Friday, September 28, 2012

2012-13 NFL Week 3 Wrap Up

I think I did jinx myself.  These games are getting harder and harder to predict.  Can I just blame it on the replacement refs?  Yeah, I think I'm going to blame it on them. 

New York Giants @ Carolina - I think the Panthers are just showing up to play this game because they looked terrible last week.  After this loss, the fish frying of Cam Newton pretty much said it all.  Young guy who needs to grow up, but probably should have been handled in house.  Inquisitive Mind 0-1 for the week.

St. Louis @ Chicago - I am still waiting for Cutler to give me a solid outing for my fantasy team and this week put me at the 3 week point of my wait.  The Bears defense largely won this game and the Bears have got to find a way to fix their tackle issues or this is going to be a painful season to watch.  Inquisitive Mind 1-1 for the week. 

Tampa Bay @ Dallas - This was my upset pick of the week and we were this close, right?  Not sure why the Bucs decided to start playing this game so late.  Vincent Jackson caught his first pass of the game in the 4th quarter with under 3 minutes to play.  Let that sink in.  Dallas won, but they didn't look good doing it.  Problems in Dallas?  Inquisitive Mind 1-2 for the week. 

Buffalo @ Cleveland - Buffalo's defense finally showed up and helped their team win this game.  This is the Mario Williams that they paid big money for.  Ryan Fitzpatrick had a wonderful game and with the running contributions from Spiller and Jackson (yes, both are hurt now) this team can win the AFC East.  Don't count them out.  Inquisitive Mind 2-2 for the week

New York Jets @ Miami - Mark Sanchez does not need to attempt 45 passes a game.  Against a better team, this would have ended badly for the Jets.  Well, it ended badly for the Jets anyway.  They won the game but lost Revis for the year and that's a big loss for that defense.  They gotta find a running game to make things easier for Sanchez.  I did like the fact that he and Santonio Holmes seem to be vibing pretty well to keep that passing game going.  The Dolphins got over 180 yards on the ground from a crew of RBs and almost pulled this upset off.  Inquisitive Mind 3-2 for the week.

San Francisco @ Minnesota - One of my guys at work is a diehard Vikings fan and he just knew that they were going to take an 'L' in this game.  do you know how happy he was Monday morning?  The Vikings punished the 49ers and won this game.  146 yards on the ground and their defense was able to bother Alex Smith enough to get this win.  I think they are still partying in Minny over this one.  Inquisitive Mind 3-3 for the week. 

Kansas City @ New Orleans - Drew Brees gave it his all, but even he can't win with this Saints defense.  The Saints are 0-3 with a tough road game in Green Bay next week.  Wow, even I didn't think it'd be this bad.  Inquisitive Mind 3-4 for the week.  

Cincinnati @ Washington - The Redskins should have won this game, but they didn't.  They were able to control the clock and run the ball, Fred Davis showed up and had a game and RGIII played pretty well.  Cincy was able to get the big plays and win this one 38-31.  The Redskins offensive line looked worse than the Bears, so that explains the 6 sacks that the rookie endured.  Inquisitive Mind 4-4 for the week.

Detroit @ Tennessee - My coin flip on this game ended up on the wrong side.  The Lions came back and tied this game and maybe that was the win they wanted, but the Titans were able to get the win in OT.  All the big names showed up in this game with the exception of Chris Johnson (is he still on a milk carton somewhere?).  Inquisitive Mind 4-5 for the week.  

Jacksonville @ Indianapolis - I apologize for saying that the Jaguars are possibly the worst team in the league because obviously they read this and MJD decided to prove me wrong with 177 yards on the ground.  Not only did he perform well, the team came back and beat the Colts late.  I still like this Andrew Luck fella, he's going to be good.  Inquisitive Mind 4-6 for the week.   

Philadelphia @ Arizona - Well, let's just say the ex-girlfriend started doing the bar method and came out looking like (imagine any naked movie actress or actor for the ladies).  The Cardinals defense dayum near killed Vick and made Philadelphia, at least for the day, rue the fact that they got rid of Kolb.  Inquisitive Mind 4-7 for the week

Atlanta @ San Diego - I still don't think the Chargers showed up for this game.  They were soundly beat in all 3 phases.  The only highlight for the Chargers was that Butler, Spikes and Bigby combined for 40 tackles.  Sounds pretty good, but it just means they had the opportunity to play defense way too many times.  Inquisitive Mind 5-7 for the week.  

Houston @ Denver - Manning almost pulled off another come from behind win again.  That's twice in 2 weeks, but instead he ended up with 2 'L's.  The Texans defense played decently, but Matt Schaub looked pretty good and if he can stay healthy, they may end up being the representative for the AFC in the Super Bowl.  Inquisitive Mind 6-7 for the week.  

Pittsburgh @ Oakland - So, as soon as I say I don't believe in the Raiders, they come out and beat the Steelers.  How does this stuff happen?  This is killing me over here.  Inquisitive Mind 6-8 for the week. 

New England @ Baltimore - Ravens won and I'm happy about that, but I do not think that this team can depend on this offense all year long.  They just seem to be up and down from game to game.  Hopefully they get better.  Defense has to find a way to get pressure without blitzing.  Inquisitive Mind 7-8 for the week.

Green Bay @ Seattle - HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!  Hey, at least this caused the old refs to get their jobs back.  That was an interception called a touchdown.  I really don't have much else to say about this game.  I just hope the Packers aren't a game away from the playoffs.  Inquisitive Mind 7-9 for the week.  

Another 7-9 week,......I think I'm going to have to find a new hobby.  That puts us squarely at 21-27 for the season.  At least it's early, right?  Still got a chance, right?  It's a marathon not a sprint, right?  Not sure if I believe all of this yet.  On to week 4. 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

2012-13 NFL Week 4 Picks

Fresh off another bad week, we're on to the next one.

Cleveland @ Baltimore - Well, let's see if we can change the trend of missing on the first game of the week.  Weeden and Richardson get their first taste of the Ravens defense.  This Ravens defense isn't as good, right now, as they have been in the past, but they are still dangerous.  I expect Weeden to have some problems in this game, but I think that Richardson actually runs pretty well.  Game will be closer than some think, until late and then I see the Ravens putting some space between them and the Browns.  Winner - Ravens

Carolina @ Atlanta - Well, Cam Newton gets to show everyone just how much he can grow after last weeks controversy over his pouting during the end of the game.  I'd like to see the Panthers win this game, but the Falcons seem to be able to put up points and I'm not sure the Panthers offense can keep up with them.  Winner - Falcons.

New England @ Buffalo - This ought to be a good game.  The Bills come in having shown some bite in their defense, and they will possibly get Fred Jackson back if not both Jackson and Spiller.  This is their opportunity to make a splash.  They are at home and I think the God's align and grant them this wish to give the Patriots an 'L'.  Then again, the hoodie might have his boys ready because he had to pay that $50K fine this week and they got rid of Winslow Jr. during the week.  Can we say rejuvenated?  Winner - Bills.

