Bing Predicts NFL — Week 1

Written by:
September 5, 2018
Justin K. Aller // Getty

Bing predicts NFL week 1

It's that special time of yearas summer fades into fall, it's officially football season. The National Football League kicks off a full slate of Week 1 matchups with a Thursday Night Football special featuring the Atlanta Falcons and the Philadelphia Eagles, the 2017 Super Bowl champions. 

Guiding you through all 16 of this week’s games is Bing Predicts, which leverage search, social, and historical statistics to forecast which team will prevail on game day. Read on for Bing's predictions for the first week of the NFL season. Are you ready for some football?

ALSO: Bing Predicts — NFL season preview

Atlanta Falcons vs. Philadelphia Eagles

Game time: Thursday, Sept. 6 at 5:20 p.m. PST

Philadelphia Eagles lead series 19-14-1

In their season opener after winning Super Bowl LII, the Philadelphia Eagles will face the Atlanta Falcons this Thursday. Unlike most defending Super Bowl champs, the Eagles will come into Week 1 with their own version of a quarterback debate—while Nick Foles delivered Philly the championship, Carson Wentz played the majority of the season at an MVP-caliber level before going down with a knee injury. Foles is set to start in Week 1, but fans will have to wait to see who takes the spot on the starting roster for the remainder of the season.

Matt Ryan and Julio Jones will lead the Falcons’ offense yet again. This off-season, the front office gave Ryan another potent weapon by drafting Alabama’s Calvin Ridley in the first round of the draft. Going against the Eagles will prove to be an immediate and early test in attempting to get to the next level as a serious Super Bowl contender this year. These teams played in the National Football Conference Divisional round playoff game that sent the Eagles to the NFC Championship and onward to the Lombardi trophy.

Bing Predicts: Philadelphia Eagles

Bing Predicts winner: Philadelphia Eagles (53% chance)

Atlanta Falcons vs. Philadelphia Eagles on Bing


San Francisco 49ers vs. Minnesota Vikings

Game time: Sunday, Sept. 9 at 10 a.m. PST

San Francisco 49ers lead series 23-22-1

While the Vikings come in as big favorites and are expected to win, the 49ers could put up some stiff competition. Jimmy Garoppolo helped San Francisco finish last year on a 6-1 run in their last seven games. Off-season additions of cornerback Richard Sherman and running back Jerick McKinnon will only build expectations for this young, growing squad. 

Still, Bing predicts the Vikings will lead the league with a 14-2 record this season, and the first step will be taking care of business at home this week. Last season, they showed their prowess with the #1 defense in the league, allowing only 15.8 points per game. Adding Kirk Cousins as their new offensive leader will make them a tougher foe this season.

Bing Predicts: Minnesota Vikings

Bing Predicts winner: Minnesota Vikings (61% chance)

San Francisco 49ers vs. Minnesota Vikings on Bing

Tennessee Titans vs. Miami Dolphins

Game time: Sunday, Sept. 9 at 10 a.m. PST

Miami Dolphins lead series 20-17-0

Tennessee will open the 2018 season on the road in Miami, lead by Titans' new head coach Mike Vrabel, who once played for the Dolphins and is now facing his former team from the opposing sideline.

Both teams' quarterbacks will look to get off to a better start than last season; the Titans' Marcus Mariota had an underperforming year in 2017throwing more interceptions than touchdowns in the regular seasonand Miami’s Ryan Tannehill is coming back from a devastating knee injury that robbed him of playing any part of last season.

Mariota’s double-threat features as both a runner and passer, combined with running back Dion Lewis, an equally versatile weapon out of the backfield, lead to Bing predicting Tennessee will take this one.

Bing Predicts: Tennessee Titans

Bing Predicts winner: Tennessee Titans (58% chance)

Tennessee Titans vs. Miami Dolphins on Bing

Houston Texans vs. New England Patriots

Game time: Sunday, Sept. 9 at 10 a.m. PST

New England Patriots lead series 9-1-0

New England will open the season this year at home in Foxborough, Massachusetts, where quarterback Tom Brady has an astounding 107-19 record in the regular season, setting a high bar for the Texans coming into Week 1.

