Thursday, September 10, 2015

NFL Week 1 Picks

After last season's 8-2 playoff run I am officially crowning myself the king. Now, heavy is the head that wears the crown, so if you want to try and knock it off I'm right here. Until then enjoy my Week 1 entrance music:

No doubt about it, Week 1 of the NFL season is by far the hardest one to pick. That's why somewhere between 1/3-1/2 of your suicide pool will be done by Tuesday of next week. We really don't know what we have with these teams yet.

We know what last year's team looked like and by and large their weren't too many major overhauls save the Buffalo Bills. That's not how football works anyway. You can't trade your way out of anything. You can cut players, sign other's castoffs, occasionally make a big free agent signing, but nothing like the 2015 Padres will every happen in the NFL. Its just not built that way.

The only major ways to change a team is to change the QB and change the coach. That's about it. Both of those changes will result in minor tweaks elsewhere, but its hard for teams to improve dramatically unless they do so from within.

So when making Week 1 picks you just have to go with information that you know, rely a little on what you think and cross your fingers. Everyone else is just as lost as you are. Also, preseason means nothing.

*Regular Season lines are taken from

Steelers @ Patriots (-7.5)

With all do respect to the Steelers who are one of the NFL's model franchises, New England will be hell bent in 2015 on destroying every team in their path. Belichick is pissed. Brady is pissed. Patriot Pat is pissed. The NFL tried to sell out THE model franchise and got exposed in the process. The 2015 Pats may not win every game, but teams that play them will not be the same afterwards.

Pick: Patriots

Packers @ Bears (+6.5)

I think the Bears have a new coach and I think that the Packers under-performed last year. Aaron Rodgers better be motivated to take down the league this year, but I can't guarantee that. I feel like his life is too good to be worried that much about football. Also (after some research), a John Fox coached Bears team will not be taking beat-downs of a touchdown or more at home.

Pick: Bears

Chiefs @ Texans (-1.5)

This might be one of the more intriguing games of the week. Andy Reid does some amazing things with offenses while JJ Watt does some amazing things to offenses. On the whole I feel like the Chiefs are probably the better team here, but the Texans front 4 ought to be able to totally disrupt any sort of rhythm the Chiefs try to establish on offense. Plus, who is the Chiefs' QB? Oh right, its Alex Smith.

Pick: Texans

Browns @ Jets (-3.5)

I can't even bring myself to conjure up any reason to how this game will end.

Pick: Browns

Colts @ Bills (+2.5)

These two teams are almost polar opposites. The Bills have talent  up and down their roster with a serviceable line (if healthy) and a huge question mark at QB. The Colts have a once in a generation talent at QB, a serviceable line (if healthy) and a dearth of talent everywhere else. Put Andrew Luck on the Bills and that team somehow wins 20 games. Put Tyrod Taylor, EJ Manuel, Matt Cassell, the ghost of Tim Couch or any other warm body in camp with the Bills at the helm for the Colts and that team wins a negative amount of games. Plus, the Ralph is going to be INSANE on Sunday.

Pick: Bills

Dolphins @ Skins (+3.5)

(Editors Note: Daniel Snyder has every right to name his football team anything he wants. However, I don't have to use that name and neither does anybody else. Therefore, consider them the Washington Skins on this blog.)

I don't know if this line is more about how good people believe the Dolphins will be or how bad people expect the Skins to be. And other than having the courage to sit down RG3, I can't really say what the Redskins have done this offseason. The Dolphins did sign one of the baddest men on the planet (between the lines anyway) and everyone seems to love Ryan Tannehill for some strange reason.

Pick: Dolphins

Panthers @ Jaguars (+3.5)

I want to pick the Jaguars here, but Cam Newton is just too damn good. If only Carolina could get some nice complementary pieces... Or if the Panthers would just trade him to the Bills. Does anyone have Terry Pegula's email?

Pick: Panthers

Seahawks @ Rams (+4.5)

This would be the ultimate test of the "Super Bowl" hangover effect if not for the unflappable Russel Wilson and the indomitable Pete Carroll. Nothing that happens with Seattle makes sense to the layperson and that's OK. When you win games you don't have to explain anything. Also, Nick Foles was a nice story, but I'm not so sure he's going to thrive with the Rams.

Pick: Seahawks

Saints @ Cardinals (-2.5)

The Cardinals are hard team to figure this season. For like 1/2 of 2014 they were one of the best teams in the league. Bruce Arians is a great coach and Carson Palmer is a good enough QB. However, after Palmer got hurt the Cardinals let Jesus take the Wheel and that truck careened right into oncoming traffic. It was ugly and sad. But Palmer's back and the Saints just seem to get a little worse every year.

Pick: Cardinals

Lions @ Chargers (-3.5)

Chargers never play well early in the year.

Pick: Lions

Titans @ Buccaneers (-3.5)

Lovie Smith is a good coach who got a bit of a raw deal in Chicago. But then again, I kind of think that being a NFL coach is a bit of a raw deal. What other job has you working 80 hour weeks and forces your family to move to a new city every 2 years. I don't get it. You know what I do get? When two rookie QB's match up, take the one playing at home.

Pick: Bucs

Bengals @ Raiders (+3.5)

This is the upset of the week. Things have to turn around in Oakland eventually. Could this be the year? Also, Marvin Lewis Bengals teams, while typically solid are known for mental lapses. This is a mental lapse waiting to happen.

Pick: Raiders

Ravens @ Broncos (-4.5)

Peyton Manning should have retired.

Pick: Ravens

Giants @ Cowboys (-5.5)

I know the Giants had a bit of an unlucky season in 2014, but I don't see how they plan on turning it around. Honestly, they feel a bit like the Mets of like 3 or 4 years ago: no plan, no vision, no money (although, that's not really an issue in the NFL) and no hope. Well, apparently the Mets did have a plan or they sold their souls. I don't know which and I'm not here to judge. But, it means nothing for the Giants. They don't even play in the same state.

Pick: Cowboys

Eagles @ Falcons (+2.5)

Put me in the camp of those who believe that this is going to be Chip Kelly's year. He finally has the roster he wants and the QB that he wants. Hell, he won games when he didn't have those things. Couple that with a Falcons team that seems to perpetually lack identity. This is an easy one.

Pick: Eagles

Vikings @ 49ers (+2.5)

I don't get the 49ers as an organization. They let Jim Harbaugh build a winner and then bought his tickets out of town when they found out he was a bit of a meanie. How do you think that football games are won? Through negotiation and tact? No, you smack a guy in the mouth over and over again until they quit. Its not a pretty game. It never has been.

Pick: Vikings

There you have it. As always if you don't like my picks or my method let me know. I'm always happy to be told why I'm wrong.

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