Minnesota @ Detroit - After last week's win over the 49ers, I think anything is possible.  Add to that the tough loss the Lions took at the hands of the Titans, you have two teams with different momentum.  The Vikings' Ponder had a great game last week, but something tells me he's going to feel the pain from this Lions' defensive front.  Not looking like a good one for him or the Vikings.  Although, AP said that he is feeling better each week.  Winner - Lions

San Diego @ Kansas City - Mr. Charles, can we do it two weeks in a row?  First 2 weeks of the season was garbage, then he jumps out to a 200 yards output for week 3?  I, well my fantasy team is, imploring you to do something like that this weekend.  The Chargers have to bounce back from that terrible performance last week where they put up a solid 3 points.  Mathews is back, but he's injury prone and he gives up the rock every now and then.  I think the Chiefs have decided that it's time to play some real football.  Winner - Chiefs.

Seattle @ St. Louis - Coming off their dominating performance over the Packers (I know that hurts for Packers fans) the Seahawks look ready for the rest of the season.  They gotta find a way to get some offense going.  Their receivers can't keep getting hit in the hands and not catching the ball.  I like Russell Wilson and hope he does well, but he needs some help.  Skittles to the rescue, I guess.  The Rams are the Rams so you know one thing: Steven Jackson will play and get his (although he's questionable this week, he may not get his).  Not sure who else will.  Winner - Seahawks.

San Francisco @ New York Jets - I feel sorry for the Jets.  The 49ers got housed in their last game against the Vikings.  Do you think they show up not motivated?  Question is how many points will they score this weekend?  Is the blueprint for beating them something that the Jets can do (make Alex Smith win the game)?  Winner - 49ers

Tennessee @ Houston - Normally this would be a good game, but unless the Titans get Chris Johnson to show up, this is pretty much a done deal.  Winner - Texans.

Cincinnati @ Jacksonville - The Jaguars showed up last week and stole a game and now they get a Bengals team that just might strike some fear in some teams in the AFC.  They can run the ball and they have a pretty solid passing game too.  Did I mention the defense?  I like this squad and I imagine that they'll be on this weekend.  Winner - Bengals.

Miami @ Arizona - This Cardinals defense showed us that they are for real and they will get a Dolphins team that isn't that good on the offensive side of the ball.  How many points do you think the Dolphins score?  Kevin Kolb, this is your chance to start proving to people that you can play QB at a high level on a consistent basis.  Your opportunity starts on Sunday.  Winner - Cardinals.

Oakland @ Denver - Can Manning finally win another game with this Broncos team?  Can we not get behind so far that it's a comeback?  Can we just go no huddle the entire game?  The Raiders showed up last week and snuck a victory from the Steelers, but this is an old AFC West battle.  I still think Denver is a better team.  Winner - Broncos.

New Orleans @ Green Bay - If we didn't have the old refs back I could imagine that these teams would have thought about ending this game in a tie, on purpose.  Both teams are in trouble and need to right their ships.  The Packers got screwed on the 'Intereception' with the Seahawks and the Saints just can't seem to stop anyone.  Not good for the Saints since I think the Packers are looking to prove something.  Winner - Packers

Washington @ Tampa Bay - Two young teams get to battle it out in the Bay.  The Redskins should be 2-1, but that's not quite where they are.  Defense has to step up for the Redskins to make this a game, or the Bucs may finally realize that it's ok to get the ball to their best WR (V. Jackson) prior to the 4th quarter.  Winner- Bucs.

New York Giants @ Philadelphia - I said this last year that the Giants front four/subs would probably go down as the first team to really actually kill someone in a game.  That someone might be Mike Vick.  We'll find out on Sunday night.  Andy Reid, for the love of God, please put a lot of run plays for McCoy in this gameplan, otherwise, you are going to be minus a QB for the rest of the season.  Winner - Eagles.

Chicago @ Dallas - Monday Night football in Dallas in the House that Jerry built.  Both teams need to make a few changes if they are truly going to be contenders.  I think the Bears have a lot more work on their offensive line because if Cutler keeps getting hit, he's going to check out (mentally) of the game and that won't work for you.  The Cowboys have to find a way to get that offense going.  Not sure what it'll take, but maybe a big Monday Night game at home does the trick?  Winner - Bears.

Who you got?!?!?!?!?!?!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

2012-13 NFL Week 3 Picks

Not going to jinx myself, so let's just get into the picks. 

New York Giants @ Carolina - Too many banged up bodies for the Giants this week and they travel all the way to NC.  Cam Newton should have something to say about the outcome of this game, but probably wishes that his running backs did the talking for him.  Winner - Panthers.

St. Louis @ Chicago - Cutler has taken a lot of heat for bumping his tackle Webb, so will they get it together and take care of business this Sunday?  I got Brandon Marshall looking for his first big game as a Bear and the Bears defense is already hungry.  Winner - Bears.

Tampa Bay @ Dallas - This should be good and the Bucs will want to show that they have some stars too.  The Bucs defense has been solid all year long and I think that will keep this going against the Cowboys.  Bucs defenders, stay in your rush lanes to keep Romo in the pocket.  Winner - Bucs.

Buffalo @ Cleveland - Weeden and Richardson both had great games last week and they need that in order to get these wins piled up.  I've said this at the beginning of the year, the Bills will show up on defense and make things happen.  Now if they would only make me sound like I know what I'm talking about.  Can CJ Spiller get another big game for these Bills?  Not sure, but look for Stevie Johnson to wow in this game.  Winner - Bills

New York Jets @ Miami - Well, Reggie Bush reminded us that he is still an NFL player last week, but he still doesn't have a QB.  The Jets get Revis back and are looking to right the ship after a tough loss last week.  Who are the Dolphins receivers?  Winner - Jets.

San Francisco @ Minnesota - With this win (I heard this earlier today,...) the 49ers will be leading the NFC North.  Let that sink in.  Winner - 49ers.

Kansas City @ New Orleans - Two struggling teams meet and one of them will have their first win of the season.  Who would you put your money on?  Winner - Saints.

Cincinnati @ Washington - The home field advantage for the Skins, right?  They lost Carricker and Orakpo for the year, so the next in line will have to step up.  Fred Davis, where are you?  The Bengals have played pretty well and will have a decent pass rush, so we'll really see RGIII's decision making this week.  Winner - Bengals.

Detroit @ Tennessee - This may end up being a coin flip.  I have no confidence in either team.  Chris Johnson are you on a milk carton somewhere?  If not you probably should be.  This would be one of those games he shows up and blows this pick out of the water.  Winner - Lions.

