NFL - Week One predictions


Sept. 4, 2008, midnight | By Sean Howard, Anshul Sood, Kevin Teng | 11 years, 2 months ago

Welcome back, football fans!


As school begins to pick up, sports fans will find some solace on weekends and Monday nights with the NFL season ready to kick off! Adrian Peterson is back to dominate, Brett Favre returns for another season following a soap opera offseason and the hometown Skins look to use new head coach Jim Zorn's West Coast offense to turn heads in the NFC. Thursday starts what promises to be an NFL season with many stories and many glories.

There are QB controversies in Chicago, Baltimore and San Francisco. There are rookies looking to make an impact, teams rebuilding after disappointing seasons and of course, the Patriots doing what it is they do best. Seasoned SCO experts Pia, Andrew and Nitin have moved on to greener pastures, but apprentice Anshul returns with an all-new crew of football gurus. Seniors Sean, Jon and Kevin look to prove that a rookie can be better than any veteran. As always, turn to SCO every week to see a breakdown of each match-up along with our expert predictions. And what better a way to kick off that season than our beloved Redskins tackling the 2008 Super Bowl champion New York Giants? Let's get to it!

Standings:

This week Season total
Anshul 0-0 0-0
Jon 0-0 0-0
Kevin 0-0 0-0
Sean 0-0 0-0

Thursday, Sept. 4

Washington Redskins (0-0) at New York Giants (0-0)
Anshul Jon Kevin Sean
Washington New York New York New York

Anshul says:
Another season for my pure faith-based Redskins predictions. Sure, the last two preseason games were hard to watch, but the first ever drive under the Jim Zorn era still lingers in my mind - the three-play touchdown drive. The West Coast offense will give QB Jason Campbell a chance to succeed and I can't wait to see this season start. Hail to the Redskins!

Jon says:
While it's always fun to root, root, root for the home team, the defending Super Bowl champs will come back strong. With a less-than-stellar draft for the Skins, Zorn and Campbell will have a lot of ground to cover. But as usual, it will be a low-scoring game between these two NFC East rivals. Look for both teams' defenses to step up.

Kevin says:
Let's get this straight before the season starts. I'm an avid Redskins fan. I want them to win. That said, I'm giving this week's pick to the Giants. The Redskins haven't been performing spectacularly in the preseason, and they're up against last year's champions, the Giants. Although this game could really go either way, our Redskins need to truly warm up before pulling off the big upsets, especially with Zorn.

Sean says:
Oh, happy day! I have been waiting for this game for a long time. With the defending Super Bowl Champions coming back with almost no signs of weakness in the preseason or draft, the beloved team of Washington, D.C. will inevitably fall. It will be a close game; both teams' defenses will be tough nuts to crack. But in the end, the Giants will prevail.

Sunday, Sept. 7

Detroit Lions (0-0) at Atlanta Falcons (0-0)
Anshul Jon Kevin Sean
Detroit Detroit Detroit Detroit

Anshul says:
No 10-win predictions this year from John Kitna, but this season will probably be better than last season for the Lions. The addition of rookie RB Kevin Smith to the dual WR threat of Calvin Johnson and Roy Williams gives the Lions a real shot at winning, especially against a team that will likely find itself near the top of the draft board again.

Jon says:
Maybe this will be the year that people stop laughing at the Lions. Now, the Lions have the upper hand on the still Michael Vick jaded Falcons, but everyone will be watching to see if the Lions' offense can get that elusive 10-win season with an overqualified receiving core. And yes, Smith should take some pressure off pass-happy Kitna. This one will go to the Lions, for once.

Kevin says:
With the Falcons still feeling the loss of star quarterback Michael Vick and the Lions picking up Smith, Detroit should have it relatively easy. Lions fans will be excited to see deep plays to Johnson and Williams. With the Falcons defense spread out on coverage, great possibilities will open up for Smith.

Sean says:
The Vick-less Falcons will face an uphill battle against Detroit, which looks ready to shake off its reputation as a team for others to blow off. With a duo of amazing wide receivers and an offense that will be more run-oriented, the Falcons will be catching their breath as the Lions celebrate in the end zone.

Cincinnati Bengals (0-0) at Baltimore Ravens(0-0)
Anshul Jon Kevin Sean
Baltimore Baltimore Cincinnati Cincinnati

Anshul says:
The Bengals have a lot of problems personnel- and injury-wise, and the Ravens have yet to find a passing offense since the 2006 season. But I think the healthy Raven defense will be able to slow down the injury-plagued Bengal offense, including Chad Ocho Cinco, as it officially is now, enough for rookie Ray Rice to help guide the Ravens to a good start.

Jon says:
Will a Division II Quarterback from Delaware prove anything to scouts? Will he even play? The Ravens will win this division match because of a never-ending depth on defense.

