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10.14.20 Sowing's Week 6 Picks10.09.20 Top 15 Antlers Songs
10.07.20 Sowing's Week 5 Picks10.01.20 Sowing's Week 4 Picks
09.22.20 Sowing's Week 3 Picks09.21.20 User Spotlight: September 2020
09.16.20 Sowing's Week 2 Picks09.10.20 Sowing's Week 1 Picks
08.24.20 Sowing's 2020 NFL Predictions08.20.20 User Spotlight: August 2020
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Sowing's Week 1 Picks

At it again. Week 1 is always a tough week to predict - but with the additional elements of confusion resulting from COVID, fewer practices, and no preseason - every game feels like a virtual toss-up. Now that I've made all my excuses, here are your 100% surefire, factual, take-it-to-the-bank predictions for the first NFL week of 2020. As usual for these type of prediction-lists, "list is digs".
1Bill Callahan
Gold Record

Chiefs 41, Texans 20 - There's no telling how this strange offseason will impact offenses and chemistry, but if it plays a significant role, then KC has continuity on its side. There's a lot of new faces in Houston (David Johnson, Brandin Cooks, Randall Cobb), and none of them come close to making up for the organization frivolously trading away the best receiver in football. Plus I can't see the Texans stopping Mahomes on most drives. Chiefs roll in their 2020 home opener.
So Glad You Exist

Seahawks 23, Falcons 20 - A lot has been made of Gurley's arrival in Atlanta, but is he the same player he used to be? I actually like TE Hayden Hurst as a breakout candidate more than Gurley - he's more athletic than Austin Hooper was and should get some chunk plays up the seam. Both teams have question marks on defense, but at the end of the day, I like Russel Wilson to pull a rabbit out of a hat in the final two minutes,
3Zella Day
Where Does The Devil Hide

Ravens 30, Browns 24 - Are the Ravens reeling from that horrid postseason exit still? We'll find out, but I think the more likely scenario is that they come out angry. After running up the halftime score to something like 23-7, I do think Cleveland will chip away and make it closer than it should be. They've had an uncharacteristically quiet offseason (poop-gate notwithstanding), and the absence of suffocating expectations bodes well for them. Ravens escape with the W, though.
Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum

Bills 21, Jets 17 - The Jets are among the saddest franchises ever, and despite the nagging feeling that 2020 will be a(nother) dumpster fire season for them, I have an even stronger hunch that they will play the Bills close. I can't explain it so don't ask. In the end, the Bills' defense bails out a shaky offensive performance to seal what should have been an easy Buffalo victory.
5Ruston Kelly
Shape and Destroy

Raiders 38, Panthers 27 - Ah, to be young and have no defense. The Raiders, and especially the Panthers, are leaky on that side of the ball - so I expect a high scoring affair. The Panthers may very well end up with the no.1 draft pick in 2021, but I still expect them to put up points with the weapons they have on offense and a (hopefully) innovative college offense under new coach Matt Rhule. They won't stop the Raiders though, who are one of my sleeper teams for 2020. Raiders win a fun-to-watch shootout.
6Vita and the Woolf
Anna Ohio

Bears 20, Lions 17 - I can't decide on a reason why either of these teams should win. They've both nestled snugly into mediocrity and have little-to-no dangerous weapons. I guess the Bears could win because Trubisky has something to prove...I dunno. Also Matt Patricia is a shitty coach/pirate.
7The Killers
Imploding the Mirage

Colts 34, Jaguars 16 - Make no mistake, the Colts are not as good as that score suggests. But the Jaguars are that bad. Unless you believe that Gardener Minshew is the messiah, in which case...yeah, you know what - not even God can save the Jags. Colts easily roll, and both Mack and Taylor amass over 100 yards rushing while Philip Rivers just hands the ball off and looks pretty (
8Maya Hawke

