Here’s my handle (@imDPerent), for FN readers who disagree with these savvy picks. I’ll honor your courage – even if it’s telling me that I’ve lost my mind – and will favorite each of your tweets.
BAL 20 @ DEN 31 #DENvsBAL
Welcome to the wild, wild Wes-t…Welker! The firepower on the Broncos offense is (hands down) the best in the League this year. Good questions to ask: How does Torrey Smith respond to his responsibilities as a primary receiver? What percentage of the Denver playcalls are run? Watch the Manning’s Gun Show at Mile High tonight, as the Denver’s Sheriff puts on a clinic for his fans — shooting memories of their last meeting with the Ravens (playoff loss) to rest.
Updated: The Broncos pistol offense is renamed: bazooka-offense. To answer the questions above: Jacoby Jones left with a sprained knee, and Torrey Smith despite a good game statistically, wasn’t the go-to man as TE Dallas Clark and Ray Rice caught eight apiece. The Broncos ran the rock 23 times and Manning attempted 42 pass attempts, signifying that Denver ran 35 percent of their total 65 offensive playcalls. Many experts are arguing that the Broncos running back situation is a tad too crowded – no breathing room for either of them to outshine the other. When that matters in fantasy, in reality I feel that it works out for their style of play. It keeps defenses surprised (maybe hesitant is a better word for it). What do you think about the Broncos’ running back rotation? I want to hear your thoughts, trust/tweet me @imdperent.
NE 24 @ BUF 13 #NEvsBUF
If only Tom Brady could play permanent quarterback for this game — if only. The Bills captured two former Cardinals (Kevin Kolb, Matt Leinart) and let Ryan Fitzpatrick go. Regretting that move or not, it’s too late; rookie E.J. Manuel will start behind center and face a team that knows how to crush the souls of rookie quarterbacks. Injury-prone C.J. Spiller was told that he’d be ‘given the ball until he throws up‘, but I’ve already clicked ‘Call Any Bet’ on my bluff detector. Prove me wrong, please, Mr. Nathaniel Hackett (Bills OC).
SEA 21 @ CAR 24 #SEAvsCAR #SylvesterFinallyCatchesTweety
UPSET ALERT: Poor Seattle, this is their third (excluding presesason) consecutive game that’s on the east coast. Understand that the acquistion of Percy Harvin was soley to add another dimension to that offense and mitigate the workload for running back Marshawn Lynch this year. Harvin’s hurt, but it shouldn’t add or subtract any doubt that Russell Wilson is incapable of throwing for 26 touchdowns, again. Sympathize more for Cam Newton, who plays the hero role every week with his aging sidekick and receiving specialist Steve Smith. Carolina’s defense is clearly on the rise, and practicing against Newton makes it a lot easier for their front seven to prepare for Wilson and his antics.
CIN 14 @ CHI 27 #CINvsCHI
Marc my words and trust in the Trestman. Chicago’s defensive unit is ridiculously good. In addition to the playmaking abilities of defensive backs Tim Jennings, Charles “Peanut” Tillman, Major Wright and Chris Conte, a few members of the front seven: Julius Peppers, Lance Briggs and D.J. Williams could definitely help stand their ground at home. Expect the defense, not the offense, to quickly deflate the ballooned expectations that the Bengals bring to this game.
MIA 17 @ CLE 20 #MIAvsCLE
Why? Because Mike Wallace pulls his hamstring late in the third – after he blows by Browns cornerback Joe Haden. Ryan Tannehill overthrows his receiver, only because he’s on the ground wincing in pain.
MIN 28 @ DET 35 #MINvsDET
Both team’s secondaries are shaky. Matt Stafford cleans up his horrendous preseason act by tossing beauties to The Magician (Calvin Johnson‘s hands makes balls disappear), and ultimately outshines his friend Ponder (who fortunately throws a pair of touchdowns).
OAK 21 @ IND 23 #OAKvsIND
Why so darn close? Without an (truly) established run game, Andrew Luck and offense will divide the time of “clicking” and “not clicking.”
In moments of the latter, the Oakland Raiders will capitalize on the Colts’ turnovers by providing Terrelle Pryor and his teammates with good field position – ultimately keeping this game neck-to-neck until the final whistle blows.
KC 30 @ JAX 19 #KCvsJAX
Expect a few dazzling highlight reel-esque plays from both running backs MJD and Jamaal Charles. What else is there to say? Let the action commence. Pay attention to how Andy Reid exploits the Jacksonville defense (an easygoing warmup by the way) with Charles and Dwayne Bowe. This game comes down to how accurate Alex Smith is (70% in 2012) and/or how well the Jaguars offense manages to hold onto the ball. Time of possession is the deciding factor and my prediction spills it all – the Chiefs will score on at least 6 of their 8 drives.
