Tampa Bay at NY Jets
Time: 1 p.m. (Fox) Line: Buccaneers by 3½.
2012 records: Buccaneers 7-9 (9-5-2 vs. spread), Jets 6-10 (7-9 vs. spread).
Comments: The final season of the Rex Ryan Era begins and wouldn’t it be appropriate if ex-Jet Darrelle Revis picks off new Jets QB Geno Smith a couple of times? . . . Bucs QB Josh Freeman set franchise marks of 4,065 passing yards and 27 TDs last season, yet rookie Mike Glennon is pushing him . . . New York could suit up as many as 13 new starters . . . Player to watch: Tampa’s Doug Martin collected 1,926 yards from scrimmage as a rookie last season.
Key injuries: BUCCANEERS: OUT: TE Tom Crabtree (ankle), G Carl Nicks (foot). DOUBTFUL: CB Rashaan Melvin (hamstring). QUESTIONABLE: RB Mike James (eye), RB Erik Lorig (calf). PROBABLE: T Demar Dotson (back), CB Darrelle Revis (knee). JETS: OUT: LB Quinton Coples (ankle), QB Mark Sanchez (right shoulder). QUESTIONABLE: DT Kenrick Ellis (back), WR Santonio Holmes (foot). PROBABLE: LB Nick Bellore (oblique), G Willie Colon (knee, shoulder), CB Antonio Cromartie (hip), DE Leger Douzable (illness), G Vladimir Ducasse (calf), WR Clyde Gates (shoulder), LB David Harris (hip), DT Damon Harrison (knee), WR Stephen Hill (knee), T Ben Ijalana (knee), WR Jeremy Kerley (finger), CB Ellis Lankster (foot, hamstring), CB Dee Milliner (Achilles’), QB Matt Simms (calf, oblique), QB Geno Smith (ankle), TE Kellen Winslow (knee), G Brian Winters (ankle).
Green Bay at San Francisco
Time: 4:25 p.m. (Fox) Line: 49ers by 4½.
2012 records: Packers 12-6 (10-8 vs. spread), 49ers 13-5-1 (11-8 vs. spread).
Comments: 49ers beat the visiting Pack, 45-31, in NFC divisional round playoff game in January . . . San Francisco boasts the devastating linebacking duo of NaVorro Bowman and Patrick Willis, who combined for 263 tackles last season . . . Green Bay boasts a pretty good tandem in Clay Matthews (13 sacks) and A.J. Hawk (120 tackles) . . . Frisco QB Colin Kaepernick is 7-3 as a starter and rushed for 181 yards in last matchup . . . Player to watch: Green Bay’s Randall “Tex” Cobb has a kick-return TD in each of the last two season openers.
Key injuries: PACKERS: OUT: CB Casey Hayward (hamstring). QUESTIONABLE: S Morgan Burnett (hamstring), LB Brad Jones (hamstring). PROBABLE: CB Jarrett Bush (ankle). 49ERS: QUESTIONABLE: CB Nnamdi Asomugha (collarbone), RB LaMichael James (knee).
NY Giants at Dallas
Time: 8:30 p.m. (NBC) Line: Cowboys by 3½.
2012 records: Giants 9-7 (7-8-1 vs. spread), Cowboys 8-8 (6-10 vs. spread).
Comments: Things that drive Jerry Jones crazy: Giants are 4-0 in his $1.2 billion stadium . . . Tony Romo has all four of the Cowboys’ 4,000-yard passing seasons . . . Dallas leads the series, 57-43-2, and is 6-0 in season openers vs. Jints . . . NYG QB Eli Manning has passed for more than 3,000 yards and 20 TDs in eight straight seasons . . . Giants’ Hakeem Nicks has 21 catches for 317 yards in his last three vs. Dallas . . . Player to watch: Cowboys’ Jason Witten set an NFL record for TEs with 18 catches in a 29-24 loss to Giants last season.
Key injuries: GIANTS: OUT: C David Baas (knee), T David Diehl (knee). QUESTIONABLE: RB Henry Hynoski (knee), DE Damontre Moore (shoulder), DE Jason Pierre-Paul (back). PROBABLE: WR Victor Cruz (heel). COWBOYS: OUT: DE Ben Bass (shoulder), RB Lance Dunbar (foot), S Danny McCray (hamstring). DOUBTFUL: DE Anthony Spencer (knee). PROBABLE: G Ronald Leary (knee).
Philadelphia at Washington
Time: Monday, 6:55 p.m. (ESPN) Line: Redskins by 3½.
2012 records: Eagles 4-12 (3-12-1 vs. spread), Redskins 10-6 (11-5 vs. spread).
