Throughout the NFL season, Five Yard Slant’s own Adam Benoist will battle with the collective wisdom of the remaining FYS Team in a weekly pick’em contest. This week Adam takes on Brock Peter. May the best under-qualified, over-confident gentleman win.
Green Bay Packers (0-0) at Seattle Seahawks (0-0)
The defending Super Bowl champs have looked very strong this preseason. I expect the Packers to put up a good fight but the Seahawks are going to be too hard to handle at home.
Adam’s Pick: Seattle
I really, really, really want to be smart and pick Seattle. I can’t. GO PACK GO.
Brock’s Pick: Green Bay
Buffalo Bills (0-0) at Chicago Bears (0-0)
Buffalo has a much better defense than they are sometimes given credit for and their front 4 is one of the best in the league. That being said, I believe this game is close enough to make some Chicago fans nervous but believe the Bears will ultimately come out on top.
Adam’s Pick: Chicago
I recently heard that Buffalo has some of the best YAC in the league. So that’s neato.
Brock’s Pick: Chicago
New Orleans Saints (0-0) at Atlanta Falcons (0-0)
This is a tough week 1 pick. What will the Falcons look like this year with healthier options on offense. Can anyone step up and fill the void left by Tony Gonzalez? I’m picking the Saints on the road but I don’t feel great about this selection.
Adam’s Pick: New Orleans
I honestly believe that Atlanta will have a nice bounce-back from an unusual down year. But I also believe New Orleans is set for a great season, and that it is going to start week 1.
Brock’s Pick: New Orleans
Minnesota Vikings (0-0) at St. Louis Rams (0-0)
The Rams are extremely hard to run on. The Vikings love to run. I think the Vikings will be better than many expect this season but this game, on paper, is a very bad match-up for them.
Adam’s Pick: St. Louis
This is actually a really interesting game to choose, in my opinion. The Vikings have done well in recent seasons, comparatively speaking, against this sort of team. Minnesota has a bruising offensive line, and if their running game can make the great St. Louis defensive line slow down, I think they have a great chance to pull off a road win.
Brock’s Pick: Minnesota
Cleveland Browns (0-0) at Pittsburgh Steelers (0-0)
I think this is going to be an extremely ugly, low scoring game. I don’t like anything about either of these teams, I’ll take the one playing at home.
Adam’s Pick: Pittsburgh
I also intend to pointedly not enjoy this game. As bad as both teams are, there is a big difference is at quarterback.
Brock’s Pick: Pittsburgh
Jacksonville Jaguars (0-0) at Philadelphia Eagles (0-0)
Everyone that drafted McCoy in their fantasy leagues are going to be feeling pretty good about themselves after this one. I expect this one to get out of hand very fast.
Adam’s Pick: Philadelphia
Jacksonville queitly closed last season looking not-so-bad. But they won’t overcome the Eagles offensive output.
Brock’s Pick: Philadelphia
Oakland Raiders (0-0) at New York Jets (0-0)
I believe Oakland will be an improved football team this season; I like everything Reggie McKenzie has been doing over the past couple years, but I can’t pick them in this game. I’m not a big fan of picking a west coast team playing the early game on the east coast so I’ll reluctantly take the Jets.
Adam’s Pick: New York Jets
Along with Adam’s note about west coast teams traveling to the east coast, it is worth noting that the Jets defense remained strong in 2013, and reportedly Oakland will start a rookie quarterback. I respect Rex Ryan’s defensive planning, and he has ample time to prepare to rattle Derek Carr.
Brock’s Pick: New York Jets
Cincinnati Bengals (0-0) at Baltimore Ravens (0-0)
The Bengals have the better football team but Baltimore is one of the best home teams in the league; the Bengals haven’t won in Baltimore since 2009. This will be a very close game, don’t be surprised when the Ravens squeak out a win at the end.
Adam’s Pick: Baltimore
I, too, see this game coming down to the wire. But Cincinnati simply has more talent on both sides of the ball, and I think they have a few more plays in them than Baltimore. It is Cincinnati’s division for the taking, and they better get an early start.
