Are you as excited as I am? We’ve seen plenty of NFL stuff in the news over the summer and most of it isn’t related to play on the field. For now it looks like we can move on from “deflate-gate” and all the arrests, suspensions, etc. will no longer cloud our minds. Who knows if football is a dying sport? Right now it’s the most captivating sport in America and the NFL can basically do whatever it wants. Between gambling, fantasy football, and now DFS (Daily Fantasy Sports), it’s hard to see this changing that soon. Hope you have your popcorn ready for Week 1.
Survivor Pick of the Week:
NEW ENGLAND over Pittsburgh
After all that fuss, Tom Brady takes the field tonight. (Sorry Jimmy Garoppolo! Your time will come.) There are two ways to look at this game. One relates to the mental edge and the other is play on the field. From a mental standpoint, everyone knows the Patriots love the “us against the world model.” They used it to go 18-1 on their way to a Super Bowl loss against the Giants in the season following “spy-gate.” Now they can band together after “deflate-gate” and play “eff-you” football for as long as they want. You think they’re going to lose the home opener after all this nonsense?? You think they care that everyone knows they’re huge cheaters???
New England missing a couple key pieces in Brandon Lafell (injury), Darrell Revis (signed with the Jets), and Shane Vereen (signed with the Giants), but they beefed up their secondary in the draft and have plenty of weapons remaining on offense. Pittsburgh meanwhile is missing Le’Veon Bell (suspension), Martavis Bryant (suspension) and Marcus Pouncey (injury). They can’t replace those guys as easily as New England can. They didn’t have a great draft as their third pick Sammie Coates isn’t even ready to contribute. Their two picks prior to Coates will help the defense, but the defense needed a lot of work to begin with. It’ll be an easy New England victory in this one.
Thursday Night Pick:
NEW ENGLAND -7 over Pittsburgh
Didn’t I just say it will be an easy New England victory? The real question is will it be more lopsided than the last two Thursday night NFL openers. Seattle beat Green Bay by 20 last year. Denver beat Baltimore by 22 in 2013. Can New England do better? I see them hitting the 30-point mark easily as Pittsburgh’s defense sets up to be a sieve. Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown are great, but that’s about all Pittsburgh has going for them right now. They weren’t the same offense last year before Martavis Bryant showed up. We’re talking a double-digit New England win here and maybe it gets to 20 points if we’re lucky.
(Editor’s Note: This year I, J.Camm, will be picking against Mr. T, because I’ve got a real thirst for competition and I think I’m good at things that I’m not.)
J.Camm’s Thursday Night Pick: New England
Mr T’s Picks From Last Season: 138-128-1
NFC EAST: Philadelphia Eagles
NFC SOUTH: Atlanta Falcons
NFC NORTH: Green Bay Packers
NFC WEST: Seattle Seahawks
NFC WILD CARD #1: Dallas Cowboys
NFC WILD CARD #2: Minnesota Vikings
AFC EAST: New England Patriots
AFC SOUTH: Indianapolis Colts
AFC NORTH: Baltimore Ravens
AFC WEST: Denver Broncos
AFC WILD CARD #1: Pittsburgh Steelers
AFC WILD CARD #2: Miami Dolphins
SUPER BOWL 50: Seattle Seahawks over Baltimore Ravens