OK, thanks for coming back and reading my picks again for the third year, but before you read any further just stop. I want you to take a deep breath – I’ll wait … … …
Can you smell that? It’s football! And it’s back!!
The 2014 NFL season is finally upon us with the defending champion Seahawks to kick things off against the Packers this Thursday. The great thing about the NFL is that things really do reset every year. Seattle is an obvious choice to repeat, but not a definite one. It is always anybody’s game.
Which makes my job pretty hard in week 1! After an off-season of changes, we really don’t have a complete idea of what these 32 teams have to offer for 2014. Week 1 is always the most difficult week in a confidence pool. Stick with me though and you’ll be on your way to weekly and cumulative success!
Week 1…2014…HERE WE GO!!!
(HOME TEAM IN CAPS)
16 – PHILADELPHIA over Jacksonville – I actually like the foundation the Jaguars seem to be laying. Blake Bortles could be a top quarterback at some point. That point just isn’t right now, mainly because he’s not starting yet, and the Jags are still the Jags.
15 – CHICAGO over Buffalo – It’s a little odd to think the Monsters of the Midway moniker now seems to be more fitting of the blue and orange offense. Even with a healthy Sammy Watkins, the Bills wouldn’t be able to match the fire power of the Bears.
14 – KANSAS CITY over Tennessee – The Chiefs were the big “Worst to First” story of last season and should be able to carry that momentum into the new season. Hopefully, for their sake, they can forget about blowing a huge lead in the playoffs. Playing the Titans should be able to help them quickly forget.
13 – PITTSBURGH over Cleveland – The Browns ended up as the answer for one of the biggest questions of the 2014 NFL Draft - who will draft Johnny Manziel. So for that, and really several reasons, Cleveland does not deserve to win this week.
12 – New England over MIAMI – I think we may be seeing the end of the Patriots dominance of the AFC East soon. It’s just not going to be this year.
11 – DENVER over Indianapolis – I’m still pretty proud of the fact that I called the Colts handing the Broncos first loss last season on a Sunday Night Football game. The two are back on Sunday Night again, but this time it’s in Denver and I’m pretty sure the Broncos still have the taste of the Super Bowl still in their minds.
10 – DETROIT over New York Giants – The Monday Night schedule starts in Motown this year. The Lions still have one of the biggest offenses with all-everything receiver Calvin Johnson. The Giants are going to be a confusing team this year – and I don’t mean that in a good way at all.
9 – ARIZONA over San Diego – The second half of the opening week Monday Night double header takes place in Arizona. I think the Cardinals offense will surprise many this year. If Carson Palmer can stay healthy, Bruce Arians will want to air it out and Palmer has the options to do so.
8 – HOUSTON over Washington – I don’t have any faith in RGIII. He still needs to prove something to me in order to be considered a top quarterback. With JJ Watt on one side of the Houston defensive line and Jadeveon Clowney now on the other side, Griffin should be able to be contained enough for the Texans to end their 14 game skid.
7 – DALLAS over San Francisco – Suspensions and injuries will catch up to the 49ers this year weakening the once dominant unit. A strong offense will help out the Cowboy’s weak defense which leads to Jerry’s boys being the subject of the first ever BOLD PREDICTION OF THE WEEK – THE COWBOYS WILL WIN THE NFC EAST THIS SEASON. (see, it’s a bold prediction because, well, the letters are in bold type…see what I did there?)
6 – Cincinnati over BALTIMORE – The road to a repeat in the AFC North won’t be as smooth as it was for Cincy last year. However an offense with so many options should help the Bengals get past this first big road test.
5 – SEATTLE over Green Bay – A game that Packer fans have been waiting for since two replacement refs had absolutely no idea what was going on in the end zone. Green Bay should give the Seahawks a run in the NFC this year, but the 12th man celebrating the city’s first championship since the 70’s will prove to be a bit too much to handle.
4 – ATLANTA over New Orleans – The NFC South might be the most entertaining division this year. You can make a claim that all four teams could finish on top, including the league’s basement dwellers a year ago the Falcons. Look for Atlanta to rebound in a big way this year. There’s no better way to start than knocking off the Saints.
3 – Carolina over TAMPA BAY – Staying in the division, the defending champs have a tough start defending their crown. Simply put, this game, and really the Panther’s season, relies on the health of Cam Newton. It looks like he should be a go, but if not, keep this game on the same line put the Bucs as the winner.
2 – Minnesota over ST. LOUIS – While doing your fantasy football research over the summer, you saw that the Rams were set to be a team to watch on the defensive end. They get a tough test to prove themselves right off the bat with Adrian Peterson. I don’t think they can pass this test.
1 – Oakland over NEW YORK JETS – The future for the Raiders has come a little earlier than expected. Second round pick Derek Carr ends up being the first quarterback in the 2014 Draft to start a game. Carr looked solid in the pre-season and a revamped defense may be able to contain the Jets enough to help Carr keep his composure on the road.