By Anthony McClean, Editor In Chief Emeritus NEW HAVEN (BASN) —...
BASN NFL Picks: Week One
By Tony McClean
Updated: September 7, 2006
NEW HAVEN, Ct. — My, how the time flies. I can’t believe that I’m entering my fifth year of doing NFL picks for BASN. I started this strictly on a whim a few years back. Now, I actually get e-mails from folks saying that they anxiously await my picks.
Notice, I didn’t say that I helped them to win. I go with the premise that they see my pick and completely go the other way. Oh, well like I always say, that’s cool as long as I don’t embarrass myself too much.
The NFL’s Opening Weekend is like Christmas, Thanksgiving, New Year’s Day, and everything else for us football fans. Baseball fans like to say that life begins on Opening Day.
No disrespect, but the NFL’s first week is so big, you need an entire weekend and then some. Not to mention the fact that for the first time, “Monday Night Football” will have an opening night doubleheader.
Enough talking, let’s get it started.
FACTOID OF THE WEEK
K.C.’s Larry Johnson has rushed for over 100 yards in his last nine games dating back to 2005. Another 100-yard effort against the Bengals Sunday will make LJ only the third player in NFL history to turn the trick in at 10 straight games. The record is 14 held by Hall of Famer Barry Sanders. Another Hall of Famer, Marcus Allen, is second with 11 straight.
Heisman Trophy winner Reggie Bush will make his pro debut Sunday at Cleveland. What player has scored the most career touchdowns in Saints’ history?
A. Deuce McAllister
B. Dalton Hilliard
C. Eric Martin
D. Joe Horn
(The answer is at the end of the column………NO PEEKING!!!!!)
RAVENS at BUCS
“Air” McNair makes his Baltimore debut on the road against the defending NFC South champs in an intriguing match up. They’ve only met twice all time, with the Bucs coming out the winner in both contests. Chris Simms now gets to start the season as the starter for Tampa. One gets the feeling that this will be a low scoring, defensive affair. Right now, I’ll give a slight edge to the Ravens.
Pick: Ravens 14, Bucs 10.
SEAHAWKS at LIONS
The defending NFC champs go back to the scene of the crime as they re-visit Ford Field to meet the revamped Boys from Motown. On paper, this has all the makings of a pretty easy road win for the Birds. However, did you know that the Lions have won their last five openers? It’s the rest of the season that gives Detroit a problem. But, there’s always a silly upset on Opening Day. I know I shouldn’t do this but I’m feeling a little daring:
Pick: Lions 30, Seahawks 27.
For some reason, many folks are pooh-poohing the Jags as a serious contender in the AFC despite last year’s 12-4 mark. Meanwhile, many think that a certain wide out will make the Tuna Helpers Super Bowl contenders. The biggest difference in this game (and the season for both teams) will be the team with the better defense. Jacksonville’s D will be all over Drew Bledsoe before you can say T.O. Sunday’s game will be the first in a series of reality checks for the Boys of Big D.
Pick: Jaguars 24, Cowboys 7.
COLTS at GIANTS
You can’t hide from them. They’re everywhere from TV commercials to magazine ads. The world officially belongs to the Mannings and we just have to deal with it. Cliches will be thrown all over the Meadowlands on Sunday night as Peyton (Jughead) and Eli (Lil’ Jug) meet on the field for the first time as pros. We’ve been told that father Archie will be sitting in a hermetically sealed room in Gotham to watch this event. Oh, who’s gonna win the game you ask? Lets see? One team has a running game, the other let their best runner walk to Arizona. Hey, Alex! What is Tiki Barber for $200?
Pick: Giants 24, Colts 13.
VIKINGS at REDSKINS
The first game in Monday’s doubleheader (How weird does that sound?) matches the Daunte-less Vikings against the Redskins at D.C. Washington’s finest played more America’s Most Wanted during the preseason. However, don’t read too much into that. One area of concern is that the team will open with Clinton Portis on the sidelines. Did you know that Brad Johnson was 7-2 in his nine starts last year with Minnesota? With a decent defense, the Vikes could wind up a sleeper this year. The trend should be good for them on Monday night.
Pick: Vikings 21, Redskins 13.
CHARGERS at RAIDERS
Philip Rivers finally get his chance to prove himself in front of a national audience. However, doing at the “Black Hole” probably wasn’t what he had in mind. Luckily, he has LT to hand the ball off to. As for Da Raidahs, Art Shell is back in Oakland and he has a major rebuilding plan to deal with. The Silver and Black have long been the kings of Monday Night, but could they possibly pull off an Opening Day upset? Stranger things have happened.
Pick: Raiders 17, Chargers 16.
Patriots over Bills: New England won’t need Deion Branch to win this one.
Panthers over Falcons: Look for No. 7 to make some highlight film plays, but Carolina will win it late.
Saints over Browns: Get use to hearing Brees to Bush. It’s got a ring to it.
Bengals over Chiefs: This could very easily be the game of the day. Last team with the ball wins.
Eagles over Texans: I’m imagining Donovan McNabb asking “What did the five fingers say to the face?” when addressing the Houston D.
Broncos over Rams: Scott Linehan will now realize that both teams will get the ball in this game. And he’s not gonna like it.
Jets over Titans: The “We Want Vince” chants should begin just before halftime at Tennessee.
Cardinals over 49ers: Edgerrin James vs. the Frisco defense. This will be obscene.
Bears over Packers: A little something for BASN readers watching this game. For every Brett Favre interception, a dollar goes into his retirement party fund.
TRIVIA ANSWER: B. Dalton Hilliard scored 53 touchdowns while playing in New Orleans from 1986 to 1993.