Football? It’s Still Summer…Here

By: Shawn Davis

It is 84 degrees at the time I post this – and it will be in the 90’s this weekend.

Since trading one coast for another, I tell you, it just doesn’t feel like the football season is underway this evening. All my life I’ve related the opening kickoff with packing my air conditioner away for eight months, wearing a light jacket outdoors and – I don’t know – real weather changes. That doesn’t happen in Los Angeles as it does in the Big Apple so I’m still finding ways to get into the season the best way possible.

Maybe I’ll just eat a bucket of wings. That always feels like football season, right? (Hugging the toilet afterwards certainly does.)

Last year I went with the Broncos over the Packers for the Super Bowl – and we saw how they played against the Seahawks. This year I’m taking the Saints over the Patriots.

The picks:

Green Bay 24 @ Seattle 30: History isn’t kind to defending champions because repeating just doesn’t happen in the NFL. I like Aaron Rodgers on any field in the NFL but beating the ‘Hawks is a tall order for anyone, ask the Broncos, especially when you’re visiting Seattle.

New Orleans 31 @ Atlanta 24: The Falcons will not be as bad as they were last year – attributing that more to injuries than lack of talent – but I think the Saints will be one of the top-two seeds in the NFC once the calendar hits January.

Jacksonville 14 @ Philadelphia 31: The Eagles get up early…and don’t relent.

Cleveland 9 @ Pittsburgh 20: The Steelers – I have to think – are tired of reading the obituaries about them while they’re still walking around, playing football. I like Brian Hoyer but I like Ben Roethlisberger more.

Minnesota 17 @ St. Louis 13: Sam Bradford goes down with another destroyed knee…but I don’t think Shaun Hill is a severe downgrade at the position. I’m going with the Vikings’ offensive line to control this game, allowing Adrian Peterson to do what he does best.

New England 34 @ Miami 17: Does anyone have an identity on the Dolphins? We all know what the Patriots do, consistently.

Oakland 17 @ NY Jets 23: I would take the Raiders here if Derek Carr can get the time to torch the Jets secondary but as much wind that comes out of the mouth of Rex Ryan he fields a solid defense. I like the Jets front-seven more than I like the Raiders offensive line.

Tennessee 17 @ Kansas City 24: Kudos to the Chiefs by giving Alex Smith a new contract. He leads the Chiefs to another victory, that’s what he does, like it or not.

Buffalo 10 @ Chicago 34: Bears.

Cincinnati 17 @ Baltimore 16: I like the Bengals defense better than anything the Ravens have to offer.

Washington 14 @ Houston 23: The Texans were supposed to have a Super Bowl title by now, correct? The fall from a contender to a cellar dweller is a long, hard one. J.J. Watt – and the defense – will wear the entire burden of staying close in games.

Carolina 16 @ Tampa Bay 17: Being that the great front-office of the Panthers took away all of Cam Newton’s receiving threats, I have a hard time thinking they’ll return to the postseason. Maybe this game ends in a tie; can we get one for Week 1?

San Francisco 23 @ Dallas 24: The 49ers have too many of their best defenders in sweats this week (and for the near future) to take this victory.

Indianapolis 27 @ Denver 34: Peyton Manning in a season debut? Going with the home team on this one.

NY Giants 21 @ Detroit 24: I can see Matthew Stafford throwing four interceptions but making two touchdown heaves to Megatron deep in the fourth quarter to win this in the end. I always like the calm that Eli Manning plays with but I’m only picking the Lions because they’re home; no other reason at all.

San Diego 24 @ Arizona 27: I don’t see why everyone is in love with the Chargers so there’s that. The Cardinals won ten…and watched the postseason a few months ago. These birds are still angry.

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