Sunday, September 9, 2012

M & M's NFL Pickz Week 1

By Marley Burr & Mitch Sandberg

To all the SportzBroz faithful, please note that this post was written before any of the Week 1 games started. The NFL picks of the week posts will be uploaded each week and hopefully we will have some more guest writers each week to add their picks to the post. Good Luck. 

Giants -4
Bears -9
Falcons -3
Eagles -8
41 ½
Saints -9
Patrios -6
47 ½
Texans -12
Jets -3
40 ½
Vikings -4
Lions -8
Packers -5
Panthers -2 ½
Seahawks -3
Broncos -1
44 ½
Ravens – 6
Chargers -1

*Sportzbroz is not responsible for any actual bets placed on the advise of its writers. Gambling Problem? Visit WWW.NCPGAMBLING.ORG 

Dallas Cowboys @ New York Football Giants

Marley’s Pick: Giants -4        
Mitch’s Pick: Giants -4

Maybe I am slightly biased when it comes to this matchup but looking at the numbers the Giants are 5-1 in the last six meetings between these teams. The average point difference in those meetings is 9. The history of these teams is giving you almost 3 points of leeway here for the Giants to cover the spread here if they win, which they should. Giants are home and raising the 2011-2012 Super Bowl Banner right before going against one of their hated division rivals. By the numbers the Giants have a better passing attack and a better defense than the Cowboys. I see another sweep of the Cowboys for Big Blue

Post game notes: That was a truly terrible display of football by the New York Giants. I don’t want to take away from the Cowboys winning this game but the Giants gave it away. The O line couldn’t block or open any holes. The D line could not put any pressure on Romo. The secondary was getting burned, the rookies fumbling, Cruz Dropping passes and yet it still almost came down to a Giants comeback.

Indianapolis Colts @ Chicago Bears

Marley’s Pick: Bears -9
Mitch’s Pick: Colts +9

I would stay away from this one if possible. You never know how a highly touted rookie is going to perform in their first full NFL game and you never know how Jay Cutler is going to perform in any NFL game. What bothers me about this game is that Andrew Luck has looked pretty incredible in all of his preseason games. Touchdown on his first play, bouncing back with a touchdown right after his first interception, command of the offense, confidence in his throws, he has looked exactly like the number 1 draft pick he was supposed to be. However, it is still the Colts who finished dead last in the NFL last year and that wasn’t just because they were lacking at the quarterback position. Their defense was terrible, their offense was terrible and afterwards they entered a complete rebuilding stage where they are now. A lot of young talent sprinkled with a few vets. This first game is going to be the first time we see what this team is made of and I just don’t think Luck is going to be able to carry the team on his back just yet. The Bears on the other hand look dangerous. They had a soul crushing defeat last year but were looking like a serious contender. This is the same team and they even added Cutlers boy toy from his old days in Denver to join in the fun. Im pretty confident that the Bears are going to win this game but the question is if they can cover 9 points. Still more confident in a team ive seen perform before than a team I haven’t. – Marley

This was a tough one seeing how bad the Colts were last year, and coming in with a rookie QB, even as touted as Luck, it’d be an absolute feat to see a them finish at .500. That being said I think Luck has that stud QB aura about him. Being from California and having seen him a good amount over his college career I think Luck’s smart enough to not turn the ball over and put together some steady drives going to Wayne and Austin Collie. Chicago’s D is one year older and I don’t necessarily see Cutler shining in week one (or any other week for that matter) I worry a bit about playing in Soldier Field, but then again it’s September; nothing compared to what visiting teams endure in the heart of December. - Mitch

Atlanta Falcons @ Kansas City Chiefs

Marley’s Pick: Falcons -3
Mitch’s Pick: Chiefs +3

Color me unimpressed with the Kansas City Chiefs. They pulled out some upsets last year but I still don’t think Matt Cassel is worthy of a starting QB job and I don’t think this team is going to make any splashes this year. The Chiefs defense is without flowers for the moment but regardless I just don’t see them matching up against the Falcons. Matt Ryan I think is poised to have an insane year. Julio Jones and Roddy White are one of if not the best 1-2 punch of receivers in the league and Michael Turner is always a beast. Their defense is not too shabby either. While going into arrowhead and getting a win there is always a challenge, this is a team that I see being able to that handily. – Marley

Anybody who knows football knows how difficult it is to come in to the sea of red that is Arrowhead stadium, and although I think this will be a close game, a healthy Jamaal Charles along with Peyton Hillis in the backfield should be able to keep the Chiefs offense on the field. That will help to keep the always explosive Michael Turner off of it. I see a game dominated by the rush and I think the home field advantage will help the Chiefs keep it close enough to cover and possibly win this game. - Mitch

Roddy White enjoys flipping into the Endzone when he scores.

