I had a huge long intro talking about the dangers of picking games and blah blah blah, it got so long and stupid and indecipherable that I simply deleted it. And now, with a 102 fever, I just can't get myself to write another one. So you're gonna have to be satisfied with just reading the picks. Oh and about an awesome sign I saw on the way to a wedding!
Let's get to the picks...
As always, picks are bold and in CAPS...
CAROLINA PANTHERS +6.5 @ Atlanta Falcons
Division game which makes it slightly more important for each team. Last week Carolina got stomped by the Eagles, and Jake Delhomme had a performance that suggested Kim Basinger may have been in the stands. Well, I'm betting on Glen Close being in Atlanta this weekend, and though I doubt they had a son together, he'll at least be inspired to make up for his crap fest last week. Besides, Atlanta can't be as good as a 6.5 point favorite the second week in the season.
Minnesota Vikings -9.5 @ DETROIT LIONS
When your organization fondly remembers the Wayne Fontes years fondly, changes have to be made. Unfortunately, the Lions seem to make changes every year with the same poor results. Meanwhile, the Vikings bring the Favre circus to town. They also bring Adrian Peterson to town, which will more than likely cause them to win the game. But by 9.5 points? Are you telling me the Detroit faithful won't have the Silverdome rocking in this home opener? Wait, you are telling me that? Well, fuck it, I'm still picking the Lions. And I give you this Detroit readers, to get you pumped up...
BENGALS +9.5 @ Green Bay
I'm kinda hoping the Bengals aren't as bad as they showed us last week. Obviouly, since I'm picking them here. I just think since they didn't get it going before, they will in this game. Ok, I'll admit it, I'm not in love with this pick. But that's a lot of points.
HOUSTON TEXANS +7.5 @ Tennessee Titans
Team playing the team that moved from their city. Seriously, can someone explain how this works? The Houston team moves, presumably because they're not being supported by the city, and then gets replaced in a few years with a new team?
This is why people hate things.
OAKLAND RAIDERS +3.5 @ Kansas City Chiefs
Oakland is my sneaky, "better-than-everyone-makes-them-out-to-be-just-because-they-think-the-owner-is-crazy-and-because-their-coach-punched-one-of-the-other-coaches-in-the-face-and-sent-him-to-the-hospital-teams." There's one every year.
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS -5.5 @ NY Jets
After New England squeaked by Buffalo, and the Jets had an impressive last week in Houston, people started chirping about this game and how the Jets might be able to pull it off because they look hungry and New England looked old and blah blah blah. Then the line comes out and kinda returns things to normal. Belichek going up against a rookie QB? Yeah, I'm gonna take Belichek.
New Orleans +1.5 @ PHILADELPHIA EAGLES
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice and I'll have a 2 week losing streak with the Eagles. I messed up last week big time going against them. Which of course means I'll mess up this week going with them. We have no idea who is going to QB, and no idea why they're favored. I know it's at home, but the Saints put up roughly 76,000 points last week. So this line is fairly weird to me.
ST. LOUIS RAMS +10.5 @ Washington Redskins
One thing I truly believe is that early in the season not team is as bad as everyone thinks and no team is as good as everyone thinks. Every team goes in believing they can do damage. Sure that wave crashes down on teams, but for the first three weeks, no matter the record, every team believes they can win. That's why I believe the St. Louis Rams will at least keep this game close.
Arizona Cardinals +3.5 @ JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS
I have no reason whatsoever why I'm taking Jacksonville, so instead I will simply tell you about the awesome sign I saw this weekend on my way to a friend's wedding. Driving west from Philly, you hit God's country pretty fast. Rolling, green hills, lush agriculture, etc. Friday afternoon with the sun out, it really was a pleasant drive. Small town after small town flew past, each with its own unique charm. And then I passed what may be the most awesome sign I've ever seen advertising an event. As I wrote on Twitter, "I've never wanted to go and not go to something so much."
This is one of the few times that I would certainly not know what to expect going into a room. Meat Bingo? Are the markers made of meat? Do you win cattle? Is it some weird sort of sex cult? All of these things are in play. Sadly, I'll never know as I couldn't stick around all weekend to check out the awesomeness that Meat Bingo surely is.
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS +1.5 @ San Francisco 49ers
I really believe the Seahawks are going to run away with the NFC West. Not because they're any good, but because the NFC West stinks.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers +4.5 @ BUFFALO BILLS
I'm not sure I could name a Bucs player other than Ronde Barber. And if you told me he retired it wouldn't be surprising. That doesn't mean they're a bad team, but it does mean they don't have too much cache in the NFL. And even though the Bills had a terrible loss slapped on them last week by the Patriots, I'm sure that locker room will band together and not let it get them down. It's not like they have any cancers in there.
PITTSBURGH STEELERS -2.5 @ Chicago Bears
One of my rules in life is if I ever see people cooking on the side of the road, I stop. After all, it's how I enjoyed chicken cooked by Amish people this weekend. What does this have to do with this game? Not much, I just wanted to get a picture of Amish cooked chicken into the article. BUt actually there is something to be gleaned from this awesome rule. And that's when in doubt with a game, and the game includes the returning superbowl champion, go with the favorites. I'm not saying you're going to win every time, but you are going to feel better with that kind of solid reasoning than with whatever reason you could come up with going against the superbowl champs. The Bears were a boutique pick to win this year's superbowl, but I don't see it. Yes, they have a strong defense and yes a great home field advantage, but even if Cutler morphs into a leader on the field, what kind of offense is he leading out there?
Cleveland Browns +3.5 @ DENVER BRONCOS
Another game I really know nothing about. So I'll take the home team. And the team that's playing against the Cleveland Browns. If the Lions had been contracted years ago like they should have been, then the Browns would be the punchline to all the jokes.
Baltimore Ravens +4.5 @ SAN DIEGO CHARGERS
Not sure I can justify picking the Chargers here, but here goes. LT is out. They looked uninspired against the Raiders last week. The Ravens are rolling and have superbowl aspirations. It seems like a no brainer.
So why are the Chargers 4.5 point favorites?
That my friends, is the line telling me something.
NY Giants +2.5 @ DALLAS COWBOYS
I'm going to be honest, I just hope the Giants punter continually boots his punts into the video screen until the game is suspended. Yes, I know that joke was easy and what everyone was saying, but that doesn't make it less funny.
Indianapolis Colts -3.5 @ MIAMI DOLPHINS
I don't think the Colts are as good as they've been in the past. I don't think the Dolphins are that good, but I think they think they're that good and they'll at least play tough and try to win. And I'm sticking to that.
Last week: 9-7