Miami Dolphins (0-0) @ Atlanta Falcons (0-0)
Time: 1pm ET
Spread: Atlanta - 4
Preview: Two of the top surprises in 2008 will square off in a early game during opening weekend. The AFC East champion Miami Dolphins will play on the road at NFC wildcard Atlanta. The Dolphins have had a real successful pre-season winning their first three games. Their fourth and final preseason game will take place on September 3rd at New Orleans. Tony Sparano has been very pleased with his team, especially on the defensive side, where they have allowed just 32 points in three games. In their last preseason game, Miami survived through a 45 minute lightning delay, only to come back and score ten straight points against Tampa Bay. Chad Pennington and Ronnie Brown will look to key the offense once again this season. Last season, Pennington had a solid season, coming over from New York, throwing for 3653 yards and 19 touchdowns. Brown ran the wildcard offense well for Miami, and ended the season with 916 yards and 10 touchdowns. The Dolphins will see a rugged start to their season; with Indianapolis, San Diego following this game. The Atlanta Falcons turned around a very dismal 2007 season, into a season to remember in 2008. Rookie Matt Ryan was fantastic for the Falcons, completing 265 passes for 3440 yards and 16 touchdowns. Running back Michael Turner turned heads all season, finishing just shy of 1700 yards, and getting into the end zone 17 times. Roddy White has turned himself into a top receiver in the league, behind Ryan. In 2008, White caught 88 passes, for 1382 yards and 7 touchdowns. The Falcons will look to new tight end Tony Gonzalez to help should some of the load, for the already sharp Falcons offense. The Falcons are a four point favorite in this one, with the over/under starting at 43.
Kansas City Chiefs (0-0) @ Baltimore Ravens (0-0)
Time: 1pm ET
Preview: The Kansas City Chiefs will look to spoil the Baltimore Ravens home opener during the opening week. The Chiefs have dropped all three of their preseason games; to Houston, Minnesota and Seattle. Kansas City will look to boost their offense under quarterback Matt Cassel. The offense in 2008 scored just 18.2 points per game, while the defensive yielded 27.5. The loss of Tony Gonzalez will hurt the passing game for Kansas City. Amani Toomer was brought in by Kansas City to hopefully bring some leadership to a young core of receivers. Baltimore, on the other hand has been one of the games best teams in the early going(preseason). The Ravens have won all three of their games; Washington, Jets and Carolina. The Ravens will play their final pre-season game at Atlanta on Thursday. New defensive coordinator Greg Mattison will take over for Rex Ryan, who became the head coach for the New York Jets. Ryan’s defense yielded just 15.3 points per game during the 2008 season. This game has no opening line as of this time, and there is also no current over/under.
Philadelphia Eagles (0-0) @ Carolina Panthers (0-0)
Time: 1pm ET
Spread: Philadelphia - 1
Preview: The Eagles and Panthers will square off in week one. Philadelphia s dropped two of their first three pre-season games, despite the return of Michael Vick. Vick will not be reinstated in time for action in week one, and the Eagles are uncertain when his first NFL action will be. Philadelphia has a high powered offense that is led by quarterback Donovan McNabb, and anchored along side with Brian Westbrook and DeSean Jackson. Despite scoring just two touchdowns last season, Jackson became a potent threat for Philadelphia, picking up 912 yards. McNabb had a very up and down 2008 season, but finished with 3916 yards and 23 touchdowns. Carolina comes in as the defending NFC South favorites, but have many question marks. One of their top question marks is at the quarterback position, where Jake Delhomme will once again man. Delhomme threw just 15 touchdowns last season, despite throwing for over 3200 yards. Another question mark for the Panthers is their defense, in which has allowed 68 points in the three Carolina losses this preseason. The final question mark is the health of running back Johnathan Stewart. Stewart’s availability is questionable with a leg injury. The workload will be placed on DeAngelo Williams, who burst onto the scene in 2008 with 18 touchdowns and 1515 yards. The Eagles are a rare road favorite in this one. Philadelphia is favored by just a point, with the over/under coming in at 43.5.
