Each week during this NFL season I will be picking, in my opinion, the 4 most intriguing games each week. I will do a running tally of my picks each week so you can gage how your picks went verses mine.
Starting week 1 we have several great games with possibly the most interesting being the first game to kick off the season Thursday night.
Game # 1
Minnesota Vikings @ New Orleans Saints: What better way to kick off the season than a rematch of the NFC Championship game, the Super Bowl before the Super Bowl.
I am picking the Vikings in this game even though they are on the road and going to be playing in a very hostile environment Thursday night. Huh? You might be thinking, Well they are essentially the same teams minus to key losses for the Vikings in Sidney Rice due to injury and Chester Taylor to free agency, both on the offensive side of the ball and for the Saints losing Darren Sharper to injury and Scott Fujita to free agency coincidentally enough on the defensive side of the ball.
So once again, Why? Well emotions are going to be high for the Saints. 1st – The Banner Raising, 2nd – Drew Brees will be adding to this with leading the crowd in a rendition of “Who Dat!” The emotions compounded with a Super Bowl win lull will give Brett Favre and the Vikings the edge in this game when all said and done. By the way, don’t think the Vikings D has forgotten what New Orleans D did to Favre in the NFC Championship game.
Prediction: Vikings 28 New Orleans 24
Game # 2
Detroit Lions @ Chicago Bears: Yeah, this game has a lot of Intrigue and I am a Lions guy who has suffered for years.
Intrigue you ask? Rod Marinelli (fired) former head coach of the Detroit Lions who is now the Defensive Coordinator for the Bears hired and fired Mike Martz as the Offensive Coordinator of the Lions who is now the Offensive Coordinator of the Bears. Rod fired Mike because he didn’t run the ball enough. Good Luck this season Lovey Smith.
OK, coaching aside: Detroit has had a complete overhaul of the roster and they really didn’t have any key losses but key additions, which reflected in a very good preseason. Key additions: On offense: Nate Burleson, Tony Scheffler, and Rob Sims and on defense: Kyle Vanden Bosch, Chris Houston all via free agency. Jahvid Best, Ndamukong Suh via the 1st round in the draft.
For the Bears: They lost a few players from last season but really the only notable being Orlando Pace, who was well beyond his prime anyway. The key additions for the Bears were Chester Taylor on offense and Julius Peppers on defense.
With Detroit new and improved front four on Defense they will make it a long day for the offense ran by Mike Martz who doesn’t like to provide good protection for his Quarterback, ask Marc Bulger. Jay Cutler will be running for his life.
Prediction: Detroit Lions 24 Chicago Bears 17
Green Bay Packers @ Philadelphia Eagle
I am most curious to see the post Donavan McNabb days for the Eagles with Kevin Kolb. I believe a class move by the organization granting Donavan his wish to be traded to the Redskins but that’s for another day.
I believe the Eagles finally have the weapons at receiver to really be able to stretch the field and if Kolb can get the ball to the group the running game will open up and LeSean McCoy can do some damage on the ground.
The Packers are on many people’s list to go the Super Bowl this season and based on the fact that Aaron Rodgers looks like the Brett Favre in his younger MVP days they should go far. The problem for the Packers lies on Defense. Al Harris and Atari Bigby are both on PUP and out for 6 weeks, both integral parts of the backfield for the Defense.
That being said Kolb gets off to a great start, exploits the secondary for the Packers and wins in a shootout.
Prediction: Eagles 34 Packers 31
Game # 4
Baltimore Ravens @ New York Jets
This is the AFC game of the week which pits two Super Bowl contenders that have possibly the two best defenses in the league.
With Mark Sanchez not having the best preseason this game for the Jets boils down to how well new acquired Antonio Cromartie and hold out but newly signed Darrelle Revis and the rest of the Defense can shut down the high powered offense of the Ravens.
Yes I said high powered Offense of the Ravens. With the additions of Anquan Bolden, Donte Stallworth, and new acquired T.J Houshmandzadeh paired with Derrick Mason at receiver you are looking at potentially the best receiving core in the league. Throw in some Rice, Ray Rice that is, in the offensive backfield and it turns into a pick your poison approach for the defenders.
Prediction: Ravens 21 Jets 17