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  • Schrager predicts Rams lose to Squawks by 25 points ..

    by Peter Schrager

    After months of free-agent speculation, free-agent signings, coaching changes, GM changes, uniform changes, draft combine coverage, draft preparation, mock draft mania, Michael Oher interviews, Michael Oher books, Michael Oher movies, fantasy football draft preparation, purchasing grey-hooded Patriots (or Broncos) sweatshirts, ripping off the sleeves of said grey-hooded Patriots (or Broncos) sweatshirts, Favre retiring, Favre coming back, then Favre saying, "No, no ... I'm retired, for real this time," then Favre coming back, getting excited about training camp, getting depressed when your team's offensive coordinator is fired a week before the season, a worthless four weeks of August exhibition football and a whole lot of Michael Vick talk ... it's time for FOOTBALL.

    Yes, actual, real, tangible football.

    And with that, let's move right into the Week 1 NFL Cheat Sheet:

    Thursday night game
    Tennessee at Pittsburgh: The last time Tennessee played Pittsburgh, the Titans whooped on the eventual Super Bowl champions, 31-14, in Week 16 last season. You remember that one, right? LenDale White took a Terrible Towel, stomped all over it and preened for the cameras. The Steelers then went on to march right through the AFC and win their sixth Super Bowl in franchise history. Six more than the Titans. Pittsburgh takes care of business and wins its seventh straight opening-day affair.

    The pick: Steelers 26, Titans 17.

    Sunday 1 p.m. ET games
    Miami at Atlanta: Two years ago, these teams combined for four wins. Last season, they combined for 22. This year, I expect the Falcons and the Fish to finish somewhere in between. Sunday, give me the Falcons at home in a close one. Wildcat, schmildcat. Mike Smith's been preparing for that junk since the day the schedules came out. Atlanta's D will be ready for Miami ó regardless of who's taking snaps.

    The pick: Falcons 24, Dolphins 20.

    Ray Lewis could make for a long afternoon for the Chiefs. (Streeter Lecka / Getty Images)

    Kansas City at Baltimore: There are blowouts, and then there are games like this. Ray Lewis may eat ó yes, actually eat ó a Kansas City Chief player on Sunday. This one should be over by the third "Two and a Half Men" commercial.

    The pick: Ravens 34, Chiefs 3.

    Philadelphia at Carolina: Robert Siegel's new film "Big Fan" stars Patton Oswalt as a talk-radio obsessed Giants fan. His enemy? A fellow caller named "Philadelphia Phil," who taunts Oswalt's character's after every move, every phone call. Philadelphia Phil (you've got to see who plays him) is a sarcastic, mean, Giants-hating S.O.B. In other words, he's an accurate portrayal of just about every Eagles fan I've ever met. Philadelphia Phil and all his cronies will be happy Sunday ó gimme the Iggles on the road in this one.

    The pick: Eagles 27, Panthers 20.

    Denver at Cincinnati: Coming off an extremely turbulent offseason with a new coach, new quarterback and (still) paper-thin defense, can Denver pull it off and win on the road in Week 1? Wait for it ... Hold on ... Wait ... Been wanting to say this for weeks ... OK ... In 3, 2, 1 ... Child, please.

    The pick: Bengals 28, Broncos 24.

    New York at Houston: Mark Sanchez is the first Jets rookie QB to start an opening-weekend game since Matt Robinson did it in 1977. In 69 career NFL games, Robinson completed less than 50 percent of his passes and threw 20 more interceptions than touchdowns. Let's hope Sanchez has a bit of a better go at it. Whether he plays like Matt Robinson or Matt Ryan, I can't see Sanchez's Jets escaping Reliant with a W on Sunday.

    The pick: Texans 20, Jets 16.

    Minnesota at Cleveland: The last time these two teams squared off in Cleveland, Browns backup QB Mike Pagel threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to LB Van Waiters on a fake field goal to beat the Vikes in OT. That was 1989. Twenty years later? The Vikings will win by about 25. The whole keeping the starting quarterback a secret thing? It's not cute. It's lame. And in truth, it doesn't matter either way.

    The pick: Vikings 31, Browns 7.

    Jaguars: Pressure on Del Rio

    Jacksonville at Indianapolis: No Coach Dungy, no Coach Meeks, no Marvin Harrison ... no worries. Peyton and Co. pick up right where they left off and win their 10th straight regular-season affair.

    The pick: Colts 28, Jaguars 17.

