NFL Picks: Looking Inside the Week 1 Stinkers

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NFL Picks: Looking Inside the Week 1 Stinkers

 
The Bengals kept Marvin Lewis too long and now they're paying for it.

When I was a young gambling pup, one thing that would get me into a lot of trouble was overreacting to how bad a team looked in Week 1. If I thought a team stunk in Week 1, I immediately felt that they were a team to bet against. Obviously, as I've gambled more over the years, I realize what a mistake this kind of thinking was at the time. There are a lot of reasons for a team to perform poorly in its opener. The Colts are a good example of a team that wasn't prepared coming out of the preseason because of injuries. I don't think any of us are expecting the Colts to go 8-8 this season. Here is a look at the Week 1 stinkers and which teams may not smell quite so bad a month from now:

Rams
This team is bad, there is no denying that. When you have poor offensive and defensive lines, you aren't going to win many games in the NFL. The question is: Just how bad are the Rams? Granted, they were outclassed by the Eagles but they play in a weak division. Point being, two other teams from the NFC West are on this list as well.  No one expects the Rams to win a lot of games this year and St. Louis getting just 8.5 points against the Giants this week looks like the sucker bet of the year. However, the Rams still have some talented players at the skill positions so I'm willing to give them another week or two to see if their young defense can improve before I throw in the towel.

Lions
Did the Falcons start that game last week already up 21-0? Leave it to the Lions to make a rookie quarterback look like Joe Montana. I have to believe that Detroit isn't as bad as they looked in Week 1. The problem with Detroit is someone needs to tell Rod Marinelli that his team actually needs to play defense at some point. The Lions can make everyone forget about their Week 1 debacle with an upset over the Packers on Sunday. The ball is in their court now.

Seahawks
I have been calling for the demise of the Seahawks since they went to the Super Bowl and it looks like that time has finally come. This team is so battered right now there is nothing they can do about it. They are soft on defense and if you can find a playmaker left on their offense, please let me know. The Hawks are big favorites this week over the 49ers but to be honest they are so beat up, I think they would have trouble covering a large spread against USC. It looks like a long year in the Emerald City.

49ers
How bad is the NFC West right now? I predicted the 49ers would win that division and I'm not jumping off the bandwagon quite yet. However, with Alex Smith likely out for the year, it's J.T. O'Sullivan or bust. I'm sorry but that scares the heck out of me. This team is still a mystery to me. Their defense should be solid, yet they let the Cardinals go up and down the field on them. If they can upset the Seahawks, they may still have some life in them. If not, stick a fork in San Fran.

Colts
This team was either not ready to play against the Bears or they got old really fast because they looked like they were playing in quicksand. The Colts are just too talented for me to discount them after one poor performance. Peyton Manning should rebound this week in Minnesota but I'm concerned with the Colts offensive line. The Bears wore them out on Sunday night. This week's game is huge for Indy because a loss to the Vikings would not only make the Colts 0-2, but both losses would be against the NFC, which is supposed to be the weaker of the two conferences.

Browns
If the Browns play defense the rest of the year the way they played it against the Cowboys, they are in for a long season. Putting no pressure on the quarterback and not covering receivers is no way to go through life son. Troy Aikman said during the broadcast that when talking to the Browns players that week they were already making excuses about playing Dallas and saying the Steelers is a bigger game for them. Well, this week's game becomes even bigger now if the Brownies want to avoid going 0-2. I see this team having problems all year long. They just don't have enough good players on the defensive side of the ball.

Bengals
This team is a trainwreck. They should have fired Marvin Lewis a year ago and for some reason they didn't. I will be fading this disaster of a team all year long. In my opinion, the Bengals will be lucky to win six games this year. They are in a state of disarray right now. I will have much more on them in this week's edition of NFL Whispers.

Redskins
I'm not ready to close the book on Jim Zorn after only one game but he'll need to coach much better in the future than he did in his debut. The Redskins reminded me of my old high school team. Run on first down. Run on second down. Throw an incomplete pass on third down. Punt. I thought this guy was supposed to have some kind of offensive mind? If so, then he had amnesia against the Giants. I still think the Skins have some talent but I've never been a big fan of Jason Campbell. The Skins are a pick 'em at home this week versus the Saints and something tells me that Washington pulls that one out.

Raiders
This team is awful. Right now this is the biggest joke organization in sports. They have a head coach that doesn't want to be there and an owner who doesn't want him there yet, he's still there. Interesting. I talked to an NFL Insider on Monday who has covered the Raiders for many years and he put it at bluntly as you can, "I hate to sound morbid but this organization isn't ever going to resurface until Al Davis passes away. It's sad but it's true. He won't give up any power and he's in no condition to run a football team. It's a sad state of affairs right now for this once proud franchise." In other words: Fade away.

  • You guys certainly aren't alone on the 49ers, as 63% of the public is also on them.  You'll be hearing more about this game on this week's Sports Betting Preview Show :)

  • Those San Fran turnovers probably cost them the game.  AZ began 5 of their 11 drives in SF territory, and the average start of their drives was the AZ 48 yard line.  The Cardinals only had to punt 4 times in those 11 drives - of the remaining 7 drives, 2 were tds, 3 were fgs, 1 was a missed fg, and one was a turnover on downs with 16 secs left in the game.  While it's true that the Niners yielded only 285 yards, the fact is that Arizona rarely had far to go.  The Niners also gave up two 4th down conversions before eventually stopping the meaningless conversion late in the 4th.  All that being said, I like the Niners to cover this weekend.

  • I love the statistical analysis based on 1 game.  Time for a reality check: pregame.com/.../back-to-the-future-take-a-reality-check-before-making-week-2-nfl-picks.aspx

  • Also, by the 49ers turning the ball over all day, the Cards didn't have as far to go to score points, so it skews numbers, which is why rankings after one week of play are pointless. If the Niners punted, the Cards would have just crammed the ball down their throat like they did the entire game.

  • The Edge rushed for over 100 yards, despite the fact he can't run against any other team on the planet. Kurt Warner sucks He are his numbers from the game: 19-of-30 for 197 yards. He hit 63.3 percent of his passes and had a QB rating of 93.3. In my book, that isn't good defense. I didn't post the numbers because I actually watched the game. I don't care who ranks what. Numbers are like the Bible, you can find any numbers to back up an argument. I watched the game. The 49ers defense was garbage.

  • The 49rs rank 3rd in the NFL after week 1 allowing 2.8 yards per rush and allowed only 176 yards thru the air against a pretty good passing team. All this despite their offense putting them in shitt all day with 5 turnovers.

  • The 49rs allowed only 285 total yards to Arizona. That is a good defensive performance in any book. Not exactly "let the Cardinals run up and down the field on them" SF outgained Arz and lost the turnover battle 5-0

  • I agree Matt. The Raiders may not be the Cowboys or Pats but they have enough talent on that team not to look like they did on Monday night. That was just embarrassing.

  • What's most shocking about how bad the Raiders are is that they have a lot of team speed and they look like they get where they want to go in a big hurry.  The problem is they don't have any skill to do anything once they get there.  Russell looks overwhelmed.

    I remember someone once said,  "Lane Kiffin...no chance."