So, classic, I take the Giants over Dallas, because Dalls won't run the ball.... and surprise, surprise, what do the Cowboys do? Yeah, great. 0-1 to start the season. There's only about 45 minutes till the Sunday games kick off so I'm going to have to pile through these somewhat, but even if I over run by a few minutes that shouldn't make too much of a big deal. Let's get started.
Colts @ Bears
The more I look at the Colts, the more I kind of nod and say "you know what, that's not a bad team". However I look at the Bears and think to myself "yeah, but that is a good team". As always with the Bears the fortunes of Jay Cutler will do much to dictate their season. I think they're wll set for this game though, with an experienced and very capable defensive line matching up against a Colts O-line that is still fitting together and a quarterback who's not used to facing heavy pressure. Bears win.
Eagles @ Browns
I think in some regards the Browns have gotten better this off season. The combination of former Eagle Juqua Parker opposite young Jabaal Sheard could be a big improvement for the Browns. Trent Richardson is a great back, Montario Hardesty has a lot of potential and Chris Ogbonnaya served well in his time with the Texans. But Brandon Weeden is a head scratcher. I don't think he can waltz in and replace Colt McCoy, and overall the Browns are still lagging behind the Eagles in terms of their whole team capability. Eagles win.
Rams @ Lions
God help me for this but I kind of like the Rams. They've spent in the offseason and I like some of the rookies that they picked up. I love fullback Brit Miller and for a change the Rams look like a tough team. They have quality players at a number of key positions. I can't say the same of the Lions. Their passing attack still looks strong and the defensive line can eat people up on a good day, but that's about it. They still have a myriad of glaring weaknesses, that seem to have gotten weaker in the offseason. So I'm going to hold my breath and put this one out there; Rams win.
Dolphins @ Texans
Does anyone else feel like we're always saying "this is the Texans year", year after year? Well, this could finally be it. Could. With a capital "C". Their first challenge is to overcome the Dolphins who, if I'm honest, look pretty thin. Their linebackers and defensive line are not bad, but the secondary is weak overall, and the offense is limited. They have some playmakers like Bush, Naanee, Armstrong and Fasano, but I'm not sure that whole offense will click together. The Texans by contrast are quality up and down the board. Receiver Andre Johnson has two great compliments in Lester Jean (keep your eyes on this guy!) and Kevin Walter. The pass rush is superb and the running game is strong even when Arian Foster doesn't play as much. Texans win.
Falcons @ Chiefs
I'm kind of torn because I really like both teams. And I mean that. They both drafted pretty well and they've both slowly built up solid teams over the last few seasons. The Falcons though I think have the advantage. Their pass rush is more tested and proven, they have a phenominal back in Michael Turner, and a serious triple receiving threat in Harry Douglas, Roddy White and Julio Jones. Most importantly though is Matt Ryan. He is head and shoulders above Matt Cassel, who I think is a little over rated after some average performances last year. A tough fight, but Atlanta should take this. Falcons win.
Jaguars @ Vikings
Normally when two teams like this play you'd be tempted to say that the fans lose. I dunno though. Usually when two teams that are not that great play, because they're equally prone to mistakes it normally makes for a really good game! Laurent Robinson and Justin Blackmon are great receivers for the Jaguars, but Blaine Gabbert is still incredibly suspect; not a nice thing when the Vikings possess such a strong pass rush. The Jaguars still persist in using Tyson Alualu as a defensive tackle and frankly I think the Vikings are just stronger overall. Vikings win.
Redskins @ Saints
All eyes are on RGIII for his first start. I think the Saints might have something to say about that. They may have lost their coach, but they still have some quality players. The Redskins look more like a team that is still rebuilding. The Redskins strong pass rush could give the Saints normally stout O-line some issues, but utlimately I think the Saints have this one. Saints win.
Bills @ Jets
The Jets defense gets a lot of plaudits, but other than a few players dotted about here and there, the Jets D really isn't that special. Rex Ryan adds a lot to them with his design, but man for man they're nowhere close to being one of the best defenses in the league. That's a problem when your offense is pretty bad. The Bills aren't exactly much better, but they do have some under rated talents dotted about, and importantly on both sides of the ball. There's just something about the Bills that suggests they might do well in this one, particularly matching Fred Jackson against that Jets rush defense. Bills win.
Patriots @ Titans
The Titans might surprise a few people this year. They may even surprise the Patriots. I wouldn't bet on it though. Their defense is tough, as the Titans defense always seems to be. But their offense looks a little toothless. The Patriots on the other hand look good. They made the Super Bowl last year and since then they've arguably improved. Greg Salas is a great little pick up for the receiver corps, and that 4-3 defense has been bedded down nicely by this point. They have quality all over the field and frankly I think that'll be too much for the Titans.
Right, I'm going to stop there as the early games are just kicking off. I'll put up the rest of my Sunday predictions before the next series of games begin.