Week 1 of the 2013 NFL season is here, and with it all my usual nonsense, including the worst NFL picks anywhere on the Internet. Last year, I went 159-96...and 1. (Damn 49ers and Rams screwing everything up with that tie...)
So let's get this started. Read on and find out why Nagler's Never Right...
(Projected winners are in italics)
The Ravens defense can slow Manning and company, but I have severe doubts about Baltimore’s offense, even against a hobbled unit like the Broncos defense. Manning makes one more play than Flacco for the win.
The Bills actually have a number of playmakers that could potentially be trouble for the Patriots defense. The question is who is going to get them the ball. As long as the Pats don’t turn the ball over—something they’ve had trouble with against the Bills of late—they get the win.
The Bengals are in for a tough afternoon against a new-look Bears team that will be better than some observers think. That said, the Bengals are a true Super Bowl contender (that is just weird to type) and match up well with what Chicago brings to the field. The Bengals get the win in a tough one.
This will be a low-scoring, hard-hitting affair that will go down to the wire. It will be ugly, there will be turnovers and both defenses will get after the quarterback. But the Browns will outlast the Dolphins and get Chud his first win as a head coach.
First one to 50 points wins. OK, maybe the defenses won’t be that bad, but only because NFL offenses traditionally take a few weeks to get in sync. This will be a shootout, and that favors Sean Payton and the Saints. Look for Brees and company to score every way possible.
Now, the Jets could come out like they did last year in Week 1, shock everyone, and put up 40—but I tend to doubt it. This game will be closer than most think, but the Bucs get a hard-fought road victory to start their 2013 campaign.
The Steelers want to get their ground game going, and the Titans are a great place to start. The Titans will try to do the same with Chris Johnson, but with Jake Locker at quarterback, he simply won’t find much room against the Steelers.
The Vikings want to pin their ears back and get their defensive ends up the field after Stafford—until Reggie Bush takes a lead draw for 20 yards. Peterson will find room to run, but Ponder and the offense will start slow, and they’ll drop this one to the Lions as a result.
This almost isn’t fair. Andrew Luck will have plenty to choose from downfield, which will open up the running game. Whoever plays quarterback for the Raiders is in for a long afternoon. The Colts in a blowout.
What’s that? My Super Bowl pick losing in Week 1? That’s right, and it’s a serious wake-up call for a team that many have picked to get to Super Bowl XLVIII. The Panthers defense will be surprisingly stout, and Cam Newton does enough to pull off the upset.
I want to pick the Jaguars here, as I think they will be a bit better than most think. But the Chiefs get the nod simply because I think their defense matches up too well with what Jacksonville has on offense. Alex Smith and the offense play mistake-free football and get the win.
The Cardinals will be a tough out for some teams, but not the Rams, whose front seven will give Arizona’s offense all sorts of problems, especially with Bruce Arians trying to push the ball downfield. Look for Bradford to use Jared Cook in the red zone more than once. The Rams get off on the right foot in 2013.
This is the ultimate "Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face" game. For all the talk about the Packers preparing for the read option this offseason, the 49ers are still simply the stronger, more physical team. Look for them to assert their will in the run game and for Harbaugh's men to win a third straight against McCarthy's Packers.
The Cowboys offensive line actually gives Romo a running game and more than 2.5 seconds to throw this week, and while Victor Cruz makes some big plays, Sean Lee and the Dallas defense help beat Eli Manning for the first time in Jerry World.
This should be a fun game to watch…if you like offense. The Redskins and Eagles will feature exciting concepts that get their quarterbacks out on the edge and making plays—while their defenses run around trying to catch up. RGIII and the Redskins win in a shootout.
San Diego’s offensive line is in for a long night, especially on Rivers’ blind side. That said, the Chargers’ offense will surprise some people in this game. But ultimately, Matt Schaub and the Texans offense do enough to take the lead early and hold on for the win.