Reid Fischer's World of Rants

Looking at the sports world through orange colored glasses

Week 1 & Season Picks

Posted by mizzou1028 on September 9, 2010

Well clearly the first week of the NFL season somehow snuck up on me.  Here we go for a quick hit preview.  Think of it as quick hit thoughts on each team, a gut reaction if you will.  Teams are listed in predicted order of finish.  An asterisk indicates a wild card team.  Playoff predictions as well as selections for the week one matchups can be found at the end. 

AFC EAST:

1. New England Patriots (11-5) – I know better than to pick against them.  Tom Brady is in a contract year and there is a new infusion of youth.  Bottom line is this team wins more often than they don’t.  This is the safe pick.

2. New York Jets (10-6)* – The Jets made a lot of sexy additions to build off last season’s AFC title game appearance.  It’ll be interesting to see if Mark Sanchez can continue to improve and be an offensive leader. 

3. Miami Dolphins (9-7) – Miami’s offense got better with Brandon Marshall.  The question is will his attitude cost them?  Defense isn’t quite up to par with other division contenders.

4. Buffalo Bills (3-13) – Lack of offensive weapons and a mediocre defense equal a terrible combination.  I hope C.J. Spiller’s confidence isn’t destroyed running behind a terrible offensive line.

AFC NORTH:

1. Baltimore Ravens (13-3) – I don’t see why everyone is so down on the Ravens defense.  It’s the same guys that have dominated for years.  Now they have a scary good offense to go with it.  Look out AFC.

2. Cincinnati Bengals (10-6) – Cincy is here more because of their defense than because of the offense with all the egos.  I still somehow think T.O. and Ochocinco will co-exist and Carson Palmer will have a bounce back season, but they will miss the playoffs by a hair.

3. Pittsburgh Steelers (8-8) – I somehow feel like I know this is wrong, but I don’t like their prospects in the four games without Ben Roethlisberger and their defense is aging.  If Rashard Mendenhall can’t stay healthy they’re done.

4. Cleveland Browns (4-12) – Jake Delhomme is way past his prime.  There is a complete lack of talent at virtually every position.  They’d better hope they can groom Colt McCoy in time to start next season.

AFC SOUTH:

1. Indianapolis Colts (14-2) – Come on, do you really think I’m foolish enough to pick against Peyton Manning?  He has all the old weapons at this disposal and the Colts are nearly unbeatable indoors. 

2. Houston Texans (11-5)* – It seems like this my annual surprise pick, but this time I think they’ll finally get into the playoffs.  There is too much talent on both sides of the ball for them not to.  If they’re 8-8 again this year, Gary Kubiak should be in trouble.

3. Tennessee Titans (8-8) – Chris Johnson is amazing, but he can’t do it all by himself.  The Titans are the epitome of a class organization, but they don’t quite have the goods to be a playoff team this year. 

4. Jacksonville Jaguars (5-11) – The Jaguars have Maurice Jones-Drew and, well, ummmm….  Jack Del Rio will be gone after this season.

AFC WEST:

1. San Diego Chargers (9-7) – Yes, this division will be mediocre enough that the Chargers can win it with this record.  They need to get Vincent Jackson and their other holdouts back in short order.  Fortunately Philip Rivers and their running game can carry them.

2. Denver Broncos (8-8) – I don’t know what to expect from my home team.  Frankly anything between 6-10 and 10-6 wouldn’t surprise me.  We’ll go in the middle.  They’ve already been beset by injuries and the schedule is very rocky.  Kyle Orton will have a very good season, but if the running game can’t get healthy, it won’t matter if Orton plays well.

3. Oakland Raiders (6-10) – The Raiders believe Jason Campbell is the answer at quarterback.  I still have reservations as long as this team is owned by Al Davis.  That said, they should be improved over last season.

4. Kansas City Chiefs (5-11) – The running game should be very solid with Jamaal Charles leading the way, but I’m still not a Matt Cassel fan.  Plus the defense doesn’t appear as though it’s going to be very good.

NFC EAST:

1. Dallas Cowboys (12-4) – This could be a huge season for the Cowboys since they are hosting the Super Bowl this year.  They’ll have enough to at least win the division, for it seems as though Tony Romo has finally figured out how to win.

2. Philadelphia Eagles (9-7) – Eagles fans may quickly regret running Donovan McNabb out of town.  Kevin Kolb is good, but he’s no McNabb.  Brian Westbrook could be missed even more. 

3. Washington Redskins (7-9) – Mike Shanahan will very much be in transition mode during his first season.  McNabb is an upgrade at QB, but do any of his running backs have anything left in the tank?  Plus the Albert Haynesworth saga has the making of a dark cloud over the defense.

4. New York Giants (6-10) – The Giants fell to Earth last season and don’t seem to have done much to change their personnel.  I like Ahmad Bradshaw in the running game and Eli Manning is capable, but something still doesn’t seem right.

NFC NORTH

1. Green Bay Packers (14-2) – I sense a big breakout year for the pack, highlighted by Aaron Rodgers who is without question the real deal.  The offensive talent is solid at every position and the defense overall might be the best in the league.

2. Minnesota Vikings (11-5)* – The Vikings are still a playoff team, but it remains to be seen if Brett Favre can stay upright for the entire season.  The loss of Sidney Rice to injury is significant, but the running game and defense are still among the best in the league.  If Tarvaris Jackson comes in, the record obviously goes south quickly.