Kevin says:
No question about this one. The Ravens really have no defense to the Bengals' passing game. They also have no passing game of their own. Although the Ravens running game may wear down on the Bengals' defense, I don't see how they can really win this game.

Sean says:
The Bengals' passing game will be much better thanks to a pair of amazing wide receivers and the Ravens will counter with... a bad defense. The Bengals will win regardless of whether or not the Ravens decide to conduct a war of attrition on the Bengals' defense.

Kansas City Chiefs (0-0) at New England Patriots (0-0)
Anshul Jon Kevin Sean
New England New England New England New England

Anshul says:
Another season for the almost-perfect Pats and - what's this - Tom Brady's injured? What else is new? Brady will be his perfect, healthy self as New England sets out once more to prove they are the best team in football.

Jon says:
I'm actually going to give Kansas City the benefit of the doubt. Injuries and trades have dwindled down the Patriot Powerhouse, but breakdown the "perfect" record team, and soon they are no longer the tough competitors that juke Brian Urlacher out of his shoes. If Bill Belichick is coaching this team, they will not lose to the Chiefs. End of story.

Kevin says:
All right, let's face it, the Super Bowl game last postseason was a fluke. Even though Silver Chips Online jokingly projected the Patriots to lose to the Dolphins, the Pats still have the strongest team in the NFL, with almost all of their star players returning healthy and hungry. Plus, the Chiefs lost all hope of winning with the retirement of Priest Holmes.

Sean says:
If we ranked the Chiefs and Patriots from 1 to 100, we'd find that the Chiefs are at about 73 and the Patriots would be over 90. They are a powerhouse, and show no signs - be it injuries, bad trades or otherwise - of slowing down.

New York Jets (0-0) at Miami Dolphins (0-0)
Anshul Jon Kevin Sean
New York New York New York New York

Anshul says:
Brett Favre in Jet green instead of Packer green - the sight is still hard to stomach. But it's not as bad as the situation down in Miami, where nothing is certain and the team is in rebuilding mode. Go ahead, Favre, add to your record numbers. The season will get harder for you.

Jon says:
J-E-T-S, JETS! JETS! JETS! New Yorkers are not nice, but Brett Favre may introduce some Midwestern love missing in the Jets' passing offense (former quarterback Chad Pennington had some distance "problems," to say the least). The Jets will take the cake and the Dolphins will become the NFL's doormat once again.

Kevin says:
As much as I hate to say it, the Dolphins still stink. Even with genius Bill Parcells as the ghost coach of the worst team in the NFL, the Miami players are too inept to win. Honestly, Chad Pennington? He's the throwaway from the Jets after they picked up Favre (who has serious issues). And even though the Jets deserve to lose because they acquired Favre, I don't think that's possible.

Sean says:
Why His Greatness even left the Dark Side to ghost coach the Miami Dolphins is a still a mystery to me. But even His divine works will not save the Dolphins from a loss to a much better team (not to mention a team with Favre).

Seattle Seahawks (0-0) at Buffalo Bills (0-0)
Anshul Jon Kevin Sean
Seattle Seattle Seattle Seattle

Anshul says:
The Seahawks dumped Shaun Alexander and picked up Julius Jones to pair up with Matt Hasselbeck. Seattle has been a playoff contender in the NFC each of the past 3 seasons, and this season will be no different.

Jon says:
Buffalo has a rough time competing in the NFL. It seems every year they scrap together a few no-names with a lot of heart and fall very short of making the playoffs. The Seahawks clinched the NFC West last year with a 10-4 record - not to mention the help they will get from draft picks such as USC grad Lawrence Jackson.

Kevin says:
J.P. Losman is in the same position as Brett Favre was before he moved to the Jets: he wants to leave. The problem is that nobody wants him. Such a torn team cannot win against Matt Hasselbeck and the Seahawks.

Sean says:
Hey! Everyone's picking the Seahawks! It must be the cool thing to do!

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-0) at New Orleans Saints (0-0)
Anshul Jon Kevin Sean
New Orleans New Orleans New Orleans New Orleans

Anshul says:
The Saints got off to a terrible 0-4 start in 2007, but finished well down the stretch. This season is theirs to lose. They have all their offensive weapons back and healthy, and the addition of Jeremy Shockey will give Drew Brees another target. The only real question is the Saints' defense, but they should be able to take care of business against the Bucs.

Jon says:
New Orleans has unfinished business. With minimal expectations two years ago, they nearly made it to the NFC Conference Playoff match. With high expectations last year, they failed to coherently run the Brees "throw-it-down-the-field-and-pray" offense that once worked. The Saints will come through strong on special teams, at least. Watch out for Tampa Bay's defense to control the field.

