NFL Office Pool Picks Week 1
by Trevor Whenham - 9/2/2013
It’s time for another NFL season. Finally. That also means that it is the season for office pools. Egos and reputations are on the line as friends and co-workers duel to show who knows more about football and who can pick more winners from week to week. It’s office warfare. To help you claim your rightful place atop the heap at the end of the season, I’m going to help you out by providing a straight up winner for every game played all season. We’ll play it safe for the most part, and we’ll gamble when it makes sense to. And we’ll have lots of fun. Without further ado:
Baltimore at Denver - I am not really eager to jump on the Broncos’ bandwagon this year. They are just getting too much hype. That being said, I have to pick them here. They will be fired up at home, and they should be ready. The Ravens won’t be as bad as some think, but they have a lot of changes to adjust to, and it will take some time. Take the Broncos.
New England at Buffalo - When I looked at the schedule for the first time this year, I was thinking I might take the Bills in my first upset pick of the year. Then their preseason happened. Their QB situation is ugly, and they just have too much to figure out to contend against an elite team right now. Take the Patriots.
Cincinnati at Chicago - There are a lot of people who believe in the Bengals right now. I am not one of them – not as long as Marvin Lewis is in charge. I don’t love Jay Cutler by any means, but I do really like new Bears’ coach Marc Trestman, and I think Chicago will protect their home field. Take the Bears.
Miami at Cleveland - I am just glad I have absolutely no reason to watch this one. It isn’t likely to be good. I think Ryan Tannehill could take a step forward this year, and I am not buying into what the Browns have assembled offensively. Take the Dolphins.
Minnesota at Detroit - We know Adrian Peterson is going to be very good. I am also reasonably confident that Christian Ponder is going to be significantly improved this year. I really don’t trust the mental game of the Lions until they prove otherwise. I’ve picked a surprising number of road winners so far, and I’ll keep it up. Take the Vikings.
Oakland at Indianapolis - The Raiders will probably win a game this year. I almost certainly won’t pick them when they do. They are just lousy. Indianapolis won’t be as good as they were last year, but they are still going to be a very solid, tough team. This really shouldn’t be close. Take the Colts.
Atlanta at New Orleans - I keep hearing that this is the year for the Falcons. Until Matt Ryan proves that he has what it takes to command a winner, I won’t be buying into it. The Saints have some issues, but they will be so hungry to put the debacle of last season behind them, and this is a perfect chance to make a statement. Take the Saints.
Tampa Bay at New York Jets - Why in the world would anyone pick the Jets at this point? What a mess. Take the Bucs. Obviously.
Tennessee at Pittsburgh - Tough game -- and not because it is likely destined to be a classic. Pittsburgh is desperately fighting to prove that they are still relevant despite plenty of evidence that they may not be this year. Tennessee has plenty of tools, but they need to figure out if they have a QB. Coin toss. I’m living or dying by the road teams, so take the Titans.
Seattle at Carolina - I really want to pick the Panthers to pull off the win. I don’t think the Seahawks warrant all the hype they are getting right now. Still, given the challenges facing the Panthers and the depth of the Seahawks, it’s tough to go against Seattle. Oh, screw it – no one remembers a coward for the right reasons. Take the Panthers.
Kansas City at Jacksonville - Will Gabbert be ready? Does it matter? I really like the offseason the Chiefs had, and they had some nice talent already in place to build off of. They should be a very solid team this year, and this will be their first chance to prove it. Take the Chiefs.
Arizona at St. Louis - Another tough one. Which resurgent NFC West team do you believe in more? I like the job Bruce Arians has done in Arizona far more than I thought I would. I really like what the Rams have done this offseason, though, and this is the year I expect Jeff Fisher and his squad to take a big step forward. This is also the year that Sam Bradford proves why he is a deserving No. 1 pick. Take the Rams.
Green Bay at San Francisco - This is a great way to start the season. Excellent matchup. Again. I could easily see this game go either way. The Niners were my pick to win the Super Bowl, though, and I am feeling good about that. That means that taking the 49ers is the way to go.
New York Giants at Dallas - This is a game that should be better than it is. Iconic teams meeting in a heated divisional showdown. I just don’t care, though. I guess I like the Cowboys better – especially because they are at home – but I just can’t muster any enthusiasm about either team. Take the Cowboys.
Philadelphia at Washington - Do you take Chip Kelly and his bold football laboratory? Or do you buy into superfreak Robert Griffin II and his bionic knee? There are some games that are tougher to responsibly handicap than others. This one is basically impossible at this point. I`ll take the Eagles just because I`m sure Kelly is going to try at least four things that the league has never seen before, and that will be fun. If Griffin was proven to be healthy and ready this might be a different pick, though.
Houston at San Diego - The Chargers made the single best move of the offseason when they dumped Norv Turner. He was a total disaster. The Texans are a popular pick to win it all, but I think they could be in trouble here. San Diego has some talent, they will be motivated in September for the first time in far too long, and they are at home. Take the Chargers.
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