NFL Picks. Week 1, 2015
Week one picks are hard.
I'm guessing on all of these picks, basing them on how they did last year, off-season additions, and old film.
I could be 0-16 on these picks (I'd like them to be, I picked my Raiders to lose), and it wouldn't surprise me. So...
Patriots vs. Steelers- Patriots.
If Tom Brady was still suspended, this pick would be going the other way, but...
Unfortunately it didn't swing that way and now the Steelers are the ones missing all the superstars.
No Le'Veon Bell.
No Martavius Bryant.
The offensive line is banged up, and there are still questions about the depth they have on defense.
Brady's gonna be fuuuuurious, and I think he's gonna wreck the NFL this year, starting with the Steelers.
Packers vs. Bears- Packers.
There's a reason that this game isn't on primetime.
And that reason, is that the Bears are really, really bad.
When I try to list team strengths and I have to consider using Jay Cutler?... Not a good sign.
Even without Jordy Nelson, the Packers should still be really good this year, and I don't foresee the Bears being a problem.
Chiefs vs. Texans- Chiefs.
This game should actually be really good. The two teams are eerily similar and feature elite pass rushers.
Unfortunately we don't get to see Justin Houston and J.J. Watt fight at the fifty yard line, and the sad fact is that the Texans have holes on offense.
Alex Smith is a better quarterback than Brian Hoyer, and without Arian Foster, the Texans are going to struggle to generate offense.
Not to mention... Jamaal Charles is still a thing...
Travis Kelce is set for a monster season too...
Browns vs Jets- Jets.
I'm picking the Jets because Johnny Manziel is one of the few quarterbacks in the league who isn't better than Ryan Fitzpatrick. The Browns are a hot mess on offense and unless Terrelle Pryor...
I just realized we could see Johnny Manziel throwing passes to Terrelle Pryor in the near future.
Mother of God.
How the hell do Manziel, Pryor, and Gordon share a locker room without all getting arrested?
I'm taking the Jets because they're a more solid unit. Thanks for comin' out.
Colts vs Bills- Colts.
I don't have to work hard to explain this pick.
The weather is too warm for the Bills' homefield advantage to mean much of anything to the Colts.
And a fresh Andrew Luck, Frank Gore, and Andre Johnson?
A lot more intimidating than say, a banged up LeSean McCoy and Tyrod Taylor?
Dolphins vs. Redskins- Dolphins
I think the Dolphins are wild-card contenders.
I think the Redskins are first overall pick contenders.
Between me and me, I don't see this game being very entertaining.
It will be interesting to see how Ryan Tannehill plays behind a beat up offensive line, but fortunately, I don't think Kirk Cousins will put up much of a fight for the Redskins.
Panthers vs. Jaguars- Panthers.
I will never, ever, ever, ever have faith in the Jacksonville Jaguars.
But I'll believe in them before I buy Cam Newton as a legitimate passer in this league.
But I'll say Cam Newton is better than Andrew Luck before I stop repeating that Luke Kuechly is the best linebacker in the league.
I don't think the Carolina Panthers will be very good this year, but they should have a decent defense, and one good enough to stifle the Jags.
Seahawks vs. Rams- Seahawks.
I came very close to picking the Rams in this game.
Very, very, very close.
But I don't necessarily buy the Rams offense clicking that quickly.
I think the Seahawks are still a bit more experienced as a unit and they'll raise problems for the Rams.
...We'll see what happens when they meet up again though...
Saints vs. Cardinals- Cardinals.
This is a bit of a risky pick.
I've buried the Saints. I really don't believe they're legitimate contenders, and put all of the blame squarely on the smallball offense that the Saints run through Drew Brees. The loss of weapons like Jimmy Graham will come back to haunt them later in the season.
As for the Cardinals, the offensive line is solid, Carson Palmer is healthy again, and with Larry Fitzgerald in the slot, the offense should be fun. Their defense looked amazing this pre-season, with the exception of their wildly overrated corner, Patrick Peterson.
Lions vs. Chargers- Chargers.
This game should be a lot of fun. Neither defense is very good but both offense have the potential to be really explosive.
Ideally, it'll be a shootout, with Stafford and Rivers exchanging haymakers until they just can't throw anymore.
Honestly, this game should've been in primetime.
The reason I'm picking San Diego is because I believe they're going to commit to the run this year, and the losses of Fairley and Suh will be felt big time by the Lions.
