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Patriots defeat Steelers in NFL season opener, Week One continues Sunday


by Blake Krantz
In a jam-packed Gillette Stadium Thursday night—that is, jam-packed with everyone except NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell—the New England Patriots defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers 28-21 in the 2015 season opener.
New England Quarterback Tom Brady threw for 288 yards and 4 touchdowns, and tight end Rob Gronkowski caught 5 passes for 94 yards and 3 touchdowns in the spirited victory.
The Steelers were outmatched against the Pats, as a sub-par defense and the suspensions of offensive weapons Le’Veon Bell and Martavis Bryant for the Steelers creating a somewhat lopsided contest.
The 30 remaining NFL teams will now look forward to their Week 1 matchups this weekend, with 13 games on Sunday, in addition to two on Monday night.
Among the games which highlight Sunday are rivalry matchups between the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears, and the New York Giants and the Dallas Cowboys.
In the former, the Packers will be forced to play without their star receiver Jordy Nelson, although I still see Green Bay rolling over a poor Bears team at Soldier Field in Chicago.
Sunday night, the Cowboys will host the Giants without one of their key players, running back DeMarco Murray, who signed with the Philadelphia Eagles this offseason. This game is much more intriguing than the NFC North matchup mentioned above, as the Giants, led by breakout phenom Odell Beckham Jr., pose much more of an upset threat to the Cowboys than Chicago does to the Packers, who are led by the best quarterback in the NFL in Aaron Rodgers.
That being said, Dallas will still win this football game at home, with quarterback Tony Romo connecting with dominant receiver Dez Bryant on two touchdown passes en-route to a comfortable victory.
Perhaps overlooked in comparison with teams from larger and more popular markets, the matchup in Buffalo between the Indianapolis Colts and Buffalo Bills is another game worth paying attention to in Week 1.
Even though a high powered offense led by star quarterback Andrew Luck only got more menacing with the addition of proven veterans Frank Gore and Andre Johnson, this game will be much closer than many expect.
Buffalo undoubtedly has one of the best defenses in the NFL, with an especially formidable front seven, and the Bills’ fans will provide a significant home field advantage in this opening contest. Nonetheless, I see the Colts pulling off the Week 1 win in a hostile environment by a field goal.
Among other “big-name” games Sunday are the Detroit Lions visiting the San Diego Chargers, the New Orleans Saints visiting the Arizona Cardinals, and the Baltimore Ravens visiting the Denver Broncos.
Finally, the Atlanta Falcons will host the Philadelphia Eagles and the San Francisco 49ers will host the Minnesota Vikings in a Monday Night Football doubleheader, with the Falcons and the Vikings both pulling off victories at home to wrap up Week 1.

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