Archive for September, 2008

Week 4 – Some tough matchups and three undefeated 3-0 teams. Gonna be another blast. My pick of the week for a big game – Arizona Cardinals wide-receiver Larry Fitzgerald. I’m now 27-19.

Note after predictions – My pick of the week Fitzgerald had 8 catches for 122 yards – not a bad outing.

ATL @ CAR – Panthers to win 27-24
CLE @ CIN  – Bengals to win 31-14
HOU @ JAC  – Jags to win 38-23
DEN @ KC   – Brincos to win 29-21
SF @ NO   – Saints to win 31-28
ARI @ NYJ  – Cardinals to win 28-17
GB @ TB   – Packers to win 24-19
MIN @ TEN  – Titans to win 19-17
SD @ OAK  – Chargers to win 37-20
BUF @ STL  – Bills to win 34-10
WAS @ DAL  – Cowboys to win 21-19
PHI @ CHI  – Eagles to win 31-14
BAL @ PIT – Ravens to win 19-14

6-7 – shocking week ! Im now 33-26

Proof for at least one week that I am number one in the UK Fantasy competition

Proof for at least one week that I am number one in the UK Fantasy competition

What a shock – I get an email this evening from the NFLUK Fantasy Football team and it transpires that I am top of the entire competition after three full NFL weeks.

For all non UK readers you have to pick 1 QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, 1 TE, 1 K and 1 Team D on a budget see here.

I did win a weekly prize about 3 or 4 years ago after Chris Cooley went mad and scored three touchdowns against the Cowboys, but I have never actually led the competition overall ever.

This should mean that I get my name up in lights – well I should get my name on Sky Sports this Sunday or Monday coming.

I know that this being top of the charts will not last long but its always fun to be top of the tree – shame I do not get any sort of prize.

I do hope that Nick Halling the Sky Sports NFL presenter remembers my name – he made a sarcastic comment about me a few years ago but he may well have forgotten me by now.

For all those UK readers I am not revealing my secrets – all I can say is that this is probably the first and last time that I will be top of the table all season so Ill bask in the temporary September sunshine!

Don't underestimate the difference that Sammy Morris makes to a banged up Pats team - It should be another good week for slippery Sammy

Don't underestimate the difference Sammy Morris RB makes to the banged up New England Patriots team - expect another td

Two weeks down and my current recored is 16-14 so more improvements to be made in week 3

Kansas City Chiefs at Atlanta Falcons – Falcons to win 28-10
Oakland Raiders at Buffalo Bills – Bills to win 17-9
Cincinnati Bengals at New York Giants – Giants to win 33-9
Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots – Patriots to win 24-14
Houston Texans at Tennessee Titans – Titans to win 21-19
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Chicago Bears – Buccs to win 23-20
Ariz Cardinals at Wash Redskins  – Redskins to win 30-27
Carolina Panthers at Minnesota Vikings – Vikings to win 21-20
New Orleans Saints at Denver Broncos – Broncos to win 27-24
Detroit Lions at San Francisco 49ers – 49ers to win 20-14
St. Louis Rams at Seattle Seahawks – Seahawks to win 31-13
Jacksonville Jaguars at Indianapolis Colts – Colts to win 30-21
Pitts Steelers at Philadelphia Eagles – Steelers to win 24-19
Cleveland Browns at Baltimore Ravens – Ravens to win 17-16
Dallas Cowboys at Green Bay Packers – Cowboys to win 38-28
New York Jets at San Diego Chargers – Chargers to win 31-24

13-3 week 3 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Pop quiz – Name the quarterback

1) He was drafted in 1995

2) He has only had 4 winning seasons since 1995

3) He has played for 5 NFL teams

4) He has been to a Superbowl as a starter but admitted he sucked (don’t click on link yet – that’s cheating)

5) He has rushed for 9 touchdowns to date

6) He has fumbled 123 times to date

Any thoughts ????

7) Of all active quarterbacks he only trails Brett Favre in the volume of interceptions thrown (172)

8) He ranks 15th all time for passing yards, and he once had a six year streak of over 3,000 yards passing a season

9) He is 12th in NFL history for pass attempts

10) He is 90 yards away from throwing 35,000 yards making him only the 15th NFL passer all time to reach that milestone – if he reaches it this weekend

11) He is 3-3 in just six all time playoff games

12) He was born in Lebanon (in Pennsylvania that is!)

