2008 NFL Kickoff Weekend: The Road to Super Bowl XLIII Starts Here

Mike CraigCorrespondent IAugust 31, 2008

That is right, the NFL season is almost under way. Thursday, September 4th is the first game of the regular season.

If anybody is pumped, its me. There are so many things to be excited about and watch out for.

For example: 'How well is Brett Favre going to do as a Jet?' Or how 'bout 'can the Patriots do it again?' So many questions to be answered.

Well I assure you, we will find out in the next couple of months. After all, the playoffs are only 4 months away. Not only will we get to see the same old teams that usually do well compete at their high levels that they always do, we also get to see if any teams have improved themselves any.

Being that the season hasn't started yet, its hard to predict the first week.

Yes, you have the Pre-Season and what not, but the truth is, the Pre-Season isn't too much to go off of. Kind of like a teaser but not the whole thing. So for this first week of predicting, its going to be the Pre-Season mixed with how the teams performed last season.

That is how I will make my predictions accordingly.

Thursday, September 4th, 2008
Washington Redskins @ New York Giants
7:00 PM EST.
Both the Washington Redskins and the New York Giants finished strong last season. The Redskins fought hard towards the end of the season to get them a spot in the playoffs. As for the Giants, they upset both the Cowboys and the Packers to make it to the Super Bowl. There they made an even bigger upset by beating the undefeated New England Patriots. I expect this to be a really great start off to the 2008 NFL Season.

Pick: Giants win a close one.

Sunday, September 7th, 2008
Detroit Lions @ Atlanta Falcons
1:00 PM EST.
Here are two teams that have been having some bad luck the past couple of years. The Atlanta Falcons have a new starting quarterback in rookie Matt Ryan. As for the Lions, they have Jon Kitna, who has led the league in quarterbacks sacked the most in the 2006 and 2007 season. Kitna promised a 10-6 season last year. The Lions did NOT have that however at the beginning of the season, it was looking like they would.

Pick: Falcons win a nail bitter

Cincinnati Bengals @ Baltimore Ravens 1:00 PM EST.
An AFC North battle to start the NFL season. The two teams who were at the bottom of the AFC Northlast season while both the Browns and Steelerswere 10-6. The Bengals are and complete mess with everything thatsbeen going on. Hopefully Carson Palmer can hook up withwide receivers TJ Houshmandzadeh and Chad Ocho Cinco for some big gains. Otherwise, we might see whatever improvements that the Ravens have made come to life.

Pick: Ravens win

Seattle Seahawks @ Buffalo Bills 1:00 PM EST.
So what is going on with the Seattle Seahawks. I can assure you that Mike Holmgreen is going to try and make his last season in the NFL as a head coach the best one he has ever had. And the Bills? Have they even been in any discussions this off-season? Apparently they didn't do too much to improve their team from last season. Can't blame them though, why try to make your team better when the Patriots are probably sitting there recording everything you do?

Pick: Seahawks destroy the Bills.

New York Jets @ Miami Dolphins 1:00 PM EST.
Now here is a game that EVERYONE is going to be paying attention to and I will tell you why. In order to start this right, you have to start with the New York Jets. During the off-season, they did SO much to improve their team.


Well because un-like the Bills, they actually want to beat the Patriots. The Jets acquired TE Bubba Franks, G Alan Faneca, and of course, QB Brett Favre. Upon getting Brett Favre, they released Chad Pennington. Guess where good 'ole Chad went. The Miami Dolphins decided it was time for a new quarterback as well. So once Pennington was released from the Jets, the Dolphins snagged him up. That sneaky Bill Parcells. Miami yet just another project of his and judging by the past projects of Parcells', we should expect to see a decent team in the Dolphins this year. However, not enough for the 2008 NFL season yet.

Pick: Jets win

Kansas City Chiefs @ New England Patriots 1:00 PM EST.
Honestly, I have to say its not going to be too hard to predict this one. Not even sure if I have to explain anything, but I'll try. The New England Patriots havn't done too much along the lines of change anything about their team. QB Tom Brady is expected to start the regular season game, and of course nothing bad happened to WR Randy Moss. Look out Chiefs, this could be a long day.

Pick: Patriots win in blowout fashing

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ New Orleans Saints 1:00 PM EST.
Hmmm, not sure I understand this one. Jeff Garcia or Brett Favre? Well Tampa Bay, you picked Garcia so lets see how he does. The Saints have made some improvements to their already talented squad. Even without Jeremy Shockey, the Saints looked like they could have been a team that would make the playoffs in 2008. Now QB Drew Brees has another target to throw to in TE Jeremy Shockey.

Pick: Saints win

St. Louis Rams @ Philadelphia Eagles 1:00 PM EST.
Here are two teams that were good in 2006, or at least decent, and then in 2007 showed ummm...what? The Rams were plauged with injuries and same goes for the Eagles. Now everybody seems healthy. Expect this to be a good close game.

