It all started very nicely with a Giants cover at home against the Skins – faltered a little in the morning games and then shot back up in the afternoon/night games to finish off the week. Overall the record looks decent after picking every game in Week 1 I finished at 10-6… People in “the business” might say that I’m riding a 6 game winning streak headed into Week 2 – I think that term is ridiculous, but check it out for yourself!
Washington Redskins @ New York Giants (-3): (7-16: WINNER!) “The Redskins could become a solid unit later in the season, but early on I still expect them to make mistakes with their new systems. Jim Zorn is a good coach, and Jason Campbell should flourish under his tutelage, but Zorn is no miracle worker and the Skins should still struggle to find consistency. Expect the Giants to grind one out to open the season,” – There were a couple things that I got right, surely, one being the game – which is nice, and the other being the plethora of mistakes the Redskins would make in their opening game under Jim Zorn. But I also said, “Jim Zorn is a good coach,” which is probably a stretch. What I should have said was, I think Zorn will be a very good coach. Because right now, he’s just a rookie, and he’s calling plays – so he’s really putting himself in a tough spot. But they’ll get better – I’m just happy I took the Giants in this one, and am even happier that James Thrash let a last minute touchdown slip through his fingers. Yhatzee!
Cincinnati Bengals (pk) @ Baltimore Ravens: (10-17: LOSS) “I really dislike both of these teams. I didn’t like either much to start with, but then I was basically forced to watch a couple of each team’s pre-season games. Gross. I would say that no team played worse than the Bengals during the pre-season, but I don’t think I could back that up if someone brought up the Ravens.” This one was pretty ugly, but that was because we had to watch the Bengals on offense and defense. I’ve never seen Carson Palmer look so bad in my entire life. I’ve seen that defense look this bad, however. I was wrong about the Bengals putting some points on the board, and I probably didn’t give the Ravens defense enough credit. Either that or the Bengals are really, really bad. I’ll decide which one later in the week. Remember, I warned you, I really didn’t like this game. If I’m not feeling good about a game, I will let you know in my picks section.
New York Jets (-3) @ Miami Dolphins: (20-14: WINNER!) Miami played better than I expected, and really had a chance down the stretch to tie it up, but only because the Jets squandered some opportunities. I’ll tell you what, I’m not believing the Jets as a top AFC team quite yet, even with a narrow week 1 win over the powerhouse Dolphins. I’ll take my win here, that’s for sure – because in any game a win is a win. Thomas Jones rushed for 100+ and scored a touchdown, showing me the improvement on New York’s offensive line.
Kansas City Chiefs (+17) @ New England Patriots: (10-17: WINNER!) The Chiefs ran the ball a lot and took a lot of time off the clock – but I must say that Tom Brady’s injury had to help the cause in this one. I may have been a loser if Tom stayed in, and I may have still lost had the Patriots not fumbled the ball all over the field. But my point is this, I won. Despite anything that happened, you have to look at the win-loss column when the games are done being played. The Patriots still won this game but I covered with ease. I’ll take a win however I can get it, right, have I made that clear enough? However, this game gives the Patriots great value down the stretch, in my humble opinion, so keep that in mind as the season moves on. I also like the Chiefs under Huard – I think he makes them a better bet when he’s under center.
Houston Texans (+7) @ Pittsburgh Steelers: (38-17: LOSS) “Maybe it’s because I’m an old offensive guard, but I have a feeling that Alan Fanneca’s absence will hurt the Steelers just as much as his place in New York will help the Jets. The one thing that has me questioning myself is the Texans on the road versus the Steelers at home. The Steelers only lost to the Jaguars in Pittsburgh last season, having their way with most other opponents. The Texans won just two games on the road, versus a bad Panthers team and an even worse Raiders team. They didn’t lose by less than 8 in any of their road losses. I’m not a lover of last years’ numbers, so I’m not changing my pick here – I’m just warning you readers.” Okay, a couple things about capping games. Really, you can find reasons to take either side of any game, it’s the side that makes the most sense to you that is important. Well, in most cases. In this case, I thought Fanneca’s absence would hurt the Steelers rushing attack – I was dead wrong about that because Willie Parker hasn’t looked better than he did on Sunday and Big Ben only had to throw 11 times all day. Also, I was right about the road woes the Texans go through and the confidence the Steelers have at home. I probably was excited about the Texans this season, and put too much weight in the absence of one guy in Pittsburgh. The Steelers sure looked good on opening night. And by the way, 38-17 and it wasn’t that close.
