At 1-0 after Thursday night I am tempted to take this space to announce my retirement from making picks. Pull a Strahan and go out on top, since things can only go downhill from here. But if I did that, I'd probably get "the itch" to start making picks again and then I'd end up getting traded to the Jets' blog, and I couldn't do that to you and mostly I couldn't do that to myself. So here is part 2 of the week 1 picks and unless Big Blue View offers me a lucrative marketing deal you can expect to see these picks here for the rest of the season.
Arizona (-2.5) at San Francisco - This is apparently some sort of rivalry, since the NFL insists on having these two teams play each other to open the season every year. Luckily we are not subjected to this as a national Monday night game this year.
Seattle at Buffalo (-1) - Surprise pick of the week I know, but hear me out. Buffalo is at home, they are honoring Kevin Everett before the game, and the Seahawks are banged up at receiver and on the defensive line. Plus, how am I going to start the season picking against Buffalo?
Cincinnati at Baltimore (+1.5) - Ocho Cinco or not, the Bengals are hurting, still have no defense, and are on the road. The Ravens haven't had a legitimate starting QB since Trent Dilfer. Think about the fact that Eric Zeier is probably in the top 5 QBs for the Ravens' franchise for a minute and then think about whether or not it matters that Joe Flacco is making his first start here.
Dallas (-5.5) at Cleveland - Cleveland was a great story last year, as they had the best regular season record since returning to Cleveland. The problem with that is, they still didn't make the playoffs. This team is the very definition of "happy to be there" and may be the first team to suffer a "winning season without making the playoffs" hangover.
Detroit (-3) at Atlanta - Is it just me, or are there a lot of potentially terrible teams in the NFL?
Chicago at Indianapolis (-9.5) - Oh no, Peyton Manning hasn't practiced this preseason. How will he ever be able to gel with his teammates in time to beat Kyle Orton and the Bears at home?
Jacksonville (-3) at Tennessee - This has the potential of being one of the games that Jimmy Kimmel mocks America for not being able to see during the next batch of Direct TV commercials. Nothing makes me want to order a service quite like a celebrity making fun of me for not having that service. Brilliant!
Kansas City at New England (-15.5) - New England gets set to defend their undefeated season with...oh wait. Never mind.
Tampa Bay at New Orleans (-3) - Perhaps the threat of Hurricane Gustav was a blessing in disguise. Not only did the hurricane fizzle out before making landfall, but the evacuations kept Jeremy Shockey off Bourbon Street before the crew from Girls Gone Wild invited him to help find underage girls willing to take their tops off for a free t-shirt.
NY Jets at Miami (+3) - J-E-T-S Jets still suck! You think Bill Parcells got all of the Jets' signals from Chad once he signed the contract, or did he wait until he unpacked his bags?
St. Louis at Philadelphia (-7.5) - Philly is at home and they need to take advantage of every game that McNabb lines up under center. St. Louis does have Dane Looker though, so they've got that going for them, which is nice.
Houston at Pittsburgh (-6.5) - If Matt Schaub can stay healthy, and Ahman Green can stay healthy, and Andre Johnson can stay healthy, the Texans will still lose by 10.
Carolina (+9) at San Diego - For the first time I can remember, a starting NFL quarterback is coming off of Tommy John surgery. Usually when pitchers come back from this surgery they have a little extra zip on their fast ball. Of course the last two QB's that got this surgery were Craig Erickson and Rob Johnson, so take that for what it's worth.
Denver (-3) at Oakland - Really? This is the best that ESPN could do for Monday Night Football. The over/under for the number of times that Al Davis firing Mike Shanahan is mentioned is 27, for the first half.
Minnesota at Green Bay (-2.5) - If the non-stop coverage didn't clue you in to where ESPN though Brett Favre was going to land, perhaps this game offers a clue. The Aaron Rodgers vs. Jackson/Frerotte match up is not quite what the bigwigs in Bristol were hoping for.
2008 Record - 1-0 (Undefeated!)
NOTE: There will be a Week 1 Open Thread later, so check back and chat about the opening weekend's games.