Mac's Picks - Week One

Last year didn't go so well. I never seemed to be able to get on track and quite a few teams had me baffled, week in and week out. My attempt to read teams was like Vince Young trying to read opposing defenses: We both had no idea about what we were seeing.

This year promises to be better, though. The Colts' 41-10 drubbing of the New Orleans Saints has put me into the black for what may be the only time this season. Maybe I should quit while I'm ahead?

2006 Record: 120-131-5

2007 Record: 1-0!

Kansas City at Houston (-3) Thanks to HBO's "Hard Knocks", we know that the Kansas City Chiefs have the following: A bad offensive line, no real threat at wide receiver, young and/or suspended defensive linemen, a rookie kicker with a fragile psyche, a converted linebacker playing fullback, a back-up QB/wife combo whose parents hated the letter "Y"-the list goes on and on. Just tell me one thing: Do I send the "Thank you" card to HBO or directly to Carl Peterson and Herm Edwards? Pick: Texans -3

Miami at Washington (-3) Do you have any idea what the Miami Dolphins offensive line is going to look like? Neither do they. Pick: Redskins -3 (Hey, you try coming up with something interesting to write about this game.)

Denver (-3 ½) at Buffalo Travis Henry believes that being in Denver will elevate him to the "elite" level of NFL running backs. And if it does, you can bet that Hallmark will sign him to an endorsement deal in advance of Father's Day 2008. Pick: Broncos -3 ½

Carolina at St. Louis (-1) I know that Rams rookie DT Bill Brasky was catapulting offensive linemen off the practice field this summer, but I'm going to take a wait-and-see approach when it comes to the St. Louis Rams defense this year. Pick: Panthers +1

Pittsburgh (-4 ½) at Cleveland Since 1950, each time the new Steelers hired a new head coach, he has lost his first game in Cleveland. What does this mean to Mike Tomlin and his Pittsburgh Steelers this Sunday? Probably nothing. Pick: Steelers -4 ½

Atlanta at Minnesota (-3) The only thing that could make this game even more unappealing is if you told me Joey Harrington were starting at quarterback for one these teams…Wait, what's that? Pick: Vikings -3

Tennessee at Jacksonville (-7) "Hey Byron, You're not doing anything for the next couple of weeks and I need a tag-team partner. What do you say? Signed, Pacman Jones" A guy can dream, right? Pick: Jaguars -7

New England (-7) at NY Jets Bill Belichick and Eric Mangini may have finally shook hands and let bygones be bygones, but you can bet that the scab was re-opened when Mangini made a cameo on "The Sopranos" this spring. As his cameo in 2006 on "Rescue Me" suggests, Belichick wears the thespian pants in his coaching tree and all challengers shall be eradicated. Pick: Patriots -7

Philadelphia (-3) at Green Bay Donovan McNabb has a reputation as being a Packer Killer. Need proof? Mention "4th and 26" to a Packers fan and see how they react. Pick: Eagles -3

Detroit at Oakland (-1 ½) I like Jon Kitna. I even have a #7 Kitna Seahawks jersey hanging in my office closet. But there's something not right about a quarterback like Kitna getting to throw to wide receivers like Roy Williams and Calvin Johnson. It's sort like. Pick: Raiders -1 ½

Chicago at San Diego (-6 ½) The Chargers and Bears combined to go 27-5 in 2006, so naturally this will be a game everyone will affix the "Super Bowl preview" tag to. Allow me to introduce two items of evidence to shed some reasonable doubt on that premise: a.) Rex Grossman, b.) Norv Turner. Pick: Chargers -6 ½

Tampa Bay at Seattle (-5 ½) If the Seahawks can keep their key players healthy, there as complete a team as you'll find in the NFC. Pick: Seahawks -5 ½

NY Giants at Dallas (-6) Michael Strahan's return has dominated headlines in New York and nationally, so here's a recap of what's been happening this week in Dallas? The quarterbacks coach was suspended for using HGH to help his impotency (side effect of diabetes), key members of the defense isn't happy the team cut CB Aaron Glenn, and WR Terry Glenn is out for the year, an injury the team has unsuccessfully tried to keep quiet. Wait a minute: Turmoil in Dallas that doesn't involve Terrell Owens? Satan needs a new pair of hockey skates. Pick: Giants +6

Baltimore at Cincinnati (-2 ½) Carson Palmer's quarterback ratings in his three home games against the Baltimore Ravens are as follows: 127.1, 124.6 and 97.7, which is the only reason why I'm taking the Bengals this week. Pick: Bengals -2 ½

Arizona at San Francisco (-3 ½) Do you want to know why the San Francisco 49ers spent $80 million dollars on cornerback Nate Clements? In the last 4 games between the Cardinals and 49ers, all wins by Arizona, wide receivers Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald have combined for 55 receptions, 855 yards, and 5 touchdowns. Pick: 49ers -3 ½


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