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Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to 11th year of my NFL picks. I've finally outlasted Tom Brady

I honestly didn't think he was ever going to retire, and even when he announced his retirement earlier this year, I still thought he was going to return at some point, but now, I'm starting to think that's not going to happen. 

I mean, nothing says "I'm retired" more than flirting with Kim Kardashian at a party in the Hamptons. 

I'm guessing my invite to the party got lost in the mail, which is probably for the best, because I'm 61% sure that I'm still banned from the Hamptons. 

Anyway, I have no idea why I'm even talking about Brady or the Hamptons, because there are way more important things to talk about right now like who I'm picking to win the Super Bowl this year. 

So who am I going to pick?

That's a great question and you can find the answer by clicking here to see my predictions for the entire 2023 NFL season. If you click over, you'll see my final record predictions for all 32 teams plus who I'm picking to make the playoffs and win the Super Bowl.

Alright, let's get to the Week 1 picks. 

Actually, before we get to the Week 1 picks, I have good news for the nine of you who emailed in and demanded to CBS that I do more this season. Not only will I be writing this weekly picks column, but I'll also be podcasting a lot this year. As a matter of fact, you should go ahead and circle every Sunday and Tuesday on your calendar from now until February, because that's when I'll be joining Will Brinson and Ryan Wilson on the Pick Six Podcast (Click here to check it out). On Sundays, we'll be doing a recap show. As for Tuesdays, we'll be terrorizing Pete Prisco on a show that will be centered around his weekly power rankings. 

Alright, I think that's enough self-promotion for now, let's get to the picks. 

NFL Week 1 Picks

Detroit at Kansas City

Thursday, 8:20 p.m. ET (NBC)

When the NFL released the 2023 schedule back in May, I was so shocked that the Lions were picked for the opener that I spit oat milk out of my nose and the gross part is that I don't even drink oat milk. I still don't know how that happened. I should probably get that checked. 

When it comes to Kansas City's opponent for this game, the NFL had a lot of options -- like the Bengals, Eagles, Bills or Chargers, to name a few -- but they went with the Lions, who might want to change their name to the Lambs for this game, because they feel like a sacrificial lamb here. 

The problem for Detroit is that the Chiefs never lose in Week 1. If you give Andy Reid extra time to prepare for a game, he is almost always going to win. Over the past eight years, Reid has gone 8-0 in openers and the Chiefs have averaged 36.4 points per game in those eight wins. Also, Patrick Mahomes might be the most unstoppable QB on the planet when playing in an opener. I mean, he's always unstoppable, but he's extra unstoppable in Week 1. 

Mahomes has started five openers in his career and he's 5-0 in those games with the Chiefs, scoring an average of 37.8 points per win. I would predict Kansas City to score 37.8 points on Sunday, but I don't believe in decimals, so I'm going to go with a round number. 

Although I'm fawning all over the Chiefs, I do think that the Chris Jones situation could give the Lions a chance to pull off the upset. Jones is the Chiefs' best defensive player and at this point, there are only two options for Thursday: 

  • He gets a deal done with the team and plays. 
  • He doesn't get a deal done and he misses the game. 

If the first option happens, I think he'll be rusty and mostly ineffective. If the second option happens, the Chiefs will be missing their best defensive player, which could pave the way for the Lions offense to score a lot of points. I think what I'm trying to say here is that the opener is going to turn into a shootout. 

If the Lions pull off the upset in this game, the team needs to celebrate by sending everyone in Detroit a free Axel Foley jacket. 

I don't think the upset is going to happen, but I'm going to plant the seed just in case it does. 

The pick: Chiefs 33-30 over Lions

Although I love my pick for this game, I suggest you also read R.J. White's pick because he somehow seems to nail every Lions game. The man is on an INSANE 53-35-2 (+1462) run against the spread on his last 90 picks in games involving Detroit. White's pick is available over at SportsLine and you can check it out here.

Cincinnati at Cleveland

1 p.m. ET (CBS)

For some reason, every Bengals season seems to start the same way: Joe Burrow misses all of training camp, then shows up to the opener looking a little rusty, and then the Bengals proceed to play the wildest game of Week 1 and that game is always decided by exactly three points. 

