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Week 1 NFL Picks

I apologize, I completely forgot about the rest of Week 1. I’m still rusty from the offseason. (Photo by Getty Images) 

[Allow me to be completely honest here. I hate writing my Week 1 picks. I don’t watch preseason football much. It’s unbearable. Injuries aside, it’s also meaningless. What I’m trying to say is these picks are garbage. Not a single piece of worthwhile information can be found.]

Last Week:    0 – 0 – 0
Last Season: 167 – 89 – 1

Thursday Recap

Steelers 21 at Patriots 28
Mike Tomlin was steaming in his postgame press conference. Headset problems are always frustrating, but when they happen against the Patriots in Gillette Stadium anger and rage is an understandable response. The thought of the Patriots cheating in Week 1 after being persecuted by the media and the NFL all offseason FOR CHEATING made me think of this video:

Thursday night was absolutely about Bill Belichick playing games with the NFL, but instead of Gregg Popovich’s playful two thumbs up, Belichick went with the defiant double middle fingers.

Early Games (1:00PM ET)

Packers at Bears
Aaron Rodgers is great, but that Jordy Nelson injury is a big loss. I know we’ve seen tons of top receivers leave elite quarterbacks only to disappear into oblivion, but I think Nelson is a legit number one. PACKERS If I were Charles Barkley; Packers -7

Chiefs at Texans
Houston was a great “Hard Knocks” team. I’m a huge Bill O’Brien fan. I was sad when he left Penn State. I’d still trade him for Chip Kelly. Unfortunately for him, though, I think the Arian Foster injury will end up costing Houston a playoff spot. Enjoy Justin Houston and JJ Watt. If they were offensive players, they’d be superduperstars. CHIEFS If I were Charles Barkley; Chiefs +1

Browns at Jets
Evidence that Ryan Fitzpatrick went to Harvard: 1. He still convinces NFL franchises to pay him. 2. He identifies opportunity. (Fitzpatrick always ends up starting at some point throughout the season.) 3. Every coach that starts him praises his “smarts” and “ability to pick up the offense.” Well, duh. Dude went to Harvard. Suckers. JETS If I were Charles Barkley; Jets -3.5

Colts at Bills
LOVE this matchup. I’m a big Bills fan. Actually, I’m a half Bills fan. Buffalo’s defense was a joy to watch last season. I’m expecting an even better show in 2015. The offense, on the other hand, I couldn’t watch. Maybe T-Mobile fixes that this season but I won’t be sticking around to see it. When the defense is off the field, my TV is off the channel. BILLS If I were Charles Barkley; Bills +3

Dolphins at Redskins
The Rams turned Robert Griffin III into a handful of players. Some of those players (Alec Ogletree, Janoris Jenkins) have turned into solid players. Others have already departed St. Louis. Even if you give the Rams a C+ for what they did with those RG3 picks, they still win that trade in a landslide. Three years ago the Redskins were credited for “stealing” the NFL’s next great talent. This is a good life lesson for today’s society. Don’t try to be the first to react to something. Be patient and try to be right. DOLPHINS If I were Charles Barkley; Dolphins -4

Panthers at Jaguars
I really liked the Panthers to win the NFC South until Kelvin Benjamin went down. Benjamin was Cam Newton’s parachute. Throw it up high in Benjamin’s direction and the odds favored him to come down with the ball. Now, those SOS balls will go to… Ted Ginn? Yeesh. Carolina’s defense should keep the Panthers competitive, but it’ll be up to Newton to drag them back to the postseason. PANTHERS If I were Charles Barkley; Panthers -3

Seahawks at Rams
St. Louis will be Seattle’s greatest threat to the NFC West throne. Then again, we’ve been expecting the Rams to take the proverbial leap for two years. I don’t know, I think this is the year that Rams defense finally fulfills its destiny. Will they dethrone the Seahawks? I don’t think so. If Seattle remains healthy, they’re still top dog… just not this week. RAMS If I were Charles Barkley; Rams +3

Afternoon Games (4:05PM ET)

Saints at Cardinals
If you had to bet your life on which NFL team finds a reliable, starting running back first, who would you choose, the Cardinals or Browns? Want to know the last Arizona running back to run for more than 600 yards in back-to-back seasons? Edgerrin James in 2006 and 2007. Even the Browns have a better track record. CARDINALS If I were Charles Barkley; Cardinals -3

Lions at Chargers
This could be a disastrous season for the Lions. Also, at what point do we throw Matthew Stafford in with Jay Cutler and Andy Dalton as starting quarterbacks that take you nowhere? CHARGERS If I were Charles Barkley; Chargers -3

Titans at Buccaneers
When was the last time the top quarterbacks in the draft met in Week 1? More importantly, when was the last time a top quarterback in the draft was any good in his rookie year? When do I stop asking questions? BUCCANEERS If I were Charles Barkley; Buccaneers -3

Bengals at Raiders
The Bengals have alligator blood. Everyone wants them to go away but here they are year after year, sporting a team good enough to get nine or ten wins but not quite good enough to claim a playoff victory. RAIDERS If I were Charles Barkley; Raiders +3

Ravens at Broncos
The Broncos are a complete wild card to me. Is 2015 Peyton Manning the Peyton Manning that played stupendously through November 2014 or the one that we witnessed fall apart down the stretch and completely combust in the playoffs? Obviously, after a lengthy offseason, Manning should be fine for the start of the season. Whether he can remain healthy for the playoff run will be the key to Denver’s season. BRONCOS If I were Charles Barkley; Ravens +4.5

Sunday Night (8:30PM ET)

Giants at Cowboys
Don’t the Cowboys always lose this game to the Giants? I want to pick New York but defensively it’s hard to imagine Tony Romo not throwing for 325 yards and 4 touchdowns. The Giants secondary is a crapshoot and the absence of the nine-fingered Jason Pierre-Paul certainly won’t help. COWBOYS If I were Charles Barkley; Giants +6

Monday Night (6:55PM ET)

Eagles at Falcons
I don’t get the blind optimism surrounding the Eagles. Sam Bradford is a human Band-Aid. He currently moves about as well as Peyton Manning, who, you know, happens to be 12 years older than Bradford. The offensive line has a lot of uncertainty at the guard positions. DeMarco Murray is a stud, but history has not been kind to studs coming off seasons in which they carried the football nearly 400 times. For reference, Murray had 80 more carries than any other back in the NFL last season. Eddie George, Larry Johnson and Jamal Lewis are all concerned about DeMarco. Did I mention the Eagles top receivers from 2013 and 2014 are now both gone, or that the number two running back has missed 20 games in five seasons? I understand why many believe the Eagles could win 12 games and contend for a title, but man soooo many things must break right for the Eagles to be in that position. On the bright side, the Eagle defense has the potential to be special. Special enough to even overcome an unfortunate offensive injury or (gulp) two. That front seven is both vicious and deep. The secondary is already improved via the departures of Bradley Fletcher and Cary Williams. The Eagles are in the arena with NFC contenders, they’re just not in the ring with Seattle yet. EAGLES If I were Charles Barkley; Eagles -3

Vikings at 49ers
The 49ers look like an expansion team this year. Hard to imagine that two and three years ago this team was a play or two from being Super Bowl champions. Half that team has now retired or been pushed out. If there were ever a time for Colin Kaepernick to prove himself worthy of the contract he signed last year, now would be that time. The 49ers need a savior. 49ERS If I were Charles Barkley; 49ers +3

*****

If I were Charles Barkley;
Last Week: 0 – 0 – 0
Last Season:    139 – 113 – 3

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