Are you ready for some football? I honestly can’t remember the last time that I’ve been this excited for the NFL season. I don’t even know why. Maybe the NFL will help me get over the fact that this past summer is over before it ever really began. Maybe it’s because for third time since I’ve been old enough to remember the Jays have kept my interest until the month of September (a story for another day) or maybe it’s just because over the past week, I’ve entered 2 fantasy leagues, 1 pick ’em pool and 1 survivor pool. Yes all that, before even mentioning the random pro-lining (yes I just made that word up) that is bound to take place each and every sunday morning. But with that said, clearly I need to focus even more this season and what better way to do that, than to hold myself accountable my making a picks column. Yes, I work at a sports station, yes I read a lot of sports articles and listen to a few different NFL podcasts….But don’t worry, I will not be geeking out on too many stats here, of course this will be done #OnBlast style meaning I will aim to entertain first and not embarrass myself with horrible picks second. I will make picks against the spread and make my survivor picks (as long as I’m still in the pool, which for me usually ends around week 4 or 5). Anyways lets get to the picks, home team in caps:
SEAHAWKS (-6) Over Packers
I already gave you this one before the game via twitter and the book of faces, but it was proven once again that the Seahawks don’t lose at home. Plus, their D is just too good. The only way another team has a chance at winning in Seattle, is if their defence can keep the game close and their offence can eventually make plays late to pull out a victory. Yes kind of like the Niners ALMOST did last year in the NFC championship game. Until further notice I’m taking the Seahawks to beat anyone at home by at least a touchdown. They didn’t lose anyone from their lights out defence, plus is this the year that Russell Wilson makes the leap into the Manning, Brady, Brees, Rodgers QB God level? As a Niners fan, I hope not. But so far, so good for Macklemore’s Thift Shop Boys.
BEARS (-7) Over Bills
There is absolutely nothing that leads me to believe that the Buffalo Bills are a competent organization. EJ Manuel isn’t even a captain on the offence. Now think back to your high school football team for a second. No matter how bad your quarterback was, he was ALWAYS one of the captains. It’s a rite of passage, it’s just the way it is right? But not on a team that’s as dysfunctional as the Bills. Not on a team that has a coach that is openly beefing with the front office. This team is a joke and yet for some strange reason Bills fans are supposed to believe in their back up plan for EJ being Kyle Orton? This could go horribly wrong and part of me feels sorry for Bills fans because their team is so pathetic and you know…most of them live in Buffalo. Now with that said, over the years I’ve always had a pretty bad relationship with the Bills. Whenever I need them to win, they lose. If I need them to cover, they get crushed. But for some reason, this season there just seems to be no hope in the Buff and that’s why my Survivor Pick for this week is the BEARS. I have a bunch of different gambling rules that I try (huge emphasis on try) to stick to and my first one for a Survivor Pool is to identify the crappiest team in the league and ride with who ever they’re playing against for as long as possible. Obviously a lot of other rules come into play as well, like staying away from road teams and divisional games. But at least for week one, the Bills get my craptastic team of the week. Plus, everyone is expecting big things from the Bears offence this season, while you know…expecting the exact opposite from the Bills O. Now watch them go out and shock the world and eliminate 90% of Survivor pool participants by 4pm on Sunday of week 1.
Saints (-3) Over FALCONS
First off the Hard Knocks jinx is in full effect, so I don’t expect much good coming out of the ATL anytime soon other than Young Jeezy’s new album “Seen It All”. I can’t lie, I’ve been bumping that track with Jay Z for the past month and it’s still fire. Drew Brees in a dome, Jimmy Graham getting flags for dunking over the upright, when really he should retire that and break out the Shmoney dance. Seriously though, who will be the first person to bust out the Shmoney dance after scoring a touchdown? Someone has to do it right, it’s the song and dance of the summer. Beyonce and Jay Z already cosigned the movement (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6OYysiztZw4) and so the NFL needs to do the same and embrace the Shmoney dance. And oh yeah…Take the Saints…do it…do it.
Bengals (+1) Over RAVENS
Another huge gambling rule that I use, also happens to be one of my life rules as well; and it involves the term karma. You see, I like to stay away from negative people and negative situations. If you’re not about positivity, then I’m not about that life. So with that said, this season I’m staying away from Ray Rice and the Ravens. A two game suspension for a dude that’s caught on tape dragging his girlfriend out of an elevator??? That’s just ridiculous (TMZ stays winning by the way). It also should be embarrassing for the team and so they should have suspended him or cut him or done something, anything more than cosign a weak ass two game suspension. Why would anyone want to be associated with a woman beater. Sorry, but again I’m not about that life and I don’t like the stench surrounding the Ravens in the karma department this season.
