To paraphrase the great Cory Boyd...the NFL is back like cooked cracked. To those new to our weekly prognostication efforts who are wondering, how good is the 'Pine at picking games, allow us to retort. Not very. In fact, we are about as close to an automatic 50% as you can get. Last year, we went 126-122-7 so it's actually 49.411 percent. Whatever, we rounds up here at the 'Pine. So just think of our picks as, hopefully, a more entertaining way to flip a coin.
And what better way to prove the point that our picking record is basically a push than to have the first pick of the new season be, in fact, just that: a push. Thursday night, we took the Saints laying 5. So right now we sit at 126-122-8. Impressive, no?
That kind of Nostradamus-like prognostication probably has you salivating and begging aloud: Come on, 'Pine, give it to us.
Get it you shall. It's time to pick the Week 1 slate. And as the great Ace Corolla says...Get. It. On.
Vikings v. SAINTS (-5)
Already happened. We won't relive this one. Let's just move on.
BTPC pick: Saints laying the 5.
GIANTS (-7) v. Panthers
As with all teams at the start of the season, it's hard to know what to expect at our these two games. The Giants completely self-destructed last season. The preseason has offered no real clue as to whether or not the collapse was the logical result of a rash of injuries or whether it was the start of the inevitable "we already got our championship and now this drill sergeant routine Coughlin is pulling on us is wearing thin" fall (see Jaguars, Jacksonville circa 2002). All we do know from the preseason is that Eli Manning bleeds from his forehead like a stuck pig and that Brandon Jacobs gets touchy when asked about the fact that Ahmad Bradshaw has passed him by as the #1 RB.
Panthers' fans...you won't have Jake Delhomme to kick around anymore.
With the Panthers, we do know this: they will have fewer interceptions. How do we know this, because Jake Delhomme is gone. How sad is it, that with the hardly-proven-and-rookie combo of Matt Moore and Jimmy Claussen, we feel confident in saying that? Pretty sad.
BTPC pick: Giants laying the points.
Packers (-3) v. Eagles
If the preseason was any real indicator, we could, in the immortal words of Denny Green, go ahead and anoint the Packers NFC Champions right now.
Denny Green is ready to crown the Packers' asses...
BTPC pick: Packers laying the 3.
Dolphins (-3) v. BILLS
Seems like the Dolphins were everyone's chic pick to click as a sleeper. Then something happened...all the pundits and experts appeared to have been heavily influenced by the Dolphins performance in the preseason and are now questioning them.
Preseason games. We're talking 'bout practice, man. Come on. Did Buffalo sneak an offensive line across the border, avoiding customs, while we were sleeping? We didn't think so.
BTPC pick: Miami giving the 3.
Falcons (-2) v. STEELERS
There are some guys in this world who name their penis. As of kickoff today, we think Ben Roethlisberger should be required, by law, to refer to his penis has Dennis Dixon.
After all, Roethlisberger is forcing Dennis Dixon on people. And we hear that's how Big Ben ruh-rolls...
BTPC pick: Falcons laying the 2.
Lions (+6) v. BEARS
Ndamukong Suh is a man. He spells M...A...N.
Jake Cutler is a douche. He spells E...R...I...C...C...A...N...T...O...R.
So...just so we're straight, the Lions have more offensive weapons, potentially the most dominant defensive player AND they are getting six points? Uh...this ain't the greatest show on turf Mike Martz. That was 10 years ago.
BTPC pick and UPSET SPECIAL: Lions getting the 6.
Bengals (+4.5) v. PATS
In case you missed it, Tom Brady was in a pretty bad wreck Thursday. Although Brady was unharmed, apparently someone in the other car had to be cut out with the Jaws of Life. That's bad. Poor guy. But before you start feeling sorry for Tom, you should probably know two things. The first is that later that day, Brady got a 4-year contract extension at an average of $18 million per year.
Gentlemen, this is what fortune and fame can get you. Now you know why Dr. Indiana Jones confronted his fear of snakes...
The second thing is that this is how Tom's wife greeted him to console him on the wreck and celebrate his new contract.
So if you're scoring at home, Tom avoids serious injury, gets rewarded with the gross domestic product of a small third world nation, and obviously has the sexiest kitchen in the world. You wanna bet against this guy? Neither do we.
BTPC pick: Tom Brady, the luckiest man in the world, laying the points.
Colts (-2) v. TEXANS
Prime example of Vegas being confused and unsure of itself the first week or two of the season: the fact that the Jags are bigger favorites this week than the Colts. The promise of the Texans being good is starting to get a lot like Lucy and the football with Charlie Brown. The Texans have been woofing this game up a little too much this offseason. And Peyton Manning has been stewing over the Super Bowl for several months now.
BTPC pick: Colts laying the 2.
Raiders (+6) v. TITANS
There have been three seminal mustaches in our lives. Tom Selleck's. John Oates'. And Jeff Fisher's.