Pick: Eagles win a close one

Houston Texans @ Pittsburgh Steelers 1:00 PM EST.
The Steelers ended their season with a 10-6 record. They held every opponent but one to under 100 rushing yards. The Steelers' season ended in the playoffs when the Jaguars beat them in a very close game. Though the Steelers Defense was insane last year when it came to the run, they couldn't stop Marice Jones-Drew and Fred Taylor.

As for the Houston Texans, they ended their season with an 8-8 record. Thats the best in this franchises short history. You should expect to see the Texans get better and better through out the years. However HB Ahman Green isn't gaining 100 yards on this Pittsburgh Defense.

Pick: Steelers win a close one

Jacksonville Jaguars @ Tennessee Titans 1:00 PM EST.
What do you get when you have a game with two quarterbacks that have good scrambling abilities? One hell of a game is the answer. This game will come down either teams offensive lines and the scrambling abilities of quarterbacks Vince Young of the Titans and David Garrard of the Jaguars.

Pick: Jaguars win a close one

Dallas Cowboys @ Cleveland Browns 4:15 PM EST.
So the Dallas Cowboys were among the elite in the NFC last year with the Green Bay Packers. Both teams got wiped out of the playoffs because of a surprising jolt of play from the New York Giants. 13-3, the Cowboys were expected to be the ones in the Super Bowl, not the New York Giants. As for the Browns, well they ended their season with a 10-6 record, so how come they wern't in the playoffs? Oh yeah, because the Steelers who also had a 10-6 record beat the Browns twice. So the Browns barley missed the playoffs.

With Tony Romo leading the Cowboys for yet another year, and with Terrell Owens still producing the numbers he does at his position, this should be a good game.

Pick: Cowboys win a nail bitter.

Carolina Panther @ San Diego Chargers 4:15 PM EST.
The Panthers had trouble at the quarterback position as QB Jake Delhomme was out all season with an injury. So who did the Panthers turn to at QB then? Well first they tried David Carr...yeah, I'll say it again, David Carr. He wasn't TOO bad when he played in Houston, but apparently with the way Houston is starting to play, David Carr was part of the problem, not the solution.

Then they turned to an old quarterback. Other than Brett Favre, who could I be talking about? Oh yeah, Intercept-a-verdie. Opps! I mean Vinnie Testerverdie. Vinnie did a better job that Carr, however, it wasn't enough. Hopefully, now that Delhomme is back, the Panthers will be a contending team again. As for the Chargers, they started out pretty bad last season too. However they came back and did end up making it tot he AFC Championship game where the Patriots barley beat them. This should be an interesting game to say the least.

Pick: Chargers win

Arizona Cardinals @ San Francisco 49ers 4:15 PM EST.
What?! Who threw this game in here? Isn't there anything better on? Oh opps, sorry Arizona and San Fran fans. Well get this, if you are an Arizona Cardinals fan, you might actually start to have something to cheer about. 49er fans, again, I'm sorry. So the 49ers may of had a good Pre-Season, but thats about it. Record doesn't matter in the Pre-Season. For those of you fans still waiting for the Joe Montana and Steve Young days to return so you can once again brag about the present instead of the past, you might have to wait a little bit longer. The Cardinals on the other hand are looking good. It may be hard to tell who the starting quarterback will be. Matt or Kurt? Who's going in coach?! But regardless, does it matter? Against the San Francisco 49ers, no.

Pick: Cardinals win

Chicago Bears @ Indianapolis Colts 8:15 PM EST.
I swear this game looks familiar. Oh, aside from the fact that the last time I remember when the Bears played the Colts, I didn't care what the out-come was. Oh yeah, that was Super Bowl XLI. Did anybody actually watch that Super Bowl? I mean why were the Bears there? Wow! Wasn't that the year that the 8-8 Packers beat the Bears the last game of the season 27-7? Wasn't starting QB Rex Grossman's QB Rating 0 in that game? I suppose that game was a sign of things to come for the Chicago Bears. Sorry, but Peyton Manning is expected to play, so Bears, you have no luck for this one.

Pick: Colts win

Monday, September 8th, 2008
Minnesota Vikings @ Green Bay Packers
7:00 PM EST.
Experience against Legendary teaching. Which one wins? Well considering QB Tarvaris Jackson hasn't started too many games and well QB Aaron Rodgers hasn't started any! The Vikings are the favorite to win the NFC North and the Packers being that they were 13-3 last season with Brett Favre, are expected to play second fiddle to the Vikings. This game will show us if the experts are really right in underestimating Aaron Rodgers. Expect to see more running from both teams as the Vikings have an amazing running back in Adrian Peterson, and the Packers should have a very healthy Ryan Grant.

Pick: Packers win a close one

Denver Broncos @ Oakland Raiders 10:15 PM EST.
The game that will end the first week of the 2008 regular season pits the Denver Broncos against the Oakland Raiders. Hmmm, couldn't they have come up with something better? Ah, oh well. Expect to see some improvement in the Raiders as they face the Broncos at home on Monday night. This one is going to be a lot closer than people think, and I think people are going to be surprised by the out come.

Pick: Raiders barely win

So there you have it. This of course is a bunch of guess work. Week 2 should be a lot better considering that Week 1 will give us all a look at how each team has changed since 2007.


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