13) He is 43rd all-time for regular season touchdown passes

So which quarterbacking legend are we talking about ?

None other than former Penn State Nittany Lion Kerry Collins.

Be honest how quickly did you get the answer from the above clues ?

Kerry hasn’t exactly been Pro-Bowl material in recent years (he did in fact make his lone Pro-Bowl appearance in 1996) but he is a stable force in the Tennessee Titans locker-room with Vince Young unsure if he is happy, sad or in a good or bad place in his mind.

To play 14 seasons in the NFL is a pretty remarkable achievement, to be in the top 20 ALL TIME passing yards is pretty overwhelming. Collins can in fact pass 4 time Superbowl loser Jim Kelly if he gets 557 yards passing this season – not an impossibility.

Top 20 All Time Regular Season Passing Yards in a Career (bold if still active)

1. Brett Favre (39) 62,030  1991-2008  3TM
2. Dan Marino+ 61,361  1983-1999  mia
3. John Elway+ 51,475  1983-1998  den
4. Warren Moon+ 49,325  1984-2000  4TM
5. Fran Tarkenton+ 47,003  1961-1978  2TM
6. Vinny Testaverde 46,233  1987-2007  7TM
7. Drew Bledsoe 44,611  1993-2006  3TM
8. Dan Fouts+ 43,040  1973-1987  sdg
9. Peyton Manning (32) 42,194  1998-2008  clt
10. Joe Montana+ 40,551  1979-1994  2TM
11. Johnny Unitas+ 40,239  1956-1973  2TM
12. Dave Krieg 38,147  1980-1998  6TM
13. Boomer Esiason 37,920  1984-1997  3TM
14. Jim Kelly+ 35,467  1986-1996  buf
15. Kerry Collins (36) 34,910  1995-2008  5TM
16. Jim Everett 34,837  1986-1997  3TM
17. Jim Hart 34,665  1966-1984  2TM
18. Steve DeBerg 34,241  1978-1998  6TM
19. John Hadl 33,503  1962-1977  4TM
20. Phil Simms 33,462  1979-1993  nyg
A dejected Kerry Collins trudges off the field after his only Superbowl performance - a loss to the Baltimore Ravens

A dejected Kerry Collins trudges off the field after his only Superbowl performance - a loss to the Baltimore Ravens (Photo AP)

Question I would like to get answers on – is Kerry Collins the most undervalued quarterback in the top 20 all-time regular season passing yards chart ?

Brian Westbrook looks to have a big week 2

Brian Westbrook looks to have a big week 2

I didn’t exactly set the world alight with my week 1 predictions, getting only 7 of 15 right (including two exact team scores) but just like a maligned veteran qb, I’ll just dust myself down, and take another shot at the endzone.

So here we go as NFLFANINENGLAND creator Lawrence Vos once again gazes into the mythical crystal ball that is the NFL for Week 2 predictions ……

Bet you all have opinions – come back on Tuesday to see how I go ! Feel free to add your thoughts……

Chicago at Carolina

Kyle Orton and Matt Forte combined to produce the biggest upset of week 1 with a shock victory over the Indianapolis Colts, so there will be a certain amount of confidence oozing from the pores (paws even) of the Bears. They travel again in week 2 – this time to Carolina, and they have the ability to win, but I think this will be the Delhomme and Mushin Muhammed show, as the Moose scores at least one td to help the Panthers go 2-0.

LV Prediction – Carolina to win 24-20

correct 1-0

Tennessee at Cincinnati

The Bungles may have the NFL’s only Spanish numeric named wideout but if they only get the ball to him 2 times a game then the only significant number they will end up with will be a big fat 0 as in 0 wins. The Titans are defensively a very good team, but they have Kerry Collins at the helm, which could go either way. Ill give the game to Tennessee as their defense is too organised to fail, but it will be closer than many think.

LV Prediction – Tennessee to win 21-17

correct  2-0

Green Bay at Detroit

Judging by week 1 when the Falcons Michael Turner and Jerious Norwood just went crazy running all over the Lions, it could be a monster week for Packers RB Ryan Grant. Lets not forget Aaron Rodgers though as he has taken the pressure if the Wisconsin faithful on his shoulders and helped his team to victory. The Lions have the ability to put up 300 passing yards every game, but the Packers veteran cbs Woodson and Harris will prove their ProBowl status in this contest and the Pack go 2-0 without that old qb – what was his name ???

