Hammering it Out: Week 1 Predictions

2011 NFL season gets underway in Green Bay. (Jonathan Daniel | Getty Images)

Jared Malott, a new staff writer for Coltzilla, has come up with a series titled “Hammering it Out”. Each week before the Thursday night game, Jared and Travis will submit their picks(this week’s is a little short on details and commentary) and we’ll keep track of the results. Jared’s picks will be in bold and involve the spread this week. Travis is just picking the winners.

The following are my picks for Week 1 using the spreads posted on ESPN’s Pigskin Pick’em Contest with a little dialogue to go with. I’m not an expert and this is just for fun.

New Orleans Saints over Green Bay Packers (-4.5)

Tonight, there will be fireworks. In the air and on the field. Two of the game’s best quarterbacks. Two high-powered offenses. Defense? Not tonight.

This is going to be a thriller.

Jared : NO 38 GB 35 (New Orleans)

Travis: Green Bay

Atlanta Falcons over Chicago Bears(+2.5)

Not a terrible match-up. The Falcons’ upgraded pass rushing ability against the Chicago Bears weak offensive line that hasn’t gotten better since last year. In fact, it might be worse. I think this is a fairly one-sided affair.

Jared : ATL 31 CHI 17 (Atlanta)

Travis: Atlanta

Kansas City Chiefs (-6.5) over Buffalo Bills

The Chiefs have a good, not great secondary. The same can be said about their offense. The Bills have a nominal at best offense and an even worse defense.

Jared : KC 27 BUF 10 (Kansas City)

Travis : Buffalo

Cleveland Browns (-4.5) over Cincinnati Bengals

Well, frankly, the Bengals aren’t going to win many games. The Browns won’t win too many more, either. Punt-fest, me thinks.

Jared : CLE 17 CIN 7 (Cleveland)

Travis : Cleveland

Detroit Lions over Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-3.5)

Tampa Bay won 10 games last year and were 0-5 against teams with winning records. Enough about that. Detroit, with a whole lot of swagger, strikes fear in the hearts of the NFC North by putting a whooping on Tampa Bay.

Jared : DET 42 TB 24 (Detroit)

Travis : Detroit

Tennessee Titans over Jacksonville Jaguars (-3.5)

Not much to see here. Essentially, this is the bottom of the barrel of the AFC South. Jackonsville and Tennessee have great rushing threats and porous defenses. Neither team has much of a quarterback, but Hasselbeck gets it done in his first start with the Titans.

Jared : TEN 24 JAX 17 (Tennessee)

Travis : Tennessee

Indianapolis Colts over Houston Texans (-2.5)

Call me a homer. Call me delusional. I’ll take optimistic.

Here’s what I’m saying:

Kerry Collins isn’t the bum you think he is. Arian Foster is banged up(regardless of what he says) and frankly, I’m one of the few people I know saying that I think the Colts’ defense got better this off-season. The Colts offense will move the ball, albeit not for the yards and consistency it’s used to. Houston is switching defensive schemes. That is not as easy as you think. Buy your Collins jerseys now.

Jared : IND 27 HOU 24 (Indianapolis)

Travis : Indianapolis

Philadelphia Eagles over St. Louis Rams (+5.5)

I actually like the St. Louis Rams. I like Josh McDaniels and Sam Bradford. I’m also aware of the talent stockpiling in Philly. If Vick doesn’t kill you, LeSean McCoy will. St. Louis can’t keep up on either end but they don’t look awful either.

Jared : PHI 38 STL 27 (Philadelphia)

Travis : St. Louis

Pittsburgh Steelers over Baltimore Ravens (-2.5)

Pittsburgh has Baltimore’s number. The Steelers running game combined with their vertical passing game will prove to outmatch the aging Ravens defense. Combined with the Steelers stout defense and the Ravens simple offense, this one is going to be a bruiser, but not nearly as close as we think.

Jared : PIT 31 BAL 20 (Pittsburgh)

Travis : Pittsburgh

San Diego Chargers (-8.5) over Minnesota Vikings.

Whatever Minnesota has, San Diego has more of, the only exception being Adrian Peterson, which the Chargers have none of.

Jared : SD 41 MIN 31 (San Diego)

Travis : San Diego

New York Giants over Washington Redskins (+3.5)

I seriously think Washington picked its quarterback by having some stupid non-football contest. I’m guessing Dan Snyder had “Gross Rexman” (you liked it, you know you did) and Beck see who could sell the most of last year’s programs to the other players. The Giants have lost some offensive weapons, but still have way more than the Redskins.

Jared : NYG 31 WAS 20 (New York Giants)

Travis : New York Giants

Arizona Cardinals (-5.5) over Carolina Panthers

Kevin Kolb is who we think he is. Moreso, Larry Fitzgerald will see a lot of balls. Cam Newton. Sigh. Maybe next year.

Jared : AZ 24 CAR 13 (Arizona)

Travis : Arizona

San Francisco 49ers (-5.5) over Seattle Seahawks

Raise your hand if you actually believe Pete Carroll and Jim Harbaugh have any semblance of stability at the quarterback position. Didn’t think so. This game is a crapshoot. I like the 49ers’ defense more than Seahawks. I like Frank GoreVernon Davis over Marshawn Lynchach Miller. Not a pretty game, but close. 49ers win but don’t cover.

Jared : SF 23 SEA 20 (San Francisco)

Travis : San Francisco

New York Jets (-4.5) over Dallas Cowboys

I am a Rex Ryan fan. Foot fetish and all. His brother isn’t bad either. Dallas won’t be as flashy on offense because the Jets play defense. Dallas’ defense isn’t as good as the Jets, and the Jets’ offense is slightly less talented than the Cowboys. Frankly, this is a mirror match. Close game. Very entertaining. Taking the spread on this one.

Jared : NYJ 30 DAL 28 (New York Jets)

Travis : Dallas

New England Patriots over Miami Dolphins (+5.5)

Chad Henne. Sigh. Nope. Not it. The Patriots, on the other hand, do the Hokey Pokey all over the Miami defense. Chad Ochocinco will earn a fine tonight for celebration. Dolphins fans, I wish a real quarterback would take his talents to South Beach for you. Andrew Luck. Ahem.

Jared : NE 42 MIA 17 (New England)

Travis : New England

Oakland Raiders over Denver Broncos (-0.5)

I am likely a crazy person. This year, the Raiders make the playoffs. Denver is just in the way. The only way Denver could hang is if Josh McDaniels was still there making the Kyle Orton to Brandon Lloyd connection look halfway intentional. Raiders play defense and have several big plays.

Jared : OAK 24 DEN 20 (Oakland)

Travis : Denver

So there you go. Let’s talk about it.

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