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NFL Picks, Week 1: Lots Of Question Marks In Early Predictions

I take a look at what's likely to happen in Week 1 of the 2012 NFL season. For an in-depth look at the region's teams, see the 49ers pick here and the Raiders pick here.

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We've already taken specific look at the San Francisco 49ers and their matchup with the Green Bay Packers, and of course the Oakland Raiders' Monday Night Football showdown with the San Diego Chargers. Of course, I went ahead with the homer picks and went with the 49ers and Raiders to secure the wins early on the season, but there was some solid reasoning. You can even go read for yourself.

Click here for the 49ers pick and here for the Raiders pick.

That being said, every Friday I'll try my hand at picking the rest of the games on a weekly basis. We'll miss out on Thursday games but who cares about those anyway? Thursday is a working day, don't you know? At any rate, I'll touch up on certain games and generally just provide my own insight. I'll probably keep track of how bad my picks are throughout the season as well.

Week 1 presents some interesting matchups. The most compelling of which is San Francisco vs. Green Bay, but other than that, there's some big questions to be asked: are the Indianapolis Colts really that bad or was 2011 out of the norm? Will Matthew Stafford and the Detroit Lions beat the St. Louis Rams as badly as everyone thinks they will? Can Buffalo roll through a disorganized Jets team? What will Peyton Manning look like?

There's so many variables when you're in Week 1. A couple weeks in, and you might have an easier time with the picks. For now, let's take a look at a couple specifics, shall we?

Lock of the Week: Stafford and the Lions should absolutely wreck shop on Sam Bradford and the Rams. It's hard to imagine St. Louis winning in any way, short of a total Lions meltdown. Detroit will take it by a couple touchdowns and it won't be pretty.

Tossup of the Week: Aside from San Francisco vs. Green Bay, the biggest toss-up is likely the matchup between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Denver Broncos. Manning is the real question mark, while the Steelers defense continues to age. Who knows how this one will turn out? Let's flip a coin and call it.

Something Extra: Another potential beatdown could be the Houston Texans' opener against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday. That game will probably not be pretty for any Miami fans.

The Picks

Chicago Bears 21, Indianapolis Colts 16
Philadelphia Eagles 13, Cleveland Browns 7
Detroit Lions 28, St. Louis Rams 10
Houston Texans 31, Miami Dolphins 17
Atlanta Falcons 21, Kansas City Chiefs 7
Minnesota Vikings 14, Jacksonville Jaguars 6
New Orleans Saints 24, Washington Redskins 19
Buffalo Bills 17, New York Jets 10
New England Patriots 27, Tennessee Titans 24
Seattle Seahawks 16, Arizona Cardinals 9
San Francisco 49ers 17, Green Bay Packers 16
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 14, Carolina Panthers 10
Pittsburgh Steelers 17, Denver Broncos 14
Baltimore Ravens 14, Cincinnati Bengals 10
Oakland Raiders 21, San Diego Chargers 10