Sunday, September 7, 2014

The FGR's Week One NFL Picks

I watched maybe ten minutes of preseason football. I am not entirely confident that I can name the starting quarterbacks for the Browns, Vikings, Rams, Jets, Bucs or Raiders nor can I tell you with any certainty who is coaching half of those teams. I spent most of Friday on a plane sleeping off a head splitting wine hangover that would have hobbled a rhinoceros and now I'm sitting on a beach with the family typing this on my phone. In legalese, this is what is known as a "disclaimer" but hey, it worked for the Thursday night pick so here goes.

"Go . . . wait, who's our quarerback again?"
New Orleans by 3 at Atlanta: The Pick - Saints

Maybe it's that I'm buying the Saints this year or maybe it's that I have a hard time taking any team that was on Hard Knocks seriously. Either way, this is going to be a shootout and I'll take Drew Brees against almost anybody in one of those.

St. Louis by 3.5 at Minnesota: The Pick - Rams

Here's a bad sign. The team you're playing in week one lost their starting quarterback in the preseason and the guy they're running-out there in his place is still better than the three you have on your roster including the one you just took in the first round. Another issue for the Vikes is that there might not be a team in the league better designed to stuff Adrian Peterson than the Rams.

N.Y. Jets by 5.5 over Oakland: The Pick - Jets

Regardless of whether you think the Jets can win 5, 6 or even 7 games this year, you have to like their chances in this one against a bad team, flying across the country and starting a rookie quarterback against Rex Ryan's defense. The even better bet would be under the 40.5 because these two teams are going to have to look under every cushion in the house to find that many points.

Pittsburgh by 7 over Cleveland: The Pick - Steelers

The Browns are turning the botching of quarterback draft picks into an art form. On the other hand, the Steelers smell like they have one more run in them before the Roethlisberger era mercifully expires.

Philadelphia by 10.5 over Jacksonville: The Pick - Jags

I can't pick all favorites and 10.5 is an awfully big number for opening weekend when we don't really know shit from shinola. On the other hand, this feels like a 27-10 game so I guess I'm looking for a garbage time touchdown from the Jags and there isn't a quarterback more qualified to post a garbage time touchdown than Chad Henne.

Baltimore by 1.5 over Cincinnati: The Pick - Ravens

As a homer, I have to go this way with the Ravens for the opener (but between you and me, my heart's not really in this pick).

Chicago by 7 over Buffalo: The Pick - Bears

Buffalo needs to show me a lot before I take them on the road against a competent team.

Houston by 3 over Washington: The Pick - Texans

At least RG, III is a team player who'll
take his benching gracefully (I couldn't
even type that with a straight face).
This season could be an epic disaster for the Redskins and that's before you even factor-in the inevitable RG, III - Kirk Cousins quarterback controversy which will be the gift that keeps on giving. You know you're in trouble when you covet the stability at the quarterback position provided by Ryan Fitzpatrick.

Kansas City by 3 over Tennessee: The Pick - Chiefs

Ken Whisenhunt is going to need a few weeks to get everything figured-out with the Titans. Over/under on challenges and timeouts Andy Reid will use in the first five minutes is 4.5.

New England by 4 at Miami: The Pick - Dolphins

Sooner or later one of the three dog and pony shows that has been getting run over for the better part of a decade by the Patriots is going to get their act together and unseat Bradychik. I'm not sure this is going to be the year but if any team is going to do it, it's going to be the Dolphins so I'm not giving the Pats four points on the road. (Note that this pick may be more driven by principal than reason).

Tampa Bay by 3 over Carolina: The Pick - Panthers

Another game where I'd be taking a really hard look at the under as this one has 13-10 written all over it.

San Francisco by 4.5 at Dallas: The Pick - 49ers

This game certainly has a marquee feel even if all indications are that the Cowboys are going to be fair to poor again. The only thing that gives me pause on this one is that the Cowboys usually make things interesting on opening day so this could get quirky making that 4.5 a bit awkward.

Denver by 7.5 over Indianapolis: The Pick - Broncos

You know Peyton Manning is going to throw at least four touchdown passes and the Broncos are going to put-up about 35 points. We'll see if Andrew Luck and Co. can keep-up but I doubt it.

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