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Don's Crystal Ball Week 1 League picks


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By TheDon


Staff Writer for http://www.cowboysaddicts.com



*** Sparty from detroitlionsforum.com ***

*** BrrsColts from coltfreaks.com ***

Quick Hits

  • Each year I look at teams that come out of nowhere and make either a deep run or make the playoffs. Last year I took Detroit, Houston and Arizona stating that at least 2 would make the playoffs. This year the teams I like are Buffalo, Kansas City and Dallas again I expect at least two of these teams to make it into the playoffs.
  • There are 3 other teams that I like but, don’t believe they would make the playoffs. It may be because of a tough division, schedule or just luck won’t fall their way when they need it. You might not think of them now but they might surprise you next year. Those teams are Carolina, Seattle and Denver.
  • For the past five seasons home teams average 10.2 wins on week 1. Last year, the line split, only eight teams beat the spread in week one.
  • Remember every year at least four new teams get into the post season. Which are the teams that are going to make it this year and which teams will fall short?
  • Since is week 1, expect several upsets. Jim Mora said it best "you think you know, but you don't know"

On to the games

Dallas at New York Giants -4 Ovr/Und 46.5


I know I'm not going with everyone's pick on this one. Hey since the NFL started doing the Kickoffs party with last year’s Super Bowl Champion hosting, the home team has gone 8-0. I know this stat; it's a very overpowering stat to go against it. The thing is, this isn't a regular kickoff game. There's way too much bad blood between these two team to let a stat affect it. There are question marks on both sides of the field. Preseason wasn't kind to these two teams, the Giants are starting the year without their starting cornerback for the second year in a row and they're also missing some key players in the defensive line. The Cowboys will be without two of their best players Jason Witten and Jay Ratliff and some of their starters are coming back from injuries that made the miss part, if not all preseason.

This is going to be a hell of a match, both teams want it bad and they know how important this game will be for their season. From one side you have Hakeem Nicks wanting to play coming from a broken foot injury. From the other side you have Jason Witten telling the coaches and doctors today, that he will be willing to sign a waiver, so they can let him play. That's when the game goes from the paycheck to the backyard when pride and love of the game mattered.

I might be crazy, but I'll go with the team that's been waiting for a rematch since December that saw the team that beat them get into the playoffs and win it all.

Straight: DAL

Spread: DAL

Ovr/Und: UND

Indianapolis at Chicago -9.5 Ovr/Und 42.5

The Andrew Luck era begins this week. There's nothing better for a rookie that face a top five defense on your first official NFL game. That way all the confidence he built during the preseason can crash down quickly and they can start over afterwards. I really like the Bears this year if they can keep Jay Cutler and Matt Forte healthy. Take the Bears.

Straight: CHI

Spread: CHI

Ovr/Und: Und

Atlanta Falcons at Kansas City Chiefs 2 Ovr/Und 42


Atlanta is 0-2 the past two season when they started the season playing away from Georgia against though home teams. Matt Ryan may have one of the best home records in the NFL but, his away record is a little sketchy. Kansas City is healthy and I like their chances against the Falcons at home. Take the Chief at home with the upset.

Straight: KC

Spread: KC

Ovr/Und: Und

Philadelphia at Cleveland 8 Ovr/Und 41.5

The Browns will be facing the eagles without their starting linebackers and their top pick coming back from injury, if he gets to play. It's week one of the season and Michael Vick is still healthy. I also like Juan Castillo's defense chances of making several turnovers against Cleveland's old rookie Brandon Weeden. Take the Eagles and the Over.

Straight: PHI

Spread: PHI

Ovr/Und: Ovr

Washington at New Orleans 9 Ovr/Und 50

The Redskins sold the farm to get Robert Griffin III, this draft a move that I've said in the past they needed to make. I haven't been so impressed of RG3 so far as a quarterback, it's a reality that he can create plays with his feet but need he see him do more with his arm. I expect the Saints to put a spy on him and treat him like if they were facing Michael Vick. Expect a few big plays by the rookie being that's week one and there isn't much game tape on him yet. Still I would take the Saints.

Straight: NO

Spread: NO

Ovr/Und: UND

St. Louis at Detroit -8.5 Ovr/Und 47

Some matches are just not fair! Let me explain this game for a second. In one side you have the most explosive wide receiver to come in the NFL in the past decade; in the other you have one of the worst secondaries. In one side you have one of the most feared defensive lines in the league led by Ndamukong Suh, in the other you have one of the worst lies in the league. I'll say it again; some matches are just not fair.