Jacksonville @ Indianapolis - Things get easier for Andrew Luck and the Colts as they get possibly the worst team in the league right now.  Winner - Colts

Philadelphia @ Arizona - This is like your present girlfriend fighting your ex girlfriend.  Vick will be playing against his former backup Kolb in a fight for Andy Reid's heart.  Maybe this is the week that Fitzgerald actually plays well for the Cardinals, but I still think they lose.  Winner - Eagles.

Atlanta @ San Diego - Can the Falcons keep it rolling with another win?  Again, they escaped last week and this week they'll actually be tested by the Chargers.  I'm still not sold on the resurgence of the Chargers yet, but this will definitely be a fun game to watch.  No other choice than to flip on this one.  Winner - Falcons.

Houston @ Denver - Both of these teams are healthy and ready to play.  Can Manning control this Texans defense?  Will he be the 'giver' that he was last game against the Falcons?  I think Peyton bounces back and makes this close, but I think the Texans are too tough on both sides of the ball.  Winner - Texans.

Pittsburgh @ Oakland - I don't believe in the Raiders at all.  Winner - Steelers.

New England @ Baltimore - Game of the week for me.  The Patriots are one dimensional now and they refuse to use Welker.  The two TE set will cause match up problems, but hopefully the Ravens will find a way to get some pressure on Brady.  Where is T-Sizzle when you really need him.  This one is a home game for the Ravens who are a little beat up, but I hope they tough this one out.  Race Rice, here's the game ball, get it done.  Winner - Ravens.

Green Bay @ Seattle - Second game of the season pitting a QB against his former team and unfortunately Flynn will be wearing a hat and a clipboard.  The Packers get to deal with the 12th Man in Seattle and a tough QB in Russell Wilson.  Wilson has brought a little of Wisconsin with him to Seattle and just might mess around and beat these Packers.  I didn't think so either, but don't count them out.  Winner - Packers.

Those are my picks and I'm sticking by them.  Who you got?!?!?!?!?

2012-13 NFL Week 2 Wrap Up

I did say it couldn't get any worse and I think it just did.  I feel like I was on the cover of Madden this past year.  Let's take a look at the carnage.

Chicago @ Green Bay - The ills of the Bears were on full display.  They fail to keep Cutler clean and when he gets hit and gets hit often, he acts the way he did.  The only thing that I know about Cutler is he knows whom he can pick on, because I'm not so sure that I wouldn't have tried to choke him had he done that to me, on national TV.  Nevertheless, Forte hurt his ankle and it's bad enough that the Bears brought back Khalil Bell on Friday.  Not looking good.  The Packers looked ok, but they still have problems before they can claim the NFC North this year.  This is going to be a great battle.  Props out to the Bear defensive line though.  They played like they were up 10 the entire game and actually were the bright spot for the Bears. Inquisitive Mind 0-1 for the week.  .

Kansas City @ Buffalo - Let this marinate, CJ Spiller is leading the NFL in rushing.  Spiller gave us another great outing this week with his 15 carries for 123 yards, and 2 TDs (and 3 recepts for 47 yards).  The Bills defense got to Matt Cassel and made this a tough game for him.  I am questioning whether Jamal Charles (2 carries, 25 yards) should even suit up the rest of the season the way he is playing.  The Chiefs are really sucking this year, I mean really sucking.  Inquisitive Mind 0-2 for the week.

Cleveland @ Cincinnati - These ain't your dad's Browns, but Brandon Weeden, thank you for showing up.  The Browns got behind early but made this game, but Weeden (26 of 37 for 322 yards, 2 TDs) looked 100% better than he did in week 1.  Trent Richardson (19 carries for 109 yards, 1 TD) also showed up so that had to make Weeden feel just that much better.  If this duo can provide some more of these type of fireworks, this Browns team will atleast put points on the board.  I am not crazy enough to say that it will translate into many more wins, but they will be in the game.  The Bengals got a chance to briefly forget about the loss to the Ravens, but they still have a lot of work to do.  This game shouldn't have been this close.  Inquisitive Mind 1-2 for the week..

Minnesota @ Indianapolis - I've been doing my best to let Luck be Luck (20 of 31 for 224 yards, 2 TDs), but he is reminding people of Peyton Manning every game he plays.  In this one, he led the team down the field to set up a Vinateri kick to win the game.  Sound familiar?  Luck takes what the defense gives him but has the arm to take some chances.  This Colts squad won't be as bad as most think.  Great win at home for this young squad.  Inquisitive Mind 2-2 for the week.  .

New Orleans @ Carolina - (Gotta fast track from here) Saints in trouble at 0-2 and I'm not as sure as I was before the season started that they wouldn't miss their head coach this much.  They look out of sorts.  Inquisitive Mind 2-3 for the week.   

Houston @ Jacksonville - Why did I sit Mr. Tate this week?  Yeah, one of my fantasy teams is straight struggling for the bad decisions that I have made this year.  Maybe two of my teams, and we're only starting Week 3.  Inquisitive Mind 3-3 for the week.  

Oakland @ Miami - And Reggie Bush must have gotten a call from Kim Kardashian because he went off.  Sucks when he does that.  Honestly I forgot that he was even still in the league.Inquisitive Mind 3-4 for the week.  

Arizona @ New England - Free Larry Fitzgerald!!! (clap, clap, clap clap, clap)  I got 0 freakin points out of Larry Fitzgerald and he played the entire game.  Who cares if the Cardinals held on to win, I lost.  Fitz getting zero fantasy points is akin to having a Lambo and only driving 35mph in it.  Inquisitive Mind 3-5 for the week.  

Tampa Bay @ New York Giants - Eli, I'm sorry for all of the bad things I said about you last year, the year before that, and the year before that,...and possibly the year before that.  Terrible first half and then he went all Tecmo Bowl on us in the 2nd half.  Inquisitive Mind 4-5 for the week.  

Baltimore @ Philadelphia - Vick is alive (barely) and the Eagles won this game.  Cause for concern for the Ravens.  All I know is that I felt Sunday how I felt most times last year when the Ravens needed a score on offense with the game on the line, and it wasn't a good feeling.  Something has to happen (positively) for that offense.  I don't know what it is, but something just isn't right.  Inquisitive Mind 4-6 for the week.

Washington @ St. Louis - RGIII is supposed to be 2-0 for the Skins.  If you cost him and your team the game, please raise your hand.  Inquisitive Mind 4-7 for the week.

Dallas @ Seattle -And after that great win against the Giants you go and lay a dud.  Big ups to Russell Wilson and the Seahawks.  They should be 2-0 to, timeouts and all.  Inquisitive Mind 4-8 for the week.

New York Jets @ Pittsburgh - Well, maybe the real Jets team showed up, although that was tough with not having Revis for this game.  The Steelers played without Polamalu and Harrison, so that's all that matters.  Oh yeah Steelers, you still need to find a running game.  Inquisitive Mind 5-8 for the week..

