Patriots Pick Em Week 1

By Chris Ransom

Patriots Pick Em is a brand new concept that will be featured on the New England Patriots Rant Sports page.  I will post a brief summary for each game with a prediction, final score, plus the points spread to determine which teams I believe will cover the spread.  The spread is for non gambling purposes and its just for fun so I can see how accurate or inaccurate I am when determining how close the score is.

New Orleans Saints VS Green Bay Packers -3

The Saints failed to get more than 14 points in each of their last two home openers.  I expect Brees to have a big game.   Green Bay’s offense will have a sloppy game, but Mason Crosby will bail Green Bay out.

Prediction Packers 23 Saints 21 take the points.

Pittsburgh Steelers VS Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens are eager for revenge after their agonizing playoff loss to Pittsburgh.  Something tells me the Ravens finally pull off a win against Ben Roethlisberger even though I also get the feeling that Lamar Woodley not James Harrison delivers a season ending injury on one of the Ravens offensive players in this contest.

This game is a push.  You would be a fool to count out either team.

Prediction Ravens 21 Steelers 20

Detroit Lions VS Tampa Bay Buccaneers -3

Tampa Bay got off to a red hot 2-0 start last year while Detroit lost heir season opener in agonizing fashion.  I am going to pick Detroit to win this game by double digits even though I expect both teams to score 21 points.

Detroit has one of the worst pass defenses in the league. The bottom line is team is so motivated to win their opener after getting snubbed of a Calvin Johnson touchdown catch once Stafford left the game with a dislocated shoulder thanks to the officials reversing a Calvin Johnson touchdown.  If were doing over or under for total points with 50 being the limit I am going over.

Prediction Lions 34 Buccaneers 21

Atlanta Falcons -2 VS Chicago Bears

I know I picked the Falcons to go 14-2 and win this years Super Bowl.  Last year I stated that Atlanta would get home field and lose in the divisional round one week after the 2010 NFL Draft.

The bottom line is no one cares about last year because everyone is looking ahead to this season.  I actually really like the Bears in this contest.

Matty Ice also known as Matt Ryan quarterback of the Atlanta Falcons chucks spirals like he is Mr. Freeze from the Batman comics whenever Ryan plays outdoors.  Matt Ryan played in 3 outdoors contests within the first 7 weeks of the 2010 season failing to core more than 20 points in each of the 3 contests.  Ryan starts off cold outdoors and then plays better outdoors as the season progresses.

Chicago got further in the NFC Playoffs than Atlanta so they have to feel disrespected about being the underdog plus Bears middle linebacker Brian Urlacher has his best games when his critics doubt his ability.

Prediction Bears 24 Falcons 16 Take the underdog here.

Buffalo Bills VS Kansas City Chiefs -4

Yes, you read that right the Chiefs are 4 point favorites even though Matt Cassel may not play due to a bruised rib injury.  You think I am crazy for favoring the Chiefs by 4 Vegas has the Chiefs listed as 6.5 point favorites.

Everyone expects this game to be a 10-9 defensive slugfest because neither team has a franchise quarterback.  Both of these teams like to run the football so I expect this contest to be a high scoring affair.

Arrowhead Stadium has the best tail gaiting experience in the NFL period.  I know from experience because I used to live in Kansas City a very long time ago before I knew the Chiefs existed when I was a huge Bledsoe fan way back then.

Sorry Gillette stadium and Heinz Field you guys have to duke it out for Silver and Bronze medals KC gets the gold medal for best tail gating in the NFL.

Both running backs will satisfy their fantasy football owners in this game.

Prediction Chiefs 28 Bills 27 I am picking the Chiefs to win with or without Cassel, but am a firm believer that the Bills will cover the spread.

Indianapolis Colts VS Houston Texans -3

The Texans secondary is better and the Colts secondary is worse.  Another thing that you need to consider is that Peyton Manning will probably sit out on Sunday.  Don’t panic and make any knee jerk reaction decisions to your fantasy lineup if you have Manning.  Just wait everything should be okay with Manning.

I think the Colts have too much offensive firepower to get held to single digits even if Manning doesn’t play.  Houston is going to send a message to the rest of the AFC South.

Prediction Texas 31 Colts 10

Philadelphia Eagles -5 VS St. Louis Rams

The Rams have an offensive line that can protect Bradford and open up the running game for Steven Jackson.  That will be the difference in this contest.  Both defense will show up and keep this game low scoring.

Prediction Rams 17 Eagles 13

Cincinnati Bengals VS Cleveland Browns -6

I have been bashing Andy Dalton for a while since the Bengals drafted him.  The Vikings may have reached for Christian Ponder in terms of value by a significant degree on draft night, but Ponder has long term upside you cannot say the same thing about Dalton.  I know Ponder has a chance to be good because I interviewed someone about Ponder about a year ago on my youtube channel.

If your a Bengals fan who likes Math your going to have a blast counting things in this game.  Some of those thing may include how many interceptions Dalton throws, how many times cornerback Joe Haden keeps AJ Green in check, or how many times Browns pro bowl left tackle Joe Thomas performs a pancake on Carlos Dunlap.

Below is a pretend example of how CBS would promote one of their hit TV shows during the game just to irritate some fans.