Denver Broncos (0-0) @ Cincinnati Bengals (0-0)
Time: 1pm ET
Spread: Cincinnati -3.5
Preview: The Josh McDaniels era begins in Cincinnati. If McDaniels did not create enough controversy in the off-season, his squad will start the season with a road test. The Broncos have been winless through three pre-season games, scoring just 46 points, while yielding 71. Denver will take on Arizona on Thursday night to complete their pre-season schedule. The latest news for Denver came from wide receiver Brandon Marshall, who has been suspended for the remainder of the pre-season for conduct detrimental to the team. Marshall led the team with 6 touchdowns in 2008. Marshall’s quarterback has changed this season, as Jay Cutler was shipped to Chicago for Kyle Orton, after Marshall and Coach McDaniels could not get along. Cincinnati will look to bounce back after another dismal season in 2008. The success of the Bengals hinges on the right arm of quarterback Carson Palmer, who has been in and out of the starting lineup since his arrival to the NFL. Palmer lost one of his go to receivers this off-season when they cut ties with T.J. Houshmandzadeh. Houshmandzadeh and Chad OchoCinco both caught four touchdowns last season. The Bengals are an early 3.5 point favorite at home, while the over/under is 44.
Minnesota Vikings (0-0) @ Cleveland Browns (0-0)
Time: 1pm ET
Preview: Brett Favre will begin his Minnesota Vikings career in Cleveland, taking on the Browns. Favre, who signed in August, during the middle of pre-season action will be the starting quarterback for the Vikings. Many feel the addition of Favre puts the Vikings over the top to win their second straight NFC North. The Chicago Bears with Jay Cutler and Green Bay Packers with Aaron Rodgers will certainly be tough tasks for Minnesota to compete with. The Vikings continue to boast one of the best running backs in football in Adrian Peterson. Peterson ran 363 times last season, gaining 1760 yards and 10 touchdowns for the Vikings. Cleveland hopes the addition of Eric Mangini as head coach will spark them to compete a little better than the final year of Romeo Crennel. The Browns scored just 14.5 points last season, and Braylon Edwards had a lot to do with that, as he dropped numerous passes. Edwards finished with just three touchdowns during the season. Wide Receiver Dante Stallworth is expected to miss this game with a neck injury. There is no line currently for this game. Many would expect the Vikings to be near a touchdown favorite, despite the fact they are playing on the road.
New York Jets (0-0) @ Houston Texans (0-0)
Time: 1pm ET
Spread: Texans - 4.5
Preview: The New York Jets will start the 2009 season with much less fanfare than the 2008 season. After one season, the Jets cut ties with quarterback Brett Favre, moving to rookie Mark Sanchez. New York has won one of three pre-season games, with their latest win coming over the New York Giants; 27-25. In the win, Sanchez completed 13 of 20 passes for 149 yards and a touchdown. The Jets will look to get off a good start, which will be much needed to compete inside the AFC East. New York will also rely heavily on the running back duo of Thomas Jones and Leon Washington. Jones finished last season with 1312 yards and 13 touchdowns, while Washington is considered one of the fastest players in the National Football League, rushing for 448 yards and 6 touchdowns. Houston finished 2008 with an 8-8 record, and many experts are looking for the Texans to possibly sneak a postseason spot out in 2009. The Texans will have to compete with battling Tennessee and Indianapolis twice a season. Steve Slaton and Matt Schaub will be the leaders offensively for the Texans. Last season, Slaton burst onto the scene with 1282 yards and 9 touchdowns. Andre Johnson continues to work his way up to one of the top receivers in the league. Last season, Johnson caught 115 passes, along with 8 touchdowns. The Texans open up as a 4.5 point favorite, while the over/under sits at 44.5.