Comments: New Eagles coach Chip Kelly brings the Blur Offense to the NFL. Eagles ran an NFL-high 74.2 plays per game in the preseason . . . Running the offense will be Michael Vick, 33, the oldest player on the roster and the only one in NFL annals with 20,000 passing yards and 5,000 rushing yards . . . Robert Griffin III returns to QB the Redskins after offseason knee surgery kept him out of the preseason. He set rookie mark with 102.4 passer rating last season . . . Player to watch: Washington RB Alfred Morris coming off franchise-record 1,613 yards in rookie campaign.
Key injuries: EAGLES: OUT: CB Brandon Hughes (hand), T Dennis Kelly (back). REDSKINS: No data reported.
Miami at Cleveland
Time: 1 p.m. Line: Browns by 1.
2012 records: Dolphins 7-9 (8-8 vs. spread), Browns 5-11 (8-7-1 vs. spread).
Comments: Dolphins’ Ryan Tannehill looking to build off solid rookie campaign of 282 completions for 3,294 yards. Club is 6-1 when he has a passer rating of 90-plus . . . LBs Philip Wheeler and Dannell Ellerbe make their debuts for Miami’s revamped defense . . . Rob Chudzinski is Browns’ sixth coach since 1999 . . . Player to watch: Cleveland’s Joe Haden has nine INTs since 2010.
Key injuries: DOLPHINS: OUT: CB Will Davis (toe), QB Pat Devlin (ankle), CB Jamar Taylor (groin). QUESTIONABLE: CB Dimitri Patterson (ankle). PROBABLE: LB Jonathan Freeny (shoulder), DE Dion Jordan (shoulder), DE Vaughn Martin (ankle), TE Dion Sims (groin), S Jimmy Wilson (hamstring). BROWNS: OUT: G Shawn Lauvao (ankle), LB Barkevious Mingo (lung). QUESTIONABLE: DE Ahtyba Rubin (calf), CB Buster Skrine (shoulder). PROBABLE: WR Davone Bess (knee), DE Desmond Bryant (back), TE Jordan Cameron (groin), LB Eric Martin (foot), CB Chris Owens (foot), LB Jabaal Sheard (illness).
Cincinnati at Chicago
Time: 1 p.m. Line: Bears by 3.
2012 records: Bengals 10-6 (9-6-1 vs. spread), Bears 10-6 (7-9 vs. spread).
Comments: The Marc Trestman Era begins in Chicago, eh? He guided the Montreal Alouettes to two Grey Cups . . . Bengals are looking for their third straight trip to the postseason (no, this is not April Fool’s Day) . . . Jay Cutler is the only QB in Bears history with three 3,000-plus-yard seasons . . . Player to watch: Cincy’s BenJarvus Green-Ellis rushed for a career-high 1,094 yards last season.
Key injuries: BENGALS: OUT: CB Brandon Ghee (concussion), G Mike Pollak (knee). DOUBTFUL: T Andrew Whitworth (knee). PROBABLE: DE Carlos Dunlap (concussion), TE Tyler Eifert (forearm), CB Dre Kirkpatrick (concusison), T Andre Smith (knee), DT Devon Still (knee). BEARS: No data reported.
Oakland at Indianapolis
Time: 1 p.m. Line: Colts by 10.
2012 records: Raiders 4-12 (5-11 vs. spread), Colts 11-6 (9-7-1 vs. spread).
Comments: Colts have lost three straight season openers. That streak ends Sunday . . . Raiders are still trying to decide between B-list QBs Matt Flynn and Terrelle Pryor (OK, maybe C-list) . . . Colts, meanwhile, have sophomore A-lister Andrew Luck (rookie-record 4,374 yards) . . . Oakland is 10-2 when Darren McFadden rushes for 100-plus yards . . . Player to watch: Indy LB Jerrell Freeman had team-high 145 tackles last season.
Key injuries: RAIDERS: OUT: TE David Ausberry (shoulder), T Jared Veldheer (triceps), T Menelik Watson (knee). QUESTIONABLE: LB Sio Moore (foot). PROBABLE: QB Matt Flynn (right elbow), K Sebastian Janikowski (right calf). COLTS: OUT: LB Kavell Conner (ankle). DOUBTFUL: LB Pat Angerer (concussion). QUESTIONABLE: DE Fili Moala (foot), WR David Reed (head). PROBABLE: TE Dwayne Allen (foot), RB Ahmad Bradshaw (foot), T Anthony Castonzo (knee), TE Coby Fleener (knee), LB Mario Harvey (knee), S Joe Lefeged (knee), G Mike McGlynn (knee).