Houston will be getting quarterback Deshaun Watson back for his sophomore year after his rookie season ended prematurely with a knee injury. Bing predicts the Texans will ride to an 8-8 season in 2018 as they work to synch up the young talented stars they've acquired over the years, including wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins and outside linebacker Jadeveon Clowney.

Unsurprisingly, Bing predicts the Patriots will be too much for Houston this week. Expect New England to defend home field and get their 2018 season off to a 1-0 start.

Bing Predicts: New England Patriots

Bing Predicts winner: New England Patriots (70% chance)

Houston Texans vs. New England Patriots on Bing

Jacksonville Jaguars vs. New York Giants

Game time: Sunday, Sept. 9 at 10 a.m. PST

Series tied 3-3-0

The 37-year-old quarterback Eli Manning will take the reins once again this year for the New York Giants even after he had one of the worst seasons of his career in 2017, posting a 41.7 QB rating. Instead of drafting a new quarterback for the future of the franchise, the Giants opted to use their #2 draft pick on RB Saquon Barkley from Penn State, along with adding a new head coach in Pat Shurmur.  

The highly anticipated rookie Barkley will face the tough Jacksonville defense in his first-ever NFL game. The second-best defense last year, the Jaguars return 12 starters, half of whom were 2017 Pro Bowlers. Bing expects Jacksonville to cruise to an easy Week 1 victory.

Bing Predicts: Jacksonville Jaguars

Bing Predicts winner: Jacksonville Jaguars (58% chance)

Jacksonville Jaguars vs. New York Giants on Bing

Cincinnati Bengals vs. Indianapolis Colts

Game time: Sunday, Sept. 9 at 10 a.m. PST

Indianapolis Colts lead series 19-11-0

These two teams will face each other again after they just battled in the fourth week of the preseason, where the Colts squeaked by with a 27-26 victory. With their starters playing, these teams will look radically different in Week 1.

Bing predicts that both of these teams will finish in the bottom third of the NFL for 2018 with the Colts 6-10 and the Bengals 5-11. That makes for what should be a tightly contested Week 1, with particular interest in seeing how QB Andrew Luck will fare in a highly anticipated return from a shoulder injury last season. Luck sat out the third preseason game and most of practice after tweaking his foot, but head coach Frank Reich said he will be "good to go" for the season opener.

Bing Predicts: Indianapolis Colts

Bing Predicts winner: Indianapolis Colts (61% chance)

Cincinnati Bengals vs. Indianapolis Colts on Bing

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. New Orleans Saints

Game time: Sunday, Sept. 9 at 10 a.m. PST

New Orleans Saints lead series 32-20-0

These two NFC South divisional rivals will start the new season facing each other after splitting their two games last season. The Saints handily thrashed the Bucs in Week 9 in a 30-10 rout while the Bucs got their revenge in Week 17 with a 31-24 win through a last-minute touchdown thrown by Jameis Winston. The Saints have a solid all-time lead between the two teams with a 32-20 record

The Saints will once again be led by QB Drew Brees after he re-upped his contract with New Orleans for two more years this off-season. Watch for Tampa Bay’s revamped defensive front. They inked free agent defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul while drafting defensive tackle Vita Vea. While those additions may put some extra pressure on head coach Sean Payton’s squad, Bing predicts the Saints will roll to victory on Sunday.

Bing Predicts: New Orleans Saints

Bing Predicts winner: New Orleans Saints (77% chance)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. New Orleans Saints on Bing

Buffalo Bills vs. Baltimore Ravens

Game time: Sunday, Sept. 9 at 10 a.m. PST

Baltimore Ravens lead series 4-3-0

In their Sunday matchup, the Buffalo Bills and Baltimore Ravens will both hope to open their 2018 seasons markedly better than last year. For the Bills, wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin will gear up for his first full season in Buffalo, though it’s still unclear who will be behind center for Week 1. As the depth chart currently stands, journeyman AJ McCarron will lead the team, but rookie Josh Allen will be expected to make a push for the starting job as a top 10 draft pick. RB LeSean McCoy brings even more questions for Buffalo’s backfield. Despite immense talent, McCoy faced accusations of domestic violence this summer that may affect his eligibility to play down the line.

