It's that time of year when the weather gets cooler, the leaves will start to change colors shortly, and I begin my yearly flagellation picking NFL games. After the horrible season I had in 2010, I seriously considered simply plucking my eyes out with a melon ball spoon to save myself the torture of another year. Alas, I decided to endure the pain for you...the loyal readers. Yes, that's how much I care.
Seriously though, i think this year will be a good time to try and make some money. Why, you ask. Well, with the accelerated offseason, I think that the good teams from last year will have a much easier time acclimating, where teams with new coaches and schemes will suffer without the proper, or at least usual, preparation time.
So, without further ado, here are your week one picks:
Picks appear in bold.
New Orleans at Green Bay (-4)
If there's one thing I've learned, it's that you should never, ever bet against the defending Super Bowl champion in the first game of the season. The last ten teams are 10-0 in the first week and 8-2 against the spread.
Pittsburgh (+2.5) at Baltimore
I think there's a good chance the Steelers will be even better than last year. From everything I've heard, they are really not happy about the way things ended last year and seem to have a very surly attitude towards any team that thinks will be a factor, especially the Ravens.
Detroit at Tampa Bay (-1)
By season's end, the Lions will be a better team than the Bucs, but not in the first week of the season and having to deal with the heat and humidity of central Florida. I look for Josh Freeman to have a big game.
Atlanta (-2.5) at Chicago
The Bears are going to regret not giving Danieal Manning his money to keep him in the Windy City. They'll experience it right out of the gate when Roddy White, Julio Jones, and Matt Ryan rip them apart through the air.
Buffalo at Kansas City (-6)
Last year, the Bills were the worst rushing defense in the league, and will simply not be able to stand up to the best rushing team in all of football. Jamaal Charles may very well have a Arian Foster-type opening day.
Indianapolis at Houston (-8.5)
This is not as much an indictment of the Colts players as it is their management. When they found out that Peyton Manning was still far away from practicing a month ago, why did they not bring Kerry Collins in then? Ten days is just not enough time to get a quarterback ready for a team as talented as the Texans.
Philadelphia (-4) at St. Louis
I don't understand how this line is so low. The Rams were a sub-.500 team last year in the worst division in the history of the game. How are they only four point dogs to Mike VIck and the Eagles.
Cincinnati at Cleveland (-6.5)
It's going to be a long year for Marvin Lewis and the Bengals. On the other hand, I think Mike Holmgren is doing a good job rebuilding the Browns and staying the course with Colt McCoy at quarterback will pay off.
Tennessee (+3) at Jacksonville
Too much has happened this week for the Jaguars to go into this game focused. The combination of the odd circumstances surrounding David Garrard's release and Maurice Jones-Drew still being less than 100 percent leads to a Titan win.
Carolina at Arizona (-7)
Sure, it's possible that the Panthers could rally around Cam Newton to win his first ever professional start. It's also possible that at age 41 I can grow six inches, get all of my hair back, and score the lead in Ironman 3. What's more likely is that Kevin Kolb and Larry Fitzgerald hook up for over 100 yards and a couple of touchdowns.
Seattle (+6) at San Francisco
I feel really bad for all of the people that will be subjected to watching this football game. Fans of both teams need to remember that the weather in their respective cities is about to become crappy and they should spend the time outdoors on a picnic or something...anything.
Dallas at New York Jets (-4.5)
On a serious note, there is no way that on the 10th anniversary of 9/11 anyone is going to go into New York and win this game. The groundswell of emotion from the fans and Jets' players will be more than enough to take out the Cowboys.
New England (-6.5) at Miami
If you looked at my Season Predictions and Awards article, you know that I think this is going to be another great year for the Pats. Something tells me that Chad Henne will not provide for much more than a speedbump on that journey.
Oakland at Denver (-3)
I think that both of these teams are in for a long, long year. But, when it comes down to it, and I can't believe I'm about to say this, I trust Kyle Orton to pull this one out.
Last Week: 0-0