    Detroit at New Orleans: Hey rookie, welcome to the NFL. Of course, I'm not talking about Matt Stafford, who could actually be OK against the wafer-thin Saints defense on Sunday. I'm referring to Louis Delmas, Detroit's rookie safety, who will undoubtedly be picked on from the get-go by Drew Brees.

    The pick: Saints 31, Lions 21.

    Dallas at Tampa Bay: The Cowboys have an NFL-best 33-15-1 (.688) record on Kickoff Weekend and looked sharp this August. The Buccaneers, meanwhile, well ó I don't think there's a Buccaneers fan in the world who could tell you he or she expects big things from the team this season. Safest bet of the weekend? Jon Gruden has a better debut in the booth Monday night than Raheem Morris does on the sidelines Sunday afternoon.

    The pick: Cowboys 34, Buccaneers 10.

    Sunday 4 p.m. ET games
    San Francisco at Arizona: After being courted heavily by the Niners in the offseason, Kurt Warner returned to Arizona, inking a two-year deal in the spring. The 38-year-old is 9-1 (.900) as a starter vs. San Francisco with 3,197 yards, 23 touchdowns, 10 interceptions and a 102.7 passer rating. Make it 10-1 after Sunday. The defending NFC champions silence their critics. Well, for one week, at least.

    The pick: Cardinals 27, ***** 21.

    Washington at New York: An interesting stat? The last four times DeAngelo Hall's gone up against Eli Manning, he's intercepted at least one of his passes. Look for that to end Sunday. The Giants will win. Just like they have done six of the last eight times these two teams have squared off.

    The pick: Giants 16, Redskins 9.

    Rams at Seahawks: Have you seen the Rams' depth chart at receiver yet? What was "The Greatest Show on Turf" just 10 years ago now looks like "A Bunch of Guys Who Might Be Able To Catch a Few Passes ... Perhaps. Maybe. I think." Avery, Burton, Stanley, and Robinson? Is that a law firm or a receiving corps? The Hasselbeck-Houshmandzadeh era, meanwhile, will start off with a splash. Expect big fantasy numbers from both those dudes on Sunday.

    The pick: Seahawks 31, Rams 6

    Sunday night game
    Chicago at Green Bay: The last time these two squared off in Lambeau, the Pack beat the Bears, 37-3, in a game where Green Bay outgained Chicago 427-234. Of course, that was before the Bears got Jay Cutler. Winning in Lambeau at night on national TV is nearly impossible. Cutler finds a way to do it in his Chicago debut. Now, let the hate mail commence.

    The pick: Bears 24, Packers 23

    Monday night games
    Buffalo at New England: Remember a few years back when Drew Bledsoe and Lawyer Milloy willed the Bills to a blowout victory over New England on opening day? Sam Adams was lugging down the sidelines on an interception return for a touchdown? Bills fans, cherish those memories. Savor them. Really digest them. Because Monday night will be nothing like that whatsoever.

    The pick: Patriots 35, Bills 14.

    The drama in Oakland may only beginning under Tom Cable's watch. (Jed Jacobsohn / Getty Images)

    San Diego at Oakland: Over the past four weeks, Oakland's head coach allegedly punched his assistant in the face, the team fell behind 38-0 in a preseason game and they traded a future first-round pick for a player who didn't show up for two days. That's it? That's all you got? In Raiders world, that's what they call a pretty good month.

    The pick: Chargers 34, Raiders 16.

  • #2
    Re: Schrager predicts Rams lose to Squawks by 25 points ..

    The Hasselbeck/Houshmandzadeh Era"???? ("Ill take long names beginning with the letter 'H,' Alex.")

    Considering Hass is 33 and Housh is 31, that's going to be a short era.

    Schrager is still mad about his wife cheating on him.*

    *See previous article by Armen Dacity.


    • #3
      Re: Schrager predicts Rams lose to Squawks by 25 points ..

      31-6 ?!!!!!!!

      BAH HUMBUG!!!!!

      RAMS 19 Seahawks 17

      GO RAMS!
      sigpic :ram::helmet:


      • #4
        Re: Schrager predicts Rams lose to Squawks by 25 points ..

        Thatís a big number but we shall see. This is not college football and itís not like The Hawks are the defending Super Bowl champs. They were only a few steps above the Lions to.


        • #5
          Re: Schrager predicts Rams lose to Squawks by 25 points ..

          I'm pretty content in our receiving corps right now. There is no way the hawks would win by that much, but the reason he provided is completely inadequate. The hawks have two starting lineman out, and as we've seen from the rams in recent years, you can have Holt and Bruce in the lineup but if the quarterback is on the ground it doesn't matter. The Has and Housh era, what a joke.


