With that, I’d like to introduce what will be a weekly feature on my blog. I will highlight the three games that intrigue me the most. Give my picks on those, as well as the rest of the games for the week.
49ers @ Packers: This game may be a NFC conference championship game preview. The Niners return most of their defense that was dominant all of last season. They lost linebacker Parys Haralson to injury in the preseason. That loss will hurt, but this defense should still be great. The offense has to score touchdowns and not field goals in the redzone this season. Hopefully that will improve with the additions they gave QB Alex Smith.
The Packers return a team that went 15-1 last season. While that record should not be expected again, the drop off will not be too far. Aaron Rodgers will continue his ascent to ‘best quarterback in the game’ status. He and his bevy of receivers should have another great season. They will need a little more from the running game and Cedric Benson may be the back to provide that.
This will be a tight, hotly-contested game. It should come down to the wire, and the 49er’s defense will make a play to give them the win in Green Bay. This game will whet our appetites, and leave us looking forward to a possible rematch in January.
Steelers @ Broncos - Peyton Manning makes his regular season debut in Denver in this game. The NFL did not do him any favors by having him open up against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Peyton looked great in his final preseason game and it will be interesting to see if he can pull that type of performance off against the Steelers in week one.
When we last saw the Steelers, they were chasing Demaryius Thomas into the end zone in an overtime loss to Denver in the playoffs. That was a huge upset and the Steelers will be looking to avenge that loss in week one.
This will be another good game however this time, the Steelers will prevail over the Broncos. This is another game we may see again in January.
Redskins @ Saints - Robert Griffin III makes his regular season debut in this game. He is one of five rookies starting at quarterback in the NFL. He has shown a ton of promise, and this road game will be a good test for him to start with. New Orleans fans are always into the game, so it will be good to see how he handles it.
The Saints finally get to open the season, and begin to turn the page on “Bountygate”. This will be the first game without head coach Sean Payton. That fact alone makes this game intriguing to me. We get to find out how important a head coach really is to their team. It will be interesting to see how Drew Brees, Jimmy Graham and Co. handle this season.
The Saints should pull out a game that will be closer than expected. RGIII and the Redskins will put up points, but it will not be enough to beat the Saints in the Superdome.
Rest of the Week One Games:
Colts @ Bears – Bears
Eagles @ Browns – Eagles
Rams @ Lions – Lions
Dolphins @ Texans – Texans
Falcons @ Chiefs – Falcons
Jaguars @ Vikings – Vikings
Bills @ Jets – Jets
Patriots @ Titans – Patriots
Seahawks @ Cardinals – Seahawks
Panthers @ Bucs – Panthers
Bengals @ Ravens – Ravens
Chargers @ Raiders – Chargers
There you have my picks for Week One. Feel free to post yours in the comments and we can see who has the better week. Thank you for reading and enjoy the games this weekend.
I’m Jimmy L. Wilson, Jr. and I approve this message.