The National Football League season kicks off tonight, with Drew Brees leading the New Orleans Saints against Super Bowl MVP Aaron Rodgers and the defending Super Bowl Champion Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field in Wisconsin.
While the NFL has a lot of talent this year, no team is poised to dominate their division. Predictions are even more difficult since the NFL lockout delayed and condensed the time for off-season trades and signings.
Some big names moved around the NFL during the off-season. Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck left the Seattle Seahawks to join Chris Johnson and company in Tennessee, while quarterback Donovan McNabb traded in his Washington Redskins jersey and joined the Minnesota Vikings.
Quarterback Kevin Kolb was traded from the Philadelphia Eagles to the Arizona Cardinals for cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. Some are already calling the Philadelphia Eagles a “Dream Team” since they also signed all-pro cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha. But it doesn’t matter how a team looks on paper – it’s how they perform as a team on the field. If the Eagles don’t win the championship, then they can’t be called a dream team. (Remember how the Miami Heat was dubbed a dream team after adding Lebron James and Chris Bosh to the roster? An NBA championship, of course, never materialized for the Heat.)
I think one of the biggest off-season moves came last week when the Indianapolis Colts signed Jim Tressel as an instant-replay consultant. When the Colts picked him up, they made a smart decision because Tressel is a great coach despite the mistakes he made at Ohio State.
So as football fans gather around their TVs to watch as another NFL season unfolds, I offer my winning picks for Week 1. The winners are marked in green.
New Orleans Saints @ Green Bay Packers
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Baltimore Ravens
Cincinnati Bengals @ Cleveland Browns
Indianapolis Colts @ Houston Texans
Detroit Lions @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Philadelphia Eagles @ St. Louis Rams
Atlanta Falcons @ Chicago Bears
Buffalo Bills @ Kansas City Chiefs
Tennessee Titans @ Jacksonville Jaguars
New York Giants @ Washington Redskins
Minnesota Vikings @ San Diego Chargers
Carolina Panthers @ Arizona Cardinals
Seattle Seahawks @ San Francisco 49ers
Dallas Cowboys @ New York Jets
New England Patriots @ Miami Dolphins
Oakland Raiders @ Denver Broncos