If you are in search of infinite knowledge, you have come to the wrong place. However, if you are in search of football knowledge, you are in the right spot. We did a pretty damn good picking the interesting games last year, so we are back for Round 2 with our College and NFL Picks. Week 1 of the NFL season is always hard to really figure out, and even more so for college, but moving forward we should be able to get most of them right. Hell, if we need to make it tougher, we can incorporate the weekly lines too. Welcome back to Pigskin Pick’em.
We started off 1-0 with the New Orleans pick from Thursday (at the bottom of this article), so let’s try to stay hot going forward. We will not be picking games that should be total blowouts like Oregon vs. New Mexico (college) or Saints vs. Browns, so if you want to be told something you already know, go talk to your grandparents. I love writing about my picks because it gives me a chance to really express my opinion on teams. I enjoy writing about the games, but for the most part, I am not telling you anything too new. This is my chance to pass down some wisdom (hopefully) about each team and how they should do this week and overall.
Oh, and every week we are picking a big upset (team +5 or around there to win, not just cover), just to make it interesting. Let’s go!
Baltimore Ravens vs. New York Jets
There was a time when this would be a matchup of two great defenses. Not anymore. The Raves are without Ed Reed and have shown some definite cracks in the armor lately on defense. The Jets, on the other hand have been nothing but excellent defensively over the last year, and although they were only 9-7 last year, I think they can improve. However, this game does not set up well for the Jets. They really do not have the weapons to exploit the Ravens secondary, and with the pressure the defense will put on Mark Sanchez, there is a pretty decent chance he turns it over a couple times. Few things kill teams quicker than turnovers, and I think Sanchez is far more likely to do that against Baltimore than Flacco is against the Jets. The Ravens have a big offensive line, and while they might find it difficult to run the ball, they should be able to give Flacco enough time to find the open guy. I think Revis will match up with Boldin, rather than Mason, but I think the Ravens have a slight edge over the somewhat overrated Jets. It will be a really good and close game, but give me the Ravens in a tight one on Monday Night Football.
Ravens 16, Jets 13
Cincinnati Bengals vs. New England Patriots
I think the Bengals are going to be fascinating to watch this year. Not necessarily for all the right reasons, but fascinating nonetheless. If they can resist the temptation to start slinging it all over the field with their new T.O.Y then they should be fine, but something tells me they are going to have to learn that the hard way. This team was 10-6 with a hard-nosed defense and a running game. Don’t change it just because you signed a new WR. Ask the Cowboys how it works out when you forget you have a great running game. I think the Bengals will eventually figure it out, but it will not happen this week. I like the Patriots to put a beatdown on the Bengals in a game that will not be as close as you would think.
You know how you never pick against Nick Saban when he has extra time to prepare and other coaches like that? Put Belichick in that conversation too. He will not lose when he has had this much time to prepare for a team. The Bengals will be able to move the ball, but I think the Pats will jump on them early and force them to the air.
Bengals 17, Patriots 30
(12) Miami (FL) vs. (2) Ohio State
This is exactly the type of game Miami would play well in. They seem to play up or down to the level of their competition and I see no reason why this year would be any different. They have an outstanding QB in Jacory Harris, athletes all over the places, and all the ingredients needed to pull off an upset in the Horseshoe.
But it won’t happen. Jim Tressel has lost 1 home game to out of conference opponents. That’s it. Texas a few years ago and USC last year. That is it. This is definitely the type of game Miami would play well in, but that does not change the fact that Ohio State is the better team and the better-coached team. I am not saying it will be all Terrelle Pryor and the Buckeyes, but it is going to be a comfortable Buckeyes win. Wouldn’t be too surprised to see Miami pull it out, but the pick is wholeheartedly for the Buckeyes.
Miami 14, Ohio State 23
(17) Florida State vs. (10) Oklahoma
This is without a doubt the most overhyped game of the weekend. Last week, Florida State beat up on a small school and Oklahoma almost got beat up by a small school, bu here is why it does not matter. This is just not the type of game either of these teams traditionally comes out and plays well in. FLorida State does not handle expectations that well anymore, and Oklahoma is really just not that good. I am still going to watch, but this game has all the makings of a poorly-played game that stays close as a result between two overrated teams. I am going to pick Oklahoma because they are at home, but you will not have to worry about either of these teams when Bowl Season rolls around.
Florida State 20, Oklahoma 23
What fun would it be if I just came out and wrote the game right away? You would know immediately what the pick was, and it would ruin the surprise. Instead, I am going to just talk vaguely about each side before letting you in on the secret to explain the ingredients of the upset.
The favorite here has had a sort of tumultuous offseason. Big pieces have been recovering from injury and bickering about contracts while management attempts to bring in a new big piece to replace the franchise guy (at this point, fans of the team probably know). The defense is unusually porous, is missing some of tis stalwarts, and all signs point south (in a relative sort of way).
The underdog has had a few down years lately, but they have new guys at the head of the organization, and proven guys now coordinating the offense and defense. It looks like they will have a very solid running game this year, and with some better play calling, it looks like they might be able to sling it a little bit too, though in moderation. They defense is coming around too. They brought in a stud in the draft, and they are entering the second year of a new defense, which is always promising. They have more skill guys than you would think for a team of the record, and they might be rady to make the jump.
San Diego Chargers vs. Kansas City Chiefs
No he didn’t. He didn’t just pick a team usually fighting with the Raiders for the bottom spot in the division to beat the perennial powerhouse out west, did he? Yes he did. San Diego is a notoriously slow starter (remember Week 1 last year vs. the Raiders?) with question marks all over the place. Can the offensive line get back to running the ball. Will the Chargers be alright without Vincent Jackson? Can the defense stay solid without Jamal Williams and Antonio Cromartie? With Rivers coming off an injury in the offseason, way more questions surround the Chargers than ever. The Chiefs, on the other hand, have Charlie Weis calling plays (which is what he does best besides making Twinkies disappear), a potential breakout star in Jamaal Charles, and a defense that should really start to gel this year. The Chiefs are far from a safe pick here, but that is why it is the Upset Special. Embrace the risk, and bet on the Chiefs this weekend. Your friends will think you are a genius. And if I’m wrong? You didn’t hear it from me.
Chiefs 26, Chargers 21
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