Brock’s Pick: Cincinnati
Washington Redskins (0-0) at Houston Texans (0-0)
Houston will have some challenges at QB but I don’t think it’s enough to impact the outcome of this game. They will have success on the ground with Foster and their defensive line will shut down the Redskins running game and ultimately that should be enough for them to win.
Adam’s Pick: Houston
The Texans were unsustainably bad last season. Their commitment to losing games they ought to win was almost admirable. I don’t think it will carry over into this season.
Brock’s Pick: Houston
Tennessee Titans (0-0) at Kansas City Chiefs (0-0)
The Chiefs should be able to get an easy win here at home but don’t sleep on the Titans this season. Ken Whisenhunt can run an offense and Jake Locker looked solid before his injury last season. Keep an eye on them to compete with Indianapolis this season for the top spot in a very soft AFC South.
Adam’s Pick: Kansas City
I do not believe in the Chiefs, and think that 2013 was largely a fluke. But I do believe their defense, running game, and manager of a quarterback have enough to best the Titans
Brock’s Pick: Kansas City
New England Patriots (0-0) at Miami Dolphins (0-0)
I’m curious to see if Ryan Tannehill takes a big step forward this season. Miami has completely rebuilt their awful offensive line from last season, if they can create enough time for Tannehill to make some throws Miami could be a surprise team in 2014. That being said, I’m not picking against Tom Brady, I haven’t seen enough from the Dolphins yet.
Adam’s Pick: New England
As usual, the Patriots will be one of the two or three best teams in the AFC this year. Miami won’t.
Brock’s Pick: New England
Carolina Panthers (0-0) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-0)
I’m on the Bucs bandwagon this season. Lovie Smith has a reputation of producing extremely average football teams and I think this Bucs team will be exactly that. They have just enough on offense and defense to to beat a Panthers team that could have one of the worst offenses in the league this season.
Adam’s Pick: Tampa Bay
I, too, believe in the Buccaneers. Per Football Outsiders (and if you believe in their DVOA rankings), the Buccanneers played not just the hardest schedule of 2013, but one of the hardest schedules since 1989. Lovie Smith should know what to do with his new defensive toys. Meanwhile, the Panthers have almost complete overhaul at the wide receiver position, as well as in the defensive backfield. Frankly, their offense and back four were not that good to begin with.
Brock’s Pick: Tampa Bay
San Francisco 49ers (0-0) at Dallas Cowboys (0-0)
The Cowboys might have the worst defense in the NFL. Scratch that, they Cowboys do have the worst defense in the NFL. I’m expecting this game to be a blowout.
Adam’s Pick: San Francisco
I think the 49ers are in for a rough start to the beginning of this season, and will really miss Navarro Bowman and Aldon Smith. I’ll probably regret this, but…
Brock’s Pick: Dallas
Indianapolis Colts (0-0) at Denver Broncos (0-0)
Peyton Manning is going to lay a beat down on his former team. They don’t make painkillers strong enough to make Jim Irsay not feel this one.
Adam’s Pick: Denver
Last time was fun. I think Peyton and Company will want revenge for the 2013 loss to Indianapolis, and to start the season on the right foot after a very disappointing effort last February.
Brock’s Pick: Denver
New York Giants (0-0) at Detroit Lions (0-0)
The Giants don’t have enough on offense to score points with the Lions. I can see this one getting out of hand early.
Adam’s Pick: Detroit
There is an outside shot that 7 interceptions are thrown in this game. I believe the Lions are stronger on both sides of the ball, and they have home-field advantage. While Detroit is fond of harming itself in games, so is New York.
Brock’s Pick: Detroit
San Diego Chargers (0-0) at Arizona Cardinals (0-0)
I’m reluctantly picking the Cardinals because they have the better team on paper. But if Carson Palmer looks as awful in this game as he has at times this preseason, the Cardinals will lose.
Adam’s Pick: Arizona
The Cardinals had a friendly schedule down the stretch in 2013, and in my opinion are paper tigers. Karlos Dansby is gone to Cleveland; All-Pro Daryl Washington is gone to marijuana; Darnell Dockett is gone to injury. Meanwhile, Philip Rivers looked great in 2013 under new head coach Mike McCoy, and his second-favorite target, Keenan Allen, is not a rookie anymore.
Brock’s Pick: San Diego