So, not much to say about that Green Bay/Chicago tilt to open the season. Chicago’s defensive front looked formidable. Green Bay’s defence looked good too, but it was helped out by some a very basic offensive gameplan by Chicago.
What really stood out for me, and what Chicago fans must be worried about, was a really horrible outing by Mitch Trubisky. I found it odd when, after Trubisky threw his 4th quarter interception, Cris Collinsworth opined, “A big mistake here by Trubisky, his first major one of the night.” First?!? You mean, after the dropped interception, the at least two other near-picks, the numerous missed open receivers, and the multiple bad throws? Don’t ever change, Cris. You used to be a decent analyst, but now you’re basically just a glorified cheerleader for the league.
In other news, I caught just a tiny bit of the pre-game festivities. Jay-Zed was mentioned. One of his label’s artists was featured during the pre-game, in front of an adoring crowd who were watching the mini-concert through their phones. Fill your pockets, Jay-Zed. Congratulations.
Meanwhile, this happened:
It’s good to know that someone is actually doing something to help keep Kaep’s name out there. Way to go, OBJ.
So, enough with the preambles; let’s get to the picks:
Week One Picks
Winners in Bold:
LAR at Carolina
Anyone know how Cam Newton is feeling these days? Truthfully, even if I knew that Newton was 100%, I’d still have a hard time picking against LA in this one. I’ll be watching to see how Todd Gurley looks in this one, too.
Washington at Philadelphia
Philadelphia should be one of the better teams in the NFC, while Washington would do well just to stay out of last place in its division.
Buffalo at NYJ
These two teams are closely-matched. New York will probably be favoured to win at home, but I’ve got a good feeling about this Buffalo team, particularly their running game and defensive front.
Atlanta at Minnesota
This has the potential to be one of the best games on week one’s slate, and with a lot at stake. The NFC playoff race will be tight this year, with a bunch of quality teams vying for a few spots. Minnesota doesn’t want to fall behind Green Bay already, while Atlanta needs to prove that it can compete with the top teams after last season’s disappointment. Atlanta’s offence should be a good early test for Minnesota’s defence. The key will be how well Minnesota’s game plan is in protecting Kirk Cousins. Should be a great matchup.
Baltimore at Miami
Miami looked like a last place team to me BEFORE they dumped most of the few good players they had. I’m not sure how good Baltimore will be this year, but they’d better hope that they’re good enough to beat Miami.
KC at Jacksonville
When these two teams played last year, I was excited by the possibility of a great game. Then Doug Marrone’s inexplicable game plan turned the contest into a real one-sided stinker. The teams are basically the same. The game’s in Jacksonville this time. Marrone is still Jacksonville’s coach. I’m going to have to see some proof that things have changed for the better before I trust Jacksonville to beat a team as good a KC.
Tennessee at Cleveland
OK Cleveland, the time for talking is over. This should be a good first game for the new-and-improved Clevelanders, against a Tennessee team that’s good, but not too good.
Indianapolis at LAC
When I saw this game on the schedule for Week One, I was pretty excited. The luster has kind of faded in the interim, with LA’s injuries and Melvin Gordon’s holdout, and with Andrew Luck’s retirement. Indianapolis is still a really talented team, so it will be interesting to see how well the team rallies around Jacoby Brissett, and how well Brissett plays.
Cincinnati at Seattle
Tough test for Cincinnati right out of the gate, facing a tough defence in noisy Seattle.
San Francisco at Tampa
I honestly don’t think that this San Francisco team is as good as some people think they are, but they’d better hope that they’re at least good enough to beat Tampa, or it’s going to be another long season.
NYG at Dallas
With Ezekiel Elliot back in the fold, Dallas looks poised for big things. If Eli struggles, how long until the New York faithful start calling for Daniel Jones?
Detroit at Arizona
Arizona still looks like one of the worst teams in the league. Could Kyler Murray be good enough in his regular season debut, to pull of a big upset? I think it’s too much to ask this soon, but you never know.
Pittsburgh at New England
Another marquee matchup for the NBC crew this week. Maybe is this one they’ll score more than one TD. The key for Pittsburgh is to be able to protect Roethlisberger long enough for him to hit some big plays. New England will have to rely on their running attack to open things up for the passing game. Brady will have his challenges; I wouldn’t expect too much from Julian Edelman, who re-aggravated his thumb injury in the preseason, and New England’s TE group will be a serious drop-off from Rob Gronkowski in terms of both pass-catching and blocking. New England’s defence should be the difference-maker in this close contest.
Houston at New Orleans
I don’t expect Houston to be able to win this one, but it will be interesting to see how well they compete against one of the elite teams in the league.
Denver at Oakland
Word is that Antonio Brown might not even play in this one. That’s an awful lot of money for nothing, Oakland. With or without Brown, I’d have picked Denver anyway.