NFL SEASON 2014: Week one picks
I'm not an NFL expert. I don't get paid to go on television or write an article in the newspaper to pontificate on the greatest sport in America. No, I'm just a fan and, this season, I'm venturing to post weekly picks, with scores and see how I do against the experts.
I generally get bored posting series' to Hubpages so who knows how long I'll keep this up. My goal, though, is to have picks posted by Wednesday of each week.
Full disclosure, since 1987, I have been a die hard Seahawks fan. My picks will generally skew in their favor. Take this with a grain of salt and, of course, use these predictions for fun. Don't take them to your bookie or your local casino and bet the farm. Just enjoy them, share them debate them, talk about them.
I will also be tracking my over all W-L record, the number of times I am correct on the point differential, the exact score for one team and the exact score for both teams. I don't expect the latter two to happen very often, but even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in awhile...
Please, no name calling. These are only predictions and this is only a game. Disagree if you would like to (please!) but any name calling or other immature behavior will be blocked and reported. So, without further ado, here goes.
My Super Bowl Pick
Repeating is hard, but I still feel like they have the best team and are hungry for more. No team has repeated as NFL Champion since toe 2003-2004 Patriots. I think that changes this year. Yes, I'm a honk, but it's hard to argue that the Seahawks are not the best team in the NFL as the season begins.
Super Bowl 49
Seahawks def, Indianapolis.
NFL Week One 2014
The first quarter of the season is very difficult to pick because you don't really have a feel for who's good yet and who's not. Many of these picks are based on simple gut, others based on last years performance, others made just because I like them. I guess time will tell how things go and if I may indeed have a future as a paid expert (heh heh heh).
Also, I will include a music video each week to provide a soundtrack for you as you read.
The soundtrack for week one
Green Bay at Seattle
If you're a Seahawks fan (guilty as charged), this is a scary match up. Green Bay has a very good offense that could cause problems against Seattle's vaunted secondary. With Peppers , the Packers have upgraded on defense, though Raji being out affects their depth. Plus, this will be an emotionally charged game, with the ring ceremony and all, not which could cause some early mistakes. Still, we saw what happened last time Seattle faced a prolific offense-- a 43-8 shellacking in the Super Bowl. I think it's a close first half but the 12th Man, Beast Mode and the Legion of Boom pull away in the end.
Packers 17 Seahawks 30
New Orleans at Atlanta
New Orleans is an early favorite to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl and for good reason. That offense is just as prolific as ever and the defense is much more stout. The Falcons were dreadful last year, finishing 3-13. But, they played a lot of close games and were riddled with injuries. I look for them to have a bounce back year and actually win the NFC South. They start off with a W here, too.
Saints 24 Falcons 27
Minnesota at St Louis
The Rams lost QB Sam Bradford for the season (again) with a torn ACL (again). Thankfully, they have one of the best defenses in the NFL, a ridiculous running game and an adequate QB in Shaun Hill. The Vikings have Adrian Peterson but won't be able to do much through the air, mainly because Matt Cassel will be on his back most of the game. The rams won't score a bunch, but they won't need to this week.
Vikings 10 Rams 17
Cleveland at Pittsburgh
At first glance, the Browns had a great off season, revamping an already solid defense. But, that offense is still atrocious, and with Josh Gordon suspended for the year, they will struggle. and the Steelers are primed for a bounce back year. The Browns defense will keep it interesting, but I think Big Ben leads the Steelers to a winning touchdown drive in the final quarter.
Browns 14 Steelers 20
Jacksonville at Philadelphia
I like what Gus Bradley has done in Jacksonville. That defense is nasty and the ground game could be nasty on opposing defenses. Henne has proven to be an adequate QB and, while adequate doesn't win titles, it also doesn't lose many. Philly could have a prolific offense once again and with LeSean McCoy, they are a threat to score from anywhere on the field. But, as with all Chip Kelly teams, they're soft. That could cost them against a physical front seven. Plus, the Eagles were terrible at home last year. I think the Eagles pull it off but it won't be easy as many think.
Jaguars 24 Eagles 28
Oakland at New York Jets
In the battle of Perpetually Terrible versus Perpetually Underachieving, I'm intrigued by the running game of the Raiders who could run rough shod over an overrated Jets defense. MJD had a down year and is poised for a big year (crossing his fingers for his fantasy teams' sake) to prove his worth. But, the Jets could harass Matt Schaub, who is prone to making terrible decisions under defensive pressure. The Jets are the better team on defense and that makes the difference here. It won't be pretty by Rex Ryan and Company will take it.
Raiders 13 Jets 16
Cincinnati at Baltimore
Are the Ravens are back? Joe Flacco looks great, that defense looks nasty and, even without Ray Rice, they should be able to move the ball against the Bengals. Dalton and Green will connect for a couple of scores and Giovani Bernard should keep the ball out of the hands of Joe Flacco and company. Will it be enough to pull off a road victory? Logic says yes, my gut says no. I gotta take the home team here in a squeaker.
Bengals 20 Ravens 23
Buffalo at Chicago
I'm not sure how good Da Bears will be this year, but that won't matter this week. The Bills are a legit first overall pick contender and I think the campaign for futility begins in earnest here. The Bears seem to be improved on defense and, as always, Matt Forte causes problems and Cutler has been prone to bouts of greatness-- especially against lesser opponents. Unless you're a Bears fan, this one won't be worth watching.