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Tennessee Titans (+3): (7-16: WINNER!) “The Titans are a very tough defense that plays inspired at home. I know the Jaguars are solid, and they’ve looked very good in the pre-season compared to the Titans who have looked absent, but Tennessee as a 3 point dog at home against a beat up Jaguars offense? I can’t find any value in the Jaguars here, so the bet has to go with Tennessee.” What can I say, this game was close just like I knew it would be. And what else do you know, the Titans defense played out of their minds and looked brilliant against a beat up Jaguars offense. From time to time I like my style enough to give myself a back pat, this is one of those times.
Detroit Lions (-3) @ Atlanta Falcons: (21-34: LOSS) “This game isn’t going to be a blowout, but I don’t see the Falcons having enough secondary talent to keep the Lions receiving corps out of the end-zone. I like the Falcons more than most, and am not crazy about the Lions – I just don’t think this is a good match-up for Atlanta. The Falcons will find success on the ground, but Detroit will eventually realize that they can pick on the rookie quarterback a little bit – stack the box a lot – and end up winning this game by a touchdown or more.” Oh Detroit! The Lions probably would have got smoked either way, and maybe 9 Lions in the box doesn’t mean they can stop Michael Turner – I don’t even know if 11 would do it. The Falcons ran all over the Lions, and while the Falcons secondary wasn’t good enough to completely keep the Lions receivers out of the end-zone, they sure did a good enough job while getting 34 points from their offense. I liked the Falcons more than most, and I still do, I just dislike the Lions more than I did in the first place.
Seattle Seahawks (+1) @ Buffalo Bills: (10-17: LOSS) I expected the Seahawks to fly to Buffalo, play an entire football game, and possibly walk away with a win. Instead, the Husky’s got in Hawk uniforms, flew to Buffalo, were obviously frightened of the physicality involved, looked like a poor college team playing against a decent NFL team and the score reflects that. I’m not positive that’s what happened, but it’s my best guess. I watched most of this game and it didn’t look good for Hawk fans. This, and the upcoming Colts game, made me think – is it just me or do teams with retiring coaches struggle to find somebody to play for? Hmmm… It’s something to think about. Holmgren and Dungy are both most likely to coach for one more season – both teams played terrible – coincidence?
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+3.5) @ New Orleans Saints: (20-24: LOSS) The Bucs missed some key opportunities and still had a chance late in this game. The score went back and forth and this one was very close. I still like the Bucs to be the better of the two teams, and I think play calling hurt the Bucs chances a bit in this one. Anytime you have a running back that carries the ball 10 times for 90+ yards in a close game, you should have probably given him the ball a few more times. I took a half point loss, but it didn’t feel quite so bad because I still finished strong in Week 1.
St. Louis Rams (+8.5) @ Philadelphia Eagles: (3-38: LOSS) “What can I say? I really like the Rams as a huge dog in Philly.” What can I say? I watched this game a little and immediately felt like an idiot. The Rams hurt my feelings and I will forever use voodoo and witch doctor magic spells to torment coaches and players from now until my dying day. No, but honestly, the Rams looked worse than any other team in the league. I can’t imagine they are this bad, nor do I believe that the Eagles are this good – but the Eagles are better than I gave them credit for, and the Rams don’t look like a team, they look like Dorothy’s worse nightmare – the Tin Man, Lion, and Scarecrow all mashed into one mindless, heartless, courageless unit. Discouraging to say the least.
Dallas Cowboys (-3.5) @ Cleveland Browns: (28-10: WINNER!) “I don’t know if I’m willing to buy the Cowboys as this season’s Super Bowl favorite, but I will tell you that I’m ready to purchase the Browns as this year’s big disappointment. I liken the Browns to New Orleans last year – and this game is going to be a tough one for them.” I’m not sure if the Browns will lose four straight to start the year or continue to look as dejected as New Orleans was to start their 2007 campaign – but this was a very similar start for the Browns. I’m not fortune teller, but I can see a comparison when it jumps out in front of me – this one looks obvious. Winner, winner, chicken dinner.
