The RedState NFL Week One Preview

Here at the sports desk located somewhere below decks of the Good Pirate Ship RedState, we note the commencement of yet another NFL season. Despite the league’s social justice posing and our side bets on how many players will be arrested before the Super Bowl next February in Las Vegas (the Super Bowl in Las Vegas … oh, now THERE’S a plan), those of us who still enjoy the game despite it all are preparing to gather around our televisions for multiple weeks of professional sports entertainment by ridiculously high paid athletes. Or, you can watch the SEC on Saturdays, which is the same thing.


The season has already started, although watching the second half of the Buffalo Bills-Los Angeles Rams game convinced me the Rams thought there were still four preseason games, so let’s mail it in. Not that I’m bitter or anything (he says, muttering at his Rams hat). Anyway, here’s a look at what’s coming up.

New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons

This game has all the drama and subplots of a third-grade school play, only with less entertainment factor. The Falcons are completely rebuilding, while the Saints face the beginning of life without Sean Payton. New Orleans still has sufficient weapons to make some noise, but a playoff preview this is not.

Cleveland Browns at Carolina Panthers

Oh, that this game was in Cleveland and not Charlotte, as Baker Mayfield seeks to take revenge on the team that dumped him in favor of Deshaun “Massage Man” Watson. The Browns are such a long-running soap opera Susan Lucci is jealous. Watson has this weekend (and ten more following it) off, so the Browns have the immortal Jacoby Brissett running their offense. It probably won’t go very well.

San Francisco 49ers at Chicago Bears


The Trey Lance era begins in Santa Clara … excuse me, San Francisco. Given Lance’s preseason performance had all the consistency of undercooked oatmeal, it’s not surprising the 49ers kept Jimmy Garoppolo on the roster just in case. The Bears aren’t very good, so this game promises to prove nothing to anyone about anyone or anything.

Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals

It will be strange not to see Ben Roethlisberger under center for the Steelers. Whether Mitch Trubisky is a long-term solution at quarterback for Pittsburgh remains to be seen. Meanwhile, the Bengals hope to beat the usual Team That Lost The Super Bowl Last Year Stinking Up The Great Outdoors This Year blues.

Philadelphia Eagles at Detroit Lions

Last time we saw Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts, he was getting the hurt put on him by Tampa Bay, making him look like a deer caught in the headlights. Whether he learns from his experience or that miserable performance was who he remains to be seen. Meanwhile, the Lions are … the Lions.

Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans

The Colts have this curious inability to win the first game of the year. They also have Matt Ryan, who has something to prove, and Jonathan Taylor, who doesn’t. The Texans have a long way to go before being something more than an afterthought.


New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins

Can Mac Jones improve from his rookie year? Can Tua Tagovailoa get the ball to Tyreek Hill? Is everybody who’s not a Patriots or Dolphins fan as sick of hearing about these two teams as we are? Yes, grand and glorious pasts. But don’t call us until you win something now.

Baltimore Ravens at New York Jets

Why haven’t the Ravens signed Lamar Jackson to a lengthy contract with lots of zeros? Don’t they watch their own games? The man delivers. Meanwhile, the Jets have to be better than they have been. Don’t they?

Jacksonville Jaguars at Washington Redskins Commanders

A couple of years ago, Washington looked like it was ready to kick it up a notch. Last year was a disappointment. It’ll be interesting to see what they do this year. Jacksonville’s primary objective this season is winning enough games to draft second in 2023 instead of first for the third straight year.

New York Giants at Tennessee Titans

The Giants appear to have no plan for how the team can return to respectability. The Titans are forever in “good but not good enough” mode. This game is most likely not must-see TV.

Kansas City Chiefs at Arizona Cardinals


Now this game is one to watch, especially since it’s the first half of the season when Arizona usually tears it up. The Chiefs haven’t been to four straight AFC championships because Jake from State Farm is feeding Patrick Mahomes plays. The Cardinals are a bit of an enigma because of their schizophrenic play the past two years,  but when they’re on, they are a force. This one ought to be a good’un.

Las Vegas Raiders at Los Angeles Chargers

The Chargers are the trendy pick for a spot in this year’s AFC championship against the Bills. It’s too bad they’re starting the season on the road. And yes, the game is at SoFi. The opponent is the Raiders. Trust me; it’s a road game.

Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings

Will this be the year Aaron Rodgers starts showing his age? Assuming he doesn’t spend ten to twenty in the Green Bay pokey for strangling his wide receivers after he repeatedly drops the ball into their hands, and they drop it anyway, probably not.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Dallas Cowboys

Given that the Buccaneers’ offensive line has so many injuries, Tom Brady has to snap the ball to himself and act as lead blocker on all running plays, this could be a long night for Tampa Bay. Dak Prescott isn’t at 100%, so expect not a whole lot of offense from either team.


Denver Broncos at Seattle Seahawks

Wonder how many Seattle fans will dig out their “let Russ cook” shirts for this game since Russell Wilson figures to cook the Seahawks goose seven ways from Sunday. Or Monday. You get the idea.


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