Cleveland Browns @ Philadelphia Eagles

Marley’s Pick: Eagles -8
Mitch’s Pick: Eagles -8

Aside from maybe the Lions a few years back, has there ever been a team that you had less faith in winning a game than the Cleveland Browns? They are just terrible on every side of the ball. You almost feel bad for them that they are going to play the Eagles the first game of the season but it doesn’t really matter who they play. The Eagles on the other hand are just about ready to finally become that dominant team they were supposed to be last year. They finished 4-0 at the end of last season outscoring opponents by a total of 125-46 and they started this year with a 4-0 preseason record. There’s no reason that the Eagles shouldn’t begin their march to the post season at their home stadium in convincing fashion.

Washington Redskins @ New Orleans Saints

Marley’s Pick: Saints -9
Mitch’s Pick: Redskins +9

The New Orleans Saints may be coming off a huge scandal with Bounty Gate but I don’t think changes much on my decision in this game. Drew Brees and the Saints are the same offensive juggernaut that they were last year and it seems that everyone forgot that. The Redskins are starting a rookie QB and although he has some offensive weapons I just don’t think week 1 @ New Orleans is going to be his moment to pull out a huge upset. I also don’t think the redskins defense is going to be able to stand up to the Saints. I think Drew Brees is going to make a statement with this first game and its just unfortunate RGIII is going to be on the receiving end of it. – Marley

You would’ve had to have not watched television from March until now to not have heard of the whole Saints ordeal. Remember, “Kill the head and the body will die.” Granted I think New Orleans is doing its best to move on from that ridiculousness that was Greg Williams, one can’t deny that the team has been hurt and will suffer without Sean Peyton at the helm and Jonathan Vilma to lead the defense. I worry about RG3, especially in the first half of this season, as I know a guy that athletic will try to make plays which will lead to turnovers. Then again with newly acquired Pierre Garcon and veteran Santana Moss he’s got some sure-handed guys who will help him move the offense down the field. Admittedly, at least for the moment, I’ve bought into the hype. In the end I think the Skins will get a garbage TD to cover. - Mitch

Pretty fly, for a Redskin Rookie.

New England Patriots @ Tennessee Titans

Marley’s Pick: Patriots -6
Mitch’s Pick: Patriots -6

The New England Patriots every single year are a threat to go all the way to the Super Bowl just like last year. If possible they are even more dangerous than last year. I honestly don’t think that even if Chris Johnson runs for 300 yards on Sunday they are going to beat the Patriots. They had a terrible defense last year and an explosive offense that took them to the Super Bowl and all year they blew out teams. They changed the team by adding more offensive weapons and upgrading their defense. Give this team an average defense and Tom Brady some more toys to play with and all I see is a lot of points being scored. Remember all the hype surrounding Tim Tebow and the Broncos playing the Patriots last year only to end in a blowout? I have a feeling that’s about to be Jake Locker and the Titans. 

Gronk enjoys a good fist pump, Gatorade and setting records for most TDs by a TE.

Miami Dolphins @ Houston Texans

Marley’s Pick: Texans -12
Mitch’s Pick: Dolphins +12

Matt Shaub and the Texans are Super Bowl favorites this year. It’s hard to bet on week one because all the indicators point to the Texans blowing out the Dolphins. The Dolphins are starting with a rookie QB, a new head coach, and no notables except for Reggie Bush. Their defense might have been good in rush defense last year but that doesn’t mean that Matt Shaub can’t beat them in other ways. The Texans are a team with great receivers, one of the top 3 running backs in the league, a steady QB, and a great defense. They are one of best top to bottom teams in the NFL and playing at home. If Matt Shaub didn’t get injured last year they might be defending a Super Bowl title right now. I see the Texans keeping this game at a 2 touchdown lead - Marley

Going up against a Dolphins defense that finished third in rushing defense last year, I expect Matt Schaub and the Texans to air it out early gain a lead. Yet once they take a two TD lead the Texans will be handing the ball off to Arian Foster, and I see the Dolphins rushing D keeping this game within 17 points in the fourth quarter and a late TD by Ryan Tannehill to bring the Dolphins to within 10. - Mitch

Arian Foster is set to murder the AFC South game this season, but no cows. Yep, he turned Vegan this offseason. 

