Notes from the North
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I suck at picking football games. I'm so bad at it that you can't even trust me to be wrong all the time. So don't pick with me. But don't pick against me. Just ignore my picks. Okay, maybe not ignore them: please read them avidly and comment on them and all that. Just don't count on them for anything!

How bad am I? I'm taking part in this strange Peter King Challenge this year and, until two days ago, one of my starting running backs was Jerome Messam. Don't get me wrong -- it think Messam is a great running back -- but I just hadn't realised that he'd been cut from the Dolphins and had already signed a contract up here in Canada. (I wonder if his yards and scores in the CFL would have counted for me in the PKC?).

Anyway, I've also gotten myself involved in a football pool here at work, one of those pools where you pick all the games each week and assign a value to each pick on the basis of how confident you are. You know, I'm certain that Chicago will beat Indy this week so I assigned that game a 16, meaning I gain 16 points if I'm right.

That's a pretty scary prospect in and of itself. It's hard enough for me to get ten right, not to mention assigning values to them. My problem is: I'm not sure about anything.

Now that I've got you itching to read my picks for Week 1, here are the World's Worst Football Picks for this week:

Giants to beat Dallas. Slam dunk. Manning versus Romo? No Witten? No contest. I'm so sure I assigned this game 10 points in the pool.

Minnesota over Jacksonville. Home team pick all the way. No idea who will win. But I like that young qb in the Vikes offensc so I'll take him. (9 points in the pool. Yes, nine points for a game I have no idea about. I'm that incompetent!).

Philadelphia over Cleveland. Philly is my pick to win it all. If Vick stays healthy. Love that DeMeco Ryans pick up. Cleveland. Well, I've been to Cleveland and... enough said. (14).

Chicago to beat Indianapolis. The heart says to pick Andrew Luck and Colby Fleener in their pro debuts but the head watched the Bears first team offence in the pre-season. It looks pretty awesome. (16)

New Orleans over Washington. Sorry RGIII. NO has too much to prove and, despite all the suspensions, a top-flight team. If the Saints were in the AFC, they'd probably be my pick to get to the Super Bowl. Too bad they're in the stacked NFC. (15)

Detroit over St. Louis. I wish I could pick the Rams. After all, the Lions defense couldn't stop the Bills in the preseason; how can they possibly hope to stop the Rams? Too much Detroit offence, though. (11)

New England to beat Tennessee. Some day, the Titans will win it all and I will be as happy as any Tennessean. (Is that the word?). But not this year. The Patriots are no longer the dominant team in the A but they're still pretty darned good. (13)

Houston over Miami. I like me those Texans. And the Dolphs cut my man Messam (see above) so I can't cheer for them. (12)

Buffalo to defeat the Jests. Not a fan of Rex Ryan. Wish Tebow would get a real shot. Plus, the Bills have been my team since I was a kid growing up in Hamilton, Ontario (about 60 miles from the Queen City) so I gotta go with Fitzpatrick and that rebuilt defensive line. (1 -- see, I'm not so confident in this pick).

Kansas City over Atlanta. I've just read too much about the Chiefs' expected resurgence to pick against them at home. And Atlanta is a bit too inconsistent for my liking. (2)

Tampa Bay over Carolina. Wait a minute. The Panthers have Cam Newton, don't they? And he's pretty good, isn't he?? Can I change this pick? Please? No. Okay. Go with the Bucs at home. (3)

Seattle to beat Arizona. Russell Wilson all the way, dude. Love the guy. Here he proves he belongs (part 1). (4)

Green Bay over San Francisco. How can this classic be scheduled so early in the season? Not fair! GB at home. (8)

Denver to beat Pittsburgh. This is a heart pick. I want Peyton to do well in the Mile High City, even though I'm still angry at Elway and Co for dumping Tebow so unceremoniously after an incredible playoff run. Pittsburgh is starting to fade, however. (5)

Baltimore to beat Cincy. Love me that no-huddle offence. Add that to a still-tough Ravens defence and the up-and-coming Bengals are in some trouble. (7)

San Diego over Oakland. Wish I could pick the Raiders. Would love to see the Raiders re-emerge as a power. But Carson Palmer doesn't wind my clock at all at qb. Go with a hungry set of Chargers on the road. Norv will still have a chance to pull a number on his team later in the year. (6)

September 5, 2012  11:46 AM ET

That's an interesting pool - you get it wrong and you only have yourself to blame in terms of the points you assigned. Good luck to you Mark!

I hope you're wrong about Oakland though. San Diego may be without Ryan Matthews and will have a rookie playing at left tackle. If Carson can avoid throwing INTs, the Raiders have a good chance in this game.

September 5, 2012  12:43 PM ET

Me too. I hope I'm wrong about the Raiders. I've read your preseason coverage with interest but I'm not sure what to make of this edition of the silver and black. If I'm going to be wrong about any game this week, I hope it's this one!

September 5, 2012  02:22 PM ET

I don't think any of Raider Nation is sure what to make of this team until it takes the field. Did you know there are 24 new starters on the roster this year? damn near 50% roster adjustment. That will either work out well or bomb...

My picks are the same as yours with the exception of Oakland, Pittsburgh, Carolina and Atlanta. Lets compare next week :-)

 
September 5, 2012  02:24 PM ET
QUOTE(#2):

Me too. I hope I'm wrong about the Raiders. I've read your preseason coverage with interest but I'm not sure what to make of this edition of the silver and black. If I'm going to be wrong about any game this week, I hope it's this one!

I don't think any of Raider Nation is sure what to make of this team until it takes the field. Did you know there are 24 new starters on the roster this year? damn near 50% roster adjustment. That will either work out well or bomb...

My picks are the same as yours with the exception of Oakland, Pittsburgh, Carolina and Atlanta. Lets compare next week :-)

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