2010 NFL Season: Week 1 Predictions
Well folks, this is it. Times they are a changin', and a lockout is a very realistic possibility following this 2010 NFL season.
That is why this season will be so exciting. Football fans are not sure what will have happened by this time next year.
What will you be doing in Sept if the NFL is locked out? You can't sort through fantasy drafts or look to Vegas oddsmakers.
You can't argue with your friends or have every Thursday night/SunDay/Monday night planned out ahead of time.
Or my personal favorite, planning a vacation with your significant other to a destination specifically to watch a game, but she thinks its to go shopping. *sigh* the sacrifices we men make.
As the NHL and MLB has shown us, a lockout can be a crippling experience for a leagues fan base. But somehow, I think the NFL will be alright. Football has become America's pastime, and has built a stronger base than any sport in N.America. That is why this season will be so important for not just the players and owners, but the fans who live and die by their teams wins and losses (of the covering of the spread).
With that being said, lets look at week one of the 2010 NFL season.
Minnesota @ New Orleans -6.0
The season starts off with a re-match of last years NFC Championship game and the Saints will look to earn the same result.
Minnesota was able to entice Brett Favre out of retirement yet again but if the team is hanging on Favre re-creating another magical season as he pushes 41, they've made a serious error in judgment. The team is without their breakout receiver from a year ago, and will have to rely even more heavily on Adrian Peterson to carry the load.
Meanwhile the Saints have the majority of their Super Bowl team intact and start the season as favorites to repeat. The defense will smell blood in the air and try to knock Favre back into retirement.
Playing in the SuperDome, take the Saints and the points
Atlanta -2.5 @ Pittsburgh
Everyone will look to Roethlisberger's suspension and give up on the team right there, but the best thing to happen to Steeltown may have been Bryon Leftwich's injury. I've always liked Dennis Dixon, and think he should have gotten more love in training camp.
The Falcons seem to be an every other year team, and guess what, this is one of the every other years.
So, even with the man with the million dollar hair back to energize the Steelers D, they ultimately need a few weeks to round into shape.
Atlanta steals a close one by 3.
Carolina @ N.Y Giants -7
Carolina can run, but can they pass?
Well they've certainly passed the mantle to Matt Moore, and early word is, the guy's got game. He also seems to have chemistry with #1 receiver Steve Smith, which can't hurt.
Meanwhile the Giants were a disaster on defence last year, but look to turn that around this year. Have they turned it around yet? I don't think so. I also don't think you should sleep on Carolina.
Seven points are much too high for week one, Carolina steals the spread -- but I'm not sure they'll steal the game.
Cincinnati @ New England -4.5
This may be the highest scoring game of week 1, and I'm not sure if that is because both offences should be great, or because both defences are suspect.
The story line will read: Carson Palmer bounces back with his new toys, and Tom Brady learns how to throw to tight ends.
Defences are delighted that they don't face these teams every week.
Cincinnati pulls the first upset (?) of the year.
Cleveland @ Tampa Bay -3
If you are in a Survivor Pool, then this game could make or break your season.
Tampa Bay has gone back to the Tony Dungy way of building a roster through the draft, and there is a lot of great talent on their roster. Problem is, its very young talent.
BTW- Love Mike Williams, LOVE him. If you're in a dynasty league - get him on your roster!
Meanwhile, Cleveland brought in the most hated man in the Carolinas' to rectify their QB problems: Jake Delhomme.
Obviously, Delhomme was only brought in to solidify the position until their unnamed, undrafted, QB of the future is ready.
The Browns make everyone forget Lebron --but only for 3 hrs.
Denver @ Jacksonville -2.5
Did you know that Tim Tebow reserved the website timtebow.com when he was a sophmore in high school? That was money well spent. And he is still a god in the state of Florida, especially the Jacksonville game where he's from. In fact the team had the chance to draft him, but passed. Put me in the group that agrees with that decision because I don't think he can be an NFL quarterback...Ever.
That being said, Tebow will get some touches in the wildcat type offence, and he will probably find the endzone a few times this season.
Jacksonville can only go as far as the legs of MJD will take them, which won't be the playoffs, but will be victory in week 1.
Detroit @ Chicago -6
Detroit is my up and coming team, even though half the country has already said this. Matthew Stafford is the real deal; it was evident back at Georgia and he's only getting better.
Ndamukong Suh was the best player in college last year, and it was a CRIME that he didn't win the Heisman.
The offence is getting better, the defense is developing, and the team is finally turning things around. No surprise to me that it coincided with the end of the Matt Millen era.
The Bears have Mike Martz and Jay Cutler, I like Detroit to win straight up!
Indianapolis -3 @ Houston
A few weeks ago, I believed this to be Houston's year in the AFC South. Now, I'm not so sure Indy's time is up.
Can you really bet against Peyton Manning in week 1? After coming off a super bowl loss? I mean you know he's gonna be pissed off, there's no way Peyton loses two in a row, right?
On the other side, has there been a player that has risen faster from obscurity than Arian Foster? He has 54 career rushes and he's already vastly overrated (at least in fantasy circles).
I'll have to see it to believe it, Indy wins by 10.
