The 2010 NFL Picks
Week One


As a quick reference… here are the divisional preview columns…

The AFC East and North

The AFC South and West

The NFC East and North

The NFC South and West

OK? Good.

And with that out of the way... here we are… another football season about to begin… another challenge with picking against the spread.

It took alot of last minute work to get here. But… there are some fun surprises for you. Sammie is on board! That’s right… Ellen and Richard are letting their boy join in on the fun. So Gus and Molly have some competition… and we’re going to let each of the dogs pick the full slate each week as a result.

Dad dropped out for now… but Mike’s son, Mike Jr, is stepping in this year.

So we have seven participants… the thrill of the dogs possibly kicking our behinds… and I hope a weekly update for you.

To kick things off this year, I’m reaching to Caddyshack for some quotes.

Minnesota at New Orleans (5)“Cinderella story. Outta nowhere. A former greenskeeper. Now… about to become the Masters champion. It looks like a mira… It’s in the hole!” So the Saints are getting ready to defend their title. Here’s what we do know: (1) If Favre isn’t injured (ankle problems), he still won’t be bringing a fully-loaded offense onto the field for Minnesota, with his favorite 2009 receiver out for the next few weeks. (Seriously… pay attention to the Minnesota offense. If they struggle early, I do believe that’s worthy of using as a warning sign. I’m not saying it won’t get better… not saying they won’t make the playoffs… I am saying not to expect roses and chocolates right from the first kickoff of the season. (2) It’s going to be an amazingly emotional night for New Orleans, and they seem to thrive on emotional games at home with Brees leading the attack. This game would actually suffer from too much analysis. Just sit back and enjoy it. It might be the best opening night game we’ve seen in years.
Bob: New Orleans
Terry: New Orleans
Mike: New Orleans
Mike Jr: New Orleans
Molly: Minnesota
Gus: Minnesota
Sam: Minnesota

Carolina at New York (Giants) (6½) “This is a hybrid. This is a cross… uh… of Bluegrass… Kentucky Bluegrass, Featherbed Bent, and Northern California Sensemilia. The amazing stuff about this is that you can play 36-holes on it in the afternoon, take it home and just get stoned to the bejeezus-belt that night on this stuff.” This is a case of who do you believe in more… and I’m not sure which way to lead you. A touchdown for a spread is a bit much, especially with two teams relying so heavily on the running game as a strength. I’d try to tell you the Giants start off seasons well… which they have in 2008 and 2009… but both of those years began with the Redskins, and then in 2006 and 2007 respectively, the Colts and the Cowboys gave Tom Coughlin a loss.
Bob: Carolina
Terry: New York
Mike: Carolina
Mike Jr: New York
Molly: New York
Gus: New York
Sam: New York

Miami (3) at Buffalo“Oh, this your wife, huh? A lovely lady. Hey baby, you must’ve been something before electricity.” Yeah… I said it in the preview column, and I’ll say it again… Buffalo is still trying to find the quarterback to replace Bledsoe. Against a Miami team that needs to win just about every must game in order to keep pace with the Patriots and Jets, this is an incredibly important contest. People can tell you what they want about the Bills… I wouldn’t expect much from them.
Bob: Miami
Terry: Miami
Mike: Miami
Mike Jr: Miami
Molly: Buffalo
Gus: Buffalo
Sam: Buffalo

Atlanta (2) at Pittsburgh“…and who do you think they give me? The Dalai Lama, himself. Twelfth son of the Lama. The flowing robes, the grace, bald... striking. So, I’m on the first tee with him. I give him the driver. He hauls off and whacks one – big hitter, the Lama – long, into a ten-thousand foot crevasse, right at the base of this glacier. Do you know what the Lama says? ‘Gunga galunga... gunga… gunga-lagunga.’ So we finish the eighteenth and he’s gonna stiff me. And I say, ‘Hey Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort, you know.’ And he says, ‘Oh, there won’t be any money, but when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness.’ So I got that goin’ for me, which is nice.” A couple of years ago, you could take Pittsburgh at home, even with the big spreads, and not only sleep at night… but prepare a deposit slip for your winnings. It was that easy. They won at home… they won big at home… and it happened all the time. In 2009 the Bears and Bengals beat them to begin their home season at 0-2. They could have lost to the Vikings, and eventually did roll over against the Chiefs, Ravens, and Browns. 3-5 at home? Pittsburgh? And to start 2010 we bring in a road favorite? What the hell? Is it because Big Ben is out of the game? Possibly. But as we consider two fringe playoff candidates here, I think we’re also looking at people willing to believe the Falcons are organized and ready while the Steelers are shaky. I think Pittsburgh is relishing this game though. They hit the road for Tennessee and Tampa after this contest, and then finish off the Big-Ben-gone segment with Baltimore. A win here would all but guarantee Roethlisberger a 2-2 club on his return… and maybe even a 3-1 squad. A loss and the world could fall apart very quickly.
Bob: Pittsburgh
Terry: Pittsburgh
Mike: Pittsburgh
Mike Jr: Atlanta
Molly: Pittsburgh
Gus: Pittsburgh
Sam: Pittsburgh

