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Stampede Blue’s NFL Week 1 staff picks

NFL: AFC Divisional Round-Houston Texans at Kansas City Chiefs Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

After what felt like the longest offseason in the history of the league, professional football is finally back.

The defending Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs kick off their title defense against a Houston Texans team seeking revenge after their 2019 season ended with a 24-point collapse to Andy Reid and Co. You couldn’t draw up a bigger game to kick off the new year, one that features two of the brightest young names in the sport in Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson — well, unless you’re a Bears fan that is.

All 32 teams are in action this week, with fanbases around the world waiting for their first glimpses at each new trinket added to their roster. The Chargers, Bengals and Panthers all begin new eras this week, while individuals such as Tom Brady, Cam Newton and Philip Rivers look to add new milestones to their already-decorated careers.

While so much has changed around the league, everything is pretty similar here with Stampede Blue’s staff picks. Each week, we’ll put our brains to the test and try to accurately pick as many game winners as possible. As we move further into the season there will be weekly awards, full-season standings updates and more. For now, let’s take a look at the slate of games and dive into the picks.

Can’t miss contests:

Texans @ Chiefs

Packers @ Vikings

Buccaneers @ Saints

Cowboys @ Rams

Could be surprisingly fun:

Jets @ Bills

Eagles @ Washington

Browns @ Ravens

Raiders @ Panthers

Seahawks @ Falcons

Dolphins @ Patriots

Cardinals @ 49ers

Titans @ Broncos

Hit the snooze button:

Colts @ Jaguars

Bears @ Lions

Chargers @ Bengals

Steelers @ Giants

Thursday 8:20 pm ET

Texans @ Chiefs

Sunday 1:00 pm ET

Jets @ Bills (9) | Contrarian: Thomas Skulski

Packers (7) @ Vikings | Contrarians: Chris Blystone, Greg Rader, Chris Shepherd

Eagles (9) @ Washington | Contrarian: Blake Pace

Browns @ Ravens

Colts @ Jaguars

Raiders (7) @ Panthers | Contrarians: Elliot Denton, Shepherd, Skulski

Bears @ Lions (8) | Contrarians: Andrew Aziz, Mateo Caliz, Jared

Seahawks @ Falcons (5) | Contrarians: Aziz, Denton, Rader, Shepherd, Skulski, Jared

Dolphins @ Patriots (9) | Contrarian: Blystone

Sunday 4:05 pm ET

Chargers (8) @ Bengals | Contrarians: Blystone, Shepherd, Jared

Sunday 4:25 pm ET

Cardinals @ 49ers (9) | Contrarian: Skulski

Buccaneers @ Saints

Sunday 8:20 pm ET

Cowboys (8) @ Rams | Contrarians: Blystone, Shepherd

Monday 7:10 pm ET

Steelers @ Giants

Monday 10:20 pm ET

Titans (7) @ Broncos | Contrarians: Aziz, Pace, Stephen Reed, Jared