Miami -3 @ Buffalo
Miami is another young team on the rise, and I like their roster, even the Brandon Marshall trade. They are a little young on defense, but bringing in Karlos Dansby was a smart move to show the kids how to win.
Buffalo has C.J Spiller, and he will quiet all of his critics early and often, but cannot to it alone. I mean, the team has to play games in Canada, how seriously can they be taken?
Miami stomps Buffalo before the snows come.
Oakland @ Tennessee -6.5
Oakland is another one of my surprise teams, and there is hope now that they have a legitimate QB.
Don't expect Jason Campbell to move mountains, but if he can ever run the same offence in consecutive years -- Watch Out!
Michael Bush needs to stay healthy or McFadden needs to show the ability that made him an annual Heisman candidate. Unless those things happen, Oakland can't do much better than .500.
No matter how much you like Chris Johnson, the Titans will rise and fall as does Vince Young. He'll have good games and bad games, but can't hand the ball off every play.
Oakland covers the spread and I like them to pull the first legitimate upset of the day.
Arizona -4 @ St.Louis
If you couldn't forsee Arizona releasing Matt Leinart, then you don't know anything about football. He was a product of an incredibly talented college team, that's it. Any number of quarterbacks could have done the same, or better in that situation. The biggest surprise to me, was that the team waited so long to do this.
Is Derek Anderson better? maybe. Is Fitzgerald happy? probably not. Can the team still come together to beat St. Louis? yes, but I'm not sure how many more wins the Cards can muster.
Quick - can you name Sam Bradford's starting receivers? I couldn't. And that means teams will stack the line against Steven Jackson again this year.
Arizona wins ugly, but they don't cover.
Green Bay -3 @ Philadelphia
The Kevin Kolb era beings in Philly, and the McNabb era begins in Washington. On one side, I'm not a fan of the switch, but on the other side I believe it had to be done. Kolb has a great arm, and has been accurate at every level.
The question is how much slack will the Philly faithful give him? My guess is not much, especially if McNabb wins in his debut against the Cowboys.
Green Bay looked dominant again this preseason, and will try to continue that trend into the regular season unlike last year.
Aaron Rogers hasn't made anyone in Wisconsin forget about Brett Favre, but he has certainly gained their trust. Kolb won't have much time to gain that same kind of trust.
Green Bay wins easy.
San Francisco -3 @ Seattle
If I had a lock of the week, this is it. I have no faith in the Seahawks this year, and I don't know how anyone else can either.
Matt Hasselbeck is like Sean Penn -- he's a dead man walking behind Seattle's offensive line. There's not much else to say, they're horrible. We'll see what ideas Pete Carroll has for this team in the future, but right now, he can't expect much.
San Fran is a team on the way up. Their rough patches are in the past and the only question is can Alex Smith step up with the big boys and claim his spot as an undisputed starting quarterback. This game is his first step.
San Fran blows out the Hawks.
Dallas -3.5 @ Washington
In what may be the game of the week, there are tons of storylines to watch for here. The McNabb era begins in Washington, the revolving door of the old age home that is the skins backfield, will Haynesworth shut his mouth and do his job? Was the Cowboys preseason record reflective of the team? Can Dallas take advantage of all that talent? Or will it self destruct? And will Jerry Jones overreact to an 0-1 start?
I don't have answers to many of those questions, but I do think Dallas gets his head screwed on straight and gets the job done on the road.
Washington will keep this game close, and challenge for a wildcard spot until the end of the season, but Dallas draws first blood in the division.
Baltimore @ N.Y Jets -2
First off, allow me to say that I don't think the J-E-T-S are as good as they think they are. Sanchez didn't look comfortable at times last season, and I don't think he has the fiery confidence of a team leader yet. Thomas Jones is out, LT is in; and as much as I liked and respected Jones, his production has to fall off sooner than later, while I think LT will be mildly rejuvenated and still has something left in the tank.
The teams defence will keep them in most games, so is will certainly be an interesting team to follow.
Baltimore is built to win Now. Today more than ever; the T.J Houshmandzadeh signing proved that. Flacco has a bunch of respectable receivers to throw to, and a legitimate running game to keep defences honest.
I like the Jets here, but I don't feel confident about this game at all.
San Diego -5.5 @ Kansas City
Welcome to prime time Malcolm Floyd.
In case you didn't know, Floyd will start the year as the #1 receiver for Phillip Rivers who not so quietly emerged as a premier quarterback. With Vincent Jackson essentially blackballing his stock for a trade or a signing, the Chargers air attack has lost a step from last years resurgence. For that reason, I am heavily invested in Antonio Gates for my fantasy team, I see a monster season coming for him.
While its never easy to play in Arrowhead against the Chiefs, it has become much easier lately. If that is to change, Kansas City has to do something about their defence (but i love the Dexter McCluster draft pick - you can line him up anywhere and its going to be fun to watch).
San Diego covers the spread, but doesn't win by as much as you think.
Of course these are only my views on week 1 of the NFL schedule and any predictions should not be used for gambling purposes because they are just glorified guesses.
Leave a comment on what you think will happen.