Can you smell that??? FOooooOOOTballl is BACK!!!! Honestly not sure how anyone accomplishes anything this week - IF I were running a presidential campaign, my first order of business would be to give everyone a week off from work, school, and any other secondary activities. How's that for government policy? As we did last year, I'll make predictions every week for each game against the spread and at the end of the year hope to have more W's than L's. All lines are courtesy of 5dimes. Without further ado, the week 1 Picks...Wednesday, September 5th (8:30 ET Kickoff)
Sunday, September 9th (1:00 ET Kickoffs)
New England (-7) vs. Tennessee
St. Louis vs. Detroit (-9) - Best Pick
Sunday, September 9th (4:25 ET Kickoffs)
San Francisco vs. Green Bay (-5)
This could be a preview of the NFC Championship - but most likely it wont be. How's that for hard hitting analysis? I'm like the Sanjay Gupta of sports analysis. I just tend to agree with some of the 'experts' out there that say that the 49ers will regress this year. No way that they get back to 13 wins with their schedule (Saints, Patriots, Packers, Giants, Bears, Lions, Bills) all tough out of division opponents. Yep, threw the Bills in their to make myself feel better about 2012. While I love the job Jim Harbaugh did with this team last year - I don't think to offense will be enough to contend with the potent Packers in Lambeau. Take the Packers in week 1.
Seattle (-2.5) vs. Arizona
One of the best stories of the preseason has been the emergence of 3rd round rookie QB Russell Wilson winning the starting job over the recently acquired Matt Flynn in Seattle. I've had an affinity for Wilson dating back to his Wolfpack days at N.C. State and thought he was a legitimate Heisman candidate last year until that hail mary loss to Michigan State. Now Wilson will get a chance to show that he can make it in the pros. I like his chances and I like the Seahawks to have a strong year. Meanwhile, the Cardinals are in limbo with their QB situation (John Skelton and Kevin Kolb), but somehow think they can contend for the NFC West. Sorry Cards Fans - I don't see it. Take Seattle to win by a FG in this one.
Carolina (-1) vs. Tampa Bay
To be completely honest, I bet my roommate (a HUGE Panthers fan) that the Bills would have more Wins at the end of the season than the Panthers. In making that friendly wager, I'm hoping that the Bucs will be able to revert back to the bucs of 2010 and not so much the Bucs of 2011 - a team that LOST the LAST 10 games of the season. To Tampa's credit, they added WR Vincent Jackson, RB Doug Martin, and have replaced the vacant head coach position with New Jersey's very own Greg Schiano. I like those moves a lot and with a healthy Josh Freeman, I'm going in on the Bucs bandwagon this year. So for the sake of my season long bet, and a new everything in Tampa, I'll back the Bucs in this one.
Sunday Night Football - 8:20 PM EST Start
Pittsburgh vs. Denver (straight up)
A revenge game for the Steelers who were bounced from the playoffs thanks to a miracle from Tim Tebow. With Tebow, no longer with the Broncos - they'll look to another pretty accomplished QB to take the helm in the Mile High City. Peyton Manning makes his first start since 2010 - honestly this game could go either way (that's why it's a pick em). The Broncos season could go either way. That's what's great about week 1 - I've written about 2,000 words and I still have no idea what's going to happen this year. One of my favorite fantasy plays of the year is on the Steelers - WR Antonio Brown who finished 2011 strong and has looked really really good in the preseason. I'll be rooting for him to get some touches, but ultimately how can you root against the older Manning in his first game back from a nearly career-ending Neck Surgery. I'll take the Broncos to win at home in this toss-up.
Monday Night Football - 7:00 PM EST Start
Cincinnati vs. Baltimore (-7)
Sweet, just when you thought you couldn't handle more there will be 2 Monday Night Football games to satisfy that hunger for Football. In the first of two divisional matchups, the Ravens and Bengals - 2 playoff teams from last year should provide for a solid game. The Bengals will rely on their core duo of Andy Dalton and A.J. Green to carry them again, while the Ravens are primed for another deep playoff run. They just gave Ray Rice, but losing All-Pro DE Terrell Suggs will hurt this already aging defensive unit. I like the Ravens to win the game - but the Bengals to keep this closer than a TD.
Monday Night Football - 10:15 PM EST Start
San Diego vs. Oakland (straight up)
With Ryan Mathews still looking doubtful for week 1 - the Chargers will be relying on RB Ronnie Brown to carry the load. Sounds to me like the Chargers will try to establish the passing game early and often. I doubt I'll be able to stay up for the finale of this game, so I'll just go with the better QB in this one - Phillip Rivers. Take the Chargers on the road - but more importantly don't forget the 4 cups of coffee on Tuesday Morning to help you stay awake.
Enjoy week 1 of the season! Fooootball is back!
Season Record: 0-0-0
Best Picks: 0-0-0