, Sept. 3, 2020. |AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, Pool
NFL

Bet the NFL Week 1: Jared Hackmyer previews and picks all of Sunday's games and the players you need to watch

Are you ready for some football? Games are all day with a featured matchup being the Tom Brady Buccaneers vs. Drew Brees Saints.

Jared Hackmyer

Jared Hackmyer

FALCONS (-4) over Seahawks (47)

Jared’s Pick: Seahawks

Breakout Player: WR DK Metcalf

Seattle’s defense made a huge upgrade in July by by trading for Jets Safety, Jamal Adams. Seattle’s secondary now includes Adams, Quandre Diggs, Shaquil Griffin, Quinton Dunbar and Tre Flowers. This could be one of the few defenses that can stop Falcons star WR Julio Jones. Seattle’s offense should be interesting with the additions of former Panthers TE Greg Olsen and former Patriots WR Phillip Dorsett. Russell Wilson, being one of the league’s best players, should have no problem scoring against this Falcons defense with his improved offense.

RAVENS (-9.5) over Browns (46)

Jared’s Pick: Ravens

Breakout Player: QB Lamar Jackson

Baltimore arguably has the deadliest offense in the NFL. Now, with the addition of Ohio State RB JK Dobbins, their offense could be even harder to stop than in 2019. Baltimore had one of the league’s top defenses as well, but it might be interesting to see how they perform after releasing star FS Earl Thomas. One player to watch on the 2020 Ravens defense is 2020 first round LB Patrick Queen.

BILLS (-8.5) over Jets (38)

Jared’s Pick: Bills

Breakout Player: WR Stefon Diggs

After a successful 2019 season, Buffalo made major improvements this offseason. In March, Buffalo finally gave 3rd year QB Josh Allen the weapon he needed by trading for star WR Stefon Diggs. With one of the NFL’s best defenses, the Bills will now have a chance to have one of the better offenses as well. Someone to watch for on Buffalo is 2020 3rd round Utah RB Zack Moss who will be competing with RB Devin Singletary.

Raiders (-5) over PANTHERS (44)

Jared’s Pick: Raiders

Breakout Player: DE Brian Burns

This game could be one of the most even matchups week one. The Panthers are hoping to get a lot out of QB Teddy Bridgewater after signing the free agent to a 3-year deal worth $63 million. Offensive studs Christian McCaffrey and DJ Moore should be helpful for Bridgewater in adjusting to this new offense. In Las Vegas, the QB position is becoming a real problem for the Raiders. The team went out and signed free agent QB Marcus Mariota to compete with veteran Derek Carr. Carr will be the team's starter week 1, but after Mariota comes off of IR, Carr’s time as a started could be done.

LIONS (-3) over Bears (40.5)

Jared’s Pick: Lions

Breakout Player: DL Tre Flowers

The Lions are definitely a team to watch in 2020 after adding some key pieces to their team this offseason. The team selected Ohio State’s stud CB Jeff Okudah with the 3rd pick in the 2020 draft, and Georgia RB D'Andre Swift with the 35th pick. With Pro Bowl WR Kenny Golladay likely out week 1 vs Chicago, the team’s offense will definitely struggle as the Bears defense is one of the league’s best with stars like Khalil Mack, Roquan Smith, Kyle Fuller, and Eddie Jackson. Chicago’s offense is arguably bottom five in the NFL, and with the Lions’ new additions, I don’t see Bears QB Mitch Trubisky getting a W.

Colts (-7.5) over JAGUARS (47)

Jared’s Pick: Colts

Breakout Player: QB Philip Rivers

I don’t feel that the Colts are that special, but the Jaguars are probably the worst team in the league after trading stars Jalen Ramsey, Yannick Ngakoue and releasing RB Leonard Fournette. The Colts selected Wisconsin RB Jonathan Taylor in the second round of the 2020 NFL draft to boost their running game. The Colts’ defense is definitely the strength of their team with players like Justin Houston, Darius Leonard, and Malik Hooker. I don’t see Indianapolis being a playoff team in 2020, but I definitely do not see them losing to Jacksonville week 1.

VIKINGS (-3) over Packers (48)

Jared’s Pick: Vikings

Breakout Player: DE Yannick Ngakoue

Even With the losses of Everson Griffen to free agency and Michael Pierce to opting out, Minnesota’s defense still has some serious talent that every NFL offense should watch out for. The Vikings made some noise this offseason by trading for Jaguars star DE Yannick Ngakoue. With Danielle Hunter on IR, Minnesota’s pass rush won’t be as aggressive, but with Hunter and the addition of TCU CB Jeff Gladney this defense is elite. Losing star WR Stefon Diggs definitely hurts their offense, but Minnesota added LSU WR Justin Jefferson in the first round of the draft. Now, Kirk Cousins’ weapons for 2020 are Jefferson, WR Adam Thielen, TE Kyle Rudolph, and RB Dalvin Cook. Not only does this offense have potential to be among the league’s best, this team has potential to be one of the league’s best.

