Friday, September 11, 2009

NFL Weekend Preview: Week 1

The Packers and Bears open this season by renewing their blood feud, the longest running rivalry in the NFL.

Fresh off correctly predicting the winner of the Thursday Night Opener, Here are my attempts to successfully predict the exact final scores of this weekend’s action. I’ll be happy if I get it even remotely close.

Colts 31 Jaguars 17 – I’m not expecting the Jags to have a good season, and I have the Colts predicted to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl. Plus the game is in Indianapolis, so I think it’s obvious which way I had to go in this game.

Saints 42 Lions 10 – 96% of everyone in the world who is doing a suicide pool has the Saints this weekend. Count me among their number, and while expect that New Orleans will mop the floor with Detroit; something about this pick makes me slightly nervous. The Lions haven’t won a game since December 2007, so clearly they are due. I truly believe they win a game, I just don’t think it happens this weekend.

Cowboys 20 Buccaneers 10 – Wade Phillips vs. a rookie head coach in Raheem Morris, a proven incompetent versus a guy with about eight minutes of experience. Here’s to guessing this won’t be an amazingly coached game. Cowboys get my nod here because they are just way more talented.

Panthers 26 Eagles 21 – Okay, I’m guessing this is the best game of the weekend, and it’s certainly one of the matchups that I am most interested in. I am curious to see how Jake Delhomme bounces back from the train wreck that was his last start in a meaningful game.

Ravens 26 Chiefs 3 – Here is my pick for the worst game of the weekend. The Ravens should be a very solid team this year, and the Chiefs will probably struggle even when Matt Cassell is completely healthy. The only thing that worries me about taking the Ravens and giving the 13 points is that the Ravens do not have a great history of scoring a lot of points.

Texans 16 Jets 13 – This is an interesting matchup of two teams that many people believe may be AFC sleepers. I believe in Houston more than New York, so I’ll take the Texans in a squeaker.

Falcons 27 Dolphins 14 – Both of these teams overachieved last season. I think Atlanta is much more likely than Miami to do it again. I think Matt Ryan is the real deal, and I’m pretty sure Chad Pennington is not.

Bengals 23 Broncos 9 – I really want to predict great things for my Broncos, the trouble is that I saw they play in the preseason, and I have very little faith. I’ll feel better about this season if they can find a way to win in Cincinnati, but I’m guessing that the ugliness of this year begins in Ohio.

Vikings 33 Browns 20 – The Brett Favre era in Minnesota begins with a deceptive bang. I don’t believe that he is the permanent answer, but the Browns are not a very difficult question, and Favre should hit the ground running with several easy games against the Browns, Lions, and 49ers to begin the year.

Giants 20 Redskins 17 – This game is off the board in my brain. There is no result that would surprise me…well, other than the Redskins winning big. I can see a Giants blowout, a Giants close win, or a Redskins close win. I decided to split the difference and go with a close Giants game, but I have very little conviction in the pick.

Cardinals 30 49ers 20 – Perhaps the Cards fall off the cliff due to the hangover effect of losing a Super Bowl, but even if they do, they should handle the 49ers at home. Hopefully Mike Singletary moons someone to make this game a bit more interesting than I expect it to be.

Seahawks 27 Rams 17 – The Seahawks renaissance begins at home this weekend. Getting to play the Rams Week 1 at a noisy Qwest Field is a great way to get your season off and running. This would be another solid suicide pick, I have a hard time believing the Rams can pull this upset.

Packers 31 Bears 24 – In what is clearly the most interesting matchup of the weekend, I see the Packers getting their Division winning season off to a great start with a win over the Jay Cutler led Bears. This is a pick that is made with my heart almost as much as my head, I dig the Pack, and I’m a little bitter about the way the Cutler era ended in Denver.

Patriots 33 Bills 27 – The Patriots scores this season may resemble scores not seen since before the Arena League went defunct. I’m expecting a bit of a shootout in Foxborough on Monday Night, and I think the Pats will most certainly win, but for some reason, I think the Bills keep it close enough to cover the eleven point spread.

Chargers 41 Raiders 14 – The Raiders opened their season at home against the Broncos on Monday Night last season and got demolished by this same score, so I figured why not predict that it happens again. The Chargers pretty much always thump the Raiders lately, and I see no reason that the trend wouldn’t continue in the boring second half of Monday Night’s doubleheader.

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