NFL Week 1 Top 3 Match-Ups

words_Jordan Hagedorn

Week 1 of the NFL season kicks off tonight with a rematch of the NFL Championship game last year. In one corner you have the defending Champion the New Orleans Saints, and in the other you have the Brett Favre-led Minnesota Vikings. Both teams are coming off of great seasons last year, and both are hungrier than ever. This much-anticipated, hyped match-up is the game of the week and led me to pick the Top 3 Match-Ups of Week 1.

Minnesota Vikings at New Orleans Saints
For the first match-up, we’ll look at tonight’s game between the Vikes and Saints. It features two of the top QBs in the league facing off, with 2010 Super Bowl MVP Drew Brees against living legend and future Hall of Famer Brett Favre, who are pretty evenly matched. Then you have Adrian Peterson of the Vikings and Reggie Bush/Pierre Thomas of the Saints in opposing backfields. The Vikes get the edge there, but don’t count the Saints’ rushing attack out; they are dangerous with Bush catching a lot of balls out of the backfield. With Vikes WR Sidney Rice out, and Saints’ top wideout Marques Colston banged up, the receiving side of things is pretty even. The Vikes D is very strong, but the Saints play extremely good team defense, so once again it’s a wash. The Saints are the defending Champs, Coach Sean Payton always has his team prepared, and they are playing at home, so I give a slight edge to New Orleans.

Cincinnati Bengals at New England Patriots

The second intriguing match-up this week is the Cincinnati Bengals traveling to New England to take on the Patriots. The Bengals picked up celebrity WR Terrell Owens in free agency to go along with their other high-profile WR Chad Ocho Cinco. They are hoping to be a lethal duo on the field this season. The Pats have stud WRs Randy Moss and Wes Welker to counter Cinci’s passing attack. QBs Carson Palmer and Tom Brady are both super talented, but since Brady knows what it takes to win big games, I’ll give the Pats the nod here. The defensive side of the ball is pretty evenly matched, and Bill Belichick has those three Super Bowl rings, so I got the Pats in this game.

Baltimore Ravens at New York Jets
The third matchup of Week 1 features two exciting teams that should both play an extremely physical game Monday Night at the New Meadowlands Stadium. Both teams made some great off-season moves with the Ravens, acquiring excellent WRs Anquan Boldin and T.J. Houshmandzadeh, while the Jets picked up Super Bowl XLIII MVP Santonio Holmes and star RB LaDainian Tomlinson. Third-year QB Joe Flacco goes up against second-year guy Mark Sanchez in a match-up of youngsters. Both defenses are very talented and should give viewers a great show for the first Monday Night Football game of the year. It’s hard to bet against either one of these teams as Rex Ryan is one of the best coaches in the league, and young head coach John Harbaugh seems to always have his squad playing at a high level. I give a slight edge to the Ravens because Flacco has so many weapons in RBs Ray Rice and Willis McGahee, the aforementioned WRs and TE Todd Heap. I’m picking the Ravens, but if the Jets can make some big plays on D and get good play from their special teams, they can win this game.

For more NFL content, check out the Week 1 2010 NFL Power Rankings or a more in-depth look at the Vikes/Saints Season Opener.