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Friday, September 09, 2011

NFL Week 1 Picks: Son of a Meach...


Well, my friends.  Football is finally back.  And if last night were any indication, we're going to be in for another typically epic season.  Aaron Rodgers (though no longer my personal fantasy mans 'n them) and Drew Brees didn't take long to remind us of what we'd been missing, and I got my fantasy campaign started in style with a Robert Meachem touchdown...which led to what will no doubt be a season long exercise in coming up with hilarious fantasy team names based around his name.  "Hot for Meacher", "Meaches & Herb", and the Rhode Island friendly "Side by Meach" are the early front runners...

Not exactly inspiring...
Last night also indicated that the Red Sox might be in for an equally epic stretch run, but unfortunately that's looking like it could be epic for all the wrong reasons.  No time for that today, though.  Because while the Sox may be stumbling, it's football that's on every one's mind, and I'm here to feed the need with the season's first edition of my weekly picks...


Now, in years past, I've usually done an NFL preview in advance of my weekly picks, but in lieu of time, and considering the fact that I've now become a person who essentially despises pre season predictions (making decisions without any real evidence just isn't my bag), I've opted for a "Power Rankings" type of write up, complete with the pick and a sentence or two (or 5) about the teams involved.  Lazy?  Perhaps.  But user friendly?  You bet your beard it is...

So get your pens out, kids, or whatever implement it is you use to mark down your picks, cuz we're about to dive headlong into another exciting NFL season.  And your man here is ready to give you all the winners that'll sure to keep you walkin' tall around the Keurig machine come Monday morning.  That's right, it's the new water cooler.  Or the water cooler for yuppies, if you will....

Whatever your beverage of choice, you'll be drinkin' it with a smile on your face.  Here's to hopin' we'll be smiling together, and you just won't be smiling at my pitiful performance.  Know what I mean, Meaches 'n Cream?...

Enjoy...


NFL Week 1 Picks
Here's to hopin' this is fake, no matter how appropriate it is...
Pittsburgh Steelers (+2.5) @ Baltimore Ravens

Two great teams that should be in the Super Bowl mix all season long, and undoubtedly the most physical rivalry in the game today.  I give the edge to the Steelers, not only because the road team seems to thrive in this series, but because the Pittsburgh offense seems geared up and loaded for bear.  You may not think much of Big Ben, but that unit is going to be even better than the were last year, and paired with that legendary defense, that should make the boys from Shattstown the toughest out in the AFC...

Atlanta Falcons (-3) @ Chicago Bears + OVER 40.5

The Dirty Birds are my pick to win the Super Bowl.  Yep, you heard it here first.  From the guy that told you the Packers were going to win it last year, this year I'm giving you the Falcons.  They've got the offense, they've got the defense, they have great lineman, and they have a sour taste in their mouth after Green Bay smacked them in the mouth in last year's playoffs.  In my experience, that's usually a good recipe for success...
The Dirty Bird is back en vogue...

New York Jets (-4.5) vs Dallas Cowboys + OVER 40.5

I'm obviously not a fan of the Jets, but that doesn't mean I don't appreciate how talented they are.  And I'm not a fan of the Cowboys, either, but that doesn't mean I don't appreciate that they are still a few big pieces away from being a legit contender again.  One of those pieces being quarterback...

...and having a sane owner who actually knew how to evaluate players wouldn't hurt, either...

Cleveland Browns (-6.5) vs Cincinnati Bengals

I'm on board with both opinions that seem to be making the rounds:

A) The Bengals are going to be awful

AND

B) The Browns should be markedly improved

So, there ya go.  That pick pretty much makes itself.  Following the logic to "never bet on a game featuring two teams from Ohio" might be a good move here, too, though...

St. Louis Rams (+5) vs Philadelphia Eagles + UNDER 45

From the "it's impossible for everyone to be right" school of thought, I bring you this pick.  But I'm not making it simply to be a contrarian.  Sure, I'm not as high on the Eagles as most, but this is more a reflection of my thinking that the Rams don't suck, and are actually pretty decent.  Combine that with the fact that they're at home, and the Eagles O-Line is about as dependable as an out of work coke fiend, I'll take my chances that they keep this one closer than the 5 point spread would lead you to believe...

