Week One Preview: New England Patriots at Tennessee Titans
AP: Week One Best Bets
New York won 31-14 and, a month or so later, was taking home its second Vince Lombardi Trophy in five seasons.
Now, here we are, The Opening of the 2012 schedule, and there are the Cowboys journeying Wednesday to the Meadowlands to take on the Super Bowl champions, who are 4-point favorites.
It's one of the NFL's better rivalries, but the Giants have won most of the significant meetings in recent years. And no team has lost the prime-time kickoff to the season after winning the NFL title since the tradition was begun in 2004.
''Every game is a tough game,'' Giants coach Tom Coughlin said. ''Seems to go pretty close to the wire. On the 17th week last year was a little bit of an exception, but every game is a battle. These two teams play each other hard and they're two talented teams that are very physical and that's the way these games always are.''
As this one will be. Dallas retooled its defense, particularly the secondary, to deal with the strong passing game the Giants and Eagles present in the NFC East. The Giants (No. 3 in the AP Pro32) also had significant changes, especially on offense with rookie David Wilson now the primary backup to running back Ahmad Bradshaw, and big-play third receiver Mario Manningham gone.
One key player, Dallas tight end Jason Witten, is recovering from a lacerated spleen. The Cowboys (No. 15, AP Pro32) need him to have any chance.
No. 30 Miami (plus 10 1/2) at No. 6 Houston
BEST BET: Texans are aiming for Super Bowl. Dolphins are aiming to avoid cellar.
No. 10 Atlanta (minus 2 1/2) at No. 17 Kansas City
UPSET SPECIAL: Chiefs are hurting, but relatively healthy compared to 2011 debacle.
No. 7 Pittsburgh (plus 1) at No. 11 Denver
Could be punishing return for Peyton Manning. He'll survive the pounding.
No. 27 Indianapolis (plus 9 1/2) at No. 12 Chicago
Rough debut for Andrew Luck. Better times ahead.
No. 24 Washington (plus 9 1/2) at No. 9 New Orleans
Rough debut for RG3. Actually he should do well, but Saints are ticked off bunch that will score plenty.
No. 22 Seattle (minus 2 1/2) at No. 25 Arizona
Another rookie QB, Russell Wilson, will fare better than Luck and Griffin.
No. 4 San Francisco (plus 5 1/2) at No. 1 Green Bay
They easily could meet again at Lambeau in January.
No. 8 Philadelphia (minus 8 1/2) at No. 32 Cleveland
Eagles can't afford another stumble out of the gate.
No. 20 Buffalo (plus 3) at No. 19 N.Y. Jets
Mario Williams and Mark Anderson meet at the QB, whether it's Sanchez or Tebow.
No. 2 New England (minus 6 1/2) at No. 21 Tennessee
Tom Brady got banged around in preseason. Titans can rush passer. Still ...
No. 31 Jacksonville (plus 4) at No. 28 Minnesota
Might be only time Vikings are favored this season.
No. 29 St. Louis (plus 8 1/2) at No. 13 Detroit
Difficult spot for Jeff Fisher in first game as Rams coach.
No. 18 Carolina (minus 2 1/2) at No. 26 Tampa Bay
Bucs being touted as one of most improved teams. We think that might be Panthers instead.
No. 14 Cincinnati (plus 6) at No. 5 Baltimore, Monday
With improving offense, Ravens could be class of AFC.
No. 16 San Diego (minus 1) at No. 23 Oakland, Monday
Norv Turner needs fast start to season with Chargers.
Against spread: 133-111-5.
Straight up 176-91.
Best Bet: 4-15 against spread, 13-6 straight up.
Upset Special: 11-7 against spread, 8-10 straight up.
StateoftheTexans.com Recommended Stories
Texans All-22: The Offense vs. the Colts
An All-22 look at the Houston Texans offense against the Indianapolis Colts.Read More
Texans All-22: The Defense vs. the Colts
An All-22 look at the Houston Texans defense against the Indianapolis Colts.Read More
Digging Deep: The Texans Pass Rush
A closer look at the Houston Texans pass rush through six games.Read More
Week 8: Super Sleepers
Every week, Fantasy Football Expert Jeb Gorham digs in his list of rankings to find the best sleepers for deeper formats. Consider giving these players a chance, but be aware of the risk! Tampa Bay…Read More
Watch: Sailfish Goes Psycho!
Check out this classic video of Dan Larson battling an acrobatic sailfish on a trip to the world-famous Tropic Star Lodge in Panama.Read More