NFL Picks, Week 1
So it’s football season once again.
As usual, I am participating in a Pigskin Pick’em group organized by an obnoxious friend of mine from high school who spends his Sundays doing nothing but watching NFL football. Because I am a competitive person, I long to beat him, and I’ll let you know how I’m faring in subsequent posts.
This year I’m also facing off against The Gazette’s Mark McGuire; you can find his picks herehere .
OK, so here we go. As always, the winning team is in caps.
Green Bay Packers at SEATTLE SEAHAWKS — Can’t see any reason to pick against the Seahawks.
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS at Atlanta Falcons — The Falcons were pretty dismal last year, which surprised a lot of people. I know I was surprised. I kept picking them to win, and they kept disappointing me. Eventually I came to my senses and stopped. This year I’m aiming for a different trajectory — I’m going to pick the Falcons to lose until they give me a reason to believe they might win. Also, I like the Saints.
Buffalo Bills at CHICAGO BEARS — This is a good match up for a Bears team that likes to start out strong and fade away during the latter half of the season. QB Jay Cutler will look like he’s headed for the Hall of Fame against the Bills and whoever their quarterback happens to be at this particular moment in time.
Cincinnati Bengals at BALTIMORE RAVENS — I have a dim recollection of the Bengals being pretty good last year, and the Ravens being not so good. But years of watching the Ravens manhandle the Patriots have made me somewhat fearful of Baltimore. I also think the Ravens are due for a comeback.
Cleveland Browns at PITTSBURGH STEELERS — There’s a lot of hype surrounding the Browns’ rookie QB, Johnny Manziel. But if you look through the hype, you can see that Cleveland is due for another lousy season, especially after the loss of wide receive Josh Gordon to a season-long drug suspension.
Tennessee Titans at KANSAS CITY CHIEFS — Excuse me for a moment, while I brief myself on the Tennessee Titans, a team I know nothing about. OK, I’m back. And I didn’t see anything that made me think the Titans could upset the Chiefs.
Oakland Raiders at NEW YORK JETS — This is a good match-up for Team Blowhard. They’ll are all but guarantee to win, as the Raiders are the very definition of woeful. Excitement about QB Geno Smith will build, and speculation about whether the Jets can win the Atlantic Division will begin. Everyone will be happy. Everyone but Raiders fans, who are set to endure another bad season.
MINNESOTA VIKINGS at St. Louis Rams — The Minnesota Vikings didn’t exactly light the world on fire last season. If I recall, they started something like 13 different quarterbacks. Fortunately for Vikings fans, Minnesota is facing off against a Rams team that just lost its starting quarterback, the perpetually injured Sam Bradford, who was never very good to begin with. Who knows — maybe Bradford’s backup, veteran Shaun Hill, will take the league by storm. But I doubt it.
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS at Miami Dolphins — The Patriots have sometimes struggled against Miami, and I’m never all that confident when they play the Dolphins on the road. But whatever.
Jacksonville Jaguars at PHILADELPHIA EAGLES — The Eagles were pretty good last season. Will they be good this year? I don’t know. But it doesn’t much matter, at least not this week. Even if the Eagles aren’t good, they should be able to beat the Jaguars on their home field.
Washington Redskins at HOUSTON TEXANS — Two of last season’s most disappointing teams meet up in week one. Who will prevail? I’m going with the Texans, mainly because they’re at home and Redskins QB Robert Griffin III looked absolutely awful the last time he played.
San Francisco 49ers at DALLAS COWBOYS — For some reason, I like the Cowboys in this game. Don’t ask me why — I doubt there’s a logical explanation.
CAROLINA PANTHERS at Tampa Bay Buccaneers — My colleague Mark McGuire is encouraging people to pick Tampa Bay, mainly because Panthers QB Cam Newton has bruised ribs and is coming off ankle surgery. But I can’t bring myself to do it. Not against Tampa Bay.
Indianapolis Colts at DENVER BRONCOS — With QB Andrew Luck at the helm, the Colts have had back to back 11 win seasons. But I don’t think they can win — or even come very close to winning — against Peyton Manning and the Broncos.
New York Giants at DETROIT LIONS — Will the Giants rebound from their dismal 2013 season? Possibly. But the Lions are looking to rebound, too, and I suspect they’ll start the season strong.
SAN DIEGO CHARGERS at Arizona Cardinals — Both the Chargers and the Cardinals were surprisingly good last year. But the Chargers are the better overall team, and they should prevail.
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