I asked Thomas Deja of Better In The Dark to make some picks for our Geeks Of Gridiron NFL pick ’em. He gave me this gold. Way too good not to post.
Cowboys Vs. Giants
And so the traditional Super Bowl Champions Hosted Kick Off Game features one of the most notorious rivalries in the NFL. The two defenses are pretty evenly matched, but the fact that Big Blue’s core defense remains makes me think the good-but-shaky Cowboys offense will have trouble scoring. And the Giants offense may have gone through some changes, but the important parts–an elite quarterback named Manning primary among them–makes for a definite imbalance that will give the Giants a dominant opening night performance….
And that’s not even talking about the tangibles that will tip this over to the Giants (and don’t think this is because I am a New Yorker; my allegiance runs Green, Not Blue). Here’s a Super Bowl Championship team that’s had their deserved limelight stolen from them by the Jets acquisition of Football Jeebus his own self. That’s bound to give the Giants a massive chip on their shoulder…and they play much better with a chip on their shoulder. That hunger to show up their co-tenants at The Stadium I Refuse To Call Metlife will add a little fuel to the offensive fire, resulting in the Giants stomping on the ‘Boys easily. Let’s say 31-14.
Sunday Games–1 p.m.
Colts Vs. Bears
This could be a one-sided murder party…or it could be a really suspenseful little game. Andrew Luck has proven to be better than expected, and the Colts as a whole performed above what we assumed. And the Bears are pretty damn solid with a pretty damn solid quarterback and some good offensive weapons. I’m going to err on a low-scoring duel, but the Bears will win out at 14-10.
Eagles Vs. Browns
This one could be tricky. Here’s the thing….everyone is claiming that the Iggles are going to be Super Bowl bound, that on paper they’re the strongest team in the NFC, that there’s no way anyone can stop them.
Eeeeexcept…I think a whole lot of this is predicated on Michael Vick staying healthy, and Michael Vick has never. Stayed. Healthy. Hell, people, he got injured twice this preseason. I can just see Philadelphia fall apart at the seams before the end of the season, either scraping to the sixth seed of the playoffs or missing the playoffs entirely due to Vick being out for another couple of weeks. Which is why I think they should be thankful they’ve been matched up this week with Cleveland, who’s going to be downright terrible. The Eagles should trample the Browns underfoot, putting on a show that’ll convince their fans they may be an elite team this year until The Vick Injury Follies begins. This’ll be a massacre, to the point where I doubt that the Browns will even get a touchdown. I’ll be charitable to Cleveland and say 24-6.
Rams Vs. Lions
I am really pulling for the Lions. Stafford continues to prove that he’s the real thing, he’s throwing to Megatron, the defense kicks ass in alphabetical order. If they are to make the playoffs, it’s essential they win games like this, which should be walks through the park. However, if the Rams offense takes to the new schemes of offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, they might make the Lions swear. I’m thinking 14-7 when all is said and done.
Dolphins Vs. Texans
I am unapologetic in my like of this Houston team. This is a hardcore defensive team with a really great quarterback who, while injury prone, is backed up by an equally good back-up, and some exceptional offensive weapons. Plus, they have the O-Line Busting Terror that is J.J. Watt; one of my hopes for this season is seeing Watt standing over the broken body of that Pretty Boy, Cry Baby Quarterback up in Foxboro when the two teams meet later in the season.
And on the other end is…well, The Dolphins. The Dolphins are pretty much destined to dwell in the basement of the AFC East, and they’re a total mess led by one of those trendy rookie quarterbacks. Never mind that this rookie quarterback will be behind what I fear will be a swiss-cheese-porous offensive line that will crumble under Watt and his fellow defensemen. This is not going to end well for Miami, and will result in a horror show worthy of Argento. This may be our first shut out of the season, with the Texans doing it big at 28-0.
Falcons Vs. Chiefs
Here we have two teams that have good shots to win their divisions. This should be a pretty exciting game, and I anticipate a lot of lead changes. But in the end, I suspect the Chiefs will pull it out, 28-24
Jaguars Vs. Vikings
Or The Los Angeles Bowl…because let’s face it, the team that sucks the most here is going to end up being shipped off to L.A. before too long (and hey, even I admit that The Los Angeles Jaguars has a ring to it.). Both teams are pretty rancid, with only their running backs being of any real note. Both teams have horrifically bad quarterbacks–I don’t think Blaine Gabbard should even be called a football player, he’s so inept. This could very well be the worst game on the schedule this week, and I apologize to anyone who has to suffer through it. All things told, I suspect the Vikings will suck marginally less than the Jaguars for a really small margin win–let’s say 17-14.
