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Week 1 NFL Picks: Jaguars Vs. Vikings

The Minnesota Vikings open their season on Sunday when they host the Jacksonville Jaguars at 1 p.m. ET. The Vikings and Jaguars are both looking to put subpar 2011 seasons behind them and start 2012 on the right foot. The Vikings finished 2011 with a 3-13 record, while the Jaguars went 5-11. Both teams finished their season with rookie quarterbacks who they are hoping can lead them to big things in 2012; Christian Ponder for the Vikes and Blaine Gabbert for the Jags.

The story of the season opener is the running back situation for both teams as the role of stars Adrian Peterson and Maurice Jones-Drew are in question. Peterson is still recovering from a torn ACL and MCL he suffered last December and it has been announced that he will play in a limited role if he plays at all on Sunday. For the Jaguars, MJD will not be the starter thanks to his lengthy offseason holdout. Toby Gerhart and Rashad Jennings will get the starts in place of the star running backs.

With both teams in similar positions, this figures to be a complete toss up. The Jaguars had the stronger defense in 2011, but the Vikings have homefield. When all else fails, pick the home team.

Final Score Prediction: Vikings 13, Jaguars 10

For more on the Vikings; check out Daily Norseman and SB Nation Minnesota. For Jags coverage, check out Big Cat Country. Be sure to play SB Nation's Pick 6 Football every week this season.

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.