Week 1 is here. MY BODY IS READY.
And it started the best way possible for most NFL fans, with a Pats loss at home. On national TV. To Alex Smith, pulling off a credible Tom Brady impression. Good times.
I looked at the TV schedule today and at first I was irritated that we get no afternoon game on CBS. But then I looked at the NFL schedule and saw that the only afternoon game that CBS has is Colts at Rams, and I was ok with it. So, our only CBS game is a pretty good one, Raiders at Titans. I think the Raiders are probably better than the Titans, but I doubt it would shock me if Tennessee snags a win. Sorry Pat, I’m gonna have to pull for the Titans. Over on Fox, the early game is Philly at Washington, which probably will be good but I can’t seem to muster any interest in it. I guess I’ll be lame and go with the home team on that one. The late game is Seahawks at Packers. That’ll be a fun one to watch. The Seahawks are definitely a good defensive team, but I think the Pack are more complete. I’m going with Green Bay. Sunday night is of course the Cowboys hosting the Giants. I don’t know who to pick. I usually want the Cowboys to lose because, well, it’s the Cowboys. I just wonder if they are gonna have a second year slump. Lots of people seem to think so since now we have a year of film on Dak, but my gut tells me they might still be rolling. But it would be fun to get them at 0-1 next week in Denver and then make them 0-2. Jerrah would have a conniption. Monday night we have the stupid season-opening double-header. The second game is just too damn late, NFL. I don’t mean it’s too late for the players, I mean it’s too late for us, the fans! For fuck’s sake, the Chargers-Broncos game won’t be over until 11:30 here, and 1:30 AM in the Eastern time zone. WE HAVE JOBS, NFL. Anyway, it starts with the Saints at the Vikings. Phooooo, I guess I’ll take the Vikings if I have to. More on Chargers-Broncos below.
For the rest, here are my best uneducated guesses: Bills over Jets, Falcons beat the Bears, Bengals over Ravens, Steelers over the Browns, Lions over Cardinals, Texans over Jags, Rams over Colts I guess, Panthers over 49ers.
Oh, the Broncos. The preseason was going just fine until you decided to poke the wasp’s nest with the TJ Ward crap. I get why they did it, but they should have at least talked to him in private about it. Then the whole bringing Brock back thing. I guess it doesn’t bother me much, but hoo boy the other Broncos fans HATE him. I don’t care that he took the money, good for him. Now we have an experienced backup QB that they signed for approximately $12/hour and some Arby’s coupons, while the Browns have to pay him around $16 million to play for the Broncos. Anyway, I think the dust has settled enough. Here’s what we need to see to have any faith in the Broncos this year:
- Better O-line play. It has to be better, because I don’t want to learn the ways how it could possibly be worse than last year.
- They HAVE to pick up 3rd-and-short. If I have to suffer through another season of our backs running straight into a tackle for loss again, there won’t be enough scotch in the world. The way CJ and Jamaal Charles looked in the preseason gives me hope. Garett Bolles is going to be iffy to start his career, but he looks at first glance like the kind of irritating asshole that can draw personal fouls from the opposing defense. Good.
- Trevor Siemian has to be a little more adventurous. He looks like he’s improved, though, and I’m really glad Mike McCoy is back.
I think the Broncos beat the Chargers. For the year, I don’t have a good feel yet. I think they could be anywhere from 8-8 on up to 11-5. The AFC West is probably the best division in the league this year as long as injuries don’t pile up. Alex Smith looks un-Alex-Smith-like, Derek Carr is back, the Broncos D is top-five even without Ward, and the Chargers are a team that exists. Actually, they could be in the mix too. They were competitive all last season but had unreal injuries and a bunch of freak situations in their first set of games. But in the AFC West they’re probably doomed to bring up the rear.
So, how did your team shake out in the preseason? Are you expecting a good year, or will you probably be rooting for the first pick in the draft?