We begin a new season! Last year, I went 89-87 in my picks, which hovered around 50%, and I consider that a failure. This year, I hope to turn my fortune around. My goal for this season is to hit 65% of these games, so we’ll see about it.
If you’re not familiar with Weekly Food, I will pick the games for that week and have to hit at least 50% of that week’s games. If I do so, this picky eater avoids having to choke on something disgusting. Oftentimes my family eats something I don’t like, so this is fairly easy and available if I miss. At the end of the year, if I didn’t hit at least 65%, then I must suffer through the ultimate punishment. Last year, I promised chocolate syrup and pinto beans, so expect a video of that in the coming weeks. This season, however, I’m allowing the readers to send me their pick for the worst food imaginable if I don’t hit 65%. So be thinking of that, because we still have some time.
But without further prolonging, here are my picks for this week’s upcoming games! This is minus the official season opener between the Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos, which I hope all enjoyed.
Buccaneers @ Falcons :: Atlanta
This is a tossup for me, because this is a division rival game, and certainly at the beginning of the season, anything can happen. Therefore, I have to look at the rosters. I think Atlanta is going to have a dominant offensive attack this year, and in the Georgia Dome, should be able to score more points than their opposition, and as the game works, that’s how you win. (for any of you beginners)
Bills @ Ravens :: Buffalo
Again, another tossup for me, but these aren’t division rivals. I have high hopes for the AFC East this season and this is the division everyone should watch out for. Buffalo’s problem was staying healthy last year, and it’s Week 1, so their talent should prevail this week.
Bears @ Texans :: Chicago
Houston is favored, but yet being the home team, I can’t see them pulling it out. There’s a lot of change to Houston’s offense and the teams who make the free agent splashes don’t fare too well, especially at the beginning. I expect a low-scoring defensive game with Chicago pulling it out, perhaps on a Cutler game-winning drive. *cue laughter*
Packers @ Jaguars :: Jacksonville
This is going to shock the world. Jacksonville’s acquired a lot of young talent and at Lambeau, this wouldn’t be hard, but I think Gus Bradley can finally do what he wants with his personnel around him. I’m not sure how ready Jordy Nelson is, but I know what guys like Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns will bring for Jacksonville. The Jaguars in an upset!
Chargers @ Chiefs :: Kansas City
San Diego was my biggest disappointment last season, and without making any significant push in the offseason to get better, they go into Arrowhead Stadium and will fall flat on their faces. I feel the Chiefs are a top-ten team in this league and at home, there’s no hope for Rivers and the Bolts.
Raiders @ Saints :: Oakland
I truly believe the Raiders are a 10-win team this year, maybe even 11, so I have full confidence they can cause havoc for the Saints. If you can, watch this game!! Not for long we’ll see Derek Carr versus Drew Brees, and this is perhaps the last time.
Bengals @ Jets :: Cincinnati
I had these teams ranked 11th and 13th respectively in my #D46 Preseason Power Rankings, if you want to check those out. This game could go either way, and it’s likely decided on the final drive. I don’t think it’s wise to pick Cincinnati in pressure situations, but it isn’t the playoffs, so I should be fine.
Browns @ Eagles :: Cleveland
Back in 2012, these two teams opened the season in Cleveland, with this “Dream Team” featuring Nnamdi Asomugha and backup Vince Young, but Philadelphia took it 17-16. Since, the Eagles have downgraded at coach and the Browns have upgraded. I think Hue Jackson can work wonders with his new quarterback Robert Griffin III, while the Eagles will see why starting Carson Wentz this early is a bad idea. It’s almost a lock the Browns win this game… There’s a first for everything, and that’s it.
Vikings @ Titans :: Tennessee
Minnesota just lost Teddy Bridgewater and now have the choices of Shaun Hill or Sam Bradford – YIKES! Meanwhile, we don’t know what will come of Tennessee’s offense with the two-headed monster Derrick Henry and DeMarco Murray, with Marcus Mariota who is better in the shotgun rather than the I-Formation. It’s interesting, but I’m taking the home team.
Dolphins @ Seahawks :: Seattle
I love the Dolphins, and I think they could win if at home, but there’s no way. For starters, the offensive line is unsteady and they just named Arian Foster the starting running back who had a horrendous preseason. Seattle at home with the better quarterback and the better defense, and the better coach? It’s too easy.
Giants @ Cowboys :: Dallas
If you look at the lines, these teams are dead-even. It’s certainly interesting, and I don’t think either defense is that good, to be honest with you. This game, like always, will be down to the wire and given to the team who has the ball last. I’ll pick Dallas, considering they have the better run game and I’m not sure if the Giants can handle Dak Prescott.
Lions @ Colts :: Indianapolis
These are two awful dome teams and Indianapolis is given the home advantage by the spread. The Colts have Andrew Luck at full strength and will continue to hover around .500 until a better coach and better defense shows up. I’ll go with the better quarterback, and I feel Luck has an established go-to option TY Hilton, but Stafford lost his this offseason with Megatron’s retirement. The Colts are the pick here.
Patriots @ Cardinals :: Arizona
The only way this would be hard is if Tom Brady didn’t have to serve the four-game suspension. I love Jimmy Garoppolo, but he can’t handle one of the best teams in all of football, particularly one of the better defensive units. The Cardinals, many forget, are brilliant on offense as well. Better defense, better offense, and for the home team? Sorry Belichick, this is your kryptonite on Sunday Night Football.
Steelers @ Redskins :: Washington
My sports mentor is a Steelers fan and I am a Cowboys fan, so this pains me to say in every way imaginable, but I think the Redskins win. Washington plays on a home-field difficult turf, perhaps one of the worst in the National Football League, while having an aerial-based attack the secondary of the Steelers can’t combat. Not to mention, Le’Veon Bell will miss time, and though DeAngelo Williams is ready to go, that isn’t enough in the first of two Monday Night Football games.
Rams @ 49ers :: Los Angeles
Let’s be honest in saying we don’t know what we’ll get from these teams. The quarterback situation is a mess, the running backs are top notch, the receiving core is awful, and the defenses are a shell of what they used to be. So we have to flip a coin and come back Tuesday to see if it hit. I’ll pick the newly relocated Los Angeles Rams.
Let’s see how you fare against The Iron Jaw! Post your predictions for each game in the comments below.