Opening Day NFL Forecast - Inside the Numbers
by Jimmy "The Voice" Turiello - 08/31/2007
It's almost here - Opening Night for the 2007 NFL season is right around the corner and Doc's has all the opening day trends and streaks to get you started with nothing but winners. The preseason was, without a doubt, one of most unusual in recent memory, but my how things will change when that pigskin is kicked off the tee, and the regular season begins. Today I'm here to share with you some basic trends and notes on the upcoming Week 1 games.
First, here are the teams with the longest winning and losing streaks of opening day victories: Pittsburgh, Atlanta and Jacksonville have been the big winners while Carolina has stumbled out of the blocks. The Steelers lead the AFC with four opening day victories in a row. Last year they covered a one-point line with a 24-17 victory over Miami. Atlanta has also gone 4-0 in its last four openers, upsetting the Panthers last year 20-6 as a four-point underdog. That defeat was also the third straight for Carolina in Week 1 contests. Finally, the Jaguars have won three straight openers, thumping Dallas, 24-17, as two-point dogs. The Jags are now 9-3 in their last 12 Week 1 games.
In NFL history the longest season-opening winning streak is Dallas with 17 straight, followed by Miami (11) and Detroit (10). No team has ever dropped more than nine straight Week 1 games.
Here's a look at what lay ahead for the teams with the longest streaks heading into 2007:
The Steelers will be playing at Cleveland and in 2006 they beat the Browns in Cleveland 24-20, a push against the spread for the Browns as four-point dogs. The Jaguars are hosting the Titans, whom they soundly beat, 37-7, in 2006. The Falcons are at Minnesota. The two teams didn't square off in 2006, but the Vikings won their opener last year in Washington.
What about the new Thursday Night Kickoff celebration? In 2006 it was the Steelers hosting the Dolphins. In 2005 it was the Patriots hosting the Raiders, who they beat, 30-20. Those same Patriots hosted the Colts in 2004 and beat them, 27-24.
The Giants start the year on Sunday night for the second consecutive year. Last season it was Manning vs. Manning, with Peyton leading the Colts to a straight up and ATS victory, 26-21.
Monday Night Football has become a double-header and in 2006 it was the Vikings (+4) going into Washington and beating the Skins, 19-16. Later that night the Chargers (-3) traveled to Oakland and set the stage for their record-breaking season by beating the Raiders, 27-0. This year it is Baltimore heading to Cincinnati - the place where they lost 13-7 as three-point underdogs last year - followed by Arizona at San Francisco.
Those are just a few of the items to keep an eye on as the 2007 NFL season opens with a bang!