Packers 31, Vikings 21 - There's no fury like an Aaron Rodgers scorned. I expect him to go on an absolute tear this year simply to hold off the Jordan Love era. Also, I expect the Aaron Jones/AJ Dillion combination to be for the Packers what the Coleman/Mostert was for the 49ers last season. The Vikings, sans Minneapolis Miracle hero Stefon Diggs, are down one less weapon and won't be able to keep up.
9Bright Eyes
Down in the Weeds, Where the World Once Was

Patriots 32, Dolphins 14 - The dark lord Belichick always finds a way. Even if it means running the football 70 times, lining up Cam Newton in the slot, or unleashing COVID in the opposing team's locker room, he will refuse to lose the pissing contest with Tom Brady as to who will do better this year. In other news, the Dolphins still suck.
The Golden Days are Hard

Eagles 30, Football Team 7 - Is there a sadder franchise than Washington right now? They were pressured into a name change and, geniuses they are, landed on the interim name of not having a name at all. Their owner is facing sexual assault charges from 15 different women. Head coach Ron Rivera is battling cancer. It's all just gone to shit in the nation's capital. If they had some quality veteran leadership they might use it as an "us against the world" mentality to unite, but instead they have Dwayne Haskins. Eagles win this one without really breaking a sweat.
11Young Jesus
Welcome to Conceptual Beach

Bengals 23, Chargers 20 - I smell an upset here. Joe Burrow himself can't save the Bengals, but people seem to forget that they have some potent weapons surrounding him. On the other hand, I don't have faith that Tyrod Taylor - who couldn't hold off Baker Mayfield for the starting job in Cleveland - is the man to lead what should be a good Chargers' offense. I expect to see Justin Herbert starting before Week 5. Cincy ambushes LA in a surprise week 1 upset.
12Orville Peck
Show Pony

Saints 38, Buccaneers 33 - This is when we find out if all the hype about Tom Brady's Bucs is worth it. Tampa is loaded with weapons, but will it all gel together? If there's anyone out there who can make it happen, it is Brady. The Saints are quite loaded themselves though, and are ready to begin the long march back to another early playoff exit. Saints squeak out a high scoring victory.
13Jaye Jayle

49ers 31, Cardinals 17 - The Superbowl hangover is real, and while I do believe that the 49ers will be one of the most disappointing teams of 2020, I don't think it begins here. Arizona is my long-term favorite to shock the league, but a road opener against the defending NFC champs returning their entire roster is not favorable. Look for the 49ers defense to squash an Arizona offense still trying to gel, but these teams will head in opposite directions later on in the season.
14The Microphones
Microphones in 2020

Cowboys 27, Rams 23 - I expect big things from Dallas this year, and it starts with a road win over the declining Rams. I'm not sure how new coach Mike McCarthy will utilize Dallas' offensive weapons, but I envision less of a workhorse role from Elliott, as McCarthy's teams rarely emphasized the run. That could mean big things for Dak/Cooper/Gallup/Lamb. The Rams will still put up points with McVay's system, but they're missing a lot of the big names that got them to the Superbowl two years ago.
15Alanis Morissette
Such Pretty Forks in the Road

Giants 24, Steelers 21 - Another big upset pick here. The Steelers have the edge on defense, the Giants have the edge on offense. I like Daniel Jones to break out this year - he quietly put up some excellent numbers as a rookie last season and is surrounded by Saquon Barkley, Evan Engram, Golden Tate, Sterling Shepard, and Darius Slayton. The man's got an entire arsenal of weapons at his disposal. This pick is somewhat predicated on the assumption that Big Ben will need to shake off the rust, too.
16Land Of Talk
Indistinct Conversations

Titans 20, Broncos 17 - While I don't suppose that we can count on another cinderella-style run to the AFC Championship again this year from the TItans, I do think they have enough going for them to edge out the Broncos. They're actually similarly built teams - centered around the running game and a strong defense. I expect a low-scoring affair, but Tennessee emerges with the winning field goal after a big pass to AJ Brown (who I love this year) sets them up in good position. The Melvin Gordon/Philip Lindsay tandem for Denver should be amazing if both players can stay healthy - another thing to keep an eye on.
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