Totally Biased NFL Picks: Week One

Weeee’reeee baaaaaaack.

That’s right ladies and germs, Kris and myself have returned with Totally Biased’s most popular string of articles, our NFL picks series.

For those of you who decided to live under a boulder last season, let me run you through the process here. Each week, Kris and myself will select the winners for every contest of the given week, each of which will be accompanied with a brief write-up by either Kris or myself. Although you won’t see the Thursday games written up here, you will see who we selected.

After each week passes, whoever collected the most wins has the honor of writing the intro. This is really important, because you can just totally rag on your competitor, without them having an open forum to respond. Need an example? Glad you asked.

Hey Kris. You suck. At everything. Your football knowledge is equivalent to that of my dead grandma. Actually, that’s too insulting. My grandma knows way more about football than you. So, what do you say to that, you big dumbass?

*crickets*

I’ll now pause for questions.

“So, hey, Trav, just curious, why are you writing the intro to week one?”

Well HOT diggity I’m glad you asked. You see young one, on week 17 of last season, Kris and I had a whopping five games different. Going into the final game of the season, the Sunday night contest between the G-Men and Cowgirls, I of course edged Kris when he placed all his bets on Tony Romo. I mean, really, who does that?

“Alrighty, makes sense. So, what’s the goal this year for the TB NFL Picks?”

Goal? Jesus, we need a GOAL?! Alrighty, let’s see here… Hmmm. Alright here are a few. Kris and I both topped 100 wins last season [Trav: 104-61, Kris: 103-62], but we didn’t begin our NFL picks series until week 7.

This year, there will be 256 regular season games played, as well as 11 post-season games, for a total of 267. Last year, Kris and I predicted about 63% of our games correctly, and I’d like to aim for about 70% for this season, which would put us at 190-77. And perhaps more importantly I’d like to go 17-0 in our “Lock of the Week” category.

“Woah, woah, woah. Now you’ve lost me. Lock of the week?”

Each week, Kris and I will put a fancy padlock logo next to one of our games. This game is stamped with buckets full of Travis and Kris approval. For those of you in survivor leagues, this pick is for you. Also, we like to do our best to stay away from using the same team twice. And let’s not forget our hazard sign. That means you should be approaching this game with caution. Might want to do a little extra research on that contest before selecting a winner.

Now, let’s move onto the games, shall we?!

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Note: Travis and Kris both selected the New York Giants over the Dallas Cowboys

The Opening Slate: 1pm Games

Trav: Atlanta Falcons
Kris: Kansas City Chiefs

Trav: Kris was originally aiming for this to be our Hazard pick, but I couldn’t bring myself to agree with him. Although many pundits are riding high on the Falcons this season, I think they may be riding just a TAD too high. I do however believe that Matt Ryan and Julio Jones will becomes one of the league’s more prolific QB-WR tandems.

The Falcons new offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter absolutely loves to throw vertical passes, and last time I checked, that was kind of the reason the Falcons traded a bounty of draft picks to move up and select Julio. The Chiefs may be a dark horse this season, but I expect Matty Ice [Note: If he doesn’t win a playoff game this year, I’m starting a petition to remove this totally undeserving nickname] and company to leave Kansas City win their first of many W’s.

Trav: Philadelphia Eagles
Kris: Philadelphia Eagles

Kris: Philadelphia’s season rests on the shoulders of Michael Vick. If he’s healthy then they’re, allegedly, one of the most talented teams in the league. First-year quarterback Brandon Weedon will be on display, and by “on display,” I mean, “he’ll be lucky to keep his head on his shoulders.” Trent Richardson should be one of the league’s new superstars but we’ve been wrong before… JaMarcus Russell, for instance. If the Eagles don’t win then my entire life is a lie. And Vick will definitely be in the dog house.

Trav: New Orleans Saints
Kris: New Orleans Saints

Kris: I honestly did NOT want to have to do the write-up for this game. We know what everyone is gonna say… Blah blah blah Bounty-gate blah blah blah. Listen and listen good, child. The Saints have Drew-Effin’-Brees (or, as I’ve just kristened him, DFB). They’ll be just fine. Ten plus wins will NOT be hard for this team to squeak out, and to grab a win this week will NOT be that difficult. Rookie quarterback, new system, the Saints D… It all lines up for a New Orleans win.