LV Prediction – Green Bay to win 33-16

correct 3-0

Buffalo at Jacksonville

This is the acid test for the Bills as they can show if they are a legitimate playoff contender. Jacksonville will be mad after the loss to Tennessee last week, and will be determined to show that their running game is their strength. Buffalo have shown they can play well in all three phases of play, and Trent Edwards is the cemented starter. I just have a feeling that the Jags will be out to show to their home fans that the 2008 season is not over before it starts.

LV Prediction – Jacksonville to win 28-19

wrong 3-1

Oakland at Kansas City

Oakland are in a bad place at the moment, and I’m not talking about the black hole. This battle between two 0-1 teams will mean that there will be some scrappy play and plenty of trash talking. Damon Huard steps back in as the KC qb and his veteran composure will shine through against a Raiders team that is determined to self destruct. JaMarcus Russell and Darren Mc Fadden will try but this could be another ugly season for the Black n Silver.

LV Prediction – Kansas City to win 27-20

wrong 3-2

Indianapolis at Minnesota

Wow – one of thee teams will go 0-2 – not what anyone expected. On the surface it looks to be an explosive game which could go either way, but when you realise the Colts are in a dome, and Marvin, Reggie and Anthony are gonna be on the field then it is a case of sticking a fork in the Vikings. AP will run hard but I am still not convinced by Tavaris Jackson, hell give John David Booty a go behind center !!!!

LV Prediction – Indianapolis to win 35-13

correct 4-2

New York Giants at St Louis

Not a lot of predicting needed here – the Giants are just too well polished to fall to a painfully poor Rams team. Brandon Jacobs is a real wrecking ball of a back and Plaxico is looking to get a Pro Bowl berth as well as a second consecutive appearance at the big dance. Steven Jackson has been promised more carries, but the Rams may be abandoning the run early again.

LV Prediction – NY Giants to win 31-10

correct 5-2

New Orleans at Washington

The Saints are riding high after a significant win against the Buccs in week 1. The Redskins looked bloody awful against the Giants and one more nightmare from Jason Campbell and we could see the calls for backup Todd Collins to take the helm. The Saints will miss Marques Colston as the number one target, but I have a feeling David Patten will come back to haunt the team that let him rot, with 80-100 yards and a score.

LV Prediction – New Orleans to win 23-14

wrong 5-3

San Francisco at Seattle

San Francisco will not want another 0-2 start to a season and nor will Seattle. This is an opportunity for Frank Gore to show he is a top 10 back in the NFL, but the stage will belong to Matt Hasselbeck who will bounce back from a horror show in week 1. Plus with Seattle at home even Frasier Crane will be waving his Seahawks pennant after the final whistle blows.

LV Prediction – Seattle to win 26-21

wrong 5-4

Atlanta at Tampa Bay

Tampa will be bringing their A game as the Falcons come to the Florida sunshine in an attempt to go 2-0. Only problem is the Buccs D is a whole lot better than the Lions D and this time Matt Ryan will not simply spend the game handing off to Michael Turner or Jerious Norwood. My prediction for some scorers – howabout Earnest Graham on the ground and Antonio Bryant catching his first td of the season from Garcia.

LV Prediction – Tampa Bay to win 23-13

correct 6-4

Miami at Arizona

As I said last week Chad Pennington is going to help the Fins, but they still need to establish the running game – something that Ricky Williams failed to do against the J-E-T-S. Kurt Warner is rolling back the years and will again go over 250 yards, and throw a minimum if two touchdowns. Cardinals always flatter to decieve but they can make a real impact this season if Kurt keeps hold of the pigskin.

LV Prediction – Arizona to win 29-13

correct 7-4

San Diego at Denver

The Chargers will be seething after their opening day loss (on the last play of the game) and despite Jay Cutler and the rookie of the week performance of Broncos wideout Eddie Royal, San Diego will come out on top. The Broncos are going to be contenders this season, but a big ol dose of LT will be just about enough for the Chargers to get back on track.