Tennessee @ San Diego - Thank you Philip Rivers.  Thank you for getting us a win.  Inquisitive Mind 6-8 for the week.

Detroit @ San Francisco - The 49ers are real.  I mean they are really real.  I thought Alex Smith would regress this year, but we have a chance to see if that will happen.  Until then, this is the best team in the NFL, hands down.  Inquisitive Mind 7-8 for the week.  

Denver @ Atlanta - Yes the Falcons won, but you got 4 turnovers and the game came down to the last few minutes.  Take the win, but all shouldn't be rosy in the ATL right now.  Compounded by Michael Turner's DUI, this should be a tough week of practice for all of you.  Inquisitive Mind 7-9 for the week.

I said it couldn't get any worse and at least I was right about that.  That's two weeks at 7-9.  I am going to have to rethink this whole thing if we keep trending this way.  There's always Week 3, right?  For the year, that brings us to 14-18 and essentially last against the ESPN guys.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

2012-13 NFL Week 2 Picks

Early week with this Thursday night game so let's cut the BS and get these picks out.  We gotta do better than last week. right?

Chicago @ Green Bay - It's only week 2 but this is a must win for the Packers.  They can't lose this game and already be done 2 games in the division to the Bears and at least 1 game to the Vikings and Lions.  Yes it's early and there's no need for panic, but you want to put yourself in a good spot at the beginning of the season.  The Packers' Greg Jennings will be a game time decision and if he doesn't play that hurts the Packers (although more opportunities for Cobb on offense), but the Packers running the ball is going to be the biggest issue.  They need to keep that pass rush at bay.  The Bears are feeling good after last week and they have some problems on that O-line, but I got a good feeling that they'll play better this week.  That Packers D looked horriawful last week, so expect some 'extra' from them in this game.  Part of me says Packers because they need the win, but I gotta go.....Winner - Bears.

Kansas City @ Buffalo - Buffalo looked terrible last week so this is really the game that they have been looking forward too.  Mario Williams was quoted this week as saying he doesn't listen to his critics, so hopefully he is ready this week or the volume of those critics is going to turn up significantly.  Can CJ Spiller get a redo of last game?  Who's going to catch passes from Fitz?  With the Chiefs, they gotta be better than they were last week.  People (including myself) had them as the sleeper team this year and now they just look sleepy.  Jamal Charles has to get out and do his think, but I'm still waiting for the defense to show up too.  Winner - Chiefs.

Cleveland @ Cincinnati - Cincy showed me more than the Browns did last week.  Hard to think that when you look at final scores, but who is the starter at QB in Cleveland?  Nuff said.  The Bengals get a team that will make that blowout in Baltimore feel just a little better.  Winner - Bengals.

Minnesota @ Indianapolis - The Vikings and a somewhat healthy AP come to Indy for a showdown with Mr. Luck and his crew.  The biggest question is whether Freeney is going to play because without him this Colts defense looks anemic. They've never really been that good against the run so expect that to continue.  I do like Mr. Luck and I think that he helps this team win their first game of the year.  Winner - Colts.

New Orleans @ Carolina - The best thing for a young QB is a good running game.  The Panthers have a good young QB, but last week their running game resembled a broken down 1974 Chevy.  If the Panthers can get that running game going, Steve Smith and some other receivers might be able to shine.  The Saints have the opportunity to right the wrongs of last week and prove to everyone that they can get past this bump in the road for their franchise.  I imagine that Drew Brees is going to be more aggressive and I expect a lot more points this week.  They might not let up on the gas until they are getting on the plane to head back to New Orleans.  Winner - Saints.   

Houston @ Jacksonville - Houston got off to a good start last week and I'm looking for another good game for them against a Jacksonville squad that may keep this closer than some think.  Winner - Texans.

Oakland @ Miami - Carson Palmer >> Ryan Tannehill.  That's all that needs to be said.  Winner - Raiders.

Arizona @ New England - Free Larry Fitzgerald!!! (clap, clap, clap clap, clap)  Please get this guy a QB, I mean a real QB.  Maybe, just maybe, Kolb is pissed off enough that he'll remind people why he got the big money from the Cardinals.  I got fantasy points on this one.  Winner - Patriots.

Tampa Bay @ New York Giants - Where is my Giants pass rush?  Where is all of that NYG swag?  Where's Eli?  These and other questions will be answered during this game.  Winner - Giants.

Baltimore @ Philadelphia - Wow,...the Eagles get a tough one in week 2 and Mike Vick (and all his kevlar) might not make it out of this game alive.  If Vick doesn't know, just take a moment: These Ravens players,...they hit and they hit hard.  They comin for you, better hide your wife, your kids and your ribs.  Winner - Ravens.

Washington @ St. Louis - Game 2 of RGIII's career and he gets a wounded Rams team.  My big question is how many of the Rams brass are sitting around looking at RGIII's last week's performance and said 'We needed him doing that for us'?  Will the Rams rue the day that they didn't draft RGIII?  I'm going out on a limb and say 'yes', but it's going to be for more reasons than just one game.  Winner - Redskins.

Dallas @ Seattle -What would Dallas do?  You started the year with a decisive win at the Giants home and now you get a Seattle team that needed some extra help to make their game close, how do you play?  This will be the litmus test to see how these Cowboys deal with success.  They should beat this Seahawks team, but I think this is one worth watching.  Can't pick the upset though.  Winner - Cowboys.

New York Jets @ Pittsburgh - The Jets and all this talk about Tebow and he had a horriawful game?  Sanchez looked like he wanted to silence the critics about his play.  Can he do it twice in a row?  I'm not so sure.  The Steelers should be close to full complement on defense so this will be a better test for the Steelers as a team.  At least one Steeler has promised that they won't go 0-2, so...I'll ride with that.  Winner - Steelers.

Tennessee @ San Diego - After all these years of starting off slow, the Chargers can jump out to a quick 2-0 start with a win against the Titans.  This game will be closer than many think too, but Norv is going to get too much of the praise for this.  Winner - Chargers.

Detroit @ San Francisco - The juggernaut that is the 49ers hosts a Lions team that should have lost last week.  This defense just shut down the Packers and I expect them to do the same to a Lions offense that isn't as good.  Hint for the 49ers, that Calvin Johnson dude is pretty good and he's probably going to be targeted all game long.  Winner - 49ers.

Denver @ Atlanta - Game of the Week!!!  Can Matty Ice have his way with the Broncos defense?  Last week he was playing Tecmo Bowl against a 5 year old and pretty much throwing at will.  This week, he gets a tough Broncos defense that will be one of the best in the league.  If the Falcons win, there will be a lot of running the ball, but Julio Jones or Roddy White will still get theirs.  Manning gets a tough test in Game 2 of his Denver days, but I think he's been here before and plus, it's a regular season game.  Winner - Broncos.

