The 2008 NFL season kicked off on Thursday with a matchup between the Washington Redskins and the New York Giants. Not surprisingly, the defending Super Bowl champions were able to prevail against the Redskins, but it wasn’t quite as emphatic a defeat as some people were expecting. I’ve been looking forward to the start of this football season ever since the Super Bowl concluded so many months ago, so I’m glad that the NFL is back on television.
Let’s just say that I have something penciled in for every Sunday for at least the next five months! Although I wasn’t able to keep track of all the wheelings and dealings in the off-season, I thought I’d try my hand at tossing out my picks for the games today (Sunday) and tomorrow. Am I the only one who thinks it’s a little odd to see two Monday night games?
Detroit Lions at Atlanta Falcons
I’m not really sure how I feel about the Falcons, seeing how Michael Vick is suspended from the league over that whole dog fighting thing. Even so, the Lions are largely a hopeless team, so I’ll still have to give the (slight) advantage to Atlanta.
Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens
He may have requested a trade, but
Chad Johnson Chad Ocho Cinco is still with the Bengals and he has to be one of the greatest stars in the National Football League today. The Ravens have a solid defence, but the edge goes to the Bungles Bengals.
Seattle Seahawks at Buffalo Bills
The people of the Pacific Northwest are going to hate me for saying this, but the Seattle Seahawks are only consistent division winners, because they are in such a weak division. The Seahawks are not the “championship contender” that Seattle makes it out to be, but they’re still a lot better than the Bills. Seahawks take this game handily.
New York Jets at Miami Dolphins
This was the biggest off-season story in all of football. Brett Favre announces his retirement, announces that he wants to get out of retirement, attends training camp at Green Bay (but doesn’t participate), and eventually finds his way to the New York Jets. What was he thinking? He also has to put up with the Madden Curse. Favre is not the savior that the Jets were seeking, but they’ll still beat Pennington and the Dolphins.
Kansas City Chiefs at New England Patriots
One game away from a perfect season last year, the New England Patriots are going to be pretty motivated to right their wrongs and prove themselves once again as quite possibly the greatest NFL dynasty of all-time. A healthy Week 1 start against the Chiefs should get them going in the right direction.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints
Neither one of these teams are particularly astounding, but the New Orleans Saints have a lot of weapons at their disposal, including Reggie Bush, Drew Brees, and Marques Colston. Give the win to the Saints.
St. Louis Rams at Philadelphia Eagles
Some people say that Donovan McNabb is one of the most underrated quarterbacks in the league. Others say that McNabb is one of the most overrated quarterbacks in the NFL. For the purposes of this game, it doesn’t matter because the Rams are a still a hopeless cause. Put your money on the Eagles.
Houston Texans at Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers aren’t quite as intimidating as they have been in the past and the Houston Texans have made huge strides in the right direction, so this game may be a little closer than some may anticipate. I’ll place the advantage with the Steelers, especially with home field advantage.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Tennessee Titans
Quarterback Vince Young was supposed to bring the Titans to glory, but I think he might even be playing second fiddle to Kerry Collins in the depth chart. Maybe not. Tough call, but I’ll go with the Jaguars for their much better defensive squad.
Dallas Cowboys at Cleveland Browns
Cleveland could be shaping up as the surprise hit of the season . They’ve got Jamal Lewis, Brady Quinn, Done Stallworth, and a number of other notables, but the dynamic duo of Romo and Owens from Dallas should be able to not only come out on top in this game, but I think the Cowboys will also win the NFC championship title too.
Carolina Panthers at San Diego Chargers
The San Diego Chargers could be one of the most complete packages in the league, even though the team hasn’t been able to make it to the big dance. Give the win to the Chargers for this one.
Arizona Cardinals at San Francisco 49ers
Two hopeless teams facing off against one another in a game that doesn’t matter. I’ll just say the Cards will win.
Chicago Bears at Indianapolis Colts
The Indianapolis Colts won the Super Bowl in 2006, led by “I’m not going to choke any more” Peyton Manning. He was then upstaged by little brother Eli Manning of the New York Giants the following year. Will Peyton come back hungrier to best his younger sibling? I think so. Go Colts.
Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers
This is the opportunity for Favre’s successor, Aaron Rodgers, to dismiss the naysayers and establish himself as a real-deal NFL quarterback. The Vikings will put the young quarterback to the test and, unfortunately for Rodgers, will probably beat him. Build on that experience, Aaron.
Denver Broncos at Oakland Raiders
Denver has always had a super solid running game, no matter who was actually carrying the ball. This says a lot about coaching and the offensive line. The Raiders, by contrast, are nowhere near what they once were. The Broncos should take this without a hitch.