NFL Week 1 Preview: TV Schedule, Announcer Pairings, Point Spreads, and Picks

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NFL Week 1 Preview: TV Schedule, Announcer Pairings, Point Spreads, and Picks

nfl Week 1 Preview: tv schedule, announcers, point spreads, odds, over-unders,

As Michael Jackson once sang with his brothers, “can you feel it…Can You Feel It…CAN YOU FEEL IT!?”

Not sure exactly what the late, great MJ was referring to when he sang those lyrics, but I reference them to illustrate my excitement at what will happen this Thursday night: the kickoff of another NFL season.

I love college football, and was excited about the first full slate of games this past Saturday, but nothing beats the NFL. And now that the Official Sports League of America is back, so to is our weekly look at each game with the NFL Week 1 Preview, including the TV Schedule, Announcer Pairings, Point Spreads, and Over-Unders. Plus, I try my hand at predicting each game against the spread.

A quick note for all the gamblers out there:

First of all, the point spreads and over-unders you see listed below are current as of September 7th. Thus, if you want the most up-to-date information, follow this link to DocSports where we get our information from: NFL Odds

Secondly, I don’t bet on the NFL or any sports, so I won’t be “putting my money where mouth is” to test out the wisdom I dispense below. And I don’t have any charts of historical trends regarding how teams do against the spread in various situations. My picks, while against the spread, are just my own educated gut feelings. If you want true expert advice, here is a helpful link: NFL picks

NFL Week 1 Preview: tv schedule, announcers, point spreads, odds, over-unders,
And finally, before we delve into the Week 1 preview, a quick shout out to our sources for the helpful information contained in this post, as well as some mood music in the form of an embedded mp3 to get you ready for Week 1 of the 2009 NFL season:

 

NFL Week 1 Preview

TV Schedule – Announcers – Kickoff Times

Point Spreads – Over-Unders – Spread Picks


nfl Week 1 Preview: tv schedule, announcers, point spreads, odds, over-unders,

Tennessee Titans (0-0) at Pittsburgh Steelers (0-0)

  • Titans-Steelers Date: Thursday, September 10th
  • Titans-Steelers TV & Kickoff Time: 8:30 ET on NBC
  • Titans-Steelers Location: Heinz Field in Pittsburgh
  • Titans-Steelers Announcers: Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth
  • Titans-Steelers Point Spread: PIT -5.5
  • Titans-Steelers Over-Under: 35
  • Titans-Steelers Prediction: The Steelers are at home and will be excited to begin their Super Bowl defense in front of the terrible towels. Tennessee is now without Albert Haynesworth and still does not have a legit outside threat to keep the vaunted Pittsburgh D honest. Titans-Steelers spread pick: PIT -5.5

Miami Dolphins (0-0) at Atlanta Falcons (0-0)

  • Dolphins-Falcons Date: Sunday, September 13th
  • Dolphins-Falcons TV & Kickoff Time: 1:00 ET on CBS
  • Dolphins-Falcons Location: Georgia Dome in Atlanta
  • Dolphins-Falcons Announcers: Greg Gumbel and Dan Dierdorf
  • Dolphins-Falcons Point Spread: ATL -4
  • Dolphins-Falcons Over-Under: 43.5
  • Dolphins-Falcons Prediction: One of the NFL’s two surprise teams from 2008 will being 2009 with a loss. Considering the Falcons have a stellar rookie QB with a year of experience and another weapon in Tony Gonzalez, while the Dolphins still are relying on Ted Ginn to be their #1 WR, I like the Falcons to win this one, but not easily. Dolphins-Falcons spread pick: MIA +4

Kansas City Chiefs (0-0) at Baltimore Ravens (0-0)

  • Chiefs-Ravens Date: Sunday, September 13th
  • Chiefs-Ravens TV & Kickoff Time: 1:00 ET on CBS
  • Chiefs-Ravens Location: M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore
  • Chiefs-Ravens Announcers: Ian Eagle and Rich Gannon
  • Chiefs-Ravens Point Spread: BAL-10.5
  • Chiefs-Ravens Over-Under: 37
  • Chiefs-Ravens Prediction: Kansas City will very likely be awful this year, with Matt Cassel already hurt and the O-line looking shaky. The Ravens have a more experienced Joe Flacco, a solid ground game, and a defense that wants to prove it was more than just Rex Ryan’s scheming. I think Baltimore continues its trend of having alternating good/bad seasons, but it won’t begin in Week 1. Chiefs-Ravens spread pick: BAL -10.5

