NFC Editor Russ Loede’s Week One NFL Picks

New Orleans at Green Bay (-5) – Season starts off at 1-0

SUNDAY

Philadelphia (-4) at St. Louis – Michael Vick on the fast Edwards Jones surface will make Rams defenders look like they’re playing on skates.  Nnamdi Asomugha will play Charles Woodson role for Eagles as they frustrate Sam Bradford.  LeSean McCoy is a lock for over 125 yards on the ground.  Philadelphia 37 St. Louis 26

Buffalo at Kansas City (-5.5) – Matt Cassel will play, no concerns there at quarterback for the Chiefs.  Loss of tight end Tony Moeaki for the season stings, however, Dexter McCluster will take his touches, which he’s worthy of doing so.  I don’t see how the Bills will contain Tamba Hali from getting to Ryan Fitzpatrick.  As for Jamaal Charles, an MVP candidate, good luck to George Edwards’ gang trying to slow down one of the league’s most electrifying and dazzling playmakers.  Kansas City 34 Buffalo 23

Atlanta at Chicago (+2.5) – Bears beat Falcons by final of 23-17.

Detroit at Tampa Bay (-1.5) – Josh Freeman is a rising star.  A healthier Arrelious Benn will help in the process, especially against a lackluster Lions secondary on Sunday.  Aqib Talib against Calvin Johnson is as good as it gets.  Tampa’s ability to convert short-yardage situations will be the difference in this NFC clash.  Tampa Bay 20 Detroit 16

Tennessee (+1.5) at Jacksonville – Matt Hasselbeck vs. Luke McCown.  Enough said.  Oh, and Chris Johnson got paid!  Tennessee 24 Jacksonville 10

Cincinnati (+6.5) at Cleveland – Andy Dalton to A.J. Green looks promising, yet, the potential to upset the Browns on the road will come down to Cedric Benson’s effectiveness.  Give me the Bengals to cover because I don’t see enough big plays by Colt’s kids to separate Cleveland by more than seven points from Cincy.  Cleveland 21 Cincinnati 17

Pittsburgh at Baltimore (-1.5) – A couple of key Ed Reed picks will engineer a Ravens revenge victory.  Plus, Ray Rice will be a significant threat to help the home team control the clock and prolong drives.  Ray Lewis’ last home opener?  I have a feeling Haloti Ngata is going to flatten Big Ben on more than one occasion.  Baltimore 23 Pittsburgh 19

Indianapolis (+8.5) at Houston – Going out on a limb to say Collins protects the football and a healthy Addai leads the way behind a revamped offensive line.  Foster being an iffy play impacts game tremendously.  Sensing something “funny” about this contest in Houston.  Furthermore, I have a hunch that Dwight Freeney puts on a clinic.  Houston 22 Indianapolis 21

New York Giants at (UPSET) Washington (+3) – The Giants are the better, more talented team between them and ‘Skins.  However, they’re also the most injured team in the league.  Coughlin’s crew finishes with more wins in 2011, yet, I have Grossman’s gang notching an upset in the Nation’s Capital.  Big believer in Jim Haslett’s D, along with Hightower-Torain combo.  Washington’s stellar bookend tackles keeps dynamic duo of Tuck/Pierre-Paul under wraps.  NFC East fights are hard to predict; so I side with the host.  Washington 24 New York Giants 20

Minnesota at (LOCK) San Diego (-8.5) –  Chargers reverse the trend of getting off to a sluggish start with a thoroughly convincing victory over Vikings.  Rivers connects on deep jump balls to Vincent Jackson and Malcom Floyd, helping Bolts flip the script.  In a pattern to follow; San Diego feasts at home, while dropping the ball away from Qualcomm.  San Diego 31 Minnesota 16

Carolina (+7) at Arizona – How are the Cards a seven-point favorite?  Rookie Cam Newton on the road?  I’m a huge Cam supporter and believe he does well in his pro debut under center.  People forget Steve Smith can still play.  It’s going to take time for Arizona to put away Carolina, who narrowly loses on last-second Feely field goal.  Arizona 25 Carolina 24

Seattle (+5.5) at San Francisco – 49ers will win the NFC West.  Book it.  But I don’t think Jim Harbaugh defeats his college foe Pete Carroll so easily, like he did at Stanford when Carroll patrolled the sidelines at USC.  San Francisco 17 Seattle 13

SUNDAY NIGHT

Dallas (+5.5) at New York Jets – Taking the points.  Tony Romo displays a series of intense improvisational acts to silence Jets pass rush.  Felix Jones, DeMarco aid in aerial attack as Cowboys take Rex’s renegades down to the wire in a classic.  Contest will come down to last play, a la Dallas-Washington in Week one on Sunday night.  New York Jets 27 Dallas 23

MONDAY NIGHT

New England (-7) at Miami – AFC East rivals duke it out in what will be a scene for a Tom Brady masterpiece in prime time.  Hernandez-Gronkowski will put their stamp on game.  Danny Woodhead makes noise, while Patriots defense dominates Henne.  New England 30 Miami 15

Oakland at Denver (-3) – Kyle Orton is relishing a Nnamdi-less Raiders secondary.  Brandon Lloyd is licking his chops.  Knowshon Moreno quiets skeptics with a performance that brings us back to his impressive days at Georgia.  Elvis Dumervil, Von Miller pick up two sacks apiece.  Denver 33 Oakland 22


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