By Anthony McClean, Editor In Chief Emeritus NEW HAVEN (BASN) —...
BASN’s NFL Picks: Week One
We also send out a prayer to the friends and the family of Jacksonville Jaguar offensive lineman Richard Collier, who is recovering from a shooting early Tuesday morning.
I will not make the knee jerk reaction of saying “This puts sports in perspective” because if one needs events like this to put things into perspective, you’ve probably had your head firmly implanted up your butt for a while.
That being said, when you consider the kind of off-season the NFL has experienced (i.e. the media’s public ass kissing of Brett Favre, the league’s lack of action to Matt Jones’ felony arrest, and the continued gouging of the common fans in regards to PSL’s), maybe perspective isn’t something the league wants to talk about.
Thank God, we can now begin to focus on the events on the field.
FACTOID OF THE WEEK
In 2007, almost half the games in the NFL (47 percent) were decided by one score (eight points or less). In fact, 17 percent were decided by a scoring play in the final 2:00 or overtime. And for the 12th straight year, at least five teams made the playoffs after missing out the year before.
TRIVIA QUESTION What player has scored the most career TD’s in Philadelphia Eagle history?
A. Wilbert Montgomery B. Harold Carmichael C. Steve Van Buren D. Mike Quick
(Answer comes at the end of the column).
REDSKINS at GIANTS
If it’s a new season, it must mean that Jason Campbell has another quarterback coach and or head coach in D.C. This year’s newbie is new head man Jim Zorn who brings in his version of the “West Coast” offense. The talented Mr. Campbell was on his way to a decent season before getting hurt late last year. Will it take a while for No. 17 to grasp a new offense? Going up against the Super Bowl champs and division foe on Opening Night will be a good gauge. Especially against a defense that’s already missing five starters from their physical beating of “the greatest team of all-time” just a few months back. Because of that, Lil’ Eli will still be feeling the pressure to produce this year in Jersey. One thing to keep in mind, much like last year at this time, Big Blue’s offense is slightly ahead of the defense again. Will it be enough to take out the Skins Thursday night? Not quite.
JETS at DOLPHINS
Can a big tuna help a bunch of dismal dolphins? Now before this turns into a bad “Chicken Of The Sea” commercial, lets stick with the facts. The Fish were godawful in 2007 and to be honest, Gang Green wasn’t too far behind. While the national media is still involved in the Brett Favre love fest, they seem to forget that he’s inheriting a 4-12 team that had all sorts of problems offensively and that doesn’t have a game-changing player. Miami will be fired up for Opening Day as they play for their jobs in 2009. Call it the Revenge of Chad in Florida.
COWBOYS at BROWNS
A consensus Super Bowl pick by many folks this season, the Cowboys on paper have as talented a bunch as anyone in the league this year. These same media folks are on Cleveland’s case because they looked and played bad during the preseason. But then again, it’s the preseason!! These same media folks that think Romeo’s Boys were a fluke last year despite winning 10 games and just missing the playoffs. No one doubts the fact Dallas has more talent, but there’s always room for a crazy upset on Opening Day. Oh well, call me crazy!!
BEARS at COLTS
Does it seem that long ago that Tony and Lovie met on that rainy night in Miami to decide the NFL championship? the only major differences is that Kyle Orton has re-obtained the starting QB job in the Windy City. Lil’ Eli’s brother (see what happens when the younger one wins a Super Bowl?) Peyton is still calling the shots as Coach Dungy prepares for what he’s calling his final season in Indy. The game will be played in the brand, spanking new Lucas Oil Stadium. I think Da Bears defense will hang in there for three quarters, but will be gasping for air by the end of the night.
VIKINGS at PACKERS
Which quarterback has the biggest chip on his shoulder? Tavaris Jackson has been told he’s the weakest link in regards to the Vikings’ playoff chances. Meanwhile, Aaron Rodgers has had to deal with seven year old kids wearing No. 4 jerseys cursing at him since July. Okay, maybe eight year olds, but I digress. As far as I’m concerned, the fate of the NFC North is in the hands of either of these two signal callers. Both have shown brief glimpses of talent, but I’ve got to give Jackson the nod for Monday and for the season because of last season’s overall experience and because I like “All Day” Adrian Peterson slightly over a very underrated Ryan Grant. Sorry, Aaron there will be better days. But not this Monday.
BRONCOS at RAIDERS
I know that they were a very Aunt Esther ugly 4-12 last year, but if you’re looking for a team that could be a surprise this season look no further than Da Raiders. Oakland’s young defense kept them in many games last year, but they would be worn down by the fourth quarter. I really like the promise of QB JaMarcus Russell along with backs Justin Fargas and first round pick Darren McFadden. Even in their losses to the Broncos last year (23-20 in September and 34-20 in December), the Silver and Black kept in close. Remember, you heard it here first. If they stink, I’m like Dave Chappelle and pleading the fifth.
OTHER GAMES Patriots over Chiefs: Words we’ll be hearing all year: Reverend Herm and hot seat.
Panthers over Chargers: Could be the best game of the day.
Ravens over Bengals: Joe Flacco is just keeping the seat warm for Troy Smith.
Saints over Bucs: Here’s hoping the folks from the Bayou won’t be suffering much more destruction.
Falcons over Lions: Only because the Boys from Motown still can’t win on the road.
Bills over Seahawks: Just a hunch Buffalo will be fired up for Opening Day.
Eagles over Rams: I don’t care what the fantasy geeks say, I’ll take Westbrook over Jackson any day and twice on Sundays.
Steelers over Texans: Houston is improving, but they won’t win at the ketchup place.
Jaguars over Titans: Garrard vs. V.Y. will be an exciting battle to watch.
Cardinals over 49ers: We’d like to thank the NFL for making this a regional game, not national.
TRIVIA ANSWER B. A product of Southern University, 6-foot-8 wide receiver Harold Carmichael has scored a team-record 79 TDs. Hall of Famer running back Steve Van Buren is second with 77. Another wide out, Tommy McDonald, is third overall with 67.