Aug 30, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) watches from the sidelines during the third quarter of a preseason game against the Buffalo Bills at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-US PRESSWIRE

It All Starts Today: NFC North Week 1 Predictions

The moment we’ve all been waiting for has finally arrived, it’s NFL Sunday!

This week each NFC North team will face a former number one overall pick in Sam Bradford, Alex Smith and Andrew Luck making for an interesting start to the season.

Here are my NFC North predictions for week 1:

Rams vs. Lions

The Lions should be firing on all cylinders and will put on a show in front of their home crowd. I expect to see a few surprises today in the Lions secondary namely, I expect John Wendling to make some big plays and pick of Bradford at least once. I also expect Bill Bentley to have a solid game against a weak Rams receiving corps. The only chance the Rams have of containing the Lions’ offense will be if they can keep constant pressure on Lions’ quarterback Matthew Stafford and force him into a few mistakes early.

Prediction: Lions win 45-17.

49ers vs. Packers

This is my game of the week. The Packers might have the best offense in the NFL, but I expect them to get off to a slow start to this season playing against perhaps the best defense in the NFL. This game will be close and not as high scoring as fans might think.

Prediction: 49ers win 2o-17

Colts vs. Bears

Andrew Luck looked as good as advertised in the preseason, but he’s still a rookie and he’s playing against a veteran Bears team that has Super Bowl or bust aspirations. Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall will hook up for a touchdown and the Bears defense will make it a difficult rookie debut for Luck.

Prediction: Bears win 24-20

Jaguars vs. Vikings

The Vikings lucked out for a number of reasons entering week one. First, they get a home game, and then they get to play against a very beatable team in the Jaguars. However, the luck runs out for the Vikings there as the Jaguars defense is a stout unit, and now that Blaine Gabbert has a number one receiver in Justin Blackmon and a new head coach to help his development, I expect Gabbert to be much improved in his second year in the league.

Prediction: Jaguars win 21-13

In my week 1 predictions I have the NFC North going 2-2 with a surprising loss for the Packers at home. Stop by sidelionreport.com every Sunday for my week by week predictions for the NFC North and feel free to leave a comment below to share your game predictions!

Tags: Chicago Bears Detroit Lions Green Bay Packers Minnesota Vikings

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