Thursday, September 9, 2010

Bolt Notes and Week 1 NFL Picks!

2010 may be the best chance the San Diego Chargers have had for winning the Super Bowl in years!

That’s right! You did just read that this year is the best opportunity for the San Diego Chargers to win a championship in several years. I know that doesn’t make sense to most of you and I also understand that I am a “homer” and try very hard to find the silver lining in what could be a very ominous cloud hanging over the Chargers teams. So work with me a minute, read what I have to say, and see if it makes any sense to you, and let me know.

The main basis for my argument for the Chargers success this year is wrapped up in one word…EXPECTATIONS! I know what you’re thinking. The Chargers are expected to win the weak AFC West and then lose again in the first round of the playoffs. Most experts don’t think they have the defense and have gone through too many changes to win it all (See Antonio Cromartie, Kassim Osgood, LaDainian Tomlinson, Jamal Williams, Marcus McNeill, Vincent Jackson etc.)
That argument is exactly what makes me think this could be the Bolt’s year. For each of the past four or five years, many “experts” have picked the Chargers to win it all. “The best team on paper” was often the reasoning. Huge expectations, but each year, the Bolts would win the West and then lose in the playoffs. Some losses were due to injury. Others losses were due to a lack of execution (see Nate Keading).

That being said, I believe the number one reason that none of those years ended with the Chargers driving through the streets of downtown San Diego beneath a shower of confetti was the Chargers believed the hype. You see, the Chargers are very physically talented, but mentally…not the sharpest tools in the shed. Of course that does not include all players, but many players totally bought into the idea that they had the best team and that other teams shouldn’t even bother flying out to San Diego to attempt to beat them. When all you think you need to do is throw your helmet on the field and have the other team give up, you are in for a rude awakening (see the New York Jets).
Yes, Chargers fans, this year there are very few experts picking the Chargers to go all the way. Yes, most say they will win the West, but I have only seen a couple pick them to win the Super Bowl. Maybe this is the year when they take the field with a killer instinct and go out to punish opponents, rather than tickle them into submission. Remember, every team in the NFL has talented players. It’s the teams that can look past their talent, look at the other team as a danger, and play their best every week that wins rings.

Well, every long journey begins with one step and the NFL is no different. Week one is upon us and it is time to look at the matchups and decide who will start the year in first place. Will the Colts get off to one of their unbelievable starts? Will the Chargers get off to yet another poor start? Will the Jets be able to keep all of their egos in check? Will the Saints be able to perform at the incredibly high level that they performed last year? I can’t wait to find out the answers to these and many other questions throughout the year. Enjoy the season everyone!

NFL Week 1 Picks!

Vikings 20 @ Saints 31

I just can’t imagine Favre being ready to play at the level he would need to in order to beat the Super Bowl champs. Brett will do well to make it through this one healthy.
Dolphins 24 @ Bills 13

Even with the distraction of losing “The Tuna”, I think the Dolphins are a much better team than rival Buffalo.

Lions 17 @ Bears 20

The obvious pick is the Bears at home, but I don’t think much of Cutler and I believe the Lions are on the rise. The question is, are the Lions quite there yet?

Raiders 20 @ Titans 27

In Oakland, I may have gone with the Raiders this week. I personally think they will make a nice step forward this year as long as they stay healthy. However, I don’t see it happening on the road against a great ground game in Tennessee.

Bengals 28 @ Patriots 31
Should be a great game, but I see Tom Terrific passing to Welker and keeping the football away from the dangerous receivers on the other side. The Bengals will also have to find a way to keep their two divas happy. That could be a challenge as the year goes on.

Panthers 13 @ Giants 27

Honestly, I’m not that excited about this one. Giants are decent and the Panthers are rebuilding.
Falcons 21 @ Steelers 13

This is tougher than it looks on paper. On one side, you have the Steelers without their top two quarterbacks. On the other side, you may have an overconfident Falcons team going up against a determined Steelers team that doesn’t want to go 0-4 out of the gate.
Browns 20 @ Bucs 10


Broncos 27 @ Jaguars 24

This is a hard one for me due to my obvious bias against the Broncos. Many experts are predicting a horrible year for the Broncos. The Jaguars aren’t expected to do much either. The Jags are at home, and it’s a long trip for Denver. Hmmmmm. Flip a coin here.

Colts 24 @ Texans 20

This could very well be the year that the Texans make the playoffs. Their defense looks very good and their offense racks up a lot of yards. I just don’t like them against Peyton and his Colts in Week 1. Give them a few weeks and then I might pick them for the upset.

49ers 41 @ Seahawks 13

This is Pete Carroll’s first game as head coach of the Seahawks. That could work for them or against them. Getting rid of their number one receiver the week before the first game? That has to be a negative. The Niners are for real this year. Expect some very good things from San Francisco.

Packers 31 @ Eagles 27

Eagles could very well win this game at home but I’m drinking the Packers cheese flavored Kool-Aide until they prove me wrong.

Cardinals 16 @ Rams 20

My upset of the week! I don’t think the Cardinals have a quarterback. Also the Rams are home and playing with nothing to lose.

Cowboys 27 @ Redskins 20

Great week 1 matchup! I’m not sold on the Cowboys are being this year’s champs, as some are. But! I think they get off to a hot start and beat the dysfunctional Redskins on the road.

Ravens 20 @ Jets 13

Love this game for Monday night! Looking for the Ravens to show that their offense is much improved and that their defense can still play with the big boys. The Jets have a lot of talent, but I’m not sold on Mark Sanchez and as a Chargers fan, I think we will see that Antonio Cromartie is more potent off the field than on.

Chargers 31 @ Chiefs 24

This is not the sure thing that many Chargers fans think it is. The Bolts have a lot of question marks that need to be answered. Is the offensive line going to be able to protect Philip Rivers? Can the defense stop the run? Can the defense put any pressure on the quarterback? Can Norv Turner get the Chargers to play in week 1 as if it were week 14?

As for the Chiefs, they seem to lack on defense, but their offense can run the football and given time Matt Cassell will hit open receivers.

Thanks for the read and let me know what you think! Personally, I hate picking week 1, but it’s more fun than not taking a chance.

Enjoy the games!

1 comment:

jon_464 said...

Hey Will!

Re the CAR-NYG game, both teams have issues coming in. The G-men have a banged-up O-line, and Matt Moore is in his first full year as the starter in Carolina. One thing that's NOT an issue is the Panthers' running game. I think the Panthers' defense will be better than a lot of people think, and they will take control of the game. CAR 24, NYG 17.