Predicting NFL games is folly. It's even worse when it comes to the first game of the season when one of the teams has a new coach with a new offensive scheme and the other has variables such as a possible Super Bowl hangover and the loss of two of its best players.
But picking games is one of the obligations of being a blogger. So here goes with an analysis that is short on specifics and long on gut feeling:
But, still, the Giants are very good. They did not come out of absolutely nowhere to win the Super Bowl. They have won 29 games the past three seasons and made the playoffs in each of those years. While they don't have any players who are among the truly elite at their positions, they have a lot of very good players.
The New York offensive line is emblematic of the team. They don't have any household names lining up there but there are no weak links, either.
With the loss of Strahan and Umenyiora, the Giants' defensive line is in the same boat, although Justin Tuck could be a star.
I see the respective Giants lines controlling their Washington counterparts. And, thank you Captain Obvious, that should allow the home team to control the game.
The Skins' puncher's chance comes from the fact that nobody knows what the Jim Zorn offense really looks like and what tweaks Greg Blache will make to the defense. The element of surprise could work to their advantage. A few big plays and a few takeaways would give the Redskins a shot (thanks again, Captain).
Right now, the Giants are the better team. The Redskins could be good. They want to be very good. They aren't there yet. Throw in the fact that the game is in Giants stadium and you come up with:
Giants 24, Redskins 17