Titans vs. Buccaneers- Buccaneers.
I think the winner of this game actually loses.
C'mon man! You were supposed to be tanking for next season!
I'm taking the Bucs because despite what I just said, they do have a pretty talented roster. They've got pieces everywhere, including Mike Evans, Doug Martin, and Vincent Jackson on offense.
I don't particularly like either of the rookie quarterbacks yet, but I do think Winston is more pro-ready, if less exciting than Mariota.
Bengals vs. Raiders- Bengals.
I always want the Raiders to beat the Bengals.
Tons of dumb Raider fans still clamor for the magical Hue Jackson.
Not because he sent a kings ransom for Carson Palmer.
Not because he doomed us to cap hell.
But because he got Oakland to an 8-8 record once.
Unfortunately, I don't think the Raiders can stop the pass or run the ball, and I think that puts a lot of pressure on Derek Carr to succeed.
This makes me sad, but I think the Bengals probably roll over my Raiders.
Ravens vs. Broncos- Broncos.
The Broncos are a far more complete team and the Ravens just don't have receivers.
Forsett is a huge fantasy option this year because he might be the only capable skills player.
I think the Broncos will choke them out in week one, just like they did two years ago.
The front seven of the Ravens will have to try really, really hard to get Peyton out of his comfort zone.
Giants vs Cowboys- Cowboys.
This game is always hard to predict.
You do throw out the record books and momentum and all that jazz when these two teams face off. I feel like I always call it wrong.
I'm taking Dallas because I think they'll try to control the pace of the game through the ground while the Giants run their offense through their receivers.
Long, punishing drives from Dallas and potentially risky throws from New York? A recipe for a Big D win.
Eagles vs. Falcons- Falcons.
I think the Falcons will come out with some sort of fiery explosive offense and really shock everyone. Meanwhile, I just don't know how long I'll be able to rely on that Eagles backfield.
It's awfully injury-prone and I think even the most diehard Eagles fans are tired of seeing Mark Sanchez under center for their team.
Vikings vs. 49ers- Vikings.
Two years ago, the idea of the Vikings beating the 49ers would've been ludicrous... But that's exactly what I think happens here.
A depleted roster with an awful coaching staff will get absolutely roasted and Adrian Peterson will make fantasy owners verrrrrrrrrrrrrry very happy.
Meanwhile I think Colin Kaepernick is really going to struggle. They'll try to put the weight on his shoulders and it will break his back.
Fleegle's Picks: Best In The World Challenge.
For those who didn't follow my picks last year, let me explain what the "Best In The World Challenge" is.
Conner and I both try to predict the winner of every game during every week of the season, and whoever has a better record at the end is the "best in the world".
Last year, you might as well have called it SummerSlam because we had a screwed finish.
See, at the end of the regular season, I had a better record than Conner, but we decided to keep the music playing into the post-season, and by picking the Patriots while I picked the Seahawks, he got the win.
He pinned me, but my foot was on the rope.
He tapped out, but the ref didn't see.
This year, hopefully I'll run away with it.
Insert sunglasses emoji.
I would say something cool and corny like "The Champ Is Here", but, I can't stand the John Cena character, so, I won't. But anyway, WE'RE BACK FOR ANOTHER YEAR SO HERE WE GO!!! Week One is here!!! Lots of good games this week, so lets get to it...
Pittsburgh @ New England: Starting the season off with a bang! We should start a drinking game for this one. "Take a shot every time NBC mentions Tom Brady, Deflategate, or Goodell", but then the hospitals would be overflooded with alcohol poisoning victims, so lets not do that. Anyhow, for the game, Tom Brady against a not improved Steelers defense, plus a fired up Brady over the whole situation with Goodell, makes for a long night for the Steelers. Patriots start the year with a win.
Green Bay @ Chicago: A big rivalry game in Week One? Sign me up! I would like to think that Chicago will put up a good effort in this game being at home, but, I still think Aaron Rodgers finds a way to win this game, even though he doesn't have anybody to throw the ball to. Packers win, in a close one.
Kansas City @ Houston: This game is interesting. Could be one of the surprising great games of Week One, actually. Houston has problems at QB, but the last time I checked, they have J.J. Watt to wreak havoc against KC. Being at home gives Houston the edge in this one, and the Texans find a way to win.