Detroit at Chicago (7)“How about a Fresca?” I wish I had more to offer you, but a cool, refreshing beverage will have to do. See… you know I don’t believe in Jay Cutler… but he’s home here, not on the road where he’s good for a couple of turnovers. And Detroit… yeah… just don’t know what to make of them. In 2009, the Bears beat the Lions by 24 at home and 14 on the road. In 2008 they beat them twice, including one pasting. So we’ll take the smart money here, and the Bears, and move along.
Bob: Chicago
Terry: Detroit
Mike: Chicago
Mike Jr: Detroit
Molly: Chicago
Gus: Detroit
Sam: Detroit

Cincinnati at New England (4½)“Just be the ball. Be the ball. Be the ball. You’re not being the ball Danny.” “It’s hard when you’re talking like that.” If the Patriots focus on business, ignore distractions, and play to their level, they could win 12 games or so this year and cruise to another title. Really. They could. Potentially awesome offense. Solid special teams. Good stuff. But the defense is young and needs time to develop… the Dolphins and Jets are both threatening to offer up strong years… and as I was putting the finishing touches on this, Randy Moss was missing practice with an illness… just two days after saying no one loved him… and Tom Brady was heading to the stadium after a car accident. Splendid. Focus… focus… focus… and few distractions.
Bob: New England
Terry: New England
Mike: New England
Mike Jr: Cincinnati
Molly: New England
Gus: New England
Sam: Cincinnati

Cleveland at Tampa Bay (3)“You know, you should play with Dr. Beeper and myself. I mean, he’s been club champion for three years running and I’m no slouch myself.” “Don't sell yourself short Judge, you're a tremendous slouch.” Ugh. What a disaster. Two hideous teams, and not alot to say. There’s not even much to look for in this game… and I’m a fan of the Bucs. I mean… are we really going to consider picking the Browns with Jake Delhomme? Really? Amazingly… we probably should consider taking the Browns with Delhomme. Yup. It’s a disaster. We’ll go with the home team.
Bob: Tampa Bay
Terry: Tampa Bay
Mike: Cleveland
Mike Jr: Cleveland
Molly: Cleveland
Gus: Cleveland
Sam: Tampa Bay

Denver at Jacksonville (2½)“License to kill gophers by the government of the United Nations. Man… free to kill gophers at will. To kill, you must know your enemy. And in this case my enemy is a varmint. And a varmint will never quit – ever. They’re like the Viet Cong. Varmint Cong. So you have to fall back on superior intelligence and superior firepower. And that’s all she wrote.” Really good game here to sort out. Do you trust the Broncos? Which team shows up… early 2009 Denver or late 2009? (There’s you’re answer as far as Jacksonville being a favorite in this contest… the Jaguars are at home, and no one knows which Denver team is flying to Jacksonville.) In the past I’ve been impressed with the intensity of the defense Jacksonville puts out under Jack Del Rio. Scrappy… bit of an edge to it… chip on their shoulders. This could be one of those games that Maurice Jones-Drew dominates. In which case, I’m dead, because I’m leaning toward Denver.
Bob: Denver
Terry: Jacksonville
Mike: Denver
Mike Jr: Jacksonville
Molly: Jacksonville
Gus: Denver
Sam: Jacksonville

Indianapolis (2) at Houston“I thought you’d be the man to beat this year.” “I guess you’ll just have to keep beating yourself.” What an amazingly perfect quote for this game. We have a few of them working in this column… but Peyton and his great regular seasons along with some playoff pitfalls… and the Texans with their inconsistent history and ability to win when they should lose and lose when they should win… great, great stuff. I’m going with the Texans here. Why? I don’t know. Because everything says they don’t have a shot. Manning should chew them apart in this one. But I just have this feeling that things aren’t going to be perfect in Indianapolis this year. They should win the division… but cracks will show… and messages will be sent.
Bob: Houston
Terry: Indianapolis
Mike: Indianapolis
Mike Jr: Houston
Molly: Houston
Gus: Houston
Sam: Indianapolis