Carolina Panthers (+10) @ San Diego Chargers: (26-24: WINNER!) “I kind of like Carolina to put up a battle in this one. The Panthers defense is the unit that looks good to me. Peppers will be better after a down season and Jon Beason is going to be one heck of a linebacker in this league. Look for the Panthers to stay within single digits and give an overhyped Chargers team a run for their money on opening day. Plus, the Panthers are always solid value as a dog,” History was on my side in this one. The Panthers may have been pretty lucky to get the win (I liken Rosario’s catch to Dwight Clark’s catch, he just pulled it out of the sky) but this cover was never in doubt. The tandem of Williams and Stewart looked and played more efficient than LT and the Charger’s rushing attack, and Jake Delhomme was the old, accurate quarterback that he always is when healthy. The Panthers won a big one as a road dog – weird.
Arizona Cardinals (-2.5) @ San Francisco 49ers: (23-13: WINNER!) This game was pretty ugly, but one things stuck out to me – Frank Gore is really good. The Cardinals were all over this guy and he still had one hell of a game. He should be something in this offense, because he just had a very nice game against an underrated Cardinals defense. Still, the 49ers couldn’t pull off the upset, and Arizona managed the game will without forcing anything. That’s a good way to win against a bad team. I didn’t expect Kurt and company to play so smart – but I’ll take it.
Chicago Bears (+10.5) @ Indianapolis Colts: (7-16: WINNER!) “The Colts defense looked bad during the pre-season, really bad, and while that doesn’t always mean the world is falling, I can’t see it as a good sign of things to come. I think Kyle Orton is a relatively mistake free quarterback and that bodes well for the Bears covering as big dogs. I think Chicago will actually run the ball pretty effectively against the Colts, even though the Bears don’t have a stellar offensive line. Manning will be slow to come back, and despite what he wants you to believe, he’s not 100%.” Well alright! Some times you cap a game, garner some nice predictions, and look like you’ve done this before (See Titans/Jaguars). And other times you look like a complete moron (see Eagles/Rams). But this isn’t either of those times, this is one of those times where you look like a damned fortune teller. Believe it or not I don’t time travel and I know nothing sure about the future. But I did drop a dime deep pass on this game. I may have been the only one expecting the Bears to run all over the Colts and have Indy look silly. But sometimes it’s nice to be different, and when you call it you call it. I take the bumps, lumps, and bruises – so now I’ll take the cake and eat it. All of it.
Minnesota Vikings @ Green Bay Packers (-2):(7-16: WINNER!) “Aaron Rodgers is better than anyone is giving him credit for, but on this team he won’t have to be. Aaron won’t take all the big chances that Brett took, and while he won’t be as flashy or tally up the numbers like #4, he will give the Packers a great chance to win each time he takes the field. Don’t give up on the Packers just because Brett is wearing a different color green.” You have to admit, I am right about Rodgers. He was 18-22 on the night and looks like a kid that really knows the game. He’ll throw a minimal amount of interceptions and keep his team in the game. He can make all the throws – don’t confuse him for Chad Pennington or Kyle Orton. He’s got something, and I like it. The Vikings didn’t game plan very well for this one. If they run the ball more, the might have won this game. Still, they had a chance. But it wasn’t as close as the score. The Packers left a lot of points on the field, so feel free to ride them early. They’ll probably be a good bet in the beginning of the season here.
Denver Broncos (-1) @ Oakland Raiders: (7-16: WINNER!) This was easier than I thought. The Broncos dominated this game like the Eagles dominated the Rams, like the Cowboys smashed the Browns. Denver looked good and the only guy looking better than Jay Cutler last night was his starting rookie receiver, Eddie Royal. This kid is my new favorite player. He’s as quick as any receiver in the league and he’s fearless. Virginia Tech didn’t use him because they didn’t have the quarterback – but Denver does, and watch him blow this league up from the get go.
10-6 – Not a bad start for the good guys!