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Pats Pulpit NFL Game Picks: Week 1

Greg Knopping of Pats Pulpit makes his week one NFL picks.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Week one is here, which means it time for me to make my Sunday NFL picks once again (plus a pair of Monday night games).  This week features some intriguing match-ups for week one in the NFC, including a Falcons vs. Saints match-up and a Packers vs. 49ers match-up.  Without further ado, here are my picks:

Seattle Seahawks at Carolina Panthers: Ron Rivera might be entering the hot seat in year 3, but I do expect a bounce back year for Cam Newton and the Panthers.  Still, the Seahawks look primed for a big year.  While I think this one will be closer than expected, I have Seattle pulling out the win. The Pick: Seahawks 24 Panthers 20

Cincinnati Bengals at Chicago Bears: The Bengals look to make it three straight trips to the playoffs for the first time under Marvin Lewis.  Their offense is flying under the radar. As for the Bears, I'm not a huge fan of the Trestman hire, and I think they're being overrated headed into the season. The Pick: Bengals 27 Bears 17

Miami Dolphins at Cleveland Browns: This is a tough game to call.  I was a huge fan of Cleveland's offseason, and Brandon Weeden looks like he's ready to surprise his critics in year two.  Still, the Dolphins still have more playmakers, especially with Josh Gordon out for the Browns.  It will be a close one, but I have the road team pulling this one out. The Pick: Dolphins 20 Browns 17

Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions: Heading into 2013, I have no idea which Lions team we'll see: the one that can play high powered football and beat most teams, or the undisciplined, erratic team that will lose most games it plays.  The truth is, we'll probably see some of both.  On opening day however, I think we'll see the good Lions. The Pick: Lions 31 Vikings 19

Oakland Raiders at Indianapolis Colts: I think it will be tough for the Colts to repeat the success of 2012 this season.  However, they won't run into many challenges week one against this abysmal Raiders squad. The Pick: Colts 34 Raiders 16

Kansas City Chiefs at Jacksonville Jaguars: Two of the worst teams in 2012 meet to start the 2013 season.   The thing is, I only think one of these teams will be amongst the league's worst this year. The Pick: Chiefs 24 Jaguars 14

Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints: One of the highest-profile match-ups of week one.  Might as well flip a coin on this one.  While I think Atlanta is the better overall team, but I think the combination of being without Roddy White and playing at the Superdome in Sean Payton's return, will be too much. The Pick: Saints 34 Falcons 28

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New York Jets: I don't think the Jets will be as bad as most are predicting they will be, but I am a believer in what Schiano has been doing with the Bucs. The Pick: Buccaneers 23 Jets 13

Tennessee Titans at Pittsburgh Steelers: The Steelers are one of those teams flying under the radar that could be a surprise Super Bowl contender in 2013.  They still have that physical identity on defense, they still have one of the league's best quarterbacks, and they still have one of the league's best coaches.  And week one, they're going up against the lowly Titans. The Pick: Steelers 30 Titans 10

Green Bay Packers at San Francisco 49ers: If this game was played in November or December, it would be getting hyped as the game of the year.  It's week one, however, and I'm expecting a great one. The Pick: 49ers 28 Packers 27

Arizona Cardinals at St. Louis Rams: I'm not sure this Rams team is ready to do anything beyond being average.  As for the Cardinals, I like the Bruce Arians hire, and I think if anyone can get anything else out of Carson Palmer, it is him.  If the line play can improve, the Cardinals could improve in 2013. The Pick: Cardinals 23 Rams 20

New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys: Two teams that let a lot of people down a year ago face off to begin their 2013 campaigns.  It will be a close one, but I'll take the Cowboys at home and with more to prove. The Pick: Cowboys 23 Giants 17

Philadelphia Eagles at Washington Redskins: I think the Eagles are exactly the type of team to get off to a hot start under new coach Chip Kelly, and I really just haven't been able to follow everything going on with RGIII and Shanahan this offseason. The Pick: Eagles 31 Redskins 21

Houston Texans at San Diego Chargers: 2013 could be the last chance for Philip Rivers to turn his once promising career around.  But then again, the Texans are just the better team. The Pick: Texans 27 Chargers 13