Buffalo Bills @ New York Jets

Marley’s Pick: Buffalo Bills to win
Mitch’s Pick: Buffalo +3

My god the Jets are bad. This off season they really have become the No Ring Circus that the rest of us have been making fun of for all these years. With the addition of Tim Tebow the Jet’s have been hinting that they have been saving their offensive plans for this game. When they unveil the Wildcat on Sunday, just don’t tell them that the rest of the NFL figured out this formation 4 years ago. They hinted at using Tim Tebow in the red zone. They need to get to the redzone first. Neither the starting or backup QB for the Jets has found the endzone yet the entire preseason. As down as I am on the Jets, they are playing at home and they are playing the Bills. This game I think completely depends on which Bills team shows up. The Bills team that showed up at the beginning of last season surprising everyone? Or the Bills team that ended out the season as the Bills we’ve known for the last 10 years? I think with a healthy team to start the season it will be the first not the latter. Bills win this game straight out

Jacksonville Jaguars @ Minnesota Vikings

Marley’s Pick: Jaguars +4
Mitch’s Pick: Vikings -4

I probably changed my pick on this game about 10 times when writing this and that is never a good sign. At the end of the day neither Christian Ponder or Blain Gabbert are very impressive QBs and this game is going to be won on the ground. Adrian Peterson is playing but hes not 100% and MJD is playing but hes not season ready after his holdout. So this is going to be an interesting matchup that can go either way. The Vikings are home but I see this game being won by the Jags outright or a Field Goal by the Vikings at the end

I realize that most are worried about Adrian Peterson’s playing time this weekend, but after a 3-13 year I think that Leslie Frazier is going to need all of the AD he can possibly get. Even if Frazier does decide to limit Peterson’s playing time this weekend, Toby Gerhart did a fine job taking his place last year. With two unproven QBs in Christian Ponder and Blaine Gabbert I expect to see a big dose of the running game on both sides. This one should be close throughout, but being at home I expect the Vikings to get a late touchdown to seal the deal.

AP's new nickname might have to be "The Rock" after this picture!

St. Louis Rams @ Detroit Lions

Marley’s Pick: Lions -8
Mitch’s Pick: Lions -8

The Rams made a lot of moves in the off season to try and fix their team which finished second to last in the NFL last year. They finished the year with a least worst 12 points averaged per game. In the off season they added a new head coach who immediately went after Sam Bradford to help quicken his release and added a new secondary for the defense. The Lions however have the best Wide Receiver Quaterback combination in the league and an extremely scary defensive 4 led by Ndamkong Suh. The lions are at home and I think Megatron and Stafford are going to exploit the Rams Secondary all afternoon

MEGATRON will break the Madden Curse. Yes. You heard it here.

Green Bay Packers @ San Francisco 49ers

Marley’s Pick: Packers -5
Mitch’s Pick: 49ers +5

The 49ers I think could be one of the most dangerous teams in football. They had the scariest defense to face last year and all 11 starters are returning. They added talented wide receivers in Mario Manningham and Randy Moss, as well as another strong running back to help Gore with two time Super Bowl champion Brandon Jacobs. The problem is what Mitch fails to mention, the fact that Alex Smith is complete garbage. With this team he is obviously the weakest link and as much as they try to limit him to just manage the game, I think his lack of talent makes the difference in this game. People act as if Aaron Rodgers has never faced an impressive defense before. I think that Greenbay will be able to win this game by either 6 or 7.

