Well, I’m already feeling pretty darned good today, after Notre Dame’s escape from Michigan State yesterday, beating them at home for the first time since 1993. The game looked like it would be a replay from last week’s stunning loss in Michigan, but fortunately the Irish blitz panicked the Spartan QB into a bad decision at the end. I’m feeling so fortunate that I’m going to go out on a limb and … predict that the Steelers can beat the Bears today. All right, it’s not so much of a limb, not after the Jay Cutler era began in Chicago with four interceptions against a good-not-great Green Bay defense. I’ll pick the Steelers on the road 27-10, with Troy Polamalu’s absence for Pittsburgh hurting less than Brian Urlacher’s for Chicago.
Other picks to delight, annoy, and amuse:
- Minnesota – Detroit: Will Detroit win a game this year? Probably, but not this one. Vikings 28-7 over the Lions.
- Cincinnati – Green Bay: I think Cincinnati will be better this year than last, but Green Bay’s tough. They’ll make it close, but the Packers should beat the Bengals, 24-21. Tough way to start for the Bengals, with two road games. Didn’t the NFL think about their season last year?
- NY Giants – Dallas: The home opener for the Cowboys in their brand-new stadium. I’m hoping the Giants shellack them there, but the Giants barely got by a mediocre Redskins last week after opening up a big early lead. I’ll pick Dallas here by a TD, 35-28, but this may be the best game of the day.
- Carolina – Atlanta: I thought Carolina and Jake Delhomme would have shaken off what happened in the playoffs last year, but instead they gave Philly an encore last week. Atlanta isn’t as good as Philly, but they won’t need to be if the Panthers play like they did at home in their opener. I’m going to pick Atlanta, 23-14.
- New England – NY Jets: Mark Sanchez was impressive in his first week, and he plays at home against the Patriots. The Pats barely beat the Bills at home last week, and it took a really boneheaded decision by the Bills kick returner to deliver it. Tom Brady may shake off the rust, but the Pats defense looked a little suspect, too. I’ll pick the Jets to win this one in a surprise, 27-21.
I forgot the Steelers widget last week, but I won’t forget it this week. What are your picks?
Update: I also forgot to mention that I was 6-0 last week with my picks. Can’t remember the last time that happened …
Update II: I bet Rick Moran, and he won. The Steelers blew two field goal attempts in the final quarter and lost by three. That’s not going to win championships. The Bears looked much better today; my hat’s off to Cutler, who looked as good today as he looked bad last week.