Chiefs, 49ers, Raiders win to start 2020 season

SANTA CLARA — In a blink of a sucker-punched eye, 2020 brings us the NFL season tonight. Will it end on time Feb. 7, with the Lombardi Trophy on a Tampa Bay catwalk? Hold on, one prediction at a time, and let’s cut to my Week 1 nasal swabs:

Chiefs 24, Texans 17: The defending Super Bowl champs paid off their QB, tight end, head coach and GM. The 49ers pretty much did the same, minus the championship ring engraved with how the Chiefs overcame a 10-point deficit in SBLIV. (Line: Texans +9 1/2)

49ers 31, Cardinals 16: George Kittle vowed at the Super Bowl to go on a Revenge Tour, and it starts with an opponent that took out his ankle, knee and two ensuing games last year. “He’s going to go down as one of the best ever – if he stays healthy,” Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury said Wednesday. (Line: 49ers -7)

Raiders 26, Panthers 24: Never bet against a relocated Raiders team, who won their 1982 opener (Los Angeles 1.0) and 1995 (Oakland 2.0). Viva Las Vegas, by way of Charlotte. (Line: Raiders -1 1/2)

Ravens 20, Browns 18: Go with the old adage: Never bet against a reigning MVP who got bounced before he made it to the Super Bowl. Meanwhile, the Factory of Sadness is back in business as Kevin Stefanski’s loses his Browns coaching debut. (Line: Browns +8 1/2)

Falcons 27, Seahawks 16: New Falcons rusher Todd Gurley reacquaints himself with a Seahawks defense that has yielded more yards (694) and touchdowns (11) to him than any other opponent when with the Rams. (Line: Falcons +1)

Bills 33, Jets 17: Stefan Diggs, heretofore Mr. Minneapolis Miracle, will become the Niagara Fall Guy if the Bills don’t win the Brady-less AFC East. (Line: Bills -6)

Lions 27, Bears 24: If Matt Patricia falls to 0-5 all-time against the Bears, then the Lions should hire Robert Saleh away from the 49ers for next week’s game. More likely: Lions/Saleh in 2021. (Line: Lions -1)

Colts 28, Jaguars 10: Philip Rivers’ Colts christening goes well. Jacksonville gets going toward Trevor Lawrence and the No. 1 overall draft pick in 2021. (Line: Colts -6 1/2)

Packers 33, Vikings 16: No one to chant “Skol!” in Minnesota’s sensational stadium? No worries for the Packers as they begin their NFC North-title defense. (Line: Packers +3)

Patriots 23, Dolphins 13: Bill Belichick, Subway spokesman. What a weird world we have in 2020. His defenses still rule, with or without TB12. (Line: Patriots -7)

Washington Football Team 17, Eagles 16: You’ve been warned, we’re picking Ron Rivera to win every game his first year as Washington’s coach while he undergoes cancer treatment. Win it, Ron (and beat the Eagles, while you’re at it). (Line: Washington +6)

Bengals 21, Chargers 20: Joe Burrow d. Joey Bosa? JB d. JB. Gonna need a Jim Bean to fathom that. (Line: Bengals +3)

Buccaneers 30, Saints 28: Tom Brady won his first Super Bowl in New Orleans. He wins his first game as an ex-Patriot in, yes, New Orleans. (Line: Bucs +4)

Cowboys 30, Rams 24: If Los Angeles unveiled a $5 billion stadium and no one came in to see it, was it the pandemic or were fans still “stuck in traffic.” The Cowboys might have to pay Dak Prescott $5 billion by the time this season is done. (Line: Cowboys -2 1/2)

Giants 24, Steelers 20: A rookie coach (Joe Judge) takes down a 14th-year rock (Mike Tomlin). A second-year QB (Daniel Jones) topples a 17th-year vet (Ben Roethlisberger). A rare Steelers loss on “Monday Night Football.” (Line: Giants +3 1/2)

Titans 27, Broncos 24: Von Miller didn’t make it to Game 1. So begins a fifth straight year of missing the playoffs, a streak (or curse) that began when Colin Kaepernick balked at their pay-cut offer. (Line: Titans +2)

Super Bowl LV: 49ers 33, Chiefs 26

Last season: 146-109-1 (straight up), 134-120-2 (vs. spread)

2018 season: 164-90-2 (straight up), 136-115-5 (vs. spread)

Source Article

About the author