PATRIOTS (-6.5) over Dolphins (43)

Jared’s Pick: Patriots

Breakout Player: WR Julian Edelman

The Patriots are definitely not going to be the same team they were for the past two decades, but they are definitely a team to watch. The Pats signed Cam Newton to a deal this offseason and he was named the team’s week 1 starter. Newton is not surrounded with many weapons on the offense but WR Julian Edelman has been the team’s most reliable receiver for the last 10 seasons. As Edelman is turning 34, however, the Patriots might start to increase second year WR N'Keal Harry’s role in the offense. The Patriots lost LB Kyle Van Noy, DL Danny Shelton, and LB Jamie Collins this offseason after having a very successful 2019 season on defense. After drafting S Kyle Dugger with the 37th pick in the 2020 draft, extending S Devin McCourty, and already having star CB Stephon Gilmore and CB Jason McCourty, their secondary could easily be as deadly as it was in 2019.

Eagles (-8) over WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM (41)

Jared’s Pick: Eagles

Breakout Player: TE Zach Ertz

If the Eagles continue to struggle with injuries, their season will be over before they know it. Their week 1 injuries include RB Miles Sanders, DE Derek Barnett, WR Alshon Jefferey, DL Javon Hargrave. The team still has multiple players who are questionable for week 1. When fully healthy Philadelphia can beat every NFC East team, but with all of these injuries they won’t go far. The Eagles drafted TCU WR Jalen Reagor in the first round of the draft and he is now expected to make his debut this Sunday after struggling with an upper body injury. Reagor adds a ton of speed to the Eagles offense; he ran a 4.47 40-yard dash at the NFL combine. Aside from TE Zach Ertz, Philly’s offense doesn’t have many reliable targets for Carson Wentz. The Washington Football Team has been extremely disappointing the last few seasons, and even with these injuries in Philly, the Eagles can easily win.

BENGALS (-4.5) over Chargers (41)

Jared’s Pick: Chargers

Breakout Player: WR Mike Williams

The Chargers took a huge hit by losing star S Derwin James for the 2020 season. Some upside for the Chargers is that they gained CB Chris Harris in free agency and Oklahoma LB Kenneth Murray in the first round of the 2020 draft. I don’t see L.A.’s defense being lost without James, but now the team will need some guys to step up if they want to make some noise in 2020. The Chargers recently named QB Tyrod Taylor as the week 1 starter over 2020 first round draft choice QB Justin Herbert out of Oregon. After losing RB Melvin Gordon, the team is relying on RB Austin Ekeler who has definitely proved he can play. A healthy Chargers offense doesn’t look too bad. I don’t see the Chargers being a big threat in 2020, but they can definitely beat teams like Cincinnati and possibly win close to eight games.

SAINTS (-5) over Buccaneers (50)

Jared’s Pick: Saints

Breakout Player: QB Drew Brees

In my eyes the Saints are the better team, but realistically there is no clear winner for this game. The Buccaneers offense is loaded with QB Tom Brady, RB Leonard Fournette, TE Rob Gronkowski, WR Mike Evans, and WR Chris Godwin. The one question mark with this offense is that we don’t know if it has any chemistry. Brady, Gronkowski, and Fournette are all new to Tampa Bay. Meanwhile, we already know the Saints are a top 5 offense in the league with QB Drew Brees, RB Alvin Kamara, WR Michael Thomas, WR Emmanuel Sanders, TE Jared Cook, and play-anywhere Taysom Hill, behind an outstanding offensive line. I don’t think the Buccaneers defense has enough pieces to stop this offense, but I think the Saints defense can definitely stop Tampa Bay’s offense. Overall the Saints are better, but if this Tampa Bay offense works out, the whole league could be in trouble.

49ERS (-7) over Cardinals (45)

Jared’s Pick: 49ers

Breakout Player: RB Raheem Mostert

When you think of the 49ers you don’t think of their average offense, you think about their amazing defense. Although, with the addition of WR Brandon Aiyuk from Arizona State and star OT Trent Williams, I think we may see more from this 49ers offense in 2020. If anything, the 49ers improved this offseason on both sides of the ball. On defense they traded star DT Deforest Buckner for a 2020 first round pick. They quickly replaced Buckner with DT Javon Kinlaw of South Carolina who could boost this defense greatly. Yes, Arizona added DeAndre Hopkins, but I don’t see Kyler Murray succeeding against this D.

Cowboys (-4) RAMS (48.5)

Jared’s Pick: Cowboys

Breakout Player: WR Michael Gallup

The Cowboys were one weapon away from having an elite offense with players like QB Dak Prescott, RB Ezekiel Elliott, WR Amari Cooper, and WR Michael Gallup. Then, they went and drafted Oklahoma WR CeeDee Lamb in the first round of the 2020 draft. With their elite offensive line and weapons, this offense can be extremely tough for most defenses to stop this season. Dallas lost star CB Byron Jones this offseason and are now relying on CBs Chidobe Awuzie, Anothony Brown, and rookie Trevon Diggs of Alabama. Dallas had an unfortunate loss when recently signed DL Gerald McCoy’s season ended early with a torn quad. The Cowboys’ defense made a big addition to their D-line when they signed former Vikings DE Everson Griffen. I see Dallas as a playoff team, on paper. I’m not sure if Mike McCarthy is the right guy for this team after he didn’t succeed as much as he should with Aaron Rodgers. If you can’t succeed with Rodgers, you can't succeed with Prescott. This team is gonna be extremely exciting to watch, but I don’t know how far they will go.

Jared Hackmyer is the founder of GOATNYG on Instagram.

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