LV Prediction – San Diego to win 24-23

wrong 7-5

New England at New York Jets

So we are now going to welcome in the Matt Cassell era ! Lets be honest you dont go 16-0 without the WHOLE team being excellent. Lawrence Maroneys is still running, Moss and Welker are still catching and the offensive line is still intact. The Jets will be many people’s favourites with ol greybeard steering the Big Apple boat, but I’ll say it here the Pats will remain ruthlessly efficient and win this game with a healthy margin of victory.

LV Prediction – New England to win 30-20

correct 8-5

Pittsburgh at Cleveland

The Steelers look good already, and Willie Parker is on fire. Look for this to continue against the Browns who are gonna play hard but are gonna fall. Braylon Edwards needs to have a big game and the running game needs to get going. The Steelers will be led by Big Ben who will look to target Santonio Holmes, seeing as Hines Ward will be double teamed.

LV Prediction – Pittsburgh to win 19-14

correct 9-5

Philadelphia at Dallas

Its only week 2 but this is a very important game as Romo and McNabb duel to show who has the best sword skills. It looks to be the game of the week, with two highly skilled offensive teams matching up to go at each other all game long. I’ll tip the Eagles to get an upset victory with Philly looking to get to TO and his Channel Tunnel like gob. Westbrook to get two more touchdowns – including the winner on a short catch.

LV Prediction – Philadelphia to win 20-19

wrong 9-6

Baltimore at Houston – Game postponed until November

Have fun this weekend with week 2 !

**** 9-6 this week – I’m getting better but still no cigar. Stay tuned. ****

Run Reggie Run and maybe catch a few passes too - Photo by J Robbins

Run Reggie Run and maybe catch a few passes too - Photo by J Robbins

Someone posting on my blog this week made the remark that the New Orleans Saints had an impressive outing running the ball in Week 1 after I put in a post that two backs that both got around 5o yards on the ground each was not exactly setting the world alight.

I stick by that, but I did say at the time that Reggie Bush could legitimately catch 150 passes in a season. Bush is creating a position that is almost unique, a dumpoff back that is gameplanned to be dumped off to as a first resort by Drew Brees, not a last resort after seeing a primary and secondary target man marked.

I call him the best wide-back in the NFL !

It got me thinking who is the best catching running back in NFL history (past and present combined) ?

Well here are the top running back/full backs listed by the amount of regular season receptions they have made Up to end of 2007, and the team they had the most impact on and then average catches per year (in brackets)

TOP 5 all time – all retired

Larry Centers – 827 catches – Arizona Cardinals – Full Back – 1990-2003 (64 catches a year)

Marshall Faulk – 767 catches – St Louis Rams – Running back – 1994 – 2005 (70 catches a year)

Keith Byars – 610 catches – Philadelphia Eagles – Fullback – 1986-1998 (51 catches a year)

Marcus Allen – 587 catches – Los Angeles Raiders – Running back 1982-1997 (39 catches a year)

Tiki Barber – 586 catches – New York Giants – Running back  1997-2006 (65 catches a year)

Top 5 – active all playing in 2008 in NFL

Warwick Dunn – 463 catches –  Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 1997 – now (46 catches a season)

LaDanian Tomlinson – 458 catches – San Diego Chargers  – 2001 – now (76 catches a season)

Edgerrin James – 418 catches – Indianapolis Colts – 1999 – now (52 catches a season)

Michael Pittman – 415 catches – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 1998 – now (46 catches a year)

Ahman Green – 364 catches – Green Bay Packers – 1998 – now (40 catches a season)

Where does Reggie Bush fit in ?

Reggie Bush – 161 catches – New Orleans Saints – 2006 – now (81 catches a season)

Other current contender in the NFL

Brian Westbrook – 347 catches – Philadelphia Eagles – 2002 – now (69 catches a season)

So what do the numbers tell us ? Well if we extrapolate Reggie Bush’s season average over a 10 year period then you have Bush at 810 catches and he becomes the all time greatest catching running back in NFL history.

Both the Chargers LT and the Eagles Brian Westbrook have proved over a longer period that they are true dual talents both running and receiving – Westbrook has two 1,200+ rushing seasons to add to his catches and LT has a mind blowing 7 1,200 yard + ground yard seasons.

