By Mike Bruu, TSB Sports Writer
Two weeks ago we said hello to the start of the regular season for high school and college football. This past Wednesday we finally got to greet regular season NFL football, when those Dallas Cowboys knocked off the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants at their place on national TV.
Every week here at TSB, I will do my very best to predict every NFL game and I would love it if you joined me in the challenge as well. Leave your picks in the comments section below and see how you do every week. Picks will begin being posted Thursday prior to the game that evening. I will be honest when I say I picked the Giants to defeat the Boys in the season opener, so start me off at 0-1.
New England at Tennessee
Pick: New England
Analysis: In the battle of Tom Brady vs. Jake Locker, I’m strangely picking the QB with multiple Super Bowl appearances and rings. Strange, right?
Indianapolis at Chicago
Analysis: Colts QB Andrew Luck will get his day in the spotlight and will have the best rookie season of any QB this year, but Soldier Field is a tough stadium to make your NFL debut. Also, we finally get to see Cutler-to-Marshall 2.0. It was explosive in Denver a few years back and I expect it to be even more deadly this time around.
Philadelphia at Cleveland
Analysis: In what quarter does Mike Vick bang his hand into the helmet of an opposing player? That might be a more interesting prediction that picking this game.
St. Louis at Detroit
Analysis: Bold prediction of 2012: Megatron becomes first wide receiver with 2,000 receiving yards. Book it.
Miami at Houston
Analysis: The question is: Will CBS have a camera always on Ryan Tannehill’s wife, Lauren. If so, I might have this game on for a majority of the afternoon. Don’t judge me.
Atlanta at Kansas City
Pick: Kansas City
Analysis: I like the Chiefs. A lot. In fact, I think they might just surpass the Denver Broncos as champs of the AFC West. If they can avoid the injury bug that crippled them in 2011, this could be a really fun team to watch.
Jacksonville at Minnesota
Analysis: In a running back battle of Adrian Peterson versus Maurice Jones-Drew, we will probably only see them each in third down situations due to health concerns and a holdout. So that means Blaine Gabbert and Christian Ponder will decide this one. Oh, boy.
Buffalo at New York Jets
Analysis: Tebow! Tebow! Tebow! Sorry I am just getting y’all used to hearing it. It will be yelled quite loud around the halfway point – of the first quarter.
Washington at New Orleans
Pick: New Orleans
Analysis: This is a bad recipe for the Redskins this Sunday. Rookie QB, the overturn of the suspensions by the NFL, which returns two key defensive starters, and the game, is at Mercedes-Benz Dome. Sorry RGIII, just keep battling and hang in there. It’ll be a long season opener.
Seattle at Arizona
Analysis: Russell Wilson versus John Skelton. If that matchup doesn’t give you goose bumps, I don’t know what will. I do like Wilson’s game and I believe it will translate well into the league, but he will have a challenge facing cornerback Patrick Peterson. I think he is up for the challenge and he does just enough to win on Sunday.
San Francisco at Green Bay
Pick: Green Bay
Analysis: Game of the week without question. I can’t wait to see how Aaron Rodgers fairs against the dominant front seven of the 49ers. I think that the Pack will hold San Fran to more field goals than touchdowns, and it doesn’t hurt that the game is at Lambeau Field.
Carolina at Tampa Bay
Analysis: I became a Cam Newton believer last year and he is now one of those players who you can’t help but keep the TV on when he is playing. I wonder if he can replicate the 14 rushing touchdowns he had a season ago, but there isn’t a bigger threat to run or pass in the redzone than Mr. Newton.
Pittsburgh at Denver
Analysis: Peyton Manning appears to be having some fun now that he is back healthy and on a new team. His commercials for Papa Johns and DirecTV are two of the funnier ones around, but I don’t know how much laughing he will do on Sunday night versus that Steeler defense.
Cincinnati at Baltimore
Analysis: With the passing of long time owner Art Modell on Thursday, the Ravens will be playing with heavy hearts in front of their home crowd on Monday night. I just think the Dalton-to-Green connection for the Bengals will be too much for the older Raven defense to handle over 60 minutes.
San Diego at Oakland
Analysis: I literally had to flip a coin to decide this one. Well not literally, but you cant make the case for either team to finish the first week of the regular season 1-0. I went with Oakland because of two reasons: I believe Carson Palmer has a much better season and the game is in September. Those Chargers don’t generally start their seasons until mid-October.
So there they are. Feel free to participate and have fun with it. Above all, just enjoy having your Sundays filled up from now until February.