This went right down to the wire. Missed the Thursday game, but I’m ok with that since I’d have probably picked the Dolphins once I heard Chaz Batch would be starting, but at least we’ll get the main stale of games posted before the kickoff tomorrow.
A couple of notes:
I’m going to try a suggestion I received last year and keep each weeks predictions and banter confined to one thread instead of posting a new one each week. There are a couple good reasons for this. It allows all the fans to bookmark this thread and/or subscribe to updates instead of having to scour the forum for the new thread each week. It also hopefully will act and one stop shopping for all your 2006 NFL football needs. I’m going to include links to the annual threads other have begin as well as the groups fantasy football threads.
For those of you new to this, here’s how it works. Each week a member will post the point spreads for each game and predict the outcomes of each. Usually it’ll be me doing it, but by no means do I want to stop anyone else from jumping the gun and doing it sooner. Lord knows I get distracted and let it go to the last minute more often that I care to admit. Please post any and all predictions to this thread. I encourage as many people to join in and predict as many games as they’d like. I will keep an ongoing tally of my success rate for my own enjoyment. I expect, nay demand, that you all heckle and tease me for my missteps as often as possible. What fun is it if someone’s feelings aren’t being trampled! I also heartily encourage homerism and impassioned defenses of your favorite team when I belittle their chances week in and week out.
Here’s the specifics, each game is listed with the point spread and the over/under. These odds are pulled from the USA Today’s Sheridan Odds each Thursday (or whatever day I get to it) and they are each explained here. Additionally I like to do what I call my OMNI picks, basically I pick 5 games against the spread each week. Those will be the 5 games I feel most confident in. The goal is to pick all 5 right and was inspired by a big money football pool I used to participate in.
Before I start, here are some of the ongoing NFL threads on the board here.
SDMB NFL Pick ‘Em and Survival Leagues
The First Annual Steelers Defend The Lombardi Trophy Thread (AKA, The Fourth Annual Steelers March To The Super Bowl Thread)
He Hate Me FF Keeper League
SDMB Fantasy Football version 2.0
2006 NFL Predictions – Overall season predictions
NFC East 2006 – 2007 (NFL)
Sunday, Sept. 10
Denver 3½ ST. LOUIS 46
Fantasy owners every will be watching this game to determine what Shanahan will be doing with their running back situation. It’s becoming an annual tradition. I’m going out on a limb and predicting that it finally comes home to roost this season. The Denver running game will struggle all season and the Plummer experiment falls apart under the burden of carrying the offense. Their defense is still formidable and they’ll stay in enough games and have enough talent to be a constant threat each week, but they aren’t a lock for 9 wins this season. The Rams have been pretty quiet this preseason and that’s not something you’ve been able to say about them in many years. The loss of Martz will cost them some of their dynamics, he’s no doubt a good offensive coach, but I think they’ll make up for it in team chemistry and general comfort. I like their chances this season and I think they’ll be tough at home to start the season. Additions to the defense and a health Steven Jackson get them off to a positive start.
The Pick: Rams, Under
TENNESSEE 2½ N.Y. Jets 35½
Wow, this games a real pig, ain’t it? Which QB situation is uglier? The awful Titans trio of Young, Volek and Collins or the noodle armed Pennington. Which teams RB situation is more muddled, the Brown, Henry, White or Barlow, Blaylock and Houston? Both teams have major holes on defense and iffy offensive lines. Let’s see who the league tallest midget is! On the back of a slightly better RB group and homefield advantage I’m taking the Titans, though the Jets at least having experience at QB counts for something.
The Pick: Titans, Over
NEW ENGLAND 9½ Buffalo 41
Almost ten points for a team who’s #1 WR is holding out? They are at home and the Bills are fielding a Losman at QB, but that still feels like to many points for the first game of the season. Jauron isn’t much of a coach and he’s not going to rejuvenate this team overnight, and likely not ever, but he will keep them in games with his conservative style. A healthy McGahee will move the chains and keep the clock rolling against that Pats defense missing a few of last years big names, though Brady will still get them the win.