Reggie Bush is in my opinion not a #1 running back but he is an All Pro wide-back – maybe I have given Reggie a title that matches his talents ! He is not a 1,500 yard running back but he is a 1,500 yard a season gainer (not even including his punt returns). 

Who do you think the best wide back is in NFL history ?

The Charger Girls best bring their warmest coat for Wembley (Pic from San Diego Chargers)

The Charger Girls best bring their warmest coat for Wembley (Pic from San Diego Chargers)

Its like Fish without Chips or Sausage without Mash – the NFL without cheerleaders it seems would be an incomplete and unsatisfying world full of large sweaty athletes, and podgy coaches.

About a week ago the San Diego Chargers cheerleaders – the ‘Charger Girls’ released their 2008-2009 Swimsuit Calendar.

All very aesthetically pleasing I’m sure – just see above for an example issued to the world’s media as proof.

It got me thinking, is there a degree of hypocrisy in the crazy world that is the NFL?

When Janet Jackson’s famous ‘wardrobe malfunction’ occurred during a Superbowl halftime show we had public outrage around the globe. Did we really want to see Janet Jackson’s bizarre giant silver nipple jewellery ? Probably not. Did the NFL have red faces and proceed to book men in their 50’s to do subsequent half-time shows ? – yes of course they did.

This huge fuss over a mammary gland with an exposed nipple was treated like a national embarrasment, yet each and every week we are treated to acres of cleavage on NFL sidelines, from the myriad of NFL cheerleaders, thrusting their hips and dancing like showgirls with more silicone on display than a plastic surgeons annual trade fair.

No nipples on show I admit, but its pretty damn close each week, as breasts are shoved high and positioned to give fans a good eyeful at each game without showing any exposed nipple.

Having lived in soggy England all my life I have not had the experience of seeing women thrusting push up bras in my face every day as I visit my local supermarket for a pint of milk.

I reckon the male residents of Florida have a whole different view on the world though, as Sun = flesh exposure by women.

We all know sex sells, and cheerleaders in the NFL do a helluva lot of great charity work, but if you are gonna retail calendars of your team’s members of staff in bikinis then I think that you should accept a flashing nipple without such disgust.

If any Charger Girls are reading my blog (wouldn’t that be hilarious) I have one piece of advice – wrap up warm ladies, London in October is colder, wetter, grayer and more miserable than our prime minister Gordon Brown having a bath and at the same time announcing we are in a recession.

Do YOU think cheerleaders are an important part of the NFL package ? Let me know…..

Dante Rosario's catch silences the Charger faithfull in week 1 (photo by AP)

Dante Rosario silences the Charger fans in week 1 (Photo by AP)

With just one game gone in the season it’s hard to tell who are the contenders and who are the dead-enders.

It was a really wild start to the season for both the London bound teams and the ideal way to begin my series of weekly updates on the London bound New Orleans Saints and the San Diego Chargers.

At Qualcomm stadium you could have heard a pin drop when Jake Delhomme took a rather high snap, avoided the pass rush pump faked and then hit Dante Rosarioin the endzone as the Carolina Panthers stole a 26-24 win against the Chargers in California.

Elsewhere in Louisiana Saints linebacker Scott Fujita grabbed a bullet pass from Jeff Garcia in the final minute of the game to seal a tough 24-20 victory against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Notes about the Chargers

♣ Shawne ‘Lights Out’ Merriman had just two tackles and failed to get to Jake Delhomme

♣ 3rd round rookie Jacob Hester did not touch the ball – Ill keep everyone updated. The other lesser known rookie fullback Mike Tolbert did have an impressive start with 3 runs for 6 yards and 3 catches for 35 yards and two first downs

My Week 1 grade – Offense B, Defense C, Special Teams C

Notes about the Saints

♥ Deuce McAllister did not play, and without his bruising style the Saints running back combo of Reggie Bush and Pierre Thomas failed to make a big impression on the ground. Reggie Bush did have a fantastic game with 8 catches for 112 yards and a score. Lets face it Bush can catch dink and dunk passes all day long and just kill teams – he could catch 150 passes legitimately in a single season.

My Week 1 grade – Offense A-, Defense C, Special Teams C

In summary both teams showed that they can compete, but they will win games with their offense more than their defense. With 7 weeks until Wembley I cannot wait.

