Only one out of our dozen writers picking games this year called the Cowboys upsetting the Giants on Wednesday Night. Before we give him too much credit for going out on a limb and foreseeing the surprise upset, I should point out he is a diehard Cowboys fan so I don’t think it would have mattered who they were playing-lol. Check out all of Gridiron Experts NFL Picks HERE but before you do get some insight into what some of the guys were thinking behind their NFL pigskin picks.
What’s your Upset of the week and why?
Mike Rodriguez: I like the Jaguars this week. The team has a great defense and spent most of the off-season revamping their offense to better prepare Blaine Gabbert. With MJD back and R. Jennings healthy are prepared to handle a bulk of the carries, the team in a way has twice the firepower it did from a season ago on the ground.
Zhan Mourning: I’m going with the Seahawks. The have a good defense and I think they will impress people offensively this season. Arizona is pretty much bad all around.
Matt Madsen: Buffalo over the Jets. Personally, I can’t believe the Jets are favored. Buffalo’s offense hasn’t been as crisp as I thought it might be going into the season, but Gang Green’s has been downright miserable. I can’t see the Jets scoring more than seven points, and that’s as rough as it gets in this league.
Chris Strong: I like the Seahawks over the Cardinals. Russell Wilson proved he could be a good offensive leader in preseason, while the Seattle defense looks pretty impressive.
Ryan Miller: I think recently named starter Russell Wilson gets it done against the Cardinals. It will be his first real game and there will be pressure but he is a good quarterback and will handle the job very well.
Jody Smith: Little known fact: The Jacksonville defense is pretty stout. They finished the 2011 season ranked 6th in the NFL. I think the get their new ownership it’s first win on the road against a bad Vikings team.
Brian Jerzak: I agree with Matt. The Bills defense is improved and the offense is explosive. The Jets defense will not be the defense from two years ago and the offense is going to stuggle all year. I guess Vegas has been watching too much ESPN.
Shawn Li: I am picking the Chiefs over the Falcons. While the Falcons are only getting -.5 pts, all of my colleagues have the Falcons in this game. Arrowhead is about the hardest stadium to play in and the chiefs are going to absolutely pound the falcons all game long.
Matt Lechner: San Francisco over Green Bay. Not sure the Packers defense is any better than it was last season. In early season games, I’ll give the advantage to the teams that hit the hardest and nobody hits harder than the Niners.
See all Gridiron Experts NFL Picks Here
Which game this Sunday has the toughest Point spread to predict?
Mike Rodriguez: Packers by 6.5 points. Something about the 49er’s makes me even want to pick the spoiler. I think this should be a great game that will come down to the wire.
Ken Reiser: Pittsburgh at Denver and Denver -2.5. I picked Pitt but this could either be a shootout or a defensive struggle. Both teams have a strong offense and defense. Tough to say which side will have the better day.
Zhan Mourning: Bears by 10.5. I could easily see the colts getting behind early but then catching up with Andrew Luck chucking the ball all over the place.
Robert James: The Seattle at Arizona spread is 3.5. I know the Cardinals are at home but their team is a mess, and to me Seattle could be one of the surprise teams this year. I just don’t see how Arizona if favored.
Matt Madsen: Truth is, a lot of them are tough. There are a lot of unknowns going into 2012, and we can’t answer all the questions just yet. I’ll agree with Zhan and say the Colts/Bears. Is Urlacher going to be 100-percent? Do the Bears need him to be? Will Luck turn this game on its head? Anything goes in this game.
Chris Strong: The Packers/49ers should be a battle royale. It’s hard to say who will come out the winner…even though I picked the Packers, but I think this could end up being a defensive game.
Jody Smith: Most Difficult for me was the Arizona/Seattle game. Easiest is the Ravens only being favored by 2.5 against an overrated Bengals team and the Texans over a horrible Miami squad.
Brian Jerzak: Packers by 6.5 points. This game matches up two of the best teams in the league. If Alex Smith can hold his own against a poor defense, 6.5 is a big number. If Smith stuggles, the Pack win by double digits.
Ryan Miller: The Packers game is for sure the toughest spread to pick. Good defense is hard to bet against but I just love the decision making and mobility of Aaron Rodgers. The Packers should get the win but beating the spread will be tough.
Shawn Li: The Bears at -10.5. Everyone is counting on Chicago being a high flying offense with Jay Cutler throwing to Brandon Marshall again. They are still a run-first team in my opinion and have looked terrible in the preseason. On the flip-side, the Colts have looked pretty good. It’s tough to know how well the Chicago D plays, but they are sure to test Andrew Luck’s young arm. -10.5 is a big number though, despite Indy’s 2 wins last year, I don’t see Chicago covering.
Matt Lechner: Eagles -8.5 is my pick. Yes, they’re playing Cleveland, but that’s a lot of points for a team that didn’t make the playoffs last season. I can see the Browns playing this game safe, especially with a rookie QB in Brandon Weeden, and keeping the game close.
Which one game was the hardest for you to pick?
Zhan Mourning: New England vs. Tennessee. Something tells me the Titans might cover and may even win. Pats have offensive line and secondary issues and the titans have what looks like an improved defense and possible shoot out style offense. It will be interesting to say the least.
Chris Strong: The 49ers/ Packers matchup was a difficult one to call. Even though I picked the Packers to win because I’m a fan, I still couldn’t help thinking that the 49ers could spoil the 2012 opener at Lambeau. I guess we will see who will prevail this weekend.
Brian Jerzak: Jags/Vikings – whenever you put two bad teams together, it is impossible to predict what is going to happen. You have to figure out not who is better, but who will make the least mistakes.
Ryan Miller: The hardest game for me to pick was the Steelers and Broncos. These two teams match up rather decently and both have questions. I think Pittsburgh will get it done but Manning will put up a good fight and a tough Broncos defense won’t make it any easier for Big Ben and the Steelers.
Matt Lechner: I agree with Brian, Vikings/Jags. Both have second-year QBs who are looking to show they belong in the NFL, both have star RBs that won’t see a lot of action and both have defenses that have looked non-existent at times. They are essentially the same team entering Sunday’s game. Too many wildcards to get a good feel for this one.