There remains an unprecedented amount of hype and emotion surrounding the opening game week of NFL contests for the highly anticipated 2023/24 season that is sure to bring about even more action-packed plays and adrenaline-fueled encounters featuring the very best names in the league today.
The new season will officially kick off on the 7th of September for Thursday Night Football, with fans now being able to bet on all their favorite teams with the latest NFL week 1 odds on DraftKings.
With the opening week of the season dawning ever closer, these are some of our predictions for the opening week of NFL action:
- TNF: Chiefs def. Lions:
As tradition in the NFL, the reigning Superbowl champions will always be the first team to be featured in the opening game of the new season with Kansas City hosting an upstart Detroit Lions team in front of what is sure to be a raucous Arrowhead crowd.
While the Lions are expected to be one of the most intriguing teams to watch heading into the season thanks to their excellent young core of talent, they are likely to be completely outmatched by Patrick Mahomes and a dynasty-in-the-making Chiefs team.
The Chiefs enter the new season as the odds-on favorites to once again win the Superbowl this year and will be hoping to get off to the perfect start with a win at home, although this could be a very entertaining game for neutrals given the talents on display from both teams.
- Bengals def. Browns:
After just falling short of a place in the Superbowl for the second successive year, the Bengals enter the 2024 season as surefire contenders to dethrone the Chiefs atop the AFC.
However, they kick-off the new season in a tough divisional matchup against their Ohio adversary’s the Cleveland Browns who will be looking to stage a major bounce back following a disappointing 2023 campaign.
The Browns have plenty of weapons on both ends of the field which will certainly make this a tantalizing affair between two heating teams in a stacked division, yet there remains more queries surrounding Browns QB DeShaun Watson and whether he can truly help reignite a dwindling roster after some underwhelming performances last season, which may allow Cincy to see off their rivals with a win in week one.
- Jaguars def. Colts:
The Jags were arguably the NFL’s surprise package of last season after they ended the campaign with a 9-8 winning record and staged a major comeback from a 27-0 deficit to win their first playoff game since 2017, and given how young and talented their roster is they’re only expected to reign supreme over a poor AFC South division.
Indy have their own dilemma’s heading into this season which stems around their latest QB prospect Anthony Richardson who they selected with the fourth pick in this year’s draft class, yet there remains plenty of question marks surrounding whether he is truly ready to step up to the NFL level at this stage.
Jacksonville simply has a better overall roster and coaching staff than the Colts heading into the new season and will be looking to put their full list of talent on display with the latest QB-WR linkup of Trevor Lawrence and Calvin Ridley who will return to the field after a yearlong suspension.
- Bears def. Packers:
It is the dawning of a new era in Wisconsin as the Packers will field out a different choice as their starting QB for the season in former first round pick Jordan Love instead of the future hall of famer Aaron Rodgers who famously departed for New York.
With there still remaining plenty of skepticism surrounding whether Love can truly replicate any of the prior success that Rodgers implemented in Green Bay, there is certainly not an aura of optimism within the Packers camp heading into the new season.
Their bitter rivals Chicago Bears have enjoyed a tremendous offseason after trading the first overall pick for a package centered around Pro Bowl Wide Receiver DJ Moore who is expected to help reignite the dormant franchise alongside their young QB Justin Fields, with Chicago looking likely to stage a major opening day win in front of a packed Solider Field.
- SNF: Cowboys def. Giants:
There remains plenty of rumors surrounding the Giants organization and their superstar RB Saquon Barkley who expressed his dismay about the club stalling with his contract after being franchise tagged, meaning he will now skip training camp.
Should the Giants be without Barkley for their Sunday Night Game against the Cowboys, it would be expected that Dallas should be able to see of their NFC East rivals thanks to their elite defense and numerous offensive weapons.
- MNF: Jets def. Bills:
With Aaron Rodgers arriving in the Big Apple, there is now a serious amount of optimism for Jets fans for the first time in a long while.
The opening Monday Night Football broadcast will feature an enticing game between Rodgers and Josh Allen of the Buffalo Bills which is expected to be an exciting QB contest for all fans to enjoy.
While the Bills are major contenders to reach the Superbowl this year, they will face a dangerous Jets defense and a revigorated offense with an intriguing combination of Rodgers and offensive rookie of the year WR Garrett Wilson who could give the Jets their first win of the Aaron Rodgers era. For fans eager to witness these pivotal matchups leading to the Super Bowl in person, securing a seat through TicketSmarter is the smartest move to ensure they don’t miss out on the action.
Other predictions: Falcons def. Panthers, Vikings def. Buccaneers, Titans def. Saints, 49ers def. Steelers, Commanders def. Cardinals, Ravens def. Texans, Broncos def. Raiders, Eagles def. Patriots, Dolphins def. Chargers, Seahawks def. Rams.
Kenneth is a proud native of sydney, born and raised there. However, he pursued his education abroad and studied in Australia. Kenneth has worked as a journalist for almost a decade, making valuable contributions to prominent publications such as Yahoo News and The Verge. Currently, he serves as a journalist for The Hear Up, where he focuses on covering climate and science news. You can reach Kenneth at [email protected].