NFL Open Thread: Week 1

We’re back to the regular season of the NFL, which means I get to have my Sunday football posts again in 2009.  The first week got off to a great start, as the Steelers jumped to the lead in the AFC … because they played on Thursday, which I almost missed until someone on Twitter wondered why I was so quiet about the game.  I tuned in during the second half and watched Pittsburgh beat Tennessee in overtime, 13-10.  Hopefully, the defending Super Bowl champs won’t make the rest of the season so … exciting.

I’ve spent the last few weeks watching Hard Knocks on HBO, the show that follows one team through training camp.  This season, HBO chose the Cincinnati Bengals, Steeler rivals, which made it difficult for me to cheer for anyone in that camp.  It’s a good show, though, and if nothing else it reminded me why I dislike Chad Johnson Ochocinco.  Cincinnati plays Denver today, and I’ll take Denver for lots of reasons, including divisional rivalry.

Other key games today:

  • Minnesota at Cleveland – The Browns are about as hapless as anything south of Detroit.   They’ll start Brady Quinn, the former Notre Dame star, but don’t expect Quinn to rescue the Browns from a tough Vikings defense.  Brett Favre could take half of this game off, too, and the Vikes should still clobber the Browns.  Big question – will the Browns score their first TD in regular play since last November?  Big answer: No.  Vikes, 24-6.
  • Philadelphia at Carolina – Donovan McNabb returns, with Michael Vick as backup.  Carolina will be tough this year, but so will Philly.  I’d guess at a close game, with some decent scoring.  Philly wins, 30-24, with the Panther home crowd barking at Vick about 600,000 times.
  • Washington at the NY Giants – A grudge game so early in the season?  Giants win this one fairly easily.  Eli Manning will have a big game, 28-14.
  • San Diego at Oakland – Oakland sold out its Monday night game, which is great for television viewers in the bay area, since they can watch San Diego thrash them from the comfort of their own living rooms.  35-17, San Diego.
  • Detroit at New Orleans – Can Detroit win its first game in almost two years on the road against the Saints?  They don’t have a prayer.  27-10, New Orleans.