Philadelphia Eagles (0-0) at Carolina Panthers (0-0)

  • Eagles-Panthers Date: Sunday, September 13th
  • Eagles-Panthers TV & Kickoff Time: 1:00 ET on FOX
  • Eagles-Panthers Location: Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte
  • Eagles-Panthers Announcers: Dick Stockton and Charles Davis
  • Eagles-Panthers Point Spread: PHI -1.5
  • Eagles-Panthers Over-Under: 43.5
  • Eagles-Panthers Prediction: This is a very intriguing matchup. Philly is trying to work Michael Vick into the lineup, but will have a few weeks not to worry about it while he is suspended. I think Donovan McNabb, usually a fast starter, uses these couple of weeks to assert himself and remind coaches and fans that he is the undisputed No. 1 QB. Plus, this will be the Philly defense’s first game without deceased former DC Jim Johnson, and I expect an inspired performance. And sorry Panthers, but your awful performance in the playoffs is still ringing in my head. Eagles-Panthers spread pick: Eagles -1.5

Denver Broncos (0-0) at Cincinnati Bengals (0-0)

  • Broncos-Bengals Date: Sunday, September 13th
  • Broncos-Bengals TV & Kickoff Time: 1:00 ET on CBS
  • Broncos-Bengals Location: Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati
  • Broncos-Bengals Announcers: Gus Johnson and Dan Fouts
  • Broncos-Bengals Point Spread: CIN -4
  • Broncos-Bengals Over-Under: 43.5
  • Broncos-Bengals Prediction: I am not bullish at all on the Broncos this season. I do, however, think the Bengals will rebound from last year to win 6 or 7 games at a minimum (as long as Carson Palmer stays healthy). Palmer should be healthy for Week 1, and despite my hatred for Cedric Benson, I don’t see the Broncos getting a road win in Josh McDaniels’ first game. I do, however, think the Broncos will play inspired and keep it close. Broncos-Bengals spread pick: Broncos +4

Minnesota Vikings (0-0) at Cleveland Browns (0-0)

  • Vikings-Browns Date: Sunday, September 13th
  • Vikings-Browns TV & Kickoff Time: 1:00 ET on FOX
  • Vikings-Browns Location: Cleveland Browns Stadium in Cleveland
  • Vikings-Browns Announcers: Thom Brennaman and Brian Billick
  • Vikings-Browns Point Spread: MIN -4
  • Vikings-Browns Over-Under: 40
  • Vikings-Browns Prediction: My heart is telling me to pull for the Browns, who obviously want to kick off 2009 on the right foot in front of the home fans. But as we saw with the Jets last year, Brett Favre will probably get off to a good start this season, and the Browns have not yet proven they can put consistent pressure on the passer or stop the run. That’s a bad combo against Brett Favre and Adrian Peterson. I hope I’m wrong, but doubt it. Vikings-Browns spread pick: Vikings -4

New York Jets (0-0) at Houston Texans (0-0)

  • Jets-Texans Date: Sunday, September 13th
  • Jets-Texans TV & Kickoff Time: 1:00 ET on CBS
  • Jets-Texans Location: Reliant Stadium in Houston
  • Jets-Texans Announcers: Jim Nantz and Phil Simms
  • Jets-Texans Point Spread: HOU -4.5
  • Jets-Texans Over-Under: 43.5
  • Jets-Texans Prediction: Houston is, once again, a trendy pick to make the playoffs this year. The Jets have a rookie QB and a rookie head coach, which prior to last year suggested struggles. But I am still not a total believer in Houston, and I think the Jets’ D has a chance to be among the league’s best with Rex Ryan at the helm. Houston may win this game, but not by more than a field goal. Jets-Texans spread pick: Jets +4.5

Jacksonville Jaguars (0-0) at Indianapolis Colts (0-0)

