I hate so-called "puff" pieces. However, with NFL Week 1, just a daybreak away...I would be remiss, not to at least spit out a few faux-witty phrases, pertaining to the sport that I love. And (coincedentally) since I happen to be settling in for a couple of quick teasers, before tomorrows festivities...there's no time like the present, to start spewing football picks.
So, let's split the old Firefox into multiple tabs...and see what we come up with.
In the spirit of full disclosure, I'll start by mentioning that I did have New Orleans +4.5 in the opener. A swing, and a miss...by about a little less than half a yard. Not exactly the way I like to get things started, but so it goes in the NFL. I'll try not break anything (else) over it.
It does, however, continue a disturbing trend from last year.
I'll start by saying that (not to break my arm patting myself on the back, but) I was on fire last year. I was League Champion in the 12 team rigamorole, that was the local league, run by our hard-working and dedicated pawnbrokers, here in the area.
After years of watching them begrudgingly squeeze out a 20 spot, for that beautiful Rolex Submariner that, Pookie the crackhead, woke up, and found magically attached to the drool on his grill...it was nice get one back for the little guy.
I also won the city-wide picks pool (w/spread) by hitting at almost 75%. Even I realize that numbers like that are unreal, and don't expect to repeat that kind of performance... but just in case, the resignation letter is all typed up, and ready to go.
However, as much as my wife loved her new ring...and me, my fancy new mini-helmet...(that disturbing trend) I could not hit a Thurday night game, to save my life. Seriously, everything I touched last year turned to green...unless it was on opposite "Project Runway".
And therein, I'm sure, lies the problem. The fact that I know, and am forced to watch (no...seriously, honey, I love it.) Project Runway, means I probably have no business "hitting" anything. So, I'll take what I can get.
Week One (Thank God, for that)
New Orleans (+4.5) @ Green Bay (My picks, in italics)
We touched on this one, already. Two feet...and this one covers, if not wins, outright. Oh well, did anyone else see that outfit that Kimberly sent down the runway this week? Yeah, well, me neither...but if I had, I would have totally sent her home.
Atlanta (-3) @ Chicago
The top 2 seeded teams from last years NFL Playoffs collide in week one. One of these teams will return to the playoffs...and one of them, beat 3 teams with winning records last year. In Chicago, is the only thing I don't like about this game...but I feel that way about a lot of the games this week (riding the road teams), and if Atlanta is truly ready to step up to "elite" - they'll win this game.
Pittsburgh (+1) @ Baltimore
The "IR - Game of the Week". After a short off-season, I'm not sure I'd want to be on either side of any collision in this one. It certainly is a h*ll of a way to "ease" into the new season, eh? I can't stand Pittsburgh. Call me a hater, call me bitter (for the way they owned the Cowboys, in the 70's), call me whatever you want...but this money we're talking about, and those feelings have no place here. The Steelers might be the most complete team in football. Add that to the post-seasoning, that they already have, and they could be downright scary. They also (as NFL.com, so gently worded) are Joe Flacco's daddy.
Cincinnatti (+7) @ Cleveland
Mike Brown is the Devil. I can never say that enough. Takes one to know one. Rookie head coach (Pat Shurmur) takes on rookie QB (Andy Dalton) in the "battle for Ohio". What nobody seems to be telling them, is that Ohio State (free tattoos, and all) won that battle, years ago. For Cincy, too many injuries, too many suspensions, too much Hillis, Cribbs and Mccoy.
Indianapolis (+9) @ Houston
It's now, or never, Houston. And I (like most others) believe that it's now. Peyton Manning has been making a mediocre Indy team look good, for a while now. In case you are just returning from your summer vacation, to the dwarf planet of Eris, he's not playing anytime soon. So the real question becomes...is Houston, 9 points better @ home? Well...even though I really do feel that Kerry Collins (if he can stay upright) will make the Colts much more serviceable (whatever that means), than most expect...Houston wants (maybe, needs) a statement game, here. They should get it.
Tennessee (+1) @ Jacksonville
The coin said heads. Sometimes, that's just as good as anything any "expert" will tell you.
Buffalo (+5.5) @ Kansas City
Jamaal Charles (along with being my Fantasy MVP, last year) rushed for 177 yards the last time these two teams squared off. The Bills, finished with the 32nd ranked rush defense in the NFL. New teams, new year. In the "Sea of Red", in won't matter.
Philadelphia (-4.5) @ St. Louis
Uberdelphia, finally gets to debut the "Dream Team". Even though, I like St. Louis to lose their way into the NFC West crown, this year...that Philly team is built to run on carpet. This one might be close. It might come down to a field goal. But STL is going to have to prove it, first.
Detroit (+1) @ Tampa Bay
It must be week 1 (or my sister-in-laws wedding)...as I'm noticing a lot of +1's. This game, (unlike my sister-in-law, finally trapping a man) actually deserves it. One of these teams is probably the 6th seed (NFC) in upcoming 2011 Playoffs. But, which one? It's the first week...who the h*ll knows? And why are looking at me? But LD, you said you hit at almost 75% last year...what do you think? I think, that I can't believe that I actually admitted to watching "Project Runway" in an NFL related rant...thereby destroying all of the credibility that I (never) had. I also think, that I really like Detroit in long run...but not here.
Carolina (+7) @ Arizona
The coin said tails. Just kidding. The coin actually said...Arizona to win, Carolina to cover.
Minnesota (+9) @ San Diego
I don't like Minnesota in this game. I honestly, don't even really think that they stand a chance...but, SD's ummm...we'll call it, "slow start" tradition, has that pit in stomach, screaming at me that this one falls between the "lines".
Seattle (+5.5) @ San Francisco
Leave it to this game, to finally bring about one of my hard learned, degenerate gambler lessons. #12: When both teams (at risk of alienating any SF, or SEA fans) appear to suck, anything under a field goal, take the home team...anything over, and it's "ride the spread" all the way.
New York Giants (-3) @ Washington
Rex Grossman wins the starting job! Eli Manning (Currently, the best Manning for your money.) and the Giants - off-season drama, and all - win the game.
Dallas (+5.5) @ New York Jets
The Jets are @ home, for what I'm sure will be an emotiontional (9/11) Ryan Bowl. Mark Sanchez has played in the last 2 AFC Championship games. Tony Romo has won 1 playoff game. You take Sanchez. I'll take Romo, and the points.
New England (-7) @ Miami
Speaking of points, you could take away ten more...and I'd still take New England. Is any other exposition really nessesary?
Oakland (+3) @ Denver
Rounding off the first week is one of the better rivalries, in the NFL. Competitive, or not...there will be no love, lost here. As for these iterations of the two storied franchises, the Raiders defensive line looks like too much to handle for a regrouping Denver O-line. On the other side(s) of the football...D-Mac should be able to power through a pretty porous, Denver D. Wait...I get a field goal head start, too? Should be enough.
So there you have it - Week 1 - under the gun (@ about 3am, on Sunday morning).
Good luck to all, and enjoy the games.
And well, good luck to me, too...'cause hey, I'm not above that. The baby needs a new pair of shoes! }:)
(Will never forget.)