Trav: Houston Texans
Kris: Houston Texans

Trav: After a string of heartbreaking injuries last year to a Texans unit that was primed to make a big post-season run, Houston fans were again kicked in the gut this offseason when marquee DE/LB Mario Williams left for Buffalo in free agency.

Wipe away those tears those Texan faithful, for this year will be much different for Houston. The defense is still one of the best in the AFC, with JJ Watt and Brian Cushing still ready to deal massive damage. The offense returns many key cogs including Arian Foster, and a hopefully healthy Matt Schaub and Andre Johnson.

Miami also had a busy offseason, starting with the selection of Ryan Tannehill, a quarterback from Texas A&M, with the 8th pick of the 1st round. Tannehill is scheduled to be the starter from the get-go, and will work with running backs Reggie Bush and Daniel Thomas to hopefully pick this franchise out of the scrap heap it’s found itself in. Unfortunately, Tannehill will collect his first loss before his first win. Look for the Texans defense to cause trouble all day.

Trav: New England Patriots
Kris: New England Patriots

Kris: Well, HOLY SHIT! THE PATS ARE AT IT AGAIN! WEEK 1, BABY! Time flies when you’re the loser of the Super Bowl! Actually, it doesnt. This off-season has been filled with heart-ache, cursing, tears, and a new passionate hatred for Eli Manning. If there is anyone on this earth that shares that same feeling, it’s Tom Brady.

Tom Brady finally has a deep threat, to go along with his 17 slot receivers and super-human tight ends, with Brandon Lloyd. Belichick loaded up on defense in the draft and we FINALLY got rid of that headache in Chad Ochowhogivesacrap. This week against the Titans will be closer than most think… for the first quarter. Between the revamped receiving corps and the Boston TE Party, expect a big win for the good guys!

Trav: New York Jets
Kris: Buffalo Bills

Trav: Eli Manning has two Lombardi Trophies, nestled in between two Super Bowl MVP trophies somewhere on his mantle place. What he doesn’t have is the coveted “Most Popular Quarterback of His Own City” plaque that he so desperately desires. Or not.

That title is held by either Mark Sanchez, or newly acquired Jets back-up quarterback/halfback/punt block guy/GQ model, Tim Tebow. It baffles me as to how the Jet’s are handling this situation. Bringing Tebow in will only do this team considerable harm. The second that Sanchez appears skittish, throws interceptions, or flat out doesn’t rack up wins, which by the way is very much a possibility, the Gang Green faithful will call for Tebow to start.

Before they do however, I present Exhibit A. But seriously, who was he trying to throw this ball to?

That being said, I think Rex Ryan knows how important it is to win the first game out of the gate to quiet the critics early. I think the Jets take this one, even with Ryan Fitzpatrick, the Bearded Wonder, across the sidelines.

Trav: Minnesota Vikings
Kris: Minnesota Vikings

Trav: The eyes of every Jaguars, Vikings, and fantasy football fan will be fixed squarely on the box score of this game. I say box score because I pity anyone who is watching the actual game. Two of the most dismal offenses in 2011 [Min: 18th, Jax: 32nd], will meet in Minnesota for an interesting week one game. 

Fantasy football fans will be at the ready to remove Adrian Peterson from their lineups if he isn’t activated prior to the game, and after the game is underway, another handful of owners will be watching to see how MJD plays [albeit, in a limited fashion], after ending his 38 day holdout.

Vikings fans will be eager to see how Christian Ponder performs in his second season under center, and of course, they’ll be eager to here if Purple Jesus will be ready to go only 8 months removed from major knee surgery.

Last but… well… probably least, Jaguars fans will want to tune in to see the chemistry that is already building between last years first round pick, Blaine Gabbert, and this years top selection, wide receiver Justin Blackmon. This ones a tough call, but gimme the home team in a close one.

Trav: Chicago Bears
Kris: Chicago Bears

Trav: If all goes according to plan, the Indianapolis Colts, and super-fan-friendly owner Jim Irsay will pull off the impossible. A 30 year run with a franchise quarterback with almost no time in the dark.

I am of course talking about one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time, Peyton Manning, and the heir to his throne, Andrew Luck. I admit, it will be awfully weird to see anyone other than 18 taking the field for Indy this Sunday, but I truly believe that Luck is going to be a star in this league.

“Yeah, but, what about Ryan Leaf? Remember him? What about JaMarcus Russell? Wasn’t he supposed to be great, too?”

