Poupart's Picks: Week 1

Here are the fearless predictions for Week 1 of the NFL season, courtesy of DolphinDigest.com's Alain Poupart.

Thursday, Sept. 6

New Orleans Saints (0-0) at Indianapolis Colts (0-0): This game will be close in the first half before the Colts simply blitz the Saints in the second half. OK, you've guessed by now we're joking. The truth is we skipped this game, so we'll just proceed with the other 15 games of the weekend.

Sunday, Sept. 9

Kansas City (0-0) at Houston (0-0): Damon Huard is a starting quarterback for the first time in his NFL, but he'll only have use of Larry Johnson on a limited basis because he reported to camp late. The Texans, meanwhile, begin a new era with Matt Schaub at quarterback and Ahman Green at running back. Take the home team. Houston, 27-17.

Denver (0-0) at Buffalo (0-0): The big story here is Broncos running back Travis Henry facing his former team. The Broncos should be able to move the ball at will against Buffalo's revamped defense, but the Denver defense is a question mark as well. Upset special. Buffalo, 24-21.

Pittsburgh (0-0) at Cleveland (0-0): It's the first game of the Mike Tomlin era in Pittsburgh, and we're looking for more emphasis on the passing game. But it'll still be the same rugged defense, which means bad news for what looks like another mediocre Browns offense. Pittsburgh, 24-13.

Tennessee (0-0) at Jacksonville (0-0): The two big questions with these teams is whether Vince Young can do it again for the Titans and whether David Garrard was the right choice at quarterback for the Jags. We say no and yes. Besides, Jacksonville's defense is too much for Tennessee. Jacksonville, 20-13.

Carolina (0-0) at St. Louis (0-0): The Panthers were one of the biggest disappointments in the NFL last season, but we're expecting a turnaround. Meanwhile, the Rams should be awesome on offense this year with their arsenal of Marc Bulger, Steven Jackson, Torry Holt, Isaac Bruce and former Dolphin Randy McMichael. This one will be close. St. Louis, 27-24.

Philadelphia (0-0) at Green Bay (0-0); The Eagles are Super Bowl material. The Packers aren't. Philadelphia, 28-16.

Atlanta (0-0) at Minnesota (0-0): Joey Harrington gets the start for the Falcons, and that should mean a couple of turnovers against a good Vikings defense. The tandem of Adrian Peterson and Chester Taylor also should do some damage for Minnesota's running game. Minnesota, 29-10.

Miami (0-0) at Washington (0-0): Cam Cameron's debut as Dolphins head coach will tell us a lot we don't know about what kind of offense the team will have this season. We're not expecting big things, to be quite honest, but we do expect enough for the Dolphins to get by a Washington team that also has major question marks on offense. Miami, 17-14.

New England (0-0) at N.Y. Jets (0-0): One of the best games of the weekend, although the Jets won't have much of a chance if new running back Thomas Jones can't go. The Patriots are a popular Super Bowl choice, but they will begin the season without defensive stalwarts Richard Seymour and Rodney Harrison. This one will be close. New England, 21-20.

Tampa Bay (0-0) at Seattle (0-0): The Bucs will be better this season with Jeff Garcia at quarterback, but it will take time and they can't compete with the Seahawks right off the bat. Seattle, 27-17.

Chicago (0-0) at San Diego (0-0): One of the best games of the weekend features two teams with Super Bowl aspirations. The difference here, in addition to the home-field advantage, is the Chargers have LaDainian Tomlinson and Philip Rivers in the backfield, while the Bears have Cedric Benson and Rex Grossman. End of story. San Diego, 24-10.

Detroit (0-0) at Oakland (0-0): Don't know about you, but this game would be so much more fun if Daunte Culpepper started for the Raiders instead of the forgettable Josh McCown. Either way, the Oakland offense is lame. But their defense is very good, and it should keep this game close. Detroit, 20-16.

N.Y. Giants (0-0) at Dallas (0-0): The Dolphins' Week 2 opponents open at home against a Giants team with major question marks. The Cowboys will be without WR Terry Glenn, but still have too much for New York, especially at home. Dallas, 23-13.

Monday, Sept. 10

Baltimore (0-0) at Cincinnati (0-0): This is a very interesting matchup between one of the top offenses in the league and one of the top defenses. We'll go with offense this time. Cincinnati, 24-20.

Arizona (0-0) at San Francisco (0-0): Many observers are expecting big things from the 49ers this season, and beating the ever-rebuilding Cardinals would be good a start. San Francisco, 28-20.


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Alain Poupart is the Associate Editor of Dolphin Digest and DolphinDigest.com. To read him every day, visit DolphinDigest.com and become a Miami Dolphins insider.