Kevin says:
After a very disappointing 2007 season, Reggie Bush and the Saints will roll over the Buccaneers. Tampa Bay really does not have that brilliant defense they had a few years ago, when Mike Alstott was in his prime.

Sean says:
Their 0-4 start in 2007 is deceiving, but I'd say that nothing short of a hurricane could stop the Saints from winning this game.

Houston Texans (0-0) at Pittsburgh Steelers (0-0)
Anshul Jon Kevin Sean
Pittsburgh Pittsburgh Pittsburgh Pittsburgh

Anshul says:
The Steeler defense is still as tough as ever and the offense looks ready to put on a show. Though they didn't pick up any big receivers in the draft that can help out now, the Steelers are ready to make a playoff run.

Jon says:
Steelers. Next?

Kevin says:
Do I really have to say anything for this one? The Texans had an exceptionally lucky 2007 season and won't match the .500 average they had last year. Also, don't forget that the Steelers won the whole thing three years ago.

Sean says:
The Steelers are coming into this with a strong defense. There is no doubt in my mind that they will be making the playoffs and even less doubt that they will win this game.

Jacksonville Jaguars (0-0) at Tennessee Titans (0-0)
Anshul Jon Kevin Sean
Jacksonville Tennessee Tennessee Tennessee

Anshul says:
Vince Young is no longer plagued by the Madden Curse, but he is facing ex-Redskin Gregg Williams and a tough Jaguar defense. Not to mention the Jags' great RB combo and the ever-improving play of David Garrard, Jacksonville should handle the Titans easily.

Jon says:
Give the Titans a break! The Jags made a lot of noise last year, but the Titans consistently come out of the offseason with a strong game. This one will be interesting, but I predict a young Vince at QB to run it.

Kevin says:
The Jaguars do not have the passing offense to penetrate the Titans defense. Jacksonville just doesn't have the defense to block the Titans running offense. With the Fred Taylor/Maurice Jones-Drew combo, the Jaguars can put up a relatively good fight, but I still think they'll lose.

Sean says:
Woe is me and my failed logic, I naively thought that after acquiring Vince Young, the Titans would be unstoppable. But fortunately for the native Texan, the Titans' strong passing offense and will be their key to victory; and we all know what Young is capable of on offense.

St. Louis Rams (0-0) at Philadelphia Eagles (0-0)
Anshul Jon Kevin Sean
Philadelphia St. Louis Philadelphia Philadelphia

Anshul says:
Steven Jackson missed the entire preseason, and that is going to hurt the Rams' offense, especially with the improved Philly secondary featuring Asante Samuel. Donovan McNabb believes in his team, and the road starts here.

Jon says:
Oh, how messy the Rams were last year. Pathetic, but somehow promising. A few injuries kept their offense in shambles, but hey, Jackson has major skills.

Kevin says:
Brian Westbrook and McNabb versus Jackson and Marc Bulger. Clearly, Philly has the advantage. Maybe Jackson had a really bad season last year, and just maybe that was a fluke. But there's no excuse for the end result of a 3-13 record.

Sean says:
Philadelphia will have its cake and eat it too. St. Louis was once synonymous with the words "good" and "team" but after an embarrassing 2007 season, and little signs of improvement, does one really need to go to four seniors for a second opinion?

Dallas Cowboys (0-0) at Cleveland Browns (0-0)
Anshul Jon Kevin Sean
Dallas Dallas Dallas Dallas

Anshul says:
Don't worry Dallas fans, Romo only chokes late in the season and in the playoffs. Cleveland's pass defense is laughable at best, so Romo and T.O. should torch them. Getcha popcorn ready!

Jon says:
The media loves Romo, and what's not to love? Although Cleveland nearly made the playoffs last season, don't expect a repeat performance from the Browns - who could stop the Cowboys' running attack with a little Felix Jones thrown in?

Kevin says:
T.O. is a showman. He cries when he loses with the Eagles. He sleeps on the ball. He throws some fan's ten dollar popcorn all over himself. But in the end, he's a winner, as much as I don't like him. And Romo, well, if Jessica Simpson got out of the way, maybe he could play.

Sean says:
Dallas. All day, every day.

Arizona Cardinals (0-0) at San Francisco 49ers (0-0)
Anshul Jon Kevin Sean
Arizona Arizona Arizona Arizona

Anshul says:
Kurt Warner clearly gives the Cards a better chance to win, and paired with one of the NFL's best receiving corps, Arizona should be a force. The 'Niners still have questions at quarterback and look to be in rebuilding mode.

Jon says:
The Cardinals will finally shed their burden of being the least-watched team in the NFL. Although you won't see them on Monday night too often, the Cardinals are bound to click with Fitzgerald and a solid running game. Although, with a Frank Gore on the sideline, you never know if he's going to bust out a 150-plus yard game.