Those are my picks and I'm sticking to them.  Who you got!?!?!?!?.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

2012-13 NFL Week 1 Wrap Up

Dayum, excited as I was to get to week 1, the games just put my picks through the shredder.  Let's take a look at the carnage. 

Dallas @ New York Giants - How could the Giants lay an egg like this?  The vaunted Giants pass rush seemed more meek than anything.  They weren't able to get to Romo, but they did allow him to often move outside of the pocket (stay in your rush lanes fellas).  Romo showed some uncharacteristic leadership and toughness and willed his team to a win.  Great game for the Cowboys starting the year off beating the SB Champs in their house.  DeMarco Murray looked good and this Cowboys team overall looked good. Could this be the year that they rebound to make some noise in the NFC?  Inquisitive Mind 0-1 for the week.

Indianapolis @ Chicago - The Bears started this game out horribly with Cutler getting hit and not being able to move the ball.  I think the best thing that happened for the Bears in this game was the fact that Freeney got hurt and had to sit for the remainder.  I think his presence would have been greatly appreciated by the Colts had he been able to gut it out.  The Bears defense did what I expected, they made it tough for the rookie Luck, but he's pretty good.  He made the right reads and delivered the ball well on most occasions.  Cutler and Marshall looked good, but they have to sure up that offensive line to make it all work.  Inquisitive Mind 1-1 for the week..  

Philadelphia @ Cleveland - You have to be freakin kidding me!!!  Yes, the Browns defense played a helluva game, but Eagles, are playing the freakin BROWNS!!!!  This was supposed to be Run Up the Score 101 and you need a 4th quarter long drive to win the game?  Vick looked bad and there were decisions that I saw and said I wouldn't hae made that play on Madden13, but it starts with the Andy Reid.  Andy, you have a pro bowl running back in the game, give him touches,...lots of them.  If McCoy doesn't get at least 30 touches a game, your play calling duties should be taken from you.  I'm sorry, but that's the truth.  You already have your starting QB in a kevlar/storm trooper vest and you have him drop back 56 freakin times?!?! Inquisitive Mind 2-1 for the week..  

New England @ Tennessee - The only story out of this is the fact that Welker had 3 receptions for 14 yards.  Let that marinate.  Brady gets a bruised nose from a knee to the face and the Patriots roll on.  I know QB's need their vision but is it that bad that they can't get another bar on their facemasks that would keep a knee from coming in?  How many fantasy league adds did Ridley get after his 125yd performance? Inquisitive Mind 3-1 for the week.  

Atlanta @ Kansas City - Before the season started Damien Woody (@DamienWoody) tweeted that his pick for MVP of the league was Matt Ryan.  Oh the hell he took for that and then,.....obviously Matty Ice follows him because he came out throwing the rock on the Chiefs like the game was in practice mode.  He only had 299 yards, but he could have easily put up 500 yards in this game.  I've only seen him 'on' a few times in his career, but he was 'ON' on Sunday.  What makes this even worse is that the Falcons didn't even get 100 yards rushing, combined, the game.  Now, I think it's good to get excited, but the lack of a running game may hurt this team.  Write that down.  Oh, and the Chiefs,...well let's just say, I think they are still playing pre-season games.  Inquisitive Mind 3-2 for the week.    

Jacksonville @ Minnesota - HAHAHAHAHA,.....I'm telling you, these two teams would have been better off just flipping a coin and doing best 3 out of 5.  I will say two things, Blaine Gabbert looked ok out there with his 23 of  39 for 260 yards and 2 TDs.  Just a few too many attempts, but MJD getting back into the swing may make his job a little easier.  Thank God that Adrian Peterson didn't get re-injured and it seems as though he had no swelling/pain or issues with the knee.  His 84 yards and 2 TDs remind us of the old AP.  I hope they bring him along slowly.  Inquisitive Mind 4-2 for the week.      

Washington @ New Orleans - RGIII goes to New Orleans,...and wins.  This was one of those games that I thought would be entertaining and I picked the Saints, but the Redskins went in and shocked the world.  Is this a big win being the 1st game of the year, YES.  RGIII had a nice 19 of 26 for 320 yards and 2 TD performance which was highlighted by Garcon's 88 yard TD catch.  The rookie looked good the Redskins defense proved that they are a nice bunch this year.  They held Brees to less than 50% completion rate, something that has only happened 6 times and happened last back in 2006.  I hope people don't 'expect' this kind of game from RGIII on a regular, but this was one of those upside games.  He threw 26 passes, Andy Reid, you should be watching this, and he was effect in making great decisions all day long (8 receivers caught passes from him).  Inquisitive Mind 4-3 for the week.  

Buffalo @ New York Jets - What in the he77 happened here?  The Jets haven't showed a pulse for weeks and then all of a sudden, this?!?!?!  The Jets looked good and Tebow's grasp on the starting QB spot took 3 steps backwards.  Maybe it was the lack of first teamers during the preseason, but whatever it was, even Rex Ryan was surprised (although he did his best to not show it).  As well as the Jets played the Bills played even worse, with the exception of CJ Spiller who had his own YOLO moment with his 14 carries for 169 yards and 1 TD performance.  Mario Williams, um, bruh, where were you?  They didn't pay you all that money to play like that.  You could have sat on my couch and watched if that's what you were gonna do.  Funny thing is I got a note in my fantasy league that over 1600 people dropped the Bills defense after this game.  I am one of the only ones left,...they will be better.  Inquisitive Mind 4-4 for the week.  

St. Louis @ Detroit - I guess Megatron said to he77 with the _______________ jinx with his 6 catch 111 yard performance.  This game was ugly for both teams,..I mean ugly and the Lions were lucky to wrap this one up late.  As the saying goes, an ugly win is still a win.  I think the rust got worn off and hopefully the next game for the Lions is much better.  Inquisitive Mind 5-4 for the week. 

Miami @ Houston - The texans must have gotten Schaub his check (new contract check) before the game because he went out and didn't get hurt and played pretty well.  Congrats on that new deal, let a brother hold a few G's.  This game is probably known more for Arian Foster yapping at an unnamed Dolphins corner about his insignificance in the league.  I mean that's cold to tell a dude to turn around so you can read the name on his jersey because you not familiar with him.  I guess Vegans can be cold blooded.  Foster's 26 carries for 79 yards and 2 TDs are enough to keep the Texans happy.  Inquisitive Mind 6-4 for the week.

San Francisco @ Green Bay - Ok,...this game hurt me, actually caused pain for me.  The Packers got run on like they were an Olympic track and showed no signs of being able to stop the run when they needed too.  The Packer offense, well let me say this, the 49ers defense was just that dayum good.  There are good defenses out here, but this 49ers defense shut down one of the top offenses in the NFL in the past two years.  When I say shutdown, I mean all Rodgers could do was shake his head. Add to that, Randy Moss got his first TD catch in years and Alex Smith won his bet against Rodgers, so we will be seeing Rodgers rock a 49ers Alex Smith jersey for a day.  Inquisitive Mind 6-5 for the week.  

