Baltimore @ Denver
Iggins!: The champs are a bit underrated coming into the season, and Von Miller is gone, sure. But I think the home field advantage and the addition of WELKAH push the Broncos to victory here.
Erik: I’m with Travis here. I think everybody’s more down on the Ravens than they should be, but I just don’t think they’ll be able to keep up with the Broncos offense. And Jacoby Jones isn’t going to be able to sneak past the safety a second time.
Code Red: I’m taking the Ravens because they are better than they were last year. Won’t win the Superbowl, though.
Mrs. Code Red: I think they’re pretty evenly matched and it should be a good game but I’m taking the Broncos mostly because I just want them to win. Call me cliché but I love Pey Pey.
Cincinnati @ Chicago
Erik: In a lot of ways, this game is the microcosm of the season for the Bears. The O-line faces a true test, and if they hold up I’m not worried about anything else the Bengals can do. I think they’ll keep Cutler clean long enough to give the Bears the win.
Code Red: These are two very similar teams, and I get the “new scheme, new coach” questions about the Bears, but I have to think the Bears win this one at home.
Iggins!: As I said on the podcast, I’m betting on the offensive line succeeding and Peanut shutting down A.J. Green. Bears win, 24-10.
Mrs. Code Red: BEARS! 20-10.
Kansas City @ Jacksonville
Iggins!: My playoff prediction for KC would look pretty weak if I took the Jags, yeah? Chiefs win.
Erik: There’s not a whole lot left to say about the Jags at this point. Chiefs.
Code Red: Can anyone take the Jags, ever? Chiefs win.
Mrs. Code Red: I think this will really be Blaine Gabbert’s year! Just kidding. Chiefs, obviously.
New England @ Buffalo
Erik: As sad as I am that Tuel isn’t starting just for the historical value, I really doubt Manuel is going to be any better. I’m interested to see how the Pats adapt to a massive personnel change in the receiving corps, but I don’t think it really matters here. Patriots win.
Code Red: Pfft. New England.
Iggins!: UPSET SPECIAL. Every so often New England loses to a shit team with a new, weird offense. Did it against Miami. Did it against Buffalo when Fitzpatrick pretended he was good and won $60 million for it. Now they get E.J. Manuel and some truly interesting packaged plays, in Buffalo. BILLS WIN.
Mrs. Code Red: Patriots. Perhaps this clearly pivotal win over the Bills will get Gronk so pumped up that he’ll miraculously heal his broken… back? arm?... everything and start next week so my fantasy love affair with him can be reignited!
Miami @ Cleveland
Iggins!: Two teams with a lot of hype around them about taking a step forward this year. I doubt either do, but I do like Cleveland to win at home here.
Erik: I think the Dolphins are more likely to make a big push this year, they looked better than anyone thought they would last year and haven’t really lost anything. Tannehill has more weapons to throw to, including a deep threat in Mike Wallace. I like the Fins here.
Code Red: The Browns will take a step forward. There’s just so many steps between them and the playoffs. I don’t think they’ll take them all. Browns win.
Mrs. Code Red: I literally know nothing worth noting about either of these teams but Imma say Miami because why not?
Atlanta @ New Orleans
Erik: This very well could be the NFC South in a nutshell. The Saints are coming off a disappointing season, but they’re back in the zone with Sean Payton on the sideline. The Falcons had a great season last year but folded against a superior opponent. Still, Matt Ryan can’t throw a bottle away without it landing in the hands of a Pro Bowl receiver, so I think the Falcons pull it out
Code Red: The Saints always seem to have the Falcons number, even when their defense can’t stop anything. Saints win.
Iggins!: There seem to be two camps of people: those who think the Falcons got really lucky last year and those who think they should have been in the Super Bowl. I don’t know which it was last year, but I do know their defense is flaming garbage and I’ll take the Saints to win in a shootout.
Mrs. Code Red: Both of these defenses blow. As Iggins mentioned, this one should come down to who has the better offense, and I’m not going to be the girl that picks against Drew Brees in a shootout. Saints win.
Tampa Bay @ New York Jets
Iggins!: I can’t envision myself picking the Jets over any team this year. Even the Raiders. Bucs win.
Erik: The Bucs are better than they get credit for, and I actually think the Jets may be worse than they get credit for. Bucs win.
Code Red: Do the Jets play the Raiders this year? Are we going to have to make that call? Bucs win.
Mrs. Code Red: I am really, really tempted to say the Jets for a chance to get one up on all the guys but I just can’t. Bucs win.
Tennessee @ Pittsburgh
Erik: The Titans are bad. The Steelers are worse than people think they are, but still good enough to breeze past Tennessee. Steelers.
Code Red: Not sure about Pittsburgh this year, but pretty sure Tennessee’s gon’ suck. Steelers win.
Iggins!: I have no idea, Tennessee beat the Steelers for no reason last year. Pittsburgh has no running game, a rapist QB, lost their best WR, and their defense is old and sad. You know what, Tennessee wins.
