I just finished up my picks for week 1
I don't see how NE is going to lose this one as they should be able to score at will and should be able to get a defensive stop once and a while to Oaks never but im passing as both teams made some major changes in the off season. Need a couple weeks to get a read on how the changes play out.
I went with:
Cincy -3 over Clev. Quite simply Cincy is better in every facet of the game. Clev should have no answer for Rudi who'll leave treadmarks all over the Clev d. With him opening it up Carson should be able to light it up as well. Cincy has questions on d but its still better than clevs and the offense is light years better.
Hawks +3 to take the Jags. Tubbs has been playing like a pro bowler thus far in the preseason, I know its preseason but the kids got all the potential in the world. He seems ready to make the step up which means Taylors gonna have some trouble. With surer tacklers like Sharper in the mix, a healthy squad and a game plan involving Seattle flooding the box forcing Leftwich to answer the bell I don't like the Jags chances. The key will be Wistrom and Fischers ability to get to him, if they can apply pressure the Hawk Cbs are amongst the top 6-7 units in the nfl period and should stop the aging Smith and the rookie phenom Jones. Leftwich is gonna need to prove to me he's more than an overated draft pick that hasnt live up. It comes down to match ups, Jags are solid on D but the hawks will have their chances as Hasselback and co providing they catch can move the ball against anybody where the jags are one dimensional in the area which deems to be a strength in the seattle defense, a quick strike offence where the qb gets the ball out quickly would pose a bigger threat to the hawks as it would expose their lack of a pass rush. Just not enough weapons here for the jags imo.
STL - 4 over the 49ers - I really like the 9ers lb corps and it could cause a major headache for Bulger and crew but their secondary is weak but so is the rams secondary. The 9ers actually have more playmakers on the defensive side of the ball imo but d alone won't win it'll come down to can they keep up with the rams who are all playmakers on offense. Both sides will score but in the end Barlow sucks and will force Rattay to try and do too much which will be their downfall. It just has that going down to the wire vibe to it.
My upset pick of the week. Cowboys +4.5 over the Chargers
How bout them cowboys
The Gates factor. Cowboys have some depth at corner finally which means Williams will be nuts this year as he wont be mismatched in coverage. LT is the best rb hands down but with Parcells stacking the box you're left with Brees throwing to Parker and McCardell. Gates created so many mismatches, how nice would it be as a qb to know that whenever you're in trouble you know you have a mismatch at te, he takes that team from middle of the pack squad to upper echelon. The numbers dont lie, Gates had 20% of the chargers offense last year, how od you replace that. Take away Gates and you have the Brees of 2 years ago, he was never a bad qb just didnt have the recievers and I dont think he has em here again. Meanwhile the boys have a stud rb and enough balance on offense to move the ball effeciantly. Defensively the boys are a question mark but with a few weeks to formulate a game plan knowing that Gates wont be there Parcell should've been able to scheme something to force Brees to beat them.