NFL Predictions- Week 1
Iím going to try something a little different this year with the predictions and just go strictly based on the efficiency ratings I keep for the teams, with some minor tweaking here and there for injuries. For the first 4 weeks Iím going to go by last years numbers along with the first weeks of the 2009 season. By week 5 there should be enough data to start strictly using this years numbers. Lets see how it works out. Iíll keep a running total of both straight up and against the spread.
Titans +5.5 over STEELERS- Should be a close game. Super Bowl winner usually wins the Thursday night game going away, but this should be different. If Tennessee looks bad it will potentially start the talk that 2008 was a fluke. Steelers 14 Titans 13.
SAINTS -11.5 over Lions- Detroit was actually better away from home last season, but they are just outclassed here unless the Saints donít take the game seriously. Saints 38 Lions 21
Broncos +3.5 over BENGALS- So many changes for both teams its hard to predict. The Bengals were just awful last year and even with Palmer there are still questions about his wideouts. Will get an idea of just how much the changes mean after this. Broncos 23 Bengals 19
BUCCANEERS +3.5 over Cowboys- Dallas was miserable away from home last season and Tampa is a rough place to play. Tampa has had some big turnover, but this is more of an indictment against Dallas than an endorsement of the Bucs. Bucs 24 Cowboys 16
COLTS -6.5 over Jaguars- Jacksonville often gives Indianapolis fits, but the Colts were far superior last season and the Jags most likely should have been looking for a new coach. Colts 29 Jaguars 13
RAVENS -9.5 over Chiefs- The Ravens have always been a dominant home team, while the Cheifs are usually a doormat on the road. Ravens 26 Chiefs 3.
Vikings -2.5 over BROWNS- Brett Favre may not make a huge difference in Minnesota but its doubtful his former coach will make a huge splash in Cleveland either. Vikings were good away from home in 2008. Vikings 24 Browns 16
Dolphins +3.5 over FALCONS- Both teams came out of nowhere last year and odds are at least one comes crashing down to the earth. A total toss up. If either team loses big here itís a bad sign. Falcons 24 Dolphins 23.
Jets +4.5 over TEXANS- Can Mark Sanchez match the production of a dead armed Favre last season? Maybe against a defense like this he can. Texans win, but not by enough. Texans 27 Jets 24.
PANTHERS -1.5 over Eagles- Statement game early on for both teams. Based on 2008 numbers Carolina shouldnít win a single game away from home in 2009 while the Eagles wonít win much on the road. Last year Carolina would have blown the doors off Philly. Panthers 27 Eagles 14.
CARDINALS -6.5 over 49íers- If the Cardinals get those Super Bowl blues this could be an upset. Hard to see any other way the Niners win. Cardinals 30 49ers 20.
SEAHAWKS -7.5 over Rams- If there is one team in the NFL that has the ability to go winless in 2009 itís the Rams. I donít buy the thought that the Seahawks are a contender again due to injuries, but they should seem like it after week 1. Seahawks 28 Rams 14
GIANTS -6.5 over Redskins- Washington has no offense at all. Zero. They wonít win many games with that output. The do have a tendency to play close on the road so maybe they sneak in a late cover. Giants 27 Redskins 14
Bears +3.5 over PACKERS- The big question is what difference does Jay Cutler make in Chicago? Chicagoís offense was about as efficient as Denverís last season so it may not be that much. The other question is whether or not Aaron Rodgers comes back to earth as is the standard for most players in his position? Cutler probably helps enough to cover but not win. Packers 24 Bears 21
Bills +10.5 over PATRIOTS- Buffalo was a very active team away from home last season and even with all the disruptions and awful preseason should be able to stay within 10. Depending on Bradyís health this could be close. Patriots 27 Bills 23
Chargers - 8.5 over RAIDERS- There was no team worse on offense at home than Oakland last season. Hard to see that changing in 2009. Chargers 29 Raiders 16.