NFL Office Pool Picks Week 1
The seemingly endless preseason is finally over, and real action in the NFL is just around the corner. Hallelujah. There are so many things that are great about the start of a new football season. One of those is that the start of the season means the start of NFL office pools. And there are few things more satisfying than taking the money of your co-workers and securing bragging rights for a year. As we have done for many years now, we're going to help you dominate your office pools by picking a winner in every game all season. Let's get started:
Green Bay at Chicago: I am having trouble buying into the Packers right now. The coaching change creates a lot of uncertainty in my mind. Aaron Rodgers is a freak, but I am not convinced that he is playing with a lot of joy right now. The talent level creates some questions. They are the second-best team here, and they are on the road. Chicago is deeper and more talented. Take the Bears .
Tennessee at Cleveland: I feel more hesitation than many when it comes to jumping on the Browns' bandwagon. But they are the clear choice here. Tennessee has some questions, and their loss of left tackle Taylor Lewan to suspension is a major blow. Take the Browns.
Baltimore at Miami: Will Miami have enough players to play this game, or will they have traded everyone away by then? I can't imagine that morale is particularly high for the Dolphins right now, and they are up against a pretty talented Baltimore team. Take the Ravens. Comfortably.
Atlanta at Minnesota: I think this is going to be Dan Quinn's last year coaching the Falcons. That's how many concerns I have about this team right now. And despite last year's struggles, I have much more optimism around Minnesota. I expect a strong season. Take the Vikings.
Buffalo at New York Jets: This is one of those games where I really don't like either team much, but I have to pick one anyway. New York is at home, and I like them slightly more, so take the Jets.
Washington at Philadelphia: Philadelphia is all but a lock to win their division if Carson Wentz stays healthy. They are deep and talented. Washington is neither thing, and they are going to have some rough play at QB regardless of which way they go. Take the Eagles.
L.A. Rams at Carolina: This is a fairly tough opener for the Rams, and they have to deal with their first game after the Super Bowl debacle. But while Carolina does some things very well, and should be improved from last year, L.A. is the better team. Take the Rams.
Kansas City at Jacksonville: Jacksonville should be improved this year, but until we see what they are really capable of they are tough to judge. Kansas City is much easier to judge - they are going to be very good. Take the Chiefs.
Indianapolis at L.A. Chargers: I'm not nearly as pessimistic about the Colts as many people are. I will not be at all surprised if they still win their division. But this is a very tough spot for them. L.A. is talented and hungry and would have been a tough task for the Colts even if Luck was playing at full strength. Take the Chargers.
Cincinnati at Seattle: Cincinnati is truly, epically bad. It's going to be a terrible season. Seattle isn't my favorite team this year, but they are so much better here it's almost laughable. Take the Seahawks.
New York Giants at Dallas: Dallas has far too many distractions and some really rough coaching. But they are still dramatically better than the Giants. It's not hard to be dramatically better than the Giants. Take the Cowboys.
Detroit at Arizona: I'm excited to see what Kyler Murray and Kliff Kingsbury can do when facing live fire. There are going to be some big issues, and it's not going to be pretty at times, but it sure will be fun. And they are the better team here - or at least it is more fun to imagine that they will be. Take the Cardinals.
San Francisco at Tampa Bay: I'm lukewarm - at best - about the Bucs this year. There are some reasons for optimism - a coaching upgrade, a QB ready for a step forward, and so on. But there are more questions. And until San Francisco stumbles, I am a believer in them this year. Take the 49ers.
Pittsburgh at New England: Toughest game of the opening week. Both of these teams have talent, both are going to be good, but both have some questions that they need to answer. And they always play each other tough. Home field makes the difference here. Take the Patriots.
Houston at New Orleans: I like the addition of Laremy Tunsil to the Texans, but it doesn't solve all of the problems. And even if the Texans were at full strength - which they can never be with Bill O'Brien coaching them - they would not be in good shape in this one. Take the Saints.
Denver at Oakland: I'm not sure I could be less excited about a game than I am about this one. It's just not good. Denver has issues galore, but I like Vic Fangio a lot as a coach, and I don't trust anything that is happening in Oakland right now. Take the Broncos.
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