NFL Office Pool Picks Week 1
It is time for another NFL season, which means it is time for another season of office pool picks. This is the spot each week where I tell you which team to pick in your straight up office pool. Now, be warned - last year the best approach in several weeks was to pick exactly the opposite of what I suggested. I wasn't as sharp as I should have been at times last year - heck, I often wasn't as sharp as a spoon - but this year will be different. Or at least that's the story I'm going with at this point. So, sit back, copy my picks, and imagine what you are going to buy with your winnings. It's a stone-cold lock:
Atlanta at Philadelphia: I'm a little nervous about both of these teams. Atlanta is a team I don't trust mentally and haven't for a long time. And Philadelphia is a talented team that has to deal with massively increased expectations. Take the Eagles at home.
Tampa Bay at New Orleans: New Orleans is one of the many teams that you could easily imagine coming out of the brutally-tough NFC. Tampa Bay really, really isn't. This one could get ugly. Take the Saints.
Pittsburgh at Cleveland: Cleveland is better than they were, but I struggle to believe they are good enough for this spot - even without Le'Veon Bell. Pittsburgh isn't going to be interested in losing this game. Take the Steelers.
Houston at New England: This is where we are going to take a risk. New England concerns me. The roster is a bit of a mess, and Brady will have to do a whole lot. Houston is a talented team, and they could make a real statement here. Take the Texans.
San Francisco at Minnesota: This is a tough way for both teams to start their season. I think San Francisco has a chance to be surprisingly good - their QB is immortal, after all, and I really believe in their coach. But Minnesota is an elite team. Take the Vikings.
Buffalo at Baltimore: Nathan Peterman is a starting quarterback in the NFL. Just think about that sentence for a second. Then take the Ravens. Very happily.
Tennessee at Miami: Both of these teams have some major concerns heading into the season, but Tennessee is more talented in general. They need better QB play, but they should have enough here. Take the Titans.
Cincinnati at Indianapolis: The Bengals have a chance to be really awful this year. And who knows what we can expect from Indy - other than that they probably won't be able to run the ball. Ugly game. Take the Colts.
Jacksonville at N.Y. Giants: I believe in what the Jaguars did last year and think that they can come close to replicating it this year. And I am very, very down on the Giants - despite a couple of top-shelf pieces on offense. Take the Jaguars.
Kansas City at L.A. Chargers: This traditional rivalry has been elevated to a new level in this one. It really feels like both of these teams have a chance to be really competitive. But they both have a lot to prove, and this would be a good opening statement. Let's take another risk - take the Chiefs.
Dallas at Carolina: The Cowboys feel like a team that could be on the edge of a rough season. And the Panthers are yet another team that could get things rolling and come out of the NFC. Take the Panthers.
Seattle at Denver: I am bearish on Seattle - and, for folks who aren't into the stock market vocabulary, that means I don't like them. At all. I'm reserving my feelings on Denver for a while, but I like the QB change, and the defense is legit. Take the Broncos.
Washington at Arizona: I like Alex Smith, and I like him well enough in this spot. And the Cardinals are a team with a whole lot of work ahead of them. Take the Redskins.
Chicago at Green Bay: Khalil Mack is an excellent addition who make the Bears more interesting, but that will take some time. Green Bay is clearly the better all-around team, and they should show it here. Take the Packers.
N.Y. Jets at Detroit: Sam Darnold will get plenty of hype in this one, but Detroit is a quietly competent team and they are at home. Take the Lions.
L.A. Rams at Oakland: I had a hunch that the whole Gruden experiment could turn into a circus, but I grossly underestimated how quickly he would act. The Rams, meanwhile, are the best team in the brutal NFC in my eyes. Take the Rams.
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