This has become a pretty popular "segment" over on the Redskins board-- I thought some of you NFL fans might find it an enjoyable read.
NFL Week One Picks, Pats, and Apologies
Back for the third year in a row, I present my weekly PPA thread. First a quick review of the previous two seasons:
2005 Regular Season: 163-91
Playoffs: 6-5 (correctly picked Super Bowl)
Record Picking Redskins (including playoffs): 14-4
2006Regular Season: 146-110
Playoffs: 8-3 (correctly picked Super Bowl)
Record Picking Redskins: 8-8
As you can see, much like the Redskins, 2005 was much kind to me than 2006. I got off to a bad start, never got any momentum, and wound up with a disappointing record. I did have a nice run during the playoffs last year, but it was too little, too late. 2007 promises to be different. Week one is unique in that there are no "pats" or "apologies," just picks.
New Orleans at Indianapolis: I predict the Colts to struggle somewhat this season, but I think the Saints secondary is about to get lit up on national TV. New Orleans is an extremely one-sided team in terms of their offense vs. their defense. I think Brees and company will put up some points, but they won't be able to keep pace.
Colts 34, Saints 24
Philadelphia at Green Bay: Every year I see a week one game that screams "surprise" to me. This is it. Green Bay has done a very good job of replenishing their roster with talented young players-- especially along the offensive line. I also have an odd feeling that all may not be well in Philly.
Packers 27, Eagles 20
Atlanta at Minnesota: Before the Michael Vick saga, I had the Falcons pegged as a 6-10 type of team in 2007. Now? Yikes. Vikings will roll.
Vikings 26, Falcons 10
Miami at Washington: Easiest game on the Redskins schedule comes in week 1. Miami's offense is brutal and the defense is getting old. Trent Green is a shell of his former self. The Dolphins are a mess. Every team tends to "show up" week one, and I'm still not convinced the Redskins offense is capable of blowing anyone away, but I think Washington will control this game from start to finish.
Redskins 23, Dolphins 13
New England at New York Jets: Every year there seems to be one team that burns me over and over and over again. Last year, it was the Jets. I picked against them week after week and kept losing. When I finally went with them, they lose to a team like Buffalo. I see this as an extremely entertaining game, but one the Pats will win.
Patriots 24, Jets 20
Tennessee at Jacksonville: It's a good thing Jeff Fisher is still in Tennessee, because this was a disasterous off-season for them losing Adam Jones and Travis Henry, while failing to improve the team through free agency. The Titans rode on Vince Young's magic wings for some wild wins last year. In 2007, I have a feeling that magic may fizzle a bit.
Jaguars 20, Titans 13
Denver at Buffalo: I just don't like the direction in which the Bills are headed. I am not a fan of Dick Juaron, and J.P. Losman underwhelms me at best. Their defense lost some key contributors. Denver, on the other hand, seems infused by the emergence of Jay Cutler.
Broncos 21, Bills 16
Pittsburgh at Cleveland: Week one always bring fans that magic word in sports: HOPE. Browns fans better live it up this week, because after Sunday they will realize it's going to be the same ole', same ole' in Cleveland this year.
Steelers 20, Browns 10
Carolina at St. Louis: The Panthers could announce they were swapping rosters with the University of North Texas, and Carolina would still be a media darling. However, the media fails to realize that the Panthers had a pathetic offensive attack last year, and it only got older, not better.
Rams 24, Panthers 21
Kansas City at Houston: The Chiefs could very well be in the top 5 of the draft next year. Expect a major fall from grace for this surprise playoff team from 2006.
Texans 28, Chiefs 21
Tampa Bay at Seattle: I can't quite decide if I think the Seahawks have missed their window and will begin to slide, or if they are still the class of the NFC West. Either way, we won't find out much this Sunday, as Tampa doesn't have the weapons to win a tough road game at this point.
Seahawks 20, Bucs 17
Chicago at San Diego: Oh, Rex. It's all on you, my friend. The Bears defense is obviously stellar, but no one will go into San Diego and "shut down" the Chargers this year. Rex must make plays. I'll believe it when I see it.
Chargers 22, Bears 17
Detroit at Oakland: For the three of you who will be watching-- expect a close game, with the Lions winning late.
Lions 19, Raiders 17
New York Giants at Dallas: The Giants season is 100% on the shoulders of Eli Manning. Their defense isn't talented enough to win games for them and their running game won't be as reliable minus Tiki. However, the Giants do have some potential for good things if Manning can put it together on a consistent basis. I'm a doubter.
Cowboys 29, Giants 21
Baltimore at Cincinnati: Week one is probably more important to the Bengals than to any other team this year. After a disappointing season in 2006, Cincy gets a shot at the defending Central champs at home, on Monday Night. This is as close to must-win game as it can get in week one. I am picking the Bengals to win the division-- I will change that pick if they drop this one.
Bengals 16, Ravens 15
Arizona at San Francisco: A fun way to end a good slate of games in week one. I think both of these teams has a legitimate shot to win the division, but both are saddled with inexperience at almost every key position. I'm going with Arizona because I like Matt Leinert a tad more than I like Alex Smith, but this one is toss up.
Cardinals 30, 49ers 28