Thursday, September 10, 2009
Note: I am posting these picks a day early due to tomorrow being September 11 and having some special posts scheduled for tomorrow (and thus paying respect to the day) and the NFL season gets started tonight, even though I did not pick the game.
Ladies and gentlemen, the NFL hath returned to the area of competition.
This week the six pack of picks gets into full gear with three college games and three NFL games, plus a suicide pick. What is a suicide pick? Each week I will pick one NFL team to win their game and I will continue doing so on a weekly basis until I guess a game wrong. I must pick a different team from week to week and I may not pick a team more than once.
This should be a good one for the first official Football Friday here on the site.
#5 Penn State (1-0) vs. Syracuse (0-1)
Do you remember the last time Syracuse visited Penn State? Don't feel bad because I don't either. Syracuse makes their first trip to Beaver Stadium since 1990. Penn State won that meeting by a 27-21 score. Something tells me it will not be quite as close this time around.
I go into more detail on this game on my preview at Examiner, but I will say that I am picking the Nittany Lions.
Shippensburg (1-1) vs. Lock Haven (0-1)
The Red Raiders from the Cumberland Valley picked up a surprising win on the road last week against former PSAC West rival Edinboro. The Scots were ranked #15 in the country until Shippensburg picked up their first win of the season. This week Shippensburg should pick up an easy win as Lock Haven comes to town.
Lock Haven may want to make their trip to Shippensburg worth it and stop at the Sheetz on King Street before they leave. I recommend the sausage and egg shmuffin with cheddar cheese and pepperoni. Trust me.
#7 Ohio State (1-0) vs. #3 USC (1-0)
It does not take a genius to realize that this is the game of the week in college football. Ohio State looks for revenge against the Trojans after being humiliated in Los Angeles a year ago. The Buckeyes have a lot to prove for themselves as well after last week's somewhat lackadaisical performance against Navy. The Trojans have the talent to show up and beat whoever they play wherever they play.
But I am on record as saying Ohio State wins this game and I will stand by that prediction, although I am not nearly as confident about it as I was two weeks ago.
Carolina Panthers vs. Philadelphia Eagles
I think the Eagles are going to have an explosive year on offense, but their defense remains a huge question mark for me. This week's season opener just does not have a good feeling for me either. The Eagles have traditionally been a poor opening day team under Andy Reid (except for the pickle juice game, last year's blow out of the Rams and a certain Eagles regular season debut for Terrell Owens), and the Panthers are always a tough team at home. I think my cousin Ben will be happy to know that I am picking his Panthers to start the season 1-0.
Houston Texans vs. New York Jets
The greatest quarterback in the NFL not named Tom Brady (did you hear he is back this season) or Peyton Manning will lead the Texans to the playoffs this season. Matt Schaub (of West Chester East High School of course) will get the playoff journey off on the right foot with a season opening win against the Jets, who have USC alum Mark Sanchez at the helm. As a fan of Penn State football I want to see the Texans defense squash Sanchez.
Schaub will also throw for 400 yards, five touchdowns and run for another...before halftime.*
Atlanta Falcons vs.Miami Dolphins
Both the Falcons and Dolphins were fun teams to watch have success last season, but this year only the Falcons will take a step forward. Matt Ryan will lead the Falcons back to the playoffs this year with an NFC South title in his back pocket while the Dolphins will try to expand on the success of the Wildcat formation until they overuse it and opposing teams realize how to stop it.
The Falcons, right now, are just a better team than the Dolphins, and that thought will be tested on Sunday. Falcons win.
NFL SUICIDE PICK
I do not think the Cowboys will be much of anything to watch this season but there are a few reasons why you should pick the Cowboys this week. First, they are playing perhaps the worst team in the NFC in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. While I do not normally suggest going with a road team in a suicide pick, especially in week one, this week is just too good of a time to use the Cowboys. Tony Romo will have a wild first few games and draw the annual comparisons to a younger Brett Favre and against Tampa Bay he can get a good game in before the middle October portion of the season starts to turn on him.
* I fully acknowledge that wild predictions like that ruin any form of credibility, but Schaub can do that to you.