This is it! After months of waiting, dealing with legalese and worrying that it wouldn't happen, football...is...back!
While most of us are rightly focused on the Saints and Packers matchup this week, there's an entire league to worry about. I thought it would be a good idea to take a look around the NFL to see who's going against who, as well as fill people in on the CSC Pick 'Em League (that you can still signup for by going here).
The only way to see all that though is to make...the...JUMP!
Guh. I'm both really excited and really nervous for this game. It's so unpredictable a game and has the makings to be the best game of the week, and possibly of the season. As for the winner, I'm going to use my tried and true reverse psychology on the Packers.
One of the best rivalries in the NFL starts off on opening Sunday. The popular thing is to say this is going to be a defensive clash, but I have a feeling that this could be a 20-point game for both teams. I like Baltimore this year to win their division as the Steelers take a step back, but I can see the two teams splitting in their matchups.
This has the makings of either the most boring game of the week, or the most exciting. I won't rule out either, but I will rule out a team.
Last year, the Texans beat the Colts 34-24. They did that with Peyton Manning starting, and they did it for the second time in franchise history. Now, Manning is doubtful to play and the Texans are likely to be facing Kerry Collins or Curtis Painter with their revamped 3-4 defense and the Colts having a few rookies on their O-line.
The battle for the AFC South basement! Seriously, that's all the enthusiasm I can muster for this game. Both teams are likely to change quarterbacks sometime this season, while both of their running backs have had problems (one just solved his contract issue, the other has had trouble with his knee). This game could come down to the wire, for no other reason than both teams aren't that good.
The only thing that makes this game interesting is that the Chiefs may not have Matt Cassel. However, they're facing Buffalo and according to Jon's rules to live by, never bet on Buffalo.
I know who we're all rooting for in this game. I want to believe the Bears will crush the Falcons, but I can't. I thought the Bears were pretenders last year and I still believe that this year. A tougher schedule is going to shine some light on them.
I really like what the Lions organization is doing. They've managed to turn that franchise around since Matt Millen left for a job, somehow, with the NFL Network. If Matt Stafford can stay healthy, this team could snag a playoff spot behind the Packers. That said, this is bound to be a good game and I like the Lions to beat the Bucs - maybe even by more than a touchdown.
Those of you with Steven Jackson on your fantasy teams, start him. I expect to see a lot of running from the Rams to attack the Eagles weakness at DT and LB, as well as stay away from that strong secondary. Bradford may pass a bit in this one, but the less the better. I'm going to go for the upset here, if only because of home field advantage.
Giants. In a blowout.
Battle of the top 5 draft pick teams! Flip a coin to determine this one's outcome. I can see either team winning, I can see either team losing. For fun, I'll pick...
The Luck sweepstakes starts in Week 1! Is it sad that the winner of this game could decide who gets a shot at Andrew Luck, and who gets a chance to win the division? Oh, to be in the NFC West. Still, there has to be a winner. So I'll take the Seahawks because I think overall they're a better team. The 49ers have good players at certain spots, but not enough to win them the game.
Well, um. Yeah. This game shouldn't be close...unless Norv Turner has anything to say about that.
Ugh, really? May as well call this one the battle of the egos. Considering I hate both of these teams, I hope there's a tie and both teams have to live with it. Other than that, I'll pick the Jets on the basis that the Cowboys defense hasn't really improved this off-season. Defenses win games, yada, yada.
Miami is a huge wild card. They keep improving their team, yet don't take any steps forward. They won tons of road games last year, yet struggled at home. I'm going to go with the Patriots dominating the division again, starting in Miami.
I think most people on the east coast will be asleep before this game is even over. Still, the game must go on! I like the Raiders against the Broncos but John Fox could turn his team around, starting with their poor defense. I think this will be the more interesting of the two Monday night matchups, but will be the least watched of the two. How's that for a prediction?
CSC Pick 'Em League
Here are all 59 players in the official CSC Pick 'Em League. I'm planning on locking the league come Friday, so don't wait if you want to get in.
Sean Payton's Brass Balls
9th Ward Boyz
Feel the Brees
NOLA Knobby Knees
St. PJ's Two Dats
NOLA Devil Dog
Breesus Christ Superstar
For those already in, make sure you get your picks in 5 minutes before the first game starts. If you want to get in, hurry up and do so by going here for the login information.
As well, if you are in already, please unhide your email account so that I can see it. I'm in the process of planning a prize for the winner of the league and I need to see your email address for that purpose. If you don't want to unhide your email, just send me an email saying you're in the league and what your team name is. That way, I can include you in the sweepstakes for the prize.
Happy pickin' and Geaux Saints!