Finally, after months of waiting...Football. Is. Back. Real. Chocolate. Football. While the focus around these parts are rightly on the Texans and Colts, it wouldn't hurt us to keep an eye on the rest of the league for future opponents and the ever important record watch. Let's take a BRB-look at the rest of the league before they kick-off.
After the jump, we'll take a glance at what the rest of the league is doing during the opening week. Also, you'll get the names of those vying for glory in BRB's Pro Pick 'Em league. Details below the...
Minnesota Vikings @ New Orleans Saints (Thursday 9/9 @ 7:30 PM Central)
At this time, Brett Favre will play. However, he may retire so stay tuned for ESPN's breaking news about his status and his widdle ankle – if you still care. The Super Bowl Champions are at home where the crowd will be DEAFENING. I really think the Saints will tap into that emotion and come out ready to go. Aside from that, the Saints look like they haven't lost a step this pre-season, so I think everything adds up to a Who Dat win.
Atlanta Falcons @ Pittsburgh Steelers (Sunday 9/12 @ Noon Central)
Big Ben will be off...somewhere...doing...something...that doesn't involve playing football. When you lose your starting quarterback and then his back-up to injury, I find it hard not to pick your opponent. I like the Falcons in this one for that reason.
Carolina Panthers @ New York Giants
This will be a physical battle. Both defenses looked sharp in the pre-season. I have to admit, I was very surprised by Carolina's defense. Maybe they won't be too bad after all. Both teams also like to run the ball. The difference? The Giants are at home and can throw the ball. The Giants win the first regular season game at New Meadowlands Stadium to further the claim that New
Detroit Lions @ Chicago Bears
Don't sleep on this game as being entertaining. The Lions and Bears both boast offenses that could potentially explode with talent (Detroit) and scheme (Chicago). However, both also boast quarterbacks that could turn this into a DB's dream with all the potential interceptions. As is always the case in a Bears game, the tipping point is Jay Cutler. Until I see him play at the high level that is expected, I am going to think "Cutlerfuck" even against a below-average secondary. I'll take the Lions in a mild upset. One more note: If he stays healthy, Jahvid Best will win the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year award and give Detroit the NFL record for ROYs (they currently are tied with Pittsburgh with six). He's looked great in pre-season, and I don't see that changing now that the games matter.
Oakland Raiders @ Tennessee Titans
I honestly like Oakland this year. No, it's not just because they're playing hated division rival Methopotamia, but because of Jason Campbell. With the Purple Drankin' Fatty gone, a third place schedule, a weaker San Diego, and the NFC West on the schedule, the Oakland Raiders could surprise many and make a legitimate run at the division. A competent QB really can swing some points their way and cut out the mistakes that have bitten this team. The Raiders have also focused on improving their front seven which has looked great during the pre-season. However, those seven will be tested by Mr. 2000 - Chris Johnson. I imagine the Raiders will stack eight in the box, cut off the BE-SFs' "top" receiver with Scrabble, and force Vince to win it with his arm and "lesser" receivers. I think the Raiders take this one. Barely.
Denver Broncos @ Jacksonville Jaguars
The prodigal son returns to Everbank Field. No, not Jonathan Loesche, but Tim Tebow! There will be some orange and blue gear in the stands as
Miami Dolphins @ Buffalo Bills
With the first pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, the Buffalo Bills select Washington quarterback Jake Locker. That's what the Bills have to look forward to this season. I can't see the Bills doing much this season except maybe get C.J. Spiller 10-15 TDs for those fantasy owners (ME!) who drafted him? Hmm? The game? Miami's clearly the more talented team in a snowless Buffalo. The Dolphins win this one easily.
Cincinnati Bengals @ New England Patriots
Chad Ochocinco, Randy Moss, and Terrell Owens will all be playing in the same game. This is a WR-extravaganza of personality. The truth is, the pre-season didn't tell anyone much about these two teams. I imagine the Hoodie will come in with some complex systems, but the Bengals may have too many weapons for a DB corps that just lost its top corner. For that reason, I take Cincy.
Cleveland Browns @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
One of these fan bases get to celebrate undefeatedness after Week One. I'm taking Tampa Bay. It'll be hot, they're the home team, and those are my reasons here. Come on, it's Browns-Bucs. Did you expect me to actually provide analysis?
Indianapolis Colts @ Houston Texans
As opposed to picking, I'll throw out some statistics. Since 2002, home teams have won 58% of the games during Week One. The Texans are 3-5 in openers with an average score of 15-21. In the same time period, the Colts are 6-2 in openers with an average score of 22-17. Long story short? It's going to be a close game. Reliant Stadium will be loud IF PEOPLE GET TO THEIR SEATS IN TIME FOR KICK-OFF!!!!! Consider that my attempt at helping out, Chris.
Green Bay Packers @ Philadelphia Eagles (Sunday 9/12 3:15 PM Central)
This is my pick for highest scoring game of the week. Rodgers plus Kolb equal shoot-out. I think Rodgers' experience and the veteran savvy of the Packer DBs will be the difference, but it should still be a fun game. As a side note, Aaron Rodgers is about to go Donkey Kong on the league and win his first NFL MVP Award. You heard it here first.
