NFL: Opening Night

By: S. Davis

Football is back tonight and I’m not caught up on anything. I have not finished doing the research I usually have completed before the season debut to put together an intelligent Super Bowl pick. I’m breaking down scouting reports and analysis of the NFC – I got through the AFC over the weekend – as I put this piece together for my loyal subscribers that like to read my site for football. Thank you.

I am intrigued to see how the Seattle Seahawks deal with the realization and cap-scarcity that every elite team must confront: having a quarterback that strangles a good percentage of the salary cap. The bill on Russell Wilson was due – and I’d like to see how they approach team-building while looking at the finances. We’re already seeing how the Kam Chancellor holdout is going.

The Jordy Nelson injury that will have him on the sidelines for the year absolutely killed my NFC selection. I was going to go with the Green Bay Packers for my NFC team and maybe the New England Patriots for the AFC – but if I see the Patriots win another close Super Bowl I may jam a fork into my eyes. Sorry about that, too personal? Moving on…

Week 1:

Pittsburgh 20 @ New England 26: Since the Steelers will be without Le’Veon Bell and Maurkice Pouncey – and offense will be how the Steelers compete for anything this season – I feel they drop this game on the road.

Green Bay 26 @ Chicago 14: It’s hard to get a read on any team, especially so when the Packers are without their top receiver. Bringing back dependable receiver James Jones should help ease the blow on offense. The Bears? Well, they are hosting.

Kansas City 20 @ Houston 13: I question the Texans’ ability to score three touchdowns.

Cleveland 9 @ NY Jets 16: I like the Jets’ defense against anything the Browns will have on the field.

Indianapolis 20 @ Buffalo 17: I’m seeing a lot of people fall in love with the Bills because of Rex Ryan. Don’t we all know how this story ends? He talks big, builds an offense out of the eighties, fields a formidable defense and has no clue about a passing game or developing a solid quarterback.

Miami 20 @ Washington 10: The Cousins-Griffin musical chairs act should pick up steam after this one.

Carolina 13 @ Jacksonville 9: Panthers, barely.

Seattle 24 @ St. Louis 23: Why is the world in love with Sam Bradford but dismissive regarding Nick Foles? I like Foles and since this is a NFC West death match, I like him to play well and keep the Rams in this until late in the fourth quarter.

New Orleans 17 @ Arizona 20: The Saints are a different offense without Jimmy Graham, and I don’t necessarily think that’s a negative, but they will have to adjust to making an effort to balance their attack against a Cardinals team that defends. Why is Larry Fitzgerald underutilized by Bruce Arians like he’s washed up? They just handed him another big contract, use the guy.

Detroit 23 @ San Diego 27: The Lions will have trouble defending the run now that Ndamukong Suh relocated to Florida. The Chargers will have no trouble scoring points in this one.

Tennessee 13 @ Tampa Bay 20: The top-two picks from the 2015 NFL Draft take the field to start the inevitable comparisons to one another for the remainder of their respective careers. History says only ONE of them will succeed over the course of their time in the NFL – and I hope they can both fight against the evidence because they both have so much potential. Plus, both sets of fans are fighting to root for their teams again.

Cincinnati 21 @ Oakland 13: Bengals.

Baltimore 28 @ Denver 21: I remember when this game was the season opener two years ago and the Broncos went absolutely ballistic. (Too bad the Lombardi Trophy wasn’t on the line, sorry Peyton.) I think this season will be a test for the Broncos but I still have them taking the AFC West.

NY Giants 24 @ Dallas 30: I like the ‘boys in this one.

Philadelphia 27 @ Atlanta 33: I like this game to be the most pleasing to the eyes. I’m interested to see DeMarco Murray and Ryan Matthews in the Eagles backfield. Julio Jones is going to have a huge season and he eats big in this one.

Minnesota 17 @ San Francisco 13: I like Adrian Peterson here – and a young offense with the Vikings that might surprise some people this year.

I just finished looking over the last video preview of the entire NFC and so my Super Bowl Pick will be the Pittsburgh Steelers over the Dallas Cowboys. Why not? I picked the Saints over the Patriots last year…and I was close enough. I feel good about this year although another 100 degree day out west could be taking its toll on me.

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