          • #6
            Re: Schrager predicts Rams lose to Squawks by 25 points ..

            I'll be back here after Sunday, what a dork! I see a few picks that ruin his credibility. I hope after this Sunday they run him out of town with his sorry picks!
            LA RAMMER

            It's Jim not Chris


            • #7
              Re: Schrager predicts Rams lose to Squawks by 25 points ..

              While I can't say that we'll win the game, given that it's at Quest, and the chickens are healthy again, I can say with absolute confidence that i would take the points on that spread every day of the week, and thrice this Sunday. There's no way that we're going to lose by 25 points this week. We're not that bad, and they're not that good. Bah and piffle to that prediction.
              I believe!:ram:


              • #8
                Re: Schrager predicts Rams lose to Squawks by 25 points ..

                i think he was doing well up until the last two picks then got over-excited and made a premature mess at the end.

                Rams v Hawks could go any way..but we aint losing by 25 points and the Bears even with Cutler..aint winning in Lambeau.


                • #9
                  Re: Schrager predicts Rams lose to Squawks by 25 points ..

                  According to Peter, only the lowly Chiefs will score fewer points than the Rams in Week One.. He's got the bedraggled Lions scoring 21 points on the road in their opener, with seasoned vet Matt Stafford leading the charge ..

                  If the Rams can continue their preseason trend of capitalizing on turnovers, the SeeHens could lay eggs early on .. :smug:


                  • #10
                    Re: Schrager predicts Rams lose to Squawks by 25 points ..

                    Let him predict us to lose by 50. Who cares what he thinks. At this point if he still doesn't know who our receivers are, or that the Seahawks will have two starting offensive lineman sitting out the game, well then I can't take this man very seriously.


                    • #11
                      Re: Schrager predicts Rams lose to Squawks by 25 points ..

                      One point of contention about the Hawks 2 missing linemen (I'm a Hawks fan) - We played most of last year without these two linemen as well - so it isn't like we aren't used to it or the line hasn't gelled - they have been out pretty much all preseason as well. I'm not saying we aren't going to miss them (well Walter Jones at least, the jury is still out on Spencer) - I'm just saying it isn't going to be as disruptive as you might all be thinking.


                      • #12
                        Re: Schrager predicts Rams lose to Squawks by 25 points ..

                        Originally posted by Chrome_CW View Post
                        One point of contention about the Hawks 2 missing linemen (I'm a Hawks fan) - We played most of last year without these two linemen as well - so it isn't like we aren't used to it or the line hasn't gelled - they have been out pretty much all preseason as well. I'm not saying we aren't going to miss them (well Walter Jones at least, the jury is still out on Spencer) - I'm just saying it isn't going to be as disruptive as you might all be thinking.
                        That's funny... I could have sworn the Seahawks went 4-12 last year. I'd say the loss of those guys (and others) had a pretty significant impact last year.

                        The real question is... how many Seahawks fans think this will be a blowout?


                        • #13
                          Re: Schrager predicts Rams lose to Squawks by 25 points ..

                          Originally posted by TekeRam View Post
                          While I can't say that we'll win the game, given that it's at Quest, and the chickens are healthy again, I can say with absolute confidence that i would take the points on that spread every day of the week, and thrice this Sunday.
                          I think almost anybody would take the points on that spread too Teke, INCLUDING Schrager. Talk about hyperbole.


                          • #14
                            Re: Schrager predicts Rams lose to Squawks by 25 points ..

                            Spencer's replacement was drafted highly so losing him with a few weeks notice isn't a big difference maker. Jones is a big loss.

                            The reality though is that the Rams have zero depth. They're going with a bunch of players that are speculated to be cut come Monday so the Rams can sign veterans (w/ unguaranteed contracts). They have 4 WRs who were all hurt last year (wiggle room?). They have one less RB than normal and 1 is banged up. The LBing corp is all shook up (Elvis has left the building). Bulger hasn't played in a while. Avery has been limited in reps in live action.


                            • #15
                              Re: Schrager predicts Rams lose to Squawks by 25 points ..

                              That is quite a point spread. I can't wait to see the HH air show. I guess Disco can be happy when his fantasy team scores lots of points.

                              I think the Bears have a good chance against the Packers. I watched a preseason game with them and the Browns and they look ready to play. I think the Browns will score more than 7 points also.