Seattle @ Arizona - Well, Kevin Kolb didn't start but he did finish the game against the Seahawks and that's how QBs are measured, in wins, right?  Skelton got hurt and enter Kolb and a few finely placed passes and the Cardinals survived a late comeback to beat the Seahawks.  With Skelton out a few weeks, Kolb will get a chance to play the Eagles in Week 3.  On the other side of the ball, Russell Wilson played decently.  He didn't have gaudy numbers (18 of 34 for 153 yards, 1 TD, 1 Int) but he played well enough to have his team win the game.  All he needed was an extra timeout and for his receivers to have some hands.  The funny thing is if you go back and watch the tape where Braylon Edwards dropped the ball for the winning TD (hit him in the hands too, guess that was the wrong place?), you'll see Sidney Rice waving his arms like 'you know HE wasn't gonna catch that ball, gotta throw it to me'.  The biggest question with all of this is as follows: Would TO have made that catch?  Inquisitive Mind 6-6 for the week.  

Carolina @ Tampa Bay - I wonder if they are still playing this game?  This game was halted for weather and finally finished with the Bucs winning a close one.  Big Cam (23 of 33 for 309 yards, 1 TD, 2 Ints) had a good day hooking up with Steve Smith (7 catches for 106) but they couldn't put it all together for the win.  How much money did they spend on this running game?  And they got 10 yards total?  Like buying lottery tickets, eh?  The Bucs played some good defense and had even Ronde Barber excited that this team is playing like some of those old Bucs teams on defense.  I won't go there with Ronde yet, but we'll see. Inquisitive Mind 6-7 for the week. 

Pittsburgh @ Denver - When it rains it pours and for the Steelers that means, ya'll gotta get a dayum running game.  Ya'll go ahead and have Big Ben (22 of 40 for 260 yards, 2 TDs, 1 Int) drop back 40+ times if you want, but he's not Drew Brees.  He already said his shoulder wasn't 100 percent at the beginning of the year, don't test that injury.  On the other side of the ball Peyton Manning looked like Peyton Manning (19 of 26 for 253 yards, 1 TD).  The Hurry Up offense is his weapon and he used it pretty well against a good (they didn't look great) Steelers defense.  What really stood out was this Denver defense.  They looked pretty darn good, but they will get tested next week against the Falcons.  Inquisitive Mind 6-8 for the week.  

Cincinnati @ Baltimore - Man, I'm just going to soak this in for a moment.  The Ravens looked like a dynamic team on offense, although it took them a little too long to get the running game going.  Joe Flacco (21 of 29 for 299 yards, 2 TDs) played his part last night and attacked a defense and had pretty good results.  I'm thinking that if you keep Flacco under 30 attempts, he's going to produce good numbers this year.  He just seemed very comfortable out there last night.  As usual, the defense had a lot to say in this game, good and bad.  The new and improved old Ray Lewis (11 Solo Tackles, 1 Sack, 14 Total Tackles) is in his 17th season, but he was out there hitting as usual.  As a side note, I gotta see that E:60 on Ray Lewis tonight.   Nevertheless the defense seemed to not miss T-Sizzle too much last night, but that may be an aberration.  Ed Reed made a great pic and TD but injured his hammy.  That's been the think with Ed, can he stay healthy and we already talking about a hammy that doesn't get better when you're out there running around ball hawking.  Inquisitive Mind 7-8 for the week.  .

San Diego @ Oakland - Just how important is your long snapper to your team?  That's not the question that I thought would be answered as a result of this game, but the botched punts by the Raiders gave me all the reason to mention it here.  People don't realize how 'special' that whole snapping the ball skill really is.  Guys that play offensive line and can alternate from guard to center are worth the price of gold.  You never really know what you're missing until it's gone.  Philip Rivers (24 of 33 for 231 yards, 1 TD) actually played a decent game last night by not gracing the other team with his passes.  The Chargers running game was noticeably absent (20 carries for 32 yards) with Mathews being injured, but somehow they won this game.  The Raiders didn't do themselves any favors by seemingly forgetting how to block last night.  McFadden looked less than average as he struggled to a terrible running game (he did have 86 yards receiving).  I'm glad that this game was the late game, so I didn't feel too bad by missing the majority of it.  Inquisitive Mind 7-9 for the week.

Not exactly how I wanted to start the season off, but hey, it's only 1 week.  Things will definitely get better from here.  You can check the guys at ESPN and see how well they did, but right now, I'm not enjoying my 7-9 start.   

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

2012-13 NFL Week 1 Picks

Today is the day, we get the NFL back and I can already feel the rush that this drug will cause.  It seems like yesterday that the Giants won the Superbowl (Michelle you gonna have to take all that Giants paraphernalia down now) and now we start Week 1 for the 2012-13 season.  Buckle up, because it's gonna be a fun ride.

For those that are new here, we are pickin every week and will be putting up our picks versus the wonderful ESPN panel.  Feel free to follow us this year and see how good we are.  Are you ready for some football?!?!?!

Dallas @ New York Giants - First game of the year on a Wednesday night, thank goodness.  The Cowboys come to town with question marks around the health of Jason Witten's spleen, and whether their offensive line will keep Romo upright against the Giants front.  Tyron Smith looks good at LT, but the real bullets haven't been fired yet.  Doug Free (RT) may don his normal matador garb for this game and at least Romo will see the person that's going to hit him.  If the Cowboys are going to win, Dez Bryant is going to have to have one of those games, along with Romo.  Really waiting to see what DeMarco Murray can do with the majority of touches.
The Giants are the Giants.  They can run the ball and the hopes are that Bradshaw can carry the full load and stay healthy all year.  Eli has weapons at WR with Nicks and Cruz, who should match up well against the new secondary of the Cowboys, and then add in Pascoe at TE and I'm looking for a big night from Elite.  But back to the reason the Giants are the Giants and that's the defense.  They are solid up the middle and can get pressure with Kiwanuka, Tuck, and Osi, which allows their corners to play tight and take chances.  Watch for Bernard to have a good game making things tough in the middle for the Cowboys. Winner - Giants.     

Indianapolis @ Chicago - The Colts new regime is coming to Chicago and Luck draws the Bears for his first NFL start.  I actually think that he'll do reasonably well since the Cover 2 is meant to bend and not break, and Luck seems amenable to taking what the defense gives him.  Looking at the talent on the Colts and it leaves me wanting.  If Donald Brown and the rest of the Colts RBs have a solid ground game, this game could be closer than we think.
The Bears are getting back to being dangerous, but are thisclose to being an old team on defense. Urlacher should be on the field after having his knee scoped recently and Peppers should be able to deal with his 'foot soreness', so I expect a big game from arguably the best LB they have, Briggs.  On offense, Cutler and Marshall are singing that old Peaches and Herb song, Reunited.  The only issue with the Bears is their offensive line as they still don't have a LT and when they move their OL around it seems to get worse. If Cutler can stay healthy this year and not so bruised and battered, look for a good year.  Winner - Bears.  