The time for questions was at the beginning of the article, GOOD DAY SIR!

Trav: Detroit Lions
Kris: Detroit Lions

Kris: Remember David and Goliath? This isn’t it. Lions should embarrass the Rams even worse than they’re used to. They’ll be calling for Sam Bradford’s head by the end of the season, hopefully. Megatron and Optimus Prime (Matt Stafford) are playing for the same team. Ya know what that means!? TOUCHDOWNS! Even St.Louis’ addition of Cortland Finnegan can’t stop #81. Bet’cha ole Calvin Johnson catches a TD or 2… or 11.

The Afternoon Delight: 4:25 pm Contests

Trav: Green Bay Packers
Kris: San Francisco 49’ers

Kris: Niners’ defense vs. Packers’ offense. Get’cha popcorn ready! This is gonna be an exciting game to watch.  We’re gonna be blessed and see a playoff-type contest in Week 1! That’s something to get excited for. Not Cowboys vs. Giants. No one’s excited for that. Ever.

Alex Smith has some pretty nice weapons to dish the rock to, with Randy Moss and Mario Manningham, along with a couple of nasty running backs in Frank Gore and Brandon Jacobs. The Packers… well… they’re the Packers. We know what they can do… except in the Playoffs, obviously. If the Niners pound the ball with Mr. Gore and open up some space for Alex Smith to deliver the bread to his receivers, then the San Fran defense will take care of the rest.  

Trav: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Kris: Carolina Panthers

Kris: Both the Bucs and Panthers have acquired some pretty decent talent this off-season and look to become more than just bottom-dwelling 5-11 teams. The Panthers have improved their defense and the Bucs grabbed Vincent Jackson through free agency, which greatly improves their receiving corps.

Divisional games are always fun to watch, especially in the ultra-competitive NFC South. I see a lot of points in this one with the Panthers coming out on top.

Trav: Arizona Cardinals
Kris: Seattle Seahawks

Trav: One of the biggest surprises this off-season was the incredible play of Russell Wilson, the 3rd round draft pick of the Pete Carrol led Seattle Seahawks. Many believe free agent signee Matt Flynn to take the starting job from Tarvaris Jackson (seriously though, how does he still have a job?), but it is Wilson who will get the call on Sunday. Standing at a miniature (by NFL standards) 5′ 11”, Wilson will use his legs to deal damage as well.

The Cardinals had a controversy of their own, which I like to call the “Who Gets To Throw To Larry Competition”. The winner was John Skelton, who performed moderately well last season in limited duty. This one can really go either way, and it’s my duty as a fan to generally go with the home team in this situation.

Sunday Night Special: Peyton’s first game in the Orange and Blue

Trav: Denver Broncos
Kris: Pittsburgh Steelers

Trav: Peyton Manning finally found a landing spot, and a new home, in Denver this off-season. John Elway, Vice President of Football of Operations for the Broncos finally has the franchise quarterback he has wanted.

Manning took a couple of hard shots in the preseason tilt with the 49’ers, so we’ll see if that surgically repaired neck can survive a game against James Harrison and company.

I’m going with the Broncos in what would be a slight upset.

Monday Night Doubleheader: Dalton v.s. The Ravens defense, and that other game…

Trav: Baltimore Ravens
Kris: Baltimore Ravens

Trav: After a surprisingly very good season in 2011, the Cincinnati Bengals will have a hard test traveling to Baltimore to take on the Purple and Black. Even with the Ravens missing Terrell Suggs due to ACL tear, they will still play their usual hard nosed defense. Hell, they might even take a few Bengal heads off. And you can expect at least one fine on Tuesday. Ok, ok. Maybe two fines.

AJ Green is a major X-Factor for the Bengals this year as he attempts to build a stronger rapport with Andy Dalton. What these two did last year, without a training camp, is incredible. Will the Bengals be able to repeat the magic of 2011? Possibly. But they’ll have to wait until week two for their first crack at a victory.

Trav: San Diego Chargers
Kris: San Diego Chargers

Kris: This one’s gonna end in a tie. 0-0. Okay, okay. I’m kidding. I’ll flip a coin instead! Chargers win.

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Travis Rand and Kris Kauffman collaborate every week to bring you a preview of each and every NFL game. We strive to answer any questions the readers ask, and as always, be the first place you go to get your NFL knowledge. Be sure to check back on Totally Biased for extensive NFL coverage.

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