It looks to be a transitional year for the Ravens as 33-year-old QB Joe Flacco watched his long-time team spend a first-round draft pick on Lamar Jackson. The move may have lit a spark in Flacco with some reports from training camp calling it one of the best camps of his career. The team made limited upgrades around Flacco in the off-season, and the defense will hope some of its younger assets will develop with all 11 starters returning.

Bing Predicts: Baltimore Ravens

Bing Predicts winner: Baltimore Ravens (66% chance)

Buffalo Bills vs. Baltimore Ravens on Bing

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cleveland Browns

Game time: Sunday, Sept. 9 at 10 a.m. PST

Pittsburgh Steelers lead series 74-58-0

With all the hype building around the Cleveland Browns, this Week 1 battle could expose the trend lines of these two American Football Conference North franchises. While the Steelers have been a historic power, and remain a formidable foe with the potent offensive triangle of Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown, and Le’Veon Bell returning for another season, they could be tested by Cleveland. 

Still, the Browns still have more questions than answers for 2018. Who will be the starting quarterback—Baker Mayfield or Tyrod Taylor? Will WR Josh Gordon be back and ready to play for Week 1? What coaching adjustments will Hue Jackson make to avoid another 0-16 year? Only time will tell, but it should be an interesting year for Browns fans nonetheless.

Bing Predicts: Pittsburg Steelers

Bing Predicts winner: Pittsburg Steelers (73% chance)

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cleveland Browns on Bing

Kansas City Chiefs vs. Los Angeles Chargers

Game time: Sunday, Sept. 9 at 1:05 p.m. PST

Kansas City Chiefs lead series 60-55-1

The new-look Chiefs will premiere QB Patrick Mahomes as their starter against the Chargers on Sunday. WR Sammy Watkins will also be making his debut in the white and red. Los Angeles patched some of their holes this off-season, drafting safety Derwin James, who is the preseason favorite for the Defensive Rookie of the Year award, according to a survey of writers. The two divisional rivals should both be in contention this season for the AFC West, so this Week 1 duel will be critical to gaining the upper hand.

Bing Predicts: Los Angeles Chargers

Bing Predicts winner: Los Angeles Chargers (55% chance)

Kansas City Chiefs vs. Los Angeles Chargers on Bing

Washington Redskins vs. Arizona Cardinals

Game time: Sunday, Sept. 9 at 1:25 p.m. PST

Washington Redskins lead series 75-46-2

Bing predicts that both these teams will finish 2018 in the bottom third of the league, but one of them will get off to a 1-0 start on Sunday. Both teams could be putting out brand new quarterbacks for the season with Alex Smith in Washington and Josh Rosen in Arizona. One worry for the Cardinals will be if Rosen is healthy enough to play with a thumb injury, though they can revert to Sam Bradford to run the offense in the meantime. RB David Johnson will also be back from a season-ending injury in 2017 and is expected to be the bell cow of the backfield for the Cardinals.

Bing Predicts: Arizona Cardinals

Bing Predicts winner: Arizona Cardinals (61% chance)

Washington Redskins vs. Arizona Cardinals on Bing

Dallas Cowboys vs. Carolina Panthers

Game time: Sunday, Sept. 9 at 1:25 p.m. PST

Dallas Cowboys lead series 9-4-0

Panthers QB Cam Newton will get to test new receiving weapons rookie D.J. Moore and veteran Torrey Smith in the season-opener against the Dallas Cowboys. This game will feature two teams who both have been playoff contenders for several years but have failed to take the next step in reaching Super Bowl contender status. QB Dak Prescott and RB Ezekiel Elliott will lead the Dallas offense for another season, while Jerry Jones has been angling to trade for Seahawks safety Earl Thomas for months.