Detroit Lions (+2.5) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Two teams every pundit has been tripping over to declare their sleeper, and despite being on the road, I say it's the Detroit Lions that announce their presence first.  Tampa is a fine team, and Detroit has instability in the running game, but I just get the feeling that a big story line after week 1 is going to be about how the formerly hapless Lions have started off the season with a big road win.  I know, I'm the one who always says attempting to predict games by predicting possible headlines is a sure fire way to lose, but what can I say?  I'm a journalistic minded glutton for punishment...



This dumpy emperor has clothes, now that
he's back in a role that suits him...
Houston Texans (-8.5) vs Indianapolis Colts

Speaking of being a glutton for punishment, it seems Peyton Manning's injury has opened the door for the team that's fucked us all in the past to finally do the damn thing, this year.  Yep, you haven't been picking games too long if you haven't been screwed by the Texans, but between the aforementioned injury, a seemingly inept division, and the addition of Wade Phillips as their defensive co-ordinator (I know he's an awful head coach, but he's a great DC), it should take more than Arian Foster's shady hamstring to keep this team from finally reaching the playoffs...

...then again, they'll probably screw us again and the Titans will win the division at 7-9 or somethin'.

Dude deserved better...

Tennessee Titans (-2) @ Jacksonville Jaguars

Speaking of those awful teams in the AFC South, here they are.  And if it weren't for fantasy football, I don;t think anyone would even be watching this game.  Hell it almost seems unfair a team is going to emerge from this thing 1-0...

In reality, though, the Titans D should be better than advertised, and Jacksonville deserves to lose on karma alone after that last minute cutting of David Garrard.  Hey, I know it's show business and not show friends, but there are right ways to do things, and there are wrong ways.  The way they cut him, the timing of the whole thing, was the wrong way...

Arizona Cardinals (-6.5) vs Carolina Panthers

I don't really have an opinion on whether Cam Newton will be a good pro or not.  Like I said off the top, I don't like making decisions based on extremely limited information, and that's all we've got on him, right now. That's all the Panthers had on him when they drafted him, too, for what that's worth...

I'm not a huge Kevin Kolb fan, either, but I feel he can help finally stabilize that squad for the 1st time in the post Kurt Warner era.  They'll be able to stack the box and force the Panthers to throw.  Something they won't want to do.  And that should make this an easy week 1, probably making the Cardinals look a lot better than they are in the process...

Keep on walkin', Petey...
San Francisco 49ers (-5.5) vs Seattle Seahawks

I predicted when he was hired, that Pete Carroll would make an improbable playoff run in his first year, only to then not make it through a full 3 seasons as head coach.  Well, consider this the beginning of the second leg of that journey...

Quick, name the Seattle starting quarterback.  Did you say, Seneca Wallace?  Well, if you did, you're wrong...at least I think you are.  But that's what I'm saying.  They may still be tough to topple at home, but they're not at home in this one.  Not even to mention the fact that the Niners are a team on the come...

Kansas City Chiefs (-5.5) vs Buffalo Bills

Another squad on the come is the Chiefs, though Matt Cassel's relative health and the inconsistent nature of that offense still has me concerned.  Lucky for them, the Bills are one of the worst teams in football.  Yeah, that's right.  Again...

The Bills could prove to be game enough in this one to stick around if the Chiefs can't get anything done through the air, but I'm not taking that chance.  Big plays should be the story in this one, and with their plethora of play makers, I expect the Chiefs to make enough of them to win this thing, and start the season off on a positive note...

These Teds are up to somethin', I can feel it!
Washington Redskins (+3) vs New York Giants

I don't know what to tell ya, except that when Rex Grossman said this team was going to be better than everyone thought, I believed him.  To quote Scarface in Half Baked, "I believe him, yo.  I don't know why, but I do".  I think the Giants are a very dangerous team, and the NFC East is going to be an absolute blood bath, but with Mike Shannahan having exiled all his problem children to New England, I think the Redskins can bring a team mentality to the table that's going to keep them in more games than most fans expect.  Starting with this one...

Minnesota Vikings (+9) @ San Diego Chargers

For a team that only really lacked last year in Special Teams (ranked 1 or 2 in total Offense AND Defense), it must have been painful to watch Darren Sproles did what he did last night.  That'll be nothing, though, if they open the season with a loss at home to a team led by Donovan McNabb....which they most likely won't do...

Nine points is a lot, though, whether the opposing QB is ralphing on the field, or not.  I think San Diego is the front runner in the West, and I think they're going to win this game, I'm just not pumped to take any team with this many points in a week 1 match up.  Unless of course their franchise quarterback had just been ruled out for the season...

