Let the games begin: Week 1 Crystal Ball

SFI correspondent Oliver Kimokeo picks this week's NFL games:

THURSDAY'S GAME

MIAMI AT PITTSBURGH:
The Dolphins and Steelers meet to decide which team gets to extend the NFL's longest winning streak. The Super Bowl champions have won eight in a row; Miami won its last six last season before missing the playoffs. Dolphins 20, Steelers 14

SUNDAY'S GAMES

ATLANTA AT CAROLINA:
The Panthers dominated both games against the Falcons in 2005 and will look to do the same here to get an early start toward capturing the NFC South title. Panthers 27, Falcons 14

BALTIMORE AT TAMPA BAY: The last matchup in this series resulted in a 25-0 blowout in favor of Tampa Bay. The Bucs, set to begin defense of their NFC South crown, are ready for an encore performance. Buccaneers 26, Ravens 10

BUFFALO AT NEW ENGLAND: The Patriots have won the last five in this series, and it won't be any different here in their home opener. Patriots 17, Bills 7

CINCINNATI AT KANSAS CITY: The 2005 Bengals, with only their playoff seeding at stake, took a 37-3 beatdown to end the regular season at Arrowhead Stadium last season. Look for a different Cincinnati team to show up this time in one of the league's top games of the week. Bengals 23, Chiefs 20 (OT)

DENVER AT ST. LOUIS: The last two times these teams met, the Rams were playing their first regular-season game after a Super Bowl appearance. How the times have changed. Broncos 30, Rams 19

NEW ORLEANS AT CLEVELAND: Aren't the schedule-makers nice for doing such a good deed? They're giving one of these bottom dwellers a shot to open the season with a victory. Of course, there's always the possibility of a tie. Browns 14, Saints 9

NEW YORK JETS AT TENNESSEE: See above. There won't be many weeks these two teams encounter winnable games, either. Titans 35, Jets 21

PHILADELPHIA AT HOUSTON: The Eagles should enjoy this trip to Texas because their next one - Week 16 at Dallas - will present much more scrutiny and pressure. Eagles 17, Titans 7

SEATTLE AT DETROIT: The Seahawks will be reminded of their Super Bowl failure right away by visiting the venue of the tough loss. They'll quickly make amends here. Seahawks 32, Lions 16

CHICAGO AT GREEN BAY: What can be better than this latest edition of the oldest rivalry in the NFL? Well, if the '85 Bears and '96 Packers can end up showing up to play instead of their 2006 counterparts, that would be better. Expect another ugly NFC North slugfest. Bears 22, Packers 21

DALLAS AT JACKSONVILLE: This game should be one of the best of the week. Both teams are on the verge of becoming serious contenders to go deep in the playoffs. Jaguars 27, Cowboys 24 (OT)

SAN FRANCISCO AT ARIZONA: The regular-season debut of the new Cardinals Stadium, this game will be played in the third venue in as many years in which the Cardinals have hosted the 49ers. Cardinals 28, 49ers 17

INDIANAPOLIS AT NEW YORK GIANTS: Manning Bowl I goes to little brother Eli, much to the chagrin of his more-accomplished sibling. Giants 28, Colts 24

MONDAY'S GAMES

MINNESOTA AT WASHINGTON: With a weird 4 p.m. start, the Vikings and Redskins have the earliest kickoff ever for a Monday night game. It won't be early enough for the visitors. Redskins 42, Vikings 17

SAN DIEGO AT OAKLAND: Raider Nation will have to wait until the final game of Kickoff Weekend to hurl their batteries at the Chargers. Chargers 22, Raiders 20


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