The Pick: Bills, Over
TAMPA BAY 3 Baltimore 34½
I’ve gone back and forth on this game a few times already. First, I really like the Bucs chances this year. Caddy will be strong to start the season even if he did wear down last year and I really like what I’ve seen of Chris Simms recently, I think that the Bucs offense will be very tough to contain this year. The Ravens all hinge on how well McNair integrates into the system. They’ve got a few worthy targets and I’m not convinced he’s washed up yet. Still, I’m cautious since I haven’t seen a single snap in a Raven uni yet. The Ravens running game was awful last season and I don’t know that I expect it to be that much better this year, Lewis was slow and didn’t have much room to move and Anderson isn’t exactly a huge change of pace back there. They’ll be dedicated to the run and those two guys are strong enough to make positive yards but I’m not sure it’ll be dynamic enough to scare defenses into crowding the line. The Bucs feel like a more known quantity and I like home teams to open the season.
The Pick: Bucs, Over
KANSAS CITY 2 Cincinnati 46
This one is simple really. You’ve got Carson Palmer looking like a stud in every preseason snap surrounded by every bit as much talent as last season. On the other side you have Larry Johnson hoping to pick up where he left off against a soft run defense. On paper that probably favors the Chiefs, a steady running game is gold, but people forget that for all the shortcomings on Cincy’s D, Kansas City’s issues are just as profound. And finally, the trump card, the Chiefs are featuring none other than Herm Edwards. Book it!
The Pick: Bengals, Over
Seattle 6 DETROIT 45
Everyone is killing the Seahawks. Between the post-Super Bowl hangover and the Madden cover jinx people are talking about the Seahawks barely winning 7 games. Loads of experts are picking the revamped Lions to tie one on them here in the opener. These people are simply insane. Yes, I like the changes the Lions made but there’s simply no way Martz works his magic immediately with journeyman QB Kitna and a bunch of young, unprofessional skill players. They will improve and come Thanksgiving they’ll be downright dangerous, but not week one at home.
The Pick: Seahawks, Under
CAROLINA 5 Atlanta 39½
This Steve Smith injury worries me. He’s the kind of guy who’ll want to play with it, but WRs and hamstrings are a bad situation. Plus, he’s on my fantasy team so I want him to get healthy. If he sits it totally changes the landscape here. Keyshawn is downright glacial these days and cannot possibly pick up the slack against a competent Atlanta defense. You can’t deny that the Panthers defense at home against a shaky Vick at QB could probably win this game with the members of the SDMB running Fox’s offense though. Let’s not over think this one.
The Pick: Panthers, Under
Philadelphia 5 HOUSTON 37½
I really like what I saw of McNabb this preseason. I took him as my He Hate Me QB with confidence in the 4th round under the presumption that he’ll be healthy and jovial on a TO-less offense. He’s carrying himself with confidence and was throwing the ball with purpose, so well that he even made Reggie Brown look like a threat. The late addition of Stallworth can’t hurt matters and his speed has to keep defenses honest. The lack of a between the tackles running game could be an issue but not against the doughy Texans defense. I think the Kubiak/Carr marriage will pay dividends eventually but not just yet, and for all the hype Wali Lundy has gotten in FFL circles, remember that he got the starting job by default. It’s not as if he blew Davis off the map.
The Pick: Eagles, Under
CLEVELAND 3 New Orleans 37
I’ve said it over and over again that the Saints aren’t a bottom tier team from a talent stand point. For years they were mediocre but I blame that on the incompetence of Haslett and Aaron Brooks. The addition of Payton and Brees, complimented by the insanely fun Reggie Bush, will do more to improve this team than people expect. It’s not that they are Hall of Famers or anything, but when measured against the previous futilities they’ll provide a sizable boost. The Brownies have been getting some great pub this season and I suspect they’ll play tons of close games all season. The addition of some veterans on D and the return of Edwards and Winslow on O should make this team much better than it was last season. The real question is who’s more progress this offseason, the Saints or the Browns? As great as Bush and Deuce will be with Brees keeping defenses honest this season, I’m going to play it safe and take the Browns at home. I think they’ve got a one year head start on the rebuilding process and it’ll show.
