All eyes on the field, you can picture me throwin'
Time to hit the weight room cuz I gotta get swollen
All summer I balled, hoodrats having my babies
Somehow the deal got done, even though the owners were shady
They screaming football back! football back!
That's all the fans screaming that FOOTBALL BACK!
In case you're wondering, YES I wrote that myself but it's inspired by Rick Ross' "Tupac Back".
Now that I've got that out of my system I will continue my tradition of picking my winners for each week of the NFL season. Without any further (Freddy) adieu, here are my picks for Week 1.
Green Bay over New Orleans: Opening night after a Superbowl win, at home, I'm taking the Pack! I really hope this is going to be as great a game as I'm thinking it will. Two great offenses that can put up points and one defense that's really good. I'm hoping this turns into a shoot-out and not a defensively-dominated game. We'll get enough defense this weekend when the Steelers and Ravens clash.
Atlanta over Chicago: If Atlanta can play good defense this year they are going to make things difficult for GB, New Orleans, and presumably Philly. They aren't so much a sleeper pick this year as they were in years past but we all know their offense is balanced and they've added another weapon in Julio Jones (though I expect Harry Douglas to have a break-out season), but the question is how well will their defense play because they'll have to go through one or more of those teams I just mentioned in order to get to the Superbowl.
Cleveland over Cincinnati: Finish this sentence: "They should call this game the Dookie Bowl because both of these teams play like some..." But, Cleveland's a better team overall with Peyton Hillis, Josh Cribbs, and (dare I say it) Colt McCoy. Speaking of McCoy, he's looked stellar in the preseason and I'm actually rooting for him to do well this year because he's on one of my fantasy teams (bench guy, of course) and because everyone was hating on him last year. Evidently, the offense they're running now is much better suited to his skillset or he's adapted. Hopefully he does well.
Kansas City over Buffalo: Although I think this is the year when the Chiefs fall off a cliff and land in third place in this division, I don't have the confidence for Buffalo to go on the road and get this win. I love my man Stevie Johnson and I want him to do well but I just can't see Buffalo's defense stopping Charles, Bowe, and Cassel (since it appears he'll play even with the rib "issue").
Philadelphia over St. Louis: I'm not as sold on Philly (I won't dare mouth the term, "Dream Team") even on paper as other people seem to be. Like I have mentioned to numerous people, it's a long season and each game still has to be played and injuries can happen. Philly went out this season and did the same things Dan Snyder used to try to do in Washington every off-season. The only difference is, the Eagles were smart enough to get guys still in their prime rather than past their prime versions of Deion Sanders and Bruce Smith and whomever else I don't want to remember us signing. Philly will win this game but I bet St. Louis and Mr. Bradford keep things close. By the way, Mike Sims-Walker much?
Detroit over Tampa Bay: Detroit is my sleeper team in the NFC this year. Their D-LINE is going to be a P-R-O-B-L-E-M! Seriously, the only other person that believes this as much as me is Michael Wilbon. Yet-and-still, you cannot block all these freak athletes on that line, even with Nick Fairley out for the time being. If Detroit's offense can keep Jahvid Best healthy and Matt Stafford healthy...Watch OUT! Megatron is gonna do his thing regardless and another one of my sleeper performers this year is Titus Young. Just remember the name and that he's their slot receiver. Tampa Bay's my brother's favorite team so I sometimes care if they win but this game is not one of those times.
Tennessee over Jacksonville: I'm picking the Titans mainly because of Pinbal (read: Chris Johnson) and the fact that I think the Jags are going to quit on their coach this year. After the way Jack Del Rio handled the David Garrard situation (he basically Byron Leftwich'd him) I don't see how that team can respect him enough to go out there and play with a mediocre QB for a few weeks just to have him transition things over to a rookie QB. I'm sure MJD will be out there giving it his all but I'd bet that there are guys on that team that are just gonna be playing hard enough to not get hurt. That sounds weird but if you've played football you know that mailing it it can turn into serious injury.
