Football season is finally right around the corner, and quite frankly, I can't wait. There are so many story lines this year, with T.O. and Ochocinco in Cincinnati, the Saints coming off their Super Bowl Win, Tim Tebow as an NFL player are just a few. There is no doubt that this year is going to be an exciting one.
Every Sunday, I watch NFL Live on ESPN when they pick the winners of every game, and I always think, "Man, I could do that." So this year, I will.
Every week I'll have my predictions and my records so I can compare them to the NFL Live experts.
Yes, this will be a task with a lot of arguements and a debate going on every week, but I feel like someone should do this, so why shouldn't I?
Seems like a good enough reason.
So, without further ado, here are my week one predictions.
The season starts off with a great match up and a rematch of last season's NFC Championship game. The thriller from last season will still be fresh in the mind of all the Vikings, especially Brett Favre.
If he's on the field.
However, Favre or not, I like the Saints in this one. There won't be a "Super Bowl Hangover" in New Orleans, and the Saints offense will get it done.
The T.O. era in Buffalo is gone, so the Bills can go back to being a team with no press or national prestige and a decent team.
For me, I like the Wildcat in this game. The Dolphins are the most creative and the best at running it, so with a whole off-season to work with, I think they'll have a couple good plays to run with.
That, and the Dolphins are a better team, especially with the addition of Brandon Marshall.
I can't wait to see Ndamakung Suh plug up wholes in the NFL for the Lions next season, and this will be the first chance to do so. This is Matt Stafford's second year under center for Detroit so, barring a sophomore slump, he can only improve on last year's performance.
As for the Bears, I think their success rides on how well Jay Cutler can perform. I keep hearing how talented he is and how much he will improve from last year, but I don't see it happening next season.
All I've heard from Raiders' experts this year is optimism. Obviously, the transition from Jason Campbell to Jamarcus Russel will only help them, and a breath of fresh air for Oakland will be a great thing.
But they're still the Raiders.
I like Tennessee to come in and run all over the Raiders. Vince Young is a mediocre NFL quarterback at best, but they still have Chris Johnson and a pretty good defense.
Personally, I like Owens in Cincinnati with Chad Ochocinco, and I think the Bengals will end up in the playoffs at the end of the season. They're defense was much improved last season, and Owens will help their passing game that was sometimes no where to be found. (I would know, Carson Palmer was on my fantasy team.)
But the Patriots are still the Patriots, and they will be motivated after a sub par season for them last year. Tom Brady will have no more excuses after having a full season under his belt after surgery, and he won't need any.
I'm not buying the quarterback situation in Carolina. In the NFL, you have to have a great leader at quarterback if you're going to be successful, and the Panthers will not have that, especially if Jimmy Clausen starts next year. We all know what happened to Clausen on bad teams (see his first two years at Notre Dame.)
As for the Giants, last year was a big dissapointment. The defense is too good, Brandon Jacobs is too good, and Eli Manning is too good to be that bad again. Look for New York to come into the season with a chip on their shoulder.
Bold prediction: Matt Ryan becomes a top 10 quarterback in the NFL this year.
That and Michael Turner on the same side of the football will be a formula for a great season in Atlanta.
And for Pittsburgh, I have to see if Troy Palamalu can come back to shape after his injuries last season. Obviously, the Stellers' defense is not the same without him. So, if he's not back to 100%, they will not be able to overcome the loss of Roethlisberger for the first six games.
This was probably one of the worst summers in a Cleveland sports fans' life. However, the Browns will make it a little better when they beat the NFL's worst rush defense from last year.
Kyle Orton was already an average NFL quarterback at best, and he lost his favorite target in Brandon Marshall this summer. So, his numbers will not be as good this year despite another year of experience. Eventually, I think he'll be replaced by Brady Quinn.
Jacksonville usually is the team that challenges the Colts in the AFC South, but last year they fell off a little bit. Look for them to get them a little more competitive this season, and another good season from Maurice Jones-Drew.
Bold prediction: this will be the best season in Peyton Manning's career.
After losing last year's Super Bowl, the Colts will have a chip on their shoulder and will have another great regular season. As long as Manning is at quarterback, the Colts will be a lock for atleast 10 wins. That and the deepest wide receiving corps in the league will lead to another great season for Indianaplis.
Sorry Houston, you are a team on the rise and I really like what you're doing. I promise I'll pick you later in the season, just not against Peyton in week one.
@Pete_Carroll: Thank God Seattle offered me a job so I could leave before people found out about the Reggie Bush situation.
Okay, that wasn't a real tweet, settle down. However, I do think that Carroll can do a good job as an NFL coach in Seattle. He's on a team with a good core and an experienced quarterback.
Just not this week.
I love what Mike Singletary did in San Francisco. He completely changed the outlook and attitude of this team and I love the new 49ers.
Sorry Kolb, but you will not be striking that pose too often this season. I do not get the McNabb trade. If you have an experienced, successful, veteran quarterback like him, don't trade him.
So, here's my revenge on you, Eagles, I'm picking the Packers to beat you.
Aaron Rodgers is quickly coming into his own in the NFL and another year just means more improvement for him and Green Bay.
Bad news: The Cardinals will not be the same team without Kurt Warner.
Good news: They play St. Louis in week one.
I thought it was funny that when I typed in Tony Romo, this picture was the first one that popped up. So I put it on here.
Fortunately for Cowboy fans, he will be ready despite all the golf he did this off season. I think this game will be a shootout, and Romo will play a good game and start off what will be a good season for him.
Unfortunately for Cowboy fans, they will fall short in week one. The new Donavon McNabb led Redskins are ready to finally be successful. Albert Haynesworth will stop being a distraction and start living up to that huge contract he signed, and the Redskins will win this match up.
Ed Reed, like Troy Palamalu of the Steelers, has to show me that he can come back from this injury and be the player that he was. Without him, the Ravens are not the same team.
I think he will do that, but the Jets are my Super Bowl favorite for next season. I think the way they play on defense and a year of experience will prove to be a formula for a great season in 2010.
Winner: J-E-T-S Jets, Jets, Jets
The Chargers are another team that I really like heading into this season. Phillip Rivers leads a very talented team and I think they'll have a great year. The one thing, though, that I have to see is how they'll be without LaDanian Tomlinson. I know that he wasn't that big of a contributor but he was still a veteran leader on the team. Ryan Matthews and Darren Sproles have big shoes to fill.
As for the Chiefs, I still haven't bought into the Matt Cassell plan. How can one good year on a very good team prove that he has what it takes to turn this mediocre team around? It doesn't.