The NFL season is finally upon us.
It took several months and hours of staring at the calendar hoping that days would wither away, but football is back and our lives have been thoroughly enriched.
And with football comes all of the outrageous speculation that any one fan could possibly handle. So here’s a look at some of my bold predictions for NFL Week 1. Don’t worry; I won’t be keeping count on which ones are right and neither should you.
Andrew Luck kicks off his NFL career with a monster outing, putting up 300-plus passing yards and four touchdowns. Still, the Bears’ explosive offense can’t be stopped as Chicago comes away from a shootout victorious. Oh, and Matt Forte will score three total touchdowns.
The Eagles, looking to prove that 2011 was a fluke, pummel the Browns to a pulp. The offense flies high and far, tearing the Cleveland defense apart at will. This will be the first blowout of the season as the Eagles win by at least 40 points.
With a severely depleted secondary, the Lions fall victim to Sam Bradford and the Rams’ improved passing game. Bradford racks up over 400 yards through the air as Danny Amendola proves why the St. Louis coaching staff is so high on his abilities as a slot receiver.
It will be an ugly game for Dolphins rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill. Facing the Texans’ defensive demolishing crew, he will throw three interceptions and get sacked six times in his NFL debut.
The Falcons light up the Chiefs’ secondary through the air as Julio Jones and Roddy White combine for 300 receiving yards. Even with safety Eric Berry back in the lineup, the Chiefs’ defensive backfield crumbles as Matt Ryan gives Atlanta an early leg up in the NFC South race.
Christian Ponder outshines Blaine Gabbert in the battle of the sophomore quarterbacks, amassing almost 400 yards after Adrian Peterson goes the distance on his first carry since his career-threatening knee injury.
Robert Griffin III will keep pace with Luck in the race to be the best rookie quarterback, shredding the Saints’ secondary as New Orleans begins coping with the loss of their head coach. I’m thinking over 300 passing yards and three touchdowns – two passing, one rushing.
The Bills defense reaffirms what everyone has been thinking this preseason as they make a mockery of the Jets’ passing game. Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow combine for five interceptions as they prepare the Jets to draft USC quarterback Matt Barkley.
Jake Locker struggles in his first NFL start, causing numerous turnovers. The Titans are forced to rely on Chris Johnson, who breaks the 100-yard mark but can’t do enough to carry them past the Patriots. New England cruises to their first win.
Forget Luck and Griffin. Russell Wilson will quiet his critics, leading the Seahawks to a dominant victory over the Cardinals. He’ll amass over 400 total yards and four touchdowns, proving that size doesn’t matter when it comes to NFL quarterbacks.
The 49ers will open the flood gates on Aaron Rodgers, sacking him numerous times and causing a couple untimely turnovers. Coupled with a subpar performance from veteran runner Cedric Benson, the Packers will fall in Week 1 as Jim Harbaugh continues his NFL takeover.
Boom goes the dynamite as Cam Newton avoids the sophomore slump. The Panthers’ electrifying quarterback tallies over 400 yards of total offense and scores an amazing five touchdowns as the Buccaneers attempt to keep up. Rookie Doug Martin has his first 100-yard game, but it’s not enough.
Peyton Manning will struggle mightily in his Denver debut, throwing two interceptions and failing to deliver a touchdown pass. The Steelers will stifle the still-rehabbing quarterback and hand the Broncos their first loss of 2012.
The Ravens’ passing attack starts the 2012 season off right as Torrey Smith delivers a 200-plus receiving yard performance. Joe Flacco and the hurry-up offense click as the Bengals are left wondering what happened to their hopes of winning the AFC North.
After stuffing the Raiders’ running game and building a sizeable lead, the Chargers will finally start their season off strong. With Oakland forced to air it out while playing from behind, San Diego will pick off four Carson Palmer passes, including three courtesy of Eric Weddle.
They’re supposed to be bold, right?