Monday Night
Have Tommy, will travel...

New England Patriots (-6.5) @ Miami Dolphins + OVER 45

Finally, we get to the Patriots, playing the division rival Dolphins in a place that always gives them fits.  Well, not this time....

Last time the Patriots played in Miami, I was on the radio doing a 2 hour fill in, and telling everyone why the Patriots were going to lose.  Ahhh, memories.  Well, rest assured I'm a man that learns from his mistakes.  I don't peg the Pats to go 14-2, again, but I still think they'll prove to be the class of the AFC East.  And for that are worried about the passing game, shame on you.  Tom Brady is still Tom Brady, and no matter what you may think of his offensive weapons, I'm going to bet on him getting the job done every time out.  The Dolphins are a game squad (and Reggie Bush adds some much needed big play ability.  Another guy that wasn't pumped to see what Darren Sproles did last night), don't get me wrong, and I don't expect this to be an ass kicking.  But the Patriots are elite.  And elite teams win by 7 on the road, as long as they're not playing another elite team.  Which I believe we just established the Dolphins were most definitely not...

Matter of fact, Seneca Wallace may be their quarterback, too.  Unless Cleo Lemon is filling in this week...

Tim 3:14 And God said, let him sit on the bench!
Denver Broncos (-3) vs Oakland Raiders + OVER 40

A Mile High Monday Night shootout?  Sure, why not.  These teams showed last year they're capable of running it up on each other, so why not start this year the same way on the game's biggest stage?  Neither defense particularly impresses me, here, which is why I'm taking the over (I usually do on MNF), and I see these as two relatively balanced teams, which is why I'm taking the home squad and floatin' the 3 points...

Oh, and Tim Tebow.  Sorry, I'm just required by law to mention him when I talk about the Broncos.  And I probably should, anyway, seeing as I don't want God and Jesus and whatnot putting a hex on my season before it even started, just cuz I slighted their boy...


Last Season: 166-116-6 (.587)

All Time: 606-370-41 (.616) 

Week 1's are typically a bust, and I've more than gone out of my way to set myself up for failure, but my record speaks for itself.  That's right, pimps.  SCOREBOARD.  I may be quirky, but year after year, I'm one of the only people I know that actually wins.  Sure, a lot of people say they win, but in my experience, the guys that actually win and don't charge $19.95 a week to let you see their picks are few and far between.  Lucky for you, I happen to be one of them.  No need to thank me, just pay it forward... 

When boosters were cool...
With all the talk of crooked boosters and conference realignment, I almost forgot this sport actually played games.  But they do, and yes you guessed it, I'm a pimp when it comes to picking these games, too.  I'm a little short on analysis, but what I lack in that I tend to make up for with pictures of scantily clad coeds.  I don't have any this week (sad), but that's something I'd definitely keep an eye out for in the future...

Oh, and since I did the same more or less with the NFL, here ya go.  Florida State is going to be your National Champion, and Oklahoma QB Landry Fields (or Jones) is going to be your Heisman Trophy winner.  South Carolina RB, Marcus Lattimore, is the best player in college football, but Landry Jones will walk away with the hardware...

NCAA Top 25 Picks
(3) Alabama (-10) @ (23) Penn St.

He's the best, in case you didn't know...
(8) Wisconsin (-21) vs Oregon St.

(12) South Carolina (-3) @ Georgia

Toledo (+21) @ (15) Ohio St.

Auburn (+6.5) vs (16) Mississippi St.

(17) Michigan St. (-32) vs FAU

(21) Missouri (+8) @ Arizona St.

(24) Texas (-6.5) vs BYU

(25) TCU (-2) @ Air Force

Michigan (+3.5) vs Notre Dame


Last Season: 80-66-4 (.547)

All Time: 355-231-16 (.603)



So there ya go, folks.  All the picks fit to keep your wallet full, and your chest puffed out.  Hope you all have a great weekend, and only ask that you send some good vibes in the direction of Team RoochNation.com.  They'll be fighting for the Championship around the same time you're fighting for your fantasy lives, so if you're going to be sending out positive thoughts, that's the time to do it.  Inconvenient?  Yes.  But inspirational?  You bet your ass.  Go get 'em, boys.  You've already done me proud, and now it's time to bring home the hardware...

Be good, friends.  And I'll catch you on the flipman...


Teddy Williams...
Blood Sucking Meaches...
100...

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