NFL Week 1 Picks
After 6 months straight of Deflategate, I'm pretty sure that everyone's dead tired of it, and the biggest loser of that media created BS isn't the NFL. It's the Pittsburgh Steelers, since they get to face a pissed off Brady tomorrow night. After a solid but not great year of picks*, I fully expect a better year, if only because I posted a preview (5 teams left). Onto the Picks!
Thursday Game of the Week
Pittsburgh Steelers @ New England Patriots (-6.5)
Although Pittsburgh will be missing their top WR and RB, as well as All-Pro Center Pouncey, I doubt it would've made a difference even at full strength. Moreover, they won't be able to handle a fully rested and healthy TE Gronkowski, rumbling through that laughably poor secondary. QB Tom Terrific will see nothing but a bunch of panciky Roger Goodell stumbling and fumbling on the field.
Patriots by 14
Game of the Week
Baltimore Ravens @ Denver Broncos (-4.5)
QB Manning has made mincemeat of Baltimore since he joined Denver in 2012, because they have had success moving the ball. For some reason, Baltimore gets suckered into a shootout with him, which is almost always a bad idea.
Broncos by 4
Monday Night Game of the Week
Philadelphia Eagles @ Atlanta Falcons (+3.5)
After a crazy offseason overhauling the team, Philadelphia is a great unknown, although they were a complete buzzsaw in the preseason, encouraging pundits to back them for the playoffs. But it all depends on the ultra-fragile QB Bradford, who just cannot stay healthy. As for Atlanta, they are loaded on offense enough to stay competitive in high scoring shootouts. Because neither team has a legitimate defense, it might come down to whoever has the ball last.
Eagles by 1
Same of the Week
Green Bay Packers @ Chicago Bears (+6.5)
While Green Bay will be missing their top WR Nelson, the Bears' entire WR corps is decimated by injuries. Moreover, Chicago's paper-machie defense will not be able to slow down Green Bay's multidimensional offense in the slightest. Bottom line? It's QB Rodgers versus QB Cutler, and that's All. She. Wrote.
Packers by 10
Kansas City Chiefs @ Houston Texans (even)
Houston has confidence in QB Hoyer, that he'll hold down the fort until RB Foster gets over his injury. However, Kansas City seems improved on offense with WR Maclin. Then again, neither QB will have much room to work, because both of them will be running for their lives away from holy terrors in J.J. Watt and Justin Houston.
Texans by 1
Indianapolis Colts @ Buffalo Bills (+2.5)
If Indianapolis cannot contain the ultraquick QB Taylor, they'll be in trouble. They might not be able to, since DE Jones is now on the injured reserve list. OTOH Buffalo has to slow down one of the best offensive machines in the league, but they do have the best defensive line, and a solid secondary to do the job. Take the points.
Colts by 1
Seattle Seahawks @ St. Louis Rams (+4.5)
Yes, St. Louis shocked Seattle last year in Week 7, dropping them to 3-3. Then Seattle turned their season around and came a yard shy of back to back Super Bowl titles. Both St. Louis and Seattle have great defenses, going up against questionable offensive lines, which spells a low scoring game.
Seahawks by 2
New Orleans Saints @ Arizona Cardinals (-2.5)
The Cards looked legitimate for most of the season, until they ran out of quarterbacks. Obviously, QB Palmer has to stay healthy, but his fragile offensive line isn't promising. At least they're facing a team on the decline in New Orleans, at home in front of a ferocious fanbase.
Cardinals by 4
Detroit Lions @ San Diego Chargers (-2.5)
Difficult to pick between two consistently inconsistent teams in Detroit and San Diego, to say the least. Both are loaded with talent, with world-beating QBs, but neither of them has figured out the secret. Although Detroit was tough at home last year, they were average away from Ford Field. Lay the points.
Chargers by 3
Shame of the Week
Cleveland Browns @ New York Jets (-2.5)
After a solid offseason of upgrades to the offense and overhaul of defense, and a new intelligent coach in Bowles, there's hope in New York. Despite the loss of QB Geno Smith to a busted jaw, New York won't have much trouble against Cleveland, because they won't be disadvantaged at the QB spot. Moreover, Cleveland doesn't have strong receivers, allowing All-World CB Revis to wreak holy terror.
Jets by 3
Miami Dolphins @ Washington Racial Slur (+1.5)
For the past few years, the circus at Washington has degenerated to farcical levels. The QB of the Future RGIII is still there, but he will likely never take another snap again. Fortunately, despite the cheesy carnival music and the elephant dung, starting Cousins at QB was a football decision. However, it makes zippo difference against a bloothirsty defense from Miami.
Dolphins by 3
Carolina Panthers @ Jacksonville Jaguars (+3.5)
Carolina is decimated at WR, meaning they'll have no choice but start WR Corey Brown and Ted Ginn Jr. Who? Exactly. But Jacksonville will not be able to take advantage in the slightest, because they are still a godforsaken, shitty team.
Panthers by 6
Cincinnati Bengals @ Oakland Raiders (+3.5)
Despite making the playoffs for the last 4 years, Cincinnati have as many playoff wins as say, Oakland. Yup, zippo. Moreover, Cincinnati has one of the toughest schedules in the league, so they have to get every cupcake possible. Oakland's QBs aren't horrible, but they lack a running game to balance things and keep Cincinnati's defense honest.
Bengals by 13
New York Giants @ Dallas Cowboys (-6.5)
Yes, it's Super Bowl or Bust for the Cowboys. Just like any other year. Despite losing RB Murray, some pundits think the Cowboys might be better this year. New York has yet to recover from that Super Bowl hangover from 5 years ago.
Cowboys by 6
Lame of the Week
Tenneessee Titans @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-2.5)
The battle of two crappy franchises with two QBs of the future in Mariota and Winston! QB Mariota was slightly better in the preseason, but avoid this game at all cost.
Buccaneers by 1
Minnesota Vikings @ San Francisco 40 Whiners (-2.5)
QB Bridgewater is converting believers everywhere he goes, and he has All-Day Peterson back. Moreover, the young Minnesota defense is poised to destroy the league. As for San Francisco? They have lost half of their guys, their coach, their mojo, their everything. A biblical Exodus, except the 40 Whiners are the Egyptians.
Vikings by 7
*2014 Season Total: 174-92