Hope everyone has strapped on their helmets, smeared their eye paint, and bought some wings and beer. The NFL is back! Starting tonight and going heavy through the weekend and into a double dip on Monday, ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL!!!!!
I have my fantasy lineups set, using the Iceman’s Start ‘Em Sit ‘Em to make sure I am ready for some fantasy domination. Just glad I didn’t draft Wes Welker but I have high hopes for Josh Gordon.
I dominated last year’s Cold Hard Locks over the G-Man and this year shouldn’t be much different. It’s not a knock on the G-Man, but I’m simply stating a cold hard fact, I know things, more things than G-Man. So without further ado, here are my week 1 Cold Hard Locks.
Let the battle commence…
Week 1 Cold Hard Locks
(Underlined denotes home team. G-Man and Matty D have same picks unless otherwise noted.)
Thursday at 8:30
Seahawks over Packers – 24 to 20
What a way to start out the season. There a plenty of story lines but I am pushing through all the crap because the bottom line is that the Legion of Boom is matching up with the most complete quarterback in the game. The Seattle faithful will be downright shaking the city. What will we learn? First, these two teams should meet again in the playoffs. Second, Seattle’s offense will be out of sink with Beast Mode’s holdout and a weak offense line. Third, Russell Wilson will figure it out anyway. Fourth, Aaron Rodgers is good enough to find holes in the Legion of Boom but not good enough to overcome the 12th man. (Anywhere else I pick Rodgers and the Pack hands down)
Sunday at 1
Bears over Bills – 27 to 13
The Bills are overhyped. Why? They can have all the skill position players they want, but championships are build on the lines and are won with a QB. The Bears have a better QB in Jay Cutler with better weapons around him. The Bill have a better defense than the Bears but EJ Manuel isn’t the answer, Sammy Watkins and CJ Spiller are walking medical bills, and the Bears added enough pass rush to make this a bad opening day for a completely new Buffalo organization.
Steelers over Browns – 13 to 6
This is how the AFC North should be played. The Browns boast a very underrated defense that only got better with the addition of rookie corner Justin Gilbert. The Steelers D is old but still has some playmakers and trots out a young but budding linebacker unit with Shazier, Timmons, Worilds, and Jones. We won’t see Johnny Football but Brian Hoyer will see a lot of Pittsburgh turf. Big Ben won’t fair much better but has just enough help at wideout to eke out a brutal Week 1 victory.
Bengals over Ravens – 31 to 24
This is not your father’s AFC North game. High scoring affair even though both teams have really, really good defensive units. The Bengals will under-achieve without Mike Zimmer as the defensive coordinator and Geno Atkins still getting back into the grove. But the Red Rifle will have success and AJ Green and Gio Bernard are too talented not to have success. Baltimore is too much of an enigma this year and not even the fire of Steve Smith will help against the class of the AFC North.
Texans over Redskins – 20 to 10
Let’s set the stage. RGIII, DJax, and crew have been in the media for all the wrong reasons this offseason. Griffin hasn’t looked himself and the offense is a mess. In step J.J. Watt, Clowney, and company. Sorry RGIII but these boys will be coming and they are fast enough to stay with you when you try to run. Washington’s defense isn’t there yet and Arian Foster will find enough room to have some success. But it will be Clowney and Watt that will take over this game and create a Week 2 QB controversy in our nation’s capital.
G-Man – Redskins
Eagles over Jaguars – 42 to 20
This was my easiest pick of the week. Chip Kelly is growing so fast in popularity that for a while I thought the season had already begun. But instead the Eagles get one of the worst teams in the league starting a journeyman QB and with a roster that is still very much so coming together. Too much Foles and McCoy drown Jacksonville and send pundits to completely overreact to the big wigs.
Titans over Chiefs – 16 to 10
The Titans are one of my sleeper teams this season. They have a good defense and strong wide receivers. The key is Jake Locker. If Ken Wisenhunt can fix Locker like he did Phillip Rivers last season then the Titans have a shot especially in a weak division. The Chiefs are still a good team but they are going to get blitzed early in the season here. Geordie has put too much faith in Jamaal Charles.