What was YOUR first impression of the Chargers and the Saints in Week 1? ……………….

Chris Cooley will need more than 1 catch a game to lift the Redskins - picture by Lawrence Vos

Chris Cooley will need more than 1 catch a game to lift the Redskins - picture by Lawrence Vos

Ok I missed my prediction on the Giants v Redskins game, but I did stay up until 4.00am in England to watch the game, and then leave for work 4 hours later.

I noticed quite disturbingly that the Giants managed 0 receptions to their tight end Kevin Boss, and apart from one endzonelook in the 1st quarter Boss managed to do a big fat not a lot. Redskins TE Chris Cooley was right up there with Boss in terms of a non-descript game, with just one catch.

Someone needs to get that ‘rabbit in front of the headlights on a freeway’ look shaken from Jason Campbell’s face, and until that happens I think that the Redskins are pretty much doomed to mediocrity for the 17th consecutive season.

Anyway………on to my NFL 2008 Season Week 1 Predictions and thoughts

Seattle at Buffalo

The Bills are best described by many as a dark horse for a wild-card spot, but I don’t think that will be the case, I would more likely describe them as a grey donkey, nice to pat on the head but seriously lacking the ability to run with the thoroughbreds like New England and San Diego. Seattle are missing Previous Superbowl MVP Deion Branch and wily veteran Bobby Engram, instead relying on young wideouts.

Prediction – Seattle to win 27-17

LV – wrong 0-1

Detroit at Atlanta

U-G-L-Y you ain’t got no alibi you ugly – not exactly a showcase for the NFL’s finest here in Georgia. Rookie 1st round pick Matt Ryan makes his Falcon debut, handing off to new Atlanta tailback (and lifetime backup) Michael Turner. The Lions will be licking their lips with DeAngelo Hall gone and Calvin Johnson and Roy Williams revving up for a spectacular season. Kevin Smith the new Lions RB will be one to watch and he may break 100 on the ground in his debut.

Prediction – Detroit to win 31-14

LV wrong 0-2

Cincinnati at Baltimore

Its Ocho Cinco time baby ! Despite looking like he went 12 rounds with that mutant 7ft Russian heavyweight boxer Bengals QB Carson Palmer should find himself with an opportunity for an upset. With the Ravens going to another rookie QB Joe Flacco to start the season I have a feeling Baltimore will come out of the gate a little slowly. Willis McGahee is banged up and the Ravens D may have lost that mystique by the end of this one.

Prediction – Cincinnati to win 21-20

LV wrong 0-3

St. Louis at Philadelphia

All signs point to Rocky town for this one, with Donovan McNabb once again able to find his TE LJ Smith in the red-zone. Brian Westbrook if he stays healthy should be in line for an NFL MVP award, and rookie DeSean Jackson the former Cal wideout should provide a spark. The Rams have Steven Jackson back in uniform and Marc Bulgerback at QB but the Rams D will still be vulnerable, even with #2 pick Chris Long at DE.

Prediction – Philadelphia to win 38-9

LV correct – 1-3 – Note got Philly score exactly right !

Houston at Pittsburgh

Houston showed signs of becoming respectable in 07, and with the welcome return of Andre Johnson at WR it could be the Texans first winning season. Pittsburgh added another talented running back in the draft – Rashard Mendenhall as a rocket propelled backup, but there are offensive line question marks. This will be a chance for Big Ben Roethlisberger to show why he gets paid the big bucks, Texans will make it a fight though.

Prediction – Pittsburgh to win 19-17

LV correct 2-3

Jacksonville at Tennessee

Both teams will see anything but an AFC Championship appearance a failure, and both will be looking to establish the run before launching any rockets in the sky. Vince Young the Titans QB is only a few steps away from being a top 10 performer. David Garrard needs to prove he can go 16 games and keep his INTs low for a second season. Jacksonville’s running game to settle this one in an old fashioned slugfest.

Prediction – Jacksonville to win 20-17

LV wrong 2-4

Tampa Bay at New Orleans

The evergreen Jeff Garcia comes to Louisiana with a chip on his shoulder after a first round playoff exit earlier in the year. The Buccs will unfortunately be the ones on the tailgate bbq after they get grilled by Drew Brees and the Saints who will unleash Reggie Bush and Deuce McAllister and a big ol dollop of Marques Colston along with relishing the thought of seeing Jeremy Shockey in Black and Gold.