Yeah, I know Aaron Rodgers is the second coming of Peyton Manning (except clutch) and he’ll get his 280/2TDs, but if were talking about facing Aaron Rodgers, I think any defense would take that line given what he’s capable of throwing up on the stat sheet. Combine that with the lack of running game and a defense that finished last year in absolute last in total defense, I can’t see why the Packers would be favored by more than three. The Niners haven’t lost any impact players on a defense that finished fourth in the league last year, and with the acquisitions of Mario Manningham and Randy Moss, Alex Smith finally has a respectable wide receiving corps. Match that with the deep backfield of Frank Gore, Kendall Hunter, Brandon, Jacobs, and rookie Lamichael James and I see a Niner upset come Sunday.

Carolina Panthers @ Tampa Bays Buccaneers

Marley’s Pick: Panthers -2 ½
Mitch’s Pick: Panthers -2 ½

Tampa Bay finished the season 0-10 last year with a disappointing defense and Josh Freeman spent the year in the Sophomore slump which they are hoping Greg Schiano can help correct. The Carolina Panthers finished the year 6 -10 but they had Rookie of the year Cam Newton who they are hoping can build on his successful rookie campaign. Carolina already beat Tampa Bay twice last year by a combined score of 86 – 35. While the Bucs added some new weapons I think Cam Newton and co should be able to take care of business again.

Rookie of the Year 2012, no big deal.

Seattle Seahawks @ Arizona Cardinals

Marley’s Pick: Cardinals to win
Mitch’s Pick: Seahawks -3

This probably the least interesting game of the week. Russell Wilson and John Skelton are starting this week after beating out their competition during the Preseason. Neither of these teams is very impressive and both the Cardinals and Seahawks are going to be relying on their big weapons to win this game. The Seahawks have Marshawn Lynch while the Cardinals are going to try and get the ball to Larry Fitzgerald. With Lynch battling back spasms and the Cardinals playing with a fully healthy Beanie Wells and Ryan Williams. This game could go either way and depends completely on how the Quaterback’s perform knowing that their backups are waiting for a change to redeem themselves.

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Denver Broncos

Marley’s Pick: Broncos -1
Mitch’s Pick: Broncos -1

This is the big game of the Weekend. After a year and 4 neck surgeries Peyton Manning is returning the to the NFL. He had a solid preseason and every analyst says that he looks fully healed. The big questions are how will he play outdoors, how will he be in a full game with a new team? How will he react with a games worth of hurries and knockdowns? He is 2-2 against the Steelers who are showing up Sunday night with one of the leagues best defenses. A hall of fame Quaterback vs a NFL leading defense will be a good matchup. Big players step up in big situations and Peyton Manning is going to make a statement with this game.

Cincinnati Bengals @ Baltimore Ravens

Marley’s Pick: Ravens -6
Mitch’s Pick: Ravens -6

Speaking of the leagues best defenses its hard to not think of the Baltimore Ravens in that discussion. The problem they have is not talent but age. This might be one of the last years the Ravens defense is the leader of this team. Just like with the New York Giants this is turning into the Joe Flaccos team after a decade plus of being Defenses. One field goal and the Ravens would have been playing in the Super Bowl last year. Starting the season off against a division rival at home I think spells for an all out effort to redeem last years mistakes.

San Diego Chargers @ Oakland Raiders

Marley’s Pick: Raiders +1
Mitch’s Pick: Raiders +1

Phillip Rivers had a terrible season last year and its going to be interesting to see how he bounces back. But the problem right now is that it seems as though Rivers is going to have to do that all by himself. Ryan Matthews and Vincent Brown suffered injuries in the Preseason and wont be playing. The Raiders on the other hand have been showing signs of life in the last couple years and might finally have a breakout year if they can keep McFadden healthy and Carson Palmer can show himself to be the quarterback he used to be. I think the Raiders at home are going to be able to win this one.

With two consecutive 8-8 seasons under their belt, it appears as if the silver and black are finally looking forward and leaving the ghost of Al Davis behind. With Carson Palmer at the helm to start the season and a healthy Darren McFadden the offense should keep the Raiders in most games. For San Diego, Philip Rivers is one year older, yet I’ll have to see it to believe it that he’s one year wiser. I expect at least one pick from both QBs in this game, but a crucial one from Rivers. I think the Raiders ground game will take it to a rushing defense that finished 20th in the league last year and the silver and black will have just enough to pull this one out at home. - Mitch

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