G-Man – Chiefs
Patriots over Dolphins – 31 to 17
The Pats establish themselves early as a premier title contender. But forget about Tom Brady and this offense. It is the defense that it going to make the biggest statement by shutting down Ryan Tannehill. Revis Island has returned and Bill and Tom are thinking ring #4.
Rams over Vikings – 17 to 14
I know the Rams are starting Shaun Hill but the Vikings have to go up against that incredibly deep and stout defensive line. There will be no time to through for poor Mat Cassel and All Day AP will be diminished by a great Rams front-7. Cordelle Patterson will have one highlight reel TD though, love him.
G-Man – Vikings
Saints over Falcons – 34 to 28
I almost took the Falcons here. Why no love for this squad? Yes the defense isn’t great but Julio Jones is back. Matt Ryan was one of the game’s best until last season. He will give Drew Brees a run for his money here but there is too much offensive firepower at the Saints’ disposal. Look for Brandin Cooks to begin his ROY campaign off strong while the pairing of safeties Kenny Vaccaro and Jarius Bryd come up with one last stop to hold off the pesky Falcons.
Jets over Raiders – 20 to 10
Geordie took the Raiders. I would assume this is because in forgot that their rookie quarterback is going up against that beastly Jets defensive line. I don’t love the Jets but I hate the Raiders this year. They have little on offense and defense. The Jets get an early win before they enter a 6 game stretch of doom.
G-Man – Raiders
Sunday at 4:25
Panthers over Buccaneers – 24 to 17
The Bucs are a trendy pick this year. The Panthers are everyone’s bust team. Cam Newton enter stage left and bring Kelvin Benjamin. Super Cam will drag his cats to victory in this one while Luke Kuechly makes everyone forget the trendy Buccaneers.
49ers over Cowboys – 38 to 24
The 49ers struggling offense gets a bye this week playing the Cowgirls defense. Tony Romo finds success against a team without Aldon Smith but it is a vicious 49er running game that pounds Jerry’s boys into the Dallas turf. Look for Carlos Hyde to have success along with LaMichael James, but Frank Gore will keep his starting job. Oh and Stevie Johnson will snag a long TD in his Niners debut.
Sunday at 8:30
Broncos over Colts – 42 to 38
Peyton doesn’t like that bad taste in his mouth from his last meaningful game. And the Colts defense will pay. With Robert Mathis out, those poor guys are gonna get carved up. Emmanuel Sanders is in for a breakout game and Montee Ball will even get some carries. Andrew Luck will battle hard and keep his guys around until the 4th quarter. Don’t be surprised if they even lead late, but Manning wants this one.
Monday at 7:10
Lions over Giants – 27 to 19
The Giants are a mess with no upside and little talent. Get ready for some derp face as Eli Manning won’t look good. Oh and Stafford and Megatron will keep making beautiful music together. Enough said here.
Monday at 10:20
Chargers over Cardinals – 17 to 13
The G-Man and I differ in this last game of Week 1. I can’t deny that the Cardinals are a good team with a great defense, but the Chargers turned a corner last season and have some weapons on both sides of the ball. I am really high on Keenan Allen and the multi-faceted San Diego backfield will eventually find some room, especially with Cards Linebacker Daryl Washington suspended for the season. If the Chargers can contain Carson Palmer and the vertical passing game enough, the Chargers should squeak out a win to start their quest for a wild-card berth.
G-Man – Cardinals over Chargers
The Thunderblog’s Official Gridiron Predicts from the Corner Office
NFC West – Seahawks, 49ers, Cardinals, Rams
NFC North – Packers, Bears, Lions, Vikings
NFC South – Saints, Panthers, Falcons, Buccaneers
NFC East – Eagles, Cowboys, Redskins, Giants
NFC Championship – Packers over Saints
AFC West – Broncos, Chargers, Chiefs, Raiders
AFC North – Bengals, Steelers, Ravens, Browns
AFC South – Colts, Titans, Texans, Jaguars
AFC East – Patriots, Jets, Dolphins, Bills
AFC Championship – Patriots over Broncos
AND THE 2014 THUNDERBLOG SUPERBOWL CHAMPIONS ARE….
THE NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
The defense is much improved and Brady is tired of the noise. Rodgers and the Packers will come close but a late two minute drill will enshrine Brady as the best ever and put to bed talks of Peyton over Tommy Terrific.
LONG LIVE THE THUNDERDOME!!!