The Prognosticator's back! Let the Games Begin!
What a change a no football off season makes. Rule changes and a free agent frenzy. There’s a generation of fans who have never known a season without Brett Favre. Kickoffs will now happen at the 35 yard line. Last year the league got rid of the 4 man wedge. That saved the wedgebuster but brutalized the returners. Remember the Ellis Hobbs neck injury? All scoring plays will be automatically reviewed. I don’t really like replay, but I hate the red flag coaches challenge. Getting it right means getting it right. At least a team may not get burned on a bad call at the end of the game because they already challenged 3 other bad calls. Also get ready for tight calls because now quarterbacks can’t get hit while they’re in the act of throwing the ball.
Get ready for some bad tackling. There was no offseason camp and training camp two-a-days were collectively bargained the way of the leather helmet. Here’s one bold prediction: Now that the league can test players for human growth hormones, you’ll see over the next 5 years players will get smaller.
Let’s take a look at some games. After my record last year I really shouldn’t have to write this: Remember any losses incurred by relying on said information is not the responsibility of me, WDMT, Entercom Northeast, Entercom Communications, its properties or subsidiaries.
Here we go with Week 1
SAINTS (-4 ½) over the Packers. Sure the Saints were shellacked by an inferior Seahawk team in the playoffs last year. The Pack on the other hand had to scrape to become a wild card. They certainly didn’t dominate the league. The good news in Titletown is the reigning Superbowl champs weren’t anymore distracted this offseason than any other team. The bad news is the Saints still have more talent, and they’ve covered 9 out of their last 13 on grass. Sing it with me…Oh when the Saints come marching in….
JETS (-4) over Cowboys. The pokes will miss Marion Barber. Yeah he lost a step. The truth is Felix Jones was as effective because teams hated dealing with Barber. It’s like boxing; Barber gave out the body blows that softened teams up for the rapid combo shots. Dez White showed promise. He also showed choke. Mark Sanchez is out to prove its okay to be in GQ when you can really play. Don’t worry Cowboy fans, they won’t be as bad as last year. It’s just not going to get better for them week 1.
J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS!
STEELERS (+2 ½) over Ravens. The Steelers played well together last year. And they’re all back. 22 of 24 starters. If there was a team built to survive no offseason and get off to a fast start it’s the Steelers. Topping that Ben Roethlisberger made positive headlines for a change this offseason. The Ravens made some big moves, but they shuffled the offensive line a bit. The underdog has covered 6 of the last 9 in this series and the Ravens have only covered 2 of their last 9 in September. Take the Steelers.
EAGLES (-4 ½) over Rams. There are two ways teams will have an advantage the first six weeks: All your starters return (see Pittsburgh) or you field the best athletes. The Eagles have the best athlete at quarterback. Besides the Rams are 1-9-1 ATS on opening day, while the Birds have covered 7 of their last 9 meetings. Fly Eagles Fly, on the road to victory….
GIANTS (+3) over Redskins. Joe Gibbs (2 Lombardi Trophies and inventer of the “counter tray”) and Marty Schottenheimer (over 200 regular season wins) couldn’t save this team from Dan Snyder. Washington: first in war, first in peace and last in the NFC east. The Giants have won 9 of the last 10 straight up in the series. Look for Rex Grossman to complete three to guys wearing blue shirts.
That’s how I see it! Enjoy the games.