Sep 08

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Week One Picks

Ladies & gentlemen… it’s FOOTBALL time! I know we have all been awaiting the season anxiously and it starts tonight. As I did last year, I will be posting my picks every Wednesday or Thursday and at the end of the season, we’ll see what my accuracy is.

I was planning to post my picks last night, but I was busy doing other things. So let’s jump right in with two teams I can’t stand!

Saints vs Packers

In a perfect world, both of these teams would lose every game all season long. Unfortunately that isn’t the case in this realm so one of these teams is going to win. We have little data to analyze yet, so week 1 picks are always hard. Aaron Rodgers seems to be a little edgy, getting on Mark Sanchez for his GQ photo shoot. When AR is on edge, he throws to his imaginary receivers, so for this game, I’m going to pick the Saints over the Packers, 21 – 17 even though they’re playing at Lameblow. I’ll end this pick with this: No Pack No and Saints Bleaux.

Steelers vs Ravens

Every time these teams play, we have to hear incessant babble about this “historic division rivalry”. Can a rivalry really be historic when the Ravens are a “new team” by NFL standards? Since the Ravens were stupid enough to pick up Bryant McKinnie (because they’re apparently under the mistaken impression that he actually TRIES), I have to pick the Steelers in this game. Even though they totally let me down in February and I’m still angry. Steelers 24, Ravens 20.

Falcons vs Bears

Two words: Jay Cutler. There’s no way the Bears win this one, even at home. Well – if Cutler got a lobotomy in the off-season in an effort to change his work ethic, they might, but I didn’t see any reports of that happening. I think the little Matty Ryan aerial show will dominate Soldier Field. Falcons 27, Bears 14.

I just noticed I’ve picked the away team for every game so far. Let’s see how that works out for me!

Bengals vs Browns

With the Owens/Ochocinco show in the rear view mirror, who will be catching those Andy Dalton lasers? Haven’t been following along with the Carson Palmer drama in my former place of residence? Neither have I, but it appears that Palmer definitely did not report to training camp… and may/may not be retired. With or without Palmer, the Bengals aren’t going to be winning this one. And it’s not because I suddenly think that Colt McCoy is going to be the next Roger Staubach. Too much upheaval in Cinci and the team needs to settle. Browns 24, Bengals 10.

Colts vs Texans

Peyton Manning is the big story here. Numerous reports say that he’s going to need a 3rd procedure on his neck and he may be out for the entire season. As much as the Forehead irritates me, I feel for him. The neck is nothing to mess with. And, being a fellow sufferer of neurological issues stemming from my own neck, I have a hard time imagining him being able to return from this. His NFL consecutive game streak will end at 208, leaving Brett Favre’s 297 regular season games record safe for at least a decade. Texans 20, Colts 7.

Titans vs Jaguars

With Chris Johnson all signed, safe & sound, and the recent release of David Garrard by the Jaguars, I think that the Titans will be able to pull this one off, even though the Vince Young drama has been replaced by the Matt Hasselbeck show. The good news for the Jaguar fans though is that they were actually able to sell out the game, so they’ll be able to watch their team lose on TV. Titans 17, Jaguars 7.

Bills vs Chiefs

The Chiefs are tough to beat at home. I can still remember last year’s game against the Bolts, with rain pounding down and the Chiefs dominating the whole field. The Bills picked up Tyler Thigpen in the off-season, but Fitzpatrick will be the starting QB. Arthur Moats, the WSL infamous for ending Brett Favre’s consecutive start streak on my birthday last year, is #2 in the depth chart this season. Hopefully Matt Cassel escapes the game unscathed. Chiefs 27, Bills 17.

Eagles vs Rams

The Eagles made the play-offs last year. Of course, our own Joe Webb (along with Antoine Winfield) tore up the Eagles late last season, and Matt Hasselbeck ended the Rams’ season in a week 17 showdown, sending a team with a losing record to the play-offs for the first time ever. With dog-murderering Vick reaping a huge pay-day and Bradford being a 2nd-year guy, I think the Eagles will dominate this match up. Eagles 28, Rams 14.

