The giddiness is still very much alive. I just love this time of year. We have baseball and division races all over the place. We have college football (Go Temple! Beat Penn State!). And most importantly, we have the NFL. The giddiness will last all season.
As with each week, I’m here to bring you my picks and quick thoughts about each game. Be on the lookout for a new podcast starting tomorrow where I’ll delve into each game a little more.
My picks will be in italics. As always, if I change a pick it will be posted in the comments section below. Picks are subject to change before any kickoff.
Raiders @ Bills – Are the Bills for real? Eh, probably not. However, the Raiders are coming off a short week in which they did show some issues. The Bills have to be feeling great about themselves and that is something that can’t be undervalued. I think this will be a tight game but road fatigue and a crazy environment will result in a Raiders loss and Al Davis starts looking for a new coach. Give me the Bills.
Packers @ Panthers – One fantastic game does not convince me. I give Cam Newton all the respect in the world for what he did last weekend but I’m not buying his stock yet. Do something similar against the Super Bowl champions and maybe I’ll start to be swayed. Maybe. The Packers have issues on defense for sure, but that offense is fantastic. I worry about their ability to close out games but I don’t see that being an issue against the Panthers. Give me the Packers.
Chiefs @ Detroit – The Chiefs are one of those teams that won’t make the playoffs the season after they did. I’m just going to put that out there right now. They have a lot of problems and it all starts with the QB. But you know my feelings about Cassell by now. You also know that I love what the Lions are selling. I still believe they can contend for a wildcard spot. Give me the Lions at home.
Browns @ Colts – Until the Colts can prove that they can win without Peyton, I refuse to pick them. Honestly, no Manning for the season could easily mean Indianapolis having the number one pick come the 2012 Draft. The Browns looked bad against the Bengals, but I think they’ll find success running the ball down the Colts’ throat. Call it a hunch. Give me the Browns.
Buccaneers @ Vikings – I’m still not entirely sure what the Bucs were doing last week when they refused to hand the ball to LeGarrette Blount. But my theory is that’s in the past. I still don’t see a reason to be excited about the Vikings and McNabb only throwing for 39 yards last week is part of that. I’d be excited about them if the Eagles were facing them. But that’s a little different. I think the Bucs come in angry after last week and put a hurting on the Vikings. Give me the Baccaneers.
Bears @ Saints – I’m buying both of these teams right now. However, I’m buying one a little more. I don’t think I could even try to convince myself that the Saints, with 10 days rest, would lose to just about anyone. I have a ton of respect for that Chicago defense but I’m still leery of the offense. Bad Jay Cutler is bound to show up at some point….why not in a crazy loud dome? On a serious note, my earnest thoughts and prayers go out to Brian Urlacher and his family as they deal with the sudden death of his mother. Stay strong brother. Give me the Saints.
Jaguars @ Jets – The Jaguars are in for a very long day when they trek up to New York….well, New Jersey. The Jets defense is going to tear that offense to shreds. The Jaguars beat the Titans last week in what may end being one of the most boring games I’ve ever witnessed. The Jets won’t need any fourth quarter magic against the Jags, however. This is a clean win. Give me the Jets.
Seahawks @ Steelers – On one side you have a really mediocre team coming off a loss. On the other….the defending AFC Champions coming off getting thrashed by their biggest rival. Oh and these guys are now at home. And really angry. Do you think for one moment that I’m going to take the Seahawks? Not in your life. Give me the Steelers. Lock of the week.
Ravens @ Titans – The Titans could barely move the ball on an okay at best Jacksonville defense. How do you think they’ll manage against Baltimore’s D? I’ll give you a hint….not well. My advice would be that if you have CJ in fantasy, stick him on the bench. The Ravens are staring 2-0 in the face. Give me the Ravens on the road. Sorry Nashville.
Cardinals @ Redskins – Rex Grossman had himself a mighty fine day last weekend but he still showed some of the same issues that have been there throughout his career. I think the Cardinals can take advantage of that. I firmly believe they drastically undervalued what Cam Newton could do and this weekend they will work to rectify that. Give me the Cardinals on the road.
Cowboys @ 49ers – If the 49ers manage to stick around in this game like the Jets did last weekend, sure, I may go with the 9ers. I don’t see that happening. I think Dallas is (rightfully) angry after last weekend and they’ll take out their anger on the poor 49ers. Though you never know with Romo. But still, give me the Cowboys.
Bengals @ Broncos – The Broncos looked so bad on Monday. I mean, they looked remarkably bad. I was amazed at how bad they looked. The fact that I’m taking the Bungles should tell you all you need the know about them. The Bungles are even on the road! Trust me when I say that taking them feels very, very wrong. But I am. Give me the Bungles!
Texans @ Dolphins – That Dolphins secondary was mauled on Monday night. It was monumental. Now they get to deal with Andre Johnson. Oh boy. Also, Arian Foster is back. Uh oh. And the Dolphins, for whatever reason, are really bad at home. Uh oh. Can you guess who I’m taking? I’ll give you a hint. It’s the Texans.
Chargers @ Patriots – Game of the week right here folks. I flipped back and forth on this game all week. I honestly could probably convince myself either way. However, at the end of the day I can’t bring myself to pick against the Patriots at home this early in the season. Maybe if it was the playoffs I could. However, for now I see a very high scoring affair with the Patriots ultimately coming out on top. It’s gonna be a fun one. Give me the Patriots.
Eagles @ Falcons – A full preview will be up Saturday.
Rams @ Giants – Those poor Rams just got destroyed by injuries last weekend. Were it not for that, I might pick the Rams because I feel the Giants are that bad. This truly is the game of the walking wounded. Or rather the wounded who are on the sidelines. Either way, I think homefield advantage plays a role here as the Giants get their first win of the season. Give me the Giants.
Last week: 12-4