Bills 3 Bears 28
Washington at Houston
The Redskins fell hard last year, after winning the division in 2012 , they finished dead last in 2013. Some of this could be attributed to injuries, some of it the fact that Coach Shanahan and QB Robert Griffin III disagreed on just about everything. Shanahan is gone and RG3, while healthy, had just a so-so pre season. The Texans lost their final 14 games last season to finish last in the NFL. But, they should be much improved on both sides of the ball and, while neither of these teams is a playoff contender, both will be better. Should be an entertaining, see saw affair.
Redskins 21 Texans 27
Tennessee at Kansas City
I was a Chiefs hater last year, which was confirmed when their 9-0 start resulted in an 11-5 finish and a first round exit. The Defense is still there and, of course, Jamaal Charles I always a threat to break one. The Titans are confusing to me. I feel like they should be good but they're not Bishop Sankey could one day be the NFL rushing champ and I think he will have a good debut here but it won't be enough. I think The Chiefs take this one, but I wouldn't be surprised either way.
Titans 20 Chiefs 22
Carolina at Tampa Bay
Carolina is going to free fall this year. Their receiving core is decimated and the run game is a mess. Cam Newton is good, but not good enough to win games by himself. Thankfully, he has a strong defense so he won't need to be “The Guy” every week. The Buccaneers, after a slow start, were one of the hottest teams at the end of last season behind rookie QB Mike Glennon and a powerful running game. I like them to get off to a good start at home here as the state of Florida goes 3-0 in week one. Points will be at a premium.
Panthers 14 Buccaneers 16
San Francisco at Dallas
The 49ers are going to take a step back this year. With Aldon Smith out for nine weeks due to suspension, the Ray McDonald situation and with Bowman out at least six weeks (probably more) due to a knee injury, that defense is not as deep as it was last year. Offensively, Kaepernick will have to carry this team. I don't think he can. And then there's the Harbaugh's contract situation...I don't see the 49ers making a serious run this year. This could be the 12th man in me talking, but I'm not the only one. On the other hand, the Cowboys will be on the losing end of a lot of 38-35 games. With their best defender (Sean Lee) out for the year, they won't stop anyone but they will rack up points. With a diminished 49er front seven and a suspect secondary, the Cowboys will move the ball at will in this one. So will the 49ers. As much as I'd like to see these Cowboys knock the red and gold off, I just don't think they have the horses to do it. But San Fran will be lucky to leave with a W.
49ers 34 Cowboys 31
Indianapolis at Denver
The Colts are my pick to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl this year. I love their offense and their defense is solid. Plus, they play in a weak division. After last years' embarrassing performance in the Super Bowl, the Broncos addressed the need for toughness in the off season with a number of solid defensive signings. With Peyton Manning at the helm, and an exciting young running back in Montee Ball, you're always going to score plenty of points. But, I still think Denver is susceptible to pressure defenses and this is where the Colts hold the advantage. This game will have plenty of points and will delight fantasy owners everywhere. Colts fans, though, will be the happier ones going into week two.
Colts 30 Broncos 24
New York Giants at Detroit
Eh, the Giants. They're always entertaining. Whether they're turning the ball over seven times or scoring seven touch downs, the Giants are always worth watching. This year will be no different. The Lions, behind Matt Stafford, Megatron and Golden Tate will score plenty of points and that defensive line is fierce as all get out. I think they get after Manning in this one and force him into some turnovers.
Giants 20 Lions 26
San Diego at Arizona
Going into this season, I felt like Arizona was a legitimate playoff team. That defense was just downright suffocating, Carson Palmer is one of the most underrated QB's in the game and Andre Ellington has offensive MVP written all over him. Now, missing 3/7ths of their front seven, the defense is decidedly average. Phillip Rivers and the Chargers had a great 2013, advancing to the playoffs for the first time since 2009. The offense looked dominant at times and the defense did just enough to get the job done. The Chargers face two NFC WEST teams to start the season and it will be a true test of how good this team is. I like them here, but I'm not in love with them.
Chargers 23 Cardinals 17
New England at Miami
The Patriots are a pre season favorite to supplant the Broncos as AFC Champions. Indeed, a healthy Tom Brady with a plethora of receivers is always a threat, and, of course, Bellicheck always finds a way to make it work. Plus, that defense-- especially at he linebacker position, looks very physical. But I like what the Dolphins have done and I think Tannenhill and that defense are primed for a big year and a playoff run. Couple that with the fact that the Patriots generally struggle in Miami and I think Miami start things off with a W here.
Patriots 17 Dolphins 21
My Poetry Collection
Thanks for Reading.
A FREELANCE WRITER, HONORS STUDENT AND GOVER PRIZE FINALIST, JUSTIN W. PRICE (AKA, PDXKARAOKEGUY)IS A POET, SHORT STORY, BIOGRAPHY AND HUMOR WRITER. HIS POETRY COLLECTION,DIGGING TO CHINA, WAS RELEASED FEBRUARY 2ND, 2013 BY SWEATSHOPPE PUBLICATIONS AND IS AVAILABLE ON AMAZON.COM, BARNES AND NOBLE AND THROUGH YOUR LOCAL BOOKSELLER.
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