Smell that? That’s the smell of leaves, baby. Fall … football …
Take it in.
Last year, I used a genius pick of Giants over Packers to best my wife by one game in the picks … when you consider we picked hundreds of games, that’s a pretty exciting finish.
Well, we’re picking them again this year, and I’m certain the results will be different in that we won’t be waiting until the final week to crown me champion.
FROM JENNIFER: Boy, oh, boy. It’s that time of year again–football season! And I couldn’t be happier. This past Saturday I got to watch college football and I was so happy that I had to call Billy at work to tell him.
But now we’re back to doing picks and, once again, I don’t have the time to know anything that’s going on in the NFL this year. It’s really a shame…I used to be able dazzle with my knowledge of most things pro-football. But back then I had a lot more free time at work than I do now! And last year I learned a valuable lesson. I “lost” (this isn’t a competition) by one stinking game to Billy. In the post-season, I picked the Cowboys to beat the Giants. Not because I thought they would, but because I thought it was more my job to support my husband than to be cut-throat in the picks non-competition. Did he return the favor and pick the Packers to win their playoff game? No. I lost by a game instead of tying.
At least now I know where the marriage stands when it comes to football and I won’t be making the same mistake again this season. So watch out, Billy.
Without further ado … I present you our Week 1 NFL picks:
Line: Giants by 4
BILLY’S PICK: The injuries to New York’s defense have been brutal, and you’ve got to think the only thing that would truly rattle Jason Campbell in Week 1 would be a good pass rush. Not happening this week. Washington won’t have a great season, but I think they pull off the upset in Week 1 … sorry Giants fans — Redskins 26, Giants 24
JENNIFER’S PICK: Like I said, I have no idea what happened during the off season and no idea how anyone did during the pre-season. I’m going with the Giants. I know it’s really not fashionable for the Champions from the previous year to do as well the next year, but I don’t see them losing to Washington.
Line: Bengals by 1
BILLY’S PICK: Cincinnati’s had a tough preseason, but at least they’re coming into this game with a proven QB. Baltimore is starting a rookie from Deleware in Game 1 … no matter how good the defense is or how loud the crowd is, they just won’t be able to keep up with Flacco and a bunch of mediocre receivers — Bengals 23, Ravens 13
JENNIFER’S PICK: If I were to bet on a fight between a tiger and a bird, I’d pick the bird for smarts. But this is football. BENGALS.
LINE: Jets by 3
BILLY’S PICK: The Brett Favre era begins in New York, which means an era of confusing interceptions and questions about when he’ll retire … still, they’re a better team than before — Jets 30, Dolphins 17
JENNIFER’S PICK: Well, they aren’t the Packers, but they’ve got Favre and that’s good enough for me. Go Jets! Go Jets! Go Jets! JETS.
LINE: Patriots by 16.5
BILLY’S PICK: Maybe the Super Bowl loss DOES have an effect. Last year, the Patriots would have been picked to win this one by 24.5 — Patriots 34, Chiefs 10
JENNIFER’S PICK: Hands down the most shocking moment of last year was watching the Patriots throw history away like yesterday’s Herald. (Just kidding, baby.) They certainly won’t repeat last year’s feat, but they can easily handle the Chiefs. PATRIOTS.
LINE: Steelers by 6.5
BILLY’S PICK:Houston’s an improved team, but the schedule is tougher this year, and an opener in Pittsburgh isn’t what the doctor ordered. Still, I think they keep it close and cover the spread — Steelers 20, Texans 17
JENNIFER’S PICK: Sorry, Greg. STEELERS.
LINE: Jaguars by 3
BILLY’S PICK: Vince Young’s good, but he’s no David Garrard (think East Carolina fans would ever have imagined that sentence would be typed?) … Titans keep it close at home, though. Jaguars 33, Titans 27
JENNIFER’S PICK: Isn’t it usually a mistake to pick the away team to win? Oh well. JAGS.
LINE: Lions by 3
BILLY’S PICK: Matt Ryan picked a pretty good team to have his first-ever start against, and Michael Turner in the backfield helps, but I think it’ll be a long season in Atlanta — Lions 37, Falcons 14
JENNIFER’S PICK: Ah, the first crappy game of the season. Don’t you love it? LIONS.
LINE: Bills by 1
BILLY’S PICK: Seattle’s traveling pretty far for an opener, and Buffalo will be a decent team this year. The Bills have no right to be favored in this one, but I think the odds-makers have the same feeling I have — Bills 18, Seahawks 14
JENNIFER’S PICK: I think the Seahawks awesome team colors and uniforms will lift them over the Bills in their opener. SEAHAWKS.
LINE: Eagles by 7.5
BILLY’S PICK: St. Louis probably doesn’t have a chance in this one, but boy how I’d love to see an upset. In my picks this year, I said Donovan McNabb won’t last the year … if he doesn’t do well against the Rams, he may not last the month … Eagles 20, Rams 17
JENNIFER’S PICK: I know zip about this game. EAGLES.
LINE: Saints by 3
BILLY’S PICK: Remember the last time the Saints had a home opener after a major hurricane? Yeah, me too. Saints 33, Bucs 23
JENNIFER’S PICK: C’mon. The Saints have to recover from last year’s horrible season. Who even plays for the Bucs? I don’t know either. SAINTS.
LINE: Cowboys by 5.5
BILLY’S PICK: Maybe Dallas will get back at Cleveland for having a good season and reducing their first round draft pick to the mid-20s (the Brady Quinn trade) … or maybe they’re just a better team. Cowboys 30, Browns 21
JENNIFER’S PICK: Oh, you have no idea how much I want to pick the Browns. No idea. COWBOYS.
LINE: Chargers by 9
BILLY’S PICK: Sorry Panther fans … your team is traveling across the country to face a Super Bowl contender. Having Jake back is nice, but it’s not near enough this week — Chargers 35, Panthers 16
JENNIFER’S PICK: Last year, the Chargers were two teams–one good, one bad–and you never knew which would show up. Last year, the Panthers were hurt. If the good Chargers show up and a healthy (and rage-free) Panthers show up, this could be a good game. CHARGERS. Simply because they’re home.
LINE: Cards by 2.5
BILLY’S PICK: These two teams play each other twice each year, and both times, I don’t really care. I have Arizona as a dark horse division winner this year, so I suppose the should start winning now — Cardinals 31, 49ers 20
JENNIFER’S PICK: BOR-ING. CARDS.
LINE: Colts by 9.5
BILLY’S PICK: Petyon Manning vs. the carousel that is Grossman and Orton. In Indy. Can’t believe this was the Super Bowl two years ago … Colts 27, Bears 10
JENNIFER’S PICK: COLTS
LINE: Packers by 2.5
BILLY’S PICK: Yeah, yeah … I have Minnesota winning the division and Green Bay maybe third … but for some reason, I think this game is all Green Bay. Aaron Rodgers takes control of “his” team … no Brett Favre, same crazy fans — Packers 28, Vikings 24
JENNIFER’S PICK: What am I supposed to do? The Packers are my team, but they’re playing nemesis Vikings WITHOUT FAVRE. Oh, geez. I really don’t know. Deep breath. GO PACK! GO PACK! GO PACK! PACKERS.
LINE: Broncos by 3
BILLY’S PICK: I don’t think Jamarcus Russell will start at QB all year … but I love Oakland’s new running back, Darren McFadden. Too bad he won’t be enough this week — Broncos 23, Raiders 13
JENNIFER’S PICK: Snore. BRONCOS.