Each week, I'm in a pick 'em league, where we use confidence points. So I'm going to share my picks with you in this space, and write a brief sentence or two regarding why I picked what I picked. I won't be doing spreads, if you want that, Bill Simmons has that covered (he's back!) I'll go with least confident, to most confident.
P.S. Don't read this if you're in my pick 'em league!
1 point - Oakland over Denver (home teams in italics)
I think Denver has settled into the role of constant mediocrity, and that scares me as they open the season on the road. I think Cutler will have a good year, but I'm not too sold on Selvin Young in the backfield. I'm not that high on the Raiders, either, but for some reason I see them taking this game.
2 points - Miami over New York Jets
All of Wisconsin's eyes are going to be locked in on this Sunday afternoon snoozer. Favre won't have a terrible year, but he won't have a great one either. Everyone wants to see Favre win his first game as a Jet (well, I don't), but let's not underestimate the Chad Pennington revenge factor.
3 points - Buffalo over Seattle
Seattle is overrated. Buffalo is underrated. I don't have a problem putting three points down on those two facts.
4 points - Houston over Pittsburgh
This is an upset pick, even though a lot of people are high on Houston, and down on Pittsburgh. You know, I'm not confident in this pick at all, especially with the Steelers at home. Maybe I'll change this one.
5 points - Philadelphia over St. Louis
I had this one rated higher for a while, but in contests like this, you can't always go with the crowd, and a lot of people were picking Philly. I'll still go with the Eagles, but just not with as many points
I'm giving St. Louis at least eight wins this year too, so don't be surprised if they rebound mightly from last year's joke of a season. Expect a good year from Bulger, too. Not 5th round in a fantasy draft good, but good nonetheless.
6 points - New Orleans over Tampa Bay
Tampa Bay is garbage. New Orleans will be jacked in front of however many fans show up. Sidenote—You know the people that go to games with paper bags over their heads? That got unfunny at least ten years ago.
7 points - Cleveland over Dallas
Everyone, even your mother, is predicting big things out of Dallas this year. I think they'll have a great year too, but will probably go into Cleveland a little too confident. I'm giving this one to the Browns, at home. Let's go Derek Anderson!
8 points - Arizona over San Francisco
It's not fair that one of these teams will walk away from Week One with a victory, it's just not.
9 points - Jacksonville over Tennessee
Expect another sneaky good year from Jacksonville. Besides Jimmy Smith though, has Jacksonville ever had a true No. 1 receiver? I'm not talking about Jerry Porter, either. They're good though, and the Titans are trash.
10 points - Green Bay over Minnesota
Originally, I had ranked this lower, because the league I'm in is full of Packer fans. So I'm sure many of them not only picked them to win, but picked them to win big. But then I decided there is no way the Packers are going to lose this game. Not Week One. Not at home. Not with Aaron Rodgers, who will shock the world this season. Yes, I'm a homer til the end, but I'd be shocked if Rodgers didn't have a big year, I really would.
11 points - Detroit over Atlanta
Rudi! Rudi! Rudi! You know, I picked these games two days ago, and now that I'm looking at them, I have no idea my reasoning behind my strategy. Maybe I should put more thought into these picks (this column).
12 points - New York Giants over Washington
Despite being the Super Bowl Champions, the Giants have a massive chip on their shoulder. I haven't even seen anyone pick them to go back to the NFC title game. There are still questions about Eli, and everyone is writing them off now that Osi is out for the year. But I see them coming out swinging tonight, and staying hot for much of the season.
13 points - Cincinnati over Baltimore
Half because I am riding Carson Palmer this year in fantasy, half because I think Baltimore sucks.
14 points - Indianapolis over Chicago
All this talk about Brady and Manning this pre-season, yet both are ready to go for Week One. You knew Peyton would play, he wants Favre's consecutive starts record more than anything. And by golly, if it takes him retiring from the Colts and playing with the Jets for a year, he'll do it.
15 points - San Diego over Carolina
This decision was actually weighted heavily by the absence of Steve Smith. I see a good year from the Panthers, but not in San Diego Week One.
16 points - New England over Kansas City
If I get this game wrong, then everything I know about sports is wrong.
Read more of this author's work over at The Bucky Channel.
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