"Ask Vic" will publish on M-W-F through the regular season.
Can the Packers beat the Bears?
The Packers can beat anybody when they play a little bit of defense and Aaron Rodgers is on his game. I expect the Packers to play a lot of defense this year, but can we expect Rodgers to be on his game in the opener after not playing a down in the preseason? I guess the answer to that question is yes because, well, he's Aaron Rodgers.
Yes, the Packers can beat the Bears, but I can't say that's my expectation. The Bears have a powerful roster and they are heading into this season with the belief they are the team to beat in the NFC North.
In the final analysis, the team whose quarterback plays best will probably win the game, and it's from that modern-day reality the Packers draw their hope for starting fast in their pursuit of reclaiming their hold on the NFC North.
Can the Jaguars beat the visiting Chiefs?
Absolutely! The forecast for Sunday's one o'clock start in Jacksonville is for scorching heat and suffocating humidity.
I talked to former Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio last week for a story I did for jaguars.com on Jaguars home openers, and Jack said this: "I look at the schedule each year and I look at the games where teams are going to melt, and that could be one right there. It's huge for teams not accustomed to that heat and humidity. A one o'clock start is brutal for teams not practicing in those conditions."
The key to victory for the Jaguars is keeping the game close heading into the fourth quarter. That's when visiting teams run out of gas.
This is a huge game for the Jaguars. They play a somewhat disheveled Texans team in Houston in Week 2, and then host Tennessee in a Thursday night game. If the Jags can win their opener, they could get off to a fast start to the Nick Foles era.
I'm picking the Jags to win.
Can the Steelers beat the Patriots?
In New England? Probably not, but the Steelers finally played inspired defense against Tom Brady late last season, in an impressive win in Pittsburgh.
The Steelers defense is on the uptick. I don't think this is going to be a championship season for the Steelers, but young talent has the arrow pointing up after two seasons of discord.
Here's the "Ask Vic" Week 1 all-important power rankings:
1. Patriots -- Can Brady do it again?
2. Chiefs -- Is the defense fixed?
3. Bears -- Ready to roar.
4. Rams -- Could take a step back this year.
5. Browns -- OK, boys, show us what you got.
6. Seahawks -- Clowney makes them better.
7. Saints -- Are they done whining?
8. Ravens -- Unique team with unique approach.
9. Eagles -- Wentz is "The Man."
10. Vikings -- Zimmer in hot-seat season.
11. Chargers -- Was last year a fluke?
12. Texans -- Strange maneuvering.
13. Cowboys -- They need Elliott.
14. Packers -- Better plays or better playing?
15. Jaguars -- The Jaguars are 6-0 following hurricanes (I just made that up).
16. Steelers -- Not rebuilding but not reloading.
17. Jets -- Will Bell make them better?
18. Titans -- Last chance for Mariota.
19. Colts -- They might be deceiving.
20. Panthers -- Newton is breaking down.
21. Lions -- Nothing jumps out at me.
22. Bills -- Could be a surprise team.
23. Washington -- Season dedicated to Haskins.
24. Broncos -- What am I supposed to like?
25. Giants -- Jones takes over before midseason.
26. Dolphins -- Totally non-descript franchise.
27. Bucs -- Arians could fix them.
28. Falcons -- Ryan beginning to show some age.
29. Bengals -- This could get really bad.
30. 49ers -- Garoppolo at the test.
31. Raiders -- It's the Antonio Brown Show, starring nobody.
32. Cardinals -- What if Murray isn't good?