  • Jaguars-Colts Date: Sunday, September 13th
  • Jaguars-Colts TV & Kickoff Time: 1:00 ET on CBS
  • Jaguars-Colts Location: Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis
  • Jaguars-Colts Announcers: Kevin Harlan and Solomon Wilcots
  • Jaguars-Colts Point Spread: IND -7
  • Jaguars-Colts Over-Under: 44.5
  • Jaguars-Colts Prediction: Peyton Manning and the Colts are going to want to come right out and show that their offense will not skip a beat without Tony Dungy and Marvin Harrison. With new RB Donald Brown ready to provide depth and explosiveness with the experienced but oft-injured Joseph Addai, I like the Colts’ chances to put up some points. I think the Jags will be better this year, and they always seem to play the Colts tough, but I think Indy pulls away in the second half. Jaguars-Colts spread pick: Colts -7

Detroit Lions (0-0) at New Orleans Saints (0-0)

  • Lions-Saints Date: Sunday, September 13th
  • Lions-Saints TV & Kickoff Time: 1:00 ET on FOX
  • Lions-Saints Location: The Superdome in New Orleans
  • Lions-Saints Announcers: Chris Myers and Trent Green
  • Lions-Saints Point Spread: NO -13
  • Lions-Saints Over-Under: 49
  • Lions-Saints Prediction: Detroit is coming off of an 0-16 season and spent their high draft picks on offense. Even though new head coach Jim Schwartz is a defensive guy, the Lions simply have not improved their personnel enough…certainly not enough to contain what will prove to be the NFL’s most prolific offense in 2009. I think the Lions come out an inspired and keep this game close early, but Drew Brees and the Saints will rack up points and pull away in the second half. Lions-Saints spread pick: NO -13

nfl Week 1 Preview: tv schedule, announcers, point spreads, odds, over-unders,
Dallas Cowboys (0-0) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-0)

  • Cowboys-Buccaneers Date: Sunday, September 13th
  • Cowboys-Buccaneers TV & Kickoff Time: 1:00 ET on FOX
  • Cowboys-Buccaneers Location: Raymond James Stadium in Tampa
  • Cowboys-Buccaneers Announcers: Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston, and Tony Siragusa
  • Cowboys-Buccaneers Point Spread: DAL -5.5
  • Cowboys-Buccaneers Over-Under: 39
  • Cowboys-Buccaneers Prediction: I have been telling anyone who will listen that I like the Cowboys this year. They will not be as exciting or dramatic as they were the last two seasons, but I think they will be better. Living in Dallas, it is easy to see the difference in focus between this year and last year. Tampa Bay has a new coach, a recycled QB, and a completely new identity on defense. Home or not, the Bucs don’t have what it takes to hang with a talented team that wants to make a Week 1 statement. Cowboys-Buccaneers spread pick: DAL -5.5

San Francisco 49ers (0-0) at Arizona Cardinals (0-0)

  • 49ers-Cardinals Date: Sunday, September 13th
  • 49ers-Cardinals TV & Kickoff Time: 4:15 ET on FOX
  • 49ers-Cardinals Location: University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale
  • 49ers-Cardinals Announcers: Sam Rosen and Tim Ryan
  • 49ers-Cardinals Point Spread: ARI -6.5
  • 49ers-Cardinals Over-Under: 46.5
  • 49ers-Cardinals Prediction: The 49ers are another team I am bullish on in 2009, and I think they have a good chance, like the Cowboys, to be a non-playoff team from 2008 that makes it in 2009. We all know how much the Super Bowl loser struggles the next year, and I see no reason not to expect a similar hangover for the Cardinals who, remember, were only 9-7 in the regular season last year. The 49ers play well with Shaun Hill at QB and I think they actually grind out a win this Sunday. Either way, they keep it close enough to cover. 49ers-Cardinals spread pick: 49ers +6.5

Washington Redskins (0-0) at New York Giants (0-0)

  • Redskins-Giants Date: Sunday, September 13th
  • Redskins-Giants TV & Kickoff Time: 4:15 ET on FOX
  • Redskins-Giants Location: Giants Stadium in New York
  • Redskins-Giants Announcers: Joe Buck and Troy Aikman
  • Redskins-Giants Point Spread: NYG -6.5
  • Redskins-Giants Over-Under: 37
  • Redskins-Giants Prediction: Washington typically starts out well before fading late, and Jason Campbell has had a couple of good starts in the preseason. The Giants have an incredible defense, and will put lots of pressure on Campbell, but are still struggling to find continuity between Eli Manning and his receivers. This is a division game that will be hard-fought and close, and while the Giants probably pull out a victory, I think it will be by a field goal or less. Redskins-Giants spread pick: WAS +6.5

