Falcons @ Minnesota(-3)
You know, I have this feeling Atlanta isn’t actually as bad as people think. And I may not pick the Vikings at all while Jackson is the starting QB.
Panthers @ St. Louis(-1)
Meh. I can’t tell if either of these teams will be anything other than mediocre. I’m guessing Al will take the Rams, so I’ll take the point.
Broncos @ Buffalo(+3)
The Bills are a franchise in limbo, while I think the Broncos will be a playoff team. Broncos by a TD at least.
Chefs @ Houston(-3)
Yeah, KC is a train wreck, but they were a playoff team last year, and in case the bookies have missed it, the Texans won a paltry four games and still haven’t done anything about their O line. I won’t start picking the Texans until they actually win something.
Dolphins @ Washington(-3)
How bad will the Dolphins offense be this year, I wonder? It really might not be better. Of course, the Redskins didn’t exactly light it up last year, but their QB isn’t quite as green, so maybe they’ll actually improve. The Redskins get three for being the home team, I guess. Uhh, sure, yeah, I’ll give three points, but it’s basically a coin flip driving this pick.
Patriots @ New Jersey Meadowlands(+7)
Because I know Al will take the Jets, I’m going with the boys from New England. Brady with guys to throw to and an improved defense? They might be scary good.
Eagles @ Green Bay(+2.5)
Brett “Overthrow” Favre and a rookie RB vs. McNabb and Westbrook, and I don’t even have to give a figgie? Iggles.
Stillers @ Cleveland(+4.5)
I’m expecting Pittsburgh to rebound this year, and I don’t think the Browns will be any better, so I’ll take Pittsburgh to cover this.
Titans @ Jacksonville(-7)
I like the Jags to win this game, but I have trouble seeing either of these offenses lighting it up. I figure it’ll be closer than 7.
Bears @ San Diego(-6)
OK, now, the question has to be asked: why do people keep thinking Norv Turner is an appropriate answer to the question “who makes a good NFL head coach?” How do you fire a guy who went 14-2 and replace him with a guy who has a career .415 winning percentage? I don’t get it. On the other hand, the Bears are still staring Rex, and the Bolts are friggin’ loaded with talent (except at wideout). Look at the Bolts to run up another gaudy regular season record and then boot it in the postseason. Oh, and I’ll take San Diego to cover.
Lions @ Oakland(-2)
How are the Raiders favored over anybody, even the hapless Lions at home? Isn’t McCown starting at QB for the Raiders? McCown? Really? I’ll take the points, thanks.
Bucs @ Seattle(-6)
I’m inclined to think Tampa will be better this year–Garcia is an upgrade at QB and maybe Cadillac can stay healthy. But Seattle might be better, too, if Alexander can stay healthy. OK, in Seattle, I’ll give the points.
Jints @ Dallas(-6)
Hmm. I actually think the loss of Terry Glenn will hurt the Cowboys, because it means teams can double T.O. without fear. And the Giants appear to already be in disarray before the season even starts. I like the Cowboys running game and defense better, though, so I think I’ll give the points.
Ravens @ Cincinnati(-2.5)
I like the Ravens to pull an upset here, as I’m still not sure Cinci is over their whole incarceration thing.
Cardinals @ San Francisco(-3)
The Niners are the sexy “team on the rise” pick this year, but they still haven’t won anything yet. I figure losing Dennis Green is likely to make the Cards another two wins better. I’ll take the points.