Jacksonville Jaguars (0-0) @ Indianapolis Colts (0-0)
Time: 1pm ET
Preview: Week one will see an early season AFC South tilt between the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Indianapolis Colts. The Jaguars have lost all three of their pre-season games, but have only been outscored 69-64, so Jack Del Rio still has reason to smile. Del Rio’s team dropped a 12-9 game to Miami, and then were downed 24-23 to Tampa Bay, and lost most recently 33-32 to Philadelphia. For Indianapolis, the Colts have lost two of three in pre-season action, with their lone win coming over Philadelphia 23-15. Head Coach Jim Caldwell will look to keep the magic from former head coach Tony Dungy, and Indianapolis will look to regain the position they held for many years - the top. Tennessee grabbed the division last season. Quarterback Peyton Manning threw 371 completed passes in 555 attempts for 4002 yards and 27 touchdowns last season. Joseph Addai will look to add more touchdowns to his resume this season, as last year he finished with five.
Detroit Lions (0-0) @ New Orleans Saints (0-0)
Time: 1pm ET
Spread: New Orleans - 13
Preview: The Detroit Lions still have a lot of work to do. With quarterback Matthew Stafford, things are starting to look up for the Lions. Detroit made history last season, losing all 16 games. The Lions hired Jim Schwartz as their new head coach, and Schwartz is not quite ready for Stafford to be thrown in the fire. Schwartz is leaning towards veteran Daunte Culpepper as the starting quarterback. The Lions will look to get leading rusher Kevin Smith off to a quick start. In 2008, Smith ran 238 times for 976 yards and 8 touchdowns. Calvin Johnson had a monster 2008 season, catching 12 touchdowns, and will look to top that this season. The Saints will look to bounce back and find their way to the top of the NFC South this season. Last year New Orleans finished behind Carolina and surprising Atlanta. Drew Brees has turned himself into one of the top quarterbacks in the league, putting up outstanding numbers in 2008. Brees threw for 5069 yards and 34 touchdowns. The Saints appear to be starting the season without tight end Jeremy Shockey, who is out with an ankle injury. Sean Payton, New Orleans head coach, is extremely pleased with the pre-season his team has had. The Saints are off to a 3-0 start for the first time in 43 years.
Dallas Cowboys (0-0) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-0)
Time: 1pm ET
Spread: Cowboys - 4.5
Preview: The Dallas Cowboys feel they have a lot to prove coming into the 2009 season. After an extremely disappointing 2008 season that saw the Cowboys, who many picked to win the Super Bowl, fail to make the postseason. The Cowboys, like the rest of their NFC East opponents are off to a 1-2 pre-season start, with a win over Tennessee, and losses to Oakland and San Francisco. Tony Romo will be without receiver Terrell Owens this season. Owens caught 69 passes, and 10 touchdowns last season, but seemingly was nothing but a distraction for the Cowboys in 2008. Marion Barber returns for Dallas after running for 7 touchdowns last season. The home team in this one - Tampa Bay, will look to spark the youngest head coach Raheem Morris off to a good start, after folding down the stretch in 2008 under John Gruden. Morris’ first question is who will be his starting quarterback? Byron Leftwich and Luke McCown have battled through most of the pre-season. The pre-season for the Buccaneers has been up and down, starting with a 27-20 loss to Tennessee, followed by a 24-23 loss to Jacksonville, and then most recently - a 10-6 loss to Miami. The Cowboys are a rare road favorite in this one, 4.5 points, while the over/under sits at 40.5.
San Francisco 49ers (0-0) @ Arizona Cardinals (0-0)
Time: 4:15pm ET
Spread: Arizona 6.5
Preview: The 49ers, under head coach Mike Singletary will certainly be a disciplined team. Singletary has found himself as one of the toughest, and most disciplined coaches in the game today. San Francisco will get their 2009 start, on the road at the defending NFC Champion - Arizona Cardinals. San Francisco has been one of the best teams so far in pre-season action, winning all three of their games. The 49ers topped Denver, Oakland and the Cowboys thus far, with a final game on September 4th at San Diego. The 49ers have named Shaun Hill their starting quarterback ahead of Alex Smith, who was their number one draft choice in 2005. Hill last season completed 181 passes for 2046 yards and 13 touchdowns. His number one target was Issac Bruce, who caught 7 touchdowns, whereas this season it appears to be Bryant Johnson. Johnson, in his second year as a 49er caught 3 touchdowns last season, and has grabbed 12 in his career. Frank Gore will carry the rushing load for the 49ers, looking to continue to climb up the running back ladder. Gore ran the ball 240 times last season, garnering 1036 yards and 6 touchdowns. The Cardinals have struggled during pre-season, losing all three of their games, and allowing 81 points, and scoring just 53. The Cardinals will have to find a way to defend, if they plan to top their 2008 season. Arizona still ranks as the preseason favorite in a relatively weak NFC West. Kurt Warner finished another excellent season last year, completing 401 passes for 4583 yards and 30 touchdowns. Warner’s top receiver last season was Larry Fitzgerald. That does not appear to have changed coming into the 2009 season. The Cardinals are an early 6.5 point favorite, with a lot of points expected - 47 is the early over/under.