St. Louis Rams (0-0) at Seattle Seahawks (0-0)

  • Rams-Seahawks Date: Sunday, September 13th
  • Rams-Seahawks TV & Kickoff Time: 4:15 ET on FOX
  • Rams-Seahawks Location: Qwest Field in Seattle
  • Rams-Seahawks Announcers: Ron Pitts and John Lynch
  • Rams-Seahawks Point Spread: SEA -8
  • Rams-Seahawks Over-Under: 41
  • Rams-Seahawks Prediction: A lot of people are high on the Seahawks this season, but I am not one of them. And while the Rams were beyond awful last year, a lot of that was because of injury. Every report out of Rams' camp has been glowing regarding the players’ willingness to embrace new coach Steve Spagnuolo, and I think running back Steven Jackson will be on a mission (until he gets hurt) to prove that he is a forgotten star in this league. I definitely would take the over, but Matt Hasselback’s creaky back and the absence of Walter Jones has me reluctant to predict Seattle to win by more than a touchdown, if they win at all. Rams-Seahawks spread pick: STL +8

Chicago Bears (0-0) at Green Bay Packers (0-0)

  • Bears-Packers Date: Sunday, September 13th
  • Bears-Packers TV & Kickoff Time: 8:30 ET on NBC
  • Bears-Packers Location: Lambeau Field in Green Bay
  • Bears-Packers Announcers: Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth
  • Bears-Packers Point Spread: GB -3.5
  • Bears-Packers Over-Under: 46.5
  • Bears-Packers Prediction: What a great game to have on the first Sunday night of the season. The Packers ran circles around their preseason opponents, with Aaron Rodgers and Greg Jennings looking like the NFL’s next great QB-WR duo. I also expect a solid season from Ryan Grant and an improved Packers’ D. The Bears have been one of the marquee stories of the offseason with Jay Cutler now at the helm and an emerging superstar in the backfield in Matt Forte. The Bears will clearly will be better this season, but not good enough to beat the Packers at Lambeau in Week 1. Are they good enough to keep it really close though? Yes they are. A Mason Crosby field goal wins it late for Green Bay, but the Bears cover. Bears-Packers spread pick: CHI +3.5

Buffalo Bills (0-0) at New England Patriots (0-0)

  • Bills-Patriots Date: Monday, September 14th
  • Bills-Patriots TV & Kickoff Time: 7:00 ET on ESPN
  • Bills-Patriots Location: Gillette Stadium in Foxboro
  • Bills-Patriots Announcers: Mike Tirico, Ron Jaworski, and Jon Gruden
  • Bills-Patriots Point Spread: NE -10.5
  • Bills-Patriots Over-Under: 47.5
  • Bills-Patriots Prediction: Buffalo is in absolute disarray right now. Marshawn Lynch is suspended, the offensive line has five starters in new positions, T.O. is having toe problems, and Dick Jauron recently fired OC Turk Schoenert. With very little continuity, how in the hell are the Bills going to keep up with Tom Brady, Randy Moss, Wes Welker, Joey Galloway, Sammy Morris, Fred Taylor, and the rest of the Patriots’ sterling offense? New England does have question marks on D, but Buffalo is not good enough to take advantage and outscore Brady and Co. Bills-Patriots spread pick: NE -10.5

San Diego Chargers (0-0) at Oakland Raiders (0-0)

  • Chargers-Raiders Date: Monday, September 14th
  • Chargers-Raiders TV & Kickoff Time: 10:15 ET on ESPN
  • Chargers-Raiders Location: Oakland Coliseum in Oakland
  • Chargers-Raiders Announcers: Mike Greenberg, Mike Golic, and Steve Young
  • Chargers-Raiders Point Spread: SD -9
  • Chargers-Raiders Over-Under: 43
  • Chargers-Raiders Prediction: Oh Lord. The Raiders looked absolutely awful against the Saints during the preseason, and have given fans little hope that they will be better in 2009. I think the Chargers may fly under the radar somewhat this season, and that it could finally be the year they break through and make it to a Super Bowl. They certainly are not going to get tripped up in Oakland, with Philip Rivers and LaDainian Tomlinson both getting off to great starts. I foresee a boring laugher of a game, and it has nothing to with morning tools Mike and Mike being in the booth. Chargers-Raiders spread pick: SD -9
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