It is hard to make a lot of snap judgments about the league after just one week, but nobody was more impressive than the Denver Broncos. QB Peyton Manning had 302 yards passing and five touchdowns in the second half as he looked every bit the Manning of old. It will be interesting to see how that carries over to Week 2. Conversely, no one had a worse week than New York Giants RB David Wilson did. He had two fumbles and was benched for being charitable with the football. He looks to rebound against Manning’s Broncos.
Each game I assign a number (1-16). The game I assign a 16 is the game that I would pick if I were in a suicide league. The game I assign a one is the game that I am least confident in that week. The next week I will give you the score that I tallied in the confidence picks. I will also keep a running tally of my record in both the suicide pick and all of the games combined. I also will not pick the same team twice in a suicide league.
My record last week was 12-4 and 1 scored 100 points in the confidence pool. I was 1-0 in suicide picks. My pick(s) so far in the suicide pool is Indianapolis.
I do not pick games against the spread or project over and under totals. Our site is not a gambling site and we do not pretend to be a gambling site. I have had people that need to pick scores of games for their confidence picks, which I am happy to do. If the confidence numbers or picks do not help you enough, leave your questions in the comment section and I will answer them to the best of my ability.
Top 5 Games
1) Minnesota Vikings (0-1) at Chicago Bears (1-0) – This is a big game for the Vikings. It is not just avoiding the dreaded (0-2) record, but two losses in the division. Granted, both of them would be road losses, but it is hard to win a division in the NFL with a .500 or worse record in the division and the Vikings would be leaving themselves no margin for error if they drop a second divisional game.
I like the Bears in this game. I am just not in love with how QB Christian Ponder plays the quarterback position. He was horrible last week with only 236 yards passing, one passing touchdown, three picks and a QB rating of 63.1. I do not think he is going to be able to do much in Chicago and the Bears should open the season with a second straight home victory. Winner: Chicago (11)
2) Washington Redskins (0-1) at Green Bay Packers (0-1) – No team that lost in Week 1 looked better than the Green Bay Packers did. They went to San Francisco and lost 34-28 to arguably the best team in the NFL. It was a back and forth game that either team could have won. Conversely, no team other than Jacksonville looked worse in Week 1 than the Washington Redskins looked in the first half. They trailed 26-7 as they fumbled and bumbled their way through a horrible first half. Both of these teams made the playoffs last year, but one of them is starting 2013 with a (0-2) record.
I would go with the Packers winning this game. The only thing that concerns me is that the Packers D has problems stopping mobile quarterbacks, which is going to be a major challenge playing against QB Robert Griffin III. I do not think that is going to matter though, I see Packers QB Aaron Rodgers carving the Redskins D up and if the Redskins are going to be charitable with the football, they have no shot in Green Bay. Winner: Green Bay (12)
3) Denver Broncos (1-0) at New York Giants (0-1) – It is hard to argue with the Broncos being a heavy favorite in this game. The Broncos tore the Baltimore Ravens offense to shreds while the New York Giants committed six turnovers in a loss at Dallas. QB Peyton Manning had 462 yards passing and seven touchdowns with no picks. Giants QB Eli Manning had 450 yards and four touchdowns, but his three picks also played a huge role in the defeat.
This is going to be a special game, because it is probably the last time we are going to watch the Manning Bowl, unless these two teams meet in the Super Bowl. AFC Teams play NFC Teams every four years, so unless one of these players switch teams or conferences, the next time they would meet would be 2017, when Peyton Manning turns 41 years old. It is unlikely that Peyton Manning will still be playing by then, but you never know. I look for the elder Manning to win this game and win big. I would save the Broncos for a suicide pick until later, they play the Raiders twice this year. Winner: Denver (14)
4) San Francisco 49ers (1-0) at Seattle Seahawks (1-0) – This game has turned into one of the best in the NFL. You could argue these are the two best teams in the league and that the winner of this game will be the early season favorite to win the Super Bowl. The teams are mirror images of each other. They are built with strong running games, excellent defenses and mobile quarterbacks that can create plays with their feet. Furthermore, the two head coaches (49ers coach Jim Harbaugh and Seahawks coach Pete Carroll) genuinely do not like each other going back to their days at Stanford and USC. It makes for a very intense rivalry that has become the NFC version of Ravens and Steelers.
I like the Seahawks in this game. Many people thought the 49ers were going to run roughshod over the Seahawks in Seattle last year and the Seahawks responded with a 42-13 victory over the 49ers. Seattle is a very tough environment to play and even though the Hawks are a little short handed with suspensions and injuries, I think the 12th man will carry them to a victory. Winner: Seattle (10)
5) Pittsburgh Steelers (0-1) at Cincinnati Bengals (0-1) – I am going to be honest, there are not many good suicide picks this week. There are a lot of tough divisional games, good teams playing one another or bad teams playing one another. That makes for a difficult time picking suicide picks. All I know is that the 2012 Tennessee Titans were the 32nd ranked scoring defense, the 26th most passing yards and the 24th most rushing yards and the Steelers playing at home managed to tally the sixth fewest passing yards, the second fewest rushing yards and the third fewest points. The Steelers played that game with C Maurkice Poucney, who was their best lineman and is now gone for the season with a knee injury. Either the Tennessee Titans made massive upgrades on the defensive side of the ball (they did not) or this Steelers offense is in a ton of trouble (it is).
