LiveBall’s Week One NFL Picks
A quick little preview of each game that will be played today or tomorrow, and of course, a game pick.
I picked Tennessee to win on Thursday, so I start in an 0-1 hole. Not a gambler, so I don’t pick against the spread.
Miami at Atlanta
The primary storyline is the continued development of Matt Ryan as a passer, but I see the viability of the Miami Dolphins defense against a powerful runner like Michael Turner as the most important thing this game will decide. Turner the Burner did not chew up much of his yardage against the best defenses he faced last year, accruing most of his 1,699 yards against the likes of the Lions and the Rams. If the Dolphins defense finds itself in that category, it’s going to be a long season. Independent of this, I’m picking the Falcons.
Kansas City at Baltimore
I’m making this my elimination pick for the week. Matt Cassel isn’t healthy, but the Ravens defense finally is. Here’s a tidbit: the Ravens defense was the least healthy unit in the NFL last year. It was also one of the very best. No contest in this one, take the Ravens.
Philadelphia at Carolina
Put LeSean McCoy on the list of fantasy sleepers who could score big in Week One. He’s not going to start in this one, but with Brian Westbrook on a carry count, the Panthers defense trying to find bodies in the middle to stop the run, it’s just breaking perfectly for an 100 yard 2 TD debut for the talented rookie. Eagles.
Denver at Cincinnati
Very interesting game here today. You’ve got the Denver offense, so good a year ago with no changes on the OL, but at the skill positions, against a talented, dynamic Cincinnati Bengal defense. Denver needs a decisive win there, because the old, worn down secondary is going to have it’s hands full with Carson Palmer. Bengals.
Minnesota at Cleveland
I want to see how viable the Cleveland OL can be against perhaps the toughest DL in the league. If they can keep Brady Quinn clean in this one, they can probably keep him upright against anyone they play and it gives them a fighting chance. Still, the Cleveland defense can’t match up with Adrian Peterson against the run or the pass. If their solution to stopping him involves bringing more guys up than the Vikings can block, Brett Favre should have quite the day. Vikings.
NY Jets at Houston
The Jets OL is going to be a great test for the pass rush of the Texans. The key to this game though is going to be the match-up between the Texan LBs and Jets TE Dustin Keller. If they can take the tight end away, Mark Sanchez is in a lot of trouble in his first career start. I’ll take the Texans in this one, tenatively. Just don’t like the Jets defense in this one.
Jacksonville at Indianapolis
Last year, the Colts lost 4 of their first 7 games, and very nearly began 2-5. Before that, though, they had gone 3 consecutive seasons without a loss in September or October. Yeah, that makes the Colts a pretty good bet in this one no matter how prepared the Jags are.
Detroit at New Orleans
I’ve got my upset special working this game as Kevin Smith embarrasses the Saints defense to the tune of 150 rushing yards and 3 TDs. Lions win their first game since 2007.
Dallas at Tampa Bay
If the Bucs can keep DeMarcus Ware from getting hits and sacks on Byron Leftwich, I really like Tampa in this one. It’s a scary sort of upset pick because the Dallas defense might completely take over this game, but I don’t see Tony Romo enjoying much success in the air, and given the turnover in the Dallas secondary, the big-armed Leftwich could toss a couple of TDs.
San Francisco at Arizona
This is going to be a very tight game. Shaun Hill should enjoy considerable success against the Arizona defense, and Frank Gore might break a long run or two, making the 49ers a threat to score 20+ points in this limited-time offer. Kurt Warner, I think he struggles through this game, but when it comes down to it, he’s going to make the plays that will put the Cardinals at 1-0.
Washington at NY Giants
Team with the cleanest injury report in the league (Washington) vs. the team with the longest list of week one injuries (Giants)? Give me the Redskins.
St. Louis at Seattle
I think St. Louis will vulture a lot of wins this year off bad opponents, but I also thought that the last two years. In any event, Seattle is not a bad opponent. They begin a super bowl run here today.
Chicago at Green Bay
Really epic Sunday Night game here. It’s the first game in the next chapter of the Bears-Packers rivalry, quarterback edition! Aaron Rodgers gets a small edge over Jay Cutler at this point, but bring in the rest of the teams and I like the Bears to beat the Packers tonight.
Buffalo at New England
Over/under on Tom Brady passing yards in this game: 350. How about 150 on Randy Moss receiving yards? The only suspense in this one is, who exactly will carry the ball for the Patriots once this is out of hand? Patriots.
San Diego at Oakland
Just in case you thought LaDainian Tomlinson might be done: his average day against Oakland in his career goes for 120+ rushing yards and more than two touchdowns. Just sayin’, the Raiders might have been better not selling this one out. I like the Chargers.
Trippiedi’s season record to date: 0-1.