Mrs. Code Red: In my several years of serious football-watching I have yet to be impressed by the Steelers and I hate them because of it. But if I’m being honest with myself, I think they’ll win.
Minnesota @ Detroit
Iggins!: North divisional game in week 1? Okay then. The Lions may not be as great as they looked two years ago, sure, but even we have to admit they were ridiculously unlucky last year. The road to 7-9 begins here! Lions win.
Erik: I think the Vikings are a better team than the Lions, but they’re far too soft in the secondary to contain Calvin Johnson. Detroit’s defense will do a better job holding AP down, and Christian Ponder is about as threatening as Millhouse. Lions win, but I’m not happy about it.
Code Red: I’d like to see the VIkes fall flat on their faces here after an offseason of optimism. Lions win.
Mrs. Code Red: I don’t think the Vikings are going to be as “good” as they were last year, but I still think they’re better than Detroit. Vikes win, although it pains me to choose them.
Oakland @ Indianapolis
Erik: Ha! Hahahahaha. Colts.
Code Red: Colts.
Iggins!: The Colts are bound for a bumpy ass ride this year, but not THIS bumpy. Colts win.
Mrs. Code Red: I was trying to think of something funny to say about this game, but no joke could top the joke that is the 2013 Raiders. Colts win.
Seattle @ Carolina
Iggins!: Cam just won’t ever catch a break. His only weapon is the aging husk of Steve Smith. I think a very solid Panther front 7 keeps this one closer than you might think, but in the end Seattle gets the win.
Erik: The Panthers have a way of making it close even when you wouldn’t think it should be, but Seattle is fucking terrifying this season. Seahawks win.
Code Red: What he said. Seattle wins.
Mrs. Code Red: It seems really sad to me that Cam Newton always takes the blame for the people around him being idiots. That being said, I think the Seahawks are, as Erik put it, fucking terrifying this year. Seattle wins.
Arizona @ St. Louis
Erik: Poor, poor Sam Bradford. They took away his only real weapon, and with no Steven Jackson to at least vaguely threaten the defense, he’s gonna eat a lot of dirt this season. The Carson Palmer – Larry Fitzgerald love connection will last as long as Palmer’s arm, which is probably about six weeks. Cardinals win, prompting another “Holy shit Cardinals” overreaction.
Code Red: GAMBLIN’ TIME. Cardinals win. Is that a gamble?
Iggins!: Weird, you both picked the underdog. I’ll take the Rams to win because the improvement to the Cardinal offensive line broke its leg.
Mrs. Code Red: Rams because the Cardinals’ offensive line may be the worst I’ve ever seen and that’s saying something as a Bears fan.
Green Bay @ San Francisco
Iggins!: What, is this an early season tradition now? The niners seem to have Green Bay’s number lately, and I doubt that changes here. 49ers win, eat 0-1 Packers.
Erik: While you can never discount Aaron Rodgers, San Fran’s defense should keep the score down. Kaepernick will have a good night, as there’s not a whole lot to be afraid of from the Packers’ defense, and we will all overreact to the 49ers win.
Code Red: Well, thank you Mr. Schedulemaker. 49ers win.
Mrs. Code Red: 49ers win. Suck it, Green Bay!
New York Giants @ Dallas
Erik: The Giants looked like garbage for a lot of the last half of last season, but they’ve still got an assload of receiving talent and a scary pass rush. Romo caves under the pressure, and also maybe his chest caves under the pressure of large men hitting him. Giants win.
Code Red: The Giants defense seems….not very good-ish. Cowboys win.
Iggins!: Yeah, these teams are mirror images of mediocrity. I’ll take the home team. Cowboys win.
Mrs. Code Red: Blah blah blah Giants.
Philadelphia @ Washington
Iggins!: I have no idea what the blur will end up looking like in the NFL, so I’ll say Washington [REDACTED]s win, but with how terrible the Washington defense is I wouldn’t be shocked to see Philly win either.
Erik: I have a hard time seeing how Washington doesn’t win, honestly. It’s not like the defense was any better last season, and they still made it to the playoffs. Washington wins, but RGIII exhibits a clear loss of speed and mobility, prompting a lot of discussion.
Code Red: Welcome to the NFC East, where defense is non-existent and the preseason rankings are entirely arbitrary! Redskins?
Mrs. Code Red: I’ll go with the Redskins because I want RGIII to do well and it appears to be the safe pick here, but honestly I don’t know and I don’t care. Those are my feelings on the NFC East.
Houston @ San Diego
Erik: Houston absolutely feasts on bad teams most of the time, and this should be no exception. The Chargers have essentially nothing with which to threaten a well-rounded Texans team. Expect a lot of turnovers and Philip Rivers pouty faces as the Texans pound that bitch raw.
Code Red: That one Raiders win, if it happens? San Diego. Houston wins.
Iggins!: San Diego is garbage. Texans win.
Mrs. Code Red: Come on, Chargers. I picked you guys as my AFC team many moons ago because I liked your uniforms but it’s gotten to the point where I can’t even try to act like I care. Plus I hate Phillip Rivers. Texans win.