Thursday, September 9, 2010

Week 1 picks

By Jeff

Last year I was pretty bad at these picks. I had a winning record, but not by much. I also stopped with a few weeks left in the season because of various reasons, none of which were legit excuses. Really, it was just laziness.

But not this year. I'm reinvigorated! I'll make my picks every week, and they're going to be damn good ones. Also, as more teams are going to the spread offense, my picks will be with the point spread. No wagers will be made, but I'll feel smarter if I do well.

If you're looking for playoff and Super Bowl predictions, you've come to the wrong place. How can anyone make educated Super Bowl predictions without seeing a real game yet? Sure, you'll get those characters bragging about how they picked the New Orleans Saints last year as if they were brilliant. They weren't. They were lucky. They also never seem to point out how poorly some of their previous predictions were.

Enough of that. On with the picks!

New Orleans (-5) over Minnesota: The Superdome is going to be rocking and Brett Favre is going to be under constant pressure from Greg Williams' defense. The Saints defense isn't great, but Favre will be without his favorite target in Sidney (spelled it right, Mike!) Rice, while Drew Brees will have all of his many weapons at his disposal.

On a side rant, what will the Saints' catchphrase be this year? They can't really use "Who dat?" anymore, being that they are Super Bowl champs. Also, Brees' nickname, "Breesus" needs to go. He looks nothing like Jesus. I don't think Brees is capable of facial hair.

Carolina (+6.5) over New York Giants: I don't trust the Giants defense to hold DeAngelo Williams, Jonathan Stewart and Steve Smith is check. The Giants gave up 40 or more points multiple times last year, and Antrel Rolle is not going to fix everything overnight.

Miami (-3) over Buffalo: Quick, name all of the Buffalo starters you can! You got stuck at like three, didn't you? Buffalo will be battling for the worst team in the league label this season.

Pittsburgh (+2.5) over Atlanta: I don't care if Ben Roethlisberger is out and Dennis Dixon is in. The Steelers have a healthy defense to start the season. With Aaron Smith anchoring the defensive line, they will shut down Michael Turner and force Matt Ryan to beat them. He won't be up to the task. Also, The Steelers are 7-0 in their last seven season openers.

Detroit (+6.5) over Chicago: The Bears looked dreadful in the preseason. Usually I don't put much weight in meaningless games, but their line was horrible. Jay Cutler was being pressured, hit or sacked on just about every pass play.

The Lions are not going to be much better. They are probably going to lose this game, but it will only be by a field goal.

Cincinnati  (+4.5) over New England: Can't see New England winning by more than a touchdown considering they have no defense or running game. I do love Freddy Taylor, though!

Cleveland (+3) over Tampa Bay: How can Tampa ever be favored this season? Their quarterback is not 100 percent, their running back breaks down every year and you can't name their top four receivers. The Browns suck too, but they are going to take this game despite Jake Delhomme's best efforts.

Denver (+2.5) over Jacksonville: No one can honestly say they are confident that Jaguars star Maurice Jones-Drew is healthy. There is so much mystery around it. Reports of surgery that were refuted and he sat out preseason games and practices have me thinking he can't be 100 percent. And a less than 100 percent MJD means a L for the Jags.

Indianapolis (-2) over Houston: The Colts in September. That's all.

Tennessee (-6.5) over Oakland: The Raiders are good against the pass, not so good against the run. Chris Johnson takes over this game and flirts with 200 total yards.

Green Bay (-3) over Philadelphia: Really surprised this line is only three points. I don't know if I'll be consistent with this feature, but this is my Lock of the Week.

San Francisco (-3) over Seattle: I kept Matt Hasselbeck in a keeper league. I'm not sure why. I was kind of scared there would be no quarterbacks left the way things were shaping up. When I finally grew a pair and told the commish, blog contributor RJ, I was told the deadline passed and I was stuck with him. The Seahawks are in a similar position. Hasselbeck led them to a Super Bowl and multiple playoff appearances, but he's done.

Arizona (-4) over St. Louis: The Rams are going to suck this year. Only Buffalo might be worse, but at least the Rams have hope for the future.

Dallas (-3.5) over Washington: Why are media people expecting the Redskins to improve this year? I love Donovan McNabb, but quarterback was only one of the many issues this team had last season. How has the defense improved? Do they have a legit running back younger than 30 on the roster who they can count on every week (Clinton Portis is 29, but a consistent injury risk)? I'll be surprised if they win six games this season.

Baltimore (+2.5) over New York Jets: Flipped a coin for this one. How beautiful would it be if neither of  these highly overhyped teams made the playoffs?

San Diego (-4.5) over Kansas City: This is a tougher matchup than it looks. The Chargers have been relatively slow starters the past three season. Then again, the Chiefs have just been bad the past three seasons. I'm just not sold on the Romeo Crennel-Charlie Weis Reunion as a good thing. Look what happened when they didn't have Tom Brady and Bill Belichick helping them. Failure.

Think you can do better? Leave a comment with your picks.

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers - Yer So Bad


  1. Agree with all except the two MNF games. I think the Jets win by more than a field goal, like 16-10. And the Chargers have been slow starters, and I think the Chiefs will ride the Jones-Charles combo to a victory.

  2. Readers should be made aware that the Boss is a Jets fan.

  3. Yes, but that would not stop me from picking against them with the spread.

  4. Hey Mister Rickel,

    i watched the Bengals at Patriots Game. Now I'm really wondering why you have not picked New England for a playoff spot. Their Offense looked faboulus. The new TE Kid ( I forgot his name :)) has lots of potential and not to forget WES WELKER. Best Slot Reciever in the game! They bet the Bengals easily ( T.O./ 85 were outbeaten by younger guys - even they became stronger till the end of the game though). And they can win with(out) Randy Moss. He played an average game. creating space and some easy catches. Their throwing offense is one of my favorite Brady will get 4,000 yards easily.

    I understand that the NE Defense will loose games, but lets see what will happen next week.

    NE at NYJ. NY is under pressure because of the high expectations. And if NE losses, Brady would still has Giselle at home waiting for him. MAN! - Brady is a winner ;)

    Philipp Germany

  5. Philipp, I never said the Patriots won't make the playoffs. The Boss is a contributor to the blog and that was his prediction.

    After watching the Jets offense last night, I think the Patriots will win that AFC East and make the playoffs pretty easily. I do think their secondary and one dimensional offense will prevent them from getting to the Super Bowl.

  6. Philipp

    I explained why I can't pick the Patriots. I am a Jets fan, picking them is the Steelers fan equivalent to picking the Ravens and Bengals. I even said it was an irrational hatred, which leads me to not pick them even if they are an obvious pick.

    Which with the Jets getting all the offseason headlines, makes the Pats the obvious pick as they are a very workman-like team that goes about their business and with the exception of Moss, keeps the talking to a minimum.

    In an attempt to be objective, the Patriots have more than enough to get to the playoffs (I still won't pick them), but as Jeff said that defense and one dimensional offense will prevent them from winning a title.