Oakland at Tennessee (6)“You’re probably high already and you don’t even know it.” I’m not quite ready to believe Tennessee is the real deal. Play this game in Oakland and I’d be very tempted to pick the Raiders. So let’s check something out. Oakland went 3-5 on the road last year. Now… that’s either incredible because it isn’t a hideous road record for a so-so team, and they weren’t a so-so team last year… or… it’s incredible because they went 2-6 at home. Take your pick. Also… get this one… every road loss was a disaster, but the wins came over Kansas City, Pittsburgh and Denver. I’ll grant you, not many people will be fighting to defend the 2009 stories of the late season Broncos or the Steelers ability to crush weaker opponents at home. In 2008 they defeated Tampa Bay on the road as well as… hey, that’s pretty neat… as well as Kansas City and Denver. (Remind me to make a note of that. Oakland likes playing in Kansas City and Denver, even when Oakland stinks.) Still… end result is that the majority of the time you put the Raiders on the road in recent years, they get pasted. The exceptions seem to be when we have division games and inconsistent pretenders as the opponent. What do we make of Tennessee? Not a division game. Too soon to tell if they are an inconsistent pretender. So back to square one… Oakland is on the road. I’ll take the Titans.
Bob: Tennessee
Terry: Tennessee
Mike: Tennessee
Mike Jr: Tennessee
Molly: Tennessee
Gus: Oakland
Sam: Tennessee

Green Bay (3) at Philadelphia“I want a hamburger. No, a cheeseburger. I want a hot dog. I want a milkshake. I want potato chips…” “You'll get nothing and like it!” Philadelphia. Hmm… while I may not be a big supporter of Donavan McNabb… I will say that even if fairly inconsistent, he did manage to win fairly consistently. But now he’s gone, and a new sheriff is taking the snaps, and a Green Bay team comes in… and here’s the thing… Green Bay apparently is susceptible to kryptonite. And that kryptonite is purple, calls Minnesota home, and is not their opponent this week. We’ll see if the Packers can chase away their demons later in the season. This week, I expect a fairly easy win and a textbook offensive display.
Bob: Green Bay
Terry: Philadelphia
Mike: Green Bay
Mike Jr: Green Bay
Molly: Philadelphia
Gus: Green Bay
Sam: Green Bay

San Francisco (3) at Seattle“Danny, I'm having a party this weekend. How would you like to come over and mow my lawn?” The Seahawks can lean forward in their chairs, and think they have a shot this week… but they don’t. The 49ers are the class of a weak division, and they will kick off 2010 with a solid victory. Not a dominating victory… but solid.
Bob: San Francisco
Terry: San Francisco
Mike: San Francisco
Mike Jr: San Francisco
Molly: Seattle
Gus: San Francisco
Sam: San Francisco

Arizona (4) at St. Louis“I want you to kill every gopher on the golf course!” “Correct me if I’m wrong Sandy, but if I kill all the golfers, they’re gonna lock me up and throw away the key.” “Not golfers, you great fool! Gophers! The little, brown, furry rodents!” “We can do that. We don’t even have to have a reason. All right. Let’s do the same thing but with gophers!” I really don’t care who is playing quarterback for the Cardinals in this game. As much as I’d like to take Bradford and the Rams, it can’t be done. You can’t take a rookie Rams quarterback against a team that has advanced in the playoffs in recent years when the Cardinals are fielding the better defense and, all things considered, the best offensive weapon. (Fitzgerald over Jackson)
Bob: Arizona
Terry: St. Louis
Mike: Arizona
Mike Jr: Arizona
Molly: St. Louis
Gus: St. Louis
Sam: Arizona

Dallas (3½) at Washington “You’ve got to win this hole.” “I kinda thought winning wasn’t important.” “Me winning isn’t. You do.” In a division as strong as the NFC East… well… strong may be a big word that doesn’t really work… we’ll settle for as competitive as the NFC East, this is a big game for Dallas to win. Without looking it up… the Redskins seem to give Romo and Dallas fits in recent seasons. It would be just right for the Redskins to start 2010 off with a division victory that upsets the way things ought to be. I think Washington can win this game… and if not win, keep it really close. But I’m predicting the upset. The home victory.
Bob: Washington
Terry: Dallas
Mike: Washington
Mike Jr: Washington
Molly: Washington
Gus: Dallas
Sam: Dallas

Baltimore at New York (Jets) (2½)“Hey, that kangaroo just took my ball.” The funny summer television show is over, and it’s time to concentrate on football. So… let’s see… the best offensive player belongs to Baltimore (Ray Rice)… the better quarterback plays for Baltimore… and the Ravens defense should be able to shut down the Jets. I’m expecting a very large Baltimore win here. Double-digit.
Bob: Baltimore
Terry: Baltimore
Mike: Baltimore
Mike Jr: Baltimore
Molly: New York
Gus: Baltimore
Sam: Baltimore

San Diego (4½) at Kansas City “Do you stand for goodness… or… for badness?” There’s been times in the past few years to like San Diego and appreciate them… and there’s been times to view them as a group of whiney idiots. A team that believes it’s worthy of Super Bowl consideration… and, a team that actually is worthy of such consideration… does not lose this game to kick off the year. I think Kansas City might be moving in the right direction, but I just don’t see what they are going to put on the field to stop San Diego from scoring… or to consistently score 6 points instead of settling for 3 points or punting.
Bob: San Diego
Terry: San Diego
Mike: San Diego
Mike Jr: San Diego
Molly: San Diego
Gus: San Diego
Sam: San Diego

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