Cleveland @ New York Jets: Ummm.....uhhh....errr....does anybody care? Seriously, does anybody care about this game? I don't even know who to pick. Oh wait...it's Cleveland on the field. Jets win at home.
Indianapolis @ Buffalo: Andrew Luck against the Bills. Need anything else? Okay.....it's the Bills. Colts win.
Miami @ Washington: The Redskins organization is a complete mess at the moment. Plus, I think this is a make or break year for Ryan Tannehill, and I think he knows it too. Expect him to have a big game and the Dolphins to steal a road win.
Carolina @ Jacksonville: Jacksonville is SO BAD. But, I mean, does Carolina really scare anybody either? I think the Panthers win, but I don't think it will be convincing.
Seattle @ St. Louis: Remember when the Rams beat the Seahawks in St. Louis last year? I think we COULD see the same this year. Do I think we will? No. Could we? Of course. But, I think Seattle's defense is too much in this one. Seahawks win.
New Orleans @ Arizona: The Cardinals were the surprise team of 2014. They took everyone by surprise and really put the league on notice. The Saints? They did the exact opposite. They really did not perform up to expectations, and I think the window is starting to close on the career of Drew Brees. BUT...BUT...BUT...that was last year, and this is 2015, damnit! Brees comes out in Week One and rocks the Cardinals' world and the Saints get a big road win.
Detroit @ San Diego: This is an intriguing game too. Detroit made some good moves this offseason (Haloti Ngata in particular, *sigh*), and of course the Chargers gave a stupidly ridiculous amount of money to Philip Rivers (hahahahahahahaha, did you see that deal??). As for this game....it's a tough one to call. The Lions have been a very streaky team the last couple of years.....but then again, so have the Chargers. It's a coin flip, but, I think the Chargers, at home, get the win.
Tennessee @ Tampa Bay: This game has snoozefest written all over it, doesn't it? Coin flip. Tampa Bay wins at home.
Cincinnati @ Oakland: There's nothing more I would like to see, as a Ravens fan, then for the Raiders to win this game. And you know what? With the Bengals having to go west.....I think they will! Raiders....THEEEEEEE RRRRRRRRRRRAIDERS.....get a week one win!
Baltimore @ Denver: I think this year is probably the end for Peyton Manning. We started to see that towards the end of last year. As for my Ravens.....I don't really quite know what to make of their chances for this year. The lack of a receiver to go along with Steve Smith Sr. scares me. Perriman missed the entire preseason so he'll be behind in his timing with Joe Flacco. The run game should be solid, the defense is a little question but I think they'll get better as the year goes on. But as for Week One? Yeah, this game scares the hell out of me as a Ravens fan. But you know what, it might be crazy, it might not be smart, BUT, I think the Ravens put the rest of the league on notice and get the win over Peyton and his boys here in week one.
New York Giants @ Dallas: Sunday Night Rivalry Football! Should be a pretty good game here, as it pretty much always is when these two teams meet up. Should be a really really good game, but I think the Cowboys get the win at home in Jerry World.
Philadelphia @ Atlanta: The first of two Monday Night games! This is a great matchup between a pair of pretty good offenses. This could be the highest scoring game of the weekend. Is this the year Matt Ryan and Atlanta steps up and shows the league this "potential" they've had for about 5 years? (the answer is no, by the way). Eagles go on the road, with Sam Bradford as their quarterback (crazy, right?) and beat Atlanta in the Dome.
Minnesota @ San Francisco: The Annual Insomniac Special! Glad this game starts at 10:15 so that I'm not compelled to watch all (or any) of it. Minnesota could be a surprise team this year, but this game won't show that. I'm not sold on the 49ers whatsoever (talk about offseason turmoil, good lord), but they do enough to cap off week one with a win at home.
There we have it. Should be another great year!
@Brodhisattva vs @McFleegle
^Note the Twitter handles y'all.
And surprisingly, we've got several week one disagreements!
I picked the Chiefs while he picked the Texans.
I picked the Cardinals while he picked the Saints.
I picked the ZzZzZ Bengals while he actually picked my Raiders!
I picked the hated Broncos while he thinks his Ravens fly high.
I picked the Falcons while he picked Chip Kelly's new look Eagles.
And last, and probably least, I picked the Vikings while he picked the 49ers.
Six games in week one?!
This should be fun!