Prediction – New Orleans to win 24-17

LV correct 3-4 – Note got New Orleans score exactly right!

Kansas City at New England

Hmmmm lets spare the analysis on this one. Bill Bellicheck will have the Pats so hungry they may end up spying on the hot dog and candy floss stalls in the pre game warm ups. Look for KC to give a bit more fight than many experts say but for the Pats to win in style. Even Sammy Morris should get 50 yards and a score.

Prediction – New England to win 24-14

LV correct 4-4

N.Y. Jets at Miami

Can anyone get through an opening week blog without mentioning the F word ? and I’m not talking Gordon Ramsay swearing in the kitchens of Florida. Look for Chad Pennington to get the headlines in this encounter, and he gets the Dolphins back to basics, ball control, accurate passing and some leadership at the QB position. The Jets will have the attention of the world at the kickoff, but the respect for Pennington will be the abiding memory at the end.

Prediction – Miami to win 17-13

LV wrong 4-5 – Note Pennington did earn some respect in the game

Arizona at San Francisco

Looks like Matt Leinhart is not the saviour after all as Kurt Warner gets the start and the Cardinals again look to have a good season and a playoff place. Look for Arizona rookie RB Tim Hightower to get on the scoresheet and for the 49ers to look bloody awful. Face it if any of the other 31 NFL teams announced that JT OSullivan was their starting quarterback the first thing you would do is laugh. JT has done an amazing job to get the gig in Frisco, but any sensible coach will get Frank Gore 25-30 touches as a priority.

Prediction – Arizona to win 33-13

LV correct 5-5 Note I did predict Tim Hightower to score !

Carolina at San Diego

Carolina welcome back Jake Delhomme from an injury lost 2007, and despite Steve Smith missing out the Panthersshould be able to compete wih a solid running game. The win however belongs to the San Diego Chargers who will want to be all business in the first half of the season. Rivers will throw no more than about 20 passes as the Chargers look to chew up the clock with LT, Sproles and even Jacob Hester getting some carries.

Prediction – San Diego to win 23-20

LV wrong 5-6

Dallas at Cleveland

The Cleveland Browns bandwagon is still pretty full after Derek Anderson inspired his team to prominence. The 2008 season will not have the fairytale ending to it in my estimation though, as Dallas will pour vodka in the punch and drop dog food in the trifle and escape from Ohio with a big W. Everyone is talking about the strength of Marion Barber, but the Cowboys masterstroke is the drafting of RB Felix Jones who has more speed than Keaunu Reeves holding a bag of bowling balls after falling out of an aeroplane.

Prediction – Dallas to win 24-19 

LV correct 6-6

Chicago at Indianapolis

The only positive the Chicago Bears can get from this game is to reminisce that the last time they met was in the Superbowl. Indy will dominate this game from their first possession, which I will bet will result in a touchdown. Marvin Harrison will be wanting to show there is life in the old dog still, and Dominic Rhodes will be back in his favourite colours of blue and white. If Chicago muster 21 points ill call that an upset by itself.

Prediction – Indianapolis to win 28-13

LV wrong – 6-7

Minnesota at Green Bay

Two quarterbacks with big question marks over their heads – Aaron Rodgers in his first start and Tavaris Jackson looking to show that he truly belongs in this league after an up and down 2007. Can either live up to their expectations ? I don’t think either will be the biggest factor of the game as it will be up to Ryan Grant and Adrian Peterson to show who is the top young running back. AP to win this particular battle.

Prediction – Minnesota to win 16-10

LV wrong 6-8

Denver at Oakland

The Raiders are trying to build a team of young and spirited world beaters, but I can’t see them winning against a Broncos team that  every year show they know how to do the most important thing – run the football. With Brandon Marshall out week 1 that will give the Raiders some relief, but the Broncos have the offensive line intelligence and the shutdown cornerbacks to leave California with a victory.

Prediction – Denver to win 29-23

LV right 7-8 (Overall score 7 right 8 wrong)

Bet you all have opinions – come back on Tuesday to see how I go ! Feel free to add your thoughts……