Our Week 1 picks remind us of Teri Hatcher's ample breasts: they're real, and they're spectacular.
We'll see if our luck holds out – it's certainly not skill. Especially here in Week 1, when sizing up teams is a large dose of guess work.
The battle of the two surprise teams of 2008 is one of the best match-ups of Week 1 2009. The Falcons will win, but not by more than a field goal.
Kansas City at Baltimore (-12.5)
The Ravens look like they'll be a dominant force in the NFL this year. The Chiefs look like ass. It's not usually reasonable to expect an NFL team to cover a two-touchdown spread, but we'll roll the dice with Baltimore in this one.
Baltimore 28, Kansas City 14
Philadelphia (-1.5) at Carolina
The Panthers, as we noted in our 2009 preview, are annually one of the toughest teams to dissect from year to year. The Eagles, meanwhile, could be a dominant team in 2009, provided their rebuilt offensive line can ward often defenders long enough to spring its talented slate of playmakers. We think they can.
Philadelphia 24, Carolina 20
Denver at Cincinnati (-4.5)
Wow, talk about a complete lack of respect for Denver and major concern over its mess of an offseason! The Broncos, who tied for the AFC West lead last year, are 4.5-point dogs against a team that went 4-11-1 last year. Granted, Cincy rolled (by their standards) over the second half of the year, with a 4-3-1 mark. But the schedule was so easy it slept with every guy on the basketball team. We'll take the Broncos in a snoozer.
Minnesota (-3.5) at Cleveland
Can we pick against the Vikings just for spite? No? OK, well, maybe not this week. The fact of the matter is that Brett Favre has had more retirements than Brady Quinn has had NFL starts (three). The Browns offense, which was pathetic last year, will struggle to move the ball against the tough Minnesota front. Look for the short Brett Favre Era in Lake Land to get off to a great start. (BTW, we heard the Favre-Quinn quip on ESPN Sunday ... good line, but we can't take credit for it.)
Minnesota 27, Cleveland 17
Jacksonville at Indy (-7.5)
The Indy victory machine keeps rumbling along in the Jim Caldwell Era and the CHFF officially launches the Jack Del Rio watch in J-Ville.
Indianapolis 27, Jacksonville 17
N.Y. Jets at Houston (-4.5)
The Jets fielded one of the league's worst pass defenses last year. The Texans, surprisingly, fielded one of the league's best passing attacks (second in YPA). This is a whole new year – and the Jets have a defensive specialist as their head coach. We'll count on the trends of last year continuing here in 2009 until proven otherwise (and changes do come quickly in the NFL), but the Texans will not cover the very generous spread.
Detroit at New Orleans (-12.5)
New coach. New quarterback. Same old Lions. Drew Brees passes for 790 yards against the Detroit defense(less).
New Orleans 31, Detroit 20
Dallas (-5.5) at Tampa Bay
The two most disappointing teams of 2008 meet up in a battle to get the ugly taste of last season out of their Gatorade bottles. Legendary DC Monte Kiffin has left Tampa for Rocky Top, but Cowboys QB Tony Romo still finds it hard to score easily against the Bucs D without his old binky, Terrell Owens.
San Francisco at Arizona (-6.5)
The 6.5 points is too generous for a team that will once again field a pathetic defense. But the Cardinals have plenty of firepower to hold off the 49ers at home.
Arizona 28, San Francisco 24
Washington at N.Y. Giants (-6.5)
Will Eli Manning prove to be the $93 million mistake in the Meadowlands? We'll know a lot more after today's Week 1 battle of Glamour Division rivals. Both defenses dominate, as the Redskins overcome a big spread and upset the Giants.
Washington 17, N.Y. Giants 16
St. Louis at Seattle (-8.5)
The 2008 Rams were one of the NFL's worst team in years, a fact overlooked thanks to the generosity of the 0-16 Lions. The Seahawks will see a rise back toward respectability this year, and it begins with a solid win over the Rams.
Chicago at Green Bay (-3.5)
We're so excited about this classic match-up that we might take up drinking just to calm our nerves. Aaron Rodgers proves that his 2008 season was no fluke and outguns Jay Cutler in a game that tells us the Pack is back.
Buffalo at New England (-10.5)
The last in a rare string of three double-digit favorites in the same week, the Patriots pummel the Bills behind 37 touchdown passes from Tom Brady. Frustrated Bills fans see the writing of another long season on the wall and go over Niagara Falls by the barrelful in a mass suicide.
New England 31, Buffalo 20
San Diego (-9.5) at Oakland
One of the AFC's best teams vs. one of the AFC's worst. The Chargers win easily – another double-digit victory for the week.