Tennessee at Pittsburgh
Time: 1 p.m. Line: Steelers by 7.
2012 records: Titans 6-10 (6-10 vs. spread), Steelers 8-8 (6-9-1 vs. spread).
Comments: Steelers have won 10 straight home openers . . . Titans have 20 new players, their highest turnover since they were the Oilers . . . Pittsburgh QB Ben Roethlisberger is 156 passing yards shy of 30,000 for his career . . . Steelers were 0-4 in preseason . . . Player to watch: Tennessee’s Nate Washington has 209 receptions since 2009, including at least one in 79 straight games.
Key injuries: TITANS: OUT: LB Zaviar Gooden (ankle). DOUBTFUL: RB Quinn Johnson (quadriceps). QUESTIONABLE: LB Akeem Ayers (ankle), T David Stewart (calf). STEELERS: OUT: RB Le'Veon Bell (foot). DOUBTFUL: TE Heath Miller (knee). PROBABLE: RB Will Johnson (hamstring), LB Jarvis Jones (chest), DE Brett Keisel (not injury related).
Atlanta at New Orleans
Time: 1 p.m. Line: Saints by 3.
2012 records: Falcons 13-3 (9-6-1 vs. spread), Saints 7-9 (8-8 vs. spread).
Comments: Sean Payton is back to lead the Saints after completing his bounty suspension . . . Steven Jackson, ex- of the Rams, makes his Falcons debut. He has eight straight 1,000-yard rushing seasons . . . Atlanta QB Matty “Ice” Ryan’s 56 wins are most by QB in first five seasons . . . Player to watch: Saints WR Marques Colston has more than 1,000 receiving yards in six of last seven seasons.
Key injuries: FALCONS: QUESTIONABLE: LB Stephen Nicholas (thigh), CB Asante Samuel (thigh), WR Roddy White (ankle). PROBABLE: K Matt Bryant (back), C Joe Hawley (illness). SAINTS: OUT: S Isa Abdul-Quddus (ankle), DE Glenn Foster (ankle). PROBABLE: T Terron Armstead (stomach), RB Travaris Cadet (foot), WR Marques Colston (foot), G Jahri Evans (back), LB Junior Galette (hamstring), LB Kevin Reddick (shoulder), T Zach Strief (back), WR Nick Toon (chest), LB Martez Wilson (elbow).
Seattle at Carolina
Time: 1 p.m. Line: Seahawks by 3½.
2012 records: Seahawks 11-5 (11-5 vs. spread), Panthers 7-9 (9-7 vs. spread).
Comments: Game pits two of league’s youngest and most dynamic QBs. Seattle’s Russell Wilson threw for 26 TDs last season, tying Peyton Manning’s rookie record . . . Carolina’s Cam Newton has thrown for 7,920 yards in his first two seasons, breaking Manning’s record (7,874) . . . Player to watch: Panthers LB Luke Kuechly led the NFL with 164 tackles as a rookie last season.
Key injuries: SEAHAWKS: OUT: T Michael Bowie (shoulder), DE Chris Clemons (knee), DT Jordan Hill (biceps). DOUBTFUL: DE Cliff Avril (hamstring). QUESTIONABLE: CB Brandon Browner (hamstring). PROBABLE: DT Tony McDaniel (groin), DT Brandon Mebane (groin), WR Sidney Rice (knee), WR Stephen Williams (head). PANTHERS: OUT: RB Kenjon Barner (foot), CB James Dockery (thumb). DOUBTFUL: S Mike Mitchell (calf). QUESTIONABLE: DT Dwan Edwards (thigh), WR Domenik Hixon (hamstring), G Amini Silatolu (hamstring). PROBABLE: LB Jon Beason (knee), TE Ben Hartsock (foot), RB Mike Tolbert (hamstring).
Minnesota at Detroit
Time: 1 p.m. Line: Lions by 5.
2012 records: Vikings 10-6 (8-7-1 vs. spread), Lions 4-12 (6-10 vs. spread).
Comments: Reggie Bush makes his Motown debut after rushing for 2,072 yards and 12 TDs over the past two seasons for the Dolphins . . . Minny’s Adrian Peterson had seven games of 150-plus rushing yards last season, tying the great Earl Campbell’s mark . . . Detroit’s Calvin Johnson set NFL mark with 1,964 receiving yards in 2012 . . . Player to watch: Vikings’ Blair Walsh was 10 of 10 on FG attempts of 50-plus yards last season.
