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Week One Picks

September 10th, 2015

Here we go again. A whole new season of pro football out ahead of us. A golden 256 opportunities for me to make an ass of myself with utterly ignorant picks. Or 267 if you count the playoffs. (Of course, I might point out that the last time I made a pick on a game that counted, I had New England beating Seattle in Super Bowl XLIX by a score of 27-23. So that’t not so bad.)

Anyhow, onward. Not much to say about this week’s games, because I can’t even pretend to know anything at this point in the season. Here’s what not to expect.

Pittsburgh (+7) at New England
The Patriots are ready to begin their revenge campaign. The Steelers are going to round into form (offensively speaking, anyhow) soon enough, but not in time for this game. New England by 20.

Green Bay (-7) at Chicago
One team’s quarterback probably will rank among the greatest of all time. The other team’s quarterback may rank among the most overrated of all time. And here we are reminded of the difference. Packers by 10.

Kansas City (+1) at Houston
This is the kind of game the Texans need to win if they’re going to have a shot at the division title. And they’re going to have a shot at the division title. Houston by a field goal.

Cleveland (+3) at NY Jets
Jets win the Super Bowl! Jets win the Super Bowl! Wait. You’re saying it’s just a week one home game against the lowly Browns? Oh. Jets are gonna win the Super Bowl! New Jersey by six.

Indianapolis (-2.5) at Buffalo
The Colts may come out of this looking like a better team than they are. Buffalo doesn’t have the offensive weapons to take advantage of Indy’s defensive shortcomings. The Bills may slow the Colts down for a quarter or a half, but in the end, it’s Indy by a pair of touchdowns.

Miami (-3.5) at Washington
Iffy road team giving three and a half? That doesn’t feel very good. But the Racists actually may be that bad. Dolphins by four.

Carolina (-3) at Jacksonville
I don’t know what to make of either of these teams, but I like the matchup of Carolina’s defense against Jacksonville’s offense better than anything else in this game. So I’ll take the Panthers straight up. It’s a push with the points.

Seattle (-4) at St. Louis
I won’t be shocked if the home dog manages an upset in this game. But I’m not quite ready to pick it that way. Seahawks by a field goal.

New Orleans (-2.5) at Arizona
The Saints offense isn’t ready to overcome the Cardinals’ defense. And won’t be until maybe next season. Arizona by a touchdown.

Detroit (+3) at San Diego
The Lions’ once formidable D isn’t in any kind of shape to slow down the Chargers’ O. Not in San Diego, anyhow. Chargers by eight.

Tennessee (+3) at Tampa Bay
It would be easy to list everything that’s impressive about these two teams, but why bother. What’s important is that there’s slightly less that’s unimpressive about the home squad. What more do you need to know. Bucs by four.

Cincinnati (-3.5) at Oakland
The Raiders are gonna surprise a few opponents this season. Starting this weekend. Oakland by a point.

Baltimore (+4.5) at Denver
Picking this matchup is every bit as simple as it isn’t. You can try to break it down, knowing next to nothing about how either team will fare this season. Or you can just go ahead and take the home team. That’s what I’m doing, though I’m going to hedge just a bit (easy when there’s no actual money on the line): Denver by a field goal.

NY Giants (+6) at Dallas
The Giants may overcome the Cowboys this season. But not in Dallas on the year’s first Sunday night. Cowboys by a touchdown.

Philadelphia (-3) at Atlanta
I don’t care where the game’s being played, the Falcons aren’t ready yet to keep up with the Eagles. Philly by six.

Minnesota (-2.5) at San Francisco
And, once again this week, I’m picking a road favorite. In this case, it’s mostly because I can’t come up with a single reason to believe the home team can manage a win. Vikings by 10.

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