Tonight on Same Name a homeless Browns fan named Carson Palmer gets to swap lives with Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer who wants out of Cincinnati.  Does a homeless Browns fan laugh at all the INT’s that Dalton throws?  Does the homeless man start flipping out like Donald Duck if the Bengals win ruining Carson’s mansion?  Does Carson Palmer realize that he needs to un retire to make more money?    Does Mike Brown teach Carson a lesson by benching him for a few games thus creating a quarterback controversy if Dalton wins out?   Find out the answers to all these questions and much more after Big Brother tonight on CBS.

Prediction Browns 30 Bengals 13

Tennessee Titans VS Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jaguars are a 3 point favorite, but MJD may not play and Johnson’s holdout ended so now the game is a push.  Because Johnson is playing I like the Titans in this contest.

FYI I posted my prediction for this game before the Jaguars released starting quarterback David Garrard.  I do not plan on changing the final score.

If you are mad about the Jaguars releasing Garrard you can write to the Jaguars if you are a Jaguars fan.  Feel free to insert Blaine Gabbert will bust or the Jaguars are doomed to relocate to LA jokes if you like.  This is my letter below.

Dear Jack Del Rio,

I have seen contestants on Celebrity Apprentice make more responsible decisions than your organization.  I am referring to Gary Busey when I make this statement.  Why would you wait until the last minute to make such a controversial move that you could have made 3 months ago?  Either start Garrard the whole year or prepare Gabbert for the regular season by releasing Garrard earlier.  Don’t go with Luke McCown he cannot get the job done.  His brother Josh McCown is probably working at Quizno’s to save money on his apartment.

Prediction Titans 17 Jaguars  13

New York Giants -3 VS Washington Redskins

The Giants clearly got the Redskins number in this contest.  This contest is such a mismatch I felt like using only one sentence in my paragraph to aggrevate a bunch of Redskins fans.

Prediction Giants 17 Redskins 3

Carolina Panthers VS Arizona Cardinals -7

Vegas is favoring Arizona by 7 hoping the media will bash the Panthers because they had the worst NFL record last season.  The truth is ESPN has built a hype machine around Arizona signal caller Kevin Kolb crowning Kolb the next Aaron Rodgers.  Rodgers is the Packers starting quarterback and the MVP of Super Bowl 45.

Rodgers was a late first round pick and Kolb was an early 2nd round pick.  Rodgers was in the discussion to go #1 overall when Matt Leinart returned before Alex Smith ended up going #1 overall.  Kevin Kolb was never in the running to go #1 overall in 2007.  Rodgers was in the running to go #1 overall in 2005 plus 1st round quarterbacks have much higher success rates than 2nd round quarterbacks.

There are other reasons why I like Carolina in this contest.  The Carolina Panthers have more receiving targets with their tight ends Shockey/Olsen plus Jeff Otah is healthy.  Patrick Peterson will be a stud in the long run, but he may struggle in week 1 due to the lockout plus there is no one playing across from Peterson at cornerback for Arizona.

Arizona has no offensive line starters and Chris Wells will have to carry the load of carries with no depth to support him if he fatiuges.

Another advantage for Carolina is that Cardinals pass rushers Joey Porter and Clark Haggans will not have the speed or agility to contain Cam Newton’s dual threat ability.

Jimmy Clausen’s only win as a rookie came against the Arizona Cardinals so I really believe that Carolina could win this game by 3 touchdowns with everyone at full health.

Plus if Carolina wins they will be 1-0 while their NFC South rivals will all be 0-1.  I think Cam Newton will bust and I love the idea of giving Panthers fans and Cam Newton false hope about winning the NFC South.

Prediction Panthers 38 Cardinals 17

Seattle Seahawks VS San Francisco 49ers -6

I cannot trust either quarterback in this contest.  Both teams should give up safeties on purpose and try to obtain Andrew Luck by throwing contests this season.’Seattle is the safer bet because their team chemistry with Bevell at OC, Jackson, and Rice gets under looked .

Prediction Seahawks 23 49ers 17

Minnesota Vikings VS San Diego Chargers -9

There is no question that San Diego will win this game.  It just comes down to whether the Chargers cover the spread.  Everyone expects San Diego to win this game in a 41 to 10 or 41 to 14 type fashion.  San Diego will cover the spread, but they will barely cover the spread by a landslide.

Prediction Chargers 20 Vikings 10

Dallas Cowboys VS New York Jets -4

Rex Ryan’s brother Rob Ryan left the Cleveland Browns to be a defensive coordinator for the Dallas Cowboys.  Rob Ryan would have outcoached his brother Rex had Mark Sanchez failed to deliver a 4th quarter comeback agains the Browns.  I think Rob Ryan and the Cowboys win this game on the road in a shootout type fashion putting Sanchez away early.

Prediction Cowboys 35 Jets 21

New England Patriots -8 VS Miami Dolphins

New England has a chance to run away in this contest if they score early enough.  Miami has a glaring hole wit their safety play so getting the tight ends involved to open up New England’s running’s game, then play action, leading up to receptions for Welker and Ochocinco seems to be New England’s best bet if they want to pour 30 points on Miami.

Prediction Patriots 27 Dolphins 7

Oakland Raiders VS Denver Broncos -2

My gut tells me Oakland wins.  My heart tells me Denver wins.

Prediction Broncos 24 Raiders 21

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