This year's edition of "NFL Weekly Picks" ushers in a new era at MHR. It is now the era of the Reader and the Staffer. Each week, instead of the having the MHR staffers go head-to-head in picking each week's winners, we will be having one reader facing off against one staffer. This week our reader is that MHR member known as Azbroncomaniac. Azbroncomaniac writes:
Acquired the broncomaniac affliction in the early 70's, and probably could have / should have been committed in the JE years. Lived in the foothills west of Denver over 20 years. Living now in the Sonoran Desert, MHR is my lifeline to fellow Broncomaniacs and Bronco Country. My thanks to you all ! The contest... Chris, we have a natural disaster here called a haboob (I love that word). You're about to be covered like an Arizona haboob, it will be faster than a John Elway completion into Nate Jones coverage, and you have about as much chance of beating me as Those Funny Little People have beating Ryan Clady. Borrowing from the great Princess Bride movie - "My name is azbroncomaniac, prepare to die."
Azbroncomaniac will be competing with Chris Doll (aka maxwellsdemon). Chris writes:
Topher Doll took up the name Maxwell's Demon after learning it was terms used by physicist James Maxwell to explain something because he didn't really care to do the math on. So now he uses the name to show that some people will defy logic and proof because they are lazy. Now as for what he adds to the Mile High Report staff, well not much, mostly his stubbornness, he is a Taurus, time difference, he is living in Syria currently, and love of the game, he spends most of his free time, when he's not with his Charger-loving wife, watching games over and over. Having grown up a Seahawks fan in the early 1990's, he knows what bad times are, and he would happily report that the Broncos have yet to know bad times, and that the future is brighter than Eric Decker's teeth in GQ or Tim Tebow's Jockey's.
And now, onto the picks.
Azbroncomaniac: QBs -- a draw. . .both great. . .Edge to Green Bay depth. . .Edge to Lambeau Field.
Chris: Two huge offenses . . .look for few mistakes. . .Packers possess a great pass rush and a solid secondary. . .look for the Saints to use their new toys at running back. . .Saints defense is fast, but their secondary is a bit lacking. . .since they lost a certain coach to the Broncos.
Azbroncomaniac: The Chiefs are just tough to beat at home, as we know all too well. And the Bills ain't that good.
Chris:. . .two teams that are in a strange position, the Chiefs rode a weak division to the playoffs, the Bills are just lacking talent. . .Chiefs. . .have a strong run game, and a try-and-play-it-safe passing game. . .Bills. . .some skill on offense, and they have a young, talented secondary that can create turnovers. . .it will come down to defense and the run game, look for the Chiefs to win this one.
Azbroncomaniac: Rookie QB for the Bengals, first game, and I didn't think he was that good in college.
Chris:. . .two teams in transition. . .Both have reliable running games, and decent defenses. It could actually be a good game. . .biggest issue will be Cedric Benson might miss the game. . .the Browns are the better team now.
Azbroncomaniac: St. Louis could surprise me with an upset, but Vick and Philadelphia's defensive backfield are too good for Bradford.
Chris:. . .the Eagles are just talented everywhere. . .but. . .the Eagles have all the pieces in place to be the 2010 Cowboys or Chargers, and drop some easy games. . .the Rams just pound the Eagles with a strong run game and using their big receivers and tight ends to just abuse the Eagles small secondary.
Azbroncomaniac: New coach, new QB, new defense, all too new. Jags are mediocre but better than the Titans.
Chris:Another two teams riding vets for one more year. . .both have among the best running backs in the league. . .have defenses that are average. . .it will come down to Hasselbeck and Garrard, and I'm taking Hasselbeck. . . Titans. . .they have drafted to control the lines, and if you give Hasselbeck time, he can make any throw.
Azbroncomaniac: Ravens always play the Steelers tough, and home field gives them an edge.
Chris:Two playoff teams, and this game starts the divisional battle early. . .the Steelers defense is getting old, same goes with Baltimore. . .expect some good offense. . .look for the Ravens to try and just go blow for blow with a slightly more talented team in the Steelers, and just get beat.
Azbroncomaniac: Lions getting stronger, but not there yet. Fairly hurt, Freeman better than most think.
