NFL Week I Kickoff Preview: More Picks Than the Season Stat Lines of NFC West Quarterbacks
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Finally. Unless your name is Peyton Williams Manning, like me, you are ready for the start of NFL football today and the subsequent weekend. It’s hard to pretend that football is anything more than grown men violently hugging each other. Yet on any given autumn Sunday, the escape from reality for a few hours is a worthwhile obsession. Life’s tough enough as it is, and the only thing I want to see tougher is Dallas’s 3-4 base, 46 nickel defense.
So with further ado, I have made some BOLD season picks that would make Bill Belichick blush. Speaking of which, considering Peyton Manning’s indefinite absence, Tom Brady is definitely in the minority in terms of quality quarterbacks on the field this season. A reasonable person might agree that Brady, Drew Brees, and Aaron Rodgers are the only active elite QBs left standing at the start of the new season. The next tier would consist of in no particular order: Ben Roethlisberger, Matt Schaub, Philip Rivers, Tony Romo, Michael Vick, and Matt Ryan. There are certainly young up and comers like Josh Freeman, Sam Bradford, and Matthew Stafford, but overall the league is lacking in decent signal-callers.
Peyton Manning’s absence only magnifies the lack of quality QBs. Believe every hype, and adulation bestowed upon him because as Colts fans will tell you in between their suicide attempts, Kerry Collins will soon prove how much the Indianapolis Colts will miss number 18. Ignore the cumulative stats, the leadership, and iron man consecutive starts (2nd only to Brett Favre) at the toughest position in sports, and just consider the fact that this team has no offensive coordinator. Sure, Tom Moore was the “offensive coordinator” since Manning’s rookie season, but anyone who thinks Manning did not call the plays nor ran the offense by himself might as well believe that Two and a Half Men will stay on the air past 2014. Thus, no Peyton Manning on the field means no elite QB or offensive coordinator running your offense. How he manages to manage from the sideline and delegate to Kerry Collins just might save the Colts’ season.
But without further ado, let’s delve into my spicy habanero picks!
AFC East: New England Patriots
AFC North: Pittsburgh Steelers
AFC South: Houston Texans
AFC West: San Diego Chargers
AFC wild cards: Baltimore Ravens, Miami Dolphins
- Call me crazy, but I think the Steelers are hydrated enough to survive THIS Super Bowl Hangover, the Jets take a step back after a couple years of success, the Texans finally break through, and the Dolphins make me look good by making the playoffs.
NFC East: Dallas Cowboys
NFC North: Chicago Bears
NFC South: New Orleans Saints
NFC West: St. Louis Rams
NFC wild cards: Philadelphia Eagles, Atlanta Falcons
- I think, against popular opinion, that the Green Bay Packers will suffer the indubitable Super Bowl Hangover curse, the Bears seize that opportunity, and the Eagles don’t quite live up to the hype. The two FA cornerbacks are darn good pickups, but a washed up Ronnie Brown, and head case Vince Young do not elevate the already potent offense. Ultimately it all depends on how far Michael Vick can take them. Can he sustain the level he played at last year?
AFC champion: Houston Texans
NFC champion: Dallas Cowboys
- AND to destroy what little credibility I have left, I think we’re going to see a good ol’ Texas Super Bowl showdown. If the Texans, despite Kubiak’s attempts at losing, can first (1) take advantage of the AFC South power vacuum left by Peyton’s indeterminable absence, then (2) make the playoffs, (3) get hot at the right time and ride on through, they might just have a chance. Two seasons ago they had a good defense; last season, their offense was scoring off the charts. If they can put the two together this season, I won’t look like a complete idiot for picking them to go to the Super Bowl!
- As for the Cowboys, see below.
Offensive ROY: Delone Carter (yeah that’s right, someone has to score for the Colts.)
Defensive ROY: Von Miller (I had no idea so I went with the famous Aggie.)
Coach of the year: Gary Kubiak (Houston fans are going to kill me.)
Comeback Player 2012: Peyton Manning (This is the only award left that he doesn’t have?)
MVP: Tony Romo
- Seriously, anyone who goes out with Jessica Simpson AND Carrie Underwood and DOESN’T marry either one of them HAS to know what he’s doing. Right?
Super Bowl Champion: Dallas Cowboys
- Don’t Stop Believin’. Faithfully. Open Arms. Any Way You Want It. Lovin’ Touchin’ Squeezin’. They’re not just songs from the badass American rock band Journey. No, that’s the 2011 season theme for America’s Team. Learn it. Live it. Sing it. Love it.
Super Bowl MVP: Tony Romo
- I dropped some decent coin on his jersey, and my dad owns all family fan rights to Troy Aikman so I can’t hitch my wagon to Quincy Carter anymore.
Week One Picks: 0-0-0 YTD
New Orleans Saints +4.5 @ Green Bay Packers
Indianapolis Colts +9 @ Houston Texans
Buffalo Bills +6 @ Kansas City Chiefs
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Baltimore Ravens -1.5
Detroit Lions @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers -1.5
Atlanta Falcons @ Chicago Bears +3
Philadelphia Eagles @ St. Louis Rams +4.5
Cincinnati Bengals @ Cleveland Browns -6.5
Tennessee Titans @ Jacksonville Jaguars -2
New York Giants @ Washington Redskins +3
Carolina Panthers @ Arizona Cardinals -7
Seattle Seahawks @ San Francisco 49ers -5
Minnesota Vikings +8.5 @ San Diego Chargers
Dallas Cowboys +4.5 @ New York Jets
New England Patriots @ Miami Dolphins +7
Oakland Raiders +3 @ Denver Broncos