Week one of the NFL season is the fabulous week when we really don't know much at all.
I can describe week one the best with a saying a high school history teacher once passed on to me:
"It's what you learn after you think you know it all that really counts."
I call week one the week of Frisman Jackson. For those of who you do not remember wide receiver Frisman Jackson, he had a career day in week one of the 2005 NFL season with the Cleveland Browns.
In week one, he had eight catches for 128 yards and a touchdown. For the rest of his career he would have sixteen more catches for 159 yards, and he would never find the end zone again.
Frisman Jackson was picked up in a ton of fantasy leagues after his week one performance, but by week four was all but a memory.
As always, Frisman, this week is dedicated to you.
These are just picks for leisure. Please do not use them as a gambling guide. While, I do like to bet and I do keep a score sheet against the spread, I prefer the over/under totals more than picking against the spread.
Here Are My Picks For Week One In The League Where The Leaves Are Still Green And Every Team Still Believes In The Dream:
Titans at Steelers
The Steelers really did not lose much from a team that was already pretty good to start.
There is one thing we know: The defending champion does not lose this game. Maybe it is because it starts on a weeknight and the visiting team’s schedule gets jostled, but the visiting team just looks uncomfortable.
I am not sure what the Titans will be this season. Their tremendous running attack is in tact, and if Kerry Collins can stay accurate there is no telling what this team could do. The key word in that last sentence was "if."
But until a defending champion falls on Thursday night, you have to go with the streak.
STEELERS 24, TITANS 13
Dolphins at Falcons
This is a battle of two teams that really took some of us by surprise last season.
This has the potential to be the best game of the week.
I like the Dirty Bird to fly over the original Wildcat.
FALCONS 20, DOLPHINS 14
Chiefs at Ravens
Matt Cassel will make some plays in his time with the Kansas City Chiefs. I just do not expect a lot of them will come in week one.
The Ravens' defense has lost a couple pieces, but the core is very much still on the field at M&T Bank Stadium.
RAVENS 20, CHIEFS 7
Broncos at Bengals
Does anyone else get that feeling that the Broncos may turn into the 49ers of the next decade? After all of that success over the years, is this when the Broncos fall from being competitive for a few years?
I am taking the Bengals, I will probably live to regret it. I will probably regret watching HBO's Hard Knocks with the Bengals and thinking that maybe they are not that poorly coached.
Bengals 27, Broncos 21
Jaguars at Colts
Ernest Wilford is going to make $7,000,000 this season. Here are his career stats.
That tells me what I needed to know about the Jags this season.
Peyton Manning and the Colts find ways to win; can you say that about this version of the Jaguars?
COLTS 24, JAGUARS 14
Vikings at Browns
Wow, how is this for an unexpectedly intriguing matchup. This week it was announced that when Brett Favre was a Jet, the team hid the fact that Favre was injured while starting the last five games with the Jets.
I wish they could have you bet on whether Favre and Mangini will shake hands after the game.
This week for an encore, Eric Mangini has hid the identity of his starting quarterback.
VIKINGS 27, BROWNS 17
Cowboys at Bucs
I do not think the Cowboys are destined for greatness, but with the Bucs passing game looking the way it does, that pirate ship in the end zone could be renamed the Bounty.
COWBOYS 20, BUCS 10
Jets at Texans
If this is finally going to be the year that the Houston Texans break through and go over .500 and look to make the playoffs, then they have to win this game. I do not know for sure, but I could see this game being a shootout.
Mark Sanchez may feel like he is back at USC for a minute. I do not think he will have that much trouble moving the football on Sunday.
TEXANS 31, JETS 28
Eagles at Panthers
This is one of those "close your eyes and duck" kind of games when it comes to predicting.
Are the Eagles as good as they are hyped to be? Will Donovan McNabb give us a consistent season where he throws more than a touchdown a game?
What effect if any will Jake Delhomme’s playoff disaster against the Cardinals have on his 2009 performance?
PANTHERS 21, EAGLES 20
49ers at Cardinals
The Cardinals were the feel good team of the NFL last season. After so many seasons of never being much of anything, they went on to win the NFC and went down to the wire in last year’s Super Bowl.
Last season, the Cardinals opened at the 49ers and won by 10. Who is more improved since then?
It took the Cardinals three playoff games to shake their losing reputation, but if they would fall in this game, that reputation can come back mighty quickly.
CARDINALS 27, 49ERS 16
Rams at Seahawks
Curb your enthusiasm on this one.
The Seahawks have built a nice receiving core with the signing of TJ Houshmanzadeh.
Maybe the Rams can trade for one. Wow, the Rams receiving group is as no-name as you will find.
SEAHAWKS 24, RAMS 14
Redskins at Giants
Last season, the same two teams kicked off the season at the same location.
This year there will be no banner ceremony before this game.
The Redskins managed only seven points apiece in their two meetings with the Giants last year. I think they will reach double figures on Sunday, but the result will not change.
GIANTS 17, REDSKINS 13
Bears at Packers
This game has the cachet of a great defensive matchup.
But, those days of Butkus and Adderley are long gone when it comes to these two legendary rivals.
Green Bay has an Arena Football League Two team; they may get them confused with the Packers as I foresee a shootout on Sunday night at Curly Lambeau’s field.
PACKERS 34, BEARS 24
Bills at Patriots
I was thinking that this game had the potential of being pretty close. But, then Terrell Owens spoke.
Bill Belichick will never say a peep about this to anyone outside of his close quarters, but his players will know all about it. I would expect the 2007 run-up-the-score Patriots to make an appearance at least for this night. Welcome back, Mr. Brady.
PATRIOTS 38, BILLS 17
Chargers at Raiders
If you look deep enough into the Black Hole you might find Richard Seymour.
But, if you look up at the Raiders' side of the scoreboard late on Monday night, the point total may not change that much.
CHARGERS 28, RAIDERS 10
SEASON RECORD 0-0
The Perfect Season.