Washington Redskins (0-0) @ New York Giants (0-0)
Time: 4:15pm ET
Spread: Giants - 6.5
Preview: The NFC East will see an early season tilt to open the 2009 season. The Washington Redskins will start the season in New York to take on the Giants. The Giants and Redskins have both gotten off to 1-2 pre-season starts, along with both the Eagles and Cowboys from inside NFC East. Jason Campbell appears to be the starting quarterback for Washington. Campbell threw for 3245 yards and 13 touchdowns in 2008. Clinton Portis rushed 342 times for 9 touchdowns last season as well. The Giants have put the Plexico Burress controversy behind them, and hope they regain the form of the 2007 season when they won the Super Bowl. Eli Manning will once again lead the charge for New York. In 2008, Manning threw for 21 touchdowns, while his big running back Brandon Jacobs ran for 15. The Giants allowed just 18.7 points per game last season. The Giants are a 6.5 point favorite to open the 2009 campaign. Expect a low scoring game, as the over/under is at 37.
St. Louis Rams (0-0) @ Seattle Seahawks (0-0)
Time: 4:15pm ET
Spread: Seattle -7.5
Preview: Two teams that saw the bottom of the NFC West last season will compete in week one. The St. Louis Rams and Seattle Seahawks will tussle in the great Northwest. Both teams are sporting new head coaches, as the Rams hired former Giants assistant Steve Spagnulo and Seattle will begin to Jim Mora Jr. era. Spagnulo has made his presence known in St. Louis, sending a clear message that his team will work hard and play with discipline. The Rams are possibly the least talented team in the NFL, but do have a dynamite running back. If Steven Jackson can stay healthy for St. Louis, the Rams may be able to stay in most games. Quarterback Marc Bulger has missed time in the pre-season due to a finger injury. For Seattle, the Seahawks have had a perfect pre-season. Seattle has beaten San Diego, Denver and Kansas City, and will take on the Oakland Raiders on September 3rd. Seattle offensive coordinator Greg Knapp has implemented a new offensive scheme that appears to have the Seahawks running game heading the right direction. The Seahawks are a 7.5 point favorite at home to begin the season. The over/under for this affair started at 43.
Chicago Bears (0-0) @ Green Bay Packers (0-0)
Time: 8:20pm ET
Spread: Green Bay - 3.5
Preview: The much anticipated game for much of the football world throughout the Midwest will be played in week one. This game will be an excellent Sunday night match-up featuring two longtime NFC North rivals. The Chicago Bears, behind new quarterback Jay Cutler will travel north and take on Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. The Bears come into the season as the pre-season favorite in the North, but with the late addition for Minnesota, they have crept into the picture. Green Bay feels they have a great shot at sneaking to the top, especially if their defensive unit can figure it out, and Rodgers is as sharp as some appear he can be. Matt Forte had an excellent rookie season, rushing 316 times for 8 touchdowns, behind an average at best Kyle Orton at the quarterback position. Ryan Grant will run wild for the Packers, and look to improve on his 1203 yards and 4 touchdown season of a year ago. Greg Jennings had a fantastic year with Rodgers as his quarterback. Jennings caught 80 passes, including 9 touchdowns last season. The Packers are an early 3.5 point favorite, with an over/under at 44.5.