Hello everyone, and welcome to the 2014 edition of the Hump Day NFL Pick'em!
We had a lot of fun doing last year's contest, so we are back for a second round. Only this time, we have teamed up with Redskins' team sponsor NRG and they have been gracious enough to provide the prize each week!
This year, the only rule change will be that you will only be playing against each other, instead of competing against me as well. If I recall correctly, this is really good news for all of you as I was fairly dominant last season. We are thrilled to be back and we hope you'll come along with us. Here we go!
For those of you who are new to our game, I state the rules:
This is a weekly contest in which I will make my game picks each Wednesday and invite you, the loyal Hogs Haven readers, to make your own picks in the comments section.
I will incorporate the spread as determined by Las Vegas the Tuesday before the games and you can earn 1 point for each correct choice. I will add up the points at the end of each week, and the winner will earn a fabulous prize, courtesy of NRG, that will then be mailed to them. If there are multiple contestants tied for the lead, there will be a drawing to determine the overall winner. There will only be ten contestants, so the first ten responses will get in.
Each week the prize will change, and this year (unlike last year), a prize will be given out every single week since you are now only competing against each other and not me. Simple right??
Here are my picks for this week:
Green Bay Packers (+6) at Seattle Seahawks: The team who won the 2013 Vince Lombardi trophy starts their season against the team he famously coached to two Super Bowl wins. You have to believe if he were alive today, he would say something wise that really fit the moment, like "They actually put a team in Seattle?" Pick: Seahawks (-6)
New Orleans Saints (-3) at Atlanta Falcons: Saints wide receiver/running back/offensive threat/my-rookie-of-the-year-pick/my-hero Brandin Cooks will begin his reign of terror in the NFL in this game. Buckle up friends. Pick:
Brandin Cooks Saints (-3)
Minnesota Vikings (+4) at St. Louis Rams: For my money, this is the best matchup of the week. Of course, I don't make a lot. Pick: Rams (-4)
Cleveland Browns (+6.5) at Pittsburgh Steelers: The NFL is instituting a ten second delay on all Browns games in the likely event backup quarterback Johnny Manziel gets upset. Pick: Steelers (-6.5)
Jacksonville Jaguars (+10) at Philadelphia Eagles: Some Jaguars players were disappointed to learn that head coach Gus Bradley admitted to the press they've got their eye on 2015 and the next 16 games will be an evaluation period. Pick: Eagles (-10)
Oakland Raiders (+5) at New York Jets: The Raiders are going with Derek Carr over Matt Schaub as their starting quarterback. It reminds me of that time at dinner I went with peas over the vegetable medley. Pick: Jets (-5)
Cincinnati Bengals (+1.5) at Baltimore Ravens: The Ravens will have to play their first two games without running back Ray Rice. The Bengals will have to play 16 games without offensive genius/current Redskins head coach Jay Gruden. Pick: Ravens (-1.5)
Buffalo Bills (+6.5) at Chicago Bears: No worries this year, Buffalo fans. The Bills felt so good about the quarterback position, they pulled ex-Cowboy Kyle Orton out of retirement to back up EJ Manuel and made him the richest backup in the league. Pick: Bears (-6.5)
Washington Redskins (+2.5) at Houston Texans: The Redskins are getting 2.5 points on the road against the Texans, who are either starting Ryan Fitzpatrick or Ryan Mallett at quarterback. In other news, Las Vegas doesn't think much of the Redskins. Pick: Redskins (+2.5)
Tennessee Titans (+4) at Kansas City Chiefs: The Titans signed kicker Ryan Succop on Monday, just days after he had been released by the Chiefs. Many feel it was just a ploy to get all of the Chiefs super-secret special teams plays before Sunday. That happens in the NFL from time to time, but all of the selfies Succop has been sending to Chiefs coach Andy Reid of he and Titans coaches laughing and having fun in the meeting room seem inappropriate. Pick: Chiefs (-4)
New England Patriots (-4.5) at Miami Dolphins: Last year's Hump Day Team of Destiny, the Miami Dolphins, will be the unfortunate first victims of the Patriots, who are primed for battle and better than ever after sharing a practice field with the Redskins for a few days back in the preseason. Pick: Patriots (-4.5)
Carolina Panthers (+1) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers: The Buccaneers are going through that experimental time in their franchise with Josh McCown at quarterback and alarm clock numbers on their jerseys. We've all gone through it. Pick: Panthers (+1)
San Francisco 49ers (-5) at Dallas Cowboys: After being spurned by Kyle Orton due to his "retirement" and having passed on Johnny Manziel in the draft, the Cowboys need Tony Romo to stay healthy to have any chance this season. On the a side note, the NFL has already started pre-production on "Draft Day 2, Jerry's Revenge" in which (spoiler alert) there is a dramatic slow motion scene where Jones is shown pushing over everyone in his war room to get the Jameis Winston card up to the podium. Pick: 49ers (-5)
Indianapolis Colts (+7.5) at Denver Broncos: Luckily for the Colts, it's safe to say Peyton Manning put all of his frustrations from losing the Super Bowl into his offseason hard core rap video. Otherwise, this one would have gotten really ugly. Pick: Broncos (-7.5)
New York Giants (+5) at Detroit Lions: In the first of two Monday Night games, Eli Manning and crew head to Detroit. Several Giant players were saddened this week when they overheard head coach Tom Coughlin rehearsing his post-game "Let's just put this game behind us" speech. Pick: Lions (-5)
San Diego Chargers (+3) at Arizona Cardinals: Two things to expect in this game: 1) Patrick Peterson will put on a dominating performance. 2) I will fall asleep on my couch watching at some point in the third quarter. Pick: Cardinals (-3)
So there are my Week 1 picks. The winner this week will have this fabulous prize to look forward to, courtesy of NRG:
That's right - a football signed by everyone's favorite running back, Alfred Morris!
I will announce this week's winner next Wednesday on the next Hump Day post.