Bing Predicts: Carolina Panthers

Bing Predicts winner: Carolina Panthers (55% chance)

Dallas Cowboys vs. Carolina Panthers on Bing

Seattle Seahawks vs. Denver Broncos

Game time: Sunday, Sept. 9 at 1:25 p.m. PST

Denver Broncos lead series 34-21-0

The Seahawks hope to figure out their situation with talented safety Earl Thomas before Week 1 gets underway. Trade rumors have been circulating all off-season and recently have been heating up with talks with the Cowboys and other unnamed teams, according to NFL reporter Tom Pelissero. Regardless of Thomas, Seattle will have a distinctive new look in 2018 after seeing numerous key departures this off-season, including strong safety Kam Chancellor, CB Richard Sherman, DE Cliff Avril, RB Thomas Rawls, and TE Jimmy Graham.

The Broncos will get the first look at the new Seahawks squad and also will see QB Case Keenum in action for the first time after a sharp pre-season. In the final tune-up game before the regular season, Keenum went 12-of-18 for 148 yards.

Bing Predicts: Denver Broncos

Bing Predicts winner: Denver Broncos (58% chance)

Seattle Seahawks vs. Denver Broncos on Bing

Chicago Bears vs. Green Bay Packers

Game time: Sunday, Sept. 9 at 5:20 p.m. PST

Green Bay Packers lead series 96-94-6

The historic Bears-Packers rivalry will get off to an immediate start this season, with the Packers carrying a narrow all-time lead between the two NFC North enemies, with a cumulative record of 96-94-6. Green Bay has also won the last four meetings in the previous two seasons, and Bing doesn’t expect this game to deviate from that trend as Aaron Rodgers is predicted to lead Green Bay to a 10-6 season in 2018.

Bing Predicts: Green Bay Packers

Bing Predicts winner: Green Bay Packers (77% chance)

Chicago Bears vs. Green Bay Packers on Bing

New York Jets vs. Detroit Lions

Game time: Monday, Sept. 10 at 4:10 p.m. PST

Detroit Lions lead series 7-6-0

As the Jets prepare for their Monday Night Football opener, recent news of Sam Darnold’s starting role is sure to fire fans up, as Darnold is set to be the youngest ever opening day quarterback. 

The Lions will look to improve upon a horrid season of rushing in 2017, when they ranked dead last in the NFL for rushing yards gained. Rookie RB Kerryon Johnson will be asked to do a lot in bolstering their squad, but the Jets should be a relatively easy first assignment as they are still in the market for a boost to their defensive line after striking out on acquiring DE Khalil Mack.


Bing Predicts: Detroit Lions

Bing Predicts winner: Detroit Lions (78% chance)

New York Jets vs. Detroit Lions on Bing

Los Angeles Rams vs. Oakland Raiders

Game time: Monday, Sept. 10 at 7:20 p.m. PS

Oakland Raiders lead series 8-5-0

In an interstate California battle, the Oakland Raiders appear set to go into the season sans their best defensive player, Khalil Mack. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the Bears and Raiders reached a tentative agreement on Sept. 1 to send Mack to Chicago. Refusing to negotiate and then trading the former Defensive Player of the Year is a controversial move by new head coach Jon Gruden.  

On top of the trade talks, Gruden’s squad draws a daunting Week 1 matchup with the Los Angeles Rams. Sean McVeigh surprised the league in his first season as a head coach last year by taking the Rams to the playoffs and turning a backfield of QB Jared Goff and RB Todd Gurley into one of the league’s most electric offenses. While Oakland lost a defensive talent, the Rams snagged one in signing DT Ndamukong Suh to a 1-year, $14 million deal. 

Bing Predicts: Los Angeles Rams

Bing Predicts winner: Los Angeles Rams (61% chance)

Los Angeles Rams vs. Oakland Raiders on Bing

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