Even the Black Hole don't want none of the 'stache. It's a Maneater. As such, we wouldn't if we were you. We've seen what it can do...
When in doubt, go with the 'stache.
BTPC pick: Jeff Fisher's mustache laying 6.
JAGS (-2.5) v. Broncos
Right after the draft, we would have put some money on the chance that Tebow was gonna return to his hometown, get in the game and light it up, spurring what could possibly be the beginning of the rapture. Then two things happened. One, the Jags failed to sell-out, yet again, reminding us that if it really was gonna be the jumping off point for the religious crazies ascent to Heaven, it would probably fill up.
BTPC pick: Jags laying the 2.5
Browns (+2.5) v. BUCS
Let's just get this one over with, shall we?
BTPC pick: Browns getting the 2.5.
Niners (-3) v. HAWKS
Pete Carroll named his book "Win Forever." It came out as he bailed on Southern Cal to take the Seahawks game "because it was time to move on." It's a little known fact that Pete served time with Neil McCauley. That means Pete also heard the sage advice that on the street you wanna be makin' roves, you don't put anything in your life you can't walk out on in 30 seconds flat if you spot heat around the corner.
Sure, Pete actually followed the advice and got out, unlike McCauley. But it's gonna end the same way.
BTPC pick: Niners laying the 3.
Cardinals (-4) v. RAMS
Sam Bradford may very well be a franchise QB, but he has no one to throw to. That means Derek Anderson is gonna be the best QB in this game, because he's throwing to frisbee-catching dog, Larry Fitzgerald.
BTPC pick: Cardinals laying the 4.
JETS (-2.5) v. Ravens
We make no secret of the fact that our team is the Dolphins. That means that we've got a healthy hatred for all things Jets. But...we'll readily admit that hatred has sprouted as if fueled by Miracle Grow this offseason thanks to Rex Ryan's mouth and the HBO Hard Knocks.
The Jets are the popular pick to win the AFC East. Why? They backed into the playoffs, beating teams that were either incredibly banged up (Cincy) or that decided not to play (Colts). Yes, they made a nice playoff run. But the fact is, they were a 9-7 team that made a small run at the right time. What did that get them? Nothing.
Yet, despite that, we have spent the last month subjected to Rex Ryan telling anyone who will listen that the Jets are the team to beat. We had to fight the urge to laugh every time Rex bloviated on HBO about how something "wasn't good enough for this team" or that players better step it up and "play like a Jet." Do the NY Jets have some expansive winning history that has been kept from the rest of us? Someone needs to explain to Rex Ryan that he ain't coaching the Green Bay Packers or Pittsburgh Steelers.
Apparently, we are not the only people who think Rex is full of shit. So does Ray Lewis. Seems like Ray took offense when Rex, in another of the Jets desperate attempts to instill confidence in Mark Sanchez, tried to pump Sanchez up by patting him on the back after Sanchez played OC for a series during a preseason game. Rex suckled Mark by telling him how Ray and Ed couldn't handle doing it for more than one series when he tried to have them play DC when he was at the Ravens. Hey...Rex, maybe it's because Ed and Ray are actually great players and don't need that kind of BS.
Rex is playing with fire in NY. The attitude he's fostered in that locker room is gonna explode all over his ass if they start losing. Just yesterday there was a report about the frat-like hi jinx that took place during practice. DB coaches intentionally overthrowing passes so players could run into or by a female TV Azteca reporter covering the team.
Revis may be back, but the only shutdown presence at Jets practice yesterday was Inés Sainz, who, thanks to Jets Players may one day get her own big payday from Woody Johnson...via a sexual harassment suit.
Apparently, it only got worse in the locker room. Classy. Nice to see the Jets are focused headed into their season debut.
BTPC pick: Ravens taking the points.
CHIEFS (+5) v. Chargers
Nothing really to say here. Chiefs RB/WR/KR/PR/Darren-Sproles-clone Dexter McCluster is gonna be good. Unfortunately, we will apparently have to wait until week 2 to see him.
BTPC pick: Chargers giving the points.
REDSKINS (+3.5) v. Cowboys
Lingering questions on this game:
Revenge game for McNabb? Eff you game for Shanahan to Jerry Jones for choosing to stay with Wade "I used to just wear sweaters but now sometimes I actually wear a headset so it looks like I'm coaching, but I really only started doing it because everyone pointed out I didn't" Phillips instead of breaking the bank and hiring him? Heartbreaking start for Cowboy fans of yet another season in which they continue to believe that Tony Romo is an elite QB, piloting an elite offense, even though the facts to date are that they fold like a cheap suit?
Will Miles Austin care considering he just got a 6-year contract extension for $54 million and these are the views he has when he sends Kim Kardashian back to the Tiki Bar to grab him another Corona?
BTPC pick: 'Skins getting the points.
Career Record: 126-122-8