San Diego at Denver (+1.5)
Mike Shanahan claims, this year, Jay Cutler moves into elite quarterback status (ahem, now that he has his “diabetes” under control). NFL coaches, and Shanahan to an extreme, usually downplay a team/player’s prowess to the media – if only to screw fantasy geeks across the country. So, when a coach slurps his QB publicly so early in the season I tend to believe him. And the proof presented itself to those of us that stayed up late to watch Cutler, without his best offensive weapon (Brandon Marshall), shred a typically stout pass defense on the road on opening night. So, let’s see…a proven running attack coupled with a lethal passing game – sounds like some touchdowns to us.
G:TB also loves getting points at home (in its season home-opener) against a team with banged up playmakers (LT/Gates are nursing injuries already and Phil Rivers is Phil Rivers) and a defense that just a week ago blew a lead to a team led by a QB coming off Tommy John surgery and a hysterectomy.
Golden Nugget of the Week – since 2005, Denver has NEVER lost as an underdog at home.
Broncos win 27-16.
And here is rob showing some faith in his ballclub...
New Orleans at Washington (Pick 'Em)
Things that could cause the Saints not to beat the Redskins by two touchdowns this week:
- New Orleans sits out the 4th quarter in a show of solidarity with the team from the town that came so famously to the Big Easy's aid during the Katrina funfest. In which case the Saints would only win by one touchdown.
- Chris Cooley's wife lures Jeremy Shockey into a dark alley (that one behind Mr. Days, probably) on Saturday night for a blanket party/dumpster stuffing, and the Saints' tight end doesn't get free until Monday morning.
- Roger Goodell suspends New Orleans' entire defensive front 7 at halftime for violating the league's rules against excessive violence in the first half.
- Jim Zorn implements the 'decept and deceive' offensive package he picked up during this week's mountain bike excursion with President Bush.
- Saints distracted by Skins fan Geoff's fabulous slacks/shoes/belt combination.
- Five words: Jason Campbell to Malcolm Kelly.
Mark and Rhym-O and perhaps even my lazy ass will have more picks later...here's Rhym-O:
Baltimore (+4.5) at Houston
We’re no Jimmy the Greek (though some of us drink as much as him), but we’re perceptive enough to know that sometimes a line just doesn’t look right. That’s the vibe we get when looking at this Week 2 AFC North battle. The Houston Texans, fresh off a three hour spanking at the hands of Mike Tomlin’s Pittsburgh Steelers, open their home schedule against a feisty Ravens squad whose defense seems to have woken up. Say what you want about Joe “The Delaware Destroyer” Flacco, he “managed the clock” and led the Ravens to a win last week. He may have posted Boller-esque numbers, but he didn’t throw any INTs and he ran for 37 yards (Translation – he didn’t kill them). The same can’t be said for Matt Schaub, who threw a pair of picks and was sacked five times last week. He won’t get much of a reprieve from the Steelers’ tough D when he lines up against the Ravens.
When you have a match-up of two mediocre quarterbacks, you have to look at the running game and the defense to decide the winner. G:TB like Baltimore’s McGahee/Rice/McClain* combo a lot better than Houston’s Slaton/Green duo. And we like the murderous Ravens defense over Mario Williams and company. Take the Ravens.
*We’re speaking, of course, about Le’Ron McClain, second year fullback out of Bama. Familiar with him before last week? Me neither. And, yes, an apostrophe comes before the second capital letter of his first name. As in D’Brickashaw. D’Duh.
Anddddd, here's Mark with his weekly shot at Geoffrey:
Atlanta (+7) at Tampa Bay:
Okay, let me get this straight. Geoff was so offended by my assertion in last week's picks that he "might" be gay that he decided to build his picks this week around a story about Steve McNair's junk. Nice work, Sparky, way to put those rumors to rest.
While I'm enjoying this little feud with Geoff, I'm already completely annoyed with the Bucs this season. First, they blow a completely winnable game in New Orleans on Sunday because nobody in their secondary could cover a single Saints receiver (did you see any of Brees' 3 TD passes? Greg could've thrown them...and we all know Germans can't throw for shit) and now Jeff Garcia and Jon Gruden are engagd in a public slapfight over whether or not Garcia is healthy enough to play against Atlanta. I have no idea who to believe here (One's a gay, the other's an asshole...put them together and you get Geoff!) so much like Brian Griese I'm going to have a few drinks and try and forget it all ever happened. Speaking of drunks, 'ole Matty Ice sure had a great debut last week, huh? Well, I hope he enjoyed it because he's facing a real, live NFL team this weekend and Greg White hasn't raped a white boy in DAYS. The Bucs aren't playoff bound this year but they ain't the fucking Lions either. Give the points and take Tampa.
And my worthless afternoon contribution:
New England at New York Jets (-2)*
Picking this game sucks. It has been talked about so much I keep ending up on Antiques Road Show. Or watching the entire ShamWow! infomercial. Good shit right there...most powerful Towel I've seen since this guy. Anyway, with Matt Cassel at QB for the Patriots, and the Jetropolitans looking decent, if not necessarily good, on both sides of the ball for 50 minutes last week, I've gotta like the Jets here. (Yes, yes, the Dolphins were 1-15 last year and a guy with a paper mache arm almost beat them in the final seconds. But a win is a win.) Besides, I'm not a very good gambler, and a stat like this intrigues me: Favorite is 7-2-1 ATS in their last 10 meetings. Vegas is smarter than me. Jets by a TD in fact.
*Seriously, could someone finally explain to me how I write the point spreads when doing these picks? I am clueless.