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NFL Preview Week 1 – Kicking Off  Share

 07 September 2010

Ok, so I told a little fib when I said I’d tell you who is going to win the Super Bowl this week.  Let’s let the season progress a little before I go out on a limb and steer you wrong.  Instead I’m going to give you some things to think about in the upcoming first week of NFL football.  I don’t have the room or the brainpower to cover all the games, but here’s three that should generate some interest.
 
Thursday night – The First Game

The Minnesota Vikings will face the Super Bowl Champion New Orleans Saints in the first game of the season this Thursday night.  This first game has lots of story lines.  We’ll get to see how well the Saints are prepared for a second run to the Super Bowl.  They really haven’t lost many of their big name stars in the off-season to trades to other teams, so we should see a good team again.  Drew Brees, their quarterback, is one of the premier quarterbacks in the league and will look to get off to a good start.  At the same time, the Minnesota Vikings have one of the best defenses in the NFL.  The Vikings were essentially one play away from going to the Super Bowl last year, so you can bet they’d love to prove they should have been there.  Also, the Vikings will see the return of Brett Favre.  You’ll remember he was one of the players I mentioned you should keep track of.  You can read about that in my first NFL Preview.  The Vikings will also showcase Adrian Peterson, generally accepted as one of the top three running backs in the NFL today.  If nothing else, watch the game to see him run.  He’s sick.  In the end, I gotta go with the New Orleans Saints to win the game.  They’re playing at home and I think that will make the difference.

Sunday – The Cowboys vs. The Redskins

A major NFL rivalry is showcased Sunday night in primetime with the Dallas Cowboys traveling to Washington DC to face the Redskins.  Both teams are in the same division in the NFL (The National Football Conference’s (NFC) East Division).  The Cowboys have been plagued lately by flopping right before the play-offs, unable to make it very far despite their flush of talent.  This year, the Super Bowl will be played in Dallas’ new stadium, so you can bet they’d love to be in the game.  The Redskins, on the other hand, would just love to win some games.  Washington has struggled over the past few years.  Washingtonians have given just about every excuse as to why they haven’t been very good.  In my opinion it’s because their quarterback liked to throw the ball to the other team.  He’s gone now (they grabbed Donovan McNabb from the Philadelphia Eagles) and there is a new coach in Redskin land as well, Mike Shanahan.  Watch for Washington to try to prove they are back as a team to be reckoned with.  I’m a Shanahan fan, but it’s going to take some time.  Also, in late breaking news, Shanahan is looking to dump Albert Haynesworth, a big time defensive tackle who has been nothing but a headache for the new coach.  Rumors are circulating about a trade back to the Tennessee Titans, from whence he came, but we’ll see.  Shanahan is so down on Haynesworth (I don’t blame him) that he’s relegated him to second string for this first game.  In my opinion, Haynesworth epitomizes the saying, “there is no I in team, but there is a me.”  We’ve got a background article on Big Al and his drama you can check out.  All that being said, look for Dallas to come to town and win in a close game.
 

Monday Night Football – Are You Ready?

I still get excited when Hank Williams Jr. belts out the first few verses of Monday Night Football’s (MNF) theme song (watch the first part of the game and you’ll see it.  There are cheerleaders here, as well).  Whoever invented MNF is a genius.  Sure, if you’re on the east coast, you get like 15 minutes of sleep if you stay up till the end of the game, but Americans still watch in droves.  The NFL goes to great lengths to schedule interesting match ups on Monday Night (no, its not an accident of scheduling Karma that pits teams on Monday night vs. Sundays).  Typically the first Monday of MNF is a double header.  In this year’s first game, the NFL pits the Baltimore Ravens against the New York Jets.  Although neither team is a lock to make the play-offs, the Jets are interesting because they have been featured in HBO’s Hard Knocks, a show where cameras are let into the Jets’ off-season program.  It has been wildly popular and the Jets are the ideal team to draw folks to watch on Monday night.  The Jets’ quarterback has struggled in the pre-season where the Ravens’ quarterback has been sharp.  Baltimore should come out on top.  The other game of the night doesn’t start until 10:15 at night.  That really means 10:30 or 10:45.  The Chargers of San Diego are playing the Kansas City Chiefs.  You know, there is a reason the game is pushed off until 10:15.  The first reason is that folks in California can watch their Chargers at more of a normal time Monday (7:15 PM west coast time).  The second reason is that the Chiefs are so bad that only Chiefs fans will watch them.  As a result, it doesn’t matter when the game is on.  The Chargers should win this game easily. 
 
One Liner:  “Well, now that football is back on, there should be some more room in the pews at church.” Referring to the folks that blow off Sunday services in favor of NFL pre-game shows and the games that start a little early.
 
Send comments to: Chris@notasportsguy.com

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