I think Cincinnati looked fine last week. They went into a tough road environment and played respectably against the Chicago Bears. They were in the game until the end and lost 24-21. I do not think the Steelers are going to be able to move the ball in this game and I think QB Ben Roethlisberger is going to be running for his life. I think where you can get into trouble in these suicide pick leagues is not picking against a traditionally good team and picking against a traditionally bad one, because your refuse to recognize the signs. As long as the Steelers have a poor line, no running backs and average receivers, they are going to struggle to score points. Cincinnati should win this game at home easily. It is my suicide pick for the week. Winner: Cincinnati (16)
6) New York Jets (1-0) at New England Patriots (1-0) – I would stay clear of this game. I may be leaving the Maniax to tryout for the Patriots and play wide receiver. It is likely that WR Danny Amendola, WR Aaron Dobson, TE Rob Gronkowski and RB Shane Vereen all miss this game. They are so depleted on offense right now that it is hard to see them scoring a ton of points. However, they probably will not have to score much, because they are playing the Jets. Winner: New England (6)
7) St. Louis Rams (1-0) at Atlanta Falcons (0-1) – I am just not buying into the Rams early offensive success against the Arizona Cardinals. The Atlanta Falcons play great at home and I think they bounce back from a tough early loss. This is a good candidate for a suicide pick, but with WR Roddy White limited, I would save Atlanta for later in the season. They have a home game against the New York Jets in a couple weeks that may make a lot of sense. Winner: Atlanta (15)
8) Carolina Panthers (0-1) at Buffalo Bills (0-1) – This is a difficult game to project. Neither team has been good in recent years and both lost close games in the opener. The Bills looked decent against a short handed Patriots team and the Panthers could not score on Seattle. I think the Panthers offense and QB Cam Newton play better and wins this game, but it is a toss up. Winner: Carolina (1)
9) Miami Dolphins (1-0) at Indianapolis Colts (1-0) – This game seems like a pick’em game. The Dolphins could not run the ball last week, but the Colts have a bad run defense. The Colts could not run a lot of plays, because they kept their best players on the bench. I like the Colts at home, but I have very little confidence in the pick. I am very disappointed in how the Colts are utilizing their personnel early in the season. Winner: Indianapolis (2)
10) Dallas Cowboys (1-0) at Kansas City Chiefs (1-0) – I have seen this all too often from the Cowboys. They have a big win and people start talking about them being a Super Bowl team and they blow a game that they have no business losing. I am not reading too much into Kansas City winning 28-2 against Jacksonville, but I think the Cowboys have an off-game coming off their big win and lose on the road at Kansas City. Winner: Kansas City (4)
11) Cleveland Browns (0-1) at Baltimore Ravens (0-1) – Baltimore has never started a season 0-1 since John Harbaugh became the head coach until they dropped the opener in Denver. I have a hard time believing they lose at home to the Cleveland Browns, although it will be interesting to see how their secondary plays. I also like that the Ravens have three extra days rest. Winner: Baltimore (13)
12) Tennessee Titans (1-0) at Houston Texans (1-0) – The Texans were mostly unimpressive in the opener, but dominated the last 20 minutes of the game and came away with the win. The Titans struggled to score points but ground out a 16-9 win against the Steelers. I think the Titans are improved, but I will take the Texans at home. Winner: Houston (7)
13) San Diego Chargers (0-1) at Philadelphia Eagles (1-0) – I do not know how much I read into that Week 1 game by the Eagles. Their offense looked great in the first half and only scored seven points in the second half. QB Michael Vick was limping by the end of the game and RB LeSean McCoy is on pace for 480 carries this year; but Kelly wants to run more plays. It was an impressive first game and I think they beat a deflated Chargers team coming off a blow 21-point lead, but I think the game is close. Winner: Philadelphia (5)
14) Detroit Lions (1-0) at Arizona Cardinals (0-1) – It seems like the list of non-playoff teams from last year playing one another is endless this week, I will take the Arizona Cardinals at home, because I do not trust the Lions on the road and think QB Matthew Stafford will be turnover prone against the Cardinals tough secondary. Winner: Arizona (3)
15) New Orleans Saints (1-0) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-1) – New Orleans Defense played pretty well after their first quarter 10-0 deficit. As for the Buccaneers, I have a rule when I do picks. If you lose to the New York Jets, you have to be awful. Winner: New Orleans (8)
16) Jacksonville Jaguars (0-1) at Oakland Raiders (0-1) – This has to be the worst game of the season. I will go with Oakland because they looked competitive at Indy where the Jaguars looked awful at home against Kansas City. This could be a sneaky suicide pick, but I think it is too risky given Oakland’s quarterback situation. Winner: Oakland (9)