Straight: DET

Spread: DET

Ovr/Und: OVR

New England at Tennessee 6 Ovr/Und 48

It's time to see how good the new Patriots defense looks this year after all the changes this offseason. Can this unit help Tom Brady its fourth ring? The Titans will start the year with some question marks in their offense. Is Jake Locker ready? Can Chris Jones go back to be the payer he was before he signed his contract extension. I say no to both.




Jacksonville at Minnesota - 4 Ovr/Und 38

Man, this is going to be an ugly game. Both teams will start the season with their top player either on the bench or playing in a limited basis. That leaves two second year quarterbacks that didn't had a very successful debut last year in charge of moving the ball and putting some points on the board. You want to know who will be the MVP of this game. Third round pick of the Jacksonville Jaguars, Punter, Bryan Anger. This kid will win the Jaguars the field advantage in a low scoring match.

Straight: JAX

Spread: JAX

Ovr/Und: Und

Buffalo at New York Jets -3 Ovr/Und 40.5

I stated this on my Season Predictions article; "When you need to bring a player, to help with trick plays just to score, you know you're going to have a rough year" I said at the top of the article that I expect the Bills to be a surprise team this year and it starts with week 1. Quick question, if the New York Jets miss the playoffs for a second year in a row, will the fans ask for Mark Sanchez or Rex Ryan's head?



Ovr/Und: UND

Miami at Houston -11 Ovr/Und 43

Funny, I thought "Hard Knocks" ended this week. Ryan Tannehill faces the number two defense in the NFL in his first start, good luck kid. Houston looked good in the preseason and ready to carry over what they did last year into this one. I don't expect any surprises on this one. The Texans play at home and are ready to go.

Straight: HOU

Spread: HOU

Ovr/Und: OVR

Seattle at Arizona -2.5 Ovr/Und 40.5

It's time to see if Russell Wilson can continue the magic during the season. I said it last year, that the Kyle Kolb trade was one of the worst mistakes the Cardinals could had made. I still don't get how some people can be hired as general managers in the NFL when they sell the farm for backup quarterbacks and give them top starters contracts whit only just a few if any game experience, I don't get it. The Cardinals have no quarterback and no offensive line. Take the Seahawks.

Straight: SEA

Spread: SEA

Ovr/Und: UND

San Francisco at Green bay -5.5 Ovr/Und 45

This could very well be the Championship game in January. What a game to start the season. Top five offense meet top five defense, now that's a match I like to see. San Francisco went after more weapons in the receiving game; problem is they kept Alex Smith. Green Bay went on and tried to fix the defense this offseason. If the San Francisco defense can keep the score low and get out of hand, they have a shot on this one, if they have to chase its game over. Take the Packers on this one.

Straight: GB

Spread: GB

Ovr/Und: UND

Carolina at Tampa Bay : 2.5 Ovr/Und 46.5

I like what both teams did this offseason. In the case of Tampa Bay, Josh Freeman went out and got into shape, and the ownership brought top free agent to fix the team. They also made some key moves early in the draft to bring players that could help them right now. The Panthers went out too fixed their defensive problems, issues that cost them some games last year. This year I like the Panthers chances more than I like the Buccaneers still, keep an eye to the guys in Florida.

Straight: CAR

Spread: CAR

Ovr/Und: OVR

Pittsburgh at Denver: -1 Ovr/Und 44.5

I'm not confident Manning can survive the season let alone, play at the high level needed to succeed. Still, is week one and those issues will probably be answered later on when the hits start to accumulate? Pittsburgh comes to the game with a patched up offensive line against a very good defense. I'll take the home team on this one.

Straight: DEN

Spread: DEN

Ovr/Und: Und

Cincinnati at Baltimore: -6 Ovr/Und 41.5

I like both teams defense, they are aggressive, and hard hitting, the type of defense that wants to impose their will on the field. The difference I like Baltimore's offense more. Joe Flacco has looked good moving the ball, in this "sugar" no-huddle system. Their offense is more complete, while the Bengals offense relays on one play maker. Take Baltimore to win the game, but I do expect a close match.

Straight: NE

Spread: NE

Ovr/Und: Ovr

San Diego at Oakland: -1.5 Ovr/Und 48

San Diego is coming into the game with many injuries that will limit their chance of scoring offensively. Good thing they're facing Carson Palmer, he will help out and put them in good positions to score. Oakland is going through big changes so expect some ugly loses this year if you're a Raiders fans. Take San Diego despite the injuries and the under.

Straight: SD

Spread: SD

Ovr/Und: UND

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