Without Tamba Hali, Steven Nelson and Spencer Ware, the Chiefs head to Foxboro to open the season versus the defending champions. That may be where the fun ends for Kansas City. Despite a very good secondary led by Marcus Peters and Eric Berry, the Chiefs may not be equipped to put a dent in the Patriots' offensive plans.
Seattle is in Green Bay where they haven't won since 1999 and while the Seahawks may end up the NFC's best team, they're not fast starters, typically, and there are still questions about the offensive line.
The Browns may put up more of a fight in 2017 than in recent seasons but the Steelers should be too much for a young Cleveland defense.
Arizona should again be very good defensively with two All-Pro talents in Tyrann Mathieu and Patrick Peterson plus rookie Budda Baker. The Cardinals, without Calais Campbell who bolted for Jacksonville, with rely more on second-year DT Robert Nkemdiche after a disappointing rookie season. Can an improved Lions O-Line protect Stafford versus Chandler Jones and Markus Golden?
Tampa Bay probably has a better season but the Dolphins have a running game to support Jay Cutler and at home they get the job done to start 2017.
Philly and Washington get their rivalry back in gear right from the get-go. The Eagles defense looks to be one of the best in the NFL this season. The Redskins looked out of sync all preseason. Naturally, Washington finds a way to trip up Carson Wentz and his new receiving corps and gets a few big plays from Kirk Cousins and Jordan Reed.
The Giants are in Dallas where at publish time it's unclear whether or not Ezekiel Elliott will be active. Either way, the Giants have weapons where the Cowboys don't — Dallas lost three starters from their secondary; Morris Claiborne, Barry Church and Brandon Carr all left via free agency. Take the Giants to do just enough versus the Dallas O-Line to control the tempo and give Eli Manning a chance to hook up with Odel Beckham Jr., Brandon Marshall and Sterling Shepard.
The Saints are on the road in Minneapolis, but it's the best time of year to play the Vikings on the road. The New Orleans defense showed signs of improvement but it's strength versus strength and weakness versus weakness in this one. Advantage Drew Brees.
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