A Quarterbacks Tale: Week 1 NFL Picks
Week 1 of the NFL season has already begun. I didn't post this in time for the Patriots Steelers game, after all, Kinnaman and I had to debate Aaron Rodgers favorite ice cream flavor. We have to keep our priorities straight after all.
The NFL is simple, if you are going to win big, you have to have a capable quarterback. There are good teams in the NFL that are undone by their terrible quarterback play. Yet every season teams latch onto these mediocre qb's, praying that they won't screw it up for the rest of the team. The new season begins, as always, with hope.
Without further gilding the lily and no more ado, here are the Week 1 picks.
Tennessee Titans vs Tampa Bay (-3)
The NFL scheduled this on purpose. The two big rookie quarterbacks, facing off in their first game. The exalted one, Marcus Mariota, and the despised one, Jameis Winston. If you believe the media, Marcus Mariota is the kind of guy that would spend a year in silence, just to better understand the sound of a whisper. Jameis Winston on the other hand is another Ryan Leaf. An intelligent player who will be dragged down by his immaturity. I think both of them will be all right. However, Sunday they will both struggle and the Titans are even worse than the Buccaneers. I'm taking Tampa.
Miami (-3) at Washington
People are on the Miami bandwagon coming into the year and an opener against the hapless Redskins should only help that feeling. Every team comes out guns blazing in openers, so I expect this one to be close early on. In the end, the Redskins will have been weighed, measured, and found wanting. Miami will win this by a couple scores.
Colts (2 1/2) at Bills
These are two very different teams. The Colts have an unbelievable quarterback and a below average roster. The Bills have an unbelievable roster and a below average quarterback. For some reason, Colts management is making noise about this being a Super Bowl or bust year for Chuck Pagano. Pagano is a damn good coach, and his players love him. A wise man once said, "Your men love you. If I knew nothing else about you, that would be enough." It's not enough for the completely insane Jim Irsay and it won't be enough Sunday. Bills win straight up.
Browns at Jets (-3)
"To trudge: the slow, weary, depressing yet determined walk of a man who has nothing left in life except the impulse to simply soldier on." If you are a fan of the Jets or the Browns, you've done your fair amount of trudging. The Browns haven't had a capable quarterback since they traded Bernie Kosar 20 years ago. The Jets have trotted out weathered veteran after weathered veteran. Both of these teams have consistently fielded good defenses and this year isn't any different. However, I think the Browns defense is just a little bit better and they will pull this one off.
Chiefs at Texans (-1)
Watching Hard Knocks, I realized that the spirit of mediocrity is gone but the stench remains for the Houston Texans. Like many teams in the NFL, the roster is solid, but it is undone by their quarterback. Does anyone believe that Bryan Hoyer is the man to lead the Texans to the playoffs? The Chiefs are extremely talented and vacillate between unstoppable and completely stoppable. I think it will be a week or two before the other shoe drops on the Bryan Hoyer era. Texans win and cover.
Panthers(-3) at Jaguars
This is going to be a drab slugfest played in insufferable heat. Under Gus Bradley, the Jags tend to play well in the first half and falter in the 2nd, a victim of lack of depth and talent. I've been disappointed in Gus Bradley as I thought he would be the coach to change the stars of the moribund Jacksonville franchise. That may still happen, but progress has been stilted and minimal. Carolina is a little banged up going into this game and has been slowly rolling over the roster for a while now, which was much needed. I think they are a more mature and tougher team, and will win and cover.
Seahawks (-4) at Rams
The Seahawks have always had trouble in St. Louis and they will be travelling there without the viscous Kam Chancellor and with a wobbly offensive line. Luckily, the Rams offensive line may be even worse shape. The difference in this game will be that Russell Wilson, a stirring example of chivalry and champagne, is more mobile than the statuesque Nick Foles. He will make plays, Foles will not. Seahawks win but do not cover.
Packers at Bears
We addressed this thoroughly in Any Given Sundae and I stand by those decisions.
Lions at Chargers (-3)
I feel like the Lions will take a step back this year and the Chargers, amidst all the distractions, will start the season on fire with a win and cover.:
Vikings over 49ers
Future Hall of Famer Teddy Bridgewater will lead his Vikings to a win over the wobbly, discombobulated Vikings. After the victory, Bridgewater will walk over to Kaepernick and state, "In what world could you ever beat me?"
The rest of the picks:
Falcons over Eagles
Raiders over Bengals
Cowboys over Giants
Broncos over Ravens
Saints over Cardinals