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Sunday Playbook: Brady has dominated Big Ben, Steelers in past

Only three currently active quarterbacks have won the Super Bowl on the American Conference side since Tom Brady became a starting quarterback in the National Football League in 2001.

One, of course, is Brady with six Lombardi Trophies on his resume. The others are Ben Roethlisberger, who has won twice. The third is Joe Flacco, now of the Denver Broncos, who guided the Baltimore Ravens to the title in 2012.

Brady and Roethlisberger hook up on Sunday night at in Foxborough, Mass. in the feature game of an attractive Week One schedule in the 100th NFL season.

Brady is 11-3 against Pittsburgh in his career including two victories in AFC championship games. He's 9-3 against Big Ben, but more important 5-0 in Foxborough. The only time Roethlisberger was on the winning side at Gillette Stadium was in 2008 when Matt Cassel played in place of the injured Brady and was on the wrong end of a 33-10 count.

This intriguing matchup comes on a week when eight new head coaches get their first test under fire with their new team including Matt LaFleur's lackluster 10-3 victory with the Green Bay Packers' victory at Chicago on Thursday night.

Besides Flacco's move to Mile High there are five other quarterback changes to watch closely, including the debut of No. 1 draft pick Kyler Murray with the Arizona Cardinals.

A preview of the rest of the opening weekend games:

Game of the Day
Steelers (9-6-1) at Patriots (11-5)

Kickoff: 8:20 p.m., NBC.
The line: Patriots -5.5
Record ATS: Steelers 8-7-1; Patriots 9-7.
Over/under: 49.5
Times over/under: Steelers 8/8; Patriots 7/12.
The scoop: New England never stands pat. Most noticeable change is the retirement of TE Rob Gronkowski. Leading newcomer is DE Michael Bennett. ... Roethlisberger passed for 774 more yards and six more TDs than Brady in 2018, but needed to throw 105 more passes to do it.
Outlook: Steelers won 17-10 defensive game against the Pats at Heinz Field last December but it's hard to go against a New England team was undefeated at home in 2018 (6-2 ATS) and has won the last 12 there. Patriots, 24-14.

Top attractions
Texans (11-5) at Saints (13-3)

Kickoff: Monday, 7:10 p.m., ESPN.
The line: Saints -7.
Record ATS: Texans 7-6-3; Saints 10-6.
Over/under: 52.5
Times over/under: Texans 7/10; Saints 7/11.
The scoop: Remember the Saints were upset at home in their 2018 opener against Tampa Bay then rallied to win NFC South and get to within one blown call of the Super Bowl. ... Texans won AFC South, thanks to a sweep of disappointing Jaguars. ... Houston said goodbye to OLB Jadeveon Clowney and hello to OT Laremy Tunsil, who is supposed to fix protection problems of QB Deshaun Watson.
Outlook: Aa Bears-Packers showed, unprepared teams my not be ready to beat the over/under this early. Saints, 35-20.

Falcons (7-9) at Vikings (8-7-1)
Kickoff: 1 p.m.
The line: Vikings -3.5
Record ATS: Falcons 5-11; Vikings 8-7-1.
Over/under: 47.5
Times over/under: Falcons 9/7; Vikings 6/10
The scoop: Two of the most disappointing teams of 2018 season meet. Atlanta's 1-4 start was problem. Vikes started 4-2-1 including loss to Bills in biggest NFL upset since 1995, then finished a drab 4-5 including two division losses to Bears.
Outlook: Vikes need healthy season from RB Dalvin Cook. Falcons, 27-24.

Bills (6-10) at Jets (4-12)

Kickoff: 1 p.m.
The line: Jets -2.5.
Record ATS: Bills 7-9; Jets 5-10-1.
Over/under: 41.
Times over/under: Bills 7/9; Jets 10/6.
The scoop: Debut of RB Le'Veon Bell and head coach Adam Gase headlines Jets opener. A side attraction is: Who won the 2018 QB draft, Jets with Sam Darnold or Bills with Josh Allen?
Outlook: Unless Bills defense can rise to occasion, it's Jets, 27-13.

