I have hooked up my satellite, crammed my refrigerator with snacks, and said good-bye to my family until February. It’s time for the NFL season to finally begin.
Thursday night’s opener was fun, but not the Earth-shattering win it’s been made out to be with the Chiefs beating the Patriots fairly soundly in the second half. Andy Reid is always a strong regular season coach, while Bill Belichick’s seasons tend to run downhill and get better each week. Remember two years ago when the Chiefs Gilmered New England 41-14? That season still wound up with a Patriots’ Super Bowl. I think we should all do whatever we can to prevent that from happening.
So Thursday night I pulled off the rare feat of picking correctly against Vegas, but still losing the game. Was it worth it to see the Patriots lose on opening night? You betcha, dear readers. That makes me 1-0 straight up, and 0-1 against the spread to start things off.
On to the picks. For the rest of week one, here goes. Remember, these are for the purposes of discussion only, and I’m usually wrong. As always, no wagering.
New York Giants (plus 4) at Dallas: To try and get ahead of the Ezekiel Elliot legal case, the NFL just suspended former Giant and unemployed-for-more-than-a-year kicker Josh Brown six games. Just to show they’re serious about discipline, they also levied suspensions on Kenny Stabler, Lawrence Taylor and Otto Graham.
Pick: Giants to win straight up.
New York Jets (plus 8.5) at Buffalo: The race for the first pick in next year’s draft starts here. If they’re winning, I wouldn’t put it past either of these teams to trade their starting quarterback at halftime.
Pick: Bills to win, but the Jets to cover the spread. That means I think Buffalo will win by eight points or less.
Baltimore (plus 3) at Cincinnati: Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict has now been suspended for hits in college, the regular season, postseason and now preseason. All that’s left is to get suspended for a training camp hit and I’ll have my “Burfict Bingo” card filled out.
Pick: Bengals to win and cover, by winning by more than three points.
Jacksonville (plus 5) at Houston: After a year away from football and the hurricane hitting Houston, I fully expect J.J. Watt to play this game with all the intensity of Ridgemont High’s Charles Jefferson.
Pick: Texans to win and cover, which means they’ll win by more than five points.
Philadelphia (minus 1.5) at Washington: A friend of mine wanted to talk about all the chaos in Washington, and I thought he meant Kirk Cousins’ contract. That was one disappointing conversation for both of us.
Pick: Washington to win straight up.
Oakland (plus 3) at Tennessee: The winner in this game? All of us, because this is the first game for Tony Romo in the broadcast booth. We have been spared another autumn of the nonsensical obviousness of Phil “For it to be a forward pass, it’s got to go forward” Simms.
Pick: Titans to win, Raiders to cover the spread and lose by less than three.
I’ll also take the Falcons over the Bears, Lions over Cardinals, and Game of Thrones to not return until 2019. Good luck, everybody.
Reid Kerr talks a lot, as his wife always reminds him. Reid's second book, “I Hate It Here: A Love Story,” is out now on Amazon.com. You can always tweet questions, comments, and angry messages to him at @reidaboutit.