Key injuries: VIKINGS: OUT: DT Kevin Williams (knee). PROBABLE: QB McLeod Bethel-Thompson (illness), CB Chris Cook (groin), LB Larry Dean (shoulder), DT Sharrif Floyd (knee), DT Letroy Guion (finger), LB Erin Henderson (heel), T Phil Loadholt (knee), WR Cordarrelle Patterson (back), S Mistral Raymond (shoulder), S Harrison Smith (back). LIONS: PROBABLE: DE Ziggy Ansah (concussion), S Louis Delmas (knee), DE Jason Jones (knee).
Kansas City at Jacksonsville
Time: 1 p.m. Line: Chiefs by 4.
2012 records: Chiefs 2-14 (5-11 vs. spread), Jaguars 2-14 (7-9 vs. spread).
Comments: Both franchises cleaned house in the offseason with Andy Reid taking over the Chiefs and Gus Bradley handling the Jaguars . . . New KC QB Alex Smith (formerly of Niners) is 19-5-1 as a starter . . . Jacksonville’s Maurice Jones-Drew will play in his 100th game. He has 76 career TDs . . . Player to watch: Jags LB Paul Posluszny had a career-high 132 tackles last season.
Key injuries: CHIEFS: OUT: LB Nico Johnson (ankle). QUESTIONABLE: S Husain Abdullah (foot), G Jon Asamoah (calf), DE Allen Bailey (not injury related), TE Travis Kelce (knee). PROBABLE: S Quintin Demps (hamstring), T Eric Fisher (shoulder), LB James-Michael Johnson (groin), LB Dezman Moses (toe), CB Sean Smith (neck), T Donald Stephenson (shoulder). JAGUARS: OUT: TE Marcedes Lewis (calf). QUESTIONABLE: RB Justin Forsett (toe), QB Blaine Gabbert (right thumb). PROBABLE: WR Stephen Burton (illness), S Johnathan Cyprien (hamstring), DT Roy Miller (knee), DE Jeremy Mincey (illness), G Will Rackley (ankle).
Arizona at St. Louis
Time: 4:25 p.m. Line: Rams by 4½.
2012 records: Cardinals 5-11 (7-8-1 vs. spread), Rams 7-8-1 (11-5 vs. spread).
Comments: Bruce Arians takes over a Cardinals team that lost 11 of its last 12 in 2012 . . . Jeff Fisher is hoping to lead the Rams to their first winning season since 2003 . . . Carson Palmer, coming off a 4,018-yard season with Oakland, is Arizona’s new QB . . . Rams helmets will feature decal honoring late pass-rushing great Deacon Jones . . . Player to watch: Cardinals’ Larry Fitzgerald has 764 catches, more than any Hall of Famer had through 140 games.
Key injuries: CARDINALS: OUT: TE Rob Housler (ankle). QUESTIONABLE: DE Calais Campbell (quadriceps). PROBABLE: CB Javier Arenas (hip), RB Andre Ellington (hamstring), TE D.C. Jefferson (knee), TE Mike Leach (hamstring), RB Rashard Mendenhall (knee), WR Andre Roberts (quadriceps), DT Dan Williams (ankle). RAMS: OUT: TE Cory Harkey (knee), S Quinton Pointer (thigh), S Darian Stewart (thigh), LB Jonathan Stewart (hip).
Houston at San Diego
Time: Monday, 10:20 p.m. (ESPN) Line: Texans by 4.
2012 records: Texans 12-4 (9-7 vs. spread), Chargers 7-9 (7-9 vs. spread).
Comments: Mike McCoy is the new Chargers coach . . . Texans freak J.J. Watt is coming off a 20½-sack campaign . . . Houston QB Matt Schaub collected his third 4,000-plus-yard season in 2012 . . . Texans have won four straight road openers . . . Chargers have won 13 of past 20 home openers . . . Player to watch: Philip Rivers is first San Diego QB with five straight 3,500-yard passing seasons. He is 7-4 on “Monday Night Football.”
Key injuries: TEXANS: DNP: T David Quessenberry (foot), LB Darryl Sharpton (concussion). LIMITED: S Ed Reed (hip). FULL: CB A.J. Bouye (knee), LB Brian Cushing (knee), RB Arian Foster (calf), TE Garrett Graham (hip), WR DeAndre Hopkins (concussion), CB Brice McCain (knee), LB Whitney Mercilus (hamstring), LB Sam Montgomery (Achilles’), S Eddie Pleasant (knee), WR DeVier Posey (Achilles’), LB Brooks Reed (back), G Wade Smith (knee). CHARGERS: DNP: LB Manti Te'o (foot). FULL: WR Malcom Floyd (knee), DE Corey Liuget (shoulder), CB Johnny Patrick (head), WR Eddie Royal (chest/head), S Brandon Taylor (knee), CB Shareece Wright (chest).
Jim McBride can be reached at email@example.com