NFL Week 1 Preview: Football IS BACK!

September 6, 2018
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The NFL is finally back, just in time to put its arm around our shoulder and remind us that everything is going to ok as those first crisp gusts of autumnal wind usher in the end of summer and the beginning of fall.  Football is great, because it balances your basic tendencies to spend the next few months ordering pumpkin spice lattes with the bloodlust and desire to watch extremely strong and fast men launching themselves at other strong and fast men. It gives you a reason to get out of bed early on a Sunday and start gunning Bloody Marys before noon, but also to take it easy Saturday night because you need to make sure you beat the crowd to the bar so you get the good table the next day, the one by the TV with the sound on.  Its all about balance!  Football, for all of its problems (and wow are there plenty to discuss this year), is still the one thing that somehow brings us all together, even if we don't root for the same teams.   This year is so full of subplots that the games barely even matter. I, for one, am for all of it! Give me the hold outs and the controversies and the commercials and the touchdowns and the upsets and all of the fantasy points!  Good luck to whatever team you choose to support this year, unless its the 49ers or Patriots, lets take a look at the week 1 matchups!  

 

*Picking games is probably one of my worst skills, so please feel free to use this as a cheat sheet as to who NOT to bet on. Consider this your first and last warning, I am NOT to be trusted! My picks are in bold.

 

 Atlanta at Philadelphia-  The NFL season starts with a Bird Bowl, one of my favorite events of the year.  I love birds! Falcons, eagles, hawks, fried chicken, all of em!  I'm so weird.  

San Francisco at Minnesota- Before we go any further, this seems like a good time to remind you about a few things that are VERY important to know as the season gets started.  First off, if you are reading this for any sort of in depth analysis or pearls of wisdom about any of these teams or matchups, just stop now. This is all for good fun and a way for us to talk football without sounding like Gary, your next door neighbor who studies film and is convinced that he would be a better offensive coordinator than that Darrell Bevell moron. I mean, he might be right, but no one wants to have an Xs and Os conversation at 8:30 am with a guy wearing those gym teacher shorts, high socks, and that stained 1995 Hawks t-shirt that is one stretch away from exploding into 58 pieces. Secondly, I am also NOT a Seahawks fan. (Pause to gather yourselves). I grew up in Wisconsin so I am genetically predisposed to wearing cheese on my head and rooting for the Green Bay Packers.  I encourage any and all trash talking about this, but please remember I will dish it back so if you plan to come for the crown, you best not miss.  Finally, if you put anything inside of a grilled cheese besides cheese, it immediately becomes a melt.  I will not argue this. Ok, now that we have all that sorted, lets continue...

Tampa Bay at New Orleans- I think the Saints are going to be REALLY good this year.  Can't wait to see them go 6-10.

Jacksonville at New York Giants- Remember when Chris Berman used to do all the NFL highlights and would insist on always saying "The New York Football Giants?"  Always hated that. I also really hated those two toned Jaguars helmets that Jacksonville has been using the last few years. Thankfully all my complaining about them on Twitter paid off, as they are now back to being all black.  Never underestimate the power of subtweeting, kids! 

Cincinnati at Indianapolis- We say good bye to Marvin Lewis after an amazingly long career void of any success. WAIT! What's that? Marvin Lewis is STILL the coach of these guys?  Concerning. 

Buffalo at Baltimore- The Bills start the season with Nathan Peterman under center, a quarterback so good that his hype video comes in at a whopping......37 seconds?  He is the 2 Minute Promise of football!  That said, Bills fans are fun and completely insane so I have a soft spot for them. 

Tennessee at Miami- Both of these teams should revert to their old uniforms and logos.  We'd be better for it as a society.   

Houston at New England- Every year the rest of the world prays that this will finally be the beginning of the end for Bill Belichek and Tawm Brady (say it like a Bostonian), and every year they win the damn Super Bowl. Hey, am I even allowed to say Super Bowl?  Did you know thats a thing?  Because of trademark stuff we aren't allowed to say it on the radio without paying royalties? Its true!  We have to call it "the big game" or something dumb like that. Its super annoying and made even worse every year that the garbage Patriots have their name attached to it.  

Pittsburgh at Cleveland- Le'Veon Bell was my first pick in Fantasy Football this year, so don't expect him to ever see the field this season.  Speaking of FF, there was quite a controversy during our draft this year.  Someone apparently tried picking a player and the computer gave him the wrong dude....allegedly.  He was so mad he demanded to REWIND the draft and then threatened to quit if his demands weren't met.  Can you believe that?  What a weak move, I hope he loses all of his games by 100 points. 