Philadelphia @ Cleveland - The Eagles are going into the 2nd year of this plan.  They were the Dreamteam or whatever team last year but we see how that ended.  This year, they gotta find a way to keep Vick from running because he's gonna get hurt again this year (he's hurt already? already? Dayum.  Tigers do not change their stripes).  This is going to require a lot more big plays for the offense or a whole lot of running for LeSean McCoy.
The Browns come in hoping that Brandon Weeden is the real deal and not the bridge to the next good QB in Cleveland.  Any rookie QB needs a good running game and the Browns should be able to provide some punch, but I don't think enough until they have a few more options at the RB position.  They have to find a way to get Cribbs on the field and maximize his abilities to get to the end zone.  Winner - Eagles.  

New England @ Tennessee - Brady and the TEs come to Tennessee.  Both Hernandez and Gronk got re-upped and they are reloaded for this year.  This Pats team is like groundhog day with some new pieces coming in and out of the system.  I imagine that this team will miss some of the production from the Law Firm being gone, but let's not get it twisted, a 5 yard pass to Welker is as good as a run any day for this Pats' team.  I am worried that Brady has been off a little during the pre-season, but as he has done in the past, he'll show up and be ok.
The Titans have to hope that the Pats are doing the groundhog day on defense also.  Chris Johnson gets back with a full pre-season of work in and ready to prove the naysayers wrong about his demise.  Kenny Brit is sitting this first game, so Jake Locker will have to make the most of the talent that he has at the WR spot this week.  Titans defense is consistent and should help keep some of the scoring down, but maybe not for long.  Winner - Patriots

Atlanta @ Kansas City - The Falcons have looked good on paper the last few years, but they never seem to be able to take that next step.  I will say that Michael Turner looked like he lost that 'Burner' nickname and maybe the pounding he takes is catching up to him.  Tony Gonzalez is a year older, and Matt Ryan is that QB that hasn't quite progressed to that next level.  The defense is aggressive and can be good at stretches, but they can't seem to play outdoors.  What will they do this year?
The Chiefs are the quiet sleeping giant.  They went all on on Matt Cassel a few years ago and injuries have really hampered their rebuilding plan.  Looks like Jamal Charles is back and Bowe seems ready for a breakout year.  If Charles falters, the pickup of Peyton Hillis should pay dividends.  The Chiefs can play their own 2 TE sets with Moeaki and Boss or can spread you out and go with Breaston as 3rd WR. Did I mention their defense?  The Chiefs will make some noise this year and I think that they start with the Falcons.  Winner - Chiefs.    

Jacksonville @ Minnesota - Do I have to pick one of these teams?  Blaine Gabbert gets the start for this woeful team and although MJD returned from his holdout, he'll play sparingly this game. Rashard Jennings gets the start and should provide some punch.  I am very interested to see how Justin Blackmon plays because he could be a beast against these Vikings corners.  They have Marcedes Lewis who can wreak some havoc in the middle of the field also.  
The Vikings have Christian Ponder at the helm and no word as to how many snaps AP will play this week.  If I'm the Vikings that number would be 0.  He's all we got and if he gets hurt again, we're looking at another bad, bad season.  The big questions are is Ponder ready?  Can the defense keep this team in the mix until AP gets back or they show some promise?  Winner - Vikings.    

Washington @ New Orleans - RGIII goes to New Orleans. He brings with him a tough Redskins team that has the same problems as many, offensive line.  Can they protect the rookie and keep him upright so he can get some things done? Fred Davis looks to have a good year and I hope Garcon can mimic that.  The question really is going to be who's their 3rd pass catcher? Josh Morgan/Santana Moss? On defense the Redskins are solid led by London Fletcher and they have some hitters out there in Carriker and Orakpo.
The Saints are the Saints and I think by having an elite QB in Brees they won't really miss a beat on offense. With Colston, Sproles, Graham, and Henderson (and hopefully Nick Toon), the Saints have the bodies to move the ball. Can they stop anyone? Most of their defense is sitting waiting to see how many games they'll play this year, so the Saints may be involved in a few shootouts this year.  Winner - Saints.

Buffalo @ New York Jets - This is actually a game I want to see. Why? Let's just say I'm glutton for punishment.  The Soon to be Tebows host the Bills.  The Jets come in not meshing at all on offense and that's a big problem for not only their scoring ability but the safety of Mark Sanchez's job. I think the Jets have some pieces in Holmes, Keller and Greene, but there's something missing and I can't put my finger on it.  The Jets will stay in games due to their defense.  I like the attacking style and they actually are pretty good against the run. Did I mention that I like the Landry addition.  But at this rate, the defense might have to put 7 on the board a game.
The Bills are revamped and ready to go.  They have (the other) Fitz at QB with a nice group of RBs behind him (Jackson, Spiller and Choice) but other than Stevie Johnson, not sure who's gonna catch the ball.  They make it work because Fitz will spread it around and if the running game is tight, they will be decent this year.  On the defensive side of the ball, I'm liking this team.  They have enough upfront to make things happen with Dareus, (former Bear) Anderson, and (New Money) Mario Williams.  They can be physical and they are solid at the corner spots (Gilmore and Williams).  Don't sleep on the Bills.  Winner - Bills.

St. Louis @ Detroit - This is pretty much the same Lions team that was several stupid penalties away from making a major impact in the NFC last year.  They aren't spectacular on offense, but Stafford and his crew of pass catchers (Calvin Johnson and Brandon Pettigrew come to mind quickly) should make this offense really click.  Can you imagine what would happen if they actually had a good running game?  Please don't mention the _______________ jinx, just don't want to see Megatron go down like that. On defense this crew is still deadly. Their front four of Suh, Avril, KVB, and Williams get enough pressure on most offenses to make these Lions corners that much better.  If they can keep their heads (great poem about that is here) this team is gonna fair pretty well in their division and the NFC.  
The Rams are that team that have some promise, but I think they are only as good as Bradford's health which can be impacted at any point.  I am looking for Steve Smith (former Giant) to make some headway into this WR corp to give them some kind of lift, but it's gonna come down to the workhorse Steven Jackson.  The defense should be solid with the backers that they have (Lauranaitis, McIntosh and Dunbar). Add veteran Cortland Finnegan who came over with new Head Coach Jeff Fisher and you have to believe that sometime soon this team will get rolling.  Winner - Lions

Miami @ Houston - Miami, Dan Marino is not walking through that door, no really, he could probably start at QB right now.  Yes, that's shade thrown at the present Dolphins starting QB (Tannehill), but really more at the organization.  We know that they are going to flip flop QBs almost every 3 weeks.  The rest of the offense,...well, I do like Davone Bess, Fasano and I'll give Reggie Bush some love,..but they are in trouble. I think we all know that.  On defense they are decent and may be able to stay in games with teams who can't score.  Paul Soliai, I will start the campaign to get you some help right about,!!!
Houston, we have a problem?  Maybe not, the usual characters are back on offense and hopefully healthy (Foster, Tate, Johnson and Daniels), but it's all on the shoulders on Matt Schaub.  I like Schaub, but it seems more and more like his nickname should be 'Senor Pinata'.  If, and that's a big if, he stays healthy, this Texans team should be in contention all year long.  Winner - Texans.

