Saturday, September 10, 2011

NFL Picks - Preseason and Week 1

Commentary for the preseason picks will be added when I have more time. I'll throw them in another post as well but for now, we'll stick them at the bottom of this one as proof I'm not cheating or whatever (even though the season's already technically started. Bear with me - it's been a tough week.)

Last Week - 0-0
Season - 1-0 (I took the Packers in my picks pool)

Atlanta at Chicago
I'm one of the people who thinks the Bears were a total fluke last season. I don't think they get back to the playoffs as I don't think they can mask their horrific offensive line once again and if the bloom wasn't off the Jay Cutler rose before the NFC Championship, it is now.

Cincinnati at Cleveland
I've got a $50 bet with my roommate that the Browns finish under .500. Considering the schedule, it's a risky bet (the AFC North plays the NFC West) but I'm still liking my chances. Not looking forward to getting off to a poor start, though. This Ohio derby is known for bizarre results but I can't see Andy Dalton, who I'm not really a fan of, winning his first career start on the road, particularly not against Colt McCoy, who I like. Look for a big game from A.J. Green though, particularly if/when Joe Haden's not covering him.

Buffalo at Kansas City
This is my suicide pick, thus the italics. It's the only option, really - unless you wanna burn the Pats in week 1. Philly, San Diego and Arizona are highly probable winners as well, but as someone who's flamed out in week 1 many times over, I have to play it safe. The Chiefs are a good young team. The Bills should really be tanking for Luck.

Philadelphia at St. Louis
A tricky opener for the offseason champs, particularly if Sam Bradford makes the progression expected in his second year and doesn't fall victim to the sophomore slump. But the Rams simply don't have the firepower to pull off this upset. Could see them hanging around all game long, though.

Detroit at Tampa Bay
The Lions are my (and probably a few other people's) big sleeper this season but a big part of that is the Fairley/Suh DT combo and the rookie won't play Sunday. Plus, Tampa were the team that suffered the ignominy of breaking Detroit's epic road losing streak last season. They won't let themselves be humiliated again, particularly not in their home opener.

Tennessee at Jacksonville
The Jags were my pick to win the AFC South...and then they dropped David Garrard for Luke McCown. Hey, maybe it works out, but I saw a good amount of McCown with the Browns and he was...bad. Good thing the opposing QB is Matt Hasselbeck who at this stage of his career is just as bad. The Titans own the Jags historically but I think the hosts have the considerably better team this season. As I noted back in August, they had a really nice offseason that went under the radar. They might still get the division and even if they don't they'll contend for the playoffs.

Pittsburgh at Baltimore
Simply put, I'm not picking Flacco to beat Big Ben until he does. At least there's no way a loss tomorrow will hurt as much as the last two to them did. Stupidly, I'm really liking our chances tomorrow but I'm sure that's just Opening Day Syndrome. We'll lose.

Indianapolis at Houston
As Bill Simmons would call it, the "Other Way" game. EVERYONE is taking Houston after the Manning news. But what do the Texans do when they have expectations? They choke. Of course, I've got them winning the AFC South but whatever, somebody has to win that division now. The NFL never makes sense anyways.

New York Giants at Washington
One of the tougher picks of an already impossible week. But I like to think I know the Redskins well seeing as how I've followed them almost as closely as my own team for my entire life and I think they'll come out and play well in the home opener on the heels of a fantastic preseason. Big game for Roy Helu and the banged-up Giants can't cut the mustard as Eli throws multiple picks.

Minnesota at San Diego
This would be a lock if not for the Chargers always being a poor first half team...but this is an extremely strange week 1 road trip for the Vikings and I don't think they'll be gelled enough to win it. Plus, losing Sidney Rice will hurt. I have Percy Harvin on my fantasy team but I'm not sure he's going to be able to step up right away.

Seattle at San Francisco
Home team. Not much more to it than that. Probably won't be the last time I say that about an NFC West game.

Carolina at Arizona
Ouch...he's yet to throw a regular season pass and I already look way, way wrong about Cam Newton. The Panthers honestly should just tank for the # 1 pick then fleece some team who really wants Andrew Luck. I don't believe in Kevin Kolb at all...but he'll be more than fine here.

Dallas at New York Jets
Just a really weird Sunday Night Football game for 9/11. Exactly why isn't this Giants/Jets? Whatever, the Cowboys are a really hard read this season (the Jets sort of are, too) but I can't see them stealing this game. Tony Romo must be having nightmares about his line going up against Rex Ryan's defense.

New England at Miami
Unless this happens again, this should be a fairly easy Pats victory. They've struggled in this game before but my Super Bowl pick should get off on the right foot.

Oakland at Denver
Ahh, one of my favorite games of the year - the week 1 Monday Night Football doubleheader. It's always two shitty West teams (redundancy?) but because it's football being back, we not only put up with it, we embrace it. And sometimes you get a really fun game like this or this. This one likely won't be as good but the Broncos should get a nice measure of revenge from last year. The Raiders are in bad shape without Nnamdi Asomugha to anchor their defense and I predict a vast falloff from last season. They might even be in for the Luck sweepstakes, which would be a huge boon.

And now the preseason predictions. These will be their own post with analysis added in sometime next week:


  1. New England

  2. New York

  3. Miami

  4. Buffalo


  1. Pittsburgh

  2. Baltimore

  3. Cleveland

  4. Cincinnati


  1. Houston

  2. Indianapolis

  3. Jacksonville

  4. Tennessee


  1. San Diego

  2. Kansas City

  3. Denver

  4. Oakland


  1. Philadelphia

  2. New York

  3. Dallas

  4. Washington


  1. Green Bay

  2. Detroit

  3. Chicago

  4. Minnesota


  1. New Orleans

  2. Atlanta

  3. Tampa Bay

  4. Carolina


  1. St. Louis

  2. Seattle

  3. San Francisco

  4. Arizona


  1. Carolina

  2. Oakland

  3. Buffalo

  4. Cincinnati

  5. Miami


  1. Pittsburgh

  2. New England

  3. San Diego

  4. Houston

  5. New York

  6. Baltimore


(3) San Diego over (6) Baltimore

(5) New York over (4) Houston


(1) Pittsburgh over (5) New York

(2) New England over (3) San Diego


(2) New England over (1) Pittsburgh


  1. Philadelphia

  2. New Orleans

  3. Green Bay

  4. St. Louis

  5. Atlanta

  6. Detroit


(6) Detroit over (3) Green Bay

(5) Atlanta over (4) St. Louis


(1) Philadelphia over (6) Detroit

(2) New Orleans over (5) Atlanta


(2) New Orleans over (1) Philadelphia


New England over New Orleans

MVP – Drew Brees

Rookie of the Year – A.J. Green

Offensive Player of the Year – Philip Rivers

Defensive Player of the Year – Ndamukong Suh

Coach of the Year – Jim Schwartz

Comeback Player of the Year – Chad Ochocinco

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