Kansas City at LA Chargers- Did you know the Chargers had the #1 passing offense last year?  Did you know that this is the first statistic I've used this entire blog so far?  Here's another statistic you might like. Phillip Rivers has 17 kids. Thats a lot of mouths to feed and Nikes to burn! I hope he wins the Super Bowl this year and starts a reality show about trying to balance being a SB winning QB with being the father of a small army. It could be called "Leading the Charge" and be on whatever channel does all the wacky family reality shows. I'D WATCH!!!

Seattle at Denver-  Russel Wilson should be able to win this game himself, which is a thing that is probably going to have to happen a lot this year if the Hawks are going to challenge in the playoffs.  In fact, their best offense the last 2 years has been the "throw your hands up in the air and tell Russ to save the day."  Just ask Gary, your afformentioned neighbor who is in his basement right now trying to figure out how to design a play for Russel to somehow both throw and catch the ball. He is as good as he is corny, and boy howdy is Russel Wilson corny! 

Washington at Arizona- You ever finish your Fantasy Football draft and ask yourself "how did I end up with so many Redskins?" I have.  Also, the Redskins name doesn't particularly bother me personally, but if it bothers Native Americans then we should get rid of it. Not quite sure how that hasn't happened yet, or is even that much of an issue. Just change it already and lets move on.  

Dallas at Carolina- A lot of people really don't like Cam Newton, a lot more really really don't like Jerry Jones, and a lot lot more really really really don't like pumpkin spice.  I don't get it. The pumpkin spice thing, not the other two. 

Chicago at Green Bay- Being the fan of a consistently good team is the worst.  Every year the season starts and you hear all this Super Bowl talk and you buy into the hype.  Then every year something (usually the $%#&ing Seahawks) shatter your dreams and you spend the rest of winter angry and depressed because "this was supposed to be the year."  Every loss during the regular season burns, ever injury becomes catastrophic. Every Saturday night spent agonizing over what could potentially go wrong the next day. Its awful. And with that I go into another season, hoping and praying that this is the year that my beloved Packers achieve ultimate glory, quietly knowing that it most likely won't and the only thing waiting for me at the end of the year is a hangover and disappointment.  I hate it. 

NY Jets at Detroit- I lost a bunch of weight this summer, 20lbs to be exact, and I'm quite proud of that. The best part is that I really didn't do anything too crazy.  I still eat carbs like a monster and haven't jogged this decade.  I just kind of reigned it in a bit.  Stopped eating entire frozen pizzas, skipped the bag of chips when ordering a sandwich, and started walking everywhere.  I also P90X'd 3x a week, it still kicks your butt but doesn't turn you into one of those people who wear work out clothes to work.  Not saying all of this to brag, I just wanted to let you know that at some point during football you may notice that you are looking a little too much like Sabastian Janikowki in that Hawks jersey and you might decide its time to get healthy.  You'll try to talk yourself out of it because dieting is gross and working out sucks. Don't. You can half ass your way to 2 abs and good looking biceps just like me!  Get it, tiger! 

LA Rams at Oakland- Its kind of weird how teams that get new homes and stadiums tend to become really good pretty quickly after isnt it?  

We just made it through an entire preview without mentioning how much of a mess this season is going to be. Truly an accomplishment. And make no mistake, it is going to BE A MESS!  All the continued player safety discussions, the new extremely confusing helmet to helmet rules, the kneeling controversy, and Kapaernick stuff is going to take up as much time on sports radio as anything that happens on the field. To be honest, I can't wait for all of it!  I grew up listening to punk rock and I guess there's still a little bit of anarchist still buried deep down in this cold black heart of mine.  Just remember, its okay to love the violence associated with football but still care about making sure Russel Wilson is able to remember his name in 20 years. Its okay to disagree with players taking a knee during the national anthem but still understand that its their right to do so. Its okay to HATE everything Colin Kaepernick has done over the past few years but still understand that its pretty messed up he doesn't have a team to play for. All of that stuff affects you only as much as you want it to.  Enjoy the games! Enjoy the controversies! Enjoy 9am pre-game beers, you guys! Lets hope the 2018 season provides you with memories that will last a lifetime and ends with your favorite team hoisting the Lombardi Trophy under a downpour of confetti.