Lions vs Buccaneers

With Matt Stafford healthy, the Lions will have a strong season. He should probably have a chat with Ndamukong Suh about dirty play and injuring QBs so he doesn’t face any retaliation. Yeah Suh, I’m talking to you about cleaning up your game. The Bucs have a pair of Joshes at the QB position. Freeman will get the start, but I don’t believe that an improved Bucs team is going to beat a Lions team finding its roar. Lions 24, Bucs 13.

Panthers vs Cardinals

The Panthers have a total of 9 years of experience across all of their QBs, with their 3rd string QB Derek Anderson having the bulk of those (7). In this game we’re going to see just what Cam Newton can do. One has to wonder how Jimmy Clausen is feeling after being usurped by the rookie. The Cardinals have signed Larry Fitzgerald (who is a Viking at heart, of course) to a long-term deal. He’ll have Kevin Kolb throwing the ball to him. Will that combination work? I’m sure we all remember when the Packers took Kolb out of the game last year, allowing Vick to stake his claim on the Eagles’ offense. Let’s watch and see! Cardinals 21, Panthers 10.

Vikings vs Chargers

Looks like the Chargers managed to sell out this game, so my friend Raven will be able to watch the game on TV out in San Diego. McNabb and the offense have shown some chemistry for the Vikings. We have concerns in the defensive secondary and a QB like Philip Rivers will try to make the most of that. Will the Vikings, led by McNabb and Adrian Peterson, want to put 2010 behind them enough to make a statement? I think they will. Vikings 24, Chargers 21.

Seahawks vs 49ers

The Seachickens travel to historic Candlestick Park for this match up. From the Puget Sound to the San Francisco Bay. With our former Vikings at the offensive helm, the Hawks, under head coach Pete Carroll, will be taking on new coach Jim Harbaugh and the much beleaguered Alex Smith at QB. Those of us in the know already question Carroll’s thought process in bringing on Tarvaris Jackson as the starting QB. Even with turncoat Sidney Rice on the roster, T-Jack isn’t going to suddenly become an NFL-level QB. 49ers 28, Seahawks 10.

Giants vs Redskins

Last season, current Viking QB McNabb was famously benched and Rex Grossman was given the start for the Redskins. Sad Eli Manning is the only Manning playing this weekend for the first time in a decade. Will the Redskins be united around Grossman? Will Eli be too emotional about his brother’s status to be effective? I think it will be a close game but ultimately the home team will triumph. Redskins 21, Giants 17.

Cowboys vs Jets

Tony Romo is back from a broken clavicle and Mark Sanchez is on the cover of GQ. Sanchez may be a pretty boy, but he looked pretty good for most of last season (despite his penchant for crumbling under pressure). Romo looked like he is still getting back in the swing of things during the 3rd preseason game. Were it not for Sensabaugh, the Vikings would have won that match up – so he definitely wasn’t dominating. Home field advantage is the key here. Jets 19, Cowboys 14.

Patriots vs Dolphins

I’ve already seen predictions that the Patriots will be in the Super Bowl, and even win it, this year. I’m not sure what these analysts saw in the 3 quarters two weeks ago to lead them to believe that, but let’s see if Tom Brady can outmaneuver Chad Henne on the Dolphin’s home turf. With the Moss drama of last season over, will the Patriots regain their once-perennial dominance? Or will the Dolphins’ new RB Reggie Bush destroy the Patriots’ defense? Patriots 24, Dolphins 13.

Raiders vs Broncos

The Raiders are traveling from sea level to Mile High Stadium this weekend where Jason Campbell will be attempting to out-play Kyle Orton on his home turf. Will the thin air make Campbell’s head spin, or is the lack of any decent receivers already enough to do it? Orton was called “effective” during the preseason (while Tebow didn’t help his cause). I believe the Broncos will be bucking right over the Raiders. Broncos 28, Raiders 10.

Okay Vikings Nation – the football season is upon us. Next Tuesday, I’ll post the results of my Week One Picks and don’t miss my Packer’s game review tonight and my Vikings’ Game Breakdown on Sunday night.

Wear your purple tomorrow and Show Your Horns! Skol!

Gratuitous image of AR being sacked by Jared Allen. Skol people!


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