Native Americans Vs. Saints
Mike Shanahan, Mike Shanahan….are you even a tiny bit ashamed of how you’re running the Washington Native Americans? Granted, Dan Snyder has a talent for making even the most talented coaches into clowns, but all the drama we’ve had over the past two years makes me fear for your legacy. I have this awful vision of Washington going 6-10 again, and having the Saints coming over–even a Saints team decimated by the fallout over the bounties–isn’t going to help your self-image. Drew Brees should be able to set this team on fire and piss on the ashes effortlessly. 35-10.
Bills Vs. Jets
This is going to be a terrible year to be a Jets fan, my friends. The Two-Headed Goofi of Woody Johnson and Mike Tannenbaum have failed for the second year in a row to improve Mark Sanchez’ receiver corps–and in this case managed to hobble him with the headline grabbing acquisition of Football Jebus, Tim Tebow, an even more mediocre quarterback to back up our mediocre quarterback with a veritable Bible Belt circus following in his wake that pretty much guarantees his taking over the starting position around mid-season, and his sucking up the joint and sinking us down to another 8-8 season. This team is such a mess….
So thank God that we’re getting the Bills, who are a better team than we are this year, but who also has been our bitch for ages. It’s going to be close, it’s going to be stingy when our defense is on the field, and it will result in Gang Green eking out a win 21-20.
The Black Sucking Hole Of Evil Vs. Titans
As much as I want to claim that The Sinister Sweatshirt and His Team of All That Is Wrong And Unholy is going to finally crumble, they’re pretty much a lock to be AFC East Champs simply because they’re in a division with the Jets, Dolphins and Bills playing a weak schedule that features the AFC South and NFC West. And as much as I like what the Titans are doing, I can’t see them making me happy by beating these bastards. So expect the Black Sucking Hole of Evil to win 17-14.
Sunday Games–4:25 p.m
Seahawks Vs. Cardinals
As much as I like John Skelton as a quarterback, and like Arizona on principle, this team is a mess. Granted, so are the Seahawks, but they’re less of a mess….which might lead them to contend with San Francisco for the NFC West crown. I’m giving it to Seattle, 17-10.
San Francisco Vs. Green Bay
This is going to be one exciting little game. Pound for pound, the Packers under Rodgers is the best team in the NFL, and there’s no question they’ll make it to the playoffs. And I was truly impressed with the 49ers in the playoffs, and think they’re a credible threat. It’s a total toss-up, but I’ll give it to the Pack, 31-28.
Panthers Vs. Buccaneers
Welcome back to The One-Sided World, where a mediocre team battles a pretty wretched one. The Panthers are okay, maybe even okay enough to be a wildcard. But the Bucs…the Bucs are improving so that they’re just wretched as opposed to Fucking Wretched. I expect Cam Newton to Throw Often, Sweet Chariot, resulting in an early Panther win.
Sunday Games–8:20 p.m
Steelers Vs. Broncos
An interesting little match up, with two quarterbacks with something to prove, and two coaches who are, in my mind, close to elite. My biggest worry about Manning is the same I have about Vick–is he going to last longer than a few games before he bounces his neck off the ground and eliminates himself from the season. And Fragile Ben Roethlisberger…I’m sure he wakes up screaming from nightmares about Football Jebus making That Stupid, Lucky Pass, and he wants some form of redemption. I’m giving this to the Steelers, if only because I think the tangibles make them want it more.
Bengals Vs. Ravens
You would think Tigers would eat birds, especially given how the Bengals took so well to Football Spock, Andy Dalton. But Cincy has such a bad case of The Preseason Injuries that they’re hobbling into this game at half-power…and marching headlong into the Purple and Black’s overpowering defense. This is an easy win for Baltimore.
Monday Games–10:15 p.m.
Chargers Vs. Raiders
And finally, Norv ‘Good Enough For Government Work’ Turner’s Chargers versus the Absolute Chaos that is the Post-Al Raiders. It’s going to be an ugly, ugly game…but I think that the Chargers’ penchant for starting slow will end up, in a squeaker, allowing the Raiders to juuuuuust pull ahead of San Diego. This time.