Baltimore over Pittsburgh: I'm taking the Ravens for a few reasons: 1) Revenge. The Ravens lost last season to Pittsburgh in the playoffs. 2) The Ravens will win this because it's the regular season and not the playoffs when it really matters. 3) This is the shocker... I would like to see the Ravens win this game. And finally 4) because I live in Baltimore and people are genuinely happier here for the week when the Ravens win. But if it's a close game (which it most likely will be) and it comes down to Joe Flacco winning the game on a 2-minute drive I will be mentally changing my pick to the Steelers because Joe's good, but he still hasn't shown me that he can win the big game against tough opponents, in clutch time. Over Cincy and Cleveland sure, but against the best competition, not so much.
Houston over Indianapolis: Even if Peyton was playing I'd still take Houston. Houston's going to win the division this year if their defense can play even just a smidgeon better than mediocre at the cornerback position. If their corners play well, they win the division. If their corners suck, they finish second or third in a division (Colts, Titans, Jags) that they should easily finish at the top of if Peyton's out for an extended period of time. The Texans have the Ravens, Falcons, Steelers, Saints, and Raiders on their schedule. Aside from those games, they could probably run the table. You're laughing but seriously go look, if they were the Patriots you'd be saying "yo, they could run the table outside of those games". The Texans should be a 9 or 10 win team this year, that's all I'm saying.
Arizona over Carolina: Cam's first year, Kolb's "first" year sort of. I'll take Kolb and Fitzgerald over Cam and Shockey. Home field advantage doesn't mean much here but if Arizona lets DeAngelo Williams get going early this could definitely be a Carolina win.
San Diego over Minnesota: $20 says Donovan McNabb comes out looking rusty and throws an INT or 2. Adrian Peterson is gonna get his yards but I'm not convinced that the Vikings defense can stop San Diego and I'm definitely not convinced that the Vikings offense can score the way San Diego potentially can. I want Donovan to do well but I have a feeling that in this game he might try to do too much to prove everyone (read: Mike & Kyle Shanahan) wrong.
San Francisco over Seattle: Flip a coin, who cares. Sorry Lance. Granted, on paper this should be a win for the 49ers. Pretty talented group with Gore, Crabtree, Edwards, and Willis leading the defense. But the one spot they stink at is the most important one, quarterback. If Alex Smith can play well this should be an easy win but he usually makes things hard on himself and his team. As for the Seahawks, I think they should do like the Supersonics and move to Oklahoma. Only difference is, I think they should replace the Seahawks roster with Oklahoma's roster and I bet you it'd be a more competitive team.
Giants over Redskins: By now you know I'm a Redskins fan. Not yet a reluctant fan but I do consider myself a realistic Skins fan. If you read my prediction for the Skins season this year you know I expect us to lost this game. It's gonna suck to lose your home opener in Week 1 but the Giants defensive line pressuring Rex Grossman just doesn't seem like something I should have a whole lot of confidence in.
Jets over Dallas: I would not be surprised one bit if Dallas wins this game. I think Dallas is going to be good this year with Romo back and they've still got a LOT of weapons on offense. Problem is, the Jets defense is a beast and pressuring Romo either turns him into Brett Favre or Heath Shuler. I'm taking Shuler on this one.
New England over Miami: The funny thing about the Patriots is that even though the only true big name they put on the field every week is Tom Brady, you can never bet against these dudes. Especially not against a team like the Dolphins that probably has more big name talent but just can't put the whole package together. Don't sleep on Cameron Wake on Miami's defensive line though. That dude is a monster!
Denver over Oakland: Oakland is a trendy pick here because they ran the table in their division last year. But I'm not falling for it. In Denver against Football Jesus (Tim Tebow) - even though he probably won't play - I don't think so. In the end, Kyle Orton was the right choice to start at QB and if the Broncos are smart they create a goal line package centered around Tebow. Orton had a great rapport with Brandon Lloyd last year (as fantasy owners will attest) and Knowshown backed up by Willis "Looking For My Next Baby Momma" McGahee is a good dual attack at running back. I think Denver has a chance to do well this year but the problem is, their defense is ridiculously porous. If they can tighten things up on defense they should be decent enough to finish in the top half of this division. They'll win this game then lose to the Raiders in Oakland.
P.S. - No, I don't have Superbowl picks yet.