NFL picks Week 1: Chiefs-Texans and all the others

2 of 3

Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

New Orleans Saints at Arizona Cardinals (-2.5)

One of the better games of the week. New Orleans has a suddenly underrated offense, but the loss of corner Keenan Lewis to hip surgery is going to loom large in this game. Defensive coordinator Rob Ryan’s only hope is to dial up ample pressure and get the skiddish Carson Palmer to throw interceptions. The Saints will get home, but not often enough.

Pick: Arizona 26, New Orleans 21

Detroit Lions at San Diego Chargers (-3)

This is the most even game of Week 1. San Diego has the slight edge because it is home, but this will come down to the wire. The Chargers match up a bit better with the Lions than the other way around, because San Diego’s corner tandem of Jason Verrett and Brandon Flowers will slow down Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate. If Detroit wins, it will be because of Ameer Abdullah.

Pick: San Diego 24, Detroit 20

Tennessee Titans at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-3)

Th battle of rookie quarterbacks, featuring Marcus Mariota vs. Jameis Winston. Frankly, this should not be much of a contest. Both teams finished 2-14 in 2014, but only one has the talent befitting of that record. The Buccaneers should put up some passing yardage and plenty of points in a Week 1 win.

Pick: Tampa Bay 28, Tennessee 17

Cincinnati Bengals (-3.5) at Oakland Raiders

Upset special, part two. The Raiders are a much-improved and have a real coach in Jack Del Rio. Meanwhile, does it not feel like Cincinnati is about run its course with this group? Last year, I predicted the 49ers would implode, and they did. This year, the Bengals are about to go up in smoke. The jig is up for Andy Dalton and Marvin Lewis.

Pick: Oakland 23, Cincinnati 21

Baltimore Ravens at Denver Broncos (-4.5)

Denver is going to be a fascinating watch. Peyton Manning and the offense have looked lost all offseason in the first year under Gary Kubiak’s scheme. However, the defense has looked out of this world. Baltimore doesn’t have much to offer offensively outside of Steve Smith, but head coach John Harbaugh will make this a competitive affair.

Pick: Denver 22, Baltimore 20

Next: Primetime...