So the wait is over and in the midst of labor disputes, huge contract renegotiations, and Favre re-un-retirement parties, we’ve started off with…a sigh?
I didn’t put a pick out there for Thursday’s game. I was busy trying to figure out the strategy for my picks in my new football pool (points in the playoffs are worth MORE than regular season? Isn’t that statistically backwards? What would Vegas say?). But anyone that thinks that this amateur prognosticator that picked the Saints to go all the way last year and has clearly articulated a dislike for Favre’s antics would pick the Viks over Drew Brees (former Charger)…um, well, you haven’t been paying attention.
Either way, I’m not counting a win on a pick I assume everyone knew about so no worries there. But I’ll be trying to make my picks before Sunday morning this season, especially since I have to post my pool pick by Friday 5 PM. So keeping track of all that with my handy dandy spreadsheet, let’s open up these season with a bang!
Biggest Question Answered
No, the New Orleans Saints won’t repeat. There, I’ve said it. As I’ve often harped on, the NFL is about parity. It’s what makes it better than college ball. You want bad schedules trying to run up points and cause blowouts so some team can claim to be better than the rest based on playing a program limping by on millions less, go watch college. Or the Yankees.
This year, the Saints will be running with a target on their back. But much like the Patriots of 2001, who had the country behind them waving the flag, the emotional lift of that feel-good story is no longer there. Don’t get me wrong, they are still an awesome team, a team to beat, with a mastermind coach and a QB shaping up to be one of the greats.
But this is the NFL, son. And every great team comes apart.
Biggest Teams with Questions
So who else will be under the microscope this year for great teams gone horrible wrong? I’ll take one on the chin and call them out: the San Diego Chargers. That uber-deep in talent team is no longer there. The undeniable hall-of-fame running back is no longer there. But you know what, I think it’s great. I don’t expect them to win their division easily, if they win it at all. But I’m expected for the prospect of Philip finally calling the team all his. And this year, if all goes well, I will finally tip my hat to Norv.
Right in that mix of questions are the team we love to spell: J-E-T-S, Jets! Jets! Jets! Get a tattoo all you want, LT, we Charger fans will never forgive you for the graceless way you left town. And is the price for Revis Island just to much to pay in attitude. With a coach almost as loud as some of the chatty players, I wonder if the N.Y. Jets went too high too fast and will fall, like Icarus, crashing and burning.
Smallest Paths to Improvement
St. Louis has a shiny new QB and Detroit’s QB needs more snaps. Either way, these teams are destined to do better this year with just having new players. Some of the teams circling the drain last year will likely end up bottom barrel. Does it mean St Louis will be challenging the Saints for the NFC crown? No, but look at the NFC West. Um, it wouldn’t take much magic to get that shizz handled. Even with a glaring Mike Singletary trying to intimidate his team to win.
Hot Trainy Messes better Suited For Reality TV
Minnesota, Dallas, Tampa, Chicago, Cincinnati. yeah, if I have to enumerate why, then you really aren’t ready for some football. Out of this bunch, I think Cincy will be left standing. T.O. can keep quiet for the first year. Minnesota may pull together in the early going and then old shoulders and old grudges from last season will likely take hold. And I hope Romo gets a break, I really do. It ain’t easy being Jerry Jones whipping boy.
|SUN, SEP 12||LOCATION||Pick|
|Carolina at NY Giants||New Meadowlands Stadium||Giants|
|Atlanta at Pittsburgh||Heinz Field||Atlanta|
|Cleveland at Tampa Bay||Raymond James Stadium||Cleveland|
|Denver at Jacksonville||EverBank Field||Jacksonville|
|Indianapolis at Houston||Reliant Stadium||Indy|
|Miami at Buffalo||Ralph Wilson Stadium||Miami|
|Detroit at Chicago||Soldier Field||Detroit*|
|Oakland at Tennessee||LP Field||Tenn|
|Cincinnati at New England||Gillette Stadium||Cincy|
|Arizona at St. Louis||Edward Jones Dome||STL|
|San Francisco at Seattle||Qwest Field||SF|
|Green Bay at Philadelphia||Lincoln Financial Field||GB|
|Dallas at Washington||FedEx Field||Washington|
|MON, SEP 13||LOCATION||Pick|
|New Meadowlands Stadium||Jets|
|San Diego at Kansas City||Arrowhead Stadium||SD|
*Pool Pick of the Week
Now go out there, kids, and have some tailgating fun!