We got off to a rough start with the Thursday night game, but here are the rest of the picks...
Note: Lines used are from sportsbook.com.
Bengals at Ravens
What an odd offseason for Cincinnati. Chad Ocho Cinco did everything in his power to get traded after the Bengals' 7-9 season. Cincinnati didn't budge. And now we're not sure if he's healthy. But we do know he has a new last name. This is why we love professional sports, right? As for the Ravens, try to find someone who doesn't like John Harbaugh. I dare you. I've heard everyone, including members of the Philadelphia media, say they're rooting for this guy. Expect the Ravens to be a gritty team, but the talent just isn't in place offensively right now. Don't be surprised if they pull out a couple games this season with big plays on special teams. Not in Week 1 though.
The pick: Cincinnati (-2)
Lions at Falcons
Please tell me you've been following the Rudi Johnson-Tatum Bell saga. If not, I'll give you the shortened version. The Lions signed Johnson and let Bell go. When Bell was cleaning out his locker, he took Johnson's Gucci bags. Bell said he accidentally took the bags, mistaking them for another teammate's. Johnson thinks otherwise. Bell returned the bags, but money, credit cards and underwear were missing. Confused yet? Here are some of my favorite quotes from this absurd story:
"If anybody's got some Perry Ellis boxers for sale, you know where they came from," Johnson said, describing what is missing from his bags.
"It was top of the top," Johnson on the quality of the Gucci bags.
Very entertaining stuff. If only the Lions were the focus of Hard Knocks, we could get to the bottom of this. As for the game, both teams stink.
The pick: Falcons (+3)
Cardinals at 49ers
Anquan Boldin update: Drew Rosenhaus says Plaxico Burress' deal will have no effect on Boldin, and the two sides aren't even negotiating. "The sooner he is traded, the better," Rosenhaus tells azcentral.com.
Kurt Warner will get the start for Arizona, and it'll be J.T. O'Sullivan for the Niners.
The pick: Cardinals (-2.5)
Jets at Dolphins
Brett Favre on the Jets? Chad Pennington on the Dolphins? Bill Parcells running Miami? Welcome to the 2008 version of Jets-Dolphins. Everyone's making the point that Pennington probably knows the Jets better than anyone. Makes sense to me.
The pick: Miami (+3)
Chiefs at Patriots
Herm Edwards on the rebuilding process:
“It’s like being in a card game and then you go, ‘I’ve got some bad cards, and I’ve got to throw them in.’ You’ve got to play them. You can’t throw your hand in. You’ve got to play. I think if we’re going to be truthful with ourselves, we’ve got to do it.”
So he's throwing the cards in or playing them? And where did the bad cards go? Doesn't he still have the bad cards? We better just move on...
The pick: Kansas City (+15.5)
Texans at Steelers
Think the networks like having Pittsburgh on TV? The Steelers play just two 1 o'clock games in the season's first 14 weeks. And they are in primetime three out of the first five weeks. I'm on board with the Texans as a team that competes for a playoff spot, but winning in Pittsburgh where the Steelers lost just one regular-season game last season is asking a bit much in Week 1.
The pick: Pittsburgh (-6.5)
Seahawks at Bills
And now introducing a new feature here at MTC. I'm stealing this from my old stop: MC's pick of the week.
My buddy MC looks at lines as much as anyone I know. Each week, I'll give him one game to pick and we'll keep his record throughout the season. Here's what he's got for this one:
The Seahawks are hurting at wide receiver, but Matt Hasselbeck should be able to do enough to get a road win in a low scoring game.
He's a man of few words, but hey, MC, always gets to the point.
The pick: Seattle (+1)
Jaguars at Titans
Did you see what former Titans offensive coordinator Norm Chow said about Tennessee drafting Vince Young over Matt Leinart a couple years ago?
"Everyone knew who I wanted and... the minute that they took Vince I told my wife, 'I think my days are numbered here,'" Chow told a radio program according to espn.com.
Ouch. Almost makes you want to go to a club with your friends, take your shirt off and throw down some patron.
The pick: Jacksonville (-3)
Bucs at Saints
Wide receiver Joey Galloway is now referring to Jon Gruden as the zookeeper. Gruden's response?
“I feel like the zookeeper, too…no disrespect to the zookeepers out there.”
I don't think there's much else to say here.
The pick: New Orleans (-3)
Rams at Eagles
This seems like a good time to tout some of philly.com's Eagles coverage. Here's what you'll find in our Eagles section: all the stories and columns from both the Inquirer and Daily News; Eagles blogs from both papers; forums; photos of Eagles fans; and probably more that I'm forgetting. On Sunday, I'll be live blogging the game off TV, and we'll have some other interactive features to roll out. After the game, we'll have updated coverage from the reporters at the game, photos and more.
OK, commercial over. Love the Birds in this one. The Rams are a dome team on the road in likely sloppy conditions. Steven Jackson has had very little practice time. And Marc Bulger is a statue back there. I'm just hoping the Phils don't get rained out Saturday. Not sure I can handle a day-night doubleheader on the first Sunday of football season. Eagles 24, Rams 14.
The pick: Philadelphia (-7.5)
Cowboys at Browns
I'm not sure we're all acknowledging the Pacman Jones factor enough here. When he last played a full season in 2006, the guy had three touchdowns on special teams, another on defense and four interceptions. I get the feeling the Cowboys are going to cruise to a 13-3 regular-season record, but that won't count for much considering they haven't won a playoff game in 12 years. Meanwhile, don't be surprised if the Browns take a step back. I'm not sold on their defense, and Derek Anderson was not very good down the stretch last year. This is one of my favorite games of the weekend.
The pick: Dallas (-6)
Panthers at Chargers
The local San Diego FOX affiliate had to buy tickets in this one to avoid a blackout. I don't get it. Aren't the Chargers among a handful of Super Bowl favorites? Meanwhile, add Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith to the growing list of athlete bloggers. In a recent post, he said he's not expecting people to give him a free pass for punching teammate Ken Lucas during training camp. Smith will miss the first two games of the season.
The pick: Carolina (+9)
Bears at Colts
Love this headline on the Chicago Tribune's Web site: Neckbeards: Are they growing on you? Apparently, Bears quarterback Kyle Orton has now earned the name "neckbeard," which is defined in the article as "slang for facial hair that extends wildly beyond jaw line without benefit of grooming tools." I don't see Neckbeard doing much in the Sunday night game, but the Colts' offense won't be clicking on all cylinders. Take the points.
The pick: Bears (+9.5)
Note: Monday night picks will be posted Monday morning.