By Don Stone - Football Atlanta
I never bet on football.
There are just too many unpredictable things that can happen and blow up
your game plan. But, its fun to pick and see how you do. And, just so you
know, in college, a friend and I drove out to Las Vegas in my beat up VW
Fastback. We parked in the suburbs and slept in the car to save money.
Before entering the casinos, I told him that I was going to spend a quarter
on the slots and that's it. I said, no matter how much I beg, don't lend me
any money. Of course, I immediately lost it on the penny slots and
immediately asked him for more. He immediately quoted me and held fast.
All that to say that I watch my money. That was 1972, but still
So, here are my picks for week one of the NFL, which has finally
September 5 -
Broncos over Baltimore Ravens. First, its a
home game. Second, the Broncos still have a bad taste in their mouths from
the blown playoff game against Baltimore last year. And, third, the Ravens
lost some key pieces in the offseason, added some too, but, I like Denver to
open with a win 30-24.
September 7 - Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints.
Some say this has the feel of that first game back in the Superdome after
Katrina when the Falcons became sacrificial lambs. The Saints have their
banished head coach Sean Payton. They
seemed to struggle last season with him gone. Drew Brees
may put up a lot of points on a young Falcons secondary. But, Matt
Ryan will make even more hay on what was the
worst defense in the NFL last season. They've made changes, even have a new
DC in Rob Ryan and a new scheme. But,
Atlanta's high powered offense will be at full strength.
Some problems also exist in New Orleans with the injury bug with 11
players listed on their injury report. Key among them is wide receiver
Marques Colston (foot) and OLB Junior
Gallett (hamstring). Also, veteran linebacker
Jonathan Vilma will miss the game with an
ailing knee. And they lost OLB Will Smith
for the season with a torn ACL.
Should be a fun game to watch, as they always are. Falcons will prevail
In the rest of the matchups...
over the home team in Jacksonville
go to Buffalo and come out with a win.
easy going at Chicago.
handles Cleveland in Ohio.
travels to New York and comes home 1-0.
Tennessee travels to Pittsburgh
and gets a loss.
makes the home town fans happy with a win over Minnesota.
Indianapolis gets a home game to start the season and a win over
This one is tough because I think Carolina
is going to be a much
better team, having one their last seven games of the 2012 season.
thinking Seattle woudl squeak by with a road win here. But they were 3-5 on
the road last season, not counting the postseason loss at the Georgia Dome
and were tied for the worst road record of any playoff team with Minnesota.
I change my mind and will go with the Panthers.
In the late games, the Rams
might be the surprise team of the 2013
season and will get a home win against Arizona.
One of, if not the best game of the weekend will have
a victory against visiting Green Bay. But, this one is really a toss up. I
just give it to San Francisco for the home field advantage.
And, the Sunday Night Football premiere will be another good one
beating the visiting Giants.
Finally on Monday night, the Redskins
will beat the visiting Eagles
and the Texans may be in the Super Bowl this year and will go to San Diego
with a win.
Last year, I was 72%, which means nothing, but it's sure a lot better
than those so called experts on the networks who brag about having a winning
And, while I'm at it, I pick the Bulldogs
to bounce back big before a raucous crowd in Athens and finally pick off Steve Spurrier
after a three game losing streak to the Gamecocks. Maybe a score similar to
the Falcons 34-30.
The rest of the SEC should do well with all playing a bunch of creampuffs.
Miami of Ohio at Kentucky, Western Kentucky at Tennessee, Toledo at Missouri, Alcorn State at
Mississippi State, SE Missouri State at Mississippi, Sam Houston State at
Texas A&M, UAB at LSU, Samford at Arkansas, Arkansas State at Auburn and
Austin Peay at Vanderbilt. All easy SEC wins.
Who really cares. A bunch of spineless athletic directors have a bushel
full of boring games that will all be over by the second quarter.