The Pick: Browns, Over
JACKSONVILLE 2 Dallas 36½
The Jags are my sleeper this year. Before you get all huffy and point out that they made the playoffs last year, I know, cool your jets. I haven’t heard anyone talking about them as a threat to make the Super Bowl and they should be. I realize they share a division with everyone’s favorite, but they also played that team really tough last season and added some major talent since then. They’ve gotten older on offense and the defense was one of the best last season. The Colts lost Edge and that might be the thing that shifts the balance of power in this division. Speaking of this defense, they are going to be huge this year, mark my words. The D-Line is probably one of the 3 best on all the league and they’ll terrorize the statuesque Drew Bledsoe this week. The Dallas offense is going to be suffocated, and while the Jags offense might struggle at times, Leftwich’s mobility and the trio of up and coming WRs will make the difference. Expect the TO drama to begin first thing Monday.
The Pick: Jags, Under
Chicago 3½ GREEN BAY 35
My Bears look to improve upon last season and I think well get a good impression of how successful they’ll be here this week. I know the Packers suck and Favre has looked like he’s back on the Vicodin in his starts this preseason, but I still see this as a good measuring stick for the Bears for a couple reasons. One, it’s a road game in Lambeau. There’s no more hostile environment and it’s a place we’ve not played well recently. If this team can remain business-like and channel that emotion into killing Favre we’ll know the defense is going to pick up where it left off. Second, we’ll get a idea of how the offense is going to play. This is a bad defense and it’ll be important to see how the first team does with a full 4 quarters to work together. In the preseason I never got the impression they found a comfort level. I want to watch Rex take 50 snaps with the first team and Thomas Jones get a solid 25 carries. I have a hunch they’ll find their form in the second half. If the offense struggle against this lineup we’re in for a long season.
The Pick: Bears, Under
ARIZONA 7½ San Francisco 42½
Everyone’s darling here. The Cards have insane talent and an underrated defense combined with a crummy division. Great recipe for a playoff trip. We’ve seen it before however and they always seem to disappoint. The Niners on the other hand have slowly been improving and Alex Smith showed signs of becoming a serviceable NFL QB. The tandem of Gore and Hicks have moved the ball all preseason and Antonio Bryant was the most popular fantasy sleeper candidate. Now, the Cards have too much talent and are healthy for the time being. I’m not sure I expect them to fold in the home opener in the Pink Taco, but it might be closer than a TD.
The Pick: Niners, Under
Indianapolis 3 N.Y. GIANTS 48
Manning Bowl. Both teams have Super Bowl aspirations. I like the Colts here mainly because Peyton is simply a better QB. Eli struggled under pressure last season and there’s going to be an awful lot here. The build up in NYC makes the media in Indy look like my high school newspaper and that’ll have him pressing too much. The Indy defense led by Freeney is too good to let that happen without taking advantage, and I expect some sacks and turnovers. The questionable Indy running back situation gives me pause, but the Giants defense will be on its heels opening things up just enough for it to be productive.
The Pick: Colts, Over
Monday, Sept. 11
WASHINGTON 4 Minnesota 35
Both teams are expected to be good and I’m not sure I agree. I think the Vikings have fewer question marks than the Redskins though. That QB situation in Washington is downright sad. So much talent with no one to distribute the ball. The situation in Minny isn’t a whole lot better, but at least Brad Johnson can get the job done when healthy. Not so sure I can say the same about Brunell. The Vikes also have a rookie back-up who looks like he might be the real deal. The Vikings made some really effective changes on defense and should slow down opponents passing games, at the same time they have questions in the middle and may give up big number rushing. The Portis injury gives me a little reassurance that it won’t be the deciding factor this week. The Redskins have been atrocious in the preseason and a bad loss in a home opener is going to have the critics circling the water in DC and the Danny will be choking on his own bile. That image alone is too fun to ignore, so I’m crossing my fingers and homing the football gods have their vengeance.
The Pick: Vikings, Under
San Diego 2½ OAKLAND 43
Why in gods name is this spread only 2 and a half? Gimme a break! LDT and a really good San Diego defense going to the clueless Raiders helmed by Aaron Brooks? The Aaron Brooks Glitch’s namesake? Art Shell and his staff of former restaurant managers and accountants? I suppose they figure LaMont Jordan will be putting this squad on his back to dominate play……they must have forgotten the guy on the other team doesn’t exactly suck. I realize Phillip Rivers is essentially a rookie QB, but that Raider defense is so poor that Stan Humphries could go for 450 yards. Having LDT and Gates as security blankets will make that learning curve pretty smooth.
The Pick: Chargers, Under
OMNI Picks: Chargers, Eagles, Seahawks, Browns, Bears