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                                Prior to the season, the oddsmakers in Las Vegas installed St. Louis and Pittsburgh as favorites to meet in Super Bowl 37 in San Diego. Two weeks into the season, those odds are looking long.

                                The Rams, who were heavy favorites in their home-opener Sunday, fell to the New York Giants 26-21, while Pittsburgh was pounded 30-17 by the Raiders at home Sunday night.

                                The Rams lost all four preseason games heading into the season, then lost at Denver in Week 1. Losing a regular-season game on its home turf opened the flood gates for questions regarding how good this team really is.

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                                The Rams turned the ball over four times in the loss, with quarterback Kurt Warner throwing two interceptions and fumbling a snap.

                                "This one's completely on me, and it's tough to handle those," Warner told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "This is a game we very easily could've won. This team played well enough to win. And I didn't get it done, and it's hard."

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                                3 Colts 12-4-0 With Edgerrin James and Marvin Harrison free agents at the end of the season this could be the final run for the Big Three in Indy.

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                                5 Seahawks 10-6-0 Some might have scoffed at Matt Hasselbeck's 'we want the ball and we're going to score' statement. But to us, it's just a confident QB who has fun playing the game.

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                                8 Panthers 11-5-0 While the Panthers looked poised to follow up last year's success, the turnover on the offensive line has to be a concern.

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                                2. EAGLES: First off, Owens did NOT make the catch last night. But the Eagles defense shut down Moss's deep game and McNabb proved he's still quite dangerous on the run.

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                                7. TITANS: The Titans beat a weak Dolphins team and lost to the Colts. Not exceptionally impressive thus far, but Chris Brown looks like the real deal out there. Eddie who?

                                8. FALCONS: The Atlanta Vicks are 2-0 and Michael proved a lot of doubters wrong this weekend. But the Falcons have struggled on third down and barely squeeked out a win against the ***** in Week 1.

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                                2. NEW ENGLAND: On paper, the Patriots remain the best team in the NFL.

                                3. PHILADELPHIA: The Eagles signed free-agent Pro Bowlers Terrell Owens and Jevon Kearse.

                                4. KANSAS CITY: The Chiefs won 13 games a year ago and return 21 of their starters.

                                5. SEATTLE: This is the best team Mike Holmgren has coached since the 1997 Packers.

                                6. GREEN BAY: Roster is strong enough that Brett Favre no longer has to carry the Packers.

                                7. NEW ORLEANS: In the past six years everyone in the NFC South except the Saints have been to the Super Bowl.

                                8. CAROLINA: Jake Delhomme emerged as a big-game quarterback in the playoffs.

                                9. ST. LOUIS: Kurt Warner is gone, leaving coach Mike Martz (and quarterback Marc Bulger) without a safety net.

                                10. TENNESSEE: Having NFL co-most valuable player Steve McNair at quarterback is a huge edge on game day.

                                11. ATLANTA: Mike Vick is back, and so is Super Bowl talk.

                                12. PITTSBURGH: Even a top-10 defense couldn't prevent a losing season in 2003.

                                13. DETROIT: The Lions have enjoyed the NFL's best offseason.

                                14. JACKSONVILLE: Coach Jack Del Rio put his stamp on the defense in his first season.

                                15. MIAMI: The defense has been Super Bowl-ready for years, but the offense...

                                16. HOUSTON: An offense to contend is in place with QB David Carr, HB Domanick Davis and WR Andre Johnson.

                                17. BALTIMORE: The Ravens return 21 starters from AFC North champions.

                                18. DALLAS: The Cowboys might have greater uncertainty at running back and cornerback.

                                19. DENVER: Broncos now rely on defense.

                                20. MINNESOTA: How do you start a season 6-0 and miss the playoffs?

                                21. BUFFALO: The Bills fielded the AFC's best defense in 2003, but had no offensive playmakers.

                                22. CINCINNATI: Taking the ball away from veteran quarterback Jon Kitna and putting it in the hands of Carson Palmer could be a step back.

                                23. TAMPA BAY: Let's see if Jon Gruden can win with his own players.

                                24. NY JETS: Missing Chad Pennington for the first six games of 2003 doomed them.

                                25. CLEVELAND: The Browns put quarterback controversy behind them by signing Jeff Garcia.

                                26. WASHINGTON: Hall of Famer Joe Gibbs is back with the Redskins.

                                27. OAKLAND: Norv Turner gets a chance to revive his head-coaching career.

                                28. CHICAGO: The Bears also will be very young on defense.

                                29. SAN FRANCISCO:...
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