3. Chicago Bears (6-10) – I sense major disaster with the Jay Cutler-Mike Martz marriage offensively.  Given Cutler’s league leading 26 picks last year, an offensive designed on throwing all the time doesn’t seem like a good idea.  The running game is only so so, but the defense may keep them in games. 

4. Detroit Lions (5-11) – Detroit seems like they are improving, but it still appears 2011 is their target.  They are developing young talent, and they may exceed expectations.  If fans are patient, the team is moving in the right direction.

NFC SOUTH

1. New Orleans Saints (12-4) – The Saints appear to have all the pieces necessary to have a shot at repeating.  The same cast of characters as last year can’t be bad thing in any way.  The only question is how will they handle the pressure of repeating?

2. Atlanta Falcons (10-6)* – I think the Falcons will return to the playoffs this year.  Matt Ryan is an excellent quarterback and the running game and receivers are in place.  This team is capable of winning the division if breaks go their way.

3. Carolina Panthers (7-9) – The Panthers are in transition with Matt Moore at QB.  I think it’s almost certain Jimmy Clausen will start before the year is over.  The defense is not as good as it was but the running game will help win them some games. 

4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-12) – A young Josh Freeman still has a lot to learn about playing quarterback in the NFL, but he has talent.  This is a young team that simply doesn’t look like it’s going to be very good. 

NFC WEST

1. San Francisco 49ers (9-7) – Both west divisions will be highly mediocre, but San Francisco looks like they might finally be able to break through.  There is immense talent at the skills positions on offense, the question is if Alex Smith will finally be ready to take advantage of all of it.  The defense is as solid as they come. 

2. Arizona Cardinals (8-8) – They lost a lot of talent (Kurt Warner, Anquan Boldin, and several defensive players).  Derek Anderson is no Kurt Warner, but he still has talent around him.  Still, a drop off is inevitable.

3. Seattle Seahawks (6-10) – Pete Carroll is inheriting an odd team.  Matt Hasselbeck has been very injury prone at QB, and frankly the overall talent level leaves a lot to be desired.  It’s hard to respect Carroll after he left USC in such a mess.

4. St. Louis Rams (4-12) – Sam Bradford is the real deal.  The problem is he has no help.  Steven Jackson is still a terrific back, but he’s bound to get worn down if he’s asked to do too much.  The defense is very young. 

Playoff Picks:

AFC:

Wild Card games: (6) Texans over (3) Patriots, (5) Jets over (4) Chargers

Divisional games: (1) Colts over (6) Texans, (2) Ravens over (5) Jets

AFC Championship: (2) Ravens over (1) Colts – Baltimore’s defense figures out Manning

NFC

Wild Card games: (3) Saints over (6) Falcons, (5) Vikings over (4) 49ers

Divisional games: (1) Packers over (5) Vikings, (2) Cowboys over (3) Saints

NFC Championship Game: (1) Packers over (2) Cowboys – Lambeau advantage too much for Cowboys

Super Bowl Pick: Ravens over Packers.  I like Baltimore’s complete team, they have the passing game, the running game, and the defense.  This is in every way a complete team, and I like them to take the whole thing this year.

Now for quickie week one selections:

– Saints over Vikings: This is a fantastic way to kick off the season tonight.  I like the Saints largely because of the emotion of the home crowd, but this will be very close and entertaining.

– Dolphins over Bills: Miami’s new weapons are enough to beat a struggling Bills team in a tight division contest

– Bears over Lions:  An upset by the visitors wouldn’t surprise me, but a hunch says the host Bears pull this off.

– Titans over Raiders: Complete mismatch, Tennessee rolls at home behind Chris Johnson

– Patriots over Bengals: I almost went with the visitors here in a mini-upset, but picking against New England is usually a bad idea in Foxboro

– Panthers over Giants: This is a coin flip game.  I don’t think either team is very good, but I’ll go with the Panthers in a mini-upset

– Falcons over Steelers: Dennis Dixon is under center for the Steelers.  This presents a huge problem.  Matt Ryan and Roddy White lead Atlanta to the road win.

– Buccaneers over Browns: My sympathies if you’re stuck with the dud game of the week.  Tampa Bay wins a boring game at home.

– Broncos over Jaguars: Maurice Jones-Drew will get his yards, but I think Kyle Orton is in line for a nice year.  This one won’t be pretty either, but I think Denver takes it.

– Colts over Texans: I do think Houston is line for a breakthrough season, but I decided I’m not picking against Indy unless they give me a compelling reason to do so

– Cardinals over Rams: Arizona may be down this year, but they’ll have enough to beat one of the worst teams in the league

– Packers over Eagles: Aaron Rodgers begins what should be an outstanding season.  I think Kevin Kolb will struggle in his real action as the starting QB

– 49ers over Seahawks: Seattle has one of the loudest crowds in the league, but I think the Niners’ running game will carry the day

– Cowboys over Redskins: Washington will be fired up for Mike Shanahan’s first game, but the Cowboys are much better. 

– Ravens over Jets: I think the Jets will be good, but as you saw above I think Baltimore is winning the Super Bowl.  They are going to open with a bang.

– Chargers over Chiefs: Arrowhead hasn’t hosted a Monday night game in years so it will be rocking, but the Chargers will want to show they are still the class of division. 

 

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One Response to “Week 1 & Season Picks”

  1. […] the season started I picked the Packers as my NFC representative in the Super Bowl largely because I thought Rodgers was due for a […]

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