Wednesday, September 7, 2011

NFL Week 1 Predictions

Sorry - had to highlight a little of my excitement for the season's kickoff. With the NFL Season kicking off tomorrow night, I decided to start a season-long tally of my NFL picks for the 2011 season. All point spreads for this blog are used courtesy of Sportsbook.Com - without further ado..

Thursday, September 8th (8:30PM)
New Orleans Saints vs. Green Bay Packers (-4.5)
Two great teams with stellar offenses and even better quarterbacks to get this season underway. I have Drew Brees as my QB in my big money league - so I'll have a rooting interest at least for a lot of points in this game. Quite frankly I think that the Packers are too deep and have too many weapons on both sides of the ball for the Saints to keep up with them. I like the Packers to win and cover their first game at home.

Check for weekend picks after the jump...

Sunday, September 11th (1PM EST Games)

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Baltimore Ravens (-2)
Week 1 division rivalry matchups are great and this is arguably the most heated rivalries in all of football. After Hines Ward's alleged DUI this offseason words were exchanged via Twitter between Ravens RB Ray Rice and Steelers Defensive Back Ryan Clark. Basically, they won't be inviting one another over for Thanksgiving Dinner. My guess is Roger Goodell will be handing out a couple of fines after this game is done. On the field though I really like what the Ravens have done by bringing in WR Lee Evans and FB Vonta Leach to help bolster up their offense. My guess is that the Ravens will control the ball on offense and give Big Ben and the Steelers a lot of problems. I like the Ravens to win by a touchdown in this one. 

Detroit Lions vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-1.5)
The Bucs were a surprise team last year after going 3-13 in 2009 and finishing with a 10-6 record in 2010, narrowly missing the playoffs. Will they be able to build on that uptrend in a very tough NFC South? Is Josh Freeman ready to make the leap to a premier QB? WR Mike Williams has already gone out on the preseason limb to say "We're guaranteeing the playoffs". I like the confidence, but to me this is going to be a feel-out game for both teams where we will learn a lot about what the 2011 season holds. A lot of people like the Lions as their 'sleeper' pick for the upcoming season and I tend to agree. A lot of the tools are there - good QB, great WR, and they have my favorite defensive player DT Ndamukong Suh. In a game this close and with so many questions yet to be answered for both teams, I'll take the Lions with the points. 

Atlanta Falcons (-3) vs. Chicago Bears
Anyone that knows me, knows that I hate hate hate Jay Cutler. I just don't see it. And last year when he went down with that injury in the second half of the NFC Championship game against the Packers I think his true colors showed. I have no issue with the fact that he was injured, but he looked extremely disinterested as his backup QB tried to will the team back into the game. Anyways, I think that the Bears are primed for a down year and with LB Lance Briggs asking to be traded a week before the season it just doesn't seem like this is a team that is ready to gel and win football games. Give me the Falcons on the road. 

Buffalo Bills vs. Kansas City Chiefs (-6)
I'm a Bills Fan. I know that cheering for your team and investing money don't align because emotions are too high. That being said - I do think that the Bills have a puncher's (boxing pun?) chance at going .500 for the season. There are definitely holes on the team and management has been terrible the past few years, but I think they finally got it right when they drafted DT Marcell Dareus from Alabama. I also think that the Chiefs are wildly over rated. With QB Matt Cassell's status uncertain, I'll gladly take the Bills plus the points in this one. 

Indianapolis Colts vs. Houston Texans (-9)
Peyton Manning will not be playing. The Indianapolis Colts are probably a 5 win team without him. With or without Arian Foster I think that the Texans will be too much for the Colts to handle. Their defense will be stronger with the addition of LB DeMeco Ryans (back from injury) and CB Jonathan Joseph (Signed in Free Agency). No Way the Texans lose this game at home against a Manning-less Colts team. Take the Texans and lay the points.

Philadelphia Eagles (-4.5) vs. St. Louis Rams
Having gone to school in Philadelphia, I have this anti-Philly sports complex that has been growing in me the past few years. It started with the Eagles. Year after year, the Eagles would get to the NFC Championship game - they would fail to reach the Superbowl and then I was left to hear everyone talk about how good the Eagles could have been if X player would have done this or that. Well this year expectations for the Eagles are even higher with the signing of All Pro CB Nnamdi Asomugha and trade for CB Dominic Rodgers-Cromartie. The city is abuzz with talks of the "Dream Team" and ESPN The Magazine even picked the Eagles to win the Superbowl over the Steelers. I don't think they will win their division let alone the Superbowl. That being said - I don't think the Rams will provide much of an obstacle in week 1 for the Eagles, but I don't think the ride will be as smooth as people think. Take the Eagles on the road, but remember to mitigate expectations.

Cincinnati Bengals vs. Cleveland Browns (-6.5)
Really have nothing to say here - I'm surprised the Browns could be favored by this much over any team in the NFL. The Bengals must really blow. I do know that Peyton Hillis is on the cover of Madden so with that information alone I'll take the Bengals plus the points. 

