Woohoo! Bring on the regular season! I got my new plasma panel right after the Super Bowl last winter, so Thursday night will be the first real NFL game on that sweet screen. NO vs. IND, at that! It should be more fun than my Lions' first game-two bad teams, but the Raiders' defense still makes it a bad matchup for the good (so to speak) guys.
There's still a little time to join one or both of the HTF pick 'em leagues listed above. The ESPN Pigskin Pick 'em league is Home Theater Forum and the password is OAR. It's a prime opportunity to feed the reigning (or should I say perennial?) champion some humble pie.
He ain't going to play this season regardless, unless 3 guys get injured and last year's bad line play aside, it isn't likely.
I have said for years I don't like the NFL system for rookie wages because you give so much money to guys who have done nothing, and if your top pick turns out to be a bust...well then you're back picking high, spending big money on another "Phenom" and a series of those can eventually screw up your salary cap.
That's why I appreciated the teams stance even if it made them look inept for having the top pick and not getting him signed on time. Sure, its better that they sign him even before the draft, but with him missing camp, the good thing is now there will be less pressure for the team to play him year one.
BTW, I'm convinced the Raiders line will cut their sack totals by at least 50% this year if for no other reason than they're not using the 7 step rop and QB's aren't instructed to hold the ball until guys get open. Yeah, last year's coaching staff was really, really bad.
While I will grant you that Russell has not faced an NFL quality pass rush, this is in the teams best interest. You have freaking McCown starting and Culpepper is not the answer. I see a baptism by fire for Russell mid-season, or more likely, being thrown out in the deep end of the pool before you know how to swim. Personally I loved him at LSU but this is the NFL.
I have to agree with Casey on Russell -- he doesn't see the field this season except in mop-up duty unless there are injuries at QB. He missed the entire preseason, and as the #3 QB will see very little practice time during the regular season. There just isn't the time available for him to get prepared to start. He missed his opportunity for this season when he missed all of training camp.
Maybe that will be the best thing for him. He'll be able to observe the action and learn from it without getting the stuffing knocked out of him.
Edit: I forgot there is a game tonight. I'll be conservative and take the Colts.
I haven't really thought out how teams will finish this year so I'll wait until later in the week to make my guesses. The only prediction I will make right now is that the Pats will not win it all this year.
I think the Saints are going to have a great year and they could win it tonight, but at home I think Indy holds the advantage as long as they aren't too distracted by that new banner hanging from the rafters.
Week 1 Picks Indy over New Orleans Denver over Buffalo Cleveland over Pittsburgh Philly over Green Bay Kansas City over Houston Jacksonville over Tennessee Minnesota over Atlanta Jets over New England St. Louis over Carolina Miami over Washington Detroit over Oakland Chicago over San Diego Seattle over Tampa Giants over Dallas Cincy over Baltimore Arizona over San Francisco
I too was surprised at the Saints lack of production after halftime. Maybe that is a testament to the Colts D who really showed their stuff in last season's playoffs. I really thought the Saints had a lot of weapons, but 31-0 in the second half !??! Goes to show, preseason doesn't prove shit. Also, I think the AFC is still far superior to the NFC. ([sarcasm]big surprise![/sarcasm]
And how about that Colts schedule...no real test until November...NOVEMBER ! (hosting the Pats) and they finish the season with @Oakland, Houston and Tennesse at home ! I realize the Colts went 9-0 to start last season....they will definitely get a bye this year.
P.S. Speaking of Raider QBs....I can't believe Tuiasosopo is #3 in New York ?!?!? WTF ? He sucked, for all time, in Oakland. I dont care how well he did in Washington !
Didn't the Saints have a poor record season before last? The Saints wouldn't be the first team to have a great year that was out of character for the team. I'm not convinced they are for real just yet.