Week 1 in the NFL is finally here and this blog's fearless commissioner, Sean, has graciously given me permission to post my picks on POD this season after the windows at SB Nation Detroit got boarded up.
This will be my seventh year picking games against the spread. The picks are important, but I tend to really enjoy writing a quick couple lines about each game or simply embedding a funny GIF to represent my feelings about the matchup. Time always willing.
Last year was by far my best season in terms of looking and feeling wicked sma't. I finished 162-92-2, including four teasers per week, and in the top 5 in Jimmy Traina's Hot Clicks pool. Chest. Out. Most of the credit goes to being incredibly lucky, though, and ... Lumosity, which, if you haven't heard, is like steroids for your brain in app form.
Lumosity would be a wonderful official sponsor of the NFL, wouldn't it? The NFL, accused of concealing its knowledge of long-term effects of concussions, or brain injuries, and Lumosity, together at last. Hopefully Ziggy Ansah's training his brain on Lumosity as I type this so he can play on Sunday. (See, that's how we as fans naturally think...)
If you were to pick my brain on this week's picks, here's what I'd tell you:
BRONCOS (-9.5) over Ravens*
This is more of an "I hope" pick. I'm tired of Joe Flacco's increasing arrogance and there's nothing compelling about the Ravens to me anymore now that Ray Lewis is retired. I would very much like Peyton Manning to give Flacco a free lesson on quarterbacking.
BILLS (+10.5) over Patriots
I think C.J. Spiller is the real deal and Robert Woods is going to surprise people more than Kenbrell Thompkins. Circle 'em or Tom Brady happens...
STEELERS (-7.5) over Titans
Might as well give Kevin Smith another NFLife in the Steelers' backfield, but nobody seems to be talking about Ben Roethlisberger anymore. He's still pretty good and "gritty," right?
SAINTS (-3) over Falcons
Sean Payton's first regular season game back as head coach after serving a suspension last year for the whole bounty scandal. If the oft-banged-up Steven Jackson gets hurt in this game, who's the first national writer to accuse Payton of bringing back the bounties? I agree, probably Rick Reilly.
Buccaneers (-3) over JETS
I heard someone on the radio this morning say that the Jets could go 0-16 this season. It's possible -- the last time a QB ran out of his own end zone was Dan Orlovsky in 2008, the year the Lions went 0-16. Patterns!
Chiefs* (-3.5) over JAGUARS
I hope Denard Robinson runs (and even throws!) for a couple touchdowns, but the Chiefs should be exciting this year if Jamaal Charles stays healthy and Alex Smith continues to complete every single pass he throws. Andy Reid teams just know how to win sometimes.
BEARS (-3) over Bengals
New offense and revamped offensive line in Chicago might just work. Not sure how the defense is going to look without Brian Urlacher, who is now a Fox Sports 1 analyst and throwing the Bears under the bus.
BROWNS (pick) over Dolphins
Every week I pick a game as the "Vomit Game of the Week" and supplement it with a GIF of somebody projectile vomiting. This would be that game for me this week... if I wasn't so damn interested in seeing if Jordan Cameron is a breakout tight end.
Seahawks (-3) over PANTHERS
Adam Schefter thinks he's soooo smart being the only one on planet Earth picking the Panthers, doesn't he? I just can't do it in Week 1 -- the Seahawks are supposed to be contendas!
LIONS (-4.5) over Vikings
Please. Oh please NFLord make this happen. Don't let the Lions continue their regular season losing streak.
COLTS (-10) over Raiders
Raiders need a lot of luck, but unfortunately for them, he's on the other side. You're welcome, sports writers.
RAMS (-4.5) over Cardinals
Hey, Carson Palmer looks like Dexter! ... Yeah, Dexter sucks now.
Packers* (+4.5) over 49ERS
Man, @AaronRodgers12 doesn't get enough credit for his quotes. He pulled out a Val Kilmer line from Tombstone on the fly today! Impressive.— Jeff Darlington (@JeffDarlington) September 4, 2013
It's true, Aaron Rodgers is a good dude. Then again, he might be the antichrist.
COWBOYS* (-3) over Giants
I'm really curious to see that "something special" Tony Romo discovered with his throwing motion. It better consist of throwing a lot to Dez Bryant and not to the Giants secondary.
REDSKINS (-3) over Eagles
Chip Kelly's offense can't possibly burn Mike Shanahan. Heh, get it? Get it? Let's hope RGIII stays healthy and isn't tossed into Michael Vick on the other sideline and, not so surprisingly, both of them get hurt.
Texans (-3.5) over CHARGERS
I know he's not the coach anymore, but I almost expect to see Norv Turner on the sideline for the Chargers anyway. And I'm certainly not alone in beginning to believe all the hoopla over Arian Foster's injuries during the preseason was overblown. He bows.
* denotes tease (+14)
(How wrong am I??? If you want to make your picks in the comments, I'll keep a little standings each week and update it accordingly!)