Tennessee Titans vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (-3)
Another game I will likely care very little about, unless somehow Gus Johnson is involved. The Jags just announced that they released starting QB David Garrard 5 days before the start of the season. That's probably not a good sign. With RB Chris Johnson back in camp and expected to start I think the Titans will actually show some sign of life when they have the ball in their possession. Take the Titans and the points and try to stay away from this game on TV.

New York Giants (-3) vs. Washington Redskins
Another solid Division matchup in week 1. I expect both teams to have a tough time competing in the NFC East this year. The Giants hellish preseason is finally over, I just don't think they will have enough bodies to compete throughout the year. The Redskins finished 6-10 last year and showed very little promise. I think that Eli Manning and the Giants offense will be too much for the Redskins to fend off. Take the Giants to roll in this division matchup. 

(4PM EST Games)
Carolina Panthers vs. Arizona Cardinals (-7)
Scam Newton makes his first start! I actually like Cam Newton to win offensive rookie of the year. Which is not saying much considering the other quarterbacks in his draft class will be sitting behind proven veterans (McNabb, Hassellbeck, and Luke McCown). The Cardinals made the trade that their organization knew it needed to make. Bring in a QB that can throw the football. Kevin Kolb has very little experience as the head signal caller - but anything after last years abysmal roulette of QB's in Arizona is an upgrade. I think the Cardinals over paid for Kolb, but as long as you can keep Larry Fitzgerald happy you're doing something right. Lay the points and take the Cardinals to win at home.

Seattle Seahawks vs. San Francisco 49ers (-5.5)
It actually pains me to think about the NFC West. Did the Seahawks really win a playoff game last year against the New Orleans Saints? Not sure how that happens - but I think they will be much worse than last year. Tavaris Jackson is not going to be the answer for this franchise and while the signing of WR Sidney Rice may look good on paper - he'll likely face a similar situation that Fitzgerald dealt with last year in Arizona. The 49ers are nothing special either, but I do think they have enough talent to at least compete in the very weak NFC West. LB Patrick Willis has long been one of my favorite players to watch on the defensive side of the ball, basically because he goes into beast mode. For the game take the 49ers and if you want to be cute try taking them for your survivor pools because this might be one of the last times they are a favorite in the eyes of Vegas. 

Minnesota Vikings vs. San Diego Chargers (-8.5)
I like this match up a lot. The Chargers play a brand of football that I have long been a fan of. Last year they were able to have the number 1 total Offense, and the number 1 total Defense - but still managed to miss the playoffs because of their horrific special teams play. The Chargers will put up points in a hurry and the Vikings will try to keep up in what should be a high scoring affair. I'm expecting big Fantasy numbers for players on both teams. I do expect McNabb and AP to keep it close, so I'd play the Vikings in this one even though San Diego will still come out on top. 

Sunday Night Football - 8:25PM EST Start
Dallas Cowboys vs. New York Jets (-4)
Great way to cap what should be a dizzying day of fantasy stats, beer, and food. The Ryan Brothers (Rex and another fat one) going at it in week 1. There is a lot of hype around both teams going into this season and as I've mentioned before I think the Cowboys will live up to that hype this year with new head coach Jason Garrett. The Cowboys have so many threats on offense, I just don't see how the Jets will be able to contain them. I'm curious to see whether CB Darrelle Revis will blanket Miles Austin or Dez Bryant - but whoever draws Antonio Cromartie will likely put up big numbers. Take the Cowboys plus the points in this one.

Monday Night Football - 9/12
New England Patriots (-7) vs. Miami Dolphins 
The Patriots are a good football organization. The Dolphins are not a good football organization. How can the Dolphins openly try to lure another coach in the offseason and then once that coach (Jim Harbaugh, 49ers) elects to take his talents elsewhere pretend like everything is fine and dandy with coach Tony Sparano. That's not good business at any level. I think the Dolphins actually have some talented players on this team - but with a lack of leadership at Head Coach and an unproven QB in Chad Henne there's no way that I see the Dolphins stepping on the same field as the Pats. Lay the touchdown and take the Patriots in week 1. 

Oakland Raiders vs. Denver Broncos (-3) 
I actually have the Broncos as one of my sleeper teams for this year. At 4-12 last year, I expect them to finish second in the AFC West led by the trio of QB Kyle Orton, RB Knowshon Moreno, and WR Brandon Lloyd. I have very little faith in anything that the Raiders have done in the last 15 years and while they may be able to compete in a relay race I doubt they can put it together on the football field. I'm sure that by the time this game comes around I will be all Football'd out for the week but give me the Broncos in this one and thank God we have our favorite sport back.

Feel free to add comments or thoughts below 

Season Record: 0-0-0


  1. Love the predictions handy! you got style. keep it coming!

  2. Like the title of the blog more than anything. I love the enthusiasm, gotta say.

  3. Fooooootballlllll! Shalin who you got tonight?