Marty’s Picks: Week 1

Marty Keane gives his take on how the start to the NFL season will go.


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Football is finally back, and so begins a new weekly column where I pick the winners of each NFL game. I’ll start by saying I have been picking teams for about 5 years now, and have experienced considerable success. People even turn to me in high stakes situations for my take on a game. That said, there is nothing harder than predicting the winners of NFL games. So please, bear with me, and don’t put your college funds on my picks… but if you do, I expect a small return.

Chiefs @ Patriots, 8:30 Thursday

The opening night of 2017 will feature the reigning champs, the unveiling of the new banner, and 70,000 Goodell clown towels, courtesy of Dave Portnoy, President of Barstool Sports. It will be an electric atmosphere with the New England Patriots feeling great. And why not? They have only gotten better this offseason, Kansas City Chiefs will be way overmatched on defense, and their conservative offense will fold when they can’t throw as they play from behind. Safe bet on the Brady and Co.

 Patriots 34, Chiefs 16

Jets @ Bills, 1:00 Sunday

It looks like Tyrod Taylor will be able to play Sunday after a concussion. Regardless, the Jets can’t run, pass, or block. They have  lost anyone of value, and their offense will be, simply, embarrassing. Despite an alright defense, they are not talented enough to hang with the a Bills team, who should be good enough to handle them.

Bills 24, Jets 6

Falcons @ Bears 1:00 Sunday

Another easy pick here. The Falcons’ offense is truly terrifying and the Bears aren’t complete or deep enough defensively to compete. Their only route to victory will be Jordan Howard, controlling the clock through steady runs, which isn’t that impossible. But Dan Quinn is a smart defensive coach who should prepare his team enough to handle that. Bears are simply a rebuilding team, in over their head here. Best shot would be to fall down 3-28, then I would like their odds.

Falcons 31, Bears 14

Ravens @ Bengals 1:00 Sunday

Tough game here between two teams with mixed expectations. When it comes down to it, though, the Ravens have been really hurt by injuries this preseason which will effect their progress, timing, chemistry and the other little things that win games. The Bengals’ solid defense, mixed with the return of AJ Green on offense, all point to a sweet home victory.

Bengals 23, Ravens 13

Steelers @ Browns 1:00 Sunday

This game is pretty much a repeat of the Falcons Bears game: an explosive offense vs a young team with a mild running game. Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown should tear up the Browns, and rookie QB Deshone Kizer will likely gift the Steelers a turnover or two.

Steelers 41, Browns 10

Cardinals @ Lions 1:00 Sunday

The Cardinals possess a defense that can be really stingy at their best, and after a full season of rest they should be there. However, the Lions were a playoff team last year, and are still tough. I like Detroit here because they’re at home, have the better quarterback, and enough talent too slow David Johnson enough to pull off the win.

Lions 23, Cardinals 21

Jaguars @ Texans 1:00 Sunday

I like everything about both these teams except their quarterbacks. But Blake Bortles is sure to be harassed by Houston’s scary, scary front 7. So as long as they win the turnover battle and play conservatively, the Texans should pull off the win. Also I expect them to play inspired for their hometown in light of the horrific effects of Hurricane Harvey. People forget how outside events, such as the hurricane, can empower teams to do well.

Texans 20, Jaguars 14

Buccaneers @ Dolphins 1:00 Sunday

Assuming this isn’t rescheduled, the Bucs are for real this year, though the Dolphins are no push over themselves. Jay Cutler will be a little rusty from his former mediocre self against a young, and stingy Tampa defense. The Dolphin’s zone running scheme will struggle against Gerald McCoy greatly. On the other side, Winston is set up to break out this year and will prove this so long as the ‘Fins defensive line doesn’t create too much disruption. The Buccaneer’s receivers should get the job done against a weak secondary.

Buccaneers 20, Dolphins 17

Raiders @ Titans 1:00 Sunday

Great game here. Derek Carr should do damage, but the Titans’ defense is solid and improved their secondary with Logan Ryan. Marcus Mariota is my dark horse MVP candidate with a new plethora of talented receivers, mixed with a top tier offensive line and Demarco Murray running strong. The Titans’ smash-mouth style should neutralize the Raiders’ pass rush and with home field advantage, I like Tennessee to start strong.

Titans 28, Raiders 24

Eagles @ Redskins 1:00 Sunday

Lots of hype around Carson Wentz and the Eagles this year. Good defense and a lot of new, talented, skills position players. The loss of offensive coordinator, Sean McVay, will hurt Kirk Cousins, and receivers Garcon and Jackson departing didn’t help either. Cousins will come back down to earth and Phili shows the city of Washington D. C. true leadership.

Eagles 27, Redskins 17

Colts @ Rams 4:05 Sunday

Indy brings in a depleted roster against a weaker Rams team that has just enough potential to make me like them. Goff is in a new system that made Kirk Cousins a star. With the talent of Todd Gurley and Sammy Watkins on offense, and the force that is Aaron Donald on defense, Rams will win at home.

Rams 17, Colts 10

Seahawks @ Packers 4:25 Sunday

This game is simply a toss up. But Aaron Rodgers is truly unbelievable. The Pack is at home against the Seahawk’s spectacular defense, but holes in the secondary against a premier pass attack spells trouble. Also Russell Wilson doesn’t have enough firepower without a strong run game.

Packers 21, Seahawks 20

Panthers @ 49ers 4:25 Sunday

I like Cam and the Panthers to bounce back from their Super Bowl hangover with an improved roster against an upstart San Fran team. The 49ers are just not good enough to hang with this team once they get rolling, due to a weak defense and weak offense that lacks a competent quarterback.

Panthers 31, 49ers 14

Giants @ Cowboys 8:30 Sunday

This game just got more intriguing now that Ezekiel Elliot is actually eligible to play. However the Cowboys lost pieces on their studded offensive line and I expect a sophomore slump from Dak Prescott against the G-Men’s stacked defense. Dallas’ secondary was decimated this offseason and they lost the leadership of all-pro Sean Lee, and Eli Manning will exploit them with Odell and newly acquired Brandon Marshall. Bet the Giants to steal a road game from the favored Cowboys.

Giants 31, Cowboys 21

Saints @ Vikings 7:10 Monday

Fun matchup here of the high powered Saints offense taking on the stingy Vikings defense. The difference maker here is Drew Brees’ tendency to play more human on the road. Also the Saints defense is terrible, which doesn’t help. Vikings have just enough talent on offense and hopefully Sam Bradford plays smart enough to secure a win.

Vikings 27, Saints 24

Chargers @ Broncos 10:20 Monday

We close out week 1 with Philip Rivers taking on the incredible Broncos defense. Between a decent receiving corp and a strong running game, the Chargers have a fighting chance at finding points. But despite a weak quarterback situation, someone on the Broncos offense will make the plays necessary to find more points as the Chargers defense trys to assert themselves. Interesting game, close call, but I’m going with the home favorite.

Broncos 21, Chargers 17