Kevin says:
If Arizona can get in the zone with the dual quarterback and balance that with the running game, the 'Niners won't have a chance. Even though Vernon Davis and Frank Gore are pretty beast, San Francisco's quarterback and wide receiver situation...seriously, Isaac Bruce?

Sean says:
The San Francisco Forty-Niners - a shadow of their former greatness. The first team to win five Super Bowls doesn't even look like a team today. Nonetheless, the 'Niners will come back one day, but it won't be this Sunday.

Carolina Panthers (0-0) at San Diego Chargers (0-0)
Anshul Jon Kevin Sean
San Diego San Diego San Diego San Diego

Anshul says:
Carolina looked amazing against the Skins in the preseason, but this is the regular season and this is the Chargers. No offense, Skins fans.

Jon says:
San Diego has too many stars on the team for Carolina to control. On both sides of the ball, expect the Chargers to dominate.

Kevin says:
Carolina can't stop LT. Nobody can.

Sean says:
LOL. I can stop LT. Just kidding, the Chargers will blow past the Panthers.

Chicago Bears (0-0) at Indianapolis Colts (0-0)
Anshul Jon Kevin Sean
Indianapolis Indianapolis Indianapolis Indianapolis

Anshul says:
Rex Grossman lost to them in the Super Bowl, now it's Kyle Orton's turn. Unless the Bears figure out a way to turn all of their offensive possessions into kick or punt returns, it's going to be a long season.

Jon says:
Sympathy rests in the hands of the Bears, who have been dismantled both offensively and defensively. If Peyton Manning is ever healthy, he will win this game.

Kevin says:
What happened to the Bears' defense? And what happened to Grossman? I have a feeling that the Bears are capable of bouncing back this year, especially with Adrian Peterson on their side. Oh wait, that's the fake one. Well in any case, the Bears can't beat the Colts. Especially since they got the Marvin Harrison/Manning combo back in action.

Sean says:
Manning will throw the ball and Harrison will leave the defense running like a bunch of kids after an ice cream truck. Folks, the Bears defense ain't what it used to be.

Monday, Sept. 8

Minnesota Vikings (0-0) at Green Bay Packers (0-0)
Anshul Jon Kevin Sean
Minnesota Minnesota Minnesota Minnesota

Anshul says:
A-Rod gets booed in the Bronx, and pretty soon this A-Rod will get booed in Green Bay. AD Adrian Peterson is back to prove he is the best and that he should have been drafted first overall in fantasy leagues.

Jon says:
Oh gosh, don't you know! Peterson against Green Bay defense"this will get ugly. Sorry Packers fans, the Favre era is OVER.

Kevin says:
Green Bay! You got totally tooled by Brett Favre. You tried to pay him to do nothing, and yet he defects to another team. He has injured your franchise, leaving you with a rattled team. No worries though, the real Peterson will destroy your defense as soon as you try to adjust with some noob quarterback.

Sean says:
Much as I hate to agree with anyone who says noob in a well-constructed sentence, I have to agree. Peterson is a beast and the Vikings will take advantage of an opposing team on shaky ground. By the way, Kevin, enough Peterson jokes.

Denver Broncos (0-0) at Oakland Raiders (0-0)
Anshul Jon Kevin Sean
Oakland Denver Denver Denver

Anshul says:
I've made a pact this season to believe in the Raiders. They have two dynamic offensive rookies in McFadden and Russell and an overall improved team. Don't let me down, Oakland.

Jon says:
Denver will use its bolstered roster to rock Oakland back to the John Madden days. Or at least win. Either way, Oakland needs to rebound severely.

Kevin says:
The Denver roster looks pretty clean, with the exception of Brandon Marshall, suspended for one game. While Oakland has had an interesting development into Justin Fargas, they still don't have a solid offense. There should be no real problems for Denver for the last opening day.

Sean says:
Oakland has let you down before, Anshul, and you keep getting hurt. You shouldn't just rush into a relationship. Relationships takes time and trust. After losing to the Texans in their own stadium last season, they abused the trust I gave them. The Broncos will make short work of the Raiders.




Sean Howard. There is a spy among us and his name is Sean Howard. Originally from Dallas, Texas, Sean moved to Germantown prior to his current residence in Gaithersburg. Although he has now lived in Maryland for most of his life, he has retained his loyalty to ... More »

Anshul Sood. Anshul is a very laid-back person, a real take-it-easy kind of guy. He often burns time listening to music, playing music, watching some sports game, or playing some sport. Recently, he has entered into the world of running, though he is not very good. However, ... More »

Kevin Teng. There are some things in which people believe. Some people believe in other people. I believe in meatloaf. I believe that we all should have fun eating whatever meatloaf we want to eat. Sorry, that was "Harold and Kumar"-esque. Life is pretty good because I'm ... More »

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