Ok, so the season has kicked off, but the less said about that the better. LET'S GET INTO THE REAL STUFF:
SKY SPORTS, 6PM
ATLANTA FALCONS @ NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
Well as always with this rivalry, there will be zero defence and about 100 points in total, and it's generally pretty tough to call. Saints have generally trolled the Falcons in recent years, and I don't really see this changing opening at the Superdome with Sean Payton's big return (does he remind anyone else of the wrestler Goldust?) Falcons are a strong team but they never cut it when it matters, Saints regularly prove this.
Falcons 35, Saints 38
SKY SPORTS, 9:30PM
GREEN BAY PACKERS @ SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS
Oh man I'm excited for this one. After that travesty on Thursday I really can't wait to watch two of the most attractive playing teams in the league go at it (plus it's a vintage rivalry!) The story of Colin Kaepernick still seems fairly unreal; where did this guy come from and how did he get to the Superbowl in less than one season? It will be fascinating to see if he suffers from 2nd season syndrome, and given the team the Niners have assembled (which is even better now than that Superbowl team), a lot of their success this year is down to him. They have the tools to return to the superbowl (FYI them vs. Broncos is my pick this year, and that was BEFORE Thursday) and if Kaepernick can continue his form there is no reason why they shouldn't.
But let's not forget the Packers, who won the superbowl only two years earlier and are still as strong as ever. Yes they've aged, but as long as Aaron Rodgers (Jake Gyllenhall) is their QB they are always within touching distance. They also have a stronger defence than people often give them credit for, and they're going to need to be at Candlestick. I think given the overall strength of this Niners team, they should just about see the Packers off, but my word it's going to a really intriguing one.
Packers 20, Niners 24
CHANNEL 4, 1AM
NEW YORK GIANTS @ DALLAS COWBOYS
Oh NFC East, you mental division you. Your impossible to predict, your full of horrible teams, but you're so fun to watch, please never change. People seem to be believing in this current Cowboys team, but I just can't. They may well win this game, but they simply won't see it through and it never ceases to be hilarious. The Giants are also maddeningly inconsistent, but hey, they've won two more superbowls in this decade that the Cowboys have even made the playoffs. Giants have big injuries that will hurt their D, and the Cowboys have looked good in the pre-season, but I just can't see it, and will lol when they fail.
Giants 28, Cowboys 20
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES @ WASHINGTON REDSKINS
Here's a fun one, I have no idea what's going to happen here. Chip Kelly's first professional regular season game as a coach, after a complete (and necessary) overhaul of the Eagles team. It's probably a little early to expect them to be title contenders, but this is a genuine year of transition for the Eagles, so really anything to wash away the bitter taste of failed expectations will do. Meanwhile, things are looking good in Washington for the first time in a very long time. RG3 is fit and ready to avenge that sad, sad exit against Seattle in the playoffs, Alfred Morris has emerged as one of the most exciting young backs in the game, and they can defend pretty well too. This should be a tight one, but one would expect the Skins (relative) experience will edge over Mike Vick playing under a new system. Tough to call though, perhaps Chip Kelly will be the best thing that's happened to him (and certainly Shady).
Eagles 24, Redskins 27
HOUSTON TEXANS @ SAN DIEGO CHARGERS
As always, we get two MNF games in the opening week, and as always, it's in or involves San Diego. Whats to say about the Bolts, we all know what they can do but they so often never live up to their potential. Ryan Matthews has a lot to prove if he's ever going to be taken as seriously or excitedly as when he was a rookie, and who even knows what Phillip Rivers will turn up. The Texans is an incredibly tough opener too, they, like the Broncos, will have a chip on their shoulder after a disappointing and fairly humiliating loss to the New England Patriots saw a season with so much promise go up in smoke. And now they have ED REED ffs.
Texans 30, Chargers 20
THE REST, EARLIES:
New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills - Routine stuff for Brady and Co who will want to be rid of a very surreal summer (NE BY 7+)
Seattle Seahawks at Carolina Panthers - Should be an intriguing one, Carolina have a talented D. Unfortunately for them, the SEA may well have the best in the league. (SEA by 4-5)
Cincinnati Bengals at Chicago Bears - Here's another potential defensive masterclass in the making. The Bengals are everyone's hipster pick this year, The Bears will still remember they were front-runners of the 2012 season before crashing out to Houston who out-D'd them. (CHI by 3)
Miami Dolphins at Cleveland Browns - Miami may for the first time in a year long time actually have a respectable season after last years showings. The Browns? They can defend, but what's the point when you have nothing on the other side? (MIA by 4-5)
Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions - Tough one this, the Vikes came out of nowhere (well, AP's back) to somehow slip into the playoffs, and who knows what Lions we'll get this year. Always a fun one when they meet, but the Vikes will slip it (MIN by 3)
Oakland Raiders at Indianapolis Colts - Last Years Darlings Indy should keep on carrying on, but don't count out a sophmore slump in Andrew Luck. That said, he probably won't show that against a rookie lead Raiders team at home (IND by 4-5)
Kansas City Chiefs at Jacksonville Jaguars - Things are looking up in Kansas! Andy Reid and Alex Smith! Jamaal Charles has purpose again! Must feel sorry for MJD, those Jags are stinkers (KC by 7)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New York Jets - REVIS ISLAND RETURNS. That's about as excited I can get for this one. Geno Smith! Josh Freeman! Other players! (TB by 4-5)
Tennessee Titans at Pittsburgh Steelers - Steelers have aged and weakened considerably, but they should still see off the Titans pretty comfortably (by 7)
Arizona Cardinals at St. Louis Rams - Shame this is on against Packers/Niners because this will actually be a pretty interesting match-up. Something mad always happens when these two meet up, but now they both have pretty solid teams on both sides of the ball (while being in the same division as the possible NFC Conference finalists). Will be tight, feel the Zona will edge it in OT though (BY 3)
And that's our opening weekend. What are we excited for? I STAYED UP TIL 3AM TO WRITE THIS