San Francisco 49ers @ Seattle Seahawks
The 49ers may win 11-12 games. I'm saying that now so it won't be a shock later. The Seahawks have looked a lot better this pre-season, and I imagine it'll be a surprisingly decent year for them. Still, the 49ers have a more complete team and should win.
Arizona Cardinals @ St. Louis Rams
Rams? Rookie QB? Not a chan--Wait just a minute. Arizona is starting Derek Freakin' Anderson, hoping Larry Fitzgerald is 100%, and has question marks at the second CB spot. Sam Bradford has looked fantastic in pre-season action and has underappreciated RB Steven Jackson lining up behind him. I'm going to take the Rams here. I know, I'm surprised I said that myself. No, I'm not
Dallas Cowboys @ Washington Redskins (Sunday 9/12 @ 7:20 PM Central)
I imagine the prime time games are going to see some upsets, at least in ESPN's eyes. The Redskins have a new regime, and they're at home. The hometown fans are going to be excited to see Mike and Donovan. What better way for a new regime to start off the season than with a win over their rivals? I see Washington putting everything they have into this game. Dallas, still trying to put it all together and welcoming back injured players, could potentially be overwhelmed here. I'm taking Washington in an upset.
Baltimore Ravens @ New York Jets (Monday 9/13 @ 6 PM Central)
Baltimore is my favorite to win the AFC Championship (after the Texans, of course). Ray Rice is a great talent, the defense is still capable, and Anquan Boldin really helps that passing game - especially at the beginning of the season while he is still healthy. The media darling Jets are trying to mesh a lot of new personalities while also hoping Mark Sanchez develops so they can live up to the massive hype. The Jets struggled offensively during the pre-season, and, at times, it looked like Mark Sanchez regressed against vanilla defenses. The Ravens defense? Anything but vanilla. Ravens win because Flacco > Sanchez.
San Diego Chargers @ Kansas City Chiefs (Monday 9/13 @ 9:15 PM Central)
Kansas City is home to the league's second-best tailgate BBQ and a newly renovated Arrowhead Stadium, which gets the spotlight here. The Chiefs also come in with an improved team. There are still some holes, but the roster is improving. San Diego, on the other hand, doesn't impress me as much as they typically have in the past. They are without their Pro Bowl left tackle and wide receiver. Rookie Ryan Mathews has to prove that it wasn't the line's fault for last season's 31st best rushing attack. On defense, they're a 3-4 without a proven NT. There are legitimate questions about this team. The Chargers may be talented enough to win the AFC West, but it's safe to say that San Diego will regress from their 13 win total from last year. San Diego also has the reputation of struggling in the early season. One year ago, the Chargers nearly lost a Monday Night opener to the Raiders, and this year? I like the Chiefs in the upset. I'm still not drunk, fellas. Okay, maybe a tad drunk.
BRB's Pick 'Em League
Here are the 50 BRBwarriors preparing to outsmart their opponents on their path to virtual glory.
pvavocalist – ekspartzz
HoustonTransplant – I_Am_Sancho
riversmccown – Glover Quin Never Allows TD’s
texansdc – Super Mario’s Goomba Stomp
Diehard Chris – HoustonDiehards
Kiratomi – Paul the German Octopus
WhiskeyR – the Balloon Knots
Papabear – Papabear
Distant_Texans_Fan – Distant_Texans_Fan
texanmaniac – texanmaniac
Rip Jersey – Fred Bennett Never Denies TDs
SATexan – Cake
nolander – nolander
Shake – Black Salaami
Fuzion – Boing Boing
Cubic – Rage Rosenfels
txknight – Texas Knights
Killtacular – BP Oilers
.Bonzo – Bonzo’s Montrouex
tehGrindCrusher – Trogdor the Burninator
Jordann – Southern Oklahoma Suckers!
ketchuppants7 – TOUCHDOWN THERE
Oiler-Texan Diehard – Oiler-Texan Diehard
NWestTexan – LA Stallions
do - do
Southern Lion - Bausch & Lomb Soft Helmets
BigTexBD – BigTexBD
CFHTim - Slob on My Schaub
Taco Joe - Cowbitchesgo0-16
AllenOU - OU > Ut
CowboyH8ter - AJ Open Downfield
bigfatdrunk - Feces Flingers
RED56 - Dirk Diggler
Leacheatsbabies - Soggy Bottom Boys
ChadillacSHSU - ChadillacSHSU
Jahon - Willie Beamin
5stringJeff - 5stringJeff
peytonsurdaddy - peytonsurdaddy
krkenney - krkenney
USMC Texan - USMC
Nosafetiesneeded - Jakespeare's Johnson
Jaws - Jaws
DilloTex - Black Hat Saloon
rrtx - Bullseye!
trex76 - Choppa Killa
TexanKevin - In Schaub We Trust
Southpaw70 - MeCushWillbeJackDiles
Remember the Alamo - Remember the Alamo
XMant2000 - Houston Oilers
LisaK - Lacy Garter's
To those booted, nothing personal. Demand created a push plus I need an owner's name to follow through on the prize. For those in, make sure to get your picks in. The deadline for pick submission is 5 minutes before kick-off of the first game (tonight's opener in this case).
Join the fray and who knows? Maybe I'll be writing a big part of this weekly post on how you (yes...you!) outsmarted everyone with his football knowledge. Yup, winners get a ton o' praise on the Interwebs weekly. All season long.