Chris:Detroit is a trendy pick, and they have the talent to back it up, but the Bucs are just as young and are tougher. . .Both teams have good running games, and both have in your face defenses. . .Look for the best game of the week here, I'm expecting great passing, running, pass rushing, it will just be great. . .it comes down to the passing game, and Freeman is the better quarterback and the Bucs have the better secondary, this game falls their way.
Azbroncomaniac: Manning-less Colts, Collins new and not that good to begin with, Phillips runs a good defense.
Chris:. . .with Manning having almost no time to recover, and the Texans beefing up their secondary. . .don't think Manning will be able to keep up with an underrated Schaub and a speedy Foster. . .the additions the Texans have made to their secondary will have a much bigger impact than the Colts. . .If this was week 10 or 14, Colts over Texans, but I can't see it week 1.
Azbroncomaniac: Semi-upset here, but Falcons solid all the way around, and Cutler will throw a pick-six. . .and then some.
Chris:As a closet Bears fan, I want them to win. . .look for Atlanta to run the ball and allow Matt Ryan to just sit back and abuse play action. . .Chicago's offense is talented. . .but I don't feel they did enough to protect Jay Cutler. . .he struggles with his decision making under pressure. . .the Falcons are just better in more places, they have a better defense, and with the offenses being even, it's about defense.
Azbroncomaniac: LOL, one crappy team against another. Nod goes to the home field . . .not sure why.
Chris:Both teams have huge holes in a ton of spots, both are riding questionable quarterbacks. . .Seattle is scrappy. . .the 49ers have a better running game, better linebackers, and a better group of offensive lineman and tight ends. . .Seattle has the better secondary by a long shot, but in this running focused attack offense in San Francisco, it won't matter. Two former college coaches dueling it out, it will be interesting to see which one has the better NFL career in the end.
Azbroncomaniac: Just a hunch here, 'Skins have no QB, and the Giants are fairly solid, Manning a wild card.
Chris:This one could be one of the most lopsided games of the week. . .The Giants had a great season last year. . .while Washington downgraded at a number of positions. . .the Giants are a lot like the Falcons, they are balanced, they have a great passing game, a top talent run game, and a defense that puts quarterbacks on their butts. . .Look for the Giants to blitz all night long, the Redskins to try, and fail, to run the ball, and for them to get steam rolled.
Azbroncomaniac: Chargers at home, talented and this is the regular season, not the playoffs, Phyllis & company too good.
Chris:Two teams looking to reclaim their fallen glory, one relying on a savvy vet and a powerful run game. The other on a hot handed quarterback and a defense that can do everything. . .San Diego was #1 in every important area besides wins last season. . .expect the Vikings to have an improved season, but the Chargers are better, in every area, besides running back.
Azbroncomaniac: Panthers just plain bad, Cards are pretty good and are at home, biggest lock of the day.
Chris:Two bad teams, both have two new quarterbacks. . .expect both to struggle. . .Carolina has the better run game, by a lot, and the Cards have the better passing game, by a lot. Both have bland defenses. . .Fitz and Jonathon Stewart, they're just exciting. Eh, look for Kolb to struggle and be blitzed all game. Look for the Panthers to run the ball against a bad Cards front seven.
Azbroncomaniac: Toughest call of the day, Jets at home, but Romo could prevail, but the Jets are a solid playoff contender.
Chris:A underperformer against, well, a team whose coach talks too much and makes them underperformers. . .Cowboys have a lot of talent and skill on offense. . .they struggle with defense. . .The Jets are the opposite, fantastic defense, and some big holes on offense. . .I don't trust Mark Sanchez to watch my dead gold fish. . .but I do trust their defense. . .I'm going with the team that controls the lines, runs the ball, and can get in your face.
Azbroncomaniac: Close game here too, but the Pats experience, talent and coaching offset home field and the Dolphins defense.
Chris:This game happens every year . . .Miami upsets the giant that is the Pats. . .This game won't be that game. . .the Pats are looking pissed after going 14-2 last season and losing early in the playoffs. . .Miami looks stagnant. . .have huge questions at quarterback, running back, secondary, and defensive line.