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Once Again It’s On 

After another long and weary spring and summer, fans of the National Football League can once again exhale knowing that America’s new favorite past time will once again be in full swing.  Teams have gone through the grueling process of training camp, as well as the preseason, and now the time has arrived to compete in four quarters of regular season action. While the preseason is used to assess talent, it is not indicative of how your team’s season will pan out. Let’s look at the 2008 Detroit Lions. They went 4-0 in preseason, but look at what happened in the season that counted, 0-16.  On the flipside, look at the turnaround season that Miami and Atlanta had in 2008. This teaches us that any team can become a phoenix and rise from the ashes that are the lower tiered teams of the league. As someone who has independently prognosticated games since 2002, I’ve learned to operate on my own football acumen. Going that route has helped me to maintain an over.500 record at season’s end. I want to thank the Take No Prisoners Sports and its creator Keith Madyun for allowing me the opportunity to display my game picking skills. ‘Nuff said…here we go:

Steelers over Titans– Last season, Pittsburgh fell short in giving Tennessee its first lost of the season. At the conclusion of that game, many Titans were seen desecrating Terrible Towels. Although the black & gold had the last laugh as Super Bowl 43 champions, would it be a total surprise if vengeance was on its brain?

Falcons over Dolphins– Previously, both teams were led to 11-5 records by rookie coaches. Expectations have risen for both, but I’ll give this one to Atlanta on the strength of home field advantage.

Ravens over Chiefs– Kansas City ushers in a new beginning with former Arizona offensive coordinator Todd Haley as its head coach. Don’t expect Baltimore to be so hospitable in welcoming him into this promotion.

Eagles over Panthers– Jake Delhomme’s battle with age and injury could spell the end of his term as Carolina’s starting quarterback. While Philly’s defense will feel the absences of the late Jimmy Johnson and Brian Dawkins, it will still operate under their fallen leader’s system so it’ll be business as usual.

Bengals over Broncos– Between the abrupt departure of Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall’s recent behavior, what hope does Denver have left? We know what a healthy Carson Palmer and Chad Johnson (I refuse to call him Ochocinco) can do, but keep an eye out for Cincinnati sleepers Cedric Benson and Chris Henry.

Vikings over Browns– Does Eric Mangini really think this guessing game of “Who’s the starting quarterback” is going to better Cleveland’s chances of beating Minnesota? Look for Adrian Peterson to have an amazing day in the office.

Texans over Jets– Mark Sanchez has played with poise  throughout the preseason. I’m looking for Houston’s defense to make life a little less comfortable for him behind center.

Jaguars over Colts– Last season, Jacksonville was bit with the injury bug which prevented the team from challenging for the AFC South crown. The Jags come into 2009 demanding respect. With the absence of Tony Dungy, is Indianapolis on the decline? Stay tuned!

Saints over Lions– New Orleans made key acquisitions to its defense in the offseason and while it’s questionable as to how well that side of the ball will do, you won’t have to second guess its offense. Detroit will have to wait another week for a regular season win.

Cowboys over Buccaneers– Of the two, Dallas seems to have more security with its defense. Besides, Tony Romo is at his best September through November.

49ers over Cardinals– Michael Crabtree’s sit out will hurt him more than it does San Francisco. Mike Singleraty will prove that as his team, specifically the defense, will make an opening game statement at the expense of the current NFC champions.

Redskins over Giants–  Although Washington’s defense can stand to generate more sacks and turnovers, I’ll go with its stability over New York’s receiving corps, who without Plaxico Burress and Amani Toomer, is in search of a new identity.Besides, washington is 1-4 in its last five trips to Giants stadium. I’d say it’s time for the tables to turn.

Seahawks over Rams– What a healthy Matt Hasselbeck and a revamped receiving corps, which includes TJ Houshmandzadeh, will do this season is going to be unreal.

Packers over Bears– I am a believer of Aaron Rodgers. Green Bay is going to make a legitimate case in vying for this season’s AFC North title. The jury is still out on Chicago. We’ll see how Jay Cutler adjust to a more physically defensive division.

Patriots over Bills– Yes, Buffalo added a quality receiver in Terrell Owens, but he won’t be enough to save his new  team from the onslaught that New England is going to bring. Brady’s back and teams are gonna get in trouble…Hey now hey nooow, Tom Brady’s back.

Chargers over Raiders– This could be the most lopsided game of the week. How Oakland continuously gets national television spots is beyond me.

 There’s week one as I see it TNP nation. Please keep in mind these picks are done for fun. I don’t encourage gambling, but if you do, you’re doing so at your own risk. Enjoy the games and we’ll do it again in week two.

Written by Antoine Hoffman

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