Some people will open up a column like this and say they can’t believe that NFL season is already here. Not me. It took too long to get here for my liking. I love me some NFL, and am stoked for the 2012 season to get going.
In this space I will pick the winners weekly for each game. Last year I was correct 72-percent of the time, which is pretty darned good for the league if I do say so myself.
My best friend Eagle One will be back in on the action as well. He’s a bit of a pain sometimes, but like me, he loves pro football and does pretty okay with his picks.
Early on it’s important to realize that these aren’t the same teams they were last year. The league is always in motion, and things change all the time. Teams that used to be really good will go downhill and vice versa. Our job is to try to be ahead of the curve in recognizing this year’s trends and jump on those bandwagons while they’re still filling up, and to jump off of bandwagons that are hurtling toward disaster, sort of like the Eagles last year.
Both Eagle One and I are on vacation this week, he’s at the beach with Mrs. One and I’m with Mrs. Mac and the kiddos in the mountains. We’ll officially start picking against one another next week if I do not hear from him before kickoff on Wednesday. On to the picks, and another great season of football…it’s about time.
Wednesday Night Kickoff Game
Dallas at New York Giants: The last time the Giants won the Super Bowl, in the game that shalt not be mentioned, New York rebounded to have a very strong regular season. I think they’re going to do that again this year. I don’t like that Manningham and Ballard are no longer on the roster for Eli to throw to, but Hicks and Cruz are a great 1-2 punch and the Giants’ defense is going to be strong once again. Dallas, in my opinion, is looking at 8-8 once again. They never can stay healthy, and DeMarco Murray hasn’t really proven himself yet over a full season.
There’s just too much going for NY here anyways. It’s Opening Night, they’ll be raising the banner and the crowd will be jacked up in the Meadowlands. I’m taking New York, 31-17.
The Pick: Giants
Sunday, 1 PM Games
Indy at Chicago: Over the course of the season I see the Colts emerging as a fun team to watch that will improve. Andrew Luck looks like the real deal. Still, he aint winning in his NFL debut against a solid defensive team like Chicago. The Bears have a lot of weapons offensively and if Cutler can stay healthy I think they’re playoff-bound. Bears, 33-14.
Philly at Cleveland: A year removed from the Super Team title hoisted upon the Eagles, Philly enters this season looking to rebound and prove that they are actually pretty good. They were the most frustrating team in the league to watch last season, for sure. When they’re good, they’re really good, but they struggled against teams that they should have beaten. I think they’ll open well here, and that Vick and Co. will win a close one in a tough place to play. Iggles, 20-16.
The Pick: Philly
New England at Tennessee: Once again the Patriots look like the team to beat in the AFC. Tommy Boy has a new weapon to unleash, in Brandon Lloyd, and I think he’s going to launch a few deep ones right out of the gate. The Pats’ starters haven’t played a lot of football in the preseason, so it could take a while to get things going, but they’re obviously the superior team and will win, 27-17.
The Pick: Patriots
Atlanta at Kansas City: So much intrigue in this game. Matt Ryan is hoping to reach elite level this year, and with Julio Jones and Roddy White he could. The Chiefs get Jamaal Charles back and had a sneaky good defense a year ago. The Chiefs have one of the best home field advantages, but in week one I usually go with the team that I just think is better, and I think the Falcons are better and will win a close one, 17-14.
The pick: Falcons
Jacksonville at Minnesota: Chris Johnson held out last season during the preseason, came back for week one and was mediocre at best all year long. Maurice Jones-Drew followed suit this year and has not played a snap of football in a year. MoJ0 is the Jags’ best weapon, but he’s not going to be sharp yet and that is going to hurt Jacksonville for a few weeks. The Vikes aren’t very good, but they do have some weapons. When two sub-par teams battle, take the home team. Vikings, 24-17.
The Pick: Vikings.
Washington at New Orleans: RG3 makes his debut against players that will not be looking to cash in any bounties that have been placed on his head, that we know of. It’s been a difficult offseason for the Saints, and it will be good for them to just be playing football and not dealing with all of the distractions. Until Bob Griffin proves otherwise, I’m not taking a rookie QB on the road, so give me the Saints in a shootout, 41-28.
The Pick: Saints
Buffalo at New York Jets: The Jets have not yet scored a touchdown in 2012. The Bills just might be good. Remember, before Ryan Fitzpatrick went down with an injury, the Bills were one of the best AFC teams during the first half of the year. Buffalo wins, 20-13, and Mark Sanchez’s person hell begins to heat up as 90-percent of WFAN is dominated by Tebow talk all week.
The pick: Bills
St. Louis at Detroit: The Lions are going to pass, pass, pass this year, and they’re going to be fun to watch. St. Louis can’t be as bad as they were a year ago, but they’re not good enough to top Megatron and company here as the Lions win, 38-21.
The pick: Lions
Miami at Houston: The Dolphins were not that bad with Matt Moore at QB last year, they were officially feisty and played some good games. So of course the Fish aren’t using him behind center to start the season. Houston would have probably been the AFC rep in the Super Bowl if injuries hadn’t railroaded their year. They’re healthy now, and they’ll roll, 32-10.
The Pick: Texans.
Sunday, 4:25 PM Games
San Francisco at Green Bay: The best game of the weekend here, and it’s going to be a blast. Aaron Rodgers doesn’t lose home games often, and he won’t drop the opener. Give me the discount double checks, 24-17.
The pick: Packers
Carolina at Tampa Bay: Cam Newton was very good in the first half of last season, but once the NFL defensive gurus began to get a read on him, he became a bit mediocre. The Bucs have the look of a team that is going to surprise people and be better than they were. I said we need to jump on those opportunities and identify the teams that are better, so let’s jump on this bandwagon right now as Tampa wins, 27-20.
The Pick: Buccaneers
Seattle at Arizona: I’m going against one of my own mantras here and taking a rookie QB on the road. Russell Wilson could be a force of nature and the Cardinals just are awful, perhaps the worst team in the NFL. Wilson keeps building his legend, and leads the Hawks to a 27-21 win on the road.
The Pick: Seahawks
Pittsburgh at Denver (Sunday Night, 8:20): Peyton Manning’s return will be interesting to watch. I expect a shootout and a lot of fun. Give me the Mannings, 33-28.
The Pick: Broncos
Cincinnati at Baltimore (MNF, 7 PM): Billy Cundiff is gone, replaced by someone named Justin Tucker, and the Ravens look to move on from wide left in New England. Our boy Benjarvus Green-Ellis is in the fold for the Bengals, and could be in for a long night against a very good defense. I see Baltimore shaking off the demons from their last game and winning a defensive battle, 20-17.
The pick: Ravens
San Diego at Oakland (MNF, 10:15): I wish there were doubleheaders every Monday Night, it would be awesome, especially since I work late on Mondays and would have most of a game to come home to to watch. Phil Rivers doesn’t have as many weapons as he did a year ago and the Chargers just don’t look as good. The Raiders, on the other hand, look good offensively and with Run DMC back, I see an Oakland win, 28-21.
The Pick: Raiders
The views and opinions in the Enterprise blogs are those of the author and are not neccessarily shared by Falmouth Publishing.