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Oakland and Kansas City Previews and Predictions for Week 1

The NFL season is upon us with the first Sunday of the 2013 regular ready to kickoff. The AFC West was ruled last season by the Denver Broncos and on Thursday they showed they are not ready to let go yet as they beat the defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens 49-27 behind seven Peyton Manning touchdown passes.

With San Diego playing on Monday night, the other two AFC West teams are in action today. The Kansas City Chiefs take on the Jacksonville Jaguars, while the Oakland Raiders meet the Indianapolis Colts.

In Kansas, the Andy Reid/ Alex Smith era begins today. Reid is taking over the helm of a team that struggled last season on both sides of the ball. Smith arrives in Kansas City as the new starting quarterback.

Kansas City was 2-14 last season, but selected an offensive tackle as the No. 1 pick in the entire NFL draft to shore up the pass protection for Smith. Last season, the Chiefs only managed to average just over 13 points per game, the worst in the league.

Kansas City has a strong contingent of linebackers returning and their secondary should be strong against Jacksonville. In addition, on offense besides Jamaal Charles, who ran for over 1,500 yards, the Chiefs have Dwayne Bowe their top receiver who should be Smith’s favorite target in today’s game.

The Jaguars might be the worst team in the NFL and suffered through a 2-14 season last year. The Jaguars also have a new coach in Gus Bradley, but the team wants the turn around to be gradual with young talented players paving the way.

Prediction: Kansas City 24-14

The Oakland Raiders face the aerial attack of Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts to open their NFL season.

The Raiders coaching staff has not released its starting quarterback for today’s game. The Raiders hope this season is the start of something good as they have gone 11 seasons without having a winning record.

Matt Flynn was brought in by Oakland to be their new quarterback for the future but he has been challenged all preseason by Terrelle Pryor.

Both players were not that impressive during the preseason, although Flynn faced mainly starters, while Pryor usually played against reserves.

Flynn has recovered from a sore elbow, but is not as mobile as Pryor, who could help the Raiders offense with his scrambling and running ability.

On defense, the Raiders have almost a completely new unit. Oakland signed former Raiders veteran Charles Woodson to bring talent and experience to the secondary. Tracy Porter was signed to help Woodson in the secondary, while Nick Roach was signed to shore up the linebackers.

Regardless of whom the Raiders have defending, the talented Luck will give them fits with his pinpoint passing the entire game.

Prediction: Colts 30-17

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