NFL Schedule - Team vs. Team - Week 1
Week 1 of the NFL season for 2012 is ready to rumble! With only a few weeks left on the count-down clock, OnlineGambling.com has prepared a number of NFL game previews to assist you with handicapping your NFL bets.
View the 2012 NFL Schedule Game Previews Below
Both the Atlanta Falcons and Kansas City Chiefs possess impressive attacking weapons. This should be a high scoring game as the Falcons attacking trio of; Matt Ryan, Julio Jones and Roddy White, take on the Chiefs trio of; Matt Cassel, Dwayne Bowe and Jamaal Charles. The Falcons are expected to be more attacking on offense in 2012 and because of this should have the edge over the Chiefs who are likely to play more conservatively.
This is a very important match for these AFC East rivals. Both sides need a strong start to the season to be considered legitimate contenders for the AFC East title. The Jets are under a great deal of pressure after a very lackluster preseason. Their offense has simply looked terrible with neither Mark Sanchez nor Tim Tebow impressing at quarterback. However, the Bills also struggled in the preseason, finishing 0-4, but the form of Fitzpatrick has been promising. Because of the Fitzpatrick factor we are tipping an upset in this game.
The Panthers and Buccaneers had contrasting seasons in 2011, as the Panthers improved significantly while the Buccaneers regressed in all areas of their game. The Buccaneers offense, under new coach Greg Schiano, should be very aggressive this season and will take the attack to the Panthers defense. However, the Panthers are full of confidence heading into this season and should be able to win what is likely to be a high scoring game.
This is the first game of the season in the hard fought AFC North division. The Bengals surprised most experts, by making the playoffs in 2011, and were competitive in both games against the Ravens last season. There are question marks over the Ravens defense, because of the loss of reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year Terrell Suggs, and they will be tested by the Bengals sophomore combination of Andy Dalton and A.J. Green. However, the Ravens are still a strong side and should be too good for the Bengals.
NFC East rivals the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants face off in the first game of the 2012 NFL season. The defending Super Bowl champions defeated the Cowboys twice in 2011 and are favored to do so again in 2012. The Cowboys can never get their passing game going against the Giants, because of the presence of pass rusher Jason Pierre Paul, and their defense isn't good enough to carry them to victory. Giants quarterback Eli Manning generally performs well against the Cowboys and should be able to lead his team to victory.
Colts quarterback Andrew Luck makes NFL debut against the Jay Cutler led Chicago Bears. Luck has looked very impressive in the preseason and the Colts have shown definite improvement from their disastrous 2011 season. However, the reuniting of Cutler with star wide receiver Brandon Marshall has Bears fans very excited and the pair, as well as Bears running back Matt Forte, should be too much for the Colts defense to handle.
The Jaguars and Vikings both go into the 2012 season with very little expectation. The Vikings are focused on developing young quarterback Christian Ponder and nursing star running back Adrian Petersen back to health. The Jaguars quarterback, Blain Gabbert, has showed improvement in the preseason from his terrible rookie season but he still has a long way to go. This should be a tight game but the x-factor of Ponder and wide receiver Percy Harvin should be the difference.
The Houston Texans go into the 2012 season as legitimate Super Bowl contenders while the Miami Dolphins have entered a rebuilding phase with Ryan Tannehill as quarterback. This game should not be close. The Texans are simply far more talented than the Dolphins on both sides of the football. The Texans offense will be looking to work on team chemistry as Arian Foster, Andre Johnson and Matt Schuab reunite after an injury plagued 2012 season while their defense should have no problems handling the Reggie Bush led offense.
The Tennessee Titans have a tough start to the season and it doesn't get much tougher than a first week encounter with the New England Patriots. Young Titans quarterback Jake Locker has the daunting task of playing his first NFL game as starter against the reigning AFC Champions. Locker is a good young quarterback but Tom Brady and the Patriots should have no problems accounting for the Titans in week 1. They will be hoping their defense shows signs of improvement after struggling in 2012.
The Philadelphia Eagles are expected to open their season with a strong victory against the young Cleveland Browns. The Eagles are under pressure to perform in 2012 and will be desperate to start the season stronger than they did last year. The Browns have added talent in key areas, with Brandon Weeden at quarterback and Trent Richardson at running back, but with Richardson injured and Weeden adjusting to a new system they won't trouble the Eagles defense. The Eagles will be looking to make a statement and put other teams on notice.
Peyton Manning makes his much anticipated debut for the Broncos against the Steelers. The Broncos, without Manning, defeated the Steelers in week one of last season's playoffs and the Steelers will be out for revenge in this game. This is an incredibly hard game to handicap as there are a number of question marks hanging over both squads. It is still unknown how Manning has gelled with his new wide receivers or how the Steelers has adjusted to life under new offensive coordinator Todd Haley. This is possible the most interesting game of the round and the hardest to handicap.
The AFC West is one of the closest divisions in the NFL and both of these sides will be keen to get a win against their divisional rival. The Chargers have added almost a dozen free agents to their squad for 2012 while the Raiders have only a few new faces because of salary cap concerns. This game is likely to be a passing duel between Philip Rivers and Carson Palmer. Palmer has the ability to throw for big yardage but has struggled with consistency while Rivers is coming off the worst season of his career. Rivers should bounce back here and lead his side to a narrow victory.
The battle between the San Francisco 49ers and Green Bay Packers will be one of the most intriguing of in Week 1. The strongest offense in the NFL takes on the strongest defense. Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers will have to be at his very best to lead his side to victory over the 49ers. The 49ers defense was superb throughout 2011 and is likely to be an even better in 2012, after a full offseason with Jim Harbaugh. However, there is still a major question mark hanging over the 49ers offense, especially quarterback Alex Smith. It is difficult to see them scoring enough points to keep up with Rodgers and the Packers.
Both sides' preseasons have been dominated by quarterback competitions. The Seahawks have gone with exciting rookie Russell Wilson while John Skelton will be the starter for the Cardinals. Wilson adds an x-factor to the Seahawks offense and has been absolutely superb in the preseason. Skelton is solid without being spectacular but will be helped by superstar wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald. The difference in this game might be the Seahawks defense. Their defensive unit is very strong and will trouble the Cardinals offense.
Two former NFL number one draft picks will meet as Sam Bradford leads the Rams to face Matt Stafford and the Lions at Ford Field. The Lions are expected to win this game easily. Stafford developed into an elite quarterback in 2011 and the Rams will have a great deal of trouble shutting down wide receiver Calvin Johnson. Bradford is a decent quarterback but has no receivers to throw the ball to and a poor offensive line. Don't be surprised if this game is a blow-out.
2011 Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III will make his NFL debut against the New Orleans Saints. The Saints have had a highly disrupted offseason, with head coach Sean Payton being suspended for the 2012 season after the bounty scandal. However, the Saints are a professional team led by one of the best leaders in the NFL, in Drew Brees, and should be able to put the disruption behind them. The Redskins could cause a few boil overs this season but the Saints offence should be too strong for them in week 1.