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NFL season kicks off Thursday

OK! Quick … what two NFL teams played in last season’s Super Bowl?

The 2022 NFL season rolls out Thursday night with one of those teams, the defending champion Los Angeles Rams, hosting the Buffalo Bills.

The season opens with many notable players donning new uniforms, including several quarterbacks: Matt Ryan (Falcons to Colts), Carson Wentz (Colts to Commanders), Baker Mayfield (Browns to Panthers), Russell  Wilson (Seahawks to Broncos) and, of course, ex-Texan Deshaun Watson, the masseuse now in Cleveland.

Last year, we saw an additional game added to the schedule, extending the regular season to 17 games.

Lets’s take a look at some Week 1 games:

Thursday

Buffalo at LA Rams … Both teams will be in the hunt for a division crown and both teams are well-coached with a talent on both sides of the line … Rams are 7-0 against the spread in recent season openers, but … Pick: Buffalo.

Sunday

Baltimore at NY Jets … This might get ugly real early, with a lot of scoring … The Ravens are 9-2 all-time against the Jets … Pick: Baltimore.

New Orleans at Atlanta … QB Jameis Winston is back from ACL injury last year and “Matty Ice” is no longer in Atlanta … Pick: New Orleans.

New England at Miami  … The Dolphins started 1-7 last year before winning 8 of their final 9 games … But Billy B will come up with something as he always does … The Patriots have had problems in Miami and Miami is much improved  … Pick: Toss-up.

Cleveland at Carolina … Baker Mayfield faces his former team. No question, he wants to drill them … The Browns are without offseason acquisition Deshaun Watson, who has been suspended for 11 games … Pick: Carolina.

Pittsburgh at Cincinnati …The AFC champs open their defense against the Steelers without Ben Roethlisberger (retired), and new QB Mitch Trubisky might need a game or two …  Pick: Cincinnati.

Las Vegas Raiders at LA ChargersThe Raiders kept the Chargers out of the playoffs last year, when a tie would have gotten them to the big dance. But the Chargers HC was brain-dead in the final series … This game spells revenge through and through.  Pick: Las Vegas.

Monday

Denver at SeattleThe Broncos acquired Russell Wilson during the offseason from the Seahawks. Will this be enough for the Broncos to contend in the deep AFC West? Probably not … However, Seattle is atrocious … Pick: Denver.

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