One of my favorite things to do during the week between and before games is plan out with games I want to see. Living in an NFL no-mans land it's always a surprise what I get each week. Here is the link to an awesome site with a map of with games play in which parts of the country. Thanks to that site I know I will be watching the Saints-Bucs (with the option of Pats-KC), Browns-Cowboys before the Colts take on the Bears in Sunday night football.
My other favorite is picking winners. I've done this each of the last two years and for competition sake, compared myself to ESPN's panel of experts. My first year I beat 6 of ESPN's 7 experts with only Mike Golic hitting a higher % of picks. Last year was a disappointment as I finished dead center of ESPN's 8 experts that made picks.
On to this season. Straight up winners (bolded for emphasis) , no spread (mgrex30 took care of the spread picks which I will also be beating everyone in)
Giants over Redskins-Without Osi and Strahan the Giants aren't the team the dangerous team that won the superbowl, but if any team can keep up a pass rush without two top ends it's the Giants with their insane DE depth.
Lions over Falcons- A rookie QB starting is always ugly, especially when it's the first game and even more so when the QB is an overhyped intangible radiating soon to be disappointment.
Ravens over Bengals- Both these teams have issues. Ravens of the QB type, Bengals of the crazy WR and awful defense type. I'll trust FO's assurances that the Ravens D with bounce back.
Seahawks over Bills- The Bills could be surprisingly good, but I'll believe it once I've seen it.
Jets over Dolphins- The Fins weren't 1-15 bad, but they were pretty awful and they aren't much better.
Pats over Chiefs- This game will get ugly fast
Bucs over Saints- The Bucs were better last year and I think they're still that way
Eagles over Rams- I like the Rams, I want them to me good, but they aren't
Steelers over Texans- another sleeper vs shaky division champ game. Mendenhall needs to get his fumbling issues fixed so he can take Willie Parkers job, dramatically reducing the 3rd and longs that get Roesthlisberger killed.
Jags over Titans- The Jags are overhyped, but they're still pretty good. I'm curious to see if Silky Garrard's great year last year was just kind of fluky (the INT%) and the Jags have really been sitting a good starting QB on the bench for years or if it was a total fluke (I doubt it).
Cowboys over Browns- The top overhyped vs overhyped showdown of the week. I'll take the team that is overhyped to be a SB favorite over a team overhyped to make the playoffs.
Chargers over Panthers- Without Steve Smith the Panters are very one dimensional. With DeAnglo Williams and Jonathan Stewart is might be a good dimension, but it's still only one.
Cardinals over Niners- can we just suspend divisional play in the NFC West and save us from 5 more of these eyesores.
Colts over Bears- Two years of picks and I've never picked against the Colts, just one more benefit of following a great team, your homerism helps you make the right pick most of the time.
Packers over Vikings- A QB who completed 53.6% of his passes over his career in DII is not going to suddenly learn how to be an accurate passer. Jackson in combination with poor pass protection and a bad secondary will keep the Vikings from the rise most people are predicting.
Broncos over Raiders- I'm really interested in how the carries get divided between 1,000 yard rusher last year, Justin Fargas, Top 5 pick Darren McFadden and Micheal Bush who has all the potential, but lost almost two seasons to a broken leg.