ATL 37 @ NO 38 #ATLvsNO
Choose one: both defenses are suspect, OR neither defenses are suspect. In the pistol offense, Matt Ryan will throw for multiple touchdowns but his last one will fall short, into the hands of an underrated safety Malcolm Jenkins. Ryan will underthrow a wide open Julio Jones on the rail, extinguishing all chances of setting up Matt Bryant to kick a game-winning field goal. Ouch.
TB 24 @ NYJ 15 #TBvsNYJ
With this mentality to torture the rookie quarterback behind a crooked line – not shaky, crooked – and you will win. Geno Smith isn’t ready. Please surprise me. Doug Martin will record 150 yards from scrimmage, and HC Greg Schiano might keep the Jets defense honest. The Jets, I’m thinking, will move the chains with Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell until it withers away or rots up like an old (gangrene) apple.
Ten 30 @ PIT 35 #TENvsPIT
Too high scoring for your taste, eh? Well get used to it. I believe in the KB, that’s right, Kenny Britt. Of course Jake Locker will underperform – only seven of those 30 projected points. The two other touchdowns will be thanks to a resurgent Chris Johnson behind a rejuvenated Titans offensive line. Watch how rookie Chance Warmack holds his section of the fort. Ben Roethlisberger will zip away his passes under the Pittsburgh sun per usual.
GB 38 @ SF 41 (OT) #GBvsSF
Both offenses will go 3-and-out a max number of three times. Colin Kaepernick makes his first start of a 16-game campaign and he’s in a good mood, damn right he is. Aaron Rodgers and the Packers are ready to dump out the trash at Candlestick, especially after Kaerpenick kissed his biceps once too many times in the playoff confrontation last January. Watch for Eddie Lacy’s confidence when he squeezes through the middle gaps and how well he braces himself for the menacing linebacking squadron of the 49ers: Bowman, Willis and Smith.
AZ 18 @ STL 20 #AZvsSTL
Safety. No I did not bust one loose – but I do smell a safety in St. Louis credits to a honeybadger who goes by the name of Tyrann Mathieu. Here’s how it happens: Arizona punts the ball to rookie Tavon Austin. Austin calls for a fair catch, and muffs the punt. The pigskin rolls to the 1-yard line. On first down, the Rams’ attempt to run it out of the endzone fails. On second down, Mathieu is sent on a cornerback blitz and tackles second-year Daryl Richardson in the endzone. The Cards take the lead, 18-17, but give the ball back into the hands of Sam Bradford with four minutes left. They drive down the field, manage the clock wisely (a few wide receiver endarounds with Tavon Austin here, a few slip screens to Richardson there) — and voila, a field goal by Young GZ (Greg Zuerlein) seals the deal.
NYG 23 @ DAL 30 #NYGvsDAL
Mind you, the game is, in actuality, 30 to 9 Dallas up until the fourth quarter. Forget about Dez Bryant, Jason Witten, Miles Austin…for a second. Think big. Think Dallas. Imagine Sean Lee, Demarcus Ware. Dream Anthony Spencer, Brandon Carr. Welcome to the Monte Kiffin Era, now enjoy your first win against the Giants at your new stadium. #Finally #SheeshTookForever
PHI 40 @ WAS 24 #PHIvsWAS
Yes I see the Eagles scoring 10 points per quarter. Yes I see the Redskins front seven growing tired throughout the course of the game because their inexperienced defensive backs constantly blow their assignments. Chip Kelly’s uptempo offense style is to physically drain defenses out, (picture writhing a soaked towel). Welcome back Orakpo, Kerrigan needs ya here. Cofield is ‘hopeful’ and Brandon Meriweather, uncertain. The Eagles depth on defense is more than capable to stabilize RGIII’s efficiency. IMO, he’s not on the same page with his receivers right now – maybe not even in the same book – and no doubt about it would the Redskins beat themselves.
HOU 24 vs SD 20 #HOUvsSD
Stop joking, Coach Kubiak! When asked if he’s set a carry limit for Arian Foster, Kubiak cheesed, ’42.’ That’s not funny. Because if Foster does touch the ball 42 times…I need to tweak that score. Expect mistakes from San Diego‘s defense. Yes, a lot of misses: mishaps, miscues, and miscommunication. Watch for how these pairs gel together throughout the four quarters: Manti Te’o and Dwight Freeney, Corey Liuget and Kendall Reyes, and Marcus Gilchrist and Eric Weddle.