Jags (+10.5) Over EAGLES
I so want to to take the Eagles, I really, REALLY do. Year 2 of the Chip Kelly offensive NFL experience should be outstanding. Nick Foles, is the man from the jump and so there’s no drama to worry about there. Shady McCoy is still Shady McCoy and so other than that jackass Riley Cooper (Nope I didn’t forget) the Eagles should be flying high all season long right to an NFC East division title. So why am I hesitating to take them to cover a measly 10.5 points against the Jags? Blake Bortles looked good, but not that good. To be honest, the only reason that I’m taking the Jags to cover is because I’m trying to stick to a new rule this year of staying away from taking double digit spreads. But if Chip and company drop 35 plus on the Jags, I’ll be the first one on the bandwagon to push for Philly to smash the Colts week 2 in Indy….You know what…why wait. Fuck it, I’m taking the EAGLES -10.5!!! #FLIPSIDE Freeway style.
TEXANS (-2.5) Over The Washington’s
I know, The Washington’s kind of sounds like it should be the last name of the family on that new show called Blackish, but I refuse to call that football team by that other name. I’m taking the Texans because JJ Watt and Jadeveon Clowney are going to be the first ones this season to expose RG3. I think he’s done, defences have figured out the read option to the point that it just isn’t safe anymore for teams to run that offence consistently and expect to keep their QB’s safe. Then add in the fact that his strength was running the ball and I’m not sure that he can run with the same explosiveness that he came into the league with. So the question becomes, can Mr. Griffin become a pocket passer? I don’t think so. Side note watch out for those Texans, good defence and an easy schedule. If Harvard’s finest (no not Jeremy Lin) Fitz-magic himself, can simply not lose games…then Houston could be sneaky decent this year. Don’t worry, I’m not really sure what sneaky decent means either; other than to say that they won’t completely suck like they did last year.
STEELERS (-7) Over Browns
Big Ben contract year, plus no matter what the Doo Doo Browns do it will be the wrong decision. And who cares anyways, LeBron’s back. That’s enough good mojo to last at least a few years for a place known as “The Mistake By The Lake”. My guess, the Browns struggle out the gate. They’ll then go to Manziel before the Cavs season starts to gain some type of extra exposure. Except, it won’t work because Money Manziel was only Straight Cash in College Homey. And in the pros, what he does “Dat Nah Mek It”. And so goes week one of the Josh Gordon Season Up in Smoke Tour.
Vikings (+3.5) Over RAMS
With or without Sam Bradford, why are the Rams favoured to beat anyone by more than a field goal?
Titans (+5) Over CHIEFS
Ahh…why are Alex Smith and the Chiefs favoured to beat anyone by more than a field goal?
Raiders (+6) Over JETS
Yeah, so why are Geno Smith and the Jets favoured to beat anyone by more than a field goal?
Pats (-4.5) Over DOLPHINS
Another one of my rules, I ride with Brady and Belichick. Pretty much anytime they’re favoured by less than a touchdown, I’m in. Obviously it doesn’t work all of the time, but in the end I like those odds. Plus Gronk may just be a sneaky pick for a Shmoney dance or two.
Niners (-5) Over COWBOYS
Ok here’s the thing, normally the Niners defence allows me to be confident in taking them against pretty much anybody. But with Navorro Bowman’s ugly injury, Donte Whitner’s flee in free agency and the down right stupidity of Aldon Smith and Ray MacDonald (although it appears he might actually play for some strange reason?!?! Really, what’s up with the Harbaugh bros?) I have lost faith in the Niners D. I don’t know what to expect from them and so everything lies in the hands of Colin Kaepernick. Lucky for him, the Dallas D which was pretty bad last year, is missing Sean Lee due to injury, DeMarcus Ware to free agency and Orlando Scandrick due to Molly. And oh yeah, their owner is Jerry Jones. Bottom line, Killa Kaep rolls. His fantasy owners rejoice for now…but I’m still worried about this season overall.
BUCS (-3) Over Panthers
A banged up Cam Newton is not a good look for the Panthers. The running back duo of Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams is not a good look for fantasy owners. On the Flipside (again shoutout to Freeway), the Lovie Smith era should be a good one in Tampa and exhibit A should come week one against Carolina
BRONCOS (-8) Over Colts
Peyton Manning in a night game. Much like the Brady and Belichick duo…Peyton Manning at night is one of my go to rules. Plus, I feel like the Colts over achieved last year and their owner reeks of that bad karma stench.
Giants (+6) Over LIONS
I have no idea what to expect from Eli Manning. Which isn’t saying much because I never know what to expect from Eli Manning. But he’s got a new offensive co-ordinater, so at least for week one I’ll take my chances with him being able to match Matt Stafford, Megatron and company. Plus, I don’t really have faith in the Lions yet to beat someone by at least a touchdown and for damn sure not with Jim Caldwell (sans Peyton Manning) at the helm.
Chargers (+3.5) Over CARDS
Somehow the Chargers have become a trendy pick to be really, REALLY good this year. The Cardinals finished strong last season, but that extra half point did the trick and so I’m taking the Adventures of Phillip Rivers, the points and the Chargers.
Good luck and Happy Shmoney Dancing everyone
This week: 1-0