TULSA - Let me be the first to wish you good luck on picking the 2013 season.
You'll need it!
Just kidding! That's my attempt to open the season as a smart alec.
You should do just fine, as long as you take my advice about half the time, and forget what I say the other half. The trick is to figure out which half to believe and which half to forget!
One thing is for sure. Do not make your picks based on the pre-season.
I had people calling me after the Cowboys first pre-season game at the Hall of Fame game convinced the Cowboys looked good and should go all the way. Maybe it was because Tony Romo didn't play. That would give some folks reason for hope.
First, my picks for teams to surprise. Not win the Super Bowl mind you, but get close to the playoffs, maybe in the playoffs; Kansas City, Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Detroit.
There is no truth to the rumor NFL teams are going to tank to not go to the Super Bowl because the Farmers Almanac says there will be 18 inches of snow on the ground and 37 below zero temperatures for the big game at the Meadowlands.
Personally, I love cold weather for football. I hope it happens. Football is a fall and winter sport. I say have the next one in Green Bay!
To the picks for the opening week .
We begin with a beauty in Denver. This was supposed to be played in Baltimore since the defending Super Bowl champs are supposed to get the opener at home. But Buck Showalter of the Orioles wouldn't move the baseball game to a different day, and the two teams share a parking lot, so it was moved to Denver.
Peyton manning was upset the Joe Flacco poster was bigger than his outside Mile High Stadium, and had a fit, threatening to never do another Papa John's or Buick commercial, or another Direct TV rap. I say keep the Flacco poster up there. Eli was better in the rap video anyway (http://youtu.be/i2h8Ba723Bg).
Denver wins in a rematch of that game the Broncos blew last January. Remember that wide open Ravens receiver at the end of the game that won it? Denver wins it 35-23. By the way, how about Flacco admitting he had no idea what Ray Lewis was talking about in those pre-game war chants last season. You can see this game on Channel 2 Thursday night.
New England at Buffalo - Buffalo in a mild upset. Pats cursed for releasing Tim Tebow. 17-14 Bills.
Pittsburgh at Tennessee - Another upset. Pittsburgh running game has reached the pathetic stage. Titans 23-20.
Atlanta at New Orleans - Toughie. Falcons have the horses, but Brees has something to prove to start the year. Go Saints. No, go Falcons. Wait, go Saints. Hold on, go Falcons. Saints. Falcons. FALCONS by 10.
Tampa at New York Jets - Will someone please explain to me why so many network people care about the Jets QB situation? NOBODY CARES PEOPLE! Rex will be gone by mid-season. Sanchez will be gone sooner. New QB Smith has no idea what he's doing. Third-stringer Matt Simms will wind up being the QB. With that being said, Jets still beat lousy Bucs by 3.
Kansas City at Jax - KC begins its best season in years with a big win at toothless Jags. KC by 16.
Cincinnati at Chicago - Somebody suggested Jay Cutler is a new, kinder and gentler person now that he is married. Tell that to his teammates. Forget that. Bengals under the radar, and win in the windy city, by 10.
Miami at Cleveland - This game is a pick'em. Wish I didn't have to pick'em, but it's my job. Weeden and the Browns win in the sunshine, 17-10.
Seattle at Carolina - Does anybody know anything about Carolina except that Newton is the QB? Seattle gets it done with Wilson, 21-20.
Minnesota at Detroit - Vikings seem to take forever to get started. Lions always start season as if they have something. Good test for both. Go Lions in home opener, 27-20.
Oakland at Indy - Love Luck. Go Colts 34-10.
Arizona at Rams - Does Sam finally have an offense? Maybe, even though horse Jackson is gone running the football. More weapons overall, and Cards stink. St. Louis by 4.
Green Bay at San Francisco - Game of the week. Unfortunately for Packers it doesn't snow yet up there in early September, although it did snow on me once when i was covering a high school football game up there in 1975. No lie. Snow flakes on Labor Day weekend. Didn't stick though. 49ers in a slugfest 45-44.
Giants at Dallas - Word is Jerry Jones' brain is only 40 years old, in his 70-year-old body. That's right. He said doctors took a scan of his brain and told him just that. Someone on the radio asked us how old was Jerry's brain when he drafted Quincy Carter. Good point. Maybe his brain was only 5-years-old back then, and his name was Benjamin Button. Giants have never lost in Jerry's World, so I have to stick with that. Eli and company 34-30.
Philly at Washington - Dr. Andrews says Griffin is okay to play. Why ask Shannahan. He's only the head coach. I know Dr. Andrews is good, but could he draw up a play of X's and O's? Washington by 4.
Houston at San Diego - By this time I will be totally worn out from the weekend football. Just a guess here. Texans by 3.
That is all. Have a great week. See you in the snow in the Meadowlands.
CONTESTS: Think you can pick a winner? Try our College Football Pickoff Contest (http://bit.ly/2013collegepix), or our NFL Picks Contest (http://bit.ly/2013nflpix) where you can match wits with Sports Director Big Al Jerkens.