Update: Shoot, I forgot to mention Louisville beating Middle Tennessee tonight, just for the record. Last week, I correctly stuck a "7" in front of my prediction of a double-digit point total for the Cardinals. I'm less bullish this week: They'll put up a number in the 60s. Full CFB preview/picks tomorrow.
The new NFL season is here. Two words: Thank god. (This KSK post just about sums it up.)
How can you not love the Opening Night matchup: Colts-Saints. The "finally" team coming off a championship season against a franchise considered the NFL's most historically hapless, but now finds itself as the hot pick to win the NFC and get to the Super Bowl.
For those of you who were paying attention a year ago (or heard me mention it 100 times in January and February), last season I made my Greatest Pick Ever: Predicting the Colts would beat the Bears in the Super Bowl... back in August 2006.
Now, that qualifies me to have one year – the immediate following year – when what I have to say has some credibility (even though we all know that if I got it exactly right a year ago, I won't come close this year).
Still, I wish I could be inspired about this as I was taking the Bears a year ago, but instead I'm sadly rather conventional. Here is my prediction for how the season will play out, through the Super Bowl:
Wild Cards: Vikings, 49ers (Eh, yes: I dis the Cowboys. Probably stupidly.)
NFC Champ: Saints
Wild Cards: Ravens, Broncos
AFC Champ: Patriots
Super Bowl: Pats over Saints
PSA: Don't forget to set your fantasy rosters.
Tonight: Colts-Saints. Chance to see my preseason pick for NFL MVP, Drew Brees, against the NFL's gold standard for QBs. One of the best Opening Games ever, based on a combination of team backstories and potential. I'll have my entire slate of NFL picks tomorrow (sign up for the Daily Quickie Readers Pick 'Em using the link on the right). For now, the pick is:
Saints over Colts.
(Other picks coming Friday.)
More NFL: So who, exactly, is the starting QB in
MLB Steroids: Investigators want to talk to 45 current and former players. Good luck with that, but that's a big number. (h/t: NY Times)
MLB Stud: A-Rod, who seemed like a candidate for a DNP-Injury, but once he was in the lineup, ended up hitting 2 HR... in the same inning.
MLB Stud Team: Braves, who rallied for 3 runs in the 9th to beat/stun the Phillies, in the type of loss that can crush a team with just a month to go in the season and every win mattering.
MLB Dud: Jake Peavy (rarity as a Dud!), who gave up 8 runs to the D'backs.
The Indians swept the Twins... again.
Vernon Wells' HR means that the Red Sox are 6 games up on the Yankees with 22 games to play. Not that the Yankees should be concerned with the division, as opposed to the Wild Card.
In the NL playoff race, the "good" Brewers are back. They clubbed a ton of home runs, have won 2 in a row and are a half-game behind the Cubs in the Central. The NL West might be underrated as a dramatic September storyline, but the NL Central is where the glamour action is.
Which AP pollsters put
NBA: Interesting rule tweak. The league will let refs use instant replay to review flagrant fouls and altercations. Smart.
PGA Playoffs Dud, Cont'd: Tiger and Ernie are joining Phil in dissing the Playoffs. Quite the success story for the PGA!