San Francisco @ Green Bay - Two juggernauts starting the year early and on the not so frozen tundra in Green Bay.  Aaron Rodgers, minus a contract extension, is back with his old weapons and one new one in Cedric Benson whom I believe will have a great year for this team.  Every good passing team needs a collective of RBs or one good one to make it all work.  On defense this Packers team has got to stop trying to look hard and play ball.  They have all the pieces, but they gotta play better than they did the last quarter of last year.  It is tackle football and they stopped (tackling) late last year. 
The 49ers are pretty much the same team with the exception of adding Randy Moss and Brandon Jacobs.  I'm sorry, I think this team takes a step backwards this year.  I think they worked a miracle with Alex Smith last year, but his feelings being hurt by the team pursuing Peyton Manning, screams of a level of immaturity that makes me think he implodes this year.  They still have the defense in place and we're just gonna see what they got this year.  Winner - Packers

Seattle @ Arizona - All I have to say is, people thought Kevin Kolb was going to be 'THE MAN', eh?  The Cardinals come into this game starting John Skelton at QB and at least we know it didn't happen over a coin toss.  Skelton outplayed Kolb last year and in camp this year.  I look at this roster and all I can say is FREE LARRY FITZGERALD.  Good guy and great competitor, but me thinks his prime years are gonna be wasted with no QB to get him the ball.  The defense will be pretty good this year and that might be their only hope to stay in some games.
The Seahawks bring in rookie Russell Wilson to his first NFL start.  How many teams passed over this guy?  Anyway, he actually has some talent on this team with Marshawn Lynch behind him and a few good receivers on the outside (Rice, Tate, Edwards) and Zach Miller.  On defense the Seahawks bring a squad that's gonna attack and epitomizes Carroll and his facial expressions on the sidelines.  If their rookie QB gets them some points, I don't see this defense giving games away.  Winner - Seahawks.

Carolina @ Tampa Bay - Big game for both teams, in a very competitive NFC South.  The Panthers have to hope that Cam Newton doesn't have a sophomore slump and that they have gotten better on the defensive side of the ball.  They have the stable of RBs and call me crazy but I think that either Louis Murphy or Armanti Edwards help make this offense dangerous while taking some pressure off of Steve Smith.  The defense was hit hard last year by injuries and other than health, the defense hasn't really added much.  they just need some time to gel and build on the positive from last year.
The Bucs have a young stud at QB also, whom the Bucs hope will have a much better year than he did last year.  The Bucs have a great 1-2 punch in the backfield with Blount and Martin, but the addition of Vincent Jackson should pay dividends to give their young QB a true #1 receiver.  On defense, and the Bucs used to be known for their defense, they are very young (take out of Barber, Talib and Wright).  Can this squad put it all together and give Ronde Barber something to get excited about?  Winner - Panthers

Pittsburgh @ Denver - The Steelers visit Denver in week 1.  Who put this schedule together?  The Steelers look like they looked last year with one big change, no running game.  Hate me because I don't think that Mendenhall will be any good this year and Dwyer is the only answer the Steelers have.  I do like the fact that Big Ben may air that thing out this year to both Brown and Wallace.  On defense, I can't really find a hole.  I mean yes, Taylor and Lewis may make some mistakes, but I can't see a hole in this defense and everyone is healthy.  Dangerous.
This starts the Manning Years in Denver.  He starts off with some good weapons in Thomas, Decker, Dreessen, Tamme, Moreno and McGahee. If they were used to catching balls from Tebow, this ought to be cake for them.  The biggest question is whether Manning can take a hit and with this Steelers defense on the field, we'll find out.  The Denver defense is solid and if they play as well as they did last year, we just might see this Denver squad deep in the playoffs.  Winner - Steelers.

Cincinnati @ Baltimore - ** Homer Alert ** Yes, in Ray I trust. I can't help but root for this team because of the the defense that they play year in and year out.  Ray is back to 220lbs or 230lbs and looks ready to punish cats all over again.  You know that Ray, Ed and Haloti are going to show up, but this team is more dangerous when Cody, Webb and Williams show up.  The question is how will this team manage with Suggs being out and whether he'll be able to come back this year as he has stated.  This year, the offense all rides on the shoulders of Joe 'Cool' Flacco.  Enough of the staches and the talk about contract extensions, Flacco has to show that he is one of the elite QBs in the league for this team to get to the big game. He has a good backfield and he has some decent receivers, so now is the time.
The Bengals are quietly showing people that they do matter.  Andy Dalton was tossing the rock around last year in line with some of the better QBs in the game and this year they went out and got him a ground game in the Law Firm (BenJarvis Green-Ellis).  The question is whether Tate and Gresham can keep the heat off of A.J. Green to help make this offense click.  On defense, the Bengals are solid and should be a little better when they get fully healthy.  I expect this to be a knock out drag'em out game.  Winner - Ravens.

San Diego @ Oakland -This used to be a good game to watch, but not so much anymore.  Both teams have taken small steps back, but the Chargers are trying to pick up where they left off last year.  Hopefully they do because they always start the season off slow, or so it seems.  There are a few additions to the Chargers with Le'Ron McClain, Robert Meachem, and Eddie Royal, but it all comes down to Philip (with 1 'l') Rivers.  I would add in Ryan (with 1 't') Mathews, but he has hurt me (Fantasy alert) over the past years.  Add to that, Matthews has already hurt his clavicle and will miss this game.  Look for Rivers to air it out and often.  The defense is a little better and that may help, but I think it comes down to coaching for this team.  You know what I think about that, right?
The Raiders just aren't the Raiders anymore, although they still seem to draft on combine promise.  Their WR corp could probably do well in a 4x400 relay, but this year they have to catch some balls and make some plays.  They lost Bush to the Bears and so now it's going to be (Run) DMC all day every day.  Carson Palmer returns and I just hope that he plays well this year.  Honestly Palmer hasn't been the same since his knee got torn up in Cincy against the Steelers.  On defense, this is starting to look like the Raiders of old.  They like to hit and with Seymour and Kelly up front, they can make some things happen.  This could be the year of resurgence for the Raiders, at least some of us hope.  Winner - Raiders.

So, that's a long list for Week 1.  Who you got?!?!?!?!