Here we go with my picks and obnoxious comments regarding each game this weekend. You will of course note that there is no game this week between my Baltimore Ravens and Houston Texans, as they were not able to make it work after Hurricane Ike damaged the Texans' Reliant Stadium and a suitable alternative could not be found. Thus, week 2 becomes both teams' Bye week, and this is a major disadvantage to their schedules, as they get a week off before any other NFL team and then must play the next 15 weeks in a row without a break to rest and/or get healthy.
As far as the rest of the league, here goes my picks & pans:
Tennessee over Cincinnati: The Titans may actually end up a better team with Kerry Collins under center, as he is a much better pocket passer than Vince Young and the Bengals still haven't figured how to protect Palmer and can't tackle either.
Green Bay over Detroit: All this talk about the Lions becoming a running team won't matter if they fall behind by three TD's like they did last week. After Atlanta's Michael Turner ripped them for 200+ rushing yards, think Ryan Grant is drooling?
Kansas City over Oakland: Just like Tennessee, the Chiefs may be a better team with Damon Huard as QB, replacing the injured Brodie Croyle. Besides, the Raiders looked god-awful at home on MNF and now are on the road.
NY Giants over St. Louis: Even with the Rams at home, the Giants still have a better defense than expected due to their offseason personnel losses, but also because the Rams cannot defend the pass,...or the run.
Indianapolis over Minnesota: Yeah, the Colts lost at home last week and the Vikings have AP, but I won't bet that the Colts start the season 0-2 as long as they have Peyton Manning under center, injured or not.
New Orleans over Washington: I'm pretty biased, as I hate the Redskins, but they looked terrible last week and the Saints look like they can score from anywhere on the field, regardless of who is catching the ball from Drew Brees.
Carolina over Chicago: While the Panthers road win over the Chargers was an upset, they are still one of the teams to watch this season in the NFC. The Bears surprisingly easy win over the Colts was unexpected, but no way Kyle Orton is the QB of their future.
Jacksonville over Buffalo: While the Bills are one of the AFC's up and coming teams, the Jags should rebound and win a physical game at home this week.
Seattle over San Francisco: The Seahawks laid an egg in Buffalo last week while the 49ers did the same at home. With Seattle now at home and SF on the road, the Seahawks continue their dominance over SF with a rebounding win.
Tampa Bay over Atlanta: The Falcons looked great in their victory over a hapless Lions team last week, but now have to face a good defense who is angry over giving up three long TD's to the Saints last week. Brian Griese takes over for an injured Jeff Garcia and the Bucs will defend their home turf and win.
New England over NY Jets: I know the NY betting money will be on the Jets and Brett Favre to beat the Tom Brady-less Patriots, but my pick is based on the fact that backup QB Matt Cassel has learned a lot watching the master, and he still has the same team around him. Something tells me Bill Belichick will be prepared.
Arizona over Miami: I took this game in my "Last Man Standing" pool, and believe it will be the blowout of the weekend. The Cardinals passing game will overwhelm the Dolphins and force them to abandon the run and that will not bode well for Miami.
Denver over San Diego: Denver looked great in Oakland, but it was still against the Raiders. At the same time, the Chargers gave their home opener away in the last seconds to the Panthers. The Broncos will defend their home turf in one of the week's better games.
Pittsburgh over Cleveland: The Browns are making last year look like a fluke as they not only go 0-2 to start the season, but with both losses at home. Pittsburgh looked great last week and will roll over Cleveland once again. Then the Browns will lose in Baltimore next week and start the season 0-3!
Dallas over Philadelphia: Both teams looked impressive in their victories last week, but there's no way I can see the Cowboys blowing this game at home on Monday Night Football and a national television audience.
Last Week's Record: 9-6
Season Record: 9-6