Tuesday, September 9, 2014

NFL Week 1 Pick Results

Winning team in bold.

Unanimous Picks (9-4)


49ers @ Cowboys
Vikings @ Rams
Packers @ Seahawks
Jaguars @ Eagles
Browns @ Steelers
Colts @ Broncos
Raiders @ Jets
Giants @ Lions
Chargers @ Cardinals


Titans @ Chiefs
Last year, the Chiefs made it to 11 wins by playing tough defense, running the ball, and taking advantage of opportunities on special teams. In what might be an ugly preview to how this season will go, they pretty much failed to do any of these. Jake Locker threw for 266 yards and a couple touchdowns, the Titans rushed for 162 yards, and it was the Titans' defense that looked dominant, intercepting Alex Smith 3 times, and holding the Chiefs to just 67 yards rushing.
Bills @ Bears
The good news for the Bears is, they held their opponent to 20 points in regulation, something they only did twice last year. The bad news is, they only scored 20 points themselves, and couldn't keep the Bills out of field goal range in overtime. An inauspicious start for a team expected to content for the NFC North this year.
Saints @ Falcons
You know how the Saints kinda sucked on the road last year? It doesn't seem like that's changed much. The offense had their problems (including that back breaking turnover in overtime), but it's hard to get past the fact their defense gave up 34 points to a Falcons team that only made it to 34 points once last year. No matter how good your offense is, it's tough to win games when you gotta score 5 touchdowns to do it.
Patriots @ Dolphins
You know how the Patriots kinda sucked on the road last year? Yeah, same deal. The Patriots sprinted out to a 20-10 halftime lead, and then pretty much didn't do anything on either side of the ball the second half, including giving up 23 points to the Dolphins. It's gonna be a long year for the Pats if they play like that, even if it is just in road games.

Split Picks: (Pythag 2-1, Line 1-2)

Panthers (Pythag) @ Buccaneers (Line)
Looking at the boxscore for this game, I'm not seeing a lot of noticeable differences in how these two teams played. Both teams struggled offensively (unsurprising given Derek Anderson and Josh McCown were the quarterbacks on the field). Probably the key difference was Josh McCown threw a couple interceptions, and Derek Anderson did not.
Bengals (Pythag) @ Ravens (Line)
Maybe the Line picked the Ravens on their reputation (they won the Super Bowl a year and a half ago, remember?) But they weren't a very good team last year, and the Ray Rice situation had to be an ugly distraction (even before it went nuclear yesterday).
As I indicated in the power rankings, I wasn't real impressed with the Bengals' performance in this game, especially in the second half, but at least it was enough to get them a road win in the division.
R*dskins (Pythag) @ Texans (Line)
The good news for Washington is they held their opponent to 17 points, something they only did once all last year. The bad news is their offense was pretty bad, and the two times they got sustained drives going, they fumbled the ball away.
If their defense can get keep playing well, they may actually not be that far from being in contention, but you really need to hang onto the ball, and you really need to be able to sustain more than a couple drives a game.

I thought these picks seemed kind of conservative in the game picks, but an 11-5 record for Pythag, and 10-6 for the Line bear out that was not out of line.