NFL Picks: Opening Week 1

NFL Picks: Opening Week 1

Last year, I had a roaring comeback towards the end of the year to nearly return to .500, only to be thwarted by a misguided Pete Carroll and a pull-a-rabbit-out-of-a**-lucky Malcolm Butler. Actually, after everything that came out about the Patriots cheating since 2001, it's getting harder to think luck had anything to do with that interception. Sure, they may have reviewed that play in practice, but I bet they reviewed how to steal the signal for that play just as thoroughly.

Even though I would never trust Belichick with an unattended board of Risk or Tom Brady to be the Monopoly banker, the writing was on the wall for opening night.

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So far so good on the goal to go 512-0 through the season. Or maybe, for the third straight year, I'll do this for five months only to get back to the middle at .500. Only one way to find out...

TEXANS (+1) OVER Chiefs

With everybody giving their flaxen-haired hero, JJ Watt, all the attention, it's easy to forget that Kansas City's defensive end, Justin Houston, actually had the most sacks in the NFL last year. Sure, they might not rap Fort Minor lyrics on HBO or work out along in a fitted cap at night, but the Kansas City defense is borderline dominant. Then again, Jadaveon Clowney, the most forgotten number one overall pick, returns today to give Houston an extra punch alongside nimble 800 pounder, Vince Wilfork.

 

In what is sure to be a slugfest, I trust Brian Hoyer to get the ball to his weapons more than Alex Smith. Texans win in Bill "Rick Ross Boss" O'Brien's home opener.

JETS (-3) OVER Browns

This seems like one of those games where the new guy in New York ups his swag, and Brandon Marshall becomes the hot new thing in the Big Apple. (Related: $20 goes to the first person who can tell me why it's called the Big Apple without cheating.) This also seems like one of those years where Josh McCown puts up dud after dud until we finally get a dose of post-rehab Johnny Football.

BILLS (+1) OVER Colts

Everybody loves the Colts this year. Andrew Luck has gone Wild Card in year one, Divisional Round in year two and Championship round in year 3. If he continues the trend, they'll go to the Super Bowl, but all I can remember is the beating they took to the Patriots to end last year. No matter the inflation levels, the Patriots could've run a beach ball through that Colts defensive line. Andre Johnson and Frank Gore aren't going to stop that problem, and Rex Ryan is just the coach to know how to exploit that. Shady McCoy runs wild and Bills start off hot.

Dolphins (-3.5) OVER REDSKINS

I'm calling it, Washington Redskins get the first overall pick. It's ok to cry for Cardale Jones now.

JAGUARS (+3) OVER Panthers

Carolina has, by my count, zero offensive weapons. Jacksonville only needs one. B.O.R.T.L.E.S.

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Some dudes stay winners. Get on the Bortles-wagon.

RAMS (+3.5) OVER Seahawks

The Seahawks start slow. The Rams play them well, and they play well at home. Plus, if there's ever going to be a lively St. Louis crowd, it will be a crowd that is in constant fear of their team moving to LA. Tavon Austin capitalizes on a couple of trick plays and the Rams defense keeps Wilson on his heels as the Rams play it tight.

BEARS (+7) OVER Packers

All people want to talk about is Jay Cutler, but John Fox should be the story. Every time he comes in (Rams, Giants, Panthers, Broncos) he's improved the defense to a top-10 unit each time. With Jordy Nelson down, and Aaron Rodgers looking for new targets in Fox's home opener, today the Bears keep it interesting. They still lose though. Probably in heartbreaking fashion. Don't get too excited, Chicago.

CARDINALS (-2.5) OVER Saints

Remember how good the Cardinals were at home last year with Carson Palmer? Everybody's back and Patrick Peterson and the gang will be ready to stifle a declining Drew Brees. Get weird, Arizona.

Lions (+3.5) OVER CHARGERS

I like the Lions this year. With Green Bay set to struggle without their top receiver, and Chicago staying Chicago, Detroit and its bevy of weapons this year finally have their chance to win the division. Ameer Abdullah and Calvin Johnson tear through an outmatched Chargers defense. Speaking of the Chargers defense, yesterday was the anniversary of Lenay Kekua's death. Play with a heavy heart, Manti Te'o.

BUCCANEERS (-2.5) OVER Titans

A matchup against a Mariota team didn't end well for Famous Jameis last time, but the Buccaneers have the pieces to be contenders. Jameis is this year's Vince Young, and finds a way to win a close game in the battle of the rookies.

RAIDERS (+3) OVER Bengals

I'm solely basing this pick off the success of the NWA movie. And the fact that Andy Dalton is still the most mediocre quarterback in the league playing for Marvin Lewis, the most mediocre coach in the league.

Ravens (+4.5) OVER BRONCOS

Peyton Manning has no neck and always struggles against the Ravens. Ravens keep having Peyton's number today in a troubling opening week Denver loss.

Giants (+6.5) OVER COWBOYS

It wouldn't be the Cowboys in primetime without a disappointing performance or last minute choke job.

EAGLES (-2.5) OVER Falcons

Laugh all you want at Chip Kelly, but the guy is a mad scientist. And if there's any week to trust his system, it's against last season's worst pass defense in the league.

49ERS (+1) OVER Vikings

When all the world wants to zig, you should zag. Everybody loves the Vikings, but something tells me all the nonsense in San Francisco this offseason is going to light a fire under them, at least for Monday Night. Kaepernick and happy to be back in Cali Reggie Bush make enough big plays to defeat the Vikings.

While we're here making baseless prediction, might as well really make a fool of myself and predict the season.

NFC: (1) Eagles (2) Seahawks (3) Lions (4) Buccaneers (5) Cowboys (6) Packers

AFC: (1) Patriots (2) Steelers (3) Texans (4) Chiefs (5) Colts (6) Ravens

Wild Card: (3) Lions over (6) Packers. (5) Cowboys over (4) Buccaneers. (3) Texans over (6) Ravens. (4) Chiefs over (5) Colts.

Divisional: (1) Eagles over (5) Cowboys. (2) Seahawks over (3) Lions. (1) Patriots over (4) Chiefs. (2) Steelers over (3) Texans.

Championship: (1) Eagles over (2) Seahawks. (2) Steelers over (1) Patriots.

Super Bowl: Steelers over Eagles

I'm a homer, whatever.

This Week: 1-0

Season: 1-0

 

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