If might sound like I'm making this all up, but I swear, I'm not. Let's do a quick refresher: 

  • 2020: Burrow's first preseason with the team was cut short during his rookie year due to COVID. In Week 1, the Bengals faced the Chargers and they ended up losing 16-13 in a wild game that wasn't wrapped up until Cincinnati missed a 31-yard field goal with seven seconds left. 
  • 2021: In his second year, Burrow ended up missing the preseason so he could rehab the ACL tear that he suffered as a rookie. Not only did Burrow make it back for the opener, but he led the Bengals to a wild 27-24 overtime win over the Vikings. A big reason the Bengals won is because Dalvin Cook lost a fumble in overtime. Cook only lost TWO FUMBLES the entire season, and one of them came in overtime of that game. 
  • 2022: Once again, Burrow missed most of training camp, and this time, it was due to his appendix, which actually RUPTURED in July 2022. Despite having his appendix burst inside his body, Burrow was still on the field for the Bengals' opener against the Steelers, and this game might have been the wildest one of all for him. The Bengals looked like they were going to win after scoring a TD with two seconds left, but a bad snap by their BACKUP long snapper led to an errant extra point, which sent the game to OT where the Steelers would win 23-20. 

That is three crazy games all decided by three points. I don't need to know anything about the Browns or Bengals. I just need to know that Burrow missed the entire preseason and that anytime that happens, craziness ensues in the opener.

Usually, I would automatically pick against the Browns because they never win in Week 1, but they ended their 18-year winless streak last season. On the Bengals' end, I am picking them to win the Super Bowl this season, but I am not picking them to win this game. Burrow is 1-4 against the Browns and he always seems to struggle against them, so I'm going to roll with Cleveland here. 

The pick: Browns 26-23 over Bengals.

San Francisco at Pittsburgh

1 p.m. ET (Fox)

I'm starting to think that someone in the NFL scheduling department hates the 49ers. For the THIRD STRAIGHT year, the 49ers will be flying halfway across the country to play their opener, and if last year was any indication, this could be an ugly trip. If you need a refresher on last year, the 49ers got beat in Chicago on what might have been the rainiest day in NFL history. Trey Lance probably still has nightmares about that game, which might be why he didn't end up working out in San Francisco. 

This year the 49ers get an even worse trip, because they have to fly to Pittsburgh to face a Steelers team that actually matches up pretty well with them. For one, if the 49ers have one weakness on offense, it's their offensive line. Yes, they have one of the best lineman in the league in Trent Williams, but after that, things get dicey and you can't really afford dicey when you're going up against the Steelers defense. 

The last time we saw the 49ers offensive line, they were getting decimated in the NFC title game against the Eagles. The 49ers got beat up so bad that they ran out of quarterbacks. I'm not saying that's going to happen on Sunday, but I will say that T.J. Watt is the last guy I would want to face if I were just six months removed from major elbow surgery. If Brock Purdy gets drilled a few times by the Steelers defense, he could start to lose faith in his line, which could cause his confidence to take a hit. 

Although the 49ers offensive line is going to have to deal with Watt, there's a very real chance that the Steelers offensive line won't have to deal with Nick Bosa. The reigning defensive player of the year held out all of training camp and it's unclear if he's going to play. Of course, even if he does play, there's no guarantee he'll be effective since he hasn't played organized football in three months. 

The Steelers have mastered the art of the Week 1 upset over the past few years. They beat the Bills in 2021 and followed that up with a win over the Bengals in 2022, and now, I think they're going add another upset to the list with a win over the 49ers in 2023. 

The pick: Steelers 26-23 over 49ers

Philadelphia at New England

4:25 p.m. ET (CBS)

On paper, the Eagles are definitely the better team in this game, but I stopped using paper five years ago, so I will be throwing that factor out the window. The only thing I care about in this game is Bill Belichick. Is he going to be there? If the answer is yes, then I'm picking the Patriots

Sure, Belichick completely lost his mind last year when he decided to let Matt Patricia call offensive plays, but despite that, I still like the advantage that he gives the Patriots in this game. This week will mark the first time that Jalen Hurts is facing the Patriots and let me just say that there is nothing more difficult for a quarterback than facing a Belichick defense for the first time. 

