Thursday, September 10, 2009


You've waited and waited and it's here, it's finally here! The football season is practically upon us and with it your much anticipated, highly beloved, "Bitterness" weekly picks! Please, control your excitement, sit back, stop scouring the internet for the collector's edition DVD of "Inside Schwartz" and enjoy! (record in parentheses are our predicted records for the upcoming season)

TENNESSEE (10-6) @ PITTSBURGH (12-4): The Steelers title defense begins Thursday at the Ketchup Packet against the Titans. I don't anticipate this one being a high scoring affair. The Titans will miss "Phat" Albert Haynesworth, sure, but they should still be pretty tough defensively. That being said, I don't think they can "out Steeler" the Steelers in week 1. If this game took place in, say, week eight or nine, or in Tennessee, than maybe I'd give the Titans a better chance. Plus I just don't see Kerry Collins shredding the 'Burgh's "D", now, or ever. It'll be close, but the Champs will be the first team to one win. Steelers 24-17

DOLPHINS (6-10) @ FALCONS (11-5): A matchup of two of last year's surprise teams. As you can see from my predicted records, I feel one of these teams will come crashing back down to earth. The Dolphins will not build on last year's success, win the division, make the playoffs or even finish .500. And no, it's not just cause everyone has had time to prepare for the "Wildcat" (fun drinking game for the upcoming season, drink every time you here an announcer say "Wildcat"), but simply because the Dolphins just won't be as good. Not that the likes of Chad Pennington, Ronnie Brown, Greg Camarillo, Ted Ginn, Jr., and Anthony Fasano aren't an intimidating offense....The Falcons on the other hand are more of the real deal, I think. The addition of Tony Gonzalez, can only help Matty Ice, especially in the Red Zone. Seems like I'd pick the Falcons to blow the Dolphins right outta of the Georgia Dome, but it's week one, and that's where perceptions get blown to smithereens, sooooo.....I'll have the Dirty Birds escaping by the skin of their teeth. Falcons 21-20

CHIEVES (5-11) @ RAVENS (10-6): Everyone needs to just cool their jets on the whole Sand Cassel hypitty-hype, okay? In my mind, he's proven diddily-squat. Last year's numbers were a result of a GOOD "SYSTEM"! He now has a mediocre, at best, offensive line, a disgruntled Larry Johnson and Dwayne Bowe. Yes, THE Dwayne Bowe. Hardly the fixins for a Playoff gravy train, if you ask me. The Ravens, will be the Ravens. Yes Rex Ryan is gone, but the defense is still Top 5 and Ray Rice is gonna run silly. As in he will run for a lot of yards, not in a silly looking manner. Plus Joe Flacco "Seagulls" (thanks Bill), in theory, should only get better, especially with Todd Heap-ing Helping returning to form.
Ravens 24-13

EAGLES (10-6) @ PANTHERS (8-8): Hopes are high yet again in Philly, and that is somewhat warranted, but McNabb and Westbrook are old by NFL standards. They'll be competitive as usual, but don't go expecting a Super Bowl title or anything fancy like that. Meanwhile, don't sleep on the Panthers. I have them going 8-8, but anything can happen in that wacky NFC South. If Jakey D stays healthy the Panthers could, COULD, turn some heads. I really think they could be anywhere from 6-10 to 11-5. Panthers 27-21

BRONCOS (4-12) @ BENGALS (8-8): Watch out for the Bengals! Remember when the Bengals were the up and coming team of the future? That seemed to fade pretty fast, which means it's the perfect time for Cincy to sneak up on the rest of the league. The Broncos, however, will not be sneaking up anyone. Are they really ready to build an offense around Kyle Orton? But, Josh McD made "Sandy" Cassel look good in New England, so who knows, maybe he can make Orton, extra-Ortonary? And people make a lot out of the former Pats coaches, but what have they done? Mangini was run out of NY, Romeo Crennel did nothing in Cleveland, Charlie Weis helped guide Notre Dame to one of their worst seasons ever. Hardly a stellar selling point. I'll remain skeptical for now. Bengals 35-20

VIKINGS (11-5) @ BROWNS (3-13): Has anyone tarnished their legacy, more than Brett Favre? Remember the Vikes made the playoffs last year, with limited help from the quarterback position, so Favre makes them a borderline Super Bowl contender, now that opposing defenses will have to respect the pass, as well as the run. And they better be a contender, since Favre is a one and done, and they have pretty much insulted their other QBs. The Browns were, the "it" team heading into last season, but they ended up being more of a sh-, well you know. Can Mangenius turn this around? Not this year. Peterson runs wild! Vikings 23-9

JETS (7-9) @ TEXANS (9-7): The Texans should be a tough draw, week in and week out, for sure. Schaub, Slaton and Johnson make for a potent offense, while Ryans and Williams anchor what should be a pretty solid defense. The Jets should also have a stellar defense under Rex Ryan, but the quaterback situation is, well, not so great. Now, I'll try not to dirty Sanchez's reputation too early, but personally I'm not sold on the former Trojan man in any way, shape or form. Texans 28-14

JAGUARS (6-10) @ COLTS (11-5): Seems like not too long ago, this was a premiere AFC South slugfest, buuuuuuuuuut......The Jaguars have been heading in the wrong direction for quite some time now. Inconsisteny has been the main problem in Jacksonville, but they hope to have improved the team chemistry in the offseason to help with that. The Colts are, still the Colts, even with Jim Caldwell at the helm. Now, this is the game to get the Colts, I feel. That is why I am making this my week one UPSET SPECIAL! Jaguars 17-16

