This week's promo email from the Eagles opened with:
A new era of Eagles football gets underway as Kevin Kolb takes over the reins of this young, but experienced team.
I'll say -- in the past two years, Big Red has shed the 3 long-time leaders of the team (Donovan McNabb, Brian Westbrook, and Brian Dawkins, for those of you who haven't been paying attention). Who will step up? It remains to be seen. But the thing about the start of a new era is that it's generally rough going. Case in point? Our opponents on Sunday, the Packers.
Rodgers is where K2 will be in a few years (given the patience of Philadelphia fans, I hope it's a VERY few years for his sake), but he's not there now. If you recall, in 2008 (Rodgers first year of starting after warming the bench behind Brett Favre for 3 years), the Packers went 6-10. I'm calling the Eagles to go 6-10 this year. Coincidence? Well, yeah, I just looked that up right now. But still.
Last year, if you'll recall, the Packers went 11-5, secured a playoff spot, and...well, they lost to the Cardinals, but it was a barn burner of a game (51-45, to refresh your memory).
I expect a similar trajectory for the new Eagles. Which, seeing as they're playing a team I think could possibly go all the way this year, adds up to an opening week loss in my book.
Around the rest of the NFL...
Is it dumb for me to keep complaining when the NFL hosts major events in New Orleans that are accompanied by music that DON'T feature any New Orleans musicians? Probably, but it's not going to stop me. At least Trombone Shorty and Kermit Ruffins got on stage and they had some Social Aid & Pleasure Club guys up there too.
Moving on, I'll be making these picks based on little more than how I think the teams are likely to fare overall this season, based on little more than what they looked like last year, what I know about how the team changed in the off-season (partial information at best), and instinct. In other words, this is going to be a TOTAL crap shoot.
Vikings at Saints: Is there ANY way the defending champions lose the opener of the entire season in their own house, one of the most hostile fields in the entire NFL to opposing teams? No sir, there is not. I'm actually hoping that someone will literally rip off one of Brett Favre's legs, although it seems doubtful. But I can hope.
Browns at Buccaneers: Wow. Worst Game of the Week. No contest. The Bucs will win, though.
Dolphins at Bills: Dolphins. Also, I just checked out the Bills' roster on their website. Who the hell are all those guys? I seriously recognize about three names, and one of them is the kicker (Rian Lindell, if you're wondering).
Bengals at Patriots: Bengals. TO hasn't had enough time to destroy the team. Yet.
Colts at Texans: Texans. I picked you to win the division. Don't let me down, boys.
Broncos at Jaguars: The Broncos are a middling-good team. The Jags are a middling-bad team. But they play in a tougher division. I think Broncos, though.
Falcons at Steelers: It seems crazy, but I'm calling the Falcons. Even if Big Ben were back, I'd probably still be calling Falcons, who I think are going to be pretty damn good this year.
Raiders at Titans: Raiders. Just because I like Jason Campbell and wish him well. And they have to be better this year, right? They can hardly be worse.
Panthers at Giants: I don't think either of these teams are going to be much good this year. I'll call Panthers, just because I always wish ill on other NFC East teams, but really I don't know about this game.
Lions at Bears: Neither of these teams are going to be much good either, and I'm calling Lions because Matthew Stafford is a stud and Jay Cutler is a whiny bitch.
Cardinals at Rams: The Cardinals are officially a wreck. So are the Rams. But at least the Cards have recent memory of being good. Of course, all the guys who were the good ones are retired or playing for other teams now, except poor Fitz, who now has no one to throw to him. What a waste. Rams.
49ers at Seahawks: 49ers. I'm definitely looking forward to another season of Mike Singletary. He's almost as entertaining on the sidelines as Rex Ryan.
Cowboys at Redskins: Redskins! DMac! Team of Destiny! Who's with me?!? Yeah, we all know - the Cowboys will win this one. I just hope rookie left tackle Trent Williams can keep the Cowboys from killing McNabb.
Ravens at Jets: This is going to be the BEST game of the week. THIS is why you need to get your popcorn ready. I think the Ravens win it, mostly because I think they might be ready to go all the way this year. But I actually intentionally refused to schedule any member meetings at the conference I'll
be attending for Monday night JUST so I can watch this game.
Chargers at Chiefs: Chargers.
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