NFL Picks: Vikings could be in first placePublished 3:07pm Friday, September 14, 2012
Although the NFL blindsided my picks column with their new Thursday game, I’m going to take a mulligan and say I picked the Packers to win Thursday night. After all, I love the Packers and hate the Bears.
Plus, I wasn’t exactly impressed that the Bears beat up on a Colts team that was the worst squad in the league a season ago nor was I depressed that the Packers lost what became a close game to a 49ers team that was one muffed punt away from being in the Super Bowl last season.
It’s easy to lose perspective when following the national media’s coverage of the NFL. They often want to ‘crown’ or ‘bury’ a team far too early. I think we should wait about six weeks before we get too excited or too down on any squad.
Here are the picks:
Tampa Bay at New York Giants
I think the Bucs will be a lot better this year and they already handled the Panthers in week one. But I can’t see the defending super Bowl champs losing two straight home games to start the season.
GIANTS 24, BUCS 17
Oakland at Miami
If the Raiders don’t both three punt attempts, they may have opened the season with a win over the Chargers. As for the Dolphins, I think it’ll be a long year for them.
RAIDERS 27, DOLPHINS 13
Houston at Jacksonville
The Jaguars couldn’t defend a three-point lead with less than 30 seconds to go against Christian Ponder. Something tells me the Texans will be piling up some yards.
TEXANS 33, JAGUARS 13
Cleveland at Cincinnati
The Bengals were right in their game with the Ravens before they fell apart, while the Browns dropped a golden chance to upset the Eagles in week one.
BENGALS 23, BROWNS 10
Kansas City at Buffalo
The Bills defense was invisible against the Jets, while the Chiefs showed some offensive firepower in a loss to Atlanta.
CHIEFS 27, BILLS 19
Baltimore at Philadelphia
If Mike Vick threw four picks against the Browns, I have to imagine Ed Red and company are licking their chops before this one.
RAVENS 27, EAGLES 20
New Orleans at Carolina
It may have been just a one week fluke, but I didn’t think the Saints’ offense looked good at all without Sean Payton last week. Even when down by two scores, the Saints just didn’t seem to have a sense of urgency.
PANTHERS 29, SAINTS 26
Arizona at New England
I don’t think any team that relies on Kevin Kolb will ever beat a team with Tom Brady.
PATRIOTS 34, CARDINALS 17
Minnesota at Indianapolis
Don’t look now, but the Vikings could be in first place in the NFC North. I hope they enjoy it too, because it’ll probably be the only chance they get at leading the division this season.
VIKINGS 20, COLTS 17
Washington 27, St. Louis 10
The Redskins beat the Saints by running a college spread offense, but Robert Griffin III also showed he is the real deal by making some big plays in a very hostile environment.
REDSKINS 16, RAMS 13
The Cowboys may be feeling a little too high after knocking off the Giants in week one and it’s tough to go out west and play in Seattle. I think Russell Wilson rallies up the home crowd and Tony Romo makes one too many mistakes.
SEAHAWKS 20, COWBOYS 17
New York Jets at Pittsburgh
The Jets shook off their preseason woes with an offensive explosion last week. It’s too bad they can’t play the Bills for every game this season.
STEELERS 27, JETS 10
Tennessee at San Diego
It’s the type of game the Chargers tend to lose, but I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt since we’re only in week two.
CHARGERS 23, TITANS 17
Detroit at San Francisco
The Lions had to pull out a last minute drive to sneak past the Rams in Detroit last week. I think it’s safe to say they’ll struggle under the lights in San Francisco, which looks to be the early favorite to win it all.
49ERS 33, LIONS 20
Denver at Atlanta
By the end of this season, Peyton’s Manning’s legend will be near Favre levels. He will continue to get it done and his receiving core will get better every game.
BRONCOS 30, FALCONS 23
Last week 10-6