LIONS (3-13)@ SAINTS (11-5): Yes, I have more than likely, highly, overrated the Saints, but they are, I believe, very good. Drew Brees will take another whack at the passing yardage record, and the defense with Gregg Williams should be more than passable. Then there's the Lions. Ah, the Lions. The NFL's favorite punchline. The good news is the Lions should be better than last year. The bad news is, they'll still be bad, since it would be almost impossible to be worse than last year. But more good news for Matthew Stafford and Jim "Inside" Schwartz, as expectations are low, since they literally can't lose more games than last year's team. Sounds great. Saints 38-17

COWBOYS (11-5)@ BUCCANEERS (3-13): The 'Boys should be good, but not great, just like the last few years. No more T.O., no more Pacman, no more Q-bert. The only thing keeping Dallas from being serious contenders, in my mind, is Wade Phillips. Seems like a nice guy, but I don't think he's got the killer instinct to take them to the next level. I may have given the Bucs more wins thna they'll actually get. There's a good chance they'll be atrocious. But, the future is bright! Jon Gruden thinks Josh Freeman will be the "toast of Tampa" late in the season. Of course Jon Gruden also had me sold on Bruce Gradkowski , and, well, let's just say that didn't really pan out.......Cowboys 27-16

49ERS (4-12) @ ARIZONA (10-6): The Cardinals have high expectations after last year's Super Bowl trip, and should be able to avoid a let down this year. But a lot if that depends on Kurt Warner and if he can make it through another entire season. If he does they are once again a high-flying offense, with playoff aspirations. I'm not gonna sugar coat this, but The Niners don't have a lot of positives. But hey, if Michael Crabtree ever signs, he could provide a minor spark? I dunno, I tried San Franciscans. Cardinals 31-17

REDSKINS (6-10) @ GIANTS (11-5): This should be another exciting Redskins-Giants opener. The G-men should harass Jason Campbell and make him look even worse than he is, which is no easy task. Eli's overrated, but the defense and running game should help overshadow that in week one and, well, most of the season. Jason Campbell will have that luxury as well, but too a lesser extent. Giants 17-9

RAMS (1-15) @ SEAHAWKS (11-5): I'd call the Seahawks a sleeper pick, but I think plenty of people are aware of them, and hence, not sleeping on them. If Hasslebeck and his receivers manage to stay healthy, this is the team to beat in the NFC West. The Rams are gonna be at least as bad as last year. In all honesty I struggled to find them a win at this point, so it won't take much for them to surprise me. Seahawks 38-17

BEARS (10-6) @ PACKERS (12-4): I, among others, am high on the Packers, which means they will more than likely go 6-10 and not make the playoffs. But seriously, this is the year Aaron Rodgers makes Green Bay forget all about Brett Favre. Until the Packers play the Vikings in week four on Monday Night Football. The Bears are solid, but are the third best team in this division. And when did Jay Cutler become a savior? Has he ever proven himself? I'm not entirely sold on Jay-C as a clutch QB, but I'll guess we'll find out pretty quickly, how good he his, going to Lambeau on Sunday night, then hosting the Steelers in week two. Packers 20-12

BILLS (4-12) @ PATRIOTS (13-3): If Tom Brady goes down again, the Patriots could probably still win the AFC East this year. The Bills can really only surprise me from here. Their preseason was less than impressive, and they fired their OC days before the season starts. They have T.O., but can Trent Edwards keep him happy? More importantly can the Bills keep the fans happy? My guess is no, and this could be the beginning of the end for Dick Jauron, and the beginning of the beginning for Alex Van Pelt. Just give him a clipboard and let him create. Patriots 28-9

CHARGERS (11-5) @ RAIDERS (3-13): I do like that they give us two Monday night openers these days, but the drawback is the second game has to be in the Pacific time zone and too many times we get stuck with the Raiders. Now granted, a high profile matchup would only anger us East Coasters, cause we would want to stay up and watch it, so I guess it's lose-lose for ESPN. Maybe they should just go back to one game? I'm just saying, it doesn't do anyone anyone any good to add a game just for the sake of adding it. Does anyone think this will be a good game? Did anyone circle it on the schedule as a must watch? Did anyone notice how I avoided really talking about either of these teams in this blurb? Is blurb the right word for this? Do you care? Do I still have your attention? Do I still care at this point in the post? Chargers 31-10

And now my season predictions (asterisks indicate wild cards):
AFC East: Pats (13-3), Jets (7-9),'Phins (6-10), Bills (4-12)
AFC North: Steelers (13-3), *Ravens (11-5), Bengals (8-8), Browns (3-13)
AFC South: Colts (11-5), *Titans (10-6), Texans (9-7), Jags (6-10)
AFC West: Bolts (11-5), Chiefs (5-11), Broncos (4-12), Raiders (3-13)

NFC East: Giants (11-5), *Cowboys (11-5), Eagles (10-6), 'Skins (6-10)
NFC North: Pack (12-4), *Vikes (11-5), Bears (10-6), Lions (3-13)
NFC South: Saints (12-4), Falcons (10-6), Panthers (6-10), Bucs (3-13)
NFC West: Seahawks (11-5), Cardinals (10-6), 49ers (4-12), Rams (1-15)

AFC Championship: Chargers over Steelers
NFC Championship: Packers over Seahawks

Super Bowl: Packers over Chargers

If you're mad about any of my predictions, just remember my preseason picks, are rarely correct.

And now your cheese:

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