NFL picks and predictions, Week 1: Chiefs vs. Jaguars

Jamie Squire

NFL experts are siding with the Chiefs in a Week 1 battle between the two worst teams of the 2012 season.

The Kansas City Chiefs and the Jacksonville Jaguars were the two worst teams in the NFL last season, both finishing with 2-14 records. Perhaps someone in the NFL scheduling department thought it would be funny to pit the two against one another in a David vs. David contest to open the season, but it's safe to say that the game isn't considered one of the weekend slate's marquee matchups.

Surprisingly, considering the teams' equally-awful 2012 seasons, pundits have a clear favorite in the game. Of ESPN's 11 experts, nine picked the Chiefs to open the season with the win. At CBS Sports, eight out of nine sided with the Chiefs. The difference, according to CBS senior columnist Pete Prisco, is the Jags' woeful defense.

Blaine Gabbert, who suffered a hairline fracture of his thumb two weeks ago, is expected to start here. Jacksonville looks to be improved on offense, but the defense has major issues. Look for the Chiefs to attack the young secondary and make some big plays down the field. Alex Smith and Andy Reid go to 1-0 with the Chiefs.

Another key may be at quarterback. Alex Smith wasn't much more than steady with the San Francisco 49ers, but compared to the Cassel/Quinn disaster the Chiefs dealt with last year, steady is an immense improvement. Blaine Gabbert is still trying to get comfortable entering his third season in the NFL. What's more, he is dealing with a thumb injury that has his status listed as "day to day."

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