Belichick will throw everything but the kitchen sink at a quarterback, only to turn around and throw the kitchen sink anyway. The Patriots offense has a lot of question marks heading into this game, but the defense doesn't and I think Belichick will figure out a way to slow the Eagles down. 

Also, let's not forget that Patricia is no longer calling offensive plays, so New England's offense should be at least somewhat functional this year now that Bill O'Brien is in charge. Actually, I take that back, I just read the tweet below and it appears that Belichick is still calling the shots and that he has completely lost his marbles on the offensive side of the ball. 

I'm guessing he doesn't want to reveal his QB situation heading into the opener because his plan is to sign Tom Brady. 

Speaking of Brady, the Patriots are celebrating Tom Brady Appreciation Day on Sunday and there's no way I'm picking against them on Tom Brady Appreciation Day.  

The pick: Patriots 22-19 over Eagles

Buffalo at N.Y. Jets 

Monday, 8:15 p.m ET (ESPN)

When I first sat down to pick this game, I was 81% sure that I was going to pick the Bills to win, but then I decided to binge-watch "Hard Knocks" over the weekend, and now, not only did I change my mind about who I'm picking, but I'm not sure I'm ever going to be able to pick against the Jets again. Honestly, I should probably stop watching "Hard Knocks" because the same thing happens every year: HBO somehow brainwashes me into thinking that the "Hard Knocks" team is going to be good and then I react by picking them to win every game for the entire season. 

The show made Aaron Rodgers seem like one of the most likable people on the planet, which should be enough by itself to win HBO three Emmys. Rodgers can be a controversial figure at times: He hates pharmaceutical companies, he may or may not be a 9/11 truther and he spent half his offseason contemplating life in a dark room, but none of that is going to matter to Jets fans if he brings a Super Bowl to New York and it feels like there's a very real chance that could happen. 

Rodgers is at his best when he's playing with a chip on his shoulder and he seems to have a giant chip there right now after getting dumped by the Packers. Rodgers has a chance to make a huge statement in Week 1 and I think he's going to do that by carving up a Bills defense that's not going to have Von Miller. I don't trust the Jets offensive line and if Miller was playing this week, I might feel differently about this game, but he's not, so I'm taking New York. 

The pick: Jets 27-20 over Bills

NFL Week 1 picks: All the rest

Falcons 23-16 over Panthers
Jaguars 27-17 over Colts
Vikings 30-20 over Buccaneers
Titans 20-17 over Saints
Commanders 24-13 over Cardinals
Ravens 31-20 over Texans
Packers 19-16 over Bears
Broncos 23-20 over Raiders
Chargers 34-27 over Dolphins
Seahawks 24-17 over Rams
Cowboys 27-23 over Giants

Last Week 

Best pick: The "best pick" section is usually the part where I brag about my best pick from the preceding week, but since there weren't any regular-season games last week, that means there's no best pick for this section. That being said, if your only thought right now is, "Wow, I wish I could read this guy every day," you're in luck, because you can! I also write the daily NFL newsletter here at and you can subscribe by clicking here and entering your email address, and don't be selfish, feel free to sign up everyone you know. You can also follow me on the media platform formerly known as Twitter here.  

Worst pick: Although I'll have plenty of "worst picks" for this section starting next week, I have nothing for you this week. Actually, wait, yes I do. Since this is the worst pick section, this is the perfect time to tell you about my worst pick from the offseason: I flew all the way to New Zealand to watch the U.S. Women play in the quarterfinal of the World Cup, except they didn't make it to the quarterfinal, so the plan blew up in my face. The moral of the story here is that you should never plan an entire trip around an event where your team can be knocked out before you even arrive at your destination. That's my way of telling Browns fans not to book anything in Las Vegas just yet for the Super Bowl. 

Final 2022 picks record (including playoffs)

Straight-up: 174-109-1 
Against the spread: 136-139-9

You can find John Breech on Facebook or Twitter and if he's not doing one of those things, he's probably at a party in the Hamptons flirting with Kim Kardashian.