Titans (11-5) at Browns (7-8-1)
Kickoff: 1 p.m.
The line: Browns -5.5
Record ATS: Titans 8-8; Browns 10-6.
Over/under: 45.5
Times over/under: Titans 8/8; Browns 7/8/1.
The scoop: Browns and QB Baker Mayfield and addition of Odell Beckham Jr. have become everybody's darlings. Remember last year prognosticators liked Jaguars and Vikings, who both missed the playoffs. ... Titans finished strong in '18 with four straight wins before Week 17 loss to Colts.
Outlook: New Cleveland coach Freddie Kitchens is unproven. Tennessee 20-17.

Chiefs (12-4) at Jaguars (5-11)

Kickoff: 1 p.m.
The line: Chiefs - 3.5
Record ATS: Chiefs 9-6-1; Jaguars 5-9-2.
Over/under: 51.5
Times over/under: Chiefs 11/6/1; Jaguars 6/10
The scoop: Chiefs still have the outstanding weapons (Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill) that helped make QB Patrick Mahomes such a sensation. ... Jaguars have new look after dud season under Doug Marrone in '18. Gone are fall guys OC Nathaniel Hackett and QB Blake Bortles. In are QB Nick Foles and rookie DE Josh Allen.
Outlook: Chiefs have scored 25 points or more in 21 straight, an NFL record. Streak ends at Jax. Kansas City, 24-23.

Best of the rest
Redskins (7-9) at Eagles (9-7)
Kickoff: 1 p.m., FOX.
The line: Eagles -10
Record ATS: Redskins 9-7; Eagles 6-9-1.
Over/under: 45
Times over/under: Redskins 7/9; Eagles 7/11.
The scoop: One of two NFC East games to open schedule. Redskins being overlooked with Case Keenum at QB. After Super Bowl win, Eagles needed late season surge to get back to playoffs. They're counting a lot on aerial connection of QB Carson Wentz to DeSean Jackson in passing game that already has TE Zach Ertz (116 receptions, 8 TDs).
Outlook: Eagles won by 15 and 24 over Redskins last season but that was after Washington QB Alex Smith went down. Philadelphia 17-14.

Colts (10-6) at Chargers (12-4)

Kickoff: 4:05 p.m.
The line: Chargers -6.5
Record ATS: Colts 8-7-1; Chargers 9-7.
Over/under: 44.5
Times over/under: Colts 8/10; Chargers 9/9.
The scoop: Jacoby Brissett starts in place of retired Andrew Luck. He was 4-12 as Indy starter in 2017 but attempted only four passes in three games played in '18. ... Chargers already reeling with holdout of RB Melvin Gordon III and injury to S Derwin James Jr. Those are huge losses for talented Bolts.
Outlook: Chargers manage to get by, 28-13.

Bengals (6-10) at Seahawks (10-6)

Kickoff: 4:05 p.m.
The line: Seahawks -9.5
Record ATS: Bengals 9-7; 9-5-2.
Over/under: 44.
Times over/under: Bengals 8/6/2; Seahawks 10/7.
The scoop: Marvin Lewis is gone from Cincy sideline after tenure that began in 2003. Opener in Seattle is tough way for new head man, Zac Taylor, 36, to break in. ... Adding DE Jadeveon Clowney in last two weeks only makes Seattle tougher. Clowney coming off the edge in ear-splitting din at CenturyLink Field is scary.
Outlook: Taylor is supposed to be innovative, but its Bengals defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo who has tougher job on his hands. Seahawks, 31-3.

49ers (4-12) at Buccaneers (5-11)

Kickoff: 4:25 p.m.
The line: Pick'em.
Record ATS: 49ers 5-11; Buccaneers 7-7-2.
Over/under: 49.5
Times over/under: 49ers 9/7; Buccaneers 9/7.
The scoop: Bruce Arians came out of retirement to take over under-achieving Buccaneers. Niners looking for big improvement with QB Jimmy Garoppolo back from injury.
Outlook: Arians was 7-3 against Niners as coach of Cards. Enough reason with home field for Bucs' win, 33-28.

Giants (5-11) at Cowboys (11-7)
Kickoff: 4:25 p.m., FOX..
The line: Cowboys -7.5
Record ATS: Giants 8-7-1; Cowboys 8-6-2.
Over/under: 45.5
Times over/under: Giants 10/6; Cowboys 9/9.
The scoop: Ezekiel Elliott signed his new Dallas contract just in time for duel Giants RB Saquon Barkley. Will this be last time Eli Manning starts at QB for Giants versus Dallas? Only a matter of time before No. 1 pick Daniel Jones takes over. Cowboys have won last four in rivalry that began with 31-31 tie in 1960, first season for expansion Dallas team.
Outlook: Giants get better play from revamped defense. Dallas, 20-14.

Rams (13-3) at Panthers (7-9)

Kickoff: 1 p.m.
The line: Rams -2.5
Record ATS: Rams 7-7-2; Panthers 7-9.
Over/under: 50
Times over/under: Rams 9/10; Panthers 8/8.
The scoop: Former Packers LB Clay Matthews joins L.A. defense. ... Panthers' Cam Newton coming off shoulder surgery, but Christian McCaffrey (1,098 rushing yards, 107 receptions) is key to offense. ... Rams' defensive coordinator Wade Phillips begins 42nd NFL season.
Outlook: Rams played only one game (win at Detroit) in Eastern Time Zone in 2018. Carolina, 24-21.

Ravens (10-6) at Dolphins (7-9)
Kickoff: 1 p.m.
The line: Ravens -6.5
Record ATS: Ravens 8-8; Dolphins 8-8.
Over/under: 38.5
Times over/under: Ravens 7/10; Dolphins 8/8.
The scoop: Rookie head coach Brian Flores takes over a Miami team that is designed to fail. Gone are Ryan Tannehill, Danny Amendola, Frank Gore, Cameron Wake and others. Best addition is QB Josh Rosen, but Ryan Fitzpatrick will start opener. ... Ravens committed to Lamar Jackson at QB and added RB Mark Ingram and S Earl Thomas.
Outlook: Ravens closed 6-1 with Jackson at QB to win division in '18. Dolphins start tank year with 27-10 loss.

Broncos (6-10) at Raiders (4-12)
Kickoff: 10:20 p.m., ESPN.
The line: Broncos -1.
Record ATS: Broncos 6-9-1; Raiders 6-10.
Over/under: 43.
Times over/under: Broncos 3/12/1; Raiders 6/9/1.
The scoop: After 32 seasons in the NFL and 20 as a defensive coordinator, Vic Fangio gets his first shot as a head coach with Denver. Joe Flacco is the latest in Broncos' ongoing quest for the next John Elway. ... Raiders are a mess thanks to the Antonio Brown fiasco. Mike Mayock left TV for this?
Outlook: Raiders very unsettled for opener of what could be their last season in Oakland. Broncos, 30-27.

Dog of the week
Lions (6-10) at Cardinals (3-13)
Kickoff: 4:25 p.m.
The line: Lions -2.5
Record ATS: Lions 9-7; Cardinals 7-9.
Over/under: 46.5
Times over/under: Lions 6/10; Cardinals 7/9.
The scoop: How will new coach Kliff Kingsbury and the Air Raid offense translate to the NFL, especially with a rookie quarterback (Kyler Murray) running the show? ... Lions won 17-3 last season at Glendale. ... Instead of improving from 9-7, Lions dipped to 6-10 in Matt Patricia's first season as head coach.
Outlook: Detroit's revamped defense faces a unique test against Kingsbury and Murray. Lions 27-20.
Season's record: 138-96-2 straight up; 120-108-8 against the spread.

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