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Rine's Pro Picks, Week 1

September 5, 2012
The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

Tonight

Dallas 23, N.Y. Giants 20

As the defending champs, the Giants get to open their season at home in front of a national TV audience. Just too bad Eli Manning and crew have to do it against DeMarcus Ware and company. I'm certainly not sold on the Cowboys, but New York is always up and down.

Sunday

Chicago 26, Indianapolis 14

These ones count, so we'll know soon enough how ready Andrew Luck is. It was just preseason, but Luck did look pretty poised and confident. It's a whole different game though, when Julius Peppers, Lance Briggs and Brian Urlacher are breathing down your neck.

Minnesota 30, Jacksonville 12

Maurice Jones Drew and Adrian Peterson will both be there, but will either make an impact? MJD held out all preseason and AD is coming of a gruesome knee injury and is a game-time decision. The difference is, the Vikings have other players.

Houston 36, Miami 10

Something stinks in Miami, and it's the fish's owner. At least it seems that way. How many big-time free agents did Stephen Ross strike out on? Matt Schaub is back from injury and the Texans figure to again have one of the better defenses in the league.

New England 24, Tennessee 14

I really want this to be my upset special for this week, but fortunately I know better. I have all the respect in the world for the Patriots, but that doesn't mean I have to like them. That being said, look for a big day running the football from New England.

New Orleans 31, Washington 17

How much will the bounty fallout affect the Saints? It could be considerable given that Jonathan Vilma is arguably the team's best defender, but it won't matter in this game. RGIII is going to be a good one, but he doesn't have the necessary weapons needed.

Atlanta 23, Kansas City 21

This is a tough opener for the Falcons, who must travel to one of the harder stadiums to leave with a victory. Atlanta, and QB Matt Ryan in particular, seemed to really be clicking in the preseason. Julio Jones may be the breakout star of the season in the league.

Buffalo 16, N.Y. Jets 13

How many interceptions until Tim Tebow replaces Mark Sanchez at QB? Well, there's an old saying that goes like this: If you have two quarterbacks, you don't have any. The Jets are a mess right now so this will be my upset special.

Detroit 37, St. Louis 20

The Rams are getting there, but it hasn't quite come together. Ironically, they're probably the Lions of about three seasons ago. Detroit is loaded at the skill positions and Matt Stafford is already coming off a season in which he threw for 5,000-plus yards and 41 scores.

Philadelphia 25, Cleveland 3

Oh, Cleveland. Sometimes I almost feel sorry for you, but not quite. Your No. 1 pick is just now coming back from an injury and your 29-year-old savior of a rookie quarterback looks more confused than the man he replaced, Colt McCoy, after he got rung up by James Harrison. Another long season awaits by the lake.

Seattle 7, Arizona 6

Arizona spent $63 million two years ago to sign Kevin Kolb, then watched as he struggled through his first season and then was beaten out in camp for the starting job by somebody named John Skelton. It may as well be former Ohio State guard Jamie Skelton. The Seahawks are in the same boat as they signed Matt Flynn to a big deal, yet rookie Russell Wilson will start.

San Francisco 27, Green Bay 21

A really good football team is going to be 0-1 after this one. And I'm going to go with the hot hand. I like what the 49ers have done in terms of bringing in some talent - Mario Mannigham, Randy Moss and Brandon Jacobs - to make their offense more balanced. San Francisco could represent the NFC in the Super Bowl.

Carolina 20, Tampa Bay 14

Two vastly improved teams, I believe. In the case of the Buccaneers, things couldn't be any worse. They've brought in a new coach (Greg Schiano) and a new receiver (Vincent Jackson) but still don't have enough to upend Cam Newton, Steve Smith and the Panthers.

Pittsburgh 27, Denver 10

I absolutely love the fact Peyton Manning is coming back against Pittsburgh. It's no secret that I am no Manning fan. In fact, I think he's one of the most overrated players of all-time. Stats are nice, but what do you do in the playoffs? Anyway, the Steelers are going to throw it early and often.

Monday

Baltimore 9, Cincinnati 6

If ever there was a way to have both teams lose a game, I may just pick this one. In any event, I like what the Bengals have done with Andy Dalton. He's not flashy, but gets the job done. It's been a long time since Cincinnati has put together back-to-back playoff seasons.

San Diego 23, Oakland 12

Haven't heard too awful many 'experts' picking the Chargers to go to the Super Bowl this season. Perhaps they have finally learned. The Raiders? I'm not sure anyone - including themselves - really understands what direction they're going